To CNG or not
I have just got my first job and plan to buy a low-cost, economical car. I am confused between the Maruti Suzuki Alto with a company fitted CNG kit and the Hyundai Eon Era+ petrol. If I buy the Hyundai, I will convert it into a CNG vehicle in two months’ time. My budget is Rs 3 to Rs 4 lakh. Which car must I buy?
Pulkit Agarwal, Bangalore
We would recommend CNG only if you were using your car for commercial purposes or for heavy usage. The usage of CNG for driving, for filling and for practical applications is still cumbersome. If you are not going to cover huge distances in a single day, there is no reason to go for CNG. The additional effort may not be worth it. A fuel-efficient petrol should be your ideal choice. However, if running costs pinch you, why don't you look at a small, inexpensive diesel car instead. The Chevrolet Beat diesel is competitively priced, is good to drive in city conditions and is easy on your pocket too.
I am looking to buy a new car for a 200 km daily commute, of which 40 km will be within the city and 160 km on the highway. I will be driving this distance five days a week. I currently own a Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi and I'm happy with it, but I need to go in for a new car now. I have a budget of Rs 8 to Rs 10 lakh and am looking for a diesel car that will be fuel efficient and also have a low maintenance cost.
Kshitij Badheka, Ahmedabad
If you are happy with the Swift VDi, then there’s no doubt that you will be happy with the Swift Dzire — only we recommend the ZDi, as it comes with safety equipment as standard. The new Dzire may not be exciting to look at, but as a car, it is accomplished. The engine is efficient, refined and makes the car exciting to drive. The interiors are vastly improved and the ride quality is more comfortable than ever. Of course, it is reliable to a fault and operating costs are low. Okay, it may not have a large boot but it provides usable space. The Dzire is the obvious choice. Just in case you are looking outside the Maruti Suzuki fold, then there is the Nissan Sunny or the Toyota Etios — we have a comparison between these two cars on bsmotoring.com.
I want to buy a new sedan and I am confused between the Honda City and Skoda Rapid diesel. I will be driving this car within the city, approximately 50 km a day and on occasional weekend trips too. I have come up with all sorts of calculations that tell me that both cars are on par in terms of the cost of ownership at the end of five years — this includes cost of fuel, servicing cost, other maintenance work like tyre changes, battery, etc. Is the Rapid a better buy? Or must I go in for the Honda City?
Shriniwas Deshpande, via email
Even at 50 km a day, you can consider a diesel sedan. If it’s simply cost of ownership, then the Rapid, over time, will turn out to be better value, as long as you hold on to the car for at least four years. However, if your priorities are factors like fun to drive factor, resale value, peace of mind then the City could be a better choice. Decide what your priorities are and then go for either car.