What Car? Round 5: Which is Better i20 or Polo?

We are back with our fifth edition of What Car? If you are unaware, in this section we answer direct questions of generic buyers like you. 

In this edition of What Car?, we talk about:

  1. Better car between Polo and i20
  2. Better car between Fabia and Dzire.
  3. Nissan Sunny’s smoke issue.
  4. Swift tyre upgrade.
  5. Best Car for a beginner
  6. Force Gurkha 4×4

Now, I am sure, you will also have one of these questions. If yes, read on…

You can also ask one anytime. All you need to do is submit your question through our What Car? page.


Question 1:  Polo Highline or Hyundai i20 Sportz? Which one should I go for?

I decided to buy a hatchback and want to know which is a better car – Polo 1.2 petrol Highline or Hyundai i20 Sportz 2012 (P). Please help me….and about the colour as well:

Polo – white, black,silver
i20- white or grey

– Deepu


Between these two, it’s a tough call really. The Hyundai scores in better overall engine performance than Polo. Both the cars are just average in terms of performance, just that the Polo, owing to its 3-pot 1.2L mill is the slower one here.

Both the cars roughly come around at similar prices. The new i20 is better in terms of interior space especially at the rear. It is better in terms of headroom as well. The interiors of i20 are more stylish and interesting whereas Polo has better quality and give a feeling of ‘built to last‘.

New i20 is a more suiting car for Deepu

In terms of looks the i20 looks young and stylish whereas the Polo is more gracious and smart looking. i20 is also more feature rich than Polo. Polo scores in terms of handling and ride quality and is a more stable car at high-speed turns as well as 3-digit speeds. It is a better and more solid built car as well. Polo’s high placed dashboard is a hindrance to shorter guys. Consider these, drive both of them thoroughly and gauge your own priorities.

We would go for the Hyundai considering that it looks more stylish, is fantastically feature-packed and has more juice than Polo.
About colors, it really has to be a personal choice. But if you want our opinion, then both the cars looks supremely cool in their blood reds (Gallery Here)! Among the choices you have mentioned; Polo – Black, i20 – Grey.

Did you know: Volkswagen has 4-5 different variants of Polo planned for India



Question 2: Nissan Sunny Exhaust Problem?

Hi Guys, I am from Cochin and planning to upgrade my car and my priorities are Swift Dzire and Nissan Sunny. But I have a question when it comes to Nissan Sunny, I have seen in almost 80% Sunny’s, exhaust area seems to be very smokey. Is this happening due to any problem in Engine? Please advice.Thanks



Hi Paul,
We have not heard of any such problem with Sunny. Diesel cars generally emit black smoke when revved hard which causes the black spots at the bumper which you might be referring to.

Overall, Nissan diesel is a fabulous car and one of segment’s best in terms of space and overall package. Recently Nissan has also launched a Special Edition of their Sunny.


Question 3: Best car option for Beginner

I want to know the best car option available for a beginner like me who has learned a bit of driving only in past 2 weeks. Family size: 5 members. budget < 6 lacs. Travel mostly in city 30 kms per day.

– Maddy


Hi Maddy,

At an average running of under 1000 kms per month and considering that they are easier to drive, petrol cars are what you should be looking at.

At around a budget of Rs 6 Lakhs, you have got a plethora of options as well. Your budget permits you to look out for cars in the B segment. The two cars that come to our mind instantaneously are, Honda Brio and Hyundai i10 1.2. Both the cars are fabulous city drivers and are pretty easy to wade through specially inside cities. Brio is the one car which is one of our favorite small cars. It is slightly more fuel efficient and wee bit more spacious than i10.

Brio is the ideal buy for a beginner like Maddy

If you travel 5 very frequently and are looking out for a more spacious car, then you can consider the Toyota Etios as well, though our bet would still be the Brio!

You can read a quick ownership review of Brio here.


Question 4: Tyre Upgrade for Swift VDI?

Hi Guys, I own a swift 2010 model Vdi and now it has clocked almost 38000kms and am very happy with this car but the tyres are in their last stages. Can you recommend me should I go for the 165/185 as many of my friends told me that once it reaches 40k the breaking will not be up to the mark. Please Advice Thanks

– Paul


Hi Paul,
It’s a sad fact that almost all Maruti’s are terribly under-tyred!

Its recommended to upsize your Swift’s tyres to 185/70 14 inchers. This is an ideal size which doesn’t require even a rim change. If you are going for alloys, that’s even better.

185/70 14 inchers are the best fit for Swift

You have quite a few options in the market for tyres in this size – Michelin, Bridgestone and Yokohama are all good (in the order they are listed). And if you are running on a budget, Apollo Accelere are also decent ones.

Question 5: Most suiting SUV for me in 10 Lakhs

Hi, I want to buy a 4×4 suv in budget of 10 lacs. I need this for soft-offroading and long trips on mountains. I had Scorpio but last year we got stuck in snow near Rohtang Pass, that’s why I sold it off . I am a hardcore offroader with northern india offroad club. I also have a Thar DI 4×4 and a Gypsy 4×4 for offroading and a vw Polo for city use.

I need this vehicle for long trips includin Leh Laddakh, Spiti Valley and all. Please help me out I have an option of buying scorpio 4×4, but as I mentioned above i’ve driven it before. And please do tell me when Force is launching Gurkha. I am following all your posts related to Gurkha. As u told it will be launched in January but there is no news till now.

– Deepak Yadav


Hi Deepak,

Apologies for a delayed reply. Force has already launched the Gurkha in 3 variants. You can read all the details here. As Force has said, Gurkha will be available somewhere around April but only in BS3 markets. The thoroughbred off-roader is probably India’s best (affordable) machine into this game and the new one comes with even more off-roading friendly features.

However, considering the past of this machine, this would not be a very good (read comfortable) machine for longer drives. Still take a thorough drive of it and make an informed decision.

Safari Storme makes sense for Deepak

Considering that you already have the Thar, Gypsy 4×4 and have owned the Scorpio, how about giving a tiny bit of a chance to the Storme (but it will exceed 15 Lakhs OTR)? You can remove the civilian tyres and get it fitted with All-Terrain tyres or probably even the core off-roading tyres (which will cost you a bit of comfort).


Question 6: Which Car to buy between Swift Dzire and Skoda Fabia

I am resident of Srinagar- kashmir. I have a confusion which car to buy between Swift Dzire & Skoda Fabia (Diesel only). Personally I like Skoda Fabia but here in Srinagar Fabia doesn’t have a showroom or after sales service. Skoda Showroom is in Jammu which is about 300kms away from Srinagar. So purchase after service I have to go about 300kms everytime. But for Dzire here are many show rooms for servicing . So i am confused should I go for Skoda which I like. Please guide me.

– Tariq Rashid


Hi Tariq,

Dzire scores over Fabia on most of the practically comparable parameters apart from build and ride quality. Specially considering your case, it has to be the Dzire.

Dzire makes a better buy for Tariq

Dzire has got a better, more powerful and responsive engine and a bigger boot space as well. There are a lot of horrifying stories of Skoda’s after sales service as well. Plus, add this cost and time of traveling to and fro for almost 600 kms for every service interval apart from any other reason which might force you to visit them. Read a detailed review of Dzire which talks about the car in detail and make up your mind for it, if you have to chose one among these.

Hope we have answered your questions to your satisfaction. Please leave us a comment in the respective section below. You can always revert back to us for anything else/more. All the readers can shoot us a question with any query they are stuck at through our What Car? form.



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