Hector or Seltos?

Abhishek Chaudhry, Chandigarh: I am looking for a midsize SUV for city driving and am confused between the MG Hector Smart hybrid and the Kia Seltos GTX. I am 6ft tall and my previous car was a first-gen Skoda Octavia.

The Seltos is an overall better car with its good build quality, smooth powertrain and features. However, it is cramped and that is where the Hector scores. Given your requirement for space, I would go for the Hector as it is a far more comfortable car. Also, the ride quality of the Hector is better and it feels like an SUV that is a full size bigger than the Seltos. We would suggest you pick the Hector.

Yes to ceramic coating?

Atharv Natu, Thane: My father owns a 2019 Mercedes E-class LWB and I want to know if we can give it a ceramic coating. If yes, are there any specific brands we should look at?

A ceramic coating on a car’s surface can offer various benefits, including protecting the paint from fading due to constant exposure to the elements of Nature such as dust, tree sap and bird droppings. It also makes the surface smooth and water repellent for easier cleaning, and gives it a pristine, mirror-like finish.

However, it must be noted that the shine and swirl-free look will only last if it is well taken care of, similar to application of a good wax regularly. But compared to wax, the ceramic compound will last longer. If you are looking to protect the paint from getting unwanted scratches in traffic, a paint-protection film (PPF) treatment of various body panels from renowned brands like 3M would be a better idea.

Since your car is one year old, the most crucial aspects would be paint correction, such as removing imperfections like existing swirl marks (more pronounced on darker paint shades) and preparation of the car’s surface to be able to receive the ceramic compound and bind to it. A ceramic coating binds well to surfaces that have minimum scratches.

The entire process involves deep washing to remove any existing wax or oils, polishing, claying, application of ceramic coating and curing in an area with minimum dust in the air.

So, you must inquire about all these aspects in particular and zero in on a good service provider in your city without falling into the jargon of hardness of the coating.

Having said that, since the market prices of ceramic treatment are on the higher side, we would reiterate getting it done only if you can be sure that your car will be maintained diligently after getting the coating. Or else, you can spend the money in annual detailing sessions for the car at a good outlet.

Hormazd Sorabjee is the editor of Autocar India. Mail your feedback and queries to [email protected]