My family plans to buy a new car within a budget of Rs 5 lakh for a weekly commute of 40 km. We would like a petrol car that offers plenty of space in the rear and is fuel efficient. We’re not particular about the car having a central locking feature. Please suggest a suitable vehicle.
Parul Mishra, via email
The Maruti Suzuki Ritz is a really good car. It’s spacious for four to five people, is easy to get in and out of, has an efficient and peppy petrol engine and decent ride and handling as well. For your budget, you can go in for the VXi trim that has quite a few features too.
I am looking for a good city car for my commute and my budget is around Rs 13 lakh. It will be used for short distances during the week and occasionally on the highways during the weekends. I have shortlisted the Volkswagen Vento, Hyundai Verna, Honda City and Skoda Laura. I want a car with good resale value, mileage, comfort and space, but I am confused as to whether to opt for a petrol or diesel. Can you tell me why diesels aren’t recommended for low running?
Nikhil Agarwal, via email
Diesel variants of the same cars cost more. So you need to put in many kilometres as early as possible to recover your investment in them — it's as simple as that. If you don’t use your car that much, it is indeed a premium you have paid for the car without actually utilising it. Costs of servicing and maintenance may be slightly higher for diesel cars, but they even out over a longer period.
That said, you could do with a petrol car. Of the ones you have shortlisted, we recommend the City. It is a good city car, fuel efficient, decently spacious inside and a great car to drive. Plus Hondas hold their value very well. You can opt for the automatic, as it takes away the tedium of the commute. The other option is the Verna — as compared to the City, it is well loaded, comfortable at the back and looks good. The only negative is that it is not a great car to drive. If you want a diesel, then the Vento fits your requirements.
Of the Hyundai i10 1.2 Magna, Honda Brio MT and Maruti Suzuki Swift LXi, I like the Brio best because of its robust, trouble-free engine, features list and fuel efficiency. What are your picks and why?
Gokul Mani, via email
The three cars you’ve mentioned have three slightly different sets of strengths. The Swift is a bit more spacious, has the dynamics of a more mature car and is backed by Maruti’s aftersales network. The Brio and i10 are strong city cars, with good driveability, decent economy and nice seating positions. As an overall car, the Swift ticks most boxes, however the Brio makes a strong case for itself. If you are convinced, you can comfortably go ahead and buy one.