Which car? - Car buying queries answered here!


Emotional decision

I have been planning to buy a Fiat Linea Emotion (petrol) for quite some time. I love that car! Every time I come close to buying a Linea, I hear horror stories about Fiat’s service standards. Please tell me if the service is still bad, or if I should follow my heart and go ahead and buy the Linea. Incidentally, I have been reading BSM since its inception, and even when Bijoy started writing in Business Standard way back in 1996.



Prasad Roy, Gurgaon

Fiat's after-sales service is now under the Tata-Fiat umbrella. While the overall service levels have shown some improvement, it varies from city to city and dealer to dealer, so you may want to find out how your local dealers are from Fiat owners in your city. As far as the Linea goes, the car is good fun to drive, rides well and generally has an air of solidity that most cars in its class lack. If you can stretch your budget, we'd recommend the T-Jet over the regular petrol. It feels like the right engine for a car its size and weight. Alternatively, the diesel isn't a bad option either, once you are convinced about your local after- sales network, that is. Happy motoring!

Fiesta on this

I want to buy the new Ford Fiesta diesel. How does it stack up in terms of fuel consumption, comfort, driveability and long-term reliability? At present, I drive a Tata Indica V2 petrol. I drive about 30 km a day, with a 500 km trip every four months or so.

Arun Kumar, via email

The new Ford Fiesta diesel is quite frugal and a decent performer too. It has a good level of comfort, the engine is tractable and given the general nature of Ford diesel engines, should be reliable as well. The clutch is a bit heavy for city use, but otherwise it's a well engineered car with a very good ride and handling balance. For the kind of useage you have suggested, it should be a nice fit in your garage as well!

Sport mode

I plan on buying an SUV that I can go off-roading in. I have the Land Rover Discovery 4, Range Rover Sport and the BMW X6 in mind. I love paddle shift gears and I require a very smooth ride over potholes. I drive a BMW 3 Series now. I require your assistance about this upgrade; it’s been at least 3 months since I’ve been pondering over it!.

Kash Menon, via email

Of the three vehicles you have mentioned, only the BMW X6 and the Range Rover Sport come with paddle shifters. If comfort as well as performance are your priorities, then we'd recommend the Range Rover Sport. It has more space than the X6, both in terms of head and leg room, and it has a host of features too, as well as a genuine ability to do some off-roading. It may not have the handling finesse of the X6 and may not seem to be as quick either, but it rides better on Indian roads and the suspension feels more pliant. The 3.0-litre diesel motor is refined and has decent performance on offer too. We think it's the kind of vehicle that would suit your requirement best. Any automotive questions? Ask us at srinivas.krishnan@bsmail.in