I have undergone hip joint replacement surgery four years ago on my left leg and need a car to suit my condition. The following are my requirements
1. High seating posture, since, it is difficult for me to stoop. (My wife’s Santro meets this criteria)
2. Longer wheel base and soft suspension to avoid too many road shocks, our roads have potholes.(Santro is bumpy, my old Esteem is good, but getting in and out is an issue).
3. Automatic transmission to avoid clutch strain on my operated left leg. My budget is Rs 8.5 lakh, stretchable to Rs 9 lakh and I am willing to wait for 3 to 4 months in case there is any new model which meets my requirement.
Ajit Kumar, via e-mail
Your unique requirements mean your choices are rather few. In that price bracket the only cars that come with automatic transmission are the Maruti Suzuki SX4 and the Hyundai Verna diesel. Of the two, we’d recommend the SX4 for you. It has easy entry and exit because of its taller stance, the seats are fairly comfortable and ride quality, though slightly stiff isn’t uncomfortable. Its high ground clearance also means it can handle bad roads with ease. The 1.6-litre petrol engine is torquey and the gearbox ratios are very well suited for city driving and the occasional highway jaunt. We wish we could have recommended the Toyota Innova for you, which would have been perfect, but it doesn’t come with an automatic transmission.
I’m looking for a hatchback with automatic transmission for city driving. Between the Hyundai i10 and Maruti Suzuki A-Star auto variants, which would be a good option in terms of mileage and cost? If there are new promising models coming in the next few months I can wait.
Manoj Gopalani, via e-mail
The Maruti A-Star Automatic and Hyundai i10 1.2 Kappa Automatic come with 4-speed automatic transmission. Both engines are efficient and have decent pep for city and highway use. Of the two, we’d recommend the i10 for you, simply because it has more space on the inside, is more comfortable and has a more pliant ride. It also enjoys a bit more grunt and while it may not be as efficient as the A-Star, the difference is marginal. It’s the car we’d recommend for you.
I want to buy a new car that is good to drive in the city and on highways, has good ground clearance, good features and is spacious. The air-conditioning should be powerful and the car should be comfortable on long drives. So, among the Tata Indigo Manza, Volkswagen Vento and Hyundai Verna, which should I buy?
Pratik Bajaj, via e-mail
Of the three, we suggest the new Volkswagen Vento for you. It is spacious for four, has a very good ride and handling combination, is well loaded — especially the Highline that boasts all the creature comforts as well as auto climate control, stereo, airbags and ABS. The 1.6-litre petrol motor has good power for both city and highway driving, the 1.6-litre diesel motor is probably the quickest accelerating diesel car in its category. Go for either of the two, and we think it will suit you just fine.
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