While the Indian car market has matured very much with the increasing launch of models in new price segments, one cannot deny the fact that a chunk of volumes still comes from cars priced under INR 5 lakh. However, newer and more polished models are available in this price segment as well. Below are the best cars under 5 lakh in India:
1. Renault Kwid
Renault pulled off a surprise back in 2015 when it ventured into a territory completely dominated by the likes of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai with its entry-level Kwid. The Renault Kwid, with its SUV-inspired styling despite the small dimensions, proved to be a super successful formula for Renault in India, and since then, has been spearheading the French carmaker's operations in India.
The Renault Kwid received a mid-life facelift in 2019. The SUV-styled hatchback now has a refurbished front end design with a new grille, split headlamp layout, LED DRLs and LED inserts in the tail lamps. The interior too has been enhanced, with a new dashboard, completely new fully digital instrument console and a larger touchscreen infotainment system.
Under the hood, the new Renault Kwid comes with the engines which were available in the old model as well – a 0.8-litre three-cylinder petrol engine (54 PS/72 Nm) and a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol motor (68 PS/91 Nm). The former is available with a 5-speed manual transmission only, while the latter can be had with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automated manual transmission. The prices of the Renault Kwid range between INR 2.92-5.01 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) is one of the best cars under 5 lakh in India.
2. Maruti S-Presso
After a long time, Maruti Suzuki tried to emulate the success formula proven by the Renault Kwid of SUV inspiration in an entry-level hatchback with the S-Presso. The Maruti S-Presso had huge shoes to fill, for the hatchback is believed to be a replacement model of the Maruti Alto K10 which will soon be discontinued.
The Maruti S-Presso looks quite unique with its standout SUV stance in its petite size. The raised bonnet, high raised front bumper and high ground clearance come together to give it a towering stance. Carrying on its funkiness on the inside as well, the Maruti S-Presso comes with a very youthful looking cabin with a centrally mounted digital instrument console and a modern Smartplay Studio infotainment system.
The Maruti S-Presso relies on the tried and tested 1.0-litre three-cylinder K10B petrol engine, available with 5-speed manual and 5-speed automated manual gearbox choices. This engine puts out 68 PS of maximum power and 90 Nm of peak torque. The prices of the Maruti S-Presso range between INR 3.71-4.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
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3. Maruti Wagon R
The Maruti Wagon R has been a perennial success story from day one of its inception in the Indian car market and a major contributor in making Maruti Suzuki the number one automaker in the country in terms of sales numbers. The A-segment hatchback with the tall-boy design has seen multiple generation changes in two decades.
The current generation Maruti Wagon R, which was introduced in 2019, has seen the hatchback receiving an entirely new design, which retains the traditional tall boy stance and a boxy silhouette. On the outside, the wraparound headlamps and vertically laid tail lamps do make the car look fresher. The interior looks much more upmarket with a new multi-functional steering wheel and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Unlike before, the Maruti Wagon R is now available with two engine options – 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol (68 PS/90 Nm) and 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol (83 PS/113 Nm). Both the engines are available with the options of a 5-speed manual transmission and a 5-speed automated manual transmission. The prices of the Maruti Wagon R start at INR 4.46 lakh and goes all the way up to INR 6.00 lakh (both prices ex-showroom Delhi) is one of the best cars under 5 lakh in India.
4. Hyundai Santro
The Hyundai Santro needs no introduction, for it's the model with which Hyundai forayed into the Indian market in the late 90s of the 20th century. After a brief period of non-existence, the Hyundai Santro made a noteworthy comeback in India in a completely new avatar. It still features the signature tall-boy stance but in a much more modern form.
Unlike other models of Hyundai in India, the Hyundai Santro is not too feature-rich and has a completely different design. However, features like a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, fog lamps and steering mounted audio controls do make it an appealing modern A-segment car for the urban youth population of the country.
The Hyundai Santro packs the 1.1-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which used to power the erstwhile Hyundai Santro Xing. In its current guise, this engine is available with a 5-speed manual transmission as well as a 5-speed automated manual transmission. It produces 69 PS of maximum power and 99 Nm of maximum torque. The prices range between INR 4.57-5.98 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
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5. Tata Tiago
It was the Tiago with which Tata successfully made a successful comeback in the domestic market. Introduced as a gradual replacement model for the iconic Tata Indica, the Tata Tiago lured the Indian audience with its youthful styling, tough build quality and more refined engine options. It is one of the most premium cars in its segment.
Before the commencement of BS-VI era, Tata Motors gave the Tiago a mid-life update, which saw the hatchback receiving a new and wider looking front fascia with sleeker headlamps and new front and rear bumpers. The interior, however, has remained the same. The hatchback has modern amenities like automatic climate control, touchscreen infotainment system, multi-functional steering wheel and a fully digital instrument console.
With the facelift, Tata Motors has bid adieu to the 1.1-litre diesel engine option. It offers the Tiago with only a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine which makes 86 PS of power and 113 Nm of torque. 5-speed manual and 5-speed automated manual are the transmission choices. The prices of the 2020 Tata Tiago commence at INR 4.60 lakh and go up to INR 6.60 lakh (ex-showroom India) is one of the best cars under 5 lakh in India.