Which Car? August Edition 4


Three box desire

I have been using a hatchback all this while and I wish to upgrade to a mid-segment, perhaps an entry level sedan. I have a modest budget of Rs 7 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. I drive myself and my daily driving is only 12-15 km in the city. I also plan to retain the car for at least five years. Since I have retired from government service, I also have to look at the car’s fuel economy and maintenance costs. With petrol prices spiralling one really wonders whether a petrol variant would be appropriate for my requirements. I was thinking of the Ford Fiesta, Toyota Etios and the Volkswagen Vento. I don’t want to go for the Swift Dzire as I don’t like the way it looks from the front. Could you kindly advise me without limiting your replies to the three options stated above?



K C Panda, Bhubaneswar

Since your daily driving is limited, there is no reason to pay more money for a diesel car. In your case, it is better to stick to petrol. Of the ones you have short-listed, the Etios seems to be the best fit. It is spacious, comfortable and fuel efficient too. Besides, for an elderly person, it is easier to drive as compared to the Fiesta or the Vento. Also do have a look at the entry-level Hyundai Verna 1.4 petrol. It is a high quality car and is generally effortless to drive within the city.

Banking on it

Our family of four (my wife and I, my daughter and my mother-in-law) feel the need for a car. My budget is about Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh and I am a little confused as to which car to choose. My daily journey is around 25 to 30 km within the city. Once in a quarter, I will be driving around 250 km out of town. We have checked out the Toyota Liva, Hyundai i10, Chevrolet Beat, Ford Figo and the Skoda Fabia. We are also soon going for a test drive of the new Maruti Suzuki Swift — should I just go for it?

Ram, Mysore

Yes, you can definitely go for the new Swift petrol. The Swift promises to be reliable and fuel efficient, while at the back it is more comfortable than before and a little more spacious too. The Swift will serve you well in the city as well as on the highway. In case you want a choice, the i10 is also excellent as a first car. It is not as spacious as the Swift, but it has the advantage of tall seating (easier to get in and get out) and is an easy car to pilot. Plus it has an excellent track record of reliability and fuel efficiency.

Dual mileage

I have a budget of Rs 20 lakh for buying two cars — one in the luxury segment and the other, a small car. My daily driving is going to be around 20 km and once in two-three months, I will be making a trip of around 500 km. I have short-listed the Skoda Laura and the Toyota Corolla Altis diesels. I would like to buy the car which offers more mileage and low maintenance costs. I am also looking at driving comfort as well as rear seat comfort. Please recommend two cars for me, one in the Rs 12-15 lakh segment and the other in the Rs 5-7 lakh range.

Keshav Kakar, Amritsar

Between the Laura and the Corolla, we recommend the Altis diesel for you. It will offer you good mileage and maintenance costs are reasonable. It is quite comfortable to drive and its ride quality for rear passengers is better than the Skoda. Since you haven’t specified what exactly you are looking for in a small car, allow us to recommend the Maruti Suzuki Swift — you can’t go wrong with it. However, do take a look at the Skoda Fabia, as the diesel version is fuel-efficient and it is spacious and comfortable at the back.

Any automotive questions? Ask us at srinivas.krishnan@bsmail.in