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Which car? - December Edition 2

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C a new star

I currently own a Hyundai Santro and have been considering an upgrade to a C-segment sedan. My main use would be commuting to work in Mumbai traffic and driving with family on weekends. The maximum distance driven in a week would not exceed 150 km.

I am looking for a car with good pick-up, along with comfort, space (seating, ergonomics) and luxury (feel-good features ). My choice has been narrowed to the Honda City and Fiat Linea T-Jet petrol. I am just not able to decide which among the two is more “value for money”. The Honda has reliability on its side, but is expensive and doesn’t have too many features, whereas Fiat doesn’t have a good reputation, but the T-Jet is loaded. Please do help me out.


Davy Manjaly, via email

The Honda City is a spacious car, with good comfort levels and a peppy motor. However, we feel that the Fiat Linea T-Jet offers that little extra that you are looking out for. The 1.4-litre turbo petrol motor is a lot of fun to use, the overall drive is quite engaging and the space, while a tad less than the City, is good enough for most purposes. It boasts of better ride quality, too, compared to the Honda. As you’ve rightly pointed out, it also has more features, such as Bluetooth, multi-information display, automatic climate control and leather seats, among others. For a car costing a little over Rs 10 lakh in Mumbai, it works out to be a good deal for you.

Outlandish

I currently drive a Honda Accord and want to change my car urgently, in early 2011. When can I expect the New Honda CR-V or the New Honda Accord, as both are my first picks? How’s the Mitsubishi Outlander as my second option? I’m concerned about the Outlander’s resale value, service and spares, reliability and so on.

Mayur Gupta, via email

The facelifted versions of the Honda Accord and CR-V are not expected until the second half of 2011, post the launch of the Brio small car. As far as the Mitsubishi Outlander goes, it is the best-selling petrol SUV in its segment. It has good interior space, has a nice features list, including a spectacular audio unit, as well as good build quality. The drivetrain is robust and the vehicle is also capable of some offroading if the opportunity arises. Given its position in the market, the Outlander will enjoy decent resale value and HM-Mitsubishi have done a good job of keeping spare parts prices in check. If you find it to your liking, we think the Outlander will be a terrific choice even in the long run.

Hawk Eye

I want to buy an SUV in the range of Rs 10-11 lakh. I need it for highway drives and mileage is an important criterion. Also, are there any good second hand SUVs that could be looked at in this range?

Nainy Madaan, via email

In the price bracket you have suggested, the only SUV worth the money is the Mahindra Scorpio mHawk. The engine is refined and powerful, the underpinnings robust and the vehicle has a go-anywhere capability too. Space maybe a tad less for seven and the ride slightly bumpy, but it will return decent figures (11-12 kpl) even on the highway. If you are considering used options, look for a Ford Endeavour 2.5 TDCI, which will suit your requirements as well.

Any automotive questions? Ask us at srinivas.krishnan@bsmail.in