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Car and bike questions? We have the answers

I want to buy a diesel hatchback. I have shortlisted the Fiat Punto, Hyundai i20 and Volkswagen Polo. I quite like the Punto since it comes with a lot of features. Is it the right choice though? I travel a lot on highways and to hill stations. I currently use a 2008/7 model Ford Ikon petrol which has clocked 55,500km.

R. Gopakumar

If you are keen on buying the Grande Punto, we suggest you go ahead. It's a better highway car, thanks to its fantastic ride and stability at high speeds. The Grande Punto is particularly good on bad roads and it feels far more settled and composed. Since you have racked up high mileage in your Ikon in just a few years, you obviously drive long distances. Hence, it makes sense to go in for the diesel version of the Grande Punto which is pretty economical too. Bear in mind that the Fiat's reputation for service is not as good as either Hyundai's or Volkswagen's but that shouldn't deter you from going in for the Punto.

With the price of petrol, diesel and even CNG prices going up, does buying an electric car make sense? How many electric cars are currently sold and is any new electric vehicle on its way? Also, how economical and safe are electric cars?

Ayush Mukhi

Unfortunately, the market for electric cars in India still has a long way to go and there are very few choices available. In fact, there is only one model available — the Maini (now Mahindra) Reva. This pure electric vehicle offers the lowest running costs but the high purchase price, lack of interior space and poor battery charging infrastructure makes it quite impractical. It is quite small and the body structure not very robust. There are no airbags either and hence in the event of a collision with a bigger vehicle, you would be worse off. We hear that Mahindra and Maini will soon launch an all-new electric car but we doubt that it will be substantially better to become an everyday transport solution.

I am six feet tall. I am looking forward to buying an economical motorcycle that is low on maintenance and has inexpensive spare parts. It should also be comfortable to ride in the city. Between the Hero Honda Passion Pro and Honda CB Shine, which one should I go for?

Anoop M

The CB Shine will be a good choice. We, however, suggest you consider going for the Honda CB Twister that delivers excellent economy, good performance and reliability.

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