Which car? - June II


Quick fix

Kindly give your opinion and help us decide the best small car. Our choice is between the Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi, Hyundai i20 Magna (petrol version) and Volkswagen Polo Comfortline (petrol). What is the possible fuel efficiency of these cars in a city like Ahmedabad? Also, which of these cars is comfortable for five people, has good quality interiors, provides good driver satisfaction and is low on maintenance costs?

Harish Patel, Ahmedabad

Both the petrols that you have considered deliver around 11-12 kpl in city conditions, with the air-con running at all times, but the Swift diesel will deliver 14-15 kpl under same conditions. Yet, we think for your kind of use the Hyundai i20 Magna should be fine.

The engine is reasonably peppy, there is adequate space for five in the car, the interiors are well built and it’s the best loaded among the trio. It may not be the most fun to drive, but as an overall package, it seems like the best bet for you.

Said and done

I am looking for a car in the range of Rs 12 to 15 lakh. Which is the best petrol saloon that I can buy? I also wanted to know if there is some car expected in the near future in the same segment that I can consider. Is the new Honda Civic expected soon, and if so, should I defer my purchase until then? My daily use is not more than 15-20 kilometres a day.

Umesh, via email

There are no new cars expected in this segment in the near future; the new Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic are only expected some time in 2011. What Honda have recently done is update the Civic by providing cruise control in the S trim and rear parking sensors in the V trim. Apart from that, the current Civic is quite a competent package. The 1.8-litre engine is frugal yet punchy and the interiors are fairly comfortable and well loaded. It also will hold its resale value well when you look for an upgrade. Go ahead and buy one, it should serve you well.

Sedan-try life

I wanted to buy a car and my budget can't stretch beyond Rs 4.8 lakh. I am looking at buying a sedan, but I'm a bit concerned about fuel efficiency. On my consideration list are the Tata Indigo CS and the Maruti Suzuki Swift. Would the Indigo CS be less efficient than the Swift? If so, should I go in for the hatchback? Please advise.

Kunal Bhagat, Goa

The Tata Indigo CS is nearly as efficient as the Maruti Suzuki Swift, so we don't see why you shouldn't consider it. It's more spacious on the inside, the ride quality is more settled and you do get more luggage space than the Swift. If fuel efficiency is your concern, then look at the Indigo CS that features an even more efficient diesel engine, but does go a bit over your budget. Either way, the small difference in fuel efficiency between the Indigo and the Swift would hardly make any impact on your monthly outings.

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