I am planning to buy a small car for my wife. I have narrowed down my choices to the Suzuki A-star, Nissan Micra, Hyundai i10 and Toyota Etios Liva. My budget (on-road) is Rs 5 lakh. I had initially thought of the Tata Nano, but decided against it since it doesn’t have power steering. My wife has just learnt how to drive. Which car do you recommend? Also, would you recommend the A-star’s automatic version?
Aabhas Pandya, via email
Of the options you are considering, the A-star has the least interior space. The A-star automatic is also the least powerful, but its compact dimensions are surely a boon for urban traffic conditions. The Liva has the largest interior space in its segment, although its interior quality is questionable. The i10, on the other hand, is a very sorted car but overshadowing it is the Micra. For looks, comfort and ease of driving, nothing comes close to Nissan’s baby. Also, it is quite spacious on the inside and the petrol variant is a breeze to drive. Give it a try
ALWAYS A FIRST TIME
I’m looking to buy a small petrol car, but am having trouble deciding between the Toyota Etios Liva and the Suzuki Swift. Which one is better in terms of fuel efficiency, pickup and maintenance? As the Swift is very common on our roads, I am confused about which one to choose. My budget is around Rs 5 lakh. It is the first time I am buying a car.
Pooja Bansal, via email
We like the Liva for its interior space and for its engine, which is quite involving to drive, not to mention fuel-efficient. It is the newest product in the segment, although the Liva lacks the build quality of the Swift. Coming to that, we suggest you wait for a month or so and go in for the new Swift instead. It has undergone extensive redesign, especially on the inside, and the suspension too is said to be better than that of the current Swift’s. That, coupled with Maruti Suzuki’s sales and service network, should see you through as a satisfied buyer.
LIVA AND WELL
I wish to buy a hatchback, with my budget amounting to Rs 5 lakh. I plan to buy the Toyota Etios Liva, but I wish to know whether it is advisable to buy a petrol car when fuel is so costly. My average useage would be 25 km per day, and one or two weekend trips of about 200 km in a month. As the Chevrolet Beat diesel is going to be launched, could you tell me which car to use (petrol/diesel), as I really need a hassle-free car? If any other good option is available, I am ready to consider it.
Vishal Chander, via email
For the sort of driving you have mentioned, a petrol car will suit your needs just fine. The Chevrolet Beat sports very extroverted styling and the same can be said of the interiors too, although the build quality is, in bits, below par. Toyota’s Liva, on the other hand, is a more conventional looking hatchback, but its vast interior space is a highlight. It has better ride quality and fuel efficiency too is healthy. Plus, the Toyota badge means reliability and ease of maintenance. Go for the Liva, we say!
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