I currently drive a Hyundai Accent petrol that I’ve had converted into CNG. I want to get rid of the car now and am considering the Hyundai Verna, Honda City, Volkswagen Vento and Nissan Sunny. I need your advice to help me pick a car — I am keen on buying a petrol car only and perhaps converting it into CNG. My yearly running is between 15,000 and 18,000 km. What must I buy?
Swetal Kothari, Rajkot
A CNG kit, as you are well aware, will take some space in your boot, so luggage space will be hindered. You could potentially look at a diesel car for your kind of running, especially if you plan to hold on to the car for at least four years or more. In any case, look at the Nissan Sunny. The diesel engine is tractable and quite efficient, the petrol version is torquey for city use and efficient by itself as well. The boot is large too, the interior space is among the best and has a pliant ride. While Nissan's service is a bit indifferent in some places, the product by itself shouldn't give you much to worry about. Go ahead with it.
I want to buy a diesel hatchback and am considering the Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi or the Hyundai i20 Magna CRDi. I have a daily commute of 50 kms and I also do have the odd long drive, however, 95 per cent of my commute is within the city. I would like to retain the car for the next seven years at least. Which of the two cars will give better mileage?
Raghu, via email
The Swift is a sportier car to drive with great steering feel and handling. The i20 is a well built, higher quality car that is spacious too. The Swift is more efficient than the i20 — you can expect about 13 kmpl in city conditions versus the i20’s 11 to 12. Since you will be retaining the car for long, the i20 makes sense as it will age well and it is also an easy car to drive in the city.
I own a Maruti 800 that I want to upgrade after 12 long years. I am going to buy a new car within three to four months and I have a budget of Rs 5 to 6 lakh. I would like emphasis on passenger comfort, particularly for those at the rear. Could you recommend a good hatchback? My running is around 12,000 km per year and I would like to buy either the Honda Brio or the new Maruti Suzuki Swift.
Dr Kuldeep Sharma, Sunder Nagar
The Brio is a trendy hatchback but space and comfort for rear seat passengers is not as good as other hatchbacks. The Swift is an excellent all-rounder and it’s rear leg room and suspension is good. But if comfort for rear seat passengers is paramount, then we would recommend the Ford Figo over the Swift. It has good suspension at the rear to keep passengers comfortable — leg room is decent but headroom is a little compromised. You could choose between the Suzuki and Ford after taking a test-drive.
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