Virtual mechanic

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Car and bike questions? We have the answers

I plan to buy a new car and my budget is Rs. 5 lakh. This is my first car and my priorities are front seat comfort (I am 175cm tall), reliability, fuel economy and low maintenance costs. My usage is approximately 700k m per month, with equal time spent in the city and highway. Please suggest a suitable car.Kamalakannan Shanmugam

Your budget permits you to get a premium hatchback. The Swift VXi (petrol) meets your requirements the best.

There are diesel options for the same price but given the fact that you are doing only 700km a month, it will take years before you recover the higher premium you would pay for a diesel by way of lower running costs.

The Swift’s front seats are extremely comfortable (but the back seat is quite cramped) and it is a proven vehicle with good reliability and decent fuel consumption.

For highway use, the Swift has good overtaking and cruising ability and the ride is comfortable over long distances. Also, remember that Maruti good after-sales service.

I am planning to buy my first car. I have short-listed the Maruti Alto LX but may stretch my budget for the Wagon R LX DUO. I will cover 800km per month. Which one is better in terms of mileage and maintenance? Should I consider any other model such as the Zen Estilo LX?Amitava Roy

The Wagon R is a better car than the Alto. So if you can, go ahead and get it. However for your usage, the benefit of LPG will not be that significant.

We would advise you to stick to a regular petrol hatchback and there are lots of models to choose from.

If you have your heart set on the Wagon R then go for the LXi which has power steering and the same price as the Duo LX (no power steering). The power steering option will make driving less of an effort.




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