The premium hatchback space currently has quite a few options, more than ever has been. However, if you are looking for a diesel hatchback in this space, your options are somewhat limited. With the advent of the BS6 norms earlier this year, many manufacturers discontinued diesel engines in small cars. The Honda Jazz lost its diesel engine and so did the Volkswagen Polo and the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. Currently, the Hyundai i20 and the Tata Altroz are the only two hatchbacks in this space with a diesel engine.
If you are really looking for a premium diesel hatchback, both the i20 and the Altroz have plenty to offer and shouldn't leave you wanting for more. But would you want to know which is faster? If you choose your car based on how fast they can go, you have arrived at the right place. Here we have a good old acceleration comparison of the Hyundai i20 vs Tata Altroz in their diesel-manual variants. But first, the specifications...
Hyundai i20 vs Tata Altroz - Specifications
|Hyundai i20||Tata Altroz|
|Engine||1.5L CRDi Diesel Engine|
1.5L Revotorq Diesel Engine
While both the hatchbacks are powered by a 1.5L diesel engine, the Hyundai i20 has a clear advantage on paper. It is 10hp more powerful than the Altroz and also has 40Nm of more torque. Another point of difference are their gearboxes. While the Altroz gets a 5-speed manual unit, the i20 gets a 6-speed unit. But specs on paper are only half the story. Let's see how they perform when you put pedal to the metal.
Hyundai i20 vs Tata Altroz - Acceleration Test
|Hyundai i20||Tata Altroz|
|0-100kmph (First Attempt)||11.32 seconds||12.73 seconds|
|0-100kmph (Second Attempt)||11.93 seconds||12.52 seconds|
|0-100kmph (Third Attempt)||11.59 seconds||12.59 seconds|
Well, the Hyundai i20 is clearly faster of the two and its advantage on paper translates quite well in real world performance. The best run achieved with the i2o was 11.32 seconds while the best run achieved with the Altroz was at 12.52 seconds. That's a difference of over a second. While a gap of about a second does not seem all that much on paper, the Hyundai i20 diesel actually feels quite a lot faster than the Altroz diesel.
Summing this up, both cars are quite well packaged and you should be good with both. It must however be noted that the diesel engine on the i20 is a little more refined than the one in the Altroz. And as we have clearly demonstrated in this test, it is also the faster of the two. The top-spec Tata Altroz diesel is priced at INR 8.95 lakh while the top-spec Hyundai i20 diesel is priced at INR 10.74 lakh, both prices ex-showroom. Yes, the i20 is almost INR 2 lakh more expensive than the Altroz but it is quite worth it considering how well packaged and well equipped the new-gen i20 is.