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Best for the highway

I want to buy a diesel-engined car in the Rs 6-8 lakh range. My monthly driving will be around 1,500 km, mostly on the highway.

entertainment Updated: Jun 16, 2010 15:17 IST

I want to buy a diesel-engined car in the Rs 6-8 lakh range. My monthly driving will be around 1,500 km, mostly on the highway. Can you suggest a saloon, keeping in mind fuel economy, power, safety, cost of maintenance and resale?
Raghuram
The Hyundai Verna is one of the best diesel cars for highway driving within your budget. It has a strong 110 bhp engine, is reliable and is backed by good service. However, it’s worth waiting for the Volkswagen Vento which is expected in September this year. The Vento is essentially the Polo but with a boot, and is expected to come with a powerful 105 bhp diesel engine, which should give it superb performance. Also, the solid build of the Vento and all its safety features should make it a good highway car.

Will Maruti be introducing a diesel engine in the SX4? Also, the company brochure mentions that the new model comes with a VVT engine, but doesn’t VVT relate to diesel?
Pulkit Agrawal
There is a diesel model of the SX4 planned but it won’t come for another two years. Maruti is planning to introduce the next-generation SX4 sometime in 2012 and this all-new model is expected with a diesel engine. VVT or Variable Valve Timing, which improves performance and efficiency, is available on the 1.6 petrol and is not unique to a diesel engine.

Between the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI and the BMW 5-series, which one would you
recommend?
Madhusudan Shetty
Both these cars are completely different and cannot be directly compared. One is a seven-seat diesel SUV and the other a five-seat petrol luxury saloon. If you need lots of space, travel long distances and drive over bad roads, then the Q7 is the obvious choice. The 535i is the car to go for if you want refinement, comfort and a sporty drive as well.

I am about to buy a VW Polo. It will be my first car and my annual mileage will be around 12,000 km (400 km in the city and 700 km on the highway every month). Considering the Polo is available in both petrol and diesel versions, which one should I opt for? I will keep the car for 10 years.
Abhinandan Jadhav
Since you are going to be driving a lot on the highway every month, we suggest you opt for the diesel Polo. Not only is it more economical than the petrol, the 1.2 TDI’s good mid-range performance will also make it a happy highway cruiser. The Polo is a solid car and if you’re planning to keep it for 10 years, it’s quite capable for the job.

My family has decided to buy an SUV priced within Rs 7-10 lakh and has shortlisted the Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo and Bolero. Our priorities are good handling, performance, fuel efficiency as well as features. Please advise.
Karthikeyan
The Bolero is the cheapest of the lot and has good fuel efficiency too, but it’s quite basic and cramped to pass off as a comfortable family vehicle. Between the Innova and the Xylo, the Innova is certainly the better of the two but it’s on the expensive side. The Xylo is more spacious and has more equipment but it’s not as well engineered as the Toyota. Our advice is to go for the Innova.
Autocar India.