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Which car? - March Edition 2

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Times two

I own a Hyundai Santro and I am quite satisfied with Hyundai's services. I want a new car for my college-going daughter within a budget of Rs 4 lakh. Her daily commute is about 30 km in Ahmedabad city. She is a new driver, so the car should be easy to drive, comfortable and fuel efficient. I have shortlisted the Hyundai i10, Maruti Suzuki Wagon R and Chevrolet Beat. Please recommend.

Parag Mantri, via email

Since you are happy with Hyundai, how about looking at the i10? The i10 has received a couple of updates, especially with respect to its engines, which are now a bit more powerful and more efficient. The iRDe2 version, with its 1.1-litre motor, should suit your budget fine. What's more, the i10 is also quite easy to drive, has decent space for five and good ride quality too. Consider this as an opportunity to become second time lucky with a Hyundai product!

The very best

I am planning to buy a diesel sedan below Rs 10 lakh by the end of this month. I can wait for a couple of months if required. I am currently checking out the Tata Indigo Manza Elan, Ford Fiesta, Maruti Suzuki SX4 and the Volkswagen Vento Diesel. My priorities are good mileage, low maintenance, latest features and long term usage. Can you suggest the best diesel car for Indian roads below Rs 10 lakh?

Gnaneshwar S, via email

If you want the best buy, you should consider the Volkswagen Vento. It has the most powerful engine of the four in contention here, and it also has the most torque. The selection of gear ratios makes it very driveable and fuel efficient too — on our own long-termer, we've consistently seen figures of 13-14 kpl in the city and a comfortable 17-18 kpl on the highway, with the air-con running. It has good space on the inside, a well- designed suspension setup and is well built. The Vento seems like the right choice for you.

First car

I am planning to buy my first car. My driving would be around 10 km daily in Bangalore and about 40-60 km on weekends on highways. My budget is Rs 4-5 lakh. I would like to have value for money, good interiors and low maintenance cost. The cars which I have shortlisted are the Ford Figo ZXI, Volkswagen Polo Comfortline and Nissan Micra XL. The Figo seems to be a better bet because of the features it provides. Is there any other car which I should look at?

Mukesh Taneja, via email

You seem to be on the right track. Yes, the Ford Figo does offer a good combination of space, driving dynamics and overall value. Its engine offers decent performance, though it isn't necessarily the one that will provide most smiles if you enjoy driving. So if you are in a hurry, the Figo seems to be the better choice. But if you can wait until June, we would suggest taking a look at the Toyota Etios Liva hatchback which promises to have the best interior passenger space in its class, a fuel efficient and peppy 1.2-litre petrol engine as well as low running costs.

Any automotive questions? Write to us on srinivas.krishnan@bsmail.in