Hyundai i20 vs Tata Altroz – Premium Diesel Hatchback Performace Comparo!

If you are looking for a premium diesel hatchback, you are only limited with two options – the new Hyundai i20 and the Tata Altroz. So let’s find out which hatchback has better performance among the Hyundai i20 vs Tata Altroz.

The premium hatchback segment once only had four cars – the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, the Hyundai Elite i20, the Honda Jazz and the Volkswagen Polo. All four hatchbacks were offered with both a petrol and diesel engine. The segment has grown since then and now it also includes the likes of the Tata Altroz and the Toyota Glanza. If however you are looking for a diesel hatchback in this segment, you are only limited with two options – the new Hyundai i20 and the Tata Altroz. All other manufacturers – Maruti Suzuki, Volkswagen and Honda – have discontinued their diesel engines from their premium hatchbacks.

Hyundai i20 vs Tata Altroz- performance test.
Hyundai i20 vs Tata Altroz- performance test.

So if you have made up your mind on a diesel premium hatchback, what should you go for if you were also seeking the fun-to-drive factor? Hyundai i20 vs Tata Altroz? In this test conducted by Zigwheels, both the hatchbacks were tested for their acceleration and their braking and here’s who topped the charts. But first, let’s look at what’s powering them.

Diesel Engine Specifications

Hyundai i20Tata Altroz
Engine1.5-litre CRDi1.5-litre Revotorq
Power (PS)100PS90PS
Torque (Nm)240Nm200Nm
Gearbox6-speed manual5-speed manual

Both the Hyundai i20 and the Tata Altroz are powered by a 1.5L, four-cylinder diesel engine. The Hyundai however has the clear advantage on paper as it is more powerful and also has more torque than the Tata Altroz. The difference in power is 10PS while the difference in torque is more significant at 40Nm. The Hyundai i20 also gets an additional gear than the Altroz and that should make it more efficient on the highway runs. Neither hatchbacks are however offered with an automatic gearbox for their diesel engines.

The Hyundai i20 has the clear advantage on paper as it is more powerful and also has more torque than the Tata Altroz.
The Hyundai i20 has the clear advantage on paper as it is more powerful and also has more torque than the Tata Altroz.

Acceleration

Hyundai i20Tata Altroz
0-100kmph10.76 seconds12.90 seconds
30-80kmph (Third gear)7.81 seconds8.54 seconds
40-100kmph (Fourth gear)14.07 seconds14.53 seconds

The advantage on paper clearly speaks about the performance as well. Naturally, the i20 is quicker to the 100kph mark from standstill and that too by a significant margin of 2.14 seconds. In gear acceleration is no different as the i20 is still quicker of the two. The Altroz however does make up some ground by closing the gap in the 40-100kph run in forth gear to just 0.46 seconds of the Hyundai i20.

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The Tata Altroz is however much more affordable than the i20 and if you are constrained by budget, this should be the easy pick.
The Tata Altroz is however much more affordable than the i20 and if you are constrained by budget, this should be the easy pick.

Braking

Hyundai i20Tata Altroz
100-0kmph39.52m43.21m
80-0kmph24.31m27.83m

The Hyundai i20 stops just as well as it goes. From 80 or 100kph, the i20 stops in a shorter distance than the Altroz in both the cases. Both the hatchbacks use disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. However, the i20 clearly has the better stopping power.

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Pricing

Hyundai i20 DieselTata Altroz Diesel
Price (ex-showroom)Rs 8.20 lakh to Rs 10.75 lakhRs 6.99 lakh to Rs 8.95 lakh

The Hyundai i20 is surely expensive and there are no two ways about it. The top-end diesel i20 is a whole Rs 1.80 lakh more expensive than the top-end Altroz diesel and that’s a significant premium. Does it still offer bang for the buck? Well, if you were looking at features, looks and style, then certainly yes. And of course, it has the advantage in terms of performance too. But straight line performance is something and being a nice handler is a whole different ball game. To decide the real fun-to-drive diesel hatchback, you will also have to consider the driving dynamics of both the hatchbacks.