I want to buy my first petrol car. Budget is Rs4-4.5 lakh. I’d drive occasionally to office and go on long drives with family on weekends. Please recommend the best option, in terms of fuel efficiency, ride quality and lower cost.
– Shaikh Abu
The new Ford Figo or the Chevrolet Beat would be perfect for you.
I am planning to buy an SUV, but am confused between the Scorpio, XUV 500, Innova and Xylo. I am looking for best performance and mileage.
– Sathish Kumar
It depends on what you mean by ‘performance’. If you’re talking about engine performance, then the XUV comes out on top. But if you mean performance as a people carrier, then there’s nothing to beat the Innova.
I have an i20. Recently, I have had surgery in my left knee. Can I install an automatic clutch to avoid additional strain in my left knee? What would be the cost? Must I do it at the Hyundai workshop, or can I get it done at any local garage?
– Kamini Shah
First, Godspeed to your recovery. Indeed, there are auto clutches available that would suit your needs. Your dealer might not install it, but there are reputed garages that do. Have you thought of replacing it with an i10 or i20 automatic, instead?
I plan to buy a small hatchback for Rs2.3-3 lakh. I like the new Alto 800. Is it a good choice?
– Aniket Pawar
It’s a great choice. Go ahead. If you want an alternative, try the new Eon.
I am looking for a pre-owned car for up to Rs 5 lakh. Where can I get a good price and reliable models? I wouldn’t mind an SUV/MUV either.
– Punit Roy
Mahindra First Choice and manufacturer-outlets like Maruti True Value are the first places to look since you’d get the safety barrier of a warranty. Truth to tell, in your budget, there are a lot of great cars you can get, so start hunting.
Does the new Ritz (petrol) have the VVT engine seen in the Maruti Swift? Is the new Ritz a value buy? I intend to use it for 5-7 years and my drives would span 400 km a month.
– Leslie D’souza
The Ritz comes with the brilliant 1.2-litre K12 engine, which doesn’t have the VVT, but is still a great engine. You won’t regret the purchase.
I have a Nano. Is it possible to fit a CNG or an LPG kit? If yes, where in Mumbai? Will it be safe?
We wouldn’t recommend because there isn’t space to place the gas tank and associated equipment.
We are a family of five. I’m looking for a used car in the Rs 2.5-3 lakh range. Usage will be 100-300 km per month. Seeking low maintenance, high mileage. Is the diesel version more cost-effective than CNG?
– V Nigam
Your usage is less, so either get a petrol car or a CNG one, and save money. Something like an Indica or an i10 will fall in your budget and come in new enough condition.
I bought a Swift DZire ZDi in April and have done 8000 km. Now, there’s a little rattle inside the cabin till 2000 rpm, which I have not found in other Swift DZires. Second, I am burning 600 ml of oil. Is this normal?
– Dharmendra Gorakh
It’s not normal if the engine is burning oil, so please go to a different dealership and have them check it. The rattles may be due to loose-fitting components. Check that, too.
Which is better – the Kizashi or the Elantra?
– Shivam Sehgal
The Elantra is the new and more tech-packed. The Kizashi should have done a lot better in the market, but is priced high for petrol. It’s larger and quite fuel-efficient, though. We’d recommend the Elantra.
While filling petrol in my i20, the petrol nozzle automatically stops pouring petrol in the tank. It generally happens when the tank is almost full. But in my case, I can still fill almost 10 litres more by stopping and refilling manually. What could be the issue?
If it happens at all fuel stations, then it could be an issue of some blockage that isn’t allowing the fuel to flow freely enough down the drain. Sometimes, it’s an issue of air bubbles inside.
DNA Drive, you are doing a fantastic job! My father wants to buy a car in the Rs5.50-6.25 lakh range (on road). Fuel economy is the priority. We have shortlisted the Liva, i-10, Brio and Figo (all petrol). Please arrange them in order of preference. If we go for diesel, which car should we choose?
– Sarvesh Vaidya
Our order: i10, Figo, Brio and Liva. For diesel, the Beat Figo and the Tata Indica.
You are doing a great job! I have a Zen Estilo. I normally pull the car in 2nd gear. Will it do any harm?
– Gaurav Mahadik
It might wear the clutch prematurely if you’re shifting too much in this process. Just shift to 1st when starting off and save some hassles later.
You had recommended the Honda Shine and the Dream Yuga. But I heard that Honda spares are not easily available and that service is not so good. True? Can you recommend other manufacturer. My budget is Rs60,000.
— Kalyanji Chaudhary
There are no spares and service issues that we know of. Your alternatives are the Bajaj Discover 125 or the TVS Phoenix.
I always wanted to buy a buggy and even contacted Polaris for the same. That’s when they informed me that it can’t be driven on roads. Hence, I thought of converting my Avenger into a customised three-wheeler (just for the fun of it) as I no longer use the bike that much. Please tell me how much would it cost me to customise it? Any drop in performance is not a concern.
While it’s completely possible to have it converted to a trike, the legality of it falls in a gray area. As far as we know, the Indian law doesn’t allow such modifications unless it’s for a handicapped person, so be careful if you do get it done.
I am planning to buy a bike — the Yamaha R15 2.0 V or the Honda CBR 150R. Which would be best, in terms of looks, low maintenance and mileage?
– Harsh Dave
If you want a more relaxed ride, the Honda is the one to go for; for better performance, Yamaha.
I’m 18 and want to buy my first bike. Daily commute will be around 25 km. My main concerns are looks, mileage and low maintenance. Budget is around Rs90,000. Also, what’s the difference between the FZ and the FZ-S?
– Meet Patel
In your budget, given your requirements, something like the Yamaha Fazer would suit you very well. And the main differences between the FZ and the FZ-S are cosmetic and ergonomic. The height of the handle bars is different; they are suited for different purposes.
I want to buy a cruiser bike under Rs80,000. Could you recommend some? Seeking good mileage, looks, durability and performance.
— Zaid Solkar
There aren’t any cruisers in that range, unless you’re willing to go in for used bikes. But you can pick up the newer 125s and the 150s in that budget, which will serve you well. Check out the Yamaha Fazer — it seems to fit your bill well.
I want to buy a bike for Rs65,000-75,000. Looking for an easy-to-ride but eye-pleasing bike. Daily run is about 30 km in city. I own a Honda Activa, but my back has already started yelling. The Bajaj Avenger, Pulsar 180 and the Honda Unicorn are my favourites. Even FZ is fine. Are there any bikes like the Avenger in the market or are they yet to be launched?
— Onkar Deshpande
There are currently no bikes like the Avenger, so if that strikes your fancy, go for it as it’s reliable and looks cool.
I am 18 and planning to buy a scooter. Which one would you recommend – the new Honda Dio, Honda Activa, TVS Wego or Suzuki Access?
– Sanket Surve
Check out the Suzuki Swish. It’s stylish, quick and returns good mileage, too. It certainly won’t disappoint you.
Huge fan of your column! I want to book a new bike before Diwali and have shortlisted the Suzuki GS-150R and the Hero Honda Hunk. Also, does a rear disc brake prevent the bike from skidding during rains?
– Akshay Parnerkar
If there’s a Suzuki dealership close by, then hands down, the GS 150 is the one to go for; if not, the Hunk will do just as well. The rear disc brake, if used improperly, may make a bike slip quicker in the rains. Bikes with ABS, such as an Apache or a CBR, are much better at stopping in slippery conditions.
I read your gearless scooters survey a few months back, but I am confused between the Activa, Pleasure and Wego. I travel around 45 km daily. I am bothered about ride quality, reliability, mileage, low maintenance and ease of handling more than looks, style, waiting periods, resale value, etc.
If those are your concerns, then stick with the Activa and have a trouble-free ownership experience.
I have shortlisted and test-driven the CBZ-Xtreme, Hero Hunk and Suzuki GS-150 R. My priority is low maintenance, mileage and comfort. I’ll be driving around 60 km daily. My heart says CBZ and mind says Suzuki GS.
– Rohit Veer
Go with the heart. You’ll enjoy your rides that much more. You can’t go wrong with either of the three though, so anything you choose, you’re bound to be happy with them.
I am planning to buy a used Yamaha R15 V2.0, which is a 2012 model. I have seen many ads on websites, but don’t know what should be the perfect price.
– Nikhil Mahajan
For a 2012 model R15, anything between Rs75,000 and Rs85,000 is a fair price to pay, considering depreciation and the addition of several newer models in the market.
I want to buy a 100-125cc bike. My budget is Rs60,000-70,000. I travel in Pune city about 20 km a day.
– Shravan Thorat
The Honda Twister seems to be the one that suits your requirements perfectly. It’s a light, nimble bike that is reliable and easy on maintenance too. It will return good mileage and will give you a trouble free ownership experience.
I am planning to gift a bike to my younger brother who goes to college. Daily running is 20 km in city. I have shortlisted the Hero Hunk and Bajaj Discover 150cc.
– Kalyanji Chaudhary
Stick with the Hunk in this case. It’s reliable, low on maintenance and is stylish for a college student, too.
I’m looking for a bike which has high mileage, looks n low maintenance. I like the Pulsar 150 and Honda Unicorn 150. But my dad wants me to take a 100-110 cc. Can you suggest some good bikes here, too?
– Dharmesh Vadera
For overall comfort and peace of mind, stick with the Unicorn. It may look a little bland, but it’s a reliable performer with good comfort too. If you’re intent on a 100-110cc offering, something like the Twister or the Stunner from Honda seems to be the ticket.
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