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Matter of space

Honda engines do have a very good reputation for their refinement and fuel efficiency.

autos Updated: Apr 21, 2010 16:28 IST

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Q: I drive a Maruti 800 but am planning to upgrade to a higher model within a Rs 7-8 lakh budget. While I tend to stick to Maruti Suzuki due to easy availability of spares and maintenance, Honda’s refined engines, mileage and features attract me. Please recommend a car that has enough space for a family, decent resale value, and is easy to maintain too. It would be used mostly in the city with an occasional long drive.
J K Basumatary
Honda engines do have a very good reputation for their refinement and fuel efficiency. However, for your budget, the City is out of reach and even the Jazz hatchback is a bit too steep. So, if you don’t mind paying a premium, the Jazz is a terrific car to own and drive.

Alternately, since you have been happy with Maruti, we suggest you go in for the Swift Dzire which has recently been upgraded with a new engine — the 1.2 K-series.In fact, the K-series motor is known for its astonishing refinement and is very fuel efficient too. As you rightly said, the easy maintenance and service that Maruti cars offer is an added bonus.

Q: I have recently bought a used 2005 model Maruti Baleno VXi, which has clocked around 28,000 km. The car is in fairly good condition and a pleasure to drive. Considering it is a 1600 cc car, what kind of fuel efficiency can I expect from it in city/ highway driving?
Ashutosh Bhatt
The Baleno is quite a fuel-efficient car for its size and weight, but fuel efficiency depends on a number of factors like road and traffic conditions and your driving style. However, we estimate that if the average speed of your run in the city is around 20 kph, then you can expect around 8-9 kpl.

If traffic is light and your average speed is around 25 kph, then a figure of 10-11 kpl is also possible. On the highway, again depending on your cruising speed and amount of overtaking, the fuel efficiency can range between 13-16 kpl. For all these scenarios, we assume the air-conditioner to be on always.

Q I’m looking for a car in the range of Rs 10-12 lakh (on-road). My annual mileage will be 15,000-20,000 km, which will include a couple of long-distance trips. I need a car which has good mileage, reliable and affordable service, good resale value and features like automatic climatic control and alloys.
Jiten Bellani
There are quite a few good cars that you can choose from in your budget, but since your annual mileage is not very high and you will hardly be going on long-distance trips, a car that performs well in an urban environment would be best for you.The Honda City is your best bet as it is easy to drive, quite fuel efficient, very reliable and has good resale value too. If you don’t mind compromising on fuel efficiency, you could even consider the City automatic which makes city driving effortless. Alloy wheels are available only on the City’s V variant.

Mclaren sports car in India
The McLaren MP4-12C sports car is set to hit the Indian roads very soon. The car will have a 3.8L M838T twin-turbo V8 engine that delivers 600 hp. Its acceleration capacity is 0-97 kph in less than 3.5 seconds, while its top speed is 200 kph.The high-octane MP2-12C is expected to come to showrooms soon and could be priced between Rs 87 lakh to Rs 1.22 crore.

Bajaj’s four-wheel plans
Bajaj Auto recently announced their plans to enter the commercial and domestic four wheeler market by 2012. Bajaj is expected to use the Renault platform to bring in a four wheeled light commercial vehicles (LCV). Currently, Bajaj has an agreement with Renault Nissan in the Ultra Low Cost Car Project. Bajaj Auto will design the product while sales will be taken care of by Renault and

Fuelling worries for BS IV
Ever since the BS IV norms have come into effect, there has been much talk about the technical changes in fuel formation and engine for vehicles.BS IV norms have been implemented in 13 cities across India from April 1, 2010 and are applicable on commercial and passenger vehicles.

Moreover, fuel quality is also causing concern. In India, where where fuel adulteration is rampant, would it mean bad news for the new engines? “BS-IV engines and system need less sulphur fuel for operation. If adulterated fuel is used, the performance of the emission system deteriorates,” said a Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles spokesperson.

First Published: Apr 21, 2010 15:54 IST