I am going to purchase a new hatch and my budget is around Rs 4 to 5 lakh. I have short-listed the Chevrolet Beat and the Maruti Suzuki Ritz petrol. My monthly mileage is low, limited mostly to city driving and the occasional highway cruising. I personally like the look of the Beat, but am not sure about its engine performance, while the looks of the Ritz are a concern, although its performance is really good. All of this has made me confused especially since it will be my first car. My requirements are comfort, fuel efficiency and low cost of maintenance. Please advise.
The Chevrolet Beat is smart looking, has good occupant space and has a decent ride setup. However, you are right that the engine feels a little unrefined when compared to the Ritz nor does it feel as sprightly. We would suggest the Ritz for you. It is more competent in the ride and handling department, is pretty fuel efficient and enjoys Maruti’s renowned after-sales service backup. It is also easy to maneouvre around town and a decent highway car too. As a first car, you will find it hard to go wrong with the Ritz.
It will be of great help if you can tell me which is the best of the lot from the following: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. I am from Kolkata and I am 6ft 3 inches tall. The car should be comfortable and easy to drive on city roads. Please advise.
Gourab, via email
Considering your height and other requirements, we think the Audi A4 should be the perfect choice for you. It’s comfortable for four tall persons, has a nicely balanced suspension setup and a range of engines and gearbox combinations to choose from. If you are going to be driving a lot on highways, we suggest the A4 3.0 TDI diesel for you, thanks to its combination of efficiency and performance. If you want a petrol that isn’t too heavy on your pocket, go in for the 2.0 TFSI that has more than enough power and some decent efficiency figures to boot. It is a suitable car for driving on city roads.
I have been using a Toyota Innova for the last four years and am very happy with its performance. The car has crossed 100,000 kilometres and I was thinking of changing it, but could not find a suitable car in the same price range. I am tall and bulky and hence need a spacious car. Do you have any suggestions or should I return to the Innova? Further, what is your opinion on Skoda’s recently launched Yeti?
Mitesh Dharamshi, Gandhidham
You are quite right about the space factor of the Innova and yes, few come close to it in terms of interior space. With regards to the Yeti, it is a five-seater to begin with and while interior space maybe a tad shorter than the Innova, it doesn’t have the third row of seats that the Innova does. If that is not of much concern, then the Yeti is fine for you — if your budget allows for it. If not, you can always fall back on a brand-new Innova once again.