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Which car? - May Edition 2

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Liva Ammo

I am planning to buy a hatchback and feel that the Hyundai i20 Magna fits my requirements as far as style, space, engine and interiors are concerned. But I also believe in Toyota’s quality. Should I compare i20 to the upcoming Etios Liva and wait until then? What do you suggest I go for? I have plans to buy in July-August.

Parag Thakre, via email

The Toyota Etios Liva is expected in June and should be priced competitively, given how Toyota has priced the Etios sedan. We believe that the Liva may undercut the i20 and should make it quite interesting in the hatchback segment. What we don’t think the Liva may necessarily offer is great value. Given the Etios’ price and features on offer, we don’t expect the Liva to be quite well loaded. The i20 is well built, has good space, has lots of features and is well-styled. The 1.2 litre motor has average performance and efficiency, but looking at the whole package, we think it may just be the better buy.

Safari so good

I plan to gift a Tata Safari to my father. Is there a new version round the corner that I should wait for? Kindly advise.

Nitin Jain, via email

A new Tata Safari is being developed as we speak. It’s new as far as the looks and features are concerned, but essentially is a worked-upon current Safari. We expect the car to have better quality fittings, the engine from the Aria and other bits. Tata should be launching this updated Safari sometime during the festival season later this year.

New beat

I have been an avid reader of your column for years. Now kindly help me decide on my first car. I studied your columns and did some research and had zeroed in on the Chevrolet Beat LS after shortlisting the Hyundai i10, Maruti Suzuki Estilo VXi and Maruti Suzuki Ritz LXi.Then I read negative reviews about the Beat regarding its low mileage, sluggish engine after 25,000 km, etc. Now I am confused as to which car to buy. My budget is Rs 4.5 lakh and my top expectations from my first car are total value, mileage, low maintenance, comfort, good leg space and good performance in the long term. I don’t intend to sell it for the next five years. Kindly advise?

Vinod Dharwarkar, Dharwad

GM has been working on the Beat and recently brought in an updated engine called the Smartech series. With some minor changes, it has managed to improve the efficiency and smoothness of the motor, which we hope should allay any long-term fears of reliability. You may also want to give the Hyundai i10 a second look, considering that it too was updated not too long ago. It’s well-built, has decent space, is fun to drive and both the 1.1 litre and 1.2 litre engines are frugal and peppy. Any automotive question? Ask us at srinivas.krishnan@bsmail.in