Sunny side up
I am looking to upgrade from a Maruti Suzuki Swift petrol to a sub-' 10 lakh sedan. I want a car that beats, or at least matches, the Swift’s manoeuvrability in tight traffic and stability on the highway. I am also looking for good mileage and low maintenance costs. I’d prefer a car with a little bit of heft if you know what I mean. I drive about 40-50 km in the city each day with about a 500 km highway run every few months. Which car would you recommend?
Shweta K, via email
If you were okay with a diesel sedan that is good to drive in the city as well as on the highway and has a bit of heft to it, we would recommend the Skoda Rapid. With this car, we would prefer the diesel over the petrol. However, we assume that you want a petrol car. In that case, the car that can come closest to your requirements is the Nissan Sunny. It is an efficient tool for the city and decent on the highway. Plus it is frugal too. Okay, it may not have the solid feel that you’re looking for but that’s the only compromise we see.
I am confused between the Maruti Suzuki Swift ZXi and the Maruti Suzuki Ritz ZXi. Which is better overall, irrespective of the price?
Dr Kuldeep Sharma, Sunder Nagar
Both cars have the same attributes, like driving pleasure, fuel efficiency, reliability, etc, as beneath the skin they are virtually identical. The difference between the Swift and the Ritz is that the Ritz is a taller car — so it is easy to get in and get out. The taller Ritz is convenient for driving in the city as well.
I want to buy a compact SUV. My budget is '10-12 lakh. When will the new Renault Duster be launched in the Indian market and will it come with 4WD? And are there any details available on the Ford Ecosport?
Rajat Goel, via email
The Renault Duster is expected to hit roads by the middle of the year and will be powered by a 1.5-litre diesel or 1.6-litre petrol option. The Ford EcoSport will arrive by the end of the year and will be offered with a 1.0-litre turbo petrol or 1.5-litre diesel option. While the Duster may not be offered with four-wheel drive, the EcoSport just might, though it’s a matter of conjecture at this time. Log on to www.bsmotoring.com to know more about both the cars.
I have a 2011 BMW 520d, which I’d like to replace either with an Audi A6 TDI, Mercedes-Benz E220 CDi or the Land Rover Freelander SE. I am quite keen on the Landy as it is a true 5-seater, but it’s mileage could be a bit low. I like its badge value and uniqueness too. My usage is largely in the city with the rare long trip too. I find the ingress and egress in the sedans difficult due to the low profile. I’ve always been a sedan person, but find not being able to seat 5 passengers due to the transmission tunnel a pain. What’s your recommendation?
Arjun Bharathan, via email
The Freelander 2 is particularly good in terms of fuel efficiency.
In a city like Mumbai, even in stop-go traffic, it returned about 10-11 kpl with the air-con running at all times. Another good facet is its ease of use, a relaxed transmission, good manoeuvrability and rather good ride quality. It may not handle like a saloon, but it’s a practical, all-weather, go-anywhere vehicle that should not disappoint.
Any automotive question? Ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org