Maruti SX4 Zdi vs Volkswagen Vento Tdi vs Fiat Linea MultiJet

With Maruti Suzuki launching the SX4 diesel and carrying out a cheesy ad campaign to support it, it is inevitable that there shouldn’t be a comparison between the current best seller the Volkswagen Vento (what you don’t believe me, it has got waiting periods of about 4 months and dealers have reported only 10 orders canceled so far) and the next best seller, the Fiat Linea and the new kid (okay, it an old car with a new heart) on the block. We have got all these three cars lined up and here follows the comparison test between them. Also it has been a very long time since we have actually compared any cars. Approximately more than a month ago. Without further ado, here is Lijo Mathai playing referee to the bout between the Maruti SX4 Zdi in India, the Volkswagen Vento Tdi in India and the Fiat Linea MultiJet in India.


Maruti SX4 Zdi: The Maruti SX4 was always a butch vehicle and more so in this category it is the only radical crossover thing happening. But then it is a car which wouldn’t win any design awards. The Maruti SX4 Zdi in India boasts of a hunky figure which would give you immense road presence with its 16 inch tyres and the flared wheel arches The rear with its high loading lip also boasts of having a presence of its own.

Volkswagen Vento Tdi: When the Volkswagen Vento Tdi in India was launched recently, it created a flutter. The Polo hatchback never took off in the same vein as its booted sibling. But then the clean crisp lines of the Vento have actually bowled me over and there are no evidences of the hatchback anywhere, if you ignore the front look. The rear also looks nicely integrated and doesn’t feel like a tacky boot job done.

Fiat Linea MultiJet: Classic Italian lines do the job well. Even after more than 2 years of its launch, this vehicle guarantees the admiration. Moreover, it doesn’t look anything like its hatchback sibling, the Fiat Punto. Those alloy wheels would have you going into a tizzy every time you see them. The front end is inspired from Maserati vehicles.

Amongst the trio, I personally would settle for the Volkswagen Vento Tdi as its lines or form don’t look to recede in the near future. Also it is the freshest design of the lot here.


Maruti SX4 Zdi: The Maruti SX4 Zdi in India unfortunately is the same looking as its petrol sibling and therein lies the biggest disappointment. Maruti could have done well to get this car some visual differentiation in the interiors than its petrol cousin. To be specific, lots of Swift bits can be found here and there. However the quality of plastics seems a tad better than the smaller car. You get audio controls on the steering wheel. A vast expanse of somewhat cheap looking gray color fills the cabin. Seating arrangement at the front is a bit of a bother for taller occupants however for the shorter ones, there isn’t any problem. Moreover, the rear bench is also a tall one but lacks on under thigh support.

Volkswagen Vento Tdi: The Volkswagen Vento Tdi in India gets better interior quality than its hatchback sibling but personally I feel that the design is all boring and requires some serious upgrade in the way it looks. In this modern age, there are no steering mounted controls, the musci player is crap and most significantly, you don’t get that solid German build. Yes, the door pads resound with a hollow thunk like the Maruti SX4’s. Equipment wise, the Vento doesn’t bring in as much as even the SX4. A novel feature which isn’t present in the others is the push lever behind the front seat. This allows the rear seat passenger to slide the front seat. Seat cushioning is perfect in the Vento as also the head and leg room.

Fiat Linea MultiJet: The Fiat Linea MultiJet in India gets one of the most handsome cabins of this lot. It brings in a nicely contoured steering wheel which boasts of having audio as also bluetooth controls. The dials may look retro but watch them at night and you would be amazed with their clarity and crispness. The dual tone interiors here don’t exactly reek of quality but get their job done of lifting up the cabin spirit. It is the only car in this category which has rear AC vents other than the Vento. Front seats hug the occupants and make them instantly comfortable. Rear seat space is a bit low on head room but the leg room offered is terrific.

For the sheer equipment and comfort levels, it would be the Fiat Linea which wins this round.

Handling and ride quality

Maruti SX4 Zdi: The SX4 here gets the Independent McPherson struts in front with an anti roll bar whereas the rear gets a non-independent torsion beam. This setup is on the stiffer side. The car has gained weight and that too 55 kgs over its petrol counterpart. The steering wheel is an improvement over its crude oil cousin’s. It can be made to dial in last minute corrections during lane changes. Due to the high ground clearance, one doesn’t have to think twice about all those big speed breakers in the way. Handling is actually good if you take the SX4 in isolation. Even the ride quality is typical Maruti which means that some undulating surfaces would make this car make the car pitch a bit. Even though it is on the stiffer side, the suspension never intrudes too much. NVH is also low for a diesel engined car.

Volkswagen Vento Tdi: The Volkswagen Vento Tdi gets Independent Macpherson struts with stabilizer bars in front and non independent trailing arms coil spring in the rear.

The Vento is setup on the softer side and this means lots of pitching and bobbing at high speeds. The car feels very planted on a straight road but then brake suddenly and the nose is in danger of getting scraped on the road. Its steering wheel is very light for city use but the same cannot be said about for the highway usage. It doesn’t exude enough feel for the last minute corrections on the freeway. NVH, when the motor is given the cold start, is very bad. It gives that typical diesel clatter but it smoothens out when the car is warm. Ride quality at low speeds is good but as discussed earlier, the highways is where this car doesn’t feel at home in the ride and handling stakes.

Fiat Linea MultiJet: The Fiat Linea boasts of having Independent Macpherson struts with anti-roll bar in front and non independent torsion beam axle with anti roll bar at the rear. This setup is also on the stiffer side. The upside of this suspension setup is that the Linea feels far more planted on the road than the other two. It has more locks per steering but its steering provides for accurate feedback. Its handling capability is what we have actually come to expect from Fiat, very good. Like the Punto, the Linea also goes around corners very nicely. It is the most fun to drive car in this lot. Its ride quality is also class personified and it is the best balance between the ride and handling stakes. NVH however is on the higher side and a classic example of how the donor is outclassed by the recipient. Maruti has done a nice job of isolating the vibes and wish that Fiat should have done the same with the 1.3 liter MultiJet engine.

The Fiat Linea without a doubt wins this round.

Engine, performance and fuel efficiency

Maruti SX4 Zdi: The Maruti SX4 Zdi in India boasts of one more application of the very famous MultiJet engine developed by Fiat. The 1.3 liter diesel engine with variable geomtery turbocharger makes 90 Bhp of peak power at 4000 rpm whereas the torque figure reads as 20.39 kgm at 1750 rpm. It is mated to a slick 5 speed transmission. The car displays some turbo lag but its shorter gearing ensures that the transmission overtakes the job of getting over the turbo lag faster. It has got a 0-100 timing of 13.8 seconds whereas its top speed is 165 kmph. Post 4000 rpm, the MultiJet engine takes on a raspy note and something which would tire out any driver or passenger. Brakes are also good with the discs in front and drums at rear setup working nicely with ABS and EBD thrown in. Safety is tended for with the usual 2 air bags, collapsible steering column and side intrusion beams. Fuel efficiency that I achieved during this test was 13.6 kmpl in city and 17.3 kmpl on the highway.

Volkswagen Vento Tdi: The Volkswagen Vento Tdi in India has the biggest engine capacity amongst the lot. It has got a 1.6 liter common rail diesel engine which makes 105 Bhp of peak power at 4400 rpm whereas its torque figure reads as 25.4 kgm between 1500-2500 rpm. But figures on paper don’t actually transform to driving pleasure on the road. The Vento does have a good acceleration rush but those speed runs are only mild bursts in the city. It has got turbo lag but then sheer engine capacity tends to overcome it. Couple that with the fact that the Vento’s gearbox here takes the least effort to slot into gate and has short throws also. 0-100 figure came up in only 11.35 seconds whereas it registered a top speed of 184 kmph. Braking and safety setup is the same as the SX4 diesel with no new additions inspite of being a German creation. Fuel efficiency was 13.2 kmpl in city and 17.4 kmpl on the highway.

Fiat Linea MultiJet: As discussed earlier, the Fiat Linea MultiJet in India gets the same engine as the SX4 diesel. The 1.3 liter MultiJet engine makes 90 Bhp at 4000 rpm whereas its maximum torque is 20.4 kgm at 1750 rpm. Due to its high kerb weight, the car feels sluggish at start off but once the turbo is on full song, the car transforms into a diesel rocket. The 0-100 timing is dismal in this class at 15.01 seconds and the top speed registered was 168 kmph. Like the others, the brake and safety setup is the same. But the Linea’s pedals have good amount of travel and one needs to get used to them. The fuel efficiency eked by this big Fiat is 12.9 kmpl in the city and 17.6 kmpl on the highway. Fiat have tuned their engine well for the top end since unlike the SX4, this car pulls cleanly towards the upper end of its power band. Gear shifts however are a bit long but they are better than the ones experienced in the earlier Palios.

Inspite of the sluggish nature initially, it’s the Linea which won my admiration for its sportiness.


There is a clear cut winner here and it is the Fiat Linea MultiJet in India. It has got the pace, looks, dynamic abilities and more equipment on offer than the other two in this competition. The new kid on the block, the Maruti SX4 Zdi in India is what a Maruti should be. Its cheap and can be used for everyday commute effectively. It gets better equipment levels than the Volkswagen Vento. Coming to the Vento, it loses the edge inspite of been a German and not feeling as solidly built as Germans should be. It has got the biggest engine in its category and one which promises effortless performance on road. But bare bones equipment level and its lofty price may set off some. The reason it is a good seller is because of the prestigious Volkswagen badge. But frankly speaking modern day cars are so engineered that you cannot go wrong with either of the trio. The Maruti has bragging rights with the fact that it is the first Indian car to comply with OBD norms. Now, the price factor that separates these cars are high too. The Fiat Linea MultiJet price in India for the highest variant, the Emotion Pack is Rs 8.71 lakhs. The Maruti SX4 Zdi price in India starts at Rs 8.30 lakhs. The Volkswagen Vento Tdi  price in India starts at Rs 9.23 lakhs. All these prices are ex-show room Mumbai.

93 thoughts on “Maruti SX4 Zdi vs Volkswagen Vento Tdi vs Fiat Linea MultiJet

  1. A very exhausive review..thanks for reassuring my choice of buying a Linea Emotion Pack,
    The few points abt interiors Vento has a problematic front arm rest, and glides at sharp turns, not giving a safe feel,
    SX4 is a authentic Maruti , value for money no frill car, nothing to add to driving experience,
    You have missed out that Linea comes with climate control, voice control , speed sensing wipers,the best of head lamps and the worst of ground clearance.. but when it comes to looks Linea looks its worth a lot more than what we paid

  2. I need Fuel efficiency, Less maintenance cost ,comfort and safety while driving and should be worth in price.I have two choices,Fiat Linea mid range model and SX4 VDi.Which shall i prefer considering above said key points that i consider.Suggest me a car among the two

    1. Maruti is any time better than the other cars. I have been using Brand Maruti for ages and when it comes to cost of maintenance it is less compared to others. SX4 Diesel i have done a test drive, believe me it is a good one. Go for it.

  3. Dear sir,

    Iam planning to buy a new car. And have two choices, VW Vento TDi and SX4 ZDi. Plz tell me, by all means which car is good frm these two. Plz help me to make a good decision

    1. The VW Vento has a waiting period and if you are willing to wait, we would heartily recommend it but then if waiting is not in your list of priorities, then the Maruti SX4 Zdi should be fine as well.

  4. Please help me to buy a car of 6 lacks.I will drive the car at an average 750 km per month.Do i prefer a diesel car.If yes whether Swift Vdi or Ritz vdi. I need good fuel economy,less maintenance cost, leg groom space, Tall boy shape,comfort in driving at 90km/hr or less .Any additional accessories apart from sterio has to be purchased for the above selected brand. Even though ur choice might be petrol please help me to select a car of the above said segment.Also compare the above mentioned cars and among the two suggest a car looking all the aspects i have mentioned.

  5. Dear lijo, I have been planning on buying either the vento or linea. One thing I find in many linea.s on the road is the dents on the boot area caused mainly by minor accidents like motorcycles and bicycles. Do you think the sheet metal thickness used in both these are same? Also fully galvanised body of vento also is an item which as a coastal dweller putting me in a dilemma over linea, as i love linea,s looks

    1. The Volkswagen Vento boasts of a full 6 years anti corrosion warranty and for more information, you can check with the VW dealer. The Fiat Linea is a sturdy car annd we would heartily recommend it over the VW Vento. Regarding the metal thickness, unfortunately we have no information on it.

  6. dear lijo,

    I drive 25 kms to office everyday and i enjoy driving… should i go for petrol or diesel version in sedan. I had found sx4 petrol to hv good equipments inside and good leather. In vento th external look was good,but somehow i didnt enjoy driving it..what do u suggest ?


    1. A petrol sedan would make more sense in your case and if you liked driving the Maruti SX4 petrol, I would suggest that you go for it. There are many discounts available currently on it and this would further sweeten the deal.

    2. Maruti have more then 2500 service out let & also spears very cheaper then VW pls go 4 diesel theres no resell value 4 sedan petrol.

  7. I have an average run of 750km a month.Select me a hatch back car.I can afford an amount of 6.5 lakhs.I need riding comfort,high platform driving,good leg groom space,fuel economy,good boot space and low maintenance cost with resale value.

    1. With this budget, you can go for the Maruti Ritz petrol ZXi or the Hyundai I20 petrol. Both are equally good and the Hyundai has slightly more rear leg room than the Ritz. Have a look at the Skoda Fabia also.

      1. Dear Lijo, I am driving a Honda city and now I wish to sell my old esteem and buy a new car . Often use a driver, car drives 1000 km only a month, mainly in city. tested SX4 petrol – did not have the pick up and back sets were not comfortable.Pick up , ifeel must be good sp in city condition . on highway I will always use the driver . Should I try base model of Vento petrol . Pl advice.

        1. Yes, given your running every month and specially that you prefer a chauffer driven car, the petrol Vento would fit your bill to the T. Plus have a look at the Honda City as it has one of the best rear seats in the business.

  8. Dear Lijo,
    It is indeed a nice review, and most of the points are covered! But regarding the FE, the on road FE on a trip to Manali from Delhi(650km) what I got in an SX4 very aggressively driven, on an average was 19.1kmpl. On highways I got an FE of 22 plus and on steep and bad roads from manali to rohtang pass FE was 14.2 kmpl. I have no clue on vento or the new linea, however old one returned an FE of 16.1 kmpl on avg.

  9. I have a daily run of around 40km. I have shortlisted Toyota Etios and Maruti SX4. Which one is better? I am more inclined towards SX4. Want your feedback on the same. How much mileage can I expect for SX4 Petrol.

    1. Both the cars are from a different segment with the Etios being one step lower than the SX4. If your heart is set on the petrol SX4, I would suggest you to go for it. It has got the Maruti less maintenance tags going for it. Fuel efficiency is however a subjective issue and with a hint of conservation in it, the SX4 would return 9-11 kmpl in city.

      1. Thanks a lot. Appreciate your help on this. Any idea on the Etios Mileage in City?

        Thanks in advance.

        1. The Toyota Etios should return close to 12-13 kmpl in city whereas the fuel efficiency of 11 kmpl quoted is for the SX4 petrol. However do keep in mind that fuel efficiency depends on one’s driving habits as also the maintenance of the car.

  10. Hai Lijo,
    I would like to buy a sedan I have two choice one is sx4 diesel and vento diesel, I need a good drive quality,please suggest me good one.

  11. Dear Lijo,
    I need a new car of 10 lakh budjet.
    My driving will be 1000 km per month. 50 % is city driving.
    First either petrol or diesel
    If diesel Linea or Vento Tdi
    If petrol City or Vento
    Please suggest me.

    1. For your requirements, a petrol car is sufficient and both the Linea as also the City are equally comfortable with more empasis on the City.

  12. I need Fuel efficiency, Less maintenance cost ,comfort and safety while driving, leg groom space,comfort in driving at 90km/hr or less and should be worth in price. Please help me to buy a car of 10 lacks.I will drive the car at an average 100 km per day.Which has lot of potholes for nearly 40km per day. Keep these in mind and self driven for long usage.I am driving a Swift Ldi, i have sold my Accent CRDI looking for a Sedan Diesel than Petrol.

  13. Dear Lijo,
    Currently i m using Swift LDi, running 4000 km in a month.
    Confused between Sx4, Linea, ford fiesta & Vw Vento.
    Suggest a diesel car costing below 10 lacs having good fuel efficiency, less maintainance cost, comfort in driving.
    Also do let me know fuel efficiency of the suggested car.

    1. Since you have been using a Maruti earlier, you would be more at ease with the SX4 diesel. Approximate fuel efficiency that you can expect is 14-15 kmpl.

  14. I need Fuel efficiency at least 19 kmpl, Less maintenance cost ,comfort and safety while driving, leg groom space,comfort in driving at 120km/hr or less and should be worth in price. Please help me to buy a car up to 11 lacks.I will drive the car at an average 100 km per day.Which has lot of potholes for nearly 40km per day. Keep these in mind and self driven for long usage.Climate control Ac is must please help me which one to buy

    1. Fuel efficiency is a subjective matter and depends on one’s driving habits. Keeping in mind your diverse requirements, we would suggest the Fiat Linea for you.

  15. Hi Lijo,

    I am looking for a car for my father. He is currently driving old Maruti 800 and give lots of emphasis to Maruti service and maintenance cost!! Am sure Maruti will win in that segment, but I would like to have equally safe and secure car with more features. I selected Linea for high features, but Vento exterior looks elegant and decent. Driving would be 500-600 km/month only. I am not looking for high power (like Linea TJet), so normal Linea would also suffice.

    Should we go for Diesel or Petrol?
    I am all confused between Linea, Maruti SX4, Vento and Honda City.

    Could you please suggest a sedan car? Thanks

    1. Considering the running and other details, you can get the Maruti SX4 petrol for your father or if you like the Linea, even the regular petrol Linea would do. I personally didn’t find the build quality or the features in the Vento too alluring during the test.

  16. Hi Lijo,

    I am planning to buy a new car but am confused which one to go for.

    I love driving – but don’t overdo it cause of the ever increasing petrol prices 🙁

    Pls suggest if I should go for a petrol car (maybe get it fitted with CNG – to save the money that I would be spending on a diesel vehicle) or for a diesel. I would prefer to get a “big” car as I have already had a Maruti 800 in the past and now a Santro.

    In case a diesel, which one would you suggest in the SUV/ MUV segment – my stretch budget is ~ 10L. Also, what are your thoughts about the Chevrolet Aveo – considering the fact that it has 3 year of no maintenance charges.

    Please advice…thanks.

    1. Going in for a petrol would be advisable if your running is within 1200 kms a month. If you are looking for a MUV, then it should be the Mahindra Xylo or the base Toyota Innova version whereas if its a sedan that you looking for then the Maruti SX4 or the Toyota Etios would suffice your needs. Infact I would suggest you to wait and check out the 2011 Ford Fiesta or even the Hyundai Verna RB, both which would be launched shortly.

  17. I drive approx 60kms daily n delhi. Pls advise if I shld go for sx4 petrol, vxi with cng or diesel since I plan t keep th car for min 8-10yrs. OR shld I wait for some more options, budget 8 lacs. Thnks!

    1. A diesel car would suit you more given your set of requirements. Alternatively a CNG run car would also be fine. There is the 2011 Hyundai Verna as also the 2011 Ford Fiesta coming up. You may wait for them as well.

  18. I want to buy a good car in the range of 10lacs
    i am confused with all the variants available and upcoming in the market
    weather i should wait or buy now
    weather to go for trusted service base of maruti or hyundai- with cars like sx4 or verna
    or go for passionate and good looking cars like fiat linea with great features
    or newly offered classic for version where money can be saved but again service and maintainability might be a problem
    I drive about 800kms per month and would love to go on long drives also

  19. Hai Lijo,
    I like an advice regarding petrol saloon of 8 – 9 lac.
    I drive 1000 km per month, mainly city drive 70 %
    Choice between dezire / new verna / new fiesta
    thank you

    1. The latter two are yet to be launched and as of now, the Maruti Dzire should be a good choice for you.

  20. Dear Lijo,
    Its a great pressure in reading ur reviews on different cars. I m using Swift Diesel from last 3 years, running 3000 km a month. As i want to change my car, i hv tried a lot with SX4, Linea, Vento, Ford fiesta classic. I m not satishfied with looks of Swift Dzire/SX4 Diesel. Low Maintainace & high fuel effieciency, decent looks & comfort in driving being the priorities, I m confused betwn Fiat Linea (Emotion pack Diesel) or Ford fiesta classic (Diesel). I hv heard a lot about high maintainance of Fiesta. Is it so? After sales service of Linea depends upon how long Tata-Fiat venture will last.Considering my priorities, what would u suggest? A second thought is coming that i should wait for Toyota Etios Diesel. Pl. suggest.

    1. If you aren’t in a hurry, I would request you to wait for the 2011 Ford Fiesta and the Hyundai Verna RB. Both these cars would be priced very competitively as also would set a benchmark as far as fuel efficiency and performance are concerned. The Fiat Linea is a class product and Fiat are planning to setup their own service centers so it shouldn’t be a problem. Check out the diesel Manza Elan as well. Ford spare parts have now got a cheaper price tag so Ford Fiesta Classic should be a good buy as well.

  21. Hi Lijo,
    I am currently using swift lxi and would like to take a petrol sedan.I drive 1000KM per month and 85% of time drive is mostly in city traffic.
    I prefer best driving comfort with lot of helpful features for driving than looks,low maintenance and good resale value after 3-4 years.
    Considering SX4(VXI), Vento(Trendline), Linea(Not sure about model).

    Kindly suggest which one to opt.Budget 9 Lakhs (On road price)

    Thanks in advance

  22. Hai
    I am about to take New honda city next week
    They have adviced not to change the headlamp to 100/90
    not the horn, as it may cause problem to airbag.
    Please advice

    1. That’s strange considering that the airbag is no way related to the headlamps. Though I cannot say about the horn as its position is located at the same place where the airbag is, I would request you to check with another Honda dealer.

  23. Dear Lijo,
    I’ve been driving my Linea Emotion Diesel over all types of roads in UP, for the last 9 months. My car never gave me an FE of less than 17kmpl – even in city conditions, while highways mileage was as good as 23kmpl on a good stretch. Maybe I did’nt have to stop at traffic lights for too long with the ac running. But with its heavy built – which definitely contributes towards comfort, stability and handling – one should be happy with any diesel mileage above 15 kmpl.
    The only thing one has to be careful with is the ground clearance – one has to learn how to negotiates potholes and steep berm cuttings.
    Overall, I am very happy with my decision of buying a Linea.

  24. Hye guy I bought Vento and now i am repainting as i was driving SX4 ZXI this time i bought Vento thinking german technology but its most unstable car also it has lots of design flaws i bought this car just two month a go its Automatic petrol and its most pathetic car i have every driven i was very much satisfied with my SX4 it was stable on high ways and very strayed i think should have told more but thats true germans have failed and very badly failed i will never suggest this car to any one

  25. Hi Lijo,

    I am planning to buy a sedan and not sure which one to go for.
    Petrol or Diesel
    Linea / Vento / SX4

    Here are the details:
    My monthly drive: 1000 (mainly city)
    Budget: 8-9 lacs

    Please suggest. Tks

    1. I would suggest you to wait for the new Verna which is coming up tomorrow or if you want to select against the 3 aforementioned cars, then it has to be the Vento.

  26. Hi, I am planning to buy a New Fiat Palio Multijet SDX diesel, Is that a good option or shall I look in for swift diesel or Indica Quadrajet Plz suggest.
    The price of Palio is 4.7 Lakhs on road, where as other two are close to 6.4 Lakhs, Many are telling about after sales serivce and spare parts availablility and its cost for Palio…plz clarify my doubt.

  27. Hi Lijo,
    I drive <750kms per month in city and couple of long distance drives per year (Around 1000kms) with in a year my usage might double as even my wife want to use the same car by keeping chauffeur. I have a max budget of 9 Lakhs.

    Question 1:
    Diesel / Petrol ? (Considering in future it might be doubled to 1500Kms/Month)

    Question 2:
    Hatch back / Sedan? (Considering chauffeur driven and being 6 foot)

    I am confused between
    1) Fabia Diesel (Ambient) – 7.8 Lakh approx on road (with additional fittings of player and rear power windows)
    2) Vento Petrol (IPL) – 8.8 Lakh on road
    3) Etios Petrol (VX) – 7.8 Lakh approx on road

    My preference's are good ride, comfort, mileage,less maintenance and good resale value after 5 years.

    Appreciate your help.

    1. Out of all these cars, the Vento petrol suits your requirements however maintenance may be on the higher side. While you are in the market, do take a good look at the Manza Elan. For a 6 footer, it is the perfect car to be in the driver’s seat as also to be chauffered.

  28. Dear Lijo,

    I hv been going through your reviews and responses and found them are extremely helpful.

    I’m planning to buy a mid segment sedan with a budget of around 8-9 lakhs. I currently own an alto and the new car will be my first sedan car. Below are some specifics:

    1. Monthly drive within Delhi NCR ~ 1200 km. Should I go for petrol (may be including CNG) or diesel version?

    2. I am looking for seating comfort, performance, efficiency, and reasonable maintenance. May be also resale value after 4-5 yrs. It will be mostly chauffer-driven.

    3. I am confused between: Maruti Sx4, Ford Fiesta, Fiat Linea and may be, Verna.

    Appreciate your help.

    1. In your case, it would be Maruti SX4 with its elevated seating position and since you are used to Marutis, it would be a good buying experience. Choose the CNG option or the diesel as both fit the bill.

  29. Hi , Lijo
    we want to buy a petrol sedan within 6-8 months , budget ~10 lakhs.
    Right now we have maruti zen vxi ( 2004 model) , but it’s old now( but still in exllent condition , just completed 23000 km in 6 year 8 months) , so we want to change it
    pls suggest best car in this segment I personally like fiat linea t jet & hyndai verna sx(o)
    I want car , which is full value for money , low maintance cost , good handling & stable at 140+ speed, full features and all sefty features & decent resale value ( we r not changing car atleast 5-6 year)
    right now my zen resale value is 1,40,000+ (otr orice is 3,60,000 ) , so think it my zen have good resale value , & we r taking loan for buying car (~7 lakhs) therefor it should be value for money & low maintance.
    We are not using car much, just on holidays i.e. sat , sun therfor I choosing petrol sedan ( our 6 year zen still not completed 23,000 km)
    pls give me good advice…thanx u
    ( vw vento not considerable bacause it’s have missing many features)

    1. The Maruti SX4 would be the right choice however seeing your budget, even the Toyota Etios would be a good choice. Maintenance for both would be on the lower side and resale values are also guaranteed to be on the higher side.

      1. Hey lijo
        I like sx4 but milege of this car is too poor( even dashboard plastic looks very cheap) & also it’s old now,
        I like honda city v mt but it’s overpriced and missing some features & looking point of view I dont like toyota etios. .

  30. hey, please help me buy a car of around 10 lakhs. I need a diesel car with low maintenance cost, good mileage and comfortable for highted persons for long journeys. I have shortlisted sx4 zdi and linea emotion pack(diesel). Which one will be the best between the two?

    1. Both the cars are equally good in their own right however maintenance on the Maruti is lower than that on the Fiat.

  31. Hi Lijo,

    Hyundai Verna Fluidic is launched now, and there are no reviews on indiandrives yet? Will it be posted soon? In many of your replies you mentioned to wait for new verna and fiesta!

    Recently I took testdrive of verna fluidic and liked it. Am thinking of booking verna 1.6 sx CRDi. I am not sure about the service and maintenance of hyundai cars. Can you highlight it?

    Also will it be good to go for verna diesel, comparing with Sx4 diesel,
    and other diesel cars in this segment.

    verna diesel is costing 10.5L in NCR.


  32. Hi Lijo,
    I am quite impressed with your critical analysis over the cars in the same genre. My daily travel comes around 30 Kms in Kochi City. Once in a month i go for long drives which may come around 600-700 Kms. 2 months back i have booked SX4 ZDi. But now its informed that it will take another 4 more months for delivering the same which is quite unnacceptble for me. So am now planning to book another car. I have checked the availability of Verna-fluidic, Vento, Linea..(Diesel) . Except Verna, they are available within one month. Now I am confused between Vento, Linea. moreover considering my history n car use, i may be using it for more than 5 years. So, Jus wanna an opinion of taking a diesel car out f these two on the basis of fuel consumption, cost for after sales maintenance, city riding, resale value and comfort.

    1. Out of both the cars, it would be the Vento since your intown usage is more and the Linea would feel a little ponderous around narrow streets. For the aftersales part, the Vento may prove slightly more expensive than the Fiat. Our choice would be the VW Vento and if you want a car with lesser maintenance, take a look at the Linea.

  33. Hi Lijo,

    Great review! I really like the Linea diesel, but have heard nightmare stories about its low ground clearance (especially in Bangalore, where speed breakers are often incorrectly designed). I have a couple of questions:
    1) The stock tyres are 195/60 R15. Would changing these to 195/70R15 help?
    2) What are the disadvantages of this? I do know that the sppedo reading would be incorrect – would it also affect handling?


  34. I am looking for a sedan within the range of 9 lacs. currently using Wagon R Duo. Monthly 1500 km. Which one you suggest Vento or Lenea ?

    1. Linea have the best feature compare to its competitor in this segment and also won the car of the year for two consecutive year..

  35. I am planning to Buy SX4 VDI, I have test driven new SX4 diesel, but I feel that AC cooling not good (I check 3 – SX4 vdi) so please please
    guide me any problem in air conditioner in SX4. thanks

  36. Linea has the best features in this segment.. Blue and me feature works good.. side arm rest for driver seat gives good support while travelling long distance.. and rear ac vent does not exists in SX4 and not even that but SX4 carries the same fiat MJD engine .. so it is good to buy the MJD engine from FIAT manufacturer…. Is it ?

  37. Hi,
    3 months back i have booked SX4 VDI, i also done test drive three times but I am not satisfied with air conditioner cooling. is it not good in SX4 diesel???? please help me. I am sure it will help many people. thanks. please some one guide me….

  38. i used fiat petra for 7 years … I used it in hilly areas in south kerala … and ran 1.20 lakh km. It gave me good performance even in typical indian kachha roads .. and now i exchanged it with fiat linea (diesel emotion pack). I find that fiat has maintained its reputation for consumer friendly approach. In one word ……. GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY. Go for it without second thought !!!!
    Thankyou FIAT !!!

  39. I’m in a great confusion between Fiat Linea MJD and SX4 Zdi.. I’m greatly worried abt the after sales service of Fiat.. Are there any chances of improving??

  40. hi lijo,

    i want to by best diesel car . my budget is 9 to 10 lacs. i have short listed vento,linea and ford . which one is best? plese suggest me.

  41. i am confused between tata manza elan, linea emotion pack and ford fiesta deisel. i want to buy best diesel suggest the best.

  42. im confused. we drive a diesel palio and love it with its 1.9 l engine.
    looking to upgrade to a diesel sedan that gives me the same solidity. we drive out of city 700 km once a month to the village. so need good service netwk , reliable. high clearance. and at least 16 kmpl highway. looks not too important, swift dezire? sx4? etios sedan ? any other except a tata car,
    based in bangalore. whats the onroad prices for these?

  43. Hi vikram,
    IF U Don’t want much more power, then go for SX4 DDiS, I bought last month it’s give me superb mileage around 22 km/ltr With max speed of 85km ( 65% Highway, 35% City Ride with 70% A.C ) . It gave me good performance even in typical Indian roads. Also car with lesser maintenance.

  44. road condition is not good in my city and the rural places I generally commute to. If choice is between SX4 and Linea which one should I opt for? and which model??

  45. I used to have a Premier NE118 Petrol. I got into untold miseries with the car. Later I changed over to Maruti Wagon R. Now when I think of buying a Diesel car , I would naturally go for a Fiat Linea. However memories of NE118 hinders me,since it could well be a relative of the fiat.
    Your advice please.

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