The well-equipped, compact hatchback now has something for everyone and new entrants Tiago and Kwid prove that this segment does not entirely favour Maruti and Hyundai.
Here is a list of the most anticipated small car launches in the coming months.
Maruti Wagon R
One of the best selling Maruti cars with the signature tall-boy proportions will enter the next generation with a fresh design featuring swept back headlights, large windshield and windows.
It will be built on an updated chassis of the current-gen Wagon R. The 2018 Wagon R will not get the HEARTECT platform of the Maruti Swift, Dzire, Ignis and Baleno due to cost concerns. It will, however, get safer, roomier and more fuel efficient with the lifecycle change.
The new-gen Wagon R is likely to receive an updated, BS VI compliant version of 1.0-litre (68 PS / 90 Nm), three-cylinder engine mated to a 5-speed manual and AMT that powers the current Maruti Wagon R.
No major price change is expected for the new gen Wagon R and it will hit showrooms around October 2018. It is expected to arrive after the facelifted Maruti Ciaz and the next-gen Ertiga are launched.
Hyundai is reviving the Santro nameplate with an all-new tallboy model (codename AH2) based on the underpinnings of the last-gen Hyundai i10 platform.
The new hatchback that will replace the Hyundai Eon will get a BS VI compliant, updated version of the 1.1-litre Epsilon engine, 63 PS and 9.8 kg.m (96.11 Nm) of torque, that powered the Santro Xing and last-gen Hyundai i10.
In addition to the standard 5-speed manual, Hyundai is offering a newly developed AMT called 'Smart Auto', a first for the Korean brand, which will probably be available on the top-end variants.
Tata Tiago JTP
Tata Motors has commissioned a performance version of the Tiago, which will be built in collaboration with Jayem Automotives based in Coimbatore. The JTP moniker stands for 'Jayem Tata Performance'.
Along with a sports suspension and lower ground clearance, it will get the Tata Nexon petrol 1.2-litre Revotron turbocharged three-cylinder engine that delivers 110 PS @ 5,000 rpm and 150 Nm of torque @ 2,000-4,000 rpm. Power will be transmitted to the front wheels through a 5-speed gearbox with optimized gear ratios for sporty performance.
The exterior will feature aggressive bumpers, side skirts, a gloss black roof spoiler and 15-inch diamond-cut six-double-spoke alloy wheels. Interiors will get an all-black theme.
This limited edition Tiago is reported to go on sale by December.
Tata Tiago EV
Another Tata Tiago variant on the list, this one will be a pure electric car first seen at the Auto Expo 2018.
Externally, it will identical to the petrol Tiago but will get a black nose and blue accents along its body line. The rear will get an 'EV' logo and 'Powered by Electra EV' blue sticker, to differentiate it from the fossil fuel version. The Tiago EV will be available in top-spec XZ trim level.
Developed at the Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) based in the UK, its 3 phase AC electric motor outputs 30 kW, drawing power from a 216 Ah battery. Charging times (0-80%) are 6 hours with a regular charger or 90 minutes using a fast charger. A driving range of 130 km is expected and a top speed of 100 km/h.
The Tiago EV is slated for launch around the end of this year.
Ford Figo Facelift
The Ford Figo will receive its mid-cycle facelift with minor design and mechanical changes. It features tweaked headlamps, taillights and a new hexagonal front grille with chrome mesh pattern. Restyled bumpers will get C-shaped accents with chrome on the front and mouldings at the rear. New alloy wheels are also expected.
Interiors will be revised as well, featuring a new centre console with a SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system and a dashboard that's identical to the Ford Freestyle.
The Figo will get a new Dragon engine from the Ford Freestyle, a 1.2-litre Ti-VCT three-cylinder petrol unit producing 96 PS @ 6,500 rpm and 120 Nm of torque @ 4,250 rpm. The current 1.5L TDCi diesel engine is also on offer. The petrol and the diesel will be mated with an all-new 5-speed manual transmission.
With stocks drying up at dealerships, the new Figo launch is expected before October of this year.
Datsun Go Facelift
The new Datsun Go will receive tweaked headlamps, a larger hexagonal grille, and sportier bumpers with the front featuring LED DRLs. Wheels may be upgraded to 14-inch alloys.
Interiors will be aggrandized with a new dashboard with a new touchscreen infotainment system and rectangular AC vents at the centre. The instrument panel will feature an analogue tachometer.
The 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol from the outgoing model will continue. The facelifted Datsun Go will be launched in India in late September.