Which car? September edition 1


Big wheels

I want to purchase a diesel car, an SUV to be specific. The car should seat seven or eight people and also be comfortable, deliver decent mileage and have low maintenance costs. While I would like the car to look good, budget is not an issue. Could you please point me in the right direction?

Ankush Mittal, via email

For your purpose of carrying seven or eight people around in relative comfort, we’d point you in the direction of the Mahindra Xylo. But the Xylo isn’t a particularly good looking car. And given the fact that you say budget is not an issue, we’d urge you to take a look at the Mahindra XUV500. If you aren’t happy with the XUV after a test drive, perhaps you could take a look at the Hyundai Santa Fe. It is a more expensive vehicle, but it ought to suit your requirements.

Sedan stuff

I have just retired and plan on buying a car. Among the ones that I am considering are the Toyota Etios, Nissan Sunny, Skoda Rapid and Honda City (which seems to need an upgrade soon). I drive approximately 2,000 km every month, with outstation trips thrown in as well. Which of these cars would be best for me? Also, should I go in for a petrol car or a diesel one, and would an automatic be a better option than a manual, given the state of traffic on our roads?

Samir Saran, Lucknow

While a petrol car should do fine, even a diesel one won’t be out of place for you. Amongst petrol cars, the Honda City is the best when it comes to comfort, space, reliability, performance, fuel efficiency, etc. And it comes with an automatic too. If you are interested in a diesel, then you can look at the Skoda Rapid — it is a spacious, comfortable and well-built car, while the engine performs well and is efficient too.

Incredible hatch

I currently own a Hyundai Santro that has served me well. However, I am looking for a hatchback that feels and looks bigger than my current car and has enough features for the price. I would like the car to be capable both in the city and the highway as I will drive a few hundred kilometres a month and will also occasionally drive in the hills. The car should deliver good mileage, with low maintenance costs. While I don’t like the Ford Figo’s looks, I think the Hyundai i20 is a gas guzzler and so I am considering the Fiat Punto and Volkswagen Polo. I am open to any other cars that you may suggest.

Ryan Neil Michael, via email

The i20 would have fitted your needs perfectly — but since it’s a bit thirsty, you can look at other alternatives. The best option is the Maruti Suzuki Swift — it is good value, fuel efficient and not expensive when it comes to running costs. It is great in the city as well as on the highways. The other option you can look at is the Toyota Etios Liva — it has all the above attributes and is spacious at the rear as well. The only thing going against the Liva is that the quality of plastics and materials used is not satisfactory.

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