Top 5 best small cars in India - IAB picks

23/06/2020 - 23:18 | ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,   | jeogeorge

In the last one decade, small cars in India have come a long way from being just the most affordable four wheeled passenger cars to much more desirable cars with versatile characters. Here, we have penned down five best small cars in India in terms of aspects like comfort, fuel economy (mileage) and in-cabin technologies, etc.

Space and comfort – Maruti Baleno

The Maruti Baleno has been a sure-shot blockbuster from day one of its arrival in the Indian market. While there have been a number of factors contributing to its humongous success, the most important factor why people have preferred it over other hatchbacks is the sense of space it provides on the inside, which makes it one of the best small cars in India.

best small cars in India Maruti Baleno front three quarter
The Maruti Baleno has the longest wheelbase in its category, making it the most spacious hatchback currently in India.

The Maruti Baleno falls under the four meter mark, but has the longest wheelbase in its segment, which gives it the best leg room and knee room in its segment. Even the boot space of 339 liters is currently the highest a hatchback has ever got in the Indian market.

The Maruti Baleno is currently being offered with two petrol engine options – a 1.2 litre four cylinder petrol (83 PS/113 Nm) and a 1.2-litre four cylinder Dualjet petrol with mild hybrid technology (90 PS/113 Nm). A 5-speed manual gearbox is common to both the engines, however, the standard 83 PS motor also comes with an optional CVT gearbox.

Maruti Baleno petrol manual prices*

  • Sigma - INR 5.98 lakh
  • Delta - INR 6.71 lakh
  • Delta DualJet - INR 7.59 lakh
  • Zeta - INR 7.34 lakh
  • Zeta DualJet - INR 8.22 lakh
  • Alpha - INR 8.10 lakh

Maruti Baleno petrol automatic prices*

  • Delta - INR 7.91 lakh
  • Zeta - INR 8.54 lakh
  • Alpha - INR 9.30 lakh

Fuel efficiency and reliability – Maruti Swift

The Maruti Swift is the oldest nameplate in this entire list, and the fact that even after 15 years of its existence, it continues to be one of the highest selling hatchbacks in the country boils down to its immense practicality. The Maruti Swift is highly regarded for its easy to use and drive nature, high resale value, low maintenance costs and high fuel efficiency figures.

best small cars in India Maruti Swift Front Three Quarters Right Side
With a claimed fuel economy of 21.21 km/l, the Maruti Swift ranks high in fuel efficiency among compact cars.

The Maruti Swift was earlier available with a 1.2-litre four cylinder petrol motor as well as a 1.3-litre four cylinder diesel motor, however, in the BS-6 era, the latter has been shown the exit doors.

For now, the sole engine option is the 1.2-litre petrol motor (83 PS/113 Nm), which is offered with both 5-speed manual and 5-speed AMT gearboxes. And with both the transmission options, the engine is capable of returning a high fuel efficiency of 21.21 kmpl.

Maruti Swift manual prices*

  • LXI - INR 5.73 lakh
  • VXI - INR 6.36 lakh
  • ZXI - INR 6.86 lakh
  • ZXI+ - INR 7.77 lakh
  • ZXI+ DT - INR 7.91 lakh

Maruti Swift automatic prices*

  • VXI AMT- INR 6.86 lakh
  • ZXI AMT- INR 7.49 lakh
  • ZXI+ AMT - INR 8.27 lakh
  • ZXI+ DT AMT - INR 8.40 lakh

Technology and features – Hyundai i20

After a long wait, the third-gen Hyundai i20 has finally arrived in November 2020. The new model Hyundai i20 continues to be one of the hottest compact sedans in the market. It also remains to be one of the best small cars in India. Just like the previous-gen Hyundai i20, the new-gen model offers an appealing design, a well-equipped feature list, and an overall high quality.

best small cars in India 2018 Hyundai i20 facelift review front three quarters shot
The Hyundai i20 has got some segment-first features like wireless charging and side and curtain airbags.

In its top-spec variant, the Hyundai i20 has been loaded with all the bells and whistles, including the segment-first features like side and curtain airbags, wireless charger, cornering fog lamps, push-button start with keyless entry, cooled glovebox and Arkamys sound for the music system. The new-gen model is fitted with some new features including a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, electric sunroof, cruise control, and rain-sensing wiper.

Besides the old 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine, the Hyundai i20 gets another 1.5-litre diesel engine.

Hyundai i20 prices*

  • Magna+ - INR 6.85 lakh
  • Sportz+ - INR 7.69 lakh
  • Asta(O) - INR 7.84 lakh

Performance and driving dynamics – Ford Figo 

The Ford Figo might not have been a highly successful model like the aforementioned cars above in terms of sales numbers. However, what it surely manages to turn in its favor is the attention of driving enthusiasts. Fords are generally believed to be great driver’s cars, and the Figo is no exception in that direction.

best small cars in India New Ford Figo Blu Review Images Exterior Front
Both the petrol and diesel engine options of the Ford Figo are the most powerful in their respective categories.

The Ford Figo is being offered in the Indian car market with two engine options – a 1.2-litre three cylinder petrol motor (96 PS/119 Nm) and a 1.5-litre four cylinder diesel engine (100 PS/215Nm), both of which are paired to a same 5-speed manual gearbox. Both these engines currently rank as the most powerful motors in their segments, and along with Ford’s driving DNA of excellent steering and suspension setups, they do combine to make the Ford Figo a fun-to-drive hatchback.

Ford Figo petrol prices*

  • Ambiente – INR 5,39,000
  • Trend - INR 5,99,000
  • Titanium - INR 6,35,000
  • Titanium Blu - INR 6,95,000

Ford Figo diesel prices*

  • Trend - INR 6,86,000
  • Titanium - INR 7,25,000
  • Titanium Blu - INR 7,85,000

Design and safety – Tata Altroz

Apart from the sci-fi design which looks the most beautiful among all the hatchbacks, the Tata Altroz made its foray into the Indian car market with a very tall claim that no other hatchback in India has ever achieved – a commendable 5-star rating at the Global NCAP crash test results. The tough body structure of the Tata Altroz makes it the safest hatchback in the country today, and that too despite not getting side and curtain airbags like the Ford Figo and Hyundai i20.

best small cars in India Tata Altroz Front Three Quarters Action 1
The Tata Altroz not only looks the most stylish among the hatchbacks, but also is the safest with a 5-star Global NCAP crash test rating.

The Tata Altroz has been made available with a choice of two engine options – a 1.2-litre three cylinder petrol engine (86 PS/113 Nm) and a 1.5-litre diesel engine (90 PS/200 Nm), both of which are paired to a common 5-speed manual gearbox.

Tata Altroz petrol prices*

  • XE – INR 5,29,000
  • XE Rhytm - INR 5,54,000
  • XM - INR 6,15,000
  • XM Style - INR 6,49,000
  • XM Rhytm - INR 6,54,000
  • XM Rhytm+Style - INR 6,79,000
  • XT - INR 6,84,000
  • XT Luxe - INR 7,23,000
  • XZ - INR 7,44,000
  • XZ (O) - INR 7,69,000
  • XZ Urban - INR 7,74,000

Tata Altroz diesel prices*

  • XE – INR 6,99,000
  • XE Rhytm - INR 7,24,000
  • XM - INR 7,75,000
  • XM Style - INR 8,09,000
  • XM Rhytm - INR 8,14,000
  • XM Rhytm+Style - INR 8,39,000
  • XT - INR 8,44,000
  • XT Luxe - INR 8,83,000
  • XZ - INR 9,04,000
  • XZ (O) - INR 9,29,000
  • XZ Urban - INR 9,34,000

Also read: 5 best sedan cars in India under INR 10 lakh - IAB Picks

Stay tuned to IndianAutosBlog for more featured stories and the latest four-wheeler news.

*Ex-showroom Delhi

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