India, as known globally is the kingdom of small cars. It has been the trend in India ever since Maruti 800 launched in the 1980’s. The reason for their success is not any monetary issues but because of the traffic situations and road infrastructure in India, it is easier to maintain and manoeuvre smaller cars in India. In addition, in the hatchback category, there is premium segment in which a customer gets the best of both world experience, i.e. the comfort, refinement, smoothness and luxury of a sedan packed in the body of a small car.
This premium segment accounts for most sales for cars in the country and are uber-cool and trendy as well. So here, we examine the top 5 hatchbacks available in the country currently, taking all the things into account.
1) Maruti Suzuki Swift
Since its launch in 2005, this car has been a runaway success. It had been a winner in the European markets and was no different in India, first it looks magnificent and seems very balanced, and then there is a mix of certain sportiness in it. This sportiness is first visible on the outside with an aggressive bumper and grill and then there are those head and tail lamps, which extend well until the side of the car. The car offered in jet-black interior trim, which just takes the car to a completely new level. Then there are the engine options, Swift’s 1.3L DDiS diesel engine is considered as one of the best diesel engines in the market, and is good for 24Kmpl. The 1.2L VVT petrol is no less too, as it can also shell out 19kmpl. However, the biggest reason why swift is so much popular in India is the trust and the value of the brand, every single family knows and honours Maruti for their service and quality. In addition, Maruti Suzuki surely knows how to make cars solely for India.
2) Hyundai i20
Never has there been a case when Maruti Suzuki is contesting for position in a particular segment and Hyundai does not have an answer to it. i20 recently been given a facelift by Hyundai and made it simpler in its design. The car now follows Hyundai’s “fluidic design”, which has been a decent hit in India. The engine is another success saga, as the diesel engine is much better than that of Swift has and churns out a ridiculous 220NM of torque. There is a certain heavy and robust feel about the car as the car feels planted while driving, which one does not get in Swift. This car feels more upmarket than Swift, the reason being that there are much more things on offer. This car made to rival both Swift and Swift Dzire with its feature list and comfort level. Hyundai has given it day running LED lamps, an upmarket beige interior and a non-sporty elegant look. Despite having excelled in all departments, it still cannot dethrone Swift as all these amenities come at a price and this car with all its features, costs over 1lakhs more than the Swift. In addition, the maintenance of this car is also more than the Swift, but it is a great brilliant car.
3) Volkswagen Polo
Polo is the bestselling and the most profitable car for the VW group in India. It is a sheer example of German engineering and perfection, the design of the car is completely classy and flawless. This car is by far, the most balanced car in the segment in terms of it design. The completely clean design, with seamlessly extending lines and curves along the side of the car give it a perfect classy look. The engine is an example of German master class, there are 3 engine options to choose from, a 1.2L petrol. 1.2L diesel and 1.6L highly powerful petrol version. The interiors are simple, elegant, with a combo of beige, and dark brown. The car is quite comfortable to drive as well. The car high on features as well, it has all the non-sporty essential driver aids. In a recent facelift, the Polo was given a smoky set of headlamps, which makes it sportier from the outside as well. But because it was a success on European roads that doesn’t make it successful in India as there not much updates for India, and the car has a pretty low ground clearance which makes it very risky to drive on Indian roads, given the kind of conditions we have, then there is the problem with high placement of dashboard, which makes driving worse in case of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Overall, it is a nice car, anyone who knows and respects the robustness and quality of VW, should probably buy this car, and would fetch you more status points at a party than other Japanese competitors would.
4) Fiat Grande Punto
Fiat once had a good market share and brand value in India, but soon it was forced to leave and surrender to the overgrowing demands of the Indian market. However, Fiat being the owner and head of many great car companies like the Ferrari and Chrysler was no less on motivation of getting into the Indian market. Hence, it collaborated with Tata motors of providing them with certain engines and in return, Tata would help them in selling their cars. Fiat Punto is a perfect case of Italian flamboyance with engine. There are three-engine option, 1.2 petrol, 1.4 petrol and 1.3 MultiJet diesel engines. This punchy MultiJet diesel is continuously voted as the best engine in the market. It offers upto 21Kmpl in the city traffic. The car has a very sporty exterior and has no split personalities; it is kind of a small race car, which was meant to provide fun. The interiors are not flamboyant and attractive as a Swift but still they do a nice job. The only problem that lies with this brilliant car is its brand value. The brand and the resale value are two big things in a prospective Indian customer’s mind. However, leaving aside the brand, this is a fantastic car, which has not been given enough respect.
5) Ford Figo
Ford Figo has been the game changing product for Ford in India. Ever since its launch, the car has been given good reviews, but actually, this is a very good car on offer. There is actually no flaw in this car, its well-built, has a pretty nice interior, with a recent upgrade has a nice exterior as well, and the biggest benefit is, that it is the most spacious car of the category and easily sits more people in the back than others. Like the other cars, it is the diesel engine that accounts for more sales, but here actually the engine is quite good as well too. Not that the petrol engine is bad, it is just that the diesel is better, much better. Then is the pricing, this car with its seriously aggressive and competitive pricing is around 50k less than the Swift, which is currently the segment leader. This car is pretty much the young boy in the group but still, it is currently one of the top 10 cars in the market.