Please help me choose a correct SUV from among the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI, Porsche Cayenne Diesel, BMW X6 3.0d and the Mercedes Benz ML class 350 CDI. — Prathamesh Pendharkar
It depends on what you want in an SUV, really. The Cayenne offers the most car-like dynamics with the X6 following closely. We’d go with the ML though, for a good mix of practicality and performance. It’s also brand new, so you’ll have that advantage as well.
We want to buy a 7- or 8-seater MUV. We have selected XUV 500 ahead of the Innova and the Xylo. Most of our drives will be in city and occasionally in the village area of Sangli, Maharashtra. But I heard that technical problems abound in XUV 500, including brakes and navigation. Should I go for it or buy one of the other options? Or, wait till the company sorts out the XUV? — Swapnil Ghongade
Mahindras are expected to iron out the glitches, so if you can wait a while… Otherwise, check out the Innova as it’s going to be all the car you’ll need for your kind of usage.
What is the difference between company-fitted CNG and the one by a CNG specialist? I like Hyundai i20 sports version, but its mileage and the cost of petrol turn me off. My weekly run would be 300 km as of now. I plan to buy i20 (petrol) and go for CNG after a year. Do you think that is a good idea? — Vignesh Murthy
If it’s a company-fitted CNG, you mostly retain other warranties, but if done privately, you risk losing those. As for your plan, you are on the right track.
What are the benefits of automatic transmission? Do such vehicles consume more fuel? If so, how much? — K Venkatesh
Automatic cars are a huge boon in choc-a-bloc city traffic, they are simple to handle and you’ll get the hang of it within minutes. But yes, they’ll give you 2-3 kmpl less than the manual counterparts.
I own a Fiat Uno 45. Is it advisable to replace the original Fiat air-filter with K&N make? Will it improve performance? I am also planning to buy new hatchback for Rs4-6 lakh. Looking for fun to drive, good pick-up in first gear and mileage, safety and lower maintenance costs. I like both the Beat (because of its looks) and the Ford Figo (spacious cabin and boot-space). And how about the Hyundai Eon? Please advise – Arpan Mitra, Mumbai
A K&N filter will definitely increase your intake noise, but apart from a very slight improvement in performance, there won’t be any changes. As for a new hatchback, if you have the budget for a Figo, go for it. It’s a great car. The Eon is a decent little thing, but not in the same league as the Figo.
We are a family of five adults. I have been driving a Maruti 800 DX for the last 10 years. Now, I want an MUV / SUV that has excellent mileage and is low on price and maintenance. My usage is 150 km per month with a bimonthly trip to Pune / Nashik. Should it be a 5- or 7-seater? – Tuhin Misra
The Mahindra Quanto is what you should buy.
I want to buy a diesel car for Rs5 lakh. Please recommend a low-maintenance, fuel-efficient car that’s also fit for rural areas. – Sumit
If you’re really going to use it in rural areas for a significant amount of time, then the Mahindra Bolero is what you should buy.
We are a family of four who have been using the Alto standard since 2005. Since then, we have driven it around for 33,000 km. We are planning to buy a new car. I have shortlisted the Wagon R VXi and the i10. Which one would be better in terms of engine cc and other parameters? — Sunil Nimbalkar
Go for the WagonR.
I am planning to buy a new petrol hatchback in Mumbai. Usage will be 300 km/month, 90% in the city. What should I go in for — Fiat Punto 3012 1.2 dynamic, Maruti Suzuki Ritz VXI, or the Chevrolet Sail U-VA comparable model? — Sukumar Patel
For your kind of usage, the Ritz it is.
I have purchased a pre-owned 2007 Tata Indica Xeta v2 GLG and fitted a CNG kit. Kindly advise how to take care of it. — Shashikant More
We recommend regular oil and fluid changes and apart from that, get a thorough once-over done, about once a year. Please start and shut your car in petrol mode only.
I want to buy a new car. Daily use will be 80-90 km, budget is `5-7 lakh and I shall keep the car for at least five years. I have shortlisted Swift, Micra and Indica Vista, all diesel. Or should I go for CNG?
–Irfan Syed Mohammed
If you’re keeping the car for that long, and your usage is that high, stick with a diesel car. The Nissan Micra seems to best fit your needs.
Good Job DNA! I want a car with better mileage, low maintenance, low-cost service and good looks, all for Rs5-6 lakh. Also, it should have good leg room and boot space. I want to keep the car for at least 3-5 years. –Mahesh Gaggar
Check out the Indica Vista, or maybe, the Maruti Suzuki Swift. They’re both great on leg room and will offer good ride quality as well. The mileage is great on those, too.
I want to buy a car for around Rs2-3 lakh. Alto 800 or Eon, which is better economically? —Praful Chaudhari
The Alto 800 is a good car, but we feel the Eon is a better package, so go for that instead.
I want to buy a small car for around Rs6 lakh. Driving will be around 30 km a week. I am looking for a car that is low on maintenance and offers good after-sales service for city driving. — Rishabh Jain
You should buy the Hyundai i20 or the Maruti Suzuki Swift. Both will serve you very well.
I am planning to purchase a Hyundai Verna. My daily travel is just 5 km. I am thinking of the automatic petrol model. Will it suit my requirement? I am not worried either about the price or the mileage.
— Ayush Agrawal
Perfect. Buy and enjoy.
I am a regular reader of your column and really appreciate your effort. I am looking for a bike that gives me good performance and mileage. I don’t bother how it looks as long as the ride’s comfortable. — Vikas PN
Your needs point straight to the Yamaha and Honda stables. Both the Dream Yuga and the Yamaha SZ have great ride quality and are strong performers. Take your pick.
I love your column! I am planning to buy my first bike for around Rs50,000. My daily commute will be 20-25 km and around 50-70 km on weekends. I am looking for low maintenance, better mileage and good after-sales services. — Vaibhav Patil
Check out the Hero Splendor or Passion. Else, go for the Honda Dream Yuga.
I am a die-hard Royal Enfield fan, planning to buy a Bullet. Which is the best, no matter the cost or mileage? — Mayur R Puntambekar
Buy the best there is — the new Thunderbird 500 or the Classic 500.
I am 49 and have been driving 100cc bikes for the last 25 years, which has started giving me a mild back pain. I am 6 ft tall and weigh 70 kg and am looking to upgrade to a 150cc commuter bike. I am not much interested in speed, but the bike should have a decent look. Daily city commute would be 30 km and I intend to use it for at least 7-9 years. — Chandrasekhar Rao
Check out the Yamaha Fazer. It’s got a very comfortable riding position and you will enjoy it — it will help stave off the back pain for a while.
You said in reply to one of the queries that one can get a licence at the age of 16 and also suggested TVS Wego or Hero Maestro, but when I enquired with a local training school, they said nothing is available unless your are 18. — Nikhil Paradkar
Ask for the Motor Cycle Without Gear, or MCWOG, certification from your driving school or local RTO. They should be able to help you out with that.
I am 16, going on 17. I own a TVS Wego. I have heard we can get a licence for gearless scooters at this age. Is it true? If yes, what are the requirements? — Arijit Bhattacharjee
You can indeed get an MCWOG certification for a gearless scooter at the age of 16, but you’ll only be able to ride low-capacity scooters like the TVS Scooty.
I have shortlisted the Activa, Access and Swish. Which would you recommend in terms of style, comfort,
toughness, maintenance cost and service?
— Anamika Chandgadkar Israni
The Swish and Access do share the same powertrain, so there’s not much difference there except for the looks. As for the Activa, well, it is a proven brand. But if you’re not willing to wait for it, then the Access is a great buy.
Questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org