I’ve just about started driving and I plan on buying a new car. I would like a premium diesel hatchback, for a 35 km daily commute. The car should offer good ride and handling abilities, great features and also driving pleasure. What would you suggest?
Vijay, via email
If you are looking for a car that is great fun to drive, has a good set of features and is pretty adept in the ride and handling department, you will find no better car than the Maruti Suzuki Swift. In the new avatar, it not only does everything you are looking for, but it's even better built and has more space than before. Sure, it does have a rather long waiting period currently, but if you don’t want to make a compromise, the Swift should not leave you disappointed.
I want a diesel sedan for my monthly commute of 1,500 km. Do I opt for the Renault Fluence, the new Ford Fiesta or the Maruti Suzuki SX4? I would like a car that handles well.
Pankaj, via email
The Ford Fiesta probably has the best driving dynamics of the lot. The 90 bhp diesel engine doesn't make it particularly quick, but it is great fun to push hard, especially around corners, and the grip levels are quite good too. It also has good high-speed stability and the ride quality is particularly impressive. It is a bit pricey, though we think for your kind of use, it may just be what the doctor ordered.
I have a monthly commute of 1,300 km a month in and around Thiruvananthapuram . With this in mind, I’m considering buying either a petrol or diesel hatch that is low on running and maintenance costs, while not compromising on comfort. The Maruti Suzuki Ritz, Swift, Honda Jazz, Brio, and Toyota Etios Liva are on my radar. Which one do I pick?
Suresh Kumar, Thiruvananthapuram
If you are looking for a good city car that's great at manoeuvrability, comfort and has minimum running costs, then the Honda Brio is your ideal car. It has decent space, is very easy to drive and the controls are light. The 1.2-litre petrol motor is peppy and efficient too, and generally given Honda’s cost of maintenance, expect it to be inexpensive on that front too. The Brio should serve you well!
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