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.
- [Get On-Road Price] Price starts from: Rs 2.38lakh
- Engine: 0.6-litre Petrol
- Power: 37bhp Torque: 51Nm
- Fuel economy: 23.6kmpl
Tata Motors wants to take the Nano upmarket and the addition of an AMT transmission 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 23.6kmpl for the manual version while the AMT is rated good for 21.9kmpl. 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: 57bhp Torque: 75Nm
- Fuel economy: 22.03kmpl
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 57bhp 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 22.03kmpl 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 3.54lakh
- Engine: 1.2-litre Petrol
- Power: 67bhp Torque: 104Nm
- Fuel economy: 20.63kmpl
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 3.49lakh
- Engine: 1.0-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 K-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 24.07kmpl, 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 2.99lakh
- Engine: 1.0-litre Petrol
- Power: 53bhp Torque: 72Nm
- Fuel economy: 25.17kmpl
The Kwid has to be the most stylish car among all in the list. It now also offers a powerful 1.0 litre engine along with 0.8 litre unit and an option of AMT transmission. The 1.0 litre variant carries a chequer pattern on the side that differentiates it from the 0.8 litre variant. You great value for money in a stylish package. The car also offers a Navigation system with the top variant and a driver side airbag. Not only that, the car is also most frugal among all and promises a healthy 25.17kmpl. The Kwid also has one of best boot space on offer. At 300 litres, it's extremely practical. Refinement level are not the best and the engine tends to get noisy, NVH levels inside the cabin though are okay.
Not satisfied with the above list?
Before you make up your mind, check out the Top 5 upcoming cars in India to watchout for!