Top 5 cars for Rs 15 lakh
Rs 15 lakh is a sizeable sum of money even now. It’s the price bracket for the discerning car buyer who has the ability to flex his/her budget for a car a segment above or below and that makes it a tough segment to exist in. But if you have zeroed in on this price bracket, there’s still the car and variant decision to make. All the cars in our top five have turned out to be diesels and you’ve got four executive sedans and an SUV. If you are wondering why a car and variant didn’t make the cut, it just scored lower than the cars in our top five. All cars priced between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 15.99 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi were considered for the rankings. We followed the same method of rating as we did in the Top 5 cars for Rs 10 Lakh story. If you haven’t read it yet, have a look. Here are the parameters once again:
All cars were rated on a scale on 1-5 with 1 being poor and 5 being outstanding.
Engine and Gearbox:
We considered everything from driveability to refinement to NVH before deciding on the rating for the engine, while for the gearbox, things like shift quality and ease and progression of clutch actuation was looked into.
Ride and Handling:
In a market like India, wherein good roads are hard to come by, ride quality – at both low speed and high – is extremely important. But, just a plush ride isn’t enough; the ride shouldn’t be noisy or coupled with vibrations either. As for handling, we considered both ease of driving in the city and the car’s stability in a straight line, under braking, and around a corner.
The more the features, the better. Well, for most part. We also looked into the ease of using these features and not all features were given equal weightages. Features that are more useful, naturally, got a higher rating.
Easily the most important buying criteria, we simply took ARAI quoted fuel economy figures to arrive at a score. The higher the kmpl figure, the higher the score.
Fun to Drive:
Fun to drive is the most subjective parameter here. But, also a crucial one. And for a car to be fun to drive everything from the engine and gearbox performance, to the steering feel and response, to the tyre grip and the overall handling prowess of the car were rated on. The cars that managed to put bigger smiles on our faces, scored higher.
Rank 1: Skoda Octavia Active 2.0 TDI MT
The Octavia in its latest generation ticks a lot of boxes right in the executive sedan list. It’s quite powerful at 143PS and although it shares the engine with the Jetta (which doesn’t make the cut as the Octavia is similar but better in every aspect), it’s been tuned to offer a wider torque band and more power and despite that, is the second most fuel efficient car in our list. The Octavia is also the most enjoyable to drive around a set of corners and has a composed pliant ride at all speeds. The Octavia falls short on the features list in this base active variant though. For a buyer in this price bracket, a long list of features is important. You get a long list of features on higher variants of the Octavia but they don’t make it in this price bracket.