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Renault Duster is the best 5-seater SUV

Friday, 9 November 2012 - 10:04am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna
Renault Duster is the best affordable 5-seater out there. If 7 seats are a must, you can look at the new Tata Safari Storme.

I have a budget of around Rs7.5 lakh and plan to keep the car for 4-5 years. I want the safety features of ABS and driver and pillion airbags. Have shortlisted the Swift DZire and i20. Monthly usage 2,000-2,500 kms. If I go for diesel, my budget will increase to nearly Rs9 lakh. Is it worth it?
—Chinnappa Chambanda

You should go for a diesel Swift DZire.

Thanks for your advice. I bought a Wagon R (CNG). It’s a great car – for Rs500 fuel, I have driven 300 kms in city. The only worry is a slight humming sound. Should I worry and tell them at first service? Also, how much CNG is left when the indicator turns red?
— Aditya Kataria

Is it a speed-sensitive humming or does it occur only under certain circumstances? If so, then tell the service centre to take a look at it. Usually, when the CNG indicator is red, there’s about half a kg in the tank, but the pressure will not be high, so refill immediately.

I want to buy diesel Etios Liva or Figo top-end. Which one’s better? Any other choices?
— Jayesh Suvarna

Close your eyes, go for the new Figo.

I want to buy my first car up to Rs6 lakh. I have shortlisted the Ford Figo, Chevy Beat, Suzuki Swift, all diesel. Preference is safety, space, performance and good resale value. Please advise.
—Pravin Hole-Patil

The Swift diesel is what you should buy. Or the i20, which is as good.

I am a huge fan of your column! I am interested in buying an SUV – 5- or 7-seater. Budget Rs10 lakh. I want good mileage, service and low maintenance; safety and luxury. Prefer a 7-seater but the Quanto last-row seats are uncomfortable.
— Ashutosh Sahoo

If you want a 5-seater, then look no further than the Renault Duster, it’s the best affordable one out there. If 7 seats are a must, you can look at the new Tata Safari Storme

Thanks for your advice to all! Please help me buy a car costing less than Rs6 lakh (on road) with better mileage, low maintenance for a family of four. Usage will be under 500 km/month in busy Bangalore traffic.
—Rajshekhar

Buy the Maruti Suzuki Ritz petrol. Fits your bill.

Please suggest a low-maintenance, fuel-efficient and comfortable car for Rs3-4 lakh.
—Sumit

Check out the Chevrolet Beat and the Hyundai Eon. The Beat comes in various fuel options and is pretty reliable and fuel efficient, too.

Please suggest an automatic car from Maruti A-Star, Hyundai  i10 and the recently launched Honda Brio. Budget is around Rs7 lakh, usage 1,000 km per month with occasional long trips of around 600 km. Mileage, comfort  and  low maintenance prime considerations. I will keep the vehicle for at least  10 years.
—P Sivaramakrishnan
The i10 has always been our first recommendation here. But there’s also the Swift DZire automatic, which is a more comfortable car -- if your budget allows.

Please suggest a car. Monthly usage is 400-500 km in city, occasionally on highways. Budget Rs4-5 lakh.
—Feroze Shaikh

Go for the Maruti WagonR. It will serve your needs well.

I am considering buying the Skoda Yeti (4x2). Could you advise me whether the vehicle would be maintenance-intensive? I have been told its ownership cost may be high. Any other inputs welcome.
—Pradeep Singh

The Yeti is one of our favourite vehicles in that segment and a great car to drive. As long as you keep it in good health via routine maintenance, it won’t give you any trouble. So, go ahead and enjoy the drive!

Looking to buy a sedan with great real-life mileage – unlike in ads. It should be low on maintenance.
—Tejesh Patilhande

The Swift DZire impresses us with its mileage, as do the Nissan Sunny and Hyundai Verna. Based on your budget, pick any of these. They will serve you well.

I want a car for Rs5-8 lakh. Daily commute will be around 50 km. Please suggest one from Honda City, Skoda Rapid, Toyota Etios and Honda Civic.
—Kruthik Pimpre

Get the Skoda Rapid diesel and you’ll have a great time with it. It’ll be efficient on fuel and will offer you great comfort as well.

I am new to car driving. Should I go for a used or new car? My monthly usage is 1600 km. Which car would you recommend?
—Divesh Rathod

Get a new small car and enjoy driving on that, it’s not worth the hassle to get a used car and worry about reselling it later. Get something like the Hyundai i10 for a comfy experience.

My budget is Rs13 lakh. I want a car with good looks, interior, boot space and mileage. I don’t like the Swift DZire. I have the Nissan Sunny in my mind, but are there any better options?
—Mehul Birari

Your budget gives you many options — the Hyundai Verna diesel automatic being the best of the lot. The Sunny is a great car too, but the Honda Civic will bust your budget. Also, there’s a huge discount on the Suzuki Kizashi, which makes it a steal. Check that one out, too.

I have a Tata Indica and am happy with its huge space. During the rainy season, I found water down in front of the driver’s seat.  I showed it to a mechanic who said some new cars have this problem. How do I solve this?
—Prashant Mulay

Check the hood area of your car. There’s usually a rubber strip on the roof, above the door. It might have been knocked off or perforated. There’s a drain hole under the strip, hence the leakage. Find the hole and cap it and you’ll be leak-free.

I am about to buy a 2003 Honda CR-V 2.4 litre AT for Rs4 lakh. It has done 50,000 km. Good choice? As this car has been discontinued, will I face spare-part problems?
—Aditya Khedekar

Parts aren’t a problem for the car as the Honda Accord comes with the same powertrain. Just make sure the car is in good condition. But be warned, it will heavily guzzle petrol.

I wait for Fridays to read your column! I want to buy the best diesel hatchback in the next 2-3 months. Monthly usage will be 1,000 km, budget around Rs7 lakh. Seeking good performance, mileage, comfort for rear passengers and low maintenance. I like the Skoda Fabia and Polo. Will keep the car for at least 5 years.
—Nilesh Torave

Of the two, we’d recommend the Fabia. Both are essentially the same car, but the Fabia has better packaging, with more interior space. So, you’ll like that one better.

I want to buy my first  car. I will drive it for 30 km daily. On Sundays, 2 adults will travel, and once in 3-4 months, a trip to Pune with 3 adults. Budget max Rs5 lakh. I am confused about fuel choices. I am 5’10. Please advise.
—Rajesh Ahuja

We’d suggest the Honda Brio or the Hyundai i10. Enjoy the ride!

Please may I know when the Hyundai Santa Fe Fluidic coming in India? Will it be a 7-seater and is it worth waiting for?
—Tejas Mahajan

It’s expected only next year in the latter half, most probably. But it’s a beauty, we can tell you that.

First of all, a great column! Kudos on that. I have two queries — one for a car and the other for a bike. I have zeroed in on the new Swift VXi and the i20 Magna. My requirements are very few trips to the service station in the long run, good mileage (even if there is going to be very little usage), ample leg room, spacious enough for 5 people to comfortably travel and overall good value for money. Also, how is the new Ford Figo? Should I be waiting for something newer?
Second, I am a huge Enfield fan and used to own a 1984 Standard Bullet 350cc with the gears on the right side. The newer models now somehow lack the feel of the old bullets and I often wish RE would manufacture something similar to the olden bikes. I was never fond of the Thunderbird till I saw the new 500cc cruiser. The looks are stunning and it is a total revamp. Since I am anyway compromising on many aspects of the old Bullet, I was wondering if it would be advisable to go for the Thunderbird?  Are the 350cc Thunderbirds manufactured with the exact looks (the colours, the seats, the silencer, the tail and headlight and the speedometer front dials) of the 500cc Thunderbird? If no, does RE plan on making them? Is it advisable to buy the 350 Classic and order the silencer of the 500cc Thunderbird? How is the new engine? Does it have spillage and leakage issues like the old ones? My requirements here is a 350cc engine, a good thump and a good mileage (for a RE). Please advice.

—Mathew Cherian
For the car, go for the Swift or i20. They fit all your needs.  As for the bike, the 350 Thunderbird comes with all the features of the 500, so if you’re a fan – like we are -- rush to book!
 




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