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Which car? - Car buying queries answered here!


Long haul

After driving around my Maruti Suzuki Zen for eleven years, I am planning to buy a new car. I require one that gives decent pick up, is smooth, fuel efficient and will be able to top the lifespan of my Zen. I drive 50 km every day and have a budget of Rs 5 to 5.5 lakh. The Honda Jazz has a waiting period of six months, and I don’t want to buy the Maruti Swift. What other options do I have? Should I consider the Mahindra Verito?

Paromita Shastri, New Delhi

If you are particular about owning a hatchback, you can have the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 Trendline if you notch up your budget by a little bit. The Polo diesel is a well built, spacious car with a very fuel efficient diesel powerplant and one that’s fairly responsive too, while at it. Alternatively, you could opt for the Maruti Suzuki Ritz, which again is quite sprightly and very fuel efficient, more so in the diesel format. Lastly, the Verito petrol fits your budget quite neatly and is a tough car which is comfortable, but not very contemporary. If you can live with that, then yes, the Verito is certainly a solid, no-nonsense car — and you get all that boot space too!

Auto love

I am sixty years old and would like to buy an automatic car for my commute. I’m considering both new and pre-owned cars, and I have a flexible budget of Rs 2 to 6 lakh. I travel 25 km within the city and weekend family trips of up to 100 km are also likely. However, I do not use the car every day, so I’m not too concerned about fuel efficiency. My priorities are easy and effortless driving, low maintenance and suitability of the car for Indian roads. Please suggest a suitable vehicle.

Vijaykumar Iddya, Mangalore

All factors considered, the Hyundai i10 automatic is the car for you. To start with, it’s the only car, apart from the Maruti Suzuki A-star, within your budget to offer an auto box. The i10 triumphs over the A-star primarily because it has a larger, 1.2-litre engine and also because it is more spacious. Interior quality and feel is of a high standard, it seats four adults comfortably and the ride quality too is great for a car in its segment. Overall, the i10 is a well built car with lots of features to boot and is an extremely value for money proposition.

City sedan

I would like to buy a sedan for my 800 km monthly commute and am considering the Honda City S M/T and the Volkswagen Vento Highline. I have already ruled out the Nissan Sunny and Ford Fiesta. My driving will mainly be within Mumbai city and I would prefer a petrol car. I am leaning towards the Honda City. What must I buy?

Nikhil, Mumbai

The City and Vento are equally good cars. The City is more swank on the inside than the Vento but the quality on both is of the highest order. The former is more of a driver’s car and has really enjoyable performance whereas the Vento has a strong set of motors but isn’t as involving. However, since you are keen on an overall plush feel, we suggest you also take a look at the new Hyundai Verna. It has the most contemporary interior in its segment, is quite easy to drive in urban conditions and has a pretty healthy range of engine options too. Each of these three are different in character and we suggest you try out all to see what you gel with best!

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