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Which Car? - October Edition 3

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A-Star crossed

I am confused between the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 VXi and the A-Star LXi. Which is the better choice, as both cost nearly the same with the discounts available on the A-Star? What will be the future of the A-Star in India after Suzuki is taken over by Volkswagen? Is there a significant difference between the high-speed handling of the two as I am a spirited driver and often hit the highway on weekends?

Shreyan Dutt, via e-mail


Volkswagen has acquired a stake in Suzuki Motor Company, but that doesn’t mean they won’t compete in the marketplace. Both manufacturers will collaborate in terms of future products, so that’s not going to affect the price or the future of the A-Star now! The A-Star is a contemporary car that Suzuki sells the world over and even badge-engineers it as the Nissan Pixo. That said, the A-Star is a better car to drive as compared to the Alto K10, as its wide stance helps it handle and corner better. We will give the thumbs-up to the A-Star over the Alto when it comes to your requirements.

Three-box trio

I need a car and my budget is not more than '10 lakh. The car will run for about 1,000 km a month, so I guess I don’t require a diesel car. It will be driven by a chauffeur, though I will be driving it occasionally on long outstation trips. The car needs to sit five comfortably, so good rear leg room is important. Which car do I choose? To be honest, I would prefer to choose between the Volkswagen Vento, Fiat Linea T-Jet and the Honda City.

Sridhar, via e-mail

The three cars you have shortlisted come with their own strengths and weaknesses. In your case, since you want a car that offers you good leg room at the rear, you should look at the City. It is overall a very good car in terms of looks, refinement and performance plus it is comfortable for three passengers at the rear. Go for it.

Heart of the matter

Can you tell me which will be a better option in terms of mileage and maintenance — the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 petrol or the Maruti Suzuki Ritz ZXi? My driving is only 30 km a day, but it’s in real bumper-to-bumper traffic with four people on board and with the airconditioner running 100 per cent of the time. I am really confused as to which car to buy: my heart goes towards the Polo, but the mind says Ritz. I am all for the Polo, but I have heard that it gives a mileage as bad as 8 to 9 kpl in city traffic. Can you help me out?

Pradeep Vaidyam, via e-mail

The Polo gives a better average than what you have been told: in lousy urban traffic conditions, the least it gives is 9.5 kpl. The Polo is a good car all right, but in your case, we’d recommend the Suzuki. That’s because the Ritz is a better city commuter than the Polo — its tall seating means it is fatigue-free. Zipping in the city and squeezing inside the confines of crowded roads comes naturally to it, while the four-cylinder K-Series engine is a delight. And yes, it’s a mite more fuel efficient than the Polo. Sorry, but it’s one of those rare instances where we recommend the choice of the mind over the heart.

Any automotive questions? Ask us at bijoy.y@bsmail.in