Gimme an auto
I am looking to buy an automatic sedan for use within city limits. I would like to know if the Honda City or the Volkswagen Vento is the better option. Should I wait for something coming in 2012?
Noshin Kagalwalla, via email
There are four AT sedan options currently. The City is great to drive, efficient, proven, good-looking, but cannot handle bad roads too well. The Vento has good suspension and is well built, but the combination of the gearbox and engine is not as good to drive as the City. The Hyundai Verna is good looking, feature rich and comfortable for the rear passenger too, but it’s not an exciting car to drive; it is the only one with a diesel auto option. The Ford Fiesta is an excellent car to drive and comfortable at the rear too, though the stubby boot makes it look more like a hatch than a sedan. There has been some price correction as well. If you’ll be driving the car yourself, then the Fiesta or the City is good, else the Verna or the Vento. Overall, our bets are on the Fiesta.
Figo it out
I am looking for a diesel car that is low maintenance, powerful, efficient, value for money and has good cabin space too. There is no doubt that the Maruti Suzuki Swift is the best option available, but I do not find it value for money and the waiting period of eight months is also a bother. I have narrowed down my search to the Ford Figo and Tata Indica Vista. Can you tell me which diesel engine is better — the Vista’s Quadrajet or the Figo’s TDCi?
Rajvansh Gusain, via email
As such, the Fiat engine (used in the Tata, Maruti and Fiat cars) is better than the one in the Figo. Performance and refinement is better for sure. But the Figo TDCi motor also serves its purpose of being frugal, though it is not as sophisticated as the Fiat engine.
So as far as only the engine is concerned, the one in the Vista is good. And the Vista is a spacious hatchback and handles bad roads pretty well. It is not a great car to drive, however. The Figo is slightly cramped at the back but it is a better car to drive. So it is really a toss up between the two: if you want that space and great motor, go for the Vista. Else the Figo should do fine.
I own a Tata Indica Vista Quadrajet Aura for the last three years, which I have found to be unreliable and hard to drive, and am planning to buy a diesel hatchback within a budget of Rs 6.5 to 6.7 lakh. I drive an average of 1,600 km (600 km in the city and 1,000 km on the highway). I usually keep a vehicle for five years and am chauffeur driven most of the time. I need rear seat space for three adults and large bootspace as well. Fuel efficiency of around 17 kpl is what I would like. I have shortlisted the Skoda Fabia Active+ TDi and the Ford Figo ZXi. What do you suggest?
Amit Agarwal, Dhanbad
The Fabia is an excellent option, considering your requirements. It is indeed spacious, well built and fuel efficient. The other option you can look at is the Etios Liva, which will have a lower cost of ownership.
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