Not long back, the Global NCAP safety tests of a few cars like the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso raised flags about the scathing reality of unsafe cars in India. At the cost of rolling out a car with a low price tag, several manufacturers are compromising on the safety, which otherwise should be among the checklist of major aspects while buying a car. Hence if you are looking to buy your next car, here are the 6 best options out there.
The Mahindra XUV300 operates in the hotly contested sub-compact SUV segment in India and has returned respectable sales figures for the company. The top-spec variant of the car comes with segment-first features including seven airbags, dual-zone climate control with memory function, front parking sensors, heated mirrors, and disc brakes for all four wheels. Other noteworthy features include a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a sunroof, cruise control, push-button start, leather seats, hill hold function and a seven-inch infotainment system with smartphone mirroring tech and navigation.
Mechanically, the car is powered by two engine options that come in the form of a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel engine. The petrol unit delivers 109bhp and 200Nm of torque. Meanwhile, the oil burner outputs 115bhp and 300Nm of torque. In the domestic market, the XUV300 locks horns with a few of the best selling cars in India including the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet and the Tata Nexon.
In its latest update, the Tata Nexon got minor cosmetic changes that have majorly affected its persona. As with the electric version of the SUV, this one gets a revised hood for jacked-up muscularity, a tweaked grille, sharper headlamps with tri-arrow pattern DRLs and a new lower grille as well. The car sits on a set of new alloy wheels which adds more character, while its revised LED tail lamps give it a distinct look. In terms of safety, the Nexon boasts of a five-star NCAP safety rating ensuring owners and prospective buyers of a very safe car. This is backed up by a safety suite of dual-airbags, hill-hold assist, roll-over mitigation, ABS with EBD, traction control and more.
In its top-rung variant, the Tata Nexon gets features like engine push-start button, touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, cruise control, etc. Remarkably, it now gets added features like a digital instrument cluster, TPMS and a much-in-demand sunroof. Also, a notable addition in the new Nexon is the carmaker has come up with a new ‘Xpress Cool’ button owing to the hot and humid climatic conditions in India. In terms of powertrain, the Nexon gets a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that outputs 118bhp and 170Nm of torque. Transmission options for the engine include a 6-speed manual and an AMT. Alongside the petrol powertrains, also available is an oil burner that outputs 108bhp and 260Nm of torque. Transmission option on offer includes a manual and an AMT unit.
The Renault Triber scored a four-star safety rating in the adult occupant protection and a 3-star rating in child occupancy protection at Global NCAP, making it the safest 7-seater tested to date in the mass segment in India. In its base-spec trim, the Triber comes equipped with two airbags, a seatbelt reminder system, speed alert warning, rear parking sensors and ABS with EBD. However, if you opt for top-spec trim of the Triber, you also get speed sensing door lock and impact sensing door unlock features along with two additional side airbags, taking the total count up to class leading 4 airbags in its top-spec trim.
14Earlier this year, the French carmaker has updated the Triber sub-compact MPV with a few subtle upgrades for the 2021 model year. These upgrades include the addition of new dual-tone colors on the top-spec RXZ trim and some new features on the inside as well. Powering the 7-seater MPV is the BR10 1.0-litre Dual VVT petrol engine. The naturally aspirated three-cylinder mill produces maximum power of 72hp at 6,250 rpm and peak torque of 96 Nm at 3,500 rpm. For transmission duties, there is either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed AMT gearbox.
The Tata Altroz was introduced as the brand’s first-ever premium hatchback that goes against players like the Hyundai i20 and the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. In terms of features, the top-of-the-line XZ trim gets keyless entry and start, electric ORVMs, and cruise control. Also on offer are flat-bottom, tilt-adjustable steering with controls for audio and voice commands. The driver’s seat is height adjustable. There’s a single zone digital climate control system with rear AC vents along with a Harman touchscreen multimedia system complete with Andriod Auto and Apple Carplay.
In terms of powertrain, the car gets two petrol as well as one diesel engine option. The petrol engine comes in the form of a 1.2-litre unit that outputs 85 bhp and 113 Nm of torque. There's also a 1.2L turbo-petrol engine that puts out 110hp and 140Nm of torque. The diesel, on the other hand, is a 1.5-litre engine that delivers 89 bhp and 200 Nm of torque. Tata is offering a sole manual transmission option throughout the range. Also, Altroz could soon get a DCT gearbox, brand's first dual clutch gearbox.
In its most recent update, the Tata Tiago got quite a few comprehensive updates over its predecessor. On the outside, the hatchback gets new front bumper, headlamps and a new grille. In addition to this, the car also gets dual-tone alloy wheels, a black roof and black ORVMs with turn indicators.
On the inside, the new Tiago gets a mild update over its predecessor for freshness. The most major update of which is a fully digital instrument cluster as well as a new touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto alongside other connectivity options like USB and AUX-IN. In terms of powertrain, the Tiago gets a BS-VI compliant 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 84bhp and 113Nm of torque. The engine can be had in both five-speed manual and five-speed AMT options.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
On its way to the only-petrol iteration, Maruti Suzuki kept the exterior updates to a bare minimum. The Brezza’s nose now has a generous dose of chrome on its grille, which is complemented by a pair of projector headlamps and LED DRLs. The Vitara Brezza is a slightly bigger car than the Kiger at 3,995mm long, 1,790mm wide 1,640 mm in height and a wheelbase of 2,500mm. Dominating the dash is the large 7-inch touchscreen ‘Smartplay studio’ system, below which there is an uncluttered layout of sleek air-con controls and the USB, AUX and charging ports. Also, plastic quality remains the same, which is acceptable for this segment (Hyundai Venue sets the segment standard).
In terms of safety, the car comes with features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, and rear parking sensors. While the pre-facelift Vitara Brezza was offered with a diesel engine, the facelifted SUV comes with a 1.5-litre petrol unit. This engine puts out 105PS of power and 138Nm of torque. It comes mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission option or a 4-speed AT gearbox. The Vitara Brezza is offered with a 2WD system. Prices for the Maruti Vitara Brezza starts at INR 7.39 lakh (ex-showroom) for the LXI variant.