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Car queries: Mercedes-Benz A-Class the cheapest car from a luxury manufacturer

Friday, 5 October 2012 - 11:00am IST | Agency: DNA
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the cheapest car from a luxury manufacturer that you can actually use everyday, so that, in diesel is the car to buy.

I bought a Hyundai i10 Sportz automatic car about a year ago. It has done only 780 km so far and I get only 7 kmpl. Is this normal? How can the mileage be improved?
– K Sanjeevan

It will certainly improve after you have driven more and the engine breaks in, and post first service.

I am planning to buy a hatchback next month. I am really confused by the task of choosing between petrol and diesel options. I like to go out on trips, and I will surely opt for 1-2 long drives each year (around 1,500-2,000 km each). Other than that, my usage would be restricted to certain weekend trips. Total usage would be around 10,000 km per year. I have zeroed in on the Honda Jazz (petrol) and the Punto Sports 90 HP (diesel). I like to visit hills and might also be driving to the Himalayas. Please advise considering my usage pattern.
– Manoj Sharma

For that kind of usage, we think the Jazz will suit you a lot better. The Punto will be great on fuel and decently fun to drive, but the Jazz petrol engine is a gem that will make driving up hills a joy. Plus, you’ll need a lot more driving to justify a diesel.

I bought a Swift DZire petrol Vxi in April. Still, I would like to know how does one choose between petrol and diesel options? Also, which one has better resale value and which one is easy on maintenance and gives good performance? Also, when is the best time to service the car and also shift to CNG?
— Namit Bhavsar

Usage is the key. If you don’t use it often, then petrol makes sense as you won’t be able to recoup the extra cost of a diesel car in a reasonable time. Service the car on time even if it hasn’t run the required distance. You can have a reputed CNG kit installed only if you plan to keep the car for a long time, the DZire’s K-Series engine will take it just fine.

I would like to know about the Ford EcoSport specs and launch date. Which would be the suitable option among the Quanto, Duster and the EcoSport?
—Nitin Chaudhari

The EcoSport will come by the end of the year or early next year. Until we drive it, we won’t be able to help. Till then, we’ll have to side with the Renault Duster.

How to choose one Renault Duster between the 85 bhp and the 110 bhp versions?
– N S Babu

Features-wise, they differ a lot. But don’t go by just the power outputs because the 85 PS version is just as nice to drive as the 110 PS car. If you need the leather interiors and other upgrades that come with it, then go for the larger engined car.

I’m confused between the Jazz and the Swift. Looking for comfort, performance, looks, safety, a good music player and space. Please don’t recommend anything else.
—Rahul Nair

Go for the Jazz. It’s more spacious and is a livelier performer. The Swift comes with more features. Performance and safety are about par between the two.

When will the new Laura be launched or should I go in for the Altis, Fluence, Cruze or the Elantra? Or, should I settle for the City top-end petrol?
– Kapil Arya

At last week’s Paris Motor Show, Skoda unveiled the new Rapid, which might make it here as the new Octavia (a little confusing, we know) so wait for that as it will be a great car. If you’re in a hurry though, the Renault Fluence is one car we love. The City is slightly short on space.

I use a DZire, but plan to upgrade to a seven-seater. Budget is Rs8 lakh to Rs15 lakh. Looking for comfort; it will be self- as well as chauffeur-driven. Monthly running will be 1,000 km. Am confused between the Renault Duster, Maruti Ertiga, Mahindra Xylo and the XUV 500.
– Adnan Y Dhariwala

The Duster is out of question because it’s a five-seater. We’d suggest you go for the tried-and tested Mahindra Xylo.

We are a family of four and are a bit on the healthier side. Hence, I need a car which has a low maintenance, is spacious, offers good mileage and good boot space. I checked out four: the Honda City V variant, Nissan Sunny XV, Hyundai Verna 1.6 SX VTVT and the Renault Scala RXL (all petrol versions with manual transmission). I checked their features (the Sunny has the most). But I am still confused. I would also like to fit a CNG kit. Is any car from the above list coming out with company-fitted CNG? Is maintenance of the Nissan and the Renault good? What modifications can be done in a car so that it can bear more weight without crumbling? How to keep it well above Mumbai’s very high speed-breakers? And is there any facelift coming from the Verna or the Sunny?
– Devansh Shah

If space is what you’re looking for, then the Sunny/Scala are your best bets. Servicing and dealer networks for both are quite nice, so no need to worry there. Short of changing the suspension to harder stuff, there’s not much you can do to improve ground clearance or sagging.

I am planning to buy a sedan in the range of the Fluidic Verna petrol. Kindly advise. Also, I would like to know if after fitting a CNG kit, would there be enough boot space left for a couple of bags? Does the warranty get void once you fit CNG kit?
– Manan Patel

Only the engine warranty is affected if you fit a CNG kit. Other components are still covered. But luggage space would be drastically reduced due to the gas tank.

Which is the best among Ford Figo, Maruti Swift, Chevrolet Beat and VW Polo? Which one offers maximum boot space and mileage?
– Mohamedali Kadu

In mileage, Beat and Figo. In boot space, Swift or Polo. Have a look at the i20 too, which offers the best of both worlds.

I am a retired person with a four-member family. We have been depending on autorickshaws for the last 25-30 years. Now, I wish to buy a second-hand car for less than Rs1 lakh. Monthly usage is 300-400 km. What precautions should I take while buying? Which model will you recommend? My monthly budget for the car will be Rs5,000.
– Raghavanand Haridas

Stick with the tried-and-tested Maruti 800 or Alto. Have a dependable mechanic check the car thoroughly and make sure all papers are in order before buying.

I am looking for a petrol hatchback car for around Rs5.50 lakh. We are a family of four. Also, I’m 6’4 tall. Please suggest a car with low maintenance, higher mileage and looks — exclude the Chevrolet Beat and Ritz. Weekly running is 100 km. I have heard that Ford has fewer service centres and that its spares are expensive. True?
—Ashwin S Wasnik

The WagonR is the best option for you. As for Ford, the Figo has a good amount of localisation, so parts are inexpensive and you can get them easily, too.

I have an Indica diesel which has run about 45,000 km. Would like to know when the fuel injection pump has to be calibrated and the nozzles cleaned.
– Shankar Aiyar

The general rule of thumb is to have it done every 50,000 km to be on the safer side.

I am looking for a car under Rs5 lakh. Usage around 1,000 km per month. Based on your suggestions to other readers, I would like to go in for a CNG variant. What is the basic difference between Maruti’s Wagon R and Estilo? I read on the internet that the Wagon R 2013 will be more fuel-efficient than the present one. When is it going to be launched in India? I can wait for six months. Is it advisable to wait for that model?
– Rajesh Edala

The WagonR  it is, surely. The 2013 car is a while away, so we aren’t sure what it’s like. But there’s nothing wrong with the current one.

We are a family of three. I want to buy a second-hand sedan as my budget is only Rs25 lakh. My monthly running is going to be maximum 600 km. I have shortlisted 13 cars under two categories. There are six good cars available in the Rs15-18 lakh bracket: the Toyota Altis, Honda Civic, Skoda Laura, Volkswagen Jetta, Hyundai Elantra and the Renault Fluence. There are seven cars available in the Rs18-25 lakh category: the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Skoda Superb, Volkswagen Passat, Hyundai Sonata, Maruti Kizashi and the Nissan Teana. My requirements are as follows: India-wide service, low-cost maintenance and repair, easy availability of spares, luxury space and comfort, safety, acceleration power, looks and performance, powerful engine and, of course, value for money. Please suggest which car is the best in each category. It can be powered by either petrol or diesel.
– Rakesh K G Chadha

Pick between the Toyota Altis and Renault Fluence in one category and the Skoda Superb in the other.

I am looking for an entry-level sedan between Rs7 lakh and Rs8 lakh. My prime requirements are good quality ride, fuel efficiency, enough space for five and low maintenance. Which one would you recommend between the Sunny and the Etios?
– Dheeraj Khandelwal

Go for the Sunny.

My budget is around Rs4 lakh for my first car. Please suggest a good car for a new driver. I have shortlisted the Eon, Santro and the A-Star.
– Sayani Sohail

The Eon is one of the better cars to buy in that range. Also, check out the new Alto 800 which we have reviewed here.

I bought a WagonR Duo last year. I want to fit a 1,500-watt woofer and amplifier. Which one would be cheapest and best? And, leaving aside the backside, where else to fit it?
— Pradip Singh Rathod
Apart from the backside, you can have it fitted in the passenger compartment, below the passenger seat, but that won’t be too desirable. As for prices, your local car audio guy will be better equipped to serve you well.

I have a 13-year-old car. I want to purchase a new one now, which will be used by my small family and me. My wife and I both drive. My budget is Rs5-9 lakh. Usage is max 100 km a month. I would like to use this new car for the next 15 years. Please advise.
— Sanjay Arora

In that price range, keeping longevity in mind, something like the Maruti Suzuki Ritz or the Hyundai i10 seem like your best bets, otherwise, the Honda Jazz or the Skoda Fabia will also do, all petrols of course.

What’s your view on the Honda Brio? Is there any strong news about the Brio diesel?
– Yogesh Kushwaha

The Brio is one of the most fun hatches on the market now, but there’s no news of a diesel engine one making it here anytime soon. They are launching an automatic though.

I am looking for a car under Rs4 lakh with great features and good mileage. Please advise.
– Shikhar Garyali

Go for the new Alto 800 reviewed in Drive this week, or the Hyundai Eon.

I’m planning to buy a petrol hatchback I am 6 feet tall. My budget is Rs5.50-5.75 lakh on-road price. My average run is 500 km per month. The engine should be 1.2 litres. It should be nice in handling, excellent in mileage, have low maintenance, be reliable. I intend to keep this car for the next 5-7 years. The car should accompany five adults and one small kid. In my shortlist are the cars made by Maruti, Hyundai, Nissan, Chevrolet, Renault, Ford, Honda and Toyota.
– Amey Utekar

Something like the Skoda Fabia should suit your requirements very well, otherwise, the Maruti Ritz seems to be a great option for you.

I have come across a 2007 BMW 320D on a website priced ridiculously low at Rs1.45 lakh. Third owner, 85,000 km done. Is this a good buy?
—Amey Khedekar

Definitely not, stay away from it as it may be a scam or if it’s not, there might be something seriously wrong with it. Remember, it may cost very little, but will take a bomb to maintain properly.

What are the cheapest BMWs, Audi hatches, sedans and SUVs?
—Akhil Selva

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the car you’re looking for, it’s the cheapest car from a luxury manufacturer that you can actually use everyday, so that, in diesel is the car to buy.

My everyday travelling is about 95 km which includes 90% highway run. I am interested in buying a petrol car. Among the mileage cars, I have shortlisted the Brio, Renault Plus and the i-10. Which one of these will be better for me, in terms of mileage, low maintenance and value for money?
—Richang Goyal

The Renault will be the better car for you because of the running you do on the highway, so get that and enjoy your drives.

I am going to buy a petrol hatchback car for a family of five. I have shortlisted the Toyota Liva, VW Polo and the Honda Brio. Which one is the best, in terms of mileage, comfort, quality, after-sales service and warranty?
– Sunilkumar Gavali

The Liva is a great car in that segment, but the interior does need some work to come up to scratch though, and the Brio is a little cramped on the inside. Check out the Skoda Fabia as it’s roomier than the Polo and a tad cheaper too.

I am looking for a car for a family of six, including two older people. My usage is about 200 km a month, mainly on weekends. I am looking at the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Mahindra Quanto. What do you think?
– Aftab Yargatti

Buy the Ertiga.

I am looking for a slightly bigger car for more than five persons. Usage will be very less, only on weekends. What’s your view of the Ertiga? Are there any good alternatives?
– Shams M

The Ertiga is a great option for usage like yours, the seats are there when you need them but aren’t a hassle to manage when you don’t.

I am looking for an entry-level sedan between Rs7 lakh and Rs8 lakh. My prime requirements are good quality ride, fuel efficiency, enough space for five and low maintenance. Which one would you recommend between the Sunny and the Etios?
– Dheeraj Khandelwal
Go for the Sunny.

My budget is around Rs4 lakh for my first car. Please suggest a good car for a new driver. I have shortlisted the Eon, Santro and the A-Star.
– Sayani Sohail
The Eon is one of the better cars to buy in that range. Also, check out the new Alto 800 which we have reviewed here.

I bought a WagonR Duo last year. I want to fit a 1,500-watt woofer and amplifier. Which one would be cheapest and best? And, leaving aside the backside, where else to fit it?
— Pradip Singh Rathod

Apart from the backside, you can have it fitted in the passenger compartment, below the passenger seat, but that won’t be too desirable. As for prices, your local car audio guy will be better equipped to serve you well.

I have a 13-year-old car. I want to purchase a new one now, which will be used by my small family and me. My wife and I both drive. My budget is Rs5-9 lakh. Usage is max 100 km a month. I would like to use this new car for the next 15 years. Please advise.
— Sanjay Arora
In that price range, keeping longevity in mind, something like the Maruti Suzuki Ritz or the Hyundai i10 seem like your best bets, otherwise, the Honda Jazz or the Skoda Fabia will also do, all petrols of course.

What’s your view on the Honda Brio? Is there any strong news about the Brio diesel?
– Yogesh Kushwaha
The Brio is one of the most fun hatches on the market now, but there’s no news of a diesel engine one making it here anytime soon. They are launching an automatic though.

I am looking for a car under Rs4 lakh with great features and good mileage. Please advise.
– Shikhar Garyali
Go for the new Alto 800 reviewed in Drive this week, or the Hyundai Eon.

I’m planning to buy a petrol hatchback I am 6 feet tall. My budget is Rs5.50-5.75 lakh on-road price. My average run is 500 km per month. The engine should be 1.2 litres. It should be nice in handling, excellent in mileage, have low maintenance, be reliable. I intend to keep this car for the next 5-7 years. The car should accompany five adults and one small kid. In my shortlist are the cars made by Maruti, Hyundai, Nissan, Chevrolet, Renault, Ford, Honda and Toyota.
– Amey Utekar
Something like the Skoda Fabia should suit your requirements very well, otherwise, the Maruti Ritz seems to be a great option for you.

I have come across a 2007 BMW 320D on a website priced ridiculously low at Rs1.45 lakh. Third owner, 85,000 km done. Is this a good buy?
—Amey Khedekar
Definitely not, stay away from it as it may be a scam or if it’s not, there might be something seriously wrong with it. Remember, it may cost very little, but will take a bomb to maintain properly.

What are the cheapest BMWs, Audi hatches, sedans and SUVs?
—Akhil Selva
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the car you’re looking for, it’s the cheapest car from a luxury manufacturer that you can actually use everyday, so that, in diesel is the car to buy.

My everyday travelling is about 95 km which includes 90% highway run. I am interested in buying a petrol car. Among the mileage cars, I have shortlisted the Brio, Renault Plus and the i-10. Which one of these will be better for me, in terms of mileage, low maintenance and value for money?
—Richang Goyal

The Renault will be the better car for you because of the running you do on the highway, so get that and enjoy your drives.

I am going to buy a petrol hatchback car for a family of five. I have shortlisted the Toyota Liva, VW Polo and the Honda Brio. Which one is the best, in terms of mileage, comfort, quality, after-sales service and warranty?
– Sunilkumar Gavali
The Liva is a great car in that segment, but the interior does need some work to come up to scratch though, and the Brio is a little cramped on the inside. Check out the Skoda Fabia as it’s roomier than the Polo and a tad cheaper too.

I am looking for a car for a family of six, including two older people. My usage is about 200 km a month, mainly on weekends. I am looking at the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Mahindra Quanto. What do you think?
– Aftab Yargatti
Buy the Ertiga.

I am looking for a slightly bigger car for more than five persons. Usage will be very less, only on weekends. What’s your view of the Ertiga? Are there any good alternatives?
– Shams M

The Ertiga is a great option for usage like yours, the seats are there when you need them but aren’t a hassle to manage when you don’t.

Bike queries
I want to buy a gearless scooter for my brother. Daily use will be 5-10 km. My budget is Rs55,000. What do you think about the Hero Maestro?
– Saurabh Choraria

The Maestro is based on the Activa and thus is very reliable, it also has good looks and a great dealer network, so you can go ahead and book one.

I am going to turn 16 and planning to buy a scooter. I like the Maestro, Dio and the Rodeo. Which one of these would be the best? Also, the headlight of the Dio is attached to its body and not the handle. Will this pose problems while turning at night as the light would focus in some other direction?
– Rishabh Saxena
Go for the Maestro, it looks refreshingly different. The Dio’s headlamps don’t pose much of a problem at night because the body turns too, and not just the handlebar.

I am confused as to which one to choose among the Discover 125, Dream Yuga and the Shine. I am 6 feet tall, and my requirements are solid performance, high mileage and low maintenance for daily ride of 20 km. My budget is Rs50,000-60,000.
– Umesh Kashte
The Dream Yuga will fit your needs perfectly.

Between the Pulsar 200 and 220, which is better in terms of mileage, engine efficiency, durability, ride quality and cost of parts?– Pranav
Go for the Pulsar 200.

I am 17 and am planning to buy my first bike. I have finalised the Honda Dazzler. My only requirement is low maintenance. Will the Dazzler fit the bill? Also, please suggest any other Honda bike.
– Dhruven Mehta
It will absolutely fulfill that requirement. Otherwise, you can go for the Shine or the Dream Yuga even.

My sister wants to buy a two-wheeler with good performance, mileage and good handling. Daily usage on an average would be around 18 km. Which one should we go in for as there are a lot of them to choose from? I would also like to know about the new Yamaha Ray.
– Arvind
The Ray is a great option for your sister as it’s aimed at women exclusively. It’s a deceptively nice scooter that should find a lot of takers. You might even be tempted to steal it for a while, it’s that good.

I am 16 and want to know if I can get a driving licence for gearless bikes at this age. Between the TVS Wego and the Hero Maestro, which one would be a good buy? Does the Maestro have a long waiting period? Please advise.
– Abhilash Kulkarni
You can get a licence, but only for a gearless scooter below 50cc of engine capacity – which will be the TVS Scooty. Hold off for a while and buy a Maestro later.

I would like to know the pros and cons of having a K&N air-filter fitted on to my four-month-old Hero Honda Hunk. What would be its effect on performance and mileage? I also want to know if there is a specific make of the filter for the Hunk.
– Kailash Nair
It will increase the airflow, which will help with mileage if you ride carefully. But if you are infatuated with the noise it makes and choose to rev the engine to keep hearing it over and over again, you will lose out on mileage.

What is your opinion about the Pulsar 150 and 180 compared with the Apache 160 RTR and the Unicorn? I have heard that Bajaj bikes are less durable. I am going to keep the bike for at least five years. What would you suggest?
– Prasad Darawade
For that long a tenure, get the Unicorn and you’ll enjoy a trouble free ownership experience.

I am planning to buy a two-wheeler for my wife (we both approximately weigh 75 kg each). Our running per week would be around 20-25 km and there is no constraint on the budget. I understand the Honda Activa and the Suzuki Access excel in performance. Please suggest which of these vehicles will suit us? Alternatively, can you suggest any other brand that we can test-drive? Is there any waiting period for these vehicles ?
– Rajesh Israni

Close your eyes, buy the Access.

I am 18 and looking to buy a bike. I want a decent mileage and a comfortable bike. I am confused which one to choose from the Pulsar 135 LS, Honda Stunner and the Honda Twister.
– Jigar Gala
The 135 LS will give you both great performance as well as good mileage, so that’s the one to go for.

I am planning to buy a two-wheeler for my wife. I would use the vehicle occasionally. My choices are the Honda Activa, TVS Wego, Suzuki Access 125 and the Mahindra Rodeo RZ. I prefer the TVS Wego, but I don’t know how good a scooter it is. Please recommend.
– Samir

If you like the Wego go for it. No problems with it at all.

I bought a Pulsar 150  in January 2012. The bike has developed problems in shifting gears. When the bike is on neutral, it makes a crackling sound when I shift to 1st gear and sometimes while shifting, gears get jammed and then I have to decelerate and then shift the gears. Where might the problem be? Which is the best-grade latest engine oil according to you?
–Sushant Koyande

Have the bike serviced and the oil grade checked to see if there’s any improvement in your shift quality, it seems like a gearbox problem to us too, so have it repaired early to avoid being stranded.

I am about to buy a gearless scooter for the first time. My queries are regarding the Suzuki Swish. Do the ABS plastic/ fibre body panels on the Swish have any disadvantages compared with metal panels? Compared with the Honda Activa, how does the Swish fare? At the time of delivery, what are the things that need to checked and noted?
– Shadab Master

The ABS plastics make it lighter and easier to use in the city and a little more fuel efficient too, so that is the advantage, also, you can replace individual panels instead of dent repair and such. The Swish is a great scooter and definitely one worth considering.

I’ve been driving a car for more than ten years now, but my total bike riding experience is only a few hours. I’m now contemplating buying my first bike. I quite like the Ducati Monster and Kawasaki Ninja, in that order. I’m 39, 5’5 tall. Budget is Rs4-7 lakh. Daily commute would be 25 km. I intend to drive only 2-3 times a week to work. Should I directly go in for a 650cc+ bike or practice on a lower powered bike first? Are there any bike training schools in Mumbai/India? Is the Ducati 795 good for Mumbai roads and traffic? How is their after-sales service? Which other models would you recommend in this bracket?
– Fredrick V

If you’ve not ridden a bike before, we suggest on starting off with something a little more tame and then moving on to the big bikes, something like the Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS will do brilliantly as a training ground for you and after that you can move up from there.

Which one is better – the Vespa LX 125 or the Suzuki Access 125?
– Sameer Gadkari

The Access is a lot more value for money while the Vespa is fantastically stylish and a performer. So depending on what you value more, the answer is pretty much decided.

I need your help to choose a bike. I will be travelling around 50-60 km a day, and have shortlisted the Avenger, CBZ-Extreme and the Pulsar-150. I want a vehicle with low maintenance, safety and good mileage. My budget is Rs 78,000-80,000. Which one will suit me? You may suggest any other bike not in my shortlist.
– Mahesh Subramanian

The CBZ Xtreme or the Pulsar both will be great options for you, so depending on what you think looks better, you can go ahead and book that one. Also, the Unicorn or the Hunk are worth looking at as well.

Please give a summary of the Pulsar 200 NS in terms of design, engine, gearbox, ride handling, braking and fuel economy. Is it true that the Pulsar 350 NS will be launched by next year?
– Vishal Rodrigues

The Pulsar 200 is one of the better bikes in the market right now and is worth a test ride to really feel the changes that they’ve made to it. It’s true that there will be a bigger engine Pulsar out, so keep reading to know more as the latest updates come in.

Questions? Send them to dnadrive@dnaindia.net


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