Car and bike questions? We have the answers

I’m looking for a car to drive mostly in the city and sometimes on the highway. My priorities are driving pleasure, luxury and good resale value as I intend to keep the car for about three years. I can’t decide between the facelifted Mercedes-Benz E 250 CDI and the Jaguar XF 2.2 diesel.

Sanil Mutneja

The XF diesel, despite its age, still has a special charm. The Jag’s styling and interiors are classy and the 2.2 diesel engine is quite punchy too. However, when it comes to resale value, the E-class, which has just been updated, will give you a better return. Also, over a three-year period, we expect the Mercedes to be more reliable.

What are the best options with an automatic transmission in the hatchback, entry-level saloon and compact SUV segment?

Rajendra Pai

You have a much wider choice of cars with automatic transmission available now. However, if you are looking for a diesel vehicle, there is nothing available below or cheaper than the Hyundai Verna diesel. But, if you are happy to stick to a petrol engine, then your choice extends from the Hyundai i10 auto to the recently launched Vento TSI auto. If we were to pick a few automatic cars, they would be the Honda Brio, Nissan Micra CVT, Nissan Sunny/Renault Scala, Ford Ecosport AT, VW Polo GT TSI, Vento TSI and the Verna diesel.

I plan to buy an SUV that costs not more than Rs. 15 lakh. My priorities include long distance comfort, good resale value, driveability, good service network, low maintenance cost and affordable spare parts. I have shortlisted the Toyota Innova and the Mahindra XUV500.

Vaisakh

The Innova has earned a strong reputation for its reliability and comfort on long distances. The ride quality is good and it feels secure on the highway. Toyota spare parts are more expensive than Mahindra’s but in the long run the Toyota is likely to be more reliable, requiring less maintenance. In terms of drivability, the Innova feels quite responsive though the XUV500 feels much quicker with its outright performance.

The Innova has become overpriced over the years and doesn’t offer the same bang for your buck as the XUV500. However, the Innova’s resale is excellent and that compensates in some measure for the high price. We think you should go in for the Innova.

What is the best SUV to opt for in the Rs 60 lakh - Rs. 70 lakh price range? I have narrowed down my search to the Range Rover Evoque, Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz ML-class. Please guide.

Nitesh

All three SUVs are quite different so it really depends on what you are looking for. The Evoque makes a style statement and feels very upmarket with its sleek shape and brilliantly executed interiors. The Audi Q7 is a bit old now but it’s still a very competent vehicle and quite spacious — the Q7 is the only one to have a third row of seats. The ML 250 is in demand and you can go in for it.

It may not have the style of the Evoque or the size of the Q7 but it is well-made, offers a good ride and is refined. The ML250 is well-priced too.

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