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Car and bike questions? We have the answers

I own a Santro Xing and a Maruti Zen. I want to replace the Zen with a diesel car. My budget is Rs. 5 lakh - Rs. 7 lakh. I have short-listed the Fabia and Swift VDi. Is the Fabia value for money? Please advise.

Neeraj Bhandari

After paying taxes, registration fee and insurance, the Fabia diesel will exceed your budget. However, if you are willing to spend, you can go for it. The Fabia is overpriced and certainly not value for money. The three-cylinder diesel engine is noisier than the Swift’s. However, the Fabia with its fantastic build quality, superb comfort and interiors and amazing ride is clearly several notches above the Maruti. So if you like the Fabia and don’t mind paying, go for it!

When is Mahindra-Renault going to change the Logan’s LHD wiper system to RHD? I would like to purchase the Logan, but this is the only reason that is holding me back.

K. Baruah

There are no plans to rectify the LHD wiper configuration to RHD. The reason being re-engineering the wiper mechanism for India which would involve huge costs. The regulations in the Motor Vehicles Act don’t demand that manufactures switch to RHD configuration. So, companies such as Renault, which has limited sale of RHD Logans on a global scale, don’t bother to make the switch.

Is there any indication that Ford India will lower the price of the Fusion diesel? Also, will Tata use the Fiat Multijet 1.3 engine in the Indigo Marina? I like the profile and functionality of both the cars but bothered about these shortcomings.

Anil Gautam

Ford has recently announced a price cut of around Rs. 23,000 on the Fusion. There are no plans by Tata to put the 1.3 multijet in the Marina. The multijet will be available only in the new Indica initially. The Fusion is quite a capable car, but suffers from highly priced spare parts. And, while spares are cheap for the Marina, the quality isn’t great, especially the plastics.

I plan to buy a small car for less than Rs. 5 lakh. My monthly usage will be around 750km and mostly within the city. I want a driver’s car that returns decent fuel economy and good ride quality. I have short-listed the i10 Magna and Swift VXi. Which one would you recommend? This will be my first car.

A bigger car is always better to drive, which means you can go for the Swift. It is reliable, has decent ride quality (though a bit bumpy on bad surfaces) and reasonable fuel economy. The i10 is more fuel efficient but it’s not as comfortable and the ride isn’t as good as the Swift’s.

I am planning to buy the 125cc Yamaha Gladiator. While I know Yamaha was good with two-stroke engines having experienced an RX 100, I want to know from you how good they are with regard to four-stroke bikes such as the Gladiator? Is the Gladiator engine fit enough for our conditions and will it run reliably with a long life?

Ganesh Kumar

Yes, we have long-term tested, and find the Gladiator a nice 125cc bike that uses a proven, efficient and reliable engine. Yamaha is well known for making good four-stroke motorcycle engines.

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