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Car and bike questions? We have the answers

My budget is Rs 5 lakh and I have narrowed my choice down to the Maruti Swift and the Ford Ikon Flair. We will use the car for long trips at least thrice a year and need to carry quite a bit of luggage. What bothers me is the availability of spares for the Ikon in the years to come and the fear of getting stuck with a model which is outdated and out of production. Please advise.
Prashant G, via emailObviously you need a boot, so the Flair is definitely a better option for you. Also please remember that the Ikon Flair is still being produced, so it's not like the Ikon has already been phased out. In fact, India happens to be the mother plant for Ikon production globally so if there is any place in the world where you will still continue to get parts for Ikon, it will be India. Ford has been making efforts at reducing spares prices as well. But the Ikon is still relatively expensive to maintain and will cost you more in the long run than a Swift. I currently own a two-and-a-half year old Tata Indigo Diesel and have already spent Rs 70,000 on repairs and maintenance of the car. This compares with almost zero expenses on my Hyundai Accent purchased around the same time. Is such a high expense on maintenance normal for a diesel car and if not, then what action can I take?Aditya Tibrewala, via emailUnfortunately, Tata Indigos are known to be problematic as they age and there is not much you can do about this now since your car is already outside its warranty period. I own a Maruti 800 and am keen to upgrade to a new car at around Rs. 6-7 lakh. IT should accommodate five people comfortably with good rear seat legroom and plenty of luggage space. I am prepared to overlook performance but want good ride and handling. My daily drive is around 30km with about 70 per cent in the city and the rest on the highway. Also, the car should have low running and maintenance costs. I am considering the Hyundai Getz, Ford Fiesta 1.4 P, Ford Fusion and Honda City.
S P Kashyap, via emailPick the Honda City ZX, even though it's the most expensive in your list of cars. It is very comfortable, reliable and performs very well on short drives on good roads. The Fiesta 1.4 P is another option and is good value for money as well. However its interiors are not as spacious. As for the Getz CRDi, that car is still some time away from launch. Write in with your queries to >wheels@thehindu.co.in

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