Virtual Mechanic

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I plan to buy a diesel car and have narrowed down my choice to the Chevrolet Tavera and Mahindra Scorpio. The vehicle will be used for a mix of long inter-city drives as well as city driving. Could you help me make a decision?Hemlata, via emailThe New Scorpio feels much nicer to drive overall compared to the Tavera. Besides it is good for city driving since it's easy to manoeuvre, and has plenty of power for the highway as well. However, the Tavera has better handling and rides better too, but that's not enough to make it a better buy. We would still urge you to buy the Scorpio. I am about to buy my first car and am looking at a B+ segment car with a strong build and comfortable rear seats. The car would be sparingly used and mostly be chauffeur-driven. I am considering the Fiat Palio 1.2-NV ELX, which is available at a considerable discount. My dilemma is that while many Palio-users commend the vehicle's build and ride quality, the spares and service quality are suspect. Can you tell me whether Fiat plans to discontinue the model soon, which would explain the hefty discount? Also, is it a sensible buy in terms of the overall ownership experience? Sam Sengupta, via emailThe Palio is the right choice, if build quality is what you are after. It is incredibly solid, more so than cars nearly twice its price. Yes, the service is still suspect and the company is not yet in the best of health, but Fiat's future in India is looking bright thanks to its recent alliance with Tata Motors - things can only get better. Our advice is to wait for the facelifted Palio, which should be on its way by the end of this year.I was planning to buy a new luxury car and have shortlisted the Honda City VTEC, Honda Civic manual, Skoda Octavia Rider, and Toyota Corolla H2. My priorities are comfortable interiors, good mileage, low maintenance and a good ride. Which one should I go for?M Saad, via emailConsidering your needs, the Honda Civic stands out as the best among your shortlist. We do feel that it is clearly the best car in its class today. Go for it.I currently own a Tata Indigo TDi and am planning to exchange it with a more refined diesel sedan. I heard that Maruti will soon be launching its new Baleno with a multijet diesel engine in mid-2007. I was planning to buy the Hyundai Verna, but can you tell me if the new Baleno diesel is worth waiting for?Ankush Hastir, via emailThe Baleno diesel promises to be a fantastic car, but is still some time away and might entail a long wait for you. Instead, we suggest you go in for the Verna diesel, which has just come out




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