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BSM Which Car? March 2010

Premium Talk  

I am in the market for a premium D-segment car for Rs 40 to 50 lakh. I need to decide between a BMW 525i, the Audi A6 2.8 FSI and the Audi A4 3.2 FSI. Kindly suggest which one of these cars should I go for? Vikram Kapur, via email

Since you haven’t mentioned your requirements here goes:

1. If you want something really fun to drive with great performance in store then you can go for the Audi A4 3.2 FSI. It is an absolute riot to drive but has pretty decent ride quality to boot and the security of four-wheel drive. Plus, it’s very well loaded with features and even though it is smaller and nearly as pricey, it is presents itself as a very good all rounder.

2. If comfort is your priority, then go in for the Audi A6 2.8 FSI. It is potent enough to do 200 kph runs, has a comfortable rear seat and has good ride quality on offer.

Automatic choice 

I am eager to buy a sedan, preferably an automatic, for around Rs 15 lakh. I like both the Skoda Laura and the Chevrolet Cruze. Please suggest which one of these two is best for both city and highway use, with good pickup and low cost of maintenance. Sadiq, via email Chevrolet’s new Cruze automatic seems to be the best bet here. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is pretty powerful yet efficient, the ride quality is good and it also enjoys a slightly lower cost of ownership. Besides, with the automatic, the Cruze has become as easy to drive in the city as it is on the highway. And it is still priced nearly Rs 2 lakh lower than the similarly specced Laura. Go for it.

Fair and square 

My wife is looking to replace her eight year old Maruti Zen with another hatchback. Our budget is Rs 4-4.5 lakh and we are considering the Maruti Suzuki Ritz and Chevrolet Beat. Her primary requirements are that the car should be easy to drive, relatively hassle free to maintain and be efficient since we would like to keep our running costs in check. She has been happy with Maruti’s service so far, but would like to know if she can get the same sterling service from Chevrolet as well. Kindly suggest. Arun Padmanabhan, Chennai

If she has had no issues with Maruti Suzuki, she should go in for the Ritz. Nothing wrong with the Chevrolet Beat as such and that GM India has improved its after-sales network over the last few years, but the Ritz is more refined than the Beat, delivers better fuel efficiency and is quite easy to drive too. Spare part costs as well as cost of maintenance on the whole for both cars should be nearly the same.