Some time back I took some advice from you and found it very useful. Now one of my friends is looking to buy a car. At present he is driving a Maruti 800. His running is 1,400 km a month, mostly in Delhi city. He is looking for a mid-size car. The budget is Rs 5 to 6 lakh. Please advise if he should go for CNG or diesel or petrol?
Ajay Khanda, via email
Given his budget, his choices include cars like the Hyundai Accent, Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Mahindra Renault Logan and the Toyota Etios. Our advise would be that he consider the Dzire. Both the diesel and petrol models are quite up to the mark. It is comfortable, refined, has decent driveability and is inexpensive to run and maintain. It also has better kit levels and should hold its resale value well when it’s time for an upgrade.
On my enquiry with a Maruti dealer, he informed me that the new Swift is on the way for launch in the second week of March this year. Please advice the exact date and the changes likely to be made pertaining to its look, features, length etc. Lastly please also advise its pricing and delivery dates.
Rajeev Singal, New Delhi
Your dealer may have jumped the gun a bit too early. The new Swift won’t be here until probably May-June by when it will go on sale. Expect the car to look like an evolution of the current Swift, but it will sport all new panels. It will be larger on the inside with a new dashboard layout and more features such as Bluetooth and USB ports on the higher end model. The usual 1.3 DDiS diesel engine option as well as a slightly more powerful 1.2-litre K Series petrol motor from the current car can be expected. We expect the car to be marginally more expensive than the outgoing model.
I would like to buy a premium hatchback. Good interiors and gizmos, lots of space, good rear legroom, safety equipment, airbags and a fuel efficient car are my main considerations. I am stuck between the new Skoda Fabia 1.6 and Hyundai i20 Asta 1.2. Do curtain and side airbags in an i20 provide more safety? Or is the Fabia a safer and more economical car? My budget is around Rs 6 lakh (ex-showroom). Please advise.
Mihir Shinde, Pune
There is no doubt that six airbags do help especially in case of a worst-case scenario accident. Moreover the i20 with the entire safety kit of six airbags has a five-star EuroNCAP rating, which means that you and your occupants have a better chance of surviving a nasty crash. The Skoda Fabia 1.6 comes with two airbags for India and is a well built and safe car too. Overall, the Fabia is a bit more comfortable and practical, while the i20 has decent interior room, a well specced features list and is a mite more economical to run too. We think that given your penchant for safety, the i20 Asta with sunroof that comes with six airbags might push up your budget a bit but should be the better bet.
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