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BSM Which Car - February 2011 - Edition 4

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TAKE ME TO THE RITZ

I had bought a Maruti Suzuki Ritz VXi in November 2009. The rising petrol price is making me think of buying a diesel car, though. My car won't be used daily, but when it is used, it'll be for a long drive. The petrol Ritz has already clocked 20,000 km in one year. Is it advisable for me to buy a diesel car, which will be used irregularly but with high mileage, or should I stick with the petrol? How much will I get for my old Ritz, if I sell it? If I buy a diesel car, which one should I go for? I can stretch my budget to a maximum of Rs 6 lakh (including the resale value of the old Ritz). A hatchback is preferable, but a sedan is also not out of the equation.

Shankar Narayan, Chennai

Since you are covering long distances regularly, we are sure your petrol Ritz gives you very good fuel mileage anyway on the highway. So for the kind of kilometres you clock in a year, there is no reason to shift to a diesel car. However, if you think your long trips will increase in frequency, you can shift to a diesel car. Since you are happy with the Ritz, why don't you look at exchanging it for a diesel version? The Ritz diesel is terrific to drive, fuel efficient and has Maruti Suzuki's service backing it. We cannot give you an idea of what a November 2009 Ritz VXi will sell for in Chennai — check out what Maruti's True Value will offer you, and also find out what you can get from the Maruti Suzuki dealer in exchange when you buy a diesel Ritz — and go for the one that gives you the best deal!

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FAB PLAN
I plan to buy a diesel car priced between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh. I want to use it for five years. Which car would you suggest? I would like good performance, quality interiors, great mileage and good looks. I have shortlisted the following cars: the Ford Figo, Maruti Suzuki Swift, Skoda Fabia, Hyundai i20 and Volkswagen Polo.

Nitin Jain, via email

Of the cars you have shortlisted, the Ford Figo is the option that more or less fits your requirements. However, do look at the Skoda Fabia. The diesel is a good performer and gives terrific mileage. It’s had a marginal facelift recently, while the interiors are spacious and the materials used are of high quality. The only issue is that it is a little over your budget. If you can stretch it, then the Fabia makes for a good purchase. If not, there's always the Figo!

Any automotive questions? Ask us at srinivas.krishnan@bsmail.in