Which car? June edition 3


Gas gas

I own a Maruti Suzuki Dzire petrol which is around two years old and want to replace it with a CNG version of a Maruti car. I would personally prefer to upgrade to an SX4 CNG and at the same time want the lowest possible running cost. Hence the Wagon R is also on my radar because of its proven performance. Can you let me know how much difference would be there in the mileage for SX4 vs Wagon R? The cost of the car is not an issue.

Yash Agarwal, via email

Both cars are quite different in terms of space, utility, performance and therefore mileage. Expect the CNG Wagon R to return about two km per kg more than the SX4 on an average. If you want a car that is more spacious, has a better ride, has better performance and is generally a better car on the whole, go in for the SX4. If your priority is strictly running costs, then head in the direction of the Wagon R.

For the long run

I am 56 and looking for a new sedan. My budget is Rs 8.5 lakh (ex- showroom) and I plan to hold on to the car for the next four years when I retire. The company will pay the running expenses and may even provide a driver. Usage will be mostly in the city and the occasional weekend trips. The monthly running will be about a 1000 km. Should I take a diesel car so that I will be able to maintain a large car even after retirement or take a petrol car, sell it after retirement and take another small petrol car? What would be your recommendation on these aspects? Safety, comfort and easy drive are important.

P Venkatramaiah, Kolkata

In the current scenario, especially if you plan to hold on to the car for more than four years, a diesel car makes quite a lot of sense. From the current lot of diesel cars, our recommendation would be the Hyundai Verna. It is spacious, fuel efficient, well-loaded and comes with features like airbags and ABS. It may exceed your budget of Rs 8.5 lakh by a small amount, but we think, it will be the perfect car for you as Hyundai's after-sales service is quite decent, and parts are reasonably priced. As and when you do decide to sell or upgrade, it will fetch you decent value too.

Four wheels, please

I am currently driving a 2002 Maruti Zen and would like to go in for a bigger and more spacious petrol hatch. The budget is Rs 7 to 8 lakh. My annual driving is within 12,000 km with very occasional highway driving. I am 5 feet 10 inches tall and my sons are taller than me. My priorities would be easy driving at low speeds, sitting comfort both for the driver and rear passengers, good interiors and maintenance with least tension. I have shortlisted the Hyundai i20, Maruti Suzuki Swift, Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia and. I would like to know as to how useful automatic climate control available in hatchbacks is. If this is something really useful, it can be added to my priorities. Please suggest the car I should go for. Also do suggest if the soon-to-be- launched Chevrolet Sail hatch would be worth waiting for.

S K Rath, Bhubaneswar

If space, comfort levels and ease of ownership are your priorities, then go for either the Hyundai i20 or the Honda Jazz. Both are quite comfortable and spacious, the Jazz even more so, and it’s more practical. The i20 offers better value if features are your priority. Automatic climate control is useful, though not critical, in a hatch. Choose from either car and we think you will have made a sensible choice.

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