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Safety first

Bsm Team  |  Mumbai 

I have been driving a Maruti Suzuki Baleno for the last six years and would like to upgrade to a slightly bigger car now. My priorities are safety, space and driving comfort. I drive often with my wife, children (two boys, aged 12 and 7) and my mother during weekends so safety and space are critical, while I do about 40 km within Mumbai city traffic during the week, so I need a fair degree of comfort as well. My budget is Rs 10 lakh or thereabouts. I was thinking of the Toyota Corolla, and maybe the Chevrolet Optra or the Honda City. What do you recommend?

Ramaswamy K, Mumbai

Instead of the Corolla Altis, Optra or the City, why don’t you look at an MPV? There are one or two Toyota Innova variants that will fit in your budget. The advantage of the Innova is that it gives you all the space that you want for your family and has variants that come with ABS and airbags. It is also an easy car to drive despite its size and is comfortable in the driver’s seat too. The other option, if you want to save some money, is the Mahindra Xylo that also now comes with ABS and airbags.

Swift decision

I have booked a Maruti Suzuki Swift ZXI and am currently awaiting its delivery. But I am wondering whether to go for a Fiat Punto 1.4. About the Punto 1.4, my only concern is that it isn’t as fuel efficient, even though I am paying more for the Swift. My driving will be less than 1,000 kilometres a month with the occasional long drives of about 5,000 kilometres a year. Please advise me on the actual mileage the Punto 1.4 provides and also whether to drop the Swift and opt for the Fiat.

Bino, via email

We don’t see why you need to change the Swift for a Punto unless you are looking for a bit more space and better ride quality. The Swift is just as enjoyable to drive as the Punto and as you rightly pointed out, it’s more fuel efficient too. And now with the K-series engine, it has become even more efficient and torquier. The Swift will also offer better peace of mind as far as after sales service goes and when it’s time to upgrade you might also enjoy better resale value. Stick with the Swift.

Clear it out

I have a budget of about Rs 24 lakh and am looking at a self-driven car. I drive about 20 kilometres daily and have shortlisted the Skoda Superb TSI, the Honda Accord 2.4 automatic, Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI and the Chevrolet Captiva LTZ. Petrol or diesel is not an issue and my basic priority is fuel efficiency, ground clearance and value. Please suggest any other car in this range that can be expected in the next few months

Rohit Sharma, via email

The Chevrolet Captiva could be the right fit for you. It enjoys the best ground clearance among the lot of cars you’ve shortlisted, delivers a fuel efficiency of 9-11 kpl most of the time and at that price, it delivers pretty good value given that it is all-wheel drive and can seat seven in relative comfort. It’s also quite easy to drive in the LTZ form where the automatic makes it a doddle to drive around town.

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First Published: Sat, February 06 2010. 00:02 IST