» METRO PLUS
October 17, 2011
I travel around 50km a day and occasionally travel out of town by road. I'm looking for a car that is easy to drive, has good aftersales service, is easy to maintain and comfortable for both passenger and driver. I have narrowed my choice down to the Toyota Etios diesel and the Hyundai Verna 1.6 diesel. I recently drove a Honda City automatic and was thoroughly impressed; it may even make me lean towards a petrol. The should not cost more Rs.10 lakh but I can stretch it by another Rs. 2 lakh if required. Also, as a second car, I want to buy a hatchback. Which one would you recommend? Abhijit Karan Since you travel a distance of 50km a day, it makes sense to go for a diesel. If you can afford it, go for the Hyundai Verna 1.6 diesel with automatic transmission. This is the most user-friendly midsize diesel saloon but it is also the most expensive. However, if your heart is set on the Honda City AT, which is a very good car, then that is a good option as well. What you might lose by way of running costs, you will make up with the lower purchase price (it is around Rs. 1.80 lakh cheaper than the Verna diesel auto). If you plan to buy a hatchback in addition to the saloon, then we recommend looking for a compact runabout which is also fuel efficient and easy to use. The new Honda Brio fits the bill perfectly. A Maruti dealer has recently shown me a November 2010 Maruti SX4 ZXi. He offered a discount of Rs 1.5 lakh, but the car has been lying in a garage for the last eight months. He refuses to let me test drive the vehicle but has said that he only will once I have booked it and paid the nominal amount. Should I go in for it? Chandrashekar A 2010 SX4 with a discount of Rs. 1.5 lakh sounds like a tempting deal. There should not be an issue if the car has been with a Maruti dealer, although the new registration date will be noted as 2011 and the manufacturing year will be November 2010, which in turn will reduce the resale value of the car. We presume that the warranty offered on the car will remain even after purchase. I own a 2004 model Bajaj Caliber 115 that has clocked 70,000km. While acceleration upto 60kph is decent, beyond that speed my bike struggles and barely reaches 80kph. Fuel efficiency is around 50kpl under normal riding conditions. Also, the engine sometimes knocks at low revs more than other bikes. What could be the reason for this? Is it possible to replace the existing gearbox with a five or six-speed unit without much modification, so that I enjoy better highway cruising? Kangkan Bharali Your Bajaj Caliber 115 has clearly given you excellent service. To stop the knocking, try selecting a lower gear and keeping engine rpm slightly higher than you usually do at the speed where you know your bike starts knocking. Avoid all such extensive gearbox modifications, as these will cause more harm than good to your bike.
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