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Second thoughts

WHICH CAR?

BS Motoring  |  Mumbai 

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I am planning to buy a second-hand car, but I am a bit confused with my choices. Can you help me to decide whether to buy a Honda City (old/new) or a Skoda Octavia petrol? I don't drive much "" around 500 km a month "" so I think I don't need a diesel car. Is that right? My budget is around Rs 4 to 6 lakh. Which one do you recommend?

R V Mahesh, via email

If you can get a low-mileage new model City for your budget, that will be all the car you need. An Octavia 2.0 petrol is rare to come by in the used car market but it is a well-built machine that should prove reliable (if not economical to maintain) in the long term. For your kind of driving needs you need not go for diesel powered cars. Also look at the Ford Fiesta 1.4 petrol "" you can get a new car (though it will be slightly above your budget) for the price of a used City.
Longing for more
We are four members of a family and we are looking for a car that will last pretty long, say for 20 years, and which is low on maintenance. We cover about 2,000 km every month within Delhi and about 1,000 km a year on the highways. We already own three cars "" a 1999 Hyundai Santro (63,000 km), a 2000 Maruti Zen (53,000 km) and a 1999 Maruti 800 (63,000 km). We have a budget of Rs 7 lakh. Should we go for the Honda City?

Dr Anita Goel, New Delhi

The City is an ideal car to have for urban as well as highway use and we strongly recommend a buy. But expecting a car to go on for 20 years (by then your car would have done 4,80,000 km going by your estimate "" more than the distance to the Moon!) is a bit much. If you take good care of your car then it will certainly offer you sterling service for around 10 years for sure. The City ZX offers great refinement and adequate performance, while a VTEC version is also available, which is more powerful.
Newbie
I have recently changed jobs and am in the process of purchasing a new car. Which car would be the ideal one from these models: Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, Swift, Tata Indica (Xeta or any other variant) and the Hyundai Santro? I can also choose between the Maruti Esteem, Tata Indigo and the Hyundai Accent. I will be driving about 50 km daily within the city and on the occasional weekend, head out of town.

Abhishek Baderia, via email

You can consider the Maruti Suzuki Swift "" it is neither too small nor too big and is easy to drive and park. You can go for the VXi model and opt for ABS (Anti Lock Braking System) that makes the car a tad more safer. Also available is the ZXi version with ABS and airbags as standard The Swift returns 12-14 kpl depending on the way you drive (and where you drive), and being a new model from the Maruti-Suzuki line-up, it will hold its value very well over the years.

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First Published: Sat, November 11 2006. 00:00 IST
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