With fuel prices hiking rampantly, buying a car at this period of time isn't the brightest idea. However, considering the exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases every day, passengers cars could be the safest way of transportation. This is also proven by various studies and surveys that have been conducted over the past few months.
Speaking about demand in a price-sensitive market like India, reports shows that passenger cars with low maintenance cost and better fuel efficiency are likely to get more buyers than any other segment. Hence, if you are in the market looking for your first car, one which scores well in terms of good fuel efficiency, here are your 5 best choices in the Indian market-
The Honda Amaze gets two BS-VI engine options - a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel unit. Both are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the option of a CVT. The petrol unit delivers 90 PS and 110 Nm, whereas the diesel develops 100 PS and 200 Nm. The diesel CVT, however, produces slightly less power and torque, with 80 PS and 160 Nm.
Honda’s claimed fuel efficiency ratings state that the Petrol MT returns 18.6 kmpl and the petrol CVT delivers 18.3 kmpl. Speaking of diesel powertrains, the diesel MT returns 24.7 kmpl, while diesel CVT delivers 21 kmpl.
The Honda Amaze gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, rear parking camera, and passive keyless entry with push-button engine start-stop. In terms of safety, the car gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, and rear parking sensors. Prices for the car starts at INR 6.19 lakh* in India.
Maruti-Suzuki Alto 800
Small cars make for some of the wisest choices for Indian roads. In addition to saving money over premium vehicle acquiring them, small cars also prove to be less of a hassle when driving through stop-go traffic conditions in our cities. If these aspects appeal to your needs, then the Maruti Alto 800 stands as the right choice for you.
The Maruti Alto 800 is the most fuel efficient car in the country with a 48 PS, 800 cc engine that claims to deliver 22.05 Kmpl. In its BS-VI avatar, the car comes with more features and subtle changes outside as well. There's no diesel engine option, however, you can opt for more frugal CNG variant as well. The Alto is priced from INR 3.00 lakh for the Standard variant.
Maruti-Suzuki WagonR 1.0
The Maruti WagonR has been one of the most popular model in the brand's lineup. Apart from being value-for-money, the car has plenty of positives that work in its favour. It has always been easy to get in-and-out of, features an airy cabin and the versatile interior space made it very practical. In its new-generation version, Maruti has tried to build on these strengths and address the old car's weaknesses.
The new-gen comes with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system that dominates proceedings. It’s a brand-new unit and features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Maruti has also developed a SmartPlay Studio app that connects to the system. Through this app, you get music, offline navigation and many more features.
The new Wagon R comes with two engine options. In the lower variant, you get the same 1.0-litre engine as the previous generation. If you choose to buy the higher variants, you get the option of a larger 1.2-litre K12 engine from the Ignis and the Swift. The 1.0-litre engine puts out 68 hp and returns 21.79 kmpl. The 1.2-litre, on the other hand, produces 83 hp and returns 20.52 kmpl. Like the Maruti Alto, there's no diesel engine on offer. However, if you need something more frugal, you can opt for a CNG variant to get more mileage. Prices for the car start at INR 4.51 lakh in India.
The Maruti Baleno is another popular hatchback with a high mileage figure, a reason why Maruti-Suzuki is the largest carmaker in India. The Baleno offer four trims – Sigma, Delta, Zeta and Alpha. Under the hood, the Maruti Baleno gets a 1.2-litre petrol unit that generates 84 bhp and 114 Nm of torque. The engine gets a five-speed manual as standard, while the higher variants offer a CVT option.
Inside, the Baleno gets black-themed cabin design with premium blue contrast detailing. You get a dual-tone fabric design for the seats and an upgraded SmartPlay Studio infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard safety features include dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat mounts and rear parking sensors are standard. The Maruti Baleno gets a starting price of INR 5.70 lakh in India.
Maruti-Suzuki Dzire AMT
The Maruti Dzire facelift is offered with Maruti’s 1.2-litre DualJet petrol engine that produces 90 PS of power and 113 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 5-speed manual and gets the choice of a 5-speed AMT as well. This engine is the first to offer idle start-stop function in its segment, which helps it achieve better fuel efficiency. It has a claimed fuel efficiency of 23.26 kmpl with the MT and 24.12 kmpl with the AMT. Earlier, the Dzire had a 1.3-litre diesel motor that held the title of the most fuel efficient car in India.
The facelifted Maruti Dzire comes with features like cruise control, automatic LED headlamps, auto-folding ORVMs, push-button engine start-stop, and auto AC with rear AC vents. It also gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, and cloud-based services as well.
The Dzire comes with dual front airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors, and rear parking sensors as standard. Its AMT variants also get electronic stability control and hill hold assist while features like rear-view camera and rear defogger are offered in higher-spec variants. The AMT variants are priced from INR 7.32 lakh in India.
*All prices are ex-showroom
*All mileage figures are ARAI tested.