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Go for a saloon for long road trips

autos Updated: Jul 22, 2011 23:36 IST

We are planning to sell our petrol Linea and buy a diesel saloon. We have narrowed down our choice to the Renault Fluence or the Chevrolet Cruze. We drive about 1,000-1,200km a month but are set on diesel because we want do long-distance trips with a family of four - a dog and luggage - at least two to three times a year. We are mostly chauffeur-driven. What car do you recommend? - Adityaraj Dutt

The Cruze has a more powerful diesel than the Fluence but since you're mainly driven by a chauffeur, that doesn't matter. Except for a sluggish diesel engine, the Fluence suits your needs better and is spacious, which is great for long distances. Its rear seat is more spacious than the Cruze's. The Fluence has an edge.

I currently drive a Ford Fiesta and plan to buy a new saloon in the Rs 10-12 lakh range. It'll be used mainly for city driving and will run around 50 km daily. I want a car that's fun to drive with a comfortable rear seat. Which one between the Jetta, Cruze, Laura, and Fluence would you recommend? - Palash Nandy

The cars you've listed are out of your budget. But, the 1.8 TSI Laura is the closest. Also, it's a great driver's car due to its 160bhp petrol motor and the back seat is pretty good. You can also try the VW Vento.

I want a bike and my budget is Rs 77,000. I can't decide between the Honda Unicorn Dazzler and the Apache RTR 180. I have to commute a distance of 100km twice a week. - Natarajan

The Honda Dazzler offers a comfortable riding position that is better suited for your commuting needs than TVS RTR 180.

Which scooter is currently the best buy? Price isn't important but the waiting period is. It should be refined and powerful. - Vaibhav

The refined Suzuki Access will suit you well, as it is relatively powerful and soberly styled.

Isn't it true that a heavier bike has better road grip than a lighter one? The Pulsar sticks to the road better than the FZ, owing to its heavy front-biased weight. Similarly, superbikes give tremendous dry road traction over lighter commuter bikes. - Pranjal

Yes, superbikes offer better traction than lighter motorcycles do. However, in many cases they need to put down well in excess of a 100bhp through the rear tyre contact patch. This is necessary to stop the bike from high speeds that invariably come hand in hand with that kind of power.

Autocar India