I want to buy a vehicle to go off-roading and am considering buying the Land Rover Freelander 2 HSE. I’ve heard a lot about the car, but would like your opinion about it and its off-roading capabilities as well. Are there better cars that I must consider? My budget is between Rs 54 lakh and Rs 60 lakh.
Srivijay R Sastry, via email
The Freelander 2 is a capable machine in its own right. But when you have the budget, you can go for the Land Rover Discovery 4 — it is immensely capable with regards to its off-roading capabilities, plus it is very comfortable inside too. The Disco4 has a lot of other features and it is luxurious as well, which might mean you’ll like spending time in it more. This is the one we’d recommend.
Maruti Suzuki Swift" height="128" alt="Maruti Suzuki Swift" hspace="5" width="180" align="right" src="/newsimgfiles/2012/august/24082012/082512_06.jpg" />I want to buy a diesel car with my budget of Rs 7 lakh. I have a monthly commute of 2,500 km, most of which is within the city. I usually commute during peak hours to and from office. I have test driven the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Ford Figo. While I like the Swift better, the higher price tag makes me sceptical. Keeping in mind comfort, mileage and maintenance costs, which one should I buy? Or, should I consider the Tata Indica Vista or the Fiat Punto?
Vijay Pal Singh Chauhan, New Delhi
Yes, the Figo is competitively priced, but overall the Swift is a better car. If you can stretch your budget to accommodate the Swift, it will be good. Else look at the Ritz as well — it has all the attributes of the Swift, and is taller (which suits city driving) and will be cheaper than the Swift. It is also equally efficient, comfortable to drive and maintenance costs are competitive.
My parents are keen on buying a new car within a budget of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh. They currently drive a Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, which they like due to its tall boy design and the fact that it is an easy car to steer. Their monthly commute is 1,000 to 2,000 km, which includes an occasional drive to their farmhouse which is 400 km away. Could you recommend a suitable automatic car, keeping fuel efficiency and maintenance costs in mind? They plan on keeping it for at least five years.
Vinay Malani, via email
Amongst hatchbacks, there are three modern automatic cars available — the Hyundai i10 and i20 and the Maruti Suzuki A-star. Now these cars are thirstier than their equivalent MT versions but the convenience of an AT gearbox is really worth it, considering our traffic conditions and the general ease of driving. These three cars are generally reliable and hassle-free. However, for your parents, your best bet is either the i10 or i20. The i20 may be beyond your budget however, and it is not as tall as the i10. So if they are generally happy with the Wagon R, the i10 AT should fit their purpose quite well.
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