Virtual Mechanic

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Car and bike questions? We have the answers

I am in the market for a family vehicle, either a Maruti Versa or a Premier van. Please advise.

Between the Premier van and the Versa, the Maruti Versa is a far better choice. Unlike the Premier, it is well-made, reliable and comes with an assured service back-up. However, the only reason to buy the Versa is if you have to travel with more than five persons. Apart from the ability to carry more than five passengers, the Versa offers no advantages over a conventional hatchback in the same price segment and is nowhere near as good as an equivalent in terms of refinement, comfort and image.

I am planning to buy a car in the Rs 4.5-5.25 lakh range. I am looking at Swift, i10 Sportz and Indica Vista TDi/Quadrajet. I believe the i20 will be launched soon. My priorities are good value for money and good resale value. I also want to know whether the i20 will be placed higher than the Getz, and how it compares to the i10.

Shejo Antony

The i20 is likely to be launched by the end of this year or early next year. It will be more expensive than the Getz and will cost around Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 more. However, it’s a far superior car with lots of space and good handling. It can’t be compared to the i10 which is much smaller and a class below it, but both cars use the same 1.2-litre Kappa petrol engine that is powerful and quite smooth too.

I’m planning to buy my first car within a budget of around Rs 5 lakh. I’ll be mainly using it for weekend drives around the city and a 120 km drive to my native place once a month. My main concerns are reliability, good mileage and low maintenance costs. I’ve short-listed the Tata Indigo CS, Hyundai i10 Kappa and the Maruti Swift. Which would be the best option? Also, how do I get a car loan and what would be the best option in terms of car finance?


Of the cars you have short-listed, we would advise you go for the Swift. It is reliable, fuel-efficient and makes a good city car that won’t disappoint over long distances either. It’s more spacious and comfortable than the i10 and more reliable than the Indigo CS. For a car loan, approach any car dealership as most have a dedicated finance department. You could also directly approach a bank.

I want to purchase an automatic car for my wife. We live in Mumbai and are keen on a hatchback. The car will be used to drive within the city. Our choices are limited to the Wagon R and Santro, the only cars in this category in India. Price difference aside, which is better from the driveability aspect?

C Rajanish

You have one more option. Hyundai has just launched the i10 Kappa with an automatic transmission and this is easily the best auto you can buy. Besides, you will also get the benefits of contemporary design and technology that the i10 offers.




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