AT factor

Last Updated: Fri, May 20, 2011 19:31 hrs

Between the new Maruti Suzuki Kizashi AT and the Honda Accord AT, which would you recommend for purchase? The car will largely be driven by my father for about 30 km in Delhi's city traffic, in addition to two long trips a year. Any other alternative is welcome too!

Vikas Jain, Delhi

Out of the two, the Kizashi will be a better bet. Its compact dimensions will make life easier in Delhi’s city traffic, a factor we are sure your father will appreciate. Also, the Kizashi is the newer of the two cars and, hence, a little more exclusive. Fit and finish and spec levels are top notch in both cars and we suggest your father test drive both to decide which one he prefers.

Enough Spark

My budget is Rs 3-3.5 lakh and I’m planning to buy the Chevrolet Spark. Apart from the Alto, only the Spark fits my budget. We already have an Alto at home, so I don’t want to buy another one. I’m looking at a fuel efficiency figure of at least 13-14 kpl. I've been told the Spark’s maintenance cost is very high, spares are expensive and the car will show its age after three years but Chevrolet is offering a three-year warranty on the Spark. Is it worth buying from the long-term perspective?

Mansi Taneja, Delhi

The Spark is a proven car. It is peppy, frugal and not too expensive to run. In Delhi, you can expect 12 to 14 kpl with the AC running pretty much all the time, which can increase to 17-18 kpl out on the highway. GM India has worked towards making the Spark cheap to buy and run. With the three-year warranty, most of your parts are covered and it should, in the long-run, be inexpensive to maintain. The Spark has been around for nearly four years now and we haven’t heard anything suggesting that maintenance costs are expensive and/or that the car has reliability issues. You can go ahead and be assured that it is a good buy.

C class

I have been driving the Swift Dzire VDI for almost three years now. I am planning to buy a new car and my budget is Rs 8 lakh. Comfort, especially in the rear seat, is a priority and so is easy ingress. After having test driven various C-segment cars, I have observed that while the SX4 VDI has slightly better space than the Dzire, it doesn’t seem to justify its price. I quite like the Tata Manza Elan Diesel, but its ground clearance is only 165 mm, which is lower than most other cars in the segment. Will it graze speed breakers? I also tried the Verito 1.4 and while it is spacious and fairly comfortable, some minor details like the door handles being too small kept me away. Kindly advise me on the perfect car for my requirements.

T.R.Rajendran, Coimbatore

The Manza Elan matches most of your needs, especially the rear-seat comfort bit. It is good value for money with very spacious interiors. Its ground clearance is low compared to most others in the segment but that won't pose a major problem over speed-breakers. The new SX4 VDI is an option, but it is true that it doesn’t feel special enough to justify its price.

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