Gone are the days when the Indian automotive industry was seeing just a few carmakers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai or Tata. The domestic market has now welcomed the participation of many new car brands across various segments. Amidst the stream of newly-launched models, IndianAutosBlog aims to provide you with an up-to-date list of top cars in India in 2020-2021, ranging from the Maruti Swift, Hyundai Elite i20 to the Tata Altroz, Kia Seltos, Mahindra Thar, and more.
2020 has marked the worst year ever for the global automotive industry due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. India is no exception when the country’s car market suffered from a hefty downturn. Given the huge stress caused by the transition from BS4 to BS6-compliant vehicles, the coronavirus just came to make things even more complicated with the lockdowns. As a result, the Indian automotive growth rate sharply dropped by 47.5% in the first half of 2020 year-on-year. Worse yet, sales of new vehicles for April 2020 recorded zero volumes for the first in over two decades. Not until the second half did the sales graph show some clear signs of recovery from the hit.
OEM-wise, the Indian automotive industry remains to be dominated by such big names as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motors, and Tata Motors. This year, Maruti Suzuki continues to secure its top position with an increase in market share to 51.3 per cent. In August 2020, the market leader recorded a sales volume of 88,801 units, outperforming its biggest rival, Hyundai Motors, which only registered 34,699 units sold. Coming in third place with a sales number of 14,136 units, Tata was among the few brands enjoying positive growth by 29.8% in the sales chart for August 2020. Meanwhile, Mahindra & Mahindra made its presence at the fourth spot thanks to an exceptional sales volume of 9,038 units. Despite being a newcomer and the decline in buyers’ sentiments, Kia Motor also registered a remarkable volume of sales with 7,503 units in such a short period, up 74% compared to the same period last year. The race to the top spot is also joined by other popular brands, namely the Renault, Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Skoda.
In the tables below, we will list out the most popular cars in each segment in 2020 - 2021 with the price range and specifications.
Topping the list of best SUV cars in India, the Kia Sonet boasts of sporty designs, a feature-rich cabin, and comfortable drive quality. The Sonet is offered with a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol, a 1.2-litre petrol, and a 1.5-litre diesel engine mated to a wide choice of transmission options, ranging from a 5-speed MT, 6-speed MT, 6-speed iMT, a 6-speed AT to 7-speed DCT. With these engines, the sub-compact SUV can offer a claimed fuel mileage of up to 24.1 kmpl (for the diesel-MT variants). Launched at an attractive price of Rs 6.71 lakh, the India-spec Kia Sonet SUV sold over 9,000 units within just 12 days of its launch.
The second spot belongs to the Mahindra Thar. Thanks to its eye-catching design and newly-added features that satisfy more than one need, the all-new second-gen Thar has sold like hotcakes with more than 9,000 bookings within just 4 days from its launch. Mechanically, the 2020 Mahindra Thar brings in a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel engine. It is mated to a 6-speed manual and gets a 6-speed automatic option as well. Prices for the Thar SUV start at Rs 9.8 lakh.
The Kia Seltos, the elder sibling of Sonet, arrives at the third position. With a stunning in-and-out design and a long list of innovative features, the 5-seater SUV has managed to attract a wide set of customers since its first introduction. Performance-wise, the Kia model is offered with a 1.5-litre petrol, a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol, and a 1.5-litre diesel fuel option. It is paired with either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. Priced at Rs. 9.89 lakh, the Seltos brings in an impressive sales volume of 9,079 units in September 2020.
Ranking in fourth place is one of the most important models of Hyundai, the Creta. Apart from its premium looks and well-equipped cabin, the compact SUV also gains its popularity thanks to its powerful engine options under the bonnet. Specifically, the Creta comes equipped with a BS6-compliant 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol, a 1.5-litre diesel, and a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission along with an optional CVT or DCT. With prices starting at Rs 9.81 lakh, the Creta manages to sell a stellar volume of almost 10,000 units every month.
The Hyundai Venue stands at the fifth spot. Launched in May 2019, the sub-4m SUV appeals to a host of customers thanks to its right blend of space, features, and driving quality. Currently, the vehicle is available in six variants: E, S, S+, SX, SX+, and SX(O). The Venue is offered with three BS6 engine options mated to either a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. However, the manual gearbox and automatic options offered are different between variants. Loaded with lots of features, the Venue is attractively priced at Rs 6.75 lakh - 11.65 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The Maruti Dzire climbs its way to leading the list of top five sedan cars in India. Apart from its strong brand name, the Dzire boasts of a feature-rich cabin, excellent ride quality, and refined petrol engine. Performance-wise, the vehicle is powered by Maruti’s 1.2-litre DualJet petrol mated to a 5-speed manual along with a 5-speed AMT option. With this engine, the Dzire can generate 90PS of power and 113Nm of torque. It is also famous for its high claimed fuel economy of up to 24.12 kmpl. Currently, the facelifted Maruti Dzire has been launched with prices starting at Rs 5.89 lakh.
The second best sedan car to buy in India is the Honda City. In its fifth-gen avatar, the newly-launched City brings in both petrol and diesel engines. While the 1.5-litre petrol produces 121PS and 145Nm, the 1.5-litre diesel generates 100PS and 200Nm. The fifth-gen City also comes with a 6-speed manual transmission for either fuel version and a 7-step CVT for the petrol option. With these specifications in place, the Honda sedan has a claimed mileage of 17.8 kmpl (for the petrol-MT), 18.4 kmpl (for the petrol-AT) and 24.1 kmpl (for the diesel-MT model). Prices of the new City start from Rs 9.8 lakh.
Securing the third position, the Hyundai Verna comes with three engine options, including two petrol and one diesel. While the 1.5-litre petrol engine is mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT, the 1.5-litre diesel gets a choice of a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. However, the turbo-petrol is only offered with a 7-speed DCT. The feature-rich sedan also stands out with a high claimed fuel economy of up to 25.0 kmpl.
The fourth place is dominated by another popular model from Hyundai, the Aura. The sub-4m sedan brings in a BS6-compliant 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.2-litre diesel engine seen in the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios, and a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine seen in the Venue. While the petrol and diesel unit get a choice of a 5-speed manual and automatic transmission, the turbo-petrol is only paired with a 5-speed manual. With these powerful engines, the Aura offers an excellent fuel economy, ranging from 20.5 kmpl (for the petrol-MT) to 28.0 km/kg (for the CNG-MT model). The claimed ARAI mileage of petrol-MT and the diesel-MT engine stands at 20.53 kmpl and 25.35 kmpl, respectively.
Topping off the list of the five best sedans in India is the Honda Amaze. The all-new edition of Honda Amaze brings in BS6-compliant petrol and diesel engines mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and an optional CVT. While the claimed fuel efficiency of the 1.2-litre petrol unit ranges from 18.6 kmpl to 18.3 kmpl, the ARAI-rated mileage figure of the 1.5-litre diesel version stands at as high as 24.7 kmpl.
In the hatchback segment, The Maruti Baleno rules the highest spot. Among the best selling models from Maruti Suzuki, the Baleno comes with a BS6-compliant 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol and a 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The hatchback also gets an optional CVT gearbox for the naturally aspirated petrol unit. With these engines, the Maruti hatchback claims a fuel efficiency of up to 23.87 kmpl.
Hyundai Elite i20 arrives at second place thanks to its premium design and top-notch features. Performance-wise, the Elite i20 is powered by a BS6-compliant petrol engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. It is also worth noting that the diesel version has been dropped out of the model. With an engine that generates 83Ps of power and 114 Nm of torque, the Hyundai model comes with a fuel economy of 18.6 kmpl.
The third spot belongs to the Maruti Swift. Since its first introduction to the market back in 2005, the well-established hatchback has attracted a whole lot of customers thanks to its reliability and durability. In its latest avatar, the Swift comes with a BS6 1.2-litre petrol unit mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed AMT gearbox. With this engine, the new Swift can develop 83PS of power and 113Nm of torque. It also claims an ARAI-rated mileage of 21.21 kmpl.
The Tata Altroz is ranked in the fourth place in the list of top five hatchbacks in India. Mechanically, the premium hatchback brings in a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard. It also gets a choice of DCT automatic which is expected to be included soon. While the petrol unit develops 86 PS/113 NM, the diesel version is capable of producing 90PS/200Nm. The Altroz also has a high claimed mileage of up to 21.11 kmpl.
The Renault Kwid concludes the list at the fifth spot. The hatchback brings in two BS6-compliant engines, including a 0.8-litre and 1.0-litre. While the 0.8-litre only comes mated to a manual transmission, the latter is offered with either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission. The claimed fuel mileage of the vehicle stands at 22.0 kmpl.
As the global pandemic does not seem to end soon, the Indian automotive industry remains unpredictable. However, there appears some bright light at the end of the tunnel. In practice, the domestic market has picked up in leaps and bounds in the second half of 2020. For instance, August 2020 recorded a total sales volume of 225,963 units. The figure is even more satisfying in September with a sum of 292.883 units sold - an increase of 30.2 percent compared to that in August. Moreover, most auto companies are on their road to recovery. While it is almost certain that the cumulative sales of 2020 will not be able to catch up with those of the last year, the domestic car market is anticipated to keep up the recovery trend. According to experts, should the transition from BS4 to BS6 compliant vehicles and COVID-19 control measures go well, the industry may enjoy positive signs of real growth by early 2021.
The Maruti Suzuki Swift is currently leading the top-selling cars in India. According to statistics from Auto Punditz, the hatchback registered 22,643 units sold for September 2020, up 75 percent year-on-year.
The Mahindra XUV300 is the safest car in India by far. Tested by Global NCAP since 2014, the five-star SUV won the Safest Choice Award with a five-star rating for adult occupant protection and a four-star rating for child occupant protection. This is the highest combined occupant safety rating for cars sold in India.
The Volkswagen Polo is the strongest car in the hatchback/crossover segment in India and Volkswagen Vento is the strongest car in the compact-sedan & mid-sedan segment in India. The strongest SUV car in India is the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos. The Mahindra Marazzo is the strongest MPV car in India. Those are four vehicles best known for its strongest body structures and build quality in 2020.
The Maruti Suzuki Alto is the lowest maintenance car so far. The total cost of ownership of this car is around Rs 16.935 for five years. The Alto brings in a 0.8-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. With this engine, the model produces 48PS of power and 69Nm of torque and offers a mileage of 22.05kmpl.