Once upon a time in India when if someone thought of buying a hatchback then for her or him, the preferred choice was to buy a Maruti, because no one else was there to look after that particular market of hatchbacks. But now the hatchback market in India has 9 distinct manufacturers launching cars one better than the other. There is immense competition in this market and if the investing budget is INR 5.5 lac then, the big question, which vehicle should one buy?
This article is a comparison between cars, but before that let us categorize our customers first.
- Type 1: Person who likes to drive
- Type 2: Car is gonna be chauffeur driven with decent equipments
- Type 3: Looking for good fuel efficiency and low maintenance
- Type 4: Good resale value
Coming to petrol vehicle first: If you are type 1, go for the Swift ZXi, no other car car give you a grin like the Swift. Other then Swift, Punto and Figo has excellent dynamics but their engines are bad. But hey, a new refreshingly new swift is coming, so wait for sometime. If you are type 2, we suggest you to go for the i20, the same level of rear seat space and comfort you can get inside a Indica Vista as well, and some more equipments too in lesser price, but petrol Vistas are rare in India.
For the type 3, you have lots of options to choose anything between Swift, Ritz and Micra. But since Nissan is new to hatchback market division in India, you buy it if and only if there is a service station nearby your neighborhood. If you are type 4, then nothing comes close to the build to last Polo, which has amazing European solidity, fit and finish and quality factor. If all the categories are mixed together, then Micra will be a terrific “new” car to own, followed by old heartthrob Swift and Ritz.
Now for the diesel cars. Unfortunately in type 1, no car fits in, but if you want to overtake something, the i20 can provide you confidence cause it’s power in the midrange is strong. Swift, Ritz, Punto and Vista all have the same engine under the bonnet but different in tuning. Punto produces 90 hp, having more power results negative here, it is slower than the other cars. For type 2, the choice is difficult to tell, because whereas base version of i20 can satisfy you in comfort, but you may be disappointed with the low equipments.
The Figo can satisfy you with the seat comfort, but space is not that great as the i20 and importantly no rear power window even in the top end model. So lots of type 2 buyers go for the Indica Vista and as you can see why lots of diesel Indicas are sold. For type 3 buyers the most fuel efficient car according to IDC (Indian Driving Cycle) is Indica Vista, followed by Polo, i20, Swift, Ritz, Fabia, Figo and Punto.
For type 4, Figo is the right choice, since the car is value for money and rate of depreciation should be less because it is a diesel. To judge the best overall car the reward goes to Ford Figo, followed by i20 and Polo.
For those who prefers safety is the main issue, they should go for Punto Emotion with ABS and airbags, because it has the 5-star EuroNCAP crash rating ( the test car had side and curtain airbags though, ), i20 is the other car which too has a 5-star rating but the one with 6-airbags is too costly.
One may ask about which vehicle scores the most in fashion department. The answer is, in a nutshell, apart from Indica Vista, all other cars are fashionable.