Helpdesk: Which sub-4m sedan to buy?
Q: I am looking at upgrading from the Omni to a more comfortable car (compact or regular-sized sedan). I have shortlisted the Amaze AT and Xcent AT since I live in Bangalore and will be driving mostly in town. The Honda offers a 5-speed automatic while the Hyundai only offers a 4-speed unit and still returns better efficiency. Which is the better car?
OD: You are in for a big upgrade since the cars shortlisted are significantly more comfortable than the Omni. It does make sense to go for an automatic transmission car if you are driving in a congested city. The Amaze and Xcent are both very capable automatic compact sedans, and both the cars feature a torque convertor. Honda offers a 5-speed unit that is optimised to offer good performance and efficiency. The petrol i-VTEC motor is refined and quick to hit the ton but loses out to the Xcent in terms of efficiency, driveability and top speed performance. The Hyundai even offers more features, a better interior and most importantly, costs less.
Q: I drive about 500-700km a month and currently drive a Fiat Palio petrol that's 12 years old. I'm buying a new car and decided to test drive the Ford Aspire. The 1.2 petrol variant felt dull and wasn't what I expected. The diesel in comparison was better, but I was suggested to consider the Fiesta. The car looks better and is about Rs 2 lakh more expensive than the Aspire. Which car should I go for?
OD: We agree that the diesel Figo Aspire has a lot more character and is more fun to drive when compared to the petrol 1.2. In fact, the diesel is the quickest car in the segment and offers impressive fuel efficiency and driveability. The Fiesta also offers the same engine, but the Aspire gets a revised unit with additional power and better fuel efficiency. The Fiesta may get this motor too, and we suggest you wait till then. For the additional money, you will get a car that offers better styling, more space and impressive dynamics.
Q: My next purchase is a diesel compact sedan. There are quite a few available today, and I am not sure which one is the best buy. Of all the options, I've shortlisted the Ford Figo Aspire and the Tata Zest. The Tata is a lot more affordable and offers a good set of features too. However, I've heard that Tata aftersales service is disappointing, and long-term reliability is a concern. Ford's service network isn't as widespread. My usage will be both in the city and on the highway. Which car should I consider? Is there a better choice?
OD: Of the current crop of compact sedans available in India, the Ford Figo Aspire is our choice. The car excels in terms of styling, features, and performance and is the better car overall. The Tata Zest comes close in terms of features but loses out on many counts. Yes, the Zest is more affordable, but the Ford offers better value. In terms of service network, Ford is steadily increasing its footprint in India. If you are from a bigger city or a district, there is no need to worry. Both the petrol and diesel Figo Aspire are good purchases. Our personal favourite is the diesel variant.
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