I currently drive a petrol Maruti Zen and would like to upgrade to a diesel car, preferably a sedan. My budget is roughly Rs 7- 8.5 lakh and my priorities are fuel efficiency of 20 kpl, low maintenance costs and a good amount of interesting features thrown in. My monthly usage is a little over 1,000 km. Kindly suggest the right car for my requirements. Eldhose Skaria, via email
The car that fits most of your needs is the new Hyundai Verna. The 1.4 CRDi spec is what you should be looking at, for its combination of fuel efficiency and a pretty lively motor. It is a spacious car, with generous legroom at the rear, and the overall quality of materials used in the interiors is also very good. Ride quality is good, though not on a par with the likes of the Volkswagen Vento. On the whole, we think the Verna is the car for you — although, to be realistic, you will not see 20 kpl in city conditions, and even out on the highway, the figure will be of the order of about 18 kpl with careful driving!
I am looking at buying a hatchback with the following features: a refined motor, easy gear shifts, best-in-class ride quality, a powerful AC unit and some of the latest features too. Attractive looks, good ground clearance and good ride quality and interior space are, needless to say, a must. Of the Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Hyundai i20, Hyundai i10, Nissan Micra, Ford Figo, Toyota Etios, Chevrolet Beat and Mahindra Verito, which should I buy?
Pratik Bajaj, via email
Looking at your extensive list of needs, we think you should be looking at either the Hyundai i20 or the Skoda Fabia. The Fabia boasts of superior ride quality, while the i20 has an impressive list of features. Both are good- looking cars, with lots of room on the inside and a pretty sufficient boot. Interior quality too is on a par with some of the more expensive sedans. We suggest you drive both vehicles and see which one you like better.
LIVA AND LET LIVE
I currently own a Suzuki Wagon R and am planning to buy one more car. I want to buy a new car in the range of Rs 5-6 lakh. My usage pattern is around 15 km of city driving daily, consisting of mostly low density traffic (3rd-4th gear driving). Once in two months, I go out with my family for 100-300 km drives on highways. The car will be self- driven. My primary requirements are good mileage in the city, good leg space for rear passengers, low cost of maintenance and the ability to comfortably seat five people. I intend to keep the car for seven to eight years. I have shortlisted the Hyundai i20, Suzuki Swift and Nissan Micra. I am attracted to the Toyota Etios G, given that it’s a sedan for Rs 6.25 lakh, but I would like advice on whether my usage pattern warrants a hatchback or an entry level sedan. I am not in a hurry to buy, and I can wait for 4-5 months. Should I consider the cars coming up, like the Honda Brio, the Toyota Etios Liva and the new version of the Suzuki Swift (though the dealers told me there is no such upcoming model)?
Sanjay Awatramani, via email
Unless you really require a boot, we don’t think it’s necessary to buy a sedan. What you should look out for is the Toyota Etios Liva, in our opinion. It has lots of space on the inside, the 1.2-litre motor is peppy and efficient and the overall maintenance costs of the Etios are on the lower side too. It may not have the kind of features that the new upcoming Swift has (yes, there is definitely one on the way!), but it’s more practical on the whole.
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