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Which car? - October Edition 5

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Sedan impact

I drive a Hyundai Santro and am looking to upgrade to a sedan. My budget is a maximum of Rs 9.5 lakh. I am looking for a petrol car and have shortlisted the Tata Manza, Ford Fiesta, Maruti Suzuki SX4, Hyundai Verna and the Volkswagen Vento. My daily driving is 15 km within the congested lanes of Chennai and one long drive every six weeks. I have done some homework, but still can’t take a final decision. Which car should I go for and why?

Sivamani, Chennai

Amongst the cars you have chosen, the Manza is great value for money and is spacious. The Fiesta is a good driver’s car and Ford has made the pricing reasonable. The SX4 is a tall sedan, it’s easy to get in and out and has a perky engine, but it’s not as fuel efficient as you’d expect a Maruti Suzuki to be. The Verna is an all-rounder, but the car we’d recommend for you is the Vento petrol with a manual transmission. It is a smart-looking new car and easy to drive on crowded city streets. The boot is spacious and there is decent leg room at the rear , though the middle seat at the back is uncomfortable because of the drive tunnel. The Vento offers good ride quality even on bad roads and we think it fits your requirements well.




Exhilaration

I am planning to buy my first car. It will be mainly used for weekend drives for a family of four. My budget is between Rs 4.5 and 5.5 lakh. I have zeroed in on the Maruti Swift VXi and the Hyundai i20 Magna. Driving pleasure is the key factor for me. Which car should I opt for? Should I wait till December for the launch of the Toyota Etios?

Yash Pandya, via email

If driving pleasure is a key factor, nothing can beat the Swift. It is a fabulous car to pilot, with an engaging motor and brilliant dynamics. But on the other hand, the i20 is a car that’s better across other parameters like interior space, quality of materials plus fit and finish, features, etc. Besides the all-new Swift should be ready for Indian roads before the middle of next year. So we’d leave the decision to you. As regards the Etios, reports suggest that Toyota is launching the sedan first and the hatchback will follow early next year.

Take me to the Ritz

My daily commute is around 45 km. The car should be fuel efficient, low on maintenance and ideal for Mumbai roads. Also, should I buy a diesel or a petrol car? I have identified the Maruti Suzuki Swift diesel, Ritz diesel and the Ford Figo TDCi to choose from. Are there any other points I should consider before buying? Please guide me on which car I should buy — it will be my first car.

Ritesh Dattani, Mumbai

For a 45-km daily commute, a petrol car should do fine for you. But if your budget permits a diesel and you would like to bring your running costs down, there’s no harm in going for a diesel car. Among the Swift, Ritz and Figo diesels, the best for Mumbai roads is the Ritz. The tall position means it’s easy and effortless to drive, manoeuvre and park plus it’s comfortable over the long hours you spend stuck in traffic. That apart, the Ritz is hassle-free and low on maintenance. Both the diesel and petrol engines that the Ritz comes with are peppy, refined and fuel efficient.

Any automotive questions?
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