In a day-and-age where the car buyers are spoilt for options, hardly few have seen a time when buying a car was more of a luxury than necessity. The option today ranges from the world’s most affordable hatchback - Tata Nano, to some of most expensive sportscars in the world - the Lamborghini Aventador S. But back in the early 90s, the options were limited to Premier Padmini or Maruti 800.
Eventually cars like Honda City, Tata Sierra and HM Contessa filled the gap as the 'dream cars', which sadly or luckily, are on sale in the second hand market for the price of a motorcycle. Yes, the cars of our dream of the past have become ridiculously cheap and can be bought at the price of scrap from the used car market.
Even though these vehicles are more than 15 years old now, you don't have to worry about them, until and unless you live in the Delhi-NCR area. NGT's order to ban diesel and petrol vehicles more than 15 years old doesn't apply to the rest of the country. Moreover, the ministry of road transport plans to have a fitness test for the road worthiness of 15 year old vehicles.
Here's a list of the top 5 used cars you can buy under Rs 50000!
1. Mitsubishi Lancer
Mitsubishi lancer was an ultimate boy crush, the quintessential sportscar back in the days. The Lancer sedan was the cousin to the Evo VI, one of the most familiar names in the rally racing world. While the Lancer was in itself a very good, a particular SFXi variant was the most loved by enthusiasts and buyers alike. Lancer's unique bright yellow paint with a sporty body kit and a spoiler on the boot lid, gave it a very raw and sports car like feel. For Rs 40000 or more, you will get a working model on which you can fit the Evo VI replacement body kit, Free flow exhaust, Performance air filter, and Stiffer suspension.
2. Honda City
While the today's Honda City is one of the most technologically advanced and refined mid-size sedan in the country, it was the first-gen Honda City that took India by storm, and we have to admit, we loved it more as an enthusiast than today's City. The original sedan had a buttery smooth Hyper 16 engine and the low hung chassis made it a driving marvel. Add to it the subtle side skirts, barely noticeable spoiler and the lovely alloys, it was a desirable object of its time. For Rs 50,000 you can get a functional City and can add a turbo kit to the supremely refined and agile motor.
3. Ford Ikon
The 'Josh Machine' as it was fondly called, the Ford Ikon was the first car to establish the name of the American carmaker in the country. The Ikon came powered by a 1.6-litre 90 bhp engine, that is still a distant dream for many sedans of the recent times. Not only the engine, but the Ikon was one of the better handling cars of its time, and had great looks too. The NXT version was the most favored one. Spend a little over Rs 50,000 to purchase a model and add wider tyres to it. You’re good to go.
4. Hindustan Motors Contessa
No matter how beautiful a car is today, it can never match the sheer personality of the Hindustan Motors Contessa, a product ahead of its time, and still loved and desired by many. The HM Contessa was based on the Vauxhall Victor sold in Europe and was probably the country’s first luxury car. Powered by a reliable 1.8-litre Isuzu engine, India's only muscle car offered great ride quality and roomy interiors. While it's hard to find many, you can get a Contessa in running condition for Rs 45,000 onwards. You can then spruce up the interiors, add a little matte finish, probably Black paint scheme to the exteriors. Voila, Gangster mode activated.
5. Maruti Zen
Last on our list is definitely the best of the lot - the Maruti Zen hatchback. We would stretch our neck here to announce the Maruti Zen as the first ‘hot hatch’ to ever go on sale in India. The Zen was powered by a 1.0-litre engine with only 50 bhp on tap. But its lightweight body, and nimble steering made it a driver’s delight. To top it all, it had a funky looking Jellybean shaped design and can be fixed almost anywhere in the country. You get it as low as Rs 35,000 onwards and add racing seats to it, along with a couple of engine mods.
Disclaimer: The prices are sourced from various online listings and can change time to time!