Which car? November edition 1


Fuel duel

I own a 10-year old Maruti 800 that I plan to trade in for a new car within a month. We are a family of four and have a monthly commute of 1,200 km, most of which is spent driving in the city. I am looking at cars keeping in mind their fuel efficiency and have considered the Maruti Suzuki Swift petrol, Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire diesel, Toyota Etios Liva TRD Sportivo diesel and the Toyota Etios TRD Sportivo diesel. Which one do you think I should buy?

Snehitan, via email

When you cover approximately 40 km a day in the city, you can go for a diesel car. In case you think your commute would be less than that, then a petrol Dzire should serve you well. Yes, the Dzire is an excellent car to drive and own. If you are not willing to wait, you can go for the Etios or the Liva — whichever suits your needs. The Etios/Liva are easy cars to drive, extremely spacious, frugal and reliable too, so consider them if you are in a hurry.

Sedan need

I want to purchase a diesel car for my monthly commute of 2,500 km. I am considering the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, Hyundai Verna and the Ford Ikon or Fiesta. I have a budge of Rs 7 lakh to Rs 9 lakh. Which should I opt for?

G H Kulkarni, via email

The Ford Ikon is no longer available, so you can discount that. Of the list you’ve mentioned, the Swift Dzire is fuel efficient, has compact dimensions and has a good balance between ride and handling. It’s also competitively priced. Another good alternative is the Nissan Sunny that offers more interior and boot space, a slightly more powerful diesel engine and a softer, more comfortable ride at the rear. Choose from either; they make for strong buys.

Big wheels

I am looking out for an urban SUV to use on my daily commute, with weekend outstation trips thrown in. My annual running ought to be around 20,000 km. I have a budget of Rs 30 lakh for my purchase and want to buy a car that is practical, easy to maintain, not too big on luxury — however, given the price-tag, ought to make me feel special. Space is a priority — front, back and boot too. Seven seats are not a must, though. My fuel of choice, however, is diesel. Any thoughts on which cars would fit the bill?

A Dinakar, via email

Okay, the options are limited if you are looking at a car that is reasonable to run and maintain, but one that adds to your social stature. The best option would be the Hyundai Santa Fe. It’s a well-knitted out and loaded, 7-seat SUV that is good to drive. The performance on offer is good and the overall dynamics are rather remarkable. It doesn’t enjoy the badge value that something more premium like a BMW X1 or an Audi Q3 may offer, but it’s a good looking SUV with good quality on offer.

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