I need a baby diesel SUV that will cost below Rs 20 lakh. It should have good legroom, comfortable rear seats and a powerful engine. I can wait for a couple of months if required. What do you recommend? Shanis, Kerala
You have two options and it depends purely on whether you want a five- or a seven-seater. If it’s a five-seater you want, then the Skoda Yeti will suit your requirements. It’s powerful, efficient and is cleverly engineered and designed, both for on-road and off-road use. It also has a flexible seating setup, designed to free-up space in case you plan to carry large objects. If it’s a seven-seater, then we suggest you go with the Chevrolet Captiva. Despite its size it is more car-like, has a powerful diesel engine that is efficient and has good ground clearance too.
I plan to upgrade from my Maruti Suzuki Wagon R. My budget is around Rs 8 lakh. I drive around 12,000 km a year. I clock 50 km daily, with long drives on weekends and a very long drive once a year. I have done a lot of analysis and have taken quite a few test drives and have zeroed in on two models after checking the Tata Indigo Manza Elan, the Maruti Suzuki SX4, Fiat Linea, Volkswagen Vento, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Verna, etc. The first one that I have shortlisted is the Vento IPL Edition and the second one is the Fiesta Classic 1.6 Duratec CLXi. I have driven both of them a couple of times on city roads, rural roads and on the highway. While I liked the overall performance and interiors of the Vento, the Ford was a pleasure on the road. I am a bit confused on a decision. Can you please help? What I look forward to is pleasure in driving, road holding and control, stability and decent mileage. Since I travel a lot on work, I prefer a maintenance-free, reliable machine with decent mileage. Arun Vijayakumar, Vadodara
Your observations on the two cars are pretty accurate, but the question is whether you intend to have a car that is fun to drive or one that is practical. The Fiesta is the more fun-to-drive option of the two, but we think that the Vento strikes a better balance between offering efficiency, space and some amount of driver involvement as well. It rides better and is a more sorted car as well. We think you won’t be disappointed.
I am considering buying a Land Rover Freelander 2. I was told that the price would come down after Tata Motors start assembling it in India. Currently, the HSE variant is around Rs 46 lakh on-road. Would you know whether there is any likelihood of the price coming down in the near future? Nripjit Singh Chawla, New Delhi
The first of the Indian-assembled Land Rover Freelander 2s are expected to roll out at the end of May. Yes, we expect Jaguar Land Rover to reduce the price of the Freelander 2 by some margin. However, we don’t know by how much at this point since there have been some changes in the duty structure for CKD units in the recent Budget announcements.
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