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Which Car? - February Edition 4


Good City-zen

I want to buy a premium sedan with a budget of Rs 11 lakh. The options available are the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, Fiat Linea, Mitsubishi Lancer and the Volkswagen Vento. I am looking for driving pleasure, looks, features and good after sales service. 

Dhirgaj Bhiye, via email

It’s like this: for joy of driving, the City, the Fiesta and to an extent the Vento TDI are good. Though looks are subjective, we feel that the City, the Verna and the Linea are nice to look at. In terms of features, the Verna and the Linea are very good. And for after sales service, the City and the Verna are good. So, when you look at the two cars that tick three out of the four options, they are the City and the Verna. Maybe you can look at the City seriously. Though the Verna meets with the other three requirements, it is not a great car to drive.

Fuel duel

I want to buy a medium segment diesel car, either one from Volkswagen or Tata Motors. I drive my Maruti 800 around 10 to 15 km every day. Which of the two brands I’m considering will save me more energy?

Aijaz Naqash, via email

For 10 to 15 km a day, you don’t actually need to put extra money down on a diesel car. The extra money you pay for a diesel car over a petrol won’t be recovered for a long time if you are driving only 15 km a day. If you go for an efficient petrol car, it will suit your purpose — like the Maruti Suzuki Swift or the Ritz or the Hyundai i10 or VW Polo. If you still want a diesel car, then we recommend you go for the Polo TDi which is a good car across all aspects.

Ritzy business

I have heard that Maruti Suzuki is launching a new version of the Ritz this year. Is this true or is it just a rumour? I was actually considering buying the Ritz in the next three or four months, so should I wait for the new version? What are the changes expected in it?

Pushkar, Mandi

Yes, the Ritz is indeed due for a facelift. It will essentially be the same car but there will be some cosmetic changes to it. Perhaps Maruti will also add one or two more features to it. We suggest you wait for it. Anyway, since you are planning to buy it in three to four months, then, the new version will be due.

Alley cat

I am going to buy a new petrol hatchback. I have a daily commute of 40 km, mostly through crowded Indian alleys where the traffic is unruly and the roads have potholes. Which car will deliver mileage of at least 14 kpl and comparatively less suspension wear? I have shortlisted the Chevrolet Spark and Honda Brio.

Bhargav Bhuyan, via email

If you are driving in start-stop conditions, it is hard to achieve 14 kpl, especially if you plan to run the air-con at all times. Both cars are quite good in city conditions, the Brio is just a touch easier to manoeuvre and has a slightly softer riding setup. Of the two, we think the Brio is the more practical option — the clutch action is better and it rides well too. A careful touch can go a long way in ensuring that your car stays fit for longer. 

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