Micra vs i20 vs Polo GT TSI: Automatic Hatchbacks Comparison
Just the other day, I was returning home from work. The time was about 10:15 pm with traffic quite sparse. But just as I eased myself thinking about a relaxed fuel efficient drive home, my commute abruptly came to a halt thanks to the road ahead choc-a-bloc with traffic. One moment you’re chilling in a high gear at constant speeds and the next you’re playing constantly with the clutch in first gear. It’s exactly at these moments that you miss an automatic transmission which is so much more convenient when the going gets stuck in bad traffic. And this situation gets aggravated when one travels at peak hours trying to get to work or back home. As a result, the sales of automatic hatchbacks have been steadily increasing with almost all manufacturers adding an AT variant to their hatchback line-up. So what we have done is rounded up the best premium automatic hatchbacks money can buy.
The Hyundai i20 has been one of the most popular choice in its segment and in it’s AT avatar gets a more potent 1.4 litre, 100PS engine. Second in line is the newest and not to mention a very exciting entrant in the AT hatchback segment, the Polo GT TSI. And finally rounding up the comparison is another new entrant in the form of the new Nissan Micra, which has just received a major facelift and more importantly the famous Nissan CVT gearbox. We pit these AT hatchbacks in a bout to see which one comes out as a one foot wonder.
Now I did mention about this being a ‘premium’ hatchback comparison and as a result you will almost be paying the price of a sedan to buy on of these. Thus looking good is paramount in this segment. The i20 is the oldest of the lot here, but by no means does it look dated. Lots of cuts and creases along with that fluidic design theme, the i20 has aged well and even now is one of the best looking cars in its segment. If the i20 is Richard Gere, the Micra looks like Justin Bieber (in a good way). The Micra now is bolder, more aggressive and yet a whole lot more attractive than it ever was. Gone are the oval headlamps and the soft baby look of the front grille and the air dam. Instead, the new Micra sports a headlamp design more in tune with the Nissan family’s current design theme – a nice set of rakish lamps that make the car look angrier than before. While the front end gets that heavy do-over and still manages to gel well with the rest of the curvy car, the changes at the rear are much less subtle. The taillamps retain their existing design but are now lined up with LEDs – another class-first from Nissan. On the outside the only other major change is the new set of very swanky alloy wheels that buyers of the XV and above variants will get as standard equipment.
Now that we have Richard Gere and Justin Bieber covered, let’s have a look at the final entrant in the group. With all three cars standing together, the VW Polo is by far the best looking car and comes out as the Brad Pitt of the group. While there is nothing radical about the design, the Polo offers a terrific balance between a conventional silhouette along with modern lines. Compared to the other Polo variants, this new car really looks no different than the standard Polo that’s available in the market. It has the same blackened headlight surrounds from the recent Polo facelift, the same 15-inch alloy wheels which are standard on the Highline model, et al. In fact, apart from the GT badge on the front grille and boot, a TSI badge at the back and GT TSI stickers on the C-pillars, there is virtually nothing to differentiate this car from any other regular Polo. On one hand, it’s a good thing that it doesn’t scream vulgarity with some gaudy sticker job or racing stripes, and maintains its cool, suave composure.
So if it is looks that is priority on your buying list, the Polo, especially in red makes a strong case for itself. As for the other two, it depends solely on your taste to choose between the evergreen i20 and the funky Micra.