I want to buy a new car. Currently, I drive a Honda City. My average driving is around 1,000-1,200 km per month and twice a year we go to the hills as well. My budget is anywhere between Rs 12 and Rs 15 lakh. My requirements are a good brand which adds value, sturdy build with nice interiors and reasonably good fuel efficiency. I normally keep a car for five years or so. Please advise.
Rakesh Arora, via e-mail
Since you have been happy with your City and assuming that you are happy with the Honda brand as well, we suggest the Civic for you. It’s still got space age looks, despite the fact that the new car will be here next year. Nice interiors, good build quality, par-for-the-course performance and reasonable fuel efficiency apart, it also retains strong residual value. If you want a bit more space and practicality, look at the Toyota Corolla Altis. Otherwise, the Civic seems to be just right for you.
I currently drive a Maruti Suzuki WagonR and want to upgrade to a sedan. My choices are the Fiat Linea or the VW Vento. The former seems to have higher value for money and is feature packed. But despite the kind of package the Linea offers, why is it not selling well in India? Or am I missing something here? Kindly advise since I like the car and am seriously considering it.
Shubham Jain, via e-mail
There is nothing wrong with the Linea, especially where features, ride and handing and looks are concerned. What Tata and Fiat haven’t achieved with the car has more to do with their marketing and sales strategies and not with the car itself. If you are considering the car (and since you haven’t specified a budget or a specific model) we’d suggest you look at the T-Jet. It offers exceptional bang for your buck, has a great features list and is a hoot to drive. If economy is more of a consideration, then the Linea diesel should also do fine.
I have a 2005 Honda City in mint condition and I am extremely satisfied with its performance. My daily commute is about 40 km and I clock around 1,500 kilometres a month with the occasional outstation trip to Ahmedabad (100 km). I am planning to buy a second small car with CNG mainly due to high fuel prices and I need something that can be taken out-of-town as well. We are a family of four and my wife will drive the car too. My budget is Rs 4 - 4.5 lakh and I have shortlisted the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 with CNG to be retrofitted, since the Alto CNG is available only with an 800cc engine and I would prefer the K10 engine. Do you think this is a correct decision or do you suggest some other car?
Bhagirath Solanki, Baroda
The Alto K10 is peppy and efficient and with CNG it should only get better. Our only complaint would be the space available for four, which isn’t enough. Since your budget is big enough, we recommend the Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo or the Wagon R with the factory-fitted CNG kit. They are comfortable for four with some room to spare for some luggage, they ride and handle better and are better put together as well. It would be ideal for you.
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