I plan to buy an SUV that can seat seven people. I am thinking of buying the Toyota Fortuner five-speed automatic. I have also read about the Ssangyong Rexton automatic and am considering that as well. Which of the two cars do you think would make a better buy?
Amit Chopra, via email
If you plan to drive the vehicle yourself most of the time, the Fortuner may be the better one. It rides and handles better than the Ssangyong and while it may not have as many features, it does feel better built and finished. The Ssangyong is a better chauffeur-driven SUV, especially if you plan to use it primarily in town. For everything else, the Fortuner still has a leg up on the Rexton.
I am currently using a Maruti Suzuki Alto that I had purchased in December 2005, with 96,000 km on the clock now. I would like to replace the car, my budget for this is Rs 5 lakh. I have a daily commute of 80 km and plan on purchasing a car that will deliver good fuel economy too (I'm hoping for at least 18 kmpl). I am only considering petrol and diesel options (no CNG) and I would also like the car to be low on maintenance. Please help me out.
Milan S Shah, via email
Your kind of usage does warrant the use of a diesel car. In that case your best options are either a Maruti Suzuki Swift or the Ritz. Both cars deliver good efficiency, are inexpensive to run and maintain and are comfortable, well-equipped cars too. If you need some additional boot space, the Swift Dzire is not a bad option and should fit your budget.
I wish to buy the new Hyundai Verna CRDI but the soft suspension issue is holding me back. However I've heard that Hyundai has sorted out the suspension issues in the recent batch of cars. Is this true? And if not then is the suspension so bad? I drive enthusiastically rather often.
Anand Yadav, via email
Yes, you have heard right. Hyundai has made changes to the suspension on the Verna to make it less soft and make the ride more pliant. However these are tweaks and not major changes, so inherently the ride will continue to be on the softer side. You could look at placing strut braces at the front and rear to improve rigidity, which you will need to do at a professional mechanic. If you want a complete package in terms of ride and handling, then the Ford Fiesta may be a better bet. It doesn't have the performance of the Verna, but it does have a very well sorted ride and handling setup and is best suited for enthusiastic driving.
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