Which car? - Car buying queries answered here!


Budget blues

After two bikes, it’s time for a car — unfortunately I don’t have the budget for a Fiat Punto! I’m looking at something around Rs 4 lakh. The Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 VXi and the Chevrolet Beat LS are in my shortlist.



The Ford Figo, Maruti Suzuki A-star and the Hyundai i10 are not on my options list. What would you suggest? What's your opinion of the K10? My main requirements are front seat comfort, AC, reliability and a music system (which I shall acquire from the aftermarket). I don’t think the Beat Diesel will fit in my budget, while the Tata Indica Vista Quadrajet too is a bit expensive. Please give me your verdict.

Jim Gorde, Pune

Congratulations on moving to your first car. Between the Beat and the Alto K10, we strongly recommend the Chevrolet. It has got everything going for it and certainly doesn’t feel as cheap as an Alto. Ride quality and comfort is way better too. The Beat looks smart and trendy and the interiors are also refreshing — we would say there is no competition between the two!


Honda AccordI have been a regular reader of this section and now I have a query. I have been using a Honda Civic for almost five years now. The car is nice but the rear-seat comfort is not great. I am now looking to upgrade and buy a vehicle with an on-road price of up to Rs 25 lakh (company registration). The obvious choice is the Honda Accord. My daily commute is 50 km of city driving in Mumbai. I hardly drive the vehicle so rear seat comfort is most important. Also, fuel consumption should be reasonable. I am open to the idea of an SUV as well and have looked at the Mitsubishi Outlander but its fuel efficiency seems very low. What options do I have?

Sunil V Diwakar, Mumbai

For your kind of usage, you can even consider a diesel car. We would ideally recommend the Skoda Superb diesel to you, but given that there is a cap on the budget, you may have to opt for the Honda Accord 2.4 MT. It’s got the kind of room you are looking for in the far-end of the cabin and given that its ride quality is cushy, it is a pretty comfortable car on the whole. It’s reliable, drives well and is reasonably efficient too for a car its size.

First mover

New Swift dieselI am a first-time car buyer. My budget is Rs 5 lakh. I am confused as there are a lot of options. I want ABS, airbags, fuel efficiency, low running/maintenance costs and comfort. My usage would be 60 km per day and, once or twice a month, a weekend trip of around 200 km. I have narrowed my choices down to the Chevrolet Beat Diesel and the new Maruti Suzuki Swift Diesel. What are your suggestions?

Lakshmi Narasimhan, via email

The Chevrolet Beat diesel will be the cheaper of the two when it is launched on July 25. Yet for your kind of budget, we think you may have to extend it to Rs 5.5-6 lakh to ensure you get a car with airbags and ABS. The Beat diesel is a nice city commuter with just about adequate power for the highway. Considering you will be doing fairly frequent trips out of town, we think the new Swift diesel would be worth waiting for. The power output won’t be different from the last car, but it’s good for both city and highway use, even with four people and luggage on-board. It may be at least Rs 50,000 more expensive than the Beat, but we believe it will be money well spent.