5 diesel hatchbacks worth buying in the Rs 5 lakh - 8 lakh range post Budget 2012
In keeping along the lines of the recently announced Union budget where no extra taxes were levied on diesel cars, the country’s largest passenger car makers, Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki have announced plans to increase diesel car production. While this will take time to reflect on production volumes, here are the options that should be considered by anyone planning to buy a diesel hatchback within the price range of Rs. 5 lakh – 8 lakh.
Here are the top 5 contenders,
1. Maruti Suzuki Swift and Maruti Suzuki Ritz; prices start at Rs. 5.18 lakh ex-showroom Delhi
The Maruti Suzuki Swift has been selling like hot cakes ever since its launch seven years ago, and the queue for the diesel version goes out the door and around the block. And for good reason, its 1.3-litre diesel engine churns out 75PS of power and makes the car go like the clappers. Majority of the Swifts on the road that are driven with the pedal closer to the metal are diesels.
While that is all well and good, the crux of a diesel car is mileage, and the Swift diesel with its 17 – 18kmpl figure in the city, puts more cash in your wallet. Performance and economy together with its appeal is the reason for the car’s success in our market.
The diesel Swift range on offer is priced between Rs 5.5 lakh to Rs 6.76 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The Swift’s younger sibling, the Ritz is close on its heels on the sales charts. The Ritz comes with the same 1.3-litre engine as on the Swift and it even shares the same platform. But the car is different in terms of appeal – the Swift with its sporty characteristics makes it more attractive to the youth (mostly the darker sex) while the Ritz is more practical and appeals to a more style-conscious buyer.
Performance output of the Ritz may be on par with the Swift’s but the former goes a step ahead when it comes to mileage returning 20kmpl in the city. And that’s because the Ritz has been tuned for comfort and a relaxed drive while the Swift has been tuned for performance.
Prices of the Ritz are below Swift’s at Rs. 5.18 lakh – Rs 5.73 lakh, making it a more attractive proposition for people wanting a modern economical diesel hatchback.
2. Volkswagen Polo; prices start at Rs. 5.60 lakh ex-showroom Delhi
The Volkswagen Polo is undoubtedly the best looking car of the lot. Its German build quality is excellent and the whole car feels very well put together. Quality of materials and plastics are commendable. The Polo also rides well, no matter what the speed.
But getting up to speed is its biggest problem. The three-cylinder, 1.2-litre diesel engine may generate 76PS of power but the lack of that extra cylinder means the engine feels strained and trying to extract any enthusiastic performance out of it is a futile effort.
The lack of that extra cylinder also means that the engine has to work harder. The result is a mileage of 14kmpl.
Also, the price band of Rs 5.60 lakh – Rs 7.15 lakh is quite steep considering that even the top variant lacks equipment featured by its competition for less.