BSM Which Car - February 2011 - Hyundai i20, Ritz, Toyota Etios


Premium appeal

I recently sold my 2002 Maruti Suzuki Zen VXi. The car had done only 23,000 km and if there wasn’t a desire to drive a tall and sturdy car, I wouldn’t have sold it. Now I want your recommendation on which car would be a good choice in the range of Rs 5 to 7 lakh. As I have a space problem in my garage, I would like to go for a premium hatchback. I will do about 800 kilometres of running in a month (mostly on the highway) and would like to go for a diesel car. I am thinking of the Maruti Suzuki Swift (the new version of which will soon be launched), the Hyundai i20 or the Toyota Etios Liva. I can wait till April, so please suggest if I should look out for some new models of cars that are going to be launched in the near future. Swakkhyar Deka, Guwahati

We think the base version of the i20 diesel should fit your requirements well. The i20 is an excellent premium hatchback, with good quality materials and engineering going into it. It’s pretty decent when it comes to interior space and has a lot of nifty features as well. The new Swift will take time – certainly not by April – while the Liva diesel is still quite some time away. Go for the i20; it should serve you well.


Short shift

I am 28 years old and 5’2” in height. I am looking forward to buying a new car. It will be used for around 500-600 km per month, mostly on weekends. It should seat four people comfortably and at times five. As I am short, I’d prefer it if the car came with a seat height adjustment option. My expectations include decent mileage, good after-sales service (must have), adequate luggage space, power steering, airconditioning and power windows. My budget is Rs 4-5.5 lakh. What would you recommend? Amit Bose, via email

The Maruti Suzuki Ritz makes perfect sense for you. A short person won’t have any problems driving it. It is fuel efficient, has decent room for five, has adequate luggage space and Maruti’s after sales service is also terrific. Go for the petrol Ritz version, which gives you the best features for your budget.

Old versus new

I intend to buy an entry-level sedan as a family car. My average running per day is likely to be within 10-15 kilometres ,with a monthly trip on the highway. The main attributes that I am looking for are decent mileage, pick-up, comfort, ease of city driving and manoeuvrability. My budget is around Rs 6 lakh. My first point is whether I should go in for a petrol car or a diesel car. Secondly, amongst petrol cars, I have zeroed in on the Toyota Etios and the Hyundai Accent Executive. I have test-driven both and am equally impressed. However, people tell me that the fuel efficiency of the Etios is better than that of the Accent. Moreover, others have opined that the Accent — despite it being a proven performer — is an aged workhorse and may be discontinued soon, while the Etios is a modern car. In view of this, and also considering that the Accent (on-road price Rs 5.3 lakh, fully equipped plus availing the exchange offer on my 1989 Maruti 800) is about Rs 1 lakh cheaper than the ‘G’ version of the Etios (on-road price nearly Rs 6.2 lakh, including some basic accessories), which car should I go for? A proven workhorse or a modern, fresher car? Shivangshu Naval, Jaipur

We agree that the Accent is compelling value for money as compared to the Etios, but as you have said yourself, it is old. We don’t know when Hyundai will discontinue it, but why don’t you go for a new model anyway? If you are impressed with the Etios and if it matches your requirements, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t opt for it. Any automotive questions?
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