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Car and bike questions? We have the answers

I have a Rs 5.5-lakh budget, and am planning to buy a saloon such as the Mahindra Logan, Ford Ikon or Maruti Swift Dzire. My average usage will be 750-1,000 km a month, but the car will not be driven for around 10-20 days a month when I am out of town. The car should be spacious, have enough legroom in the rear to accommodate the tall members of my family. It should also have good resale value, decent mileage and reasonable maintenance and spare parts costs. Considering all these, should I go in for a petrol or diesel saloon? I like the Mahindra Logan 1.4 DLX. Please advise.

V. Ramachandran

The Logan is spacious and comfortable. It is also a car that has proven reliability and is inexpensive to maintain. Even with your limited running, we still recommend the diesel as it would fetch you a better resale value. However, compared to the Swift Dzire, the Logan’s resale will be poor. There is no harm in keeping the car unused for 15-20 days. However, the battery will tend to run down and this could shorten battery life. The Logan diesel may be beyond your budget, but there are lots of good deals in the market on Logans, so try and squeeze the maximum out of your car dealer.

I am planning to buy a small car within a Rs 3.5-lakh - Rs. 4-lakh budget. I will drive it on the highway (40km) as well as on city roads (40km) on a daily basis. So my total usage for a month would be around 2,000 km and between 25,000-30,000 km a year. I have shortlisted the Chevrolet Spark LS and Tata Indica Vista TDI Terra. My priorities are fuel economy, value for money, low maintenance cost and ride quality. And I am concerned about the GM service network — will GM’s global situation affect its Indian operations?

Krishnan P

The Indica is a much better highway car; it has the economy of diesel and is good in the city as well. It also has more space and comfort. On the service side, GM India has done an admirable job of improving its aftersales, and the Indian operations have largely been unaffected by GM’s problems in North America.

I travel 50 km on the highway every day, and am looking to buy a diesel saloon. I have shortlisted a used and accident-free Skoda Laura L&K PD AT, which has done around 37,000 km in 18 months from the date of delivery; it is being sold for Rs. 10 lakh. Is this the best option keeping maintenance in mind or would a brand-new Hyundai Verna AT or a manual transmission Chevrolet Optra Magnum be better?

Kalyankesiraju Venkata

The used Laura is still your best bet but ensure the car’s condition is very good. Remember that the Laura is very expensive to maintain; so be prepared for some big bills in the future.

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