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BSM Which Car - August 2011 Edition 3




I want your help to choose the right car for me. I travel an average of 80 km a day to office. My budget is Rs 7 lakh for a diesel car. The car should return good mileage, have a comfortable rear seat, good after-sales service and reasonably priced spares. I’m really confused between the Skoda Fabia, Fiat Punto and Maruti Suzuki Swift as I get different opinions about these cars. Please help me to choose a good car!

  Mohan, Chennai

We think you should widen your choice and look at the basic Era or Magna version of the Hyundai i20 CRDi. The engine is refined, powerful and frugal — it’s also the quickest accelerating diesel hatchback in the country. There is a lot of space on the inside, it’s well built and has good quality materials too. Besides, it’s a Hyundai, so after-sales service is generally good and service costs are reasonable too. Go for it!



I’m looking for a sturdy, feature-loaded, safe, 7-seater, fuel-efficient SUV (the budget can go up to Rs 60-65 lakh or so). My daily commute is 5-6 km, and I do a 600 km trip twice a month. I was considering the Volvo XC90 or Mercedes-Benz R-Class. Kindly suggest the better option. Baljeet, via email


Of the cars you have mentioned, the R-Class has a proper set of three rows of seats, while the XC90 doesn’t. The R-Class is an MPV and not an SUV and comes only with a petrol option. It’s well-loaded, quite comfortable and is good for both city and highway use. What we think you should look at is the Audi Q7. It’s more an SUV than the R-Class, is available with an efficient and reasonably powerful 3-litre diesel engine and has good ground clearance too. It may not be as new as the R-Class in the Indian market, but we think it’s the better buy given the fact that it runs on diesel.


I am looking to buy a diesel car which I plan to hold on to for a minimum of five years. My budget is Rs 6.5 lakh, which I can stretch by another Rs 30,000. I want the car to have good leg room, boot space and it should hold three adults at the back seat. I am fine with average ride quality, as my intention of getting the car is for practical purposes. I would love to have central locking, power windows and power steering with AC. I have shortlisted the Ford Figo, Tata Indigo eCS and Mahindra Verito (D4, though I need to extend my budget for this). I am not able to convince myself about the Maruti Ritz or Swift, as I feel the back seat is not even average with respect to space, leg room and boot space. Could you please help me to choose a car out of those mentioned?

  Balaji Babu, via email

Of the three cars you’ve mentioned, we suggest you consider the Mahindra Verito. It’s the most spacious of the three in terms of legroom and shoulder room and three people can sit quite comfortably. The boot is large, the ground clearance is more than adequate and it has all the features you are looking for — power steering, power windows, central locking et al. The 1.5-litre diesel engine is efficient and it’s quite driveable for both city and highway use. It may not have very good resale value, but considering you plan to hold on to it for at least five years, it shouldn’t hurt much. Any automotive question?
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