Recently we shared with you a detailed post on the most practical and best entry level diesel hatchbacks / small cars under Rs. 5.50 Lakhs for new buyers and talked in detail about the pros and cons of the diesel choices available below the Rs.5.5 lakh price tag. Today we will move towards the premium diesel hatchback segment comprising of cars such as Swift, Punto, Polo, Liva, i20 etc. In this article, we share with you Top 5 Premium Diesel Small Cars in India which is the segment most new buyers are buying these days in India.
Maruti Suzuki Swift
We are talking about the most popular hatch in the market and there is a great fan following for this car. The 2011 model of the Swift was launched in August 2011 and since then the waiting periods have been high but inspite of that buyers are willing to wait which clearly describes the popularity of this car. The 2011 Swift diesel is priced between Rs. 5.54 lakh and Rs.6.76 lakh. It equips a 1.3 litre DDIS Fiat Multijet motor that is good for 73.5 BHP of max power at 4000 RPM and 190 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM. The same returns a mileage of 22.9 KMPL which is impressive. In terms of styling and features and interior quality, Maruti has come a long way and is improving day by day. The car has a beautiful suspension which is comfortable and sporty at the same time. You can surely take the Swift to its limits and it will not disappoint you. One major reason why we won’t buy this car is the space at the rear which is less compared to the previous generation model.
image – Maruti Swift 2011 Interiors
Fiat Grande Punto
One of my favorites car is the Punto but it is quite unfortunate that it could not do well in terms of sales performance. It has a stunning design, solid build quality, superb ride quality, magnificent driving dynamics and a fuel efficient engine. The downsides of buying this car is first and foremost the smaller service network which could be big problem if your car halts at a remote place, secondly the the space at the rear seat (similar to Swift) and thirdly the not so pleasing engine noise inside the cabin. The car is priced between Rs.5.59 lakh and Rs.7.21 lakh. The interiors are interesting but the plastic quality, fit and finish does not set any benchmark. It comes in two diesel engine options: a 1.3 litre Multijet engine and a 1.3 litre Advanced Multijet diesel engine. The output for the Multijet is at 74 BHP @ 4000 RPM and 197 Nm @ 1750 RPM while for the Advanced Multijet the output figures are at 91 BHP @ 4000 RPM and an enormous 209 Nm @ 2000 RPM. The car returns a mileage of 20.3 KMPL which isn’t bad at all.
Volkswagen brought the Polo a few years back and it was an immediate hit. From the design to the ride quality, everything is to die for. One of the strong selling points of the Polo is its European design which our market was unfamiliar with, until its launch. The car is priced between Rs.5.99 lakh and Rs.6.94 lakh. The interior is again typically European which one may not like as it is too simple when compared to new generation cars. Under the hood the car features a 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder, in-line diesel unit that can put out an appreciable 75 BHP of max power at 4200 RPM and 180 Nm of enormous torque at just 2000 RPM. The same can return a good mileage of 22.07 KMPL.
Toyota Etios Liva
Toyota launched the Etios duo to get a place in the value for money hatchback list but unfortunately not enough prospective buyers liked the car. The design is too dull and not sporty, though it might feel elegant but it is not up to the mark. Things in favor of the car include a spacious cabin to accommodate 5 adults, effortless to drive in the city, good handling, safety features. Now coming to things that work against Liva, the quality of the interior and feel is not good, a not so friendly dashboard design, noisy on the inside. The car is priced between Rs.5.86 lakh and Rs.6.17 lakh. Under the hood the car features a 1.4 litre engine that produces a max power of 66 BHP at 3800 RPM and peak torque of 170 Nm between 1800 and 2400 RPM. The same returns a great mileage of 23.6 KMPL.
image- Toyota Etios Liva Interiors
Hyundai’s flagship premium hatch- Hyundai i20 has done brilliant sales over the past few years and recently the major updated the i20 with an all new front fascia. The new fluidic design does catch your eye and looks pleasing. On the inside, though not many changes have been made, the car still looks pretty good. From the design of the dashboard to the quality of the plastics, all looks good. The suspension is well tuned too and the comfort level is good, though the space at the rear could be a tad less when compared to Liva and other spacious vehicles. To me it’s a great car but it would have been much better if priced a little lower. The car is priced between Rs.5.96 lakh and Rs.7.44 lakh. Under the hood the car equips a 1.4 litre CRDI diesel engine that puts out 89 BHP of max power at 4000 RPM and 220 Nm of peak torque between 1500 and 2750 RPM. The car returns a mileage of 21.9 KMPL.
image – Hyundai iGen i20 2012 Interiors
Well all cars have their own strong points and weak points. Swift lacks space but is great value for money whereas the Punto has a great built and engine but is noisy. Similarly the Liva is spacious but lacks the sporty feel whereas the Polo is superb in design but lacks essential features. The i20 is a feature packed car but is a little pricier. We are not biased at all, but if you look at aspects such as aftersales service, initial price, fuel efficiency and features the Swift seems to be the ultimate choice. But if you want to have a better looking car with the same engine specs the Punto is not bad either. Polo is definitely a good car and does offer great handling, safety and build-quality, but slightly on the higher price side. If you wish to spend some more money for premiumness and features, then the i20 is the hatch for you.