I’ve been driving a Suzuki Swift VDi for the last 4 years, and have done roughly 98,000 km. Although it is in very good shape, I am planning to sell it in the next 4-6 months. Which cars would you recommend in the diesel hatchback segment? My average monthly running is about 2,000 km, self-driven. My budget is Rs 6-7 lakh. Should I drive my current car for another year and then think about a change?
Rahul Musaddi, Kanpur
If you are keen on changing right away, then the Hyundai i20 diesel may just be the car you should be looking at. It’s spacious, rides well and is well built. The engine is peppy and frugal and the overall performance puts it in the league of many C-segment sedans. If you continue to remain enamoured by the Swift (and you seem to be), then just hold on for a short while and look at the new Suzuki Swift. It’ll be here in August and while the engine may not be different from your current car, it will be better built, have more space and features and drive just as well or even better.
Spoilt for choice
I’ve been driving my Maruti Suzuki Baleno LXi, of end-2004 vintage, five days a week for about 42 km a day. I’m planning to change my car now, and have shortlisted the Suzuki SX4, Hyundai Verna, Honda City, Volkswagen Vento, Chevrolet Optra Magnum and Aveo or the new Ford Fiesta. Between these seven cars, which do you think will suit my temperament and lifestyle? My holidays and weekend travels are normally in my brother’s/wife’s cars, driven by their drivers, and I take out my Baleno for long distance spirited drives by myself to Goa, Chiplun, Alibaug etc with my family. I have been a car and bike man for over 40 years. Somnath Bhattasali, Navi Mumbai
Your requirements seem to be bent more towards enthusiastic driving, and, in that case, you may want to look at the new Ford Fiesta. As you can see in the lead story, we’ve just driven the car and have been impressed by its ride and handling poise, mature road holding, good steering response and overall fun-to-drive character, which is further highlighted by its drivetrains. Your kind of running can warrant a shift to diesel, but if you really want to enjoy every moment, then it’s the petrol we would like to recommend.
I have a Toyota Qualis and I want to buy another MPV. Which is a better buy, the Toyota Innova or the Mahindra Scorpio? I want the reliability of the Qualis! Roshan, Bangalore
You may find the Innova a bit expensive, but if you are willing to spend the extra money, then it will be truly rewarding. It is a well-built, no-nonsense MPV that has predictable road manners, good ride quality and space for up to 8 persons. It’s reliable, fairly fuel efficient and should fetch you good value when you plan to sell it. In case it’s still too much of an ask, then look at the Mahindra Xylo, which offers nearly as much for a little less money.
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