I currently own a Maruti Swift VXi and I have clocked 14,500 km in it in the past year-and-a-half. I would like to buy a seven or eight-seater and I have looked at the Mahindra XUV, Scorpio and Xylo, as well as the Toyota Innova. However, given the spate of launches that have just taken place by Maruti, M&M and Renault, I would like to know what to do. I am not in a hurry and, if it makes sense to, I will wait. Is it worth waiting for the Maruti Ertiga or Nissan Evalia? I want to buy a value-for-money vehicle, with low maintenance costs and good mileage that can be used mainly over long 2,000 to 3,000 km drives.
Ashutosh, via email
Yes, there is finally a choice in this segment, long dominated by the Toyota Innova. And going by what we saw at the Expo, the Innova has also received some much needed tweaks. These make the Innova still better and going by its track record, it is still probably the best MPV to go for. Since we have not evaluated the other new machines and we don't know what they will be priced at, it is difficult to recommend one over the other. So if it is possible to wait, we suggest you do so because you finally have some exciting choices. Also stick to an MPV, you don't strictly need an SUV.
I'm planning to buy a diesel hatchback, and build quality, engine power and performance and rear seat comfort are the criteria. Which one should I opt for — the Fiat Punto 90HP or the Hyundai i20 CRDi Sportz or Asta?
R Shankar, via email
For your needs the i20 makes perfect sense — it fits all your requirements. As regards Sportz or Asta, it really depends on what features you want your car to come with.
I own a three-year old Maruti Suzuki Dzire, with 90,000 km on the clock (most of my driving is within the city). I have been advised by many to buy a new car as the diesel engine will now show signs of wear and tear. Is this a valid concern? Also, should I go for a new SX4 diesel or continue with the diesel Dzire? Is the SX4 diesel worth the extra investment? Is it more fuel efficient and does it require less maintenance?
Ashok Bhandari, New Delhi
There is no reason to replace your Dzire at the moment — it should serve you well for another one to two years easily. However, if you are keen to replace it, you can go ahead provided you get good resale value. The new Dzire should be on sale very soon now and we expect it to be as good as the outgoing one, if not better. As for the SX4 diesel, you get a bigger car that is easy to get in and get out. Also, the SX4 is a little more powerful than the Dzire. Regarding fuel efficiency, the Dzire will offer a mite better figure than the SX4. And of course a few SX4 parts could also have a premium over the Dzire. So if you want to be seen in an upgraded car, you can go for the SX4 — else the new Dzire should serve you as well as your existing one.
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