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Car and bike questions? We have the answers

Is the Tata Aria a good car to buy?

Thirumalai Abinesh

The Aria should sell better than it does because it’s a very capable vehicle with generous equipment, space and comfort. But it doesn’t have the same road presence as its SUV competition and the design cues are too similar to other Tata cars, which has done the Aria no favours. Also, the Aria was launched at a very high price, which kept buyers away.

Which navigation device would you recommend for India, and is a monthly charge levied for services?

Obrien Dsouza

In our experience, MapMyIndia has the best coverage of India and hence the best maps. We tested several systems over 20,000km a couple of years ago and the MapMyIndia unit performed the best. There is no monthly charge required as yet with any of these systems.

I am planning to buy either the Honda Accord or the new CR-V. Is the Accord getting obsolete?

Anirudh Bansal

Yes, the Accord is now nearly five years old and towards the end of its lifecycle. However, the all-new Accord is unlikely to come to India anytime before 2014. The new CR-V has just been launched and is a very contemporary vehicle. It has a good ride, handling and a nice drive. It’s also priced lesser than before, which makes it good value.

Is the Hyundai i30 being launched in India this year?

Nemish T Shah

There are no plans to launch the i30 in India. Hyundai has been evaluating the i30 for the Indian market but it would be too costly to produce in India, which would make it unfeasible to sell. In fact, there is no market for big hatchbacks like the i30, which is why no other manufacturer has launched one yet.

I plan to fit a snorkel onto my Thar. What depth of water can I expect to cross realistically, without stalling the engine? What are the limiting factors?

Luis Velho

The Thar’s stock air box sucks in air from just behind the right headlamp. The danger there is that a medium-sized bow wave will push up enough water to reach the intake. A snorkel will improve your wading ability considerably, but as of now, there are no hard figures as to the depth of water you can cross. Theoretically you should be able to go bonnet-deep into water, but then other issues can crop up. The ECU and fuse box, for example, sit low in the front passenger footwell. If they get wet, you will get stuck and there’ll be huge bills too. As for the downsides, we noticed a tiny bit more lag in throttle response after fitting the snorkel. It’s not a major issue and it’s easy enough to drive around this minor problem.




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