Helpdesk: Compact sedan for first car
Q: I'm planning to buy my first car within a budget of Rs 10 lakh and I have shortlisted the new Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Ford Aspire for a monthly running of 200-300km. My criteria for making a buying decision are build quality, engine performance, ride and handling, mileage, safety and aftersales support.
A: Out of the two cars you have shortlisted, the Ford Aspire certainly feels more solidly built and comes with better safety features on the range-topping variant. It also won our comparison tests for its engine performance, ride and handling. Mileage is comparable to the Dzire, but Maruti Suzuki excels at aftersales support. So, as long as you have access to a reliable Ford dealership and service centre, we would recommend the Aspire over the Dzire for the criteria you have shortlisted.
Q: We are looking to buy a sub Rs 10 lakh compact car for daily use on the narrow roads in Kerala. It will be driven by either of my parents, and we prefer to have a car with an automatic transmission. We have shortlisted the premium hatchbacks, but at the price they are asking, would the compact sedans make more sense?
Jobin Jacob Varghese
A: We would recommend the new Maruti Suzuki Dzire for all the aspects you have mentioned. The car is rather well-priced and specced and offers the AMT on a wide range of trims. Safety features like ABS and airbags are standard, and the space, fit and finish of the cabin have improved by a big leap. Compared to the more complex automatic transmissions, AMTs are easier on the pocket with respect to maintenance and fuel economy and should therefore be a perfect fit for you.
Q: I want to upgrade to a 125-135cc motorcycle and have a budget of around Rs 70,000. I am confused between the Pulsar LS 135 and the CB Shine SP. I expect the bike to be low on maintenance, comfortable to ride, and return a fuel economy of 50-55kmpl, Could you guide me in making a decision based on these criteria?
A: We would suggest you get the Honda CB Shine or the 5-speed version, the Shine SP. The Bajaj Pulsar LS 135 will feel sportier by a small margin but that isn't in your list of priorities. The Shine will also hold on to its resale value for longer, so when you're ready to upgrade, the Honda will prove to be a better investment.
Q: I'm looking to buy a pre-owned hatchback, under Rs 3 lakh, that will be good on fuel economy, space and resale value. My current choices include the Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and Maruti Suzuki Ritz, but I would like your suggestions too.
A: The Maruti Suzuki Ritz makes most sense for the criteria you are looking at. They are going for great prices at the moment, come with Maruti Suzuki's extensive aftersales support, the spares and service are economical, and the 1.2l petrol engine has decent go and fuel economy. We would recommend you look for the ZXi variant though, which gets you airbags and ABS. Being a Maruti Suzuki, it is also likely to fetch you a decent resale value for a second-owner car.
Q: Is Honda WR-V (petrol) worth buying? Can you suggest any other options? I am looking for a petrol car within a budget of `10 lakh. Priorities are build quality, safety and ride quality.
A: As we mentioned in our review, we weren't very impressed with the performance of the WR-V's petrol variant compared to its diesel counterpart. The lack of enough mid-range gusto goes against the touring intent of the crossover. You could look at the diesel variant instead. A petrol-powered Brezza is on the cards too, but the timeline for its possible launch is currently unknown.
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