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BSM Which Car - June I


A-Star in the making

I am in the process of buying a car suitable for city driving conditions. I want a car that has a sporty feel along with exceptional mileage. I think the Maruti Suzuki A-Star fulfils all my requirements, but some of my friends are suggesting the Hyundai i10. Can you suggest the right car for me? Shravan Tiwari, via email

Since driving fun is important for you, along with fairly good fuel efficiency, we suggest the Maruti Suzuki A-Star. It has a stiff chassis and a responsive steering that provides great feedback. The three-cylinder K10B motor is nippy and while you do have to work the gearbox a bit more than the Hyundai i10, it does end up being a bit more efficient too. The i10 has a relatively softer ride and more interior space, but since sportiness is what you are looking for, the A-Star is the better car for you.

Taking it easy

I am about to retire from service in a few months. So far I was using a company car, but now I’m looking for a new premium hatchback.I have shortlisted the Hyundai i20 Asta petrol 1.2, the Volkswagen Polo petrol and the Fiat Punto 1.4 Emotion.
Points to be considered:
a. Fuel consumption
b. Driving comfort
c. Reliability and low maintenance
d. Looks
e. Strong service network
From the above, the Polo has a three-cylinder engine — does it have any disadvantage over a four-cylinder engine? Earlier, I was also considering the Honda Jazz, but its price is almost Rs 2 lakh more than the above cars. Are there any special features justifying such a high price? Arun D Alawani, via email

Out of your selection of cars, we suggest the Hyundai i20 for you. The 1.2 Kappa engine is powerful enough and delivers decent efficiency. The i20 is well built, easy to drive and cost of maintenance should be reasonable too. What’s more, it also has the best space utilisation out of the trio and should hold its value well if you want to sell it in the future.

The Polo’s 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine isn’t a disadvantage, but it lacks that little extra refinement that a four-cylinder provides. The Honda Jazz offers the best space utilisation of any hatchback in the country with its smart seating options and overall interior room. Whether the Rs 2 lakh is justified depends on whether that extra space is worth it for you or not.

Big plans

I am the CEO of a company and am looking at buying either a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or a BMW 3 Series. Alternatively, I am also looking at SUVs and am considering either the Honda CR-V or the Mitsubishi Outlander. My budget is around Rs 30 lakh. I understand that BMW has recently launched the 320d Corporate Edition with an on-road price of around 32 lakh in Mumbai. My company has allowed me to buy a Honda Accord whose V6 version costs roughly the same. The car will be chauffeur driven and I’m not too interested in driving the car myself. Kindly suggest a car from the above, considering the car won’t cover more than 30 kilometres a day. SM, Mumbai.

Wow, you do have a whole host of options here. For your kind of running a petrol vehicle is just fine and we think that the Mitsubishi Outlander should be ideal for you. It has a punchy 2.4-litre petrol engine, great features on the inside, good ride comfort and a fantastic stereo system. What’s more, Mitsubishi has recently launched a facelifted version that has made the car look even better and dropped the price a bit. It drives and handles just like a car, but offers the convenience and comfort of an SUV. As an all-round package, it works best for you. Any automotive questions?
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