I’m planning to buy a diesel sedan. I have shortlisted the Skoda Rapid Ambition 1.6 TDi and the Volkswagen Vento Comfortline diesel. Please guide me as to which one would be a better choice and why? I plan to drive myself and would keep the car for seven or eight years.
Shashank Dube, via email
Both cars are essentially the same but have a slightly different set of features and tuning. The Vento is better loaded and has slightly better trim on the inside, while the Rapid is cheaper and drives a wee bit better. In terms of space and comfort, both cars are identical. If features are important, then the Vento would be the car you should head towards. But if you want a car that is marginally better to drive and more efficient, the Rapid should be your choice.
Fun on the run
With Rs 15 lakh in your pocket, which is the best diesel vehicle out there in terms of fun-to-drive, i.e performance and driveablility, ease of ownership and re-sale value, in that order. For a googly, how good are second hand Mercs, Beemers and Audis in the mentioned price bracket, using the above criteria?
Sandeep S, via email
It’s a tough pick, though we’d choose the Skoda Laura TDI. It’s powerful enough, is reasonably priced, handles quite well and is quite driveable too, especially with the DSG. Yes, servicing costs will be more than an equivalent Toyota or Honda, though residual values are par for the course. Used Mercs, BMWs and Audis have to be seen through a fine-toothed comb. Moreover, they will be even more expensive to run and own, even if they are more fun to drive.
Tall and short of it
I am a 41- year- old executive working with a financial company. I am six feet tall and am currently driving a 1998 Maruti Esteem, which I would like to replace with a suitable family petrol car. My budget is Rs 5 to Rs 7 lakh and my monthly running will be about 800 km within the city as well as on weekends with family. Please suggest the car I should go for. After test drives, I rejected the new Maruti Suzuki Dzire, since it has less space. The cars that are currently on my mind are the Hyundai Accent Executive, Hyundai i20 and the Toyota Etios. What is your recommendation, keeping in mind my stated requirements?
Piyush Kanaujia, via email
Given your height, space is essential. Of the cars you have mentioned, the Toyota Etios is the best bet. It has acres of room, a good petrol engine that is peppy and fuel efficient, a big boot, good low-speed ride and handles decently as well. It isn't the most loaded car out there and doesn't feel rich enough on the inside, but it's a competent, no-nonsense car that should serve you well.
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