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Which car? December Edition 3


Star or propeller?

I am all set to buy a car in the Rs 25 to 30 lakh segment and am unable to decide between the BMW 320d and Mercedes-Benz C 200 Classic. What is the brand perception of both these companies and which one do you rate better in terms of features?


Seema, via email

Mercedes is always about comfort and BMW is all about driving pleasure. So between the two, it depends on whether you love to drive or prefer to be chauffeured in a car. That apart, BMW is introducing the new 3 Series very soon now — the review is up on With the new 3 Series BMW has upped the comfort quotient substantially — the current version is not a very comfortable car to be driven in. So if that's indeed the case, then you could opt for the new BMW. In terms of the brand perception, both are pretty evenly matched in India, with the BMW having the edge in terms of youthfulness and design.

Style quotient

I want to buy a diesel car within Rs 10 lakh. My priorities are fuel economy, low cost of ownership and style. I have narrowed down my options to the Volkswagen Vento diesel Trendline, the Skoda Rapid Ambition, the Nissan Sunny diesel and the Hyundai Verna 1.6. The vehicle will mostly be chauffeur driven and will run for about 50 km per day. Which one should I go for?

Anubha Prasad, New Delhi

Among the four cars you have shortlisted, the Verna meets your requirements with regards to fuel economy, ownership costs and style. And it is comfortable as a chauffeur-driven car too. The Sunny diesel will also meet your expectations and it is roomier at the back compared to the other three cars, but unfortunately it is not exactly an exciting car to look at.

Sunny side up!

I had written in earlier about which car to buy and you had suggested the Hyundai Verna. But it’s exceeding my budget of Rs 8 lakh. I would like to reiterate that my annual run is likely to be within 7,000 km. Another option is the Maruti SX4 petrol. With rising fuel prices, I am a bit confused whether to go for a petrol car, even though I’m quite inclined towards the SX4 for which the company claims 13 kpl in urban conditions. I am not quite convinced about this. The other option is the Ford Fiesta diesel.

KC Panda, via email

In that case, the car we would recommend over the SX4 is the new Nissan Sunny. The diesel version has been recently introduced, but considering the kind of mileage you will be covering in a year, an additional investment for a diesel car is not worth it. You can buy the petrol Sunny which is already on sale. The advantages of the Sunny over the SX4 is that it is more fuel efficient, newer, extremely spacious and comfortable at the back and is overall an effortless car to drive in the city. The SX4 is not known to be fuel efficient in city conditions and the rear seat comfort is not that good.