Budget hatchback buyers have never had it so good. Unlike a few years ago when buying a budget car meant buying the cheapest and smallest one now you can choose cars with space, style and performance as well. In their bid to outdo each other manufacturers are offering great value for budget buyers. There’s something for everyone, quite literally in the bottom end of the market. Here’s a look at the best options that you can buy within a limited budget.
Tata Nano Twist
- [Get On-Road Price] Price starts from: Rs 1.41lakh
- Engine: 0.6-litre Petrol
- Power: 36bhp Torque: 48Nm
- Fuel economy: 25.4kmpl
Tata Motors wants to take the Nano upmarket and the addition of a power steering is a step in this direction. The addition of power steering helps to park the Nano in the tightest of parking spaces. The cabin quality has been improved as well over the earlier Nano versions and you get plenty of legroom and headroom all across the cabin. The Nano now comes with a proper glovebox, stereo and speakers along with front power windows. You get a 624cc petrol engine with 37bhp. Though this power output might not look impressive on paper, the Nano’s 635kg weight means that the car has plenty of performance on tap. Tata Motors claims a fuel efficiency figure of 25.4kmpl for the Nano. At this price point, the Nano makes perfect sense as your first car or a car that you could gift your college going children.
- [Get On-Road Price] Price starts from: Rs 2.86lakh
- Engine: 0.8-litre Petrol
- Power: 55bhp Torque: 75Nm
- Fuel economy: 21.1kmpl
You get a good spacious cabin, generous equipment and a reliable engine all rolled into a stylish design. You get Hyundai’s fluidic styling on the exterior, which should appeal to young buyers. Power comes from a three-cylinder 800cc petrol engine, which generates 55bhp of power. The boot at 215-litre isn’t very generous on size but it’s well shaped to accommodate two large pieces of luggage. Hyundai claims a fuel efficiency of 21.1kmpl for the Eon, which means running costs will be low. The switchgear is marked clearly so it’s to operate. Visibility is good as well. The light controls are a boon as well. But unlike the Ford Figo and Datsun Go, the Eon’s high speed manners aren’t that brilliant. So it’s best to keep it within city limits. It’s the only car in this budget list which also gets a driver’s side airbag(in the top version).
- [Get On-Road Price] Price starts from: Rs 3.12lakh
- Engine: 1.2-litre Petrol
- Power: 67bhp Torque: 104Nm
- Fuel economy: 20.6kmpl
No other car can beat the sheer price-to-size value that the Go presents. The recently launched Datsun Go manages to stand out from the crowd of hatchbacks thanks largely due to its striking looks which negate its inexpensive car tag. The car comes with a 1.2-litre petrol engine borrowed from the Nissan Micra and gets 68bhp of power. Datsun claims an ARAI-figure of 20.63kmpl. The engine’s nippy nature means you will enjoy pushing it hard. The cabin’s USP is the small cushion positioned between the front two seats. Though the space inside is generous you can’t get away from the cost cutting. There is no glovebox on offer and the handbrake has been integrated along with the dashboard and is the old-school pull and twist type. And there is no stereo option even on the top variant. But at this price it is easy to forgive the Datsun Go’s few negatives and focus on the space inside.
- [Get On-Road Price] Price starts from: Rs 3.16lakh
- Engine: 1-litre Petrol
- Power: 67bhp Torque: 90Nm
- Fuel economy: 20.2kmpl
If you remain mostly within city limits then the Alto is for you.There are two Alto’s to choose from but we suggest you spend a bit more and buy the more expensive and powerful K10 version and avoid the underwhelming 800cc car if you can. Not only is the K10 engine more powerful but it’s also dynamically better and comes with the 1-litre petrol from the KB-series that pumps out 67bhp. The crisp steering, slick gearbox and light clutch makes this an agile handler, and there is some fun to be had for the keen driver. Its compact dimensions make it easy to manoeuvre around town and also park it in tight spaces. Though it trails some rivals for overall cabin space, it makes up by the supremely fuel efficient engine. Maruti claims an ARAI-figure of 20.02kmpl, which is very good for its size and class. The top-of-the line version comes with decent kit too, you get AC, front power windows and power steering as standard.
- [Get On-Road Price] Price starts from: Rs 3.89lakh
- Engine: 1.2-litre Petrol
- Power: 69bhp Torque: 102Nm
- Fuel economy: 15.6kmpl
If you enjoy driving and occasionally use the highway for trips on the weekend then the Ford Figo is a good choice. At this price you can get the 1.2-litre petrol engine which develops 69bhp. You get air-conditioning and power steering as standard kit in the base LXi version of the car.
The communicative steering and slick gearbox make it an enjoyable car to drive yourself. Solid build quality is Ford’s forte and the Figo is no different. Another advantage is its very comfortable ride quality which remains supple enough to take out the sting of bad roads in town and firm enough to deliver confidence as speeds increase. The Figo has a deep boot as well. At 284-litres it can hold a decent amount of luggage as well.
Not satisfied with the above list?
Want something with more appeal? Then check out Top 5 diesel cars under Rs 7 lakh budget!