Safety is the new buzzword and automotive manufacturers are improving this aspect of their products. We look at some of the safest hatchbacks at the most competitive prices available in the Indian market
Hatchbacks are evolving as the optimal car choice for the average Indian family. Affordable prices, compact size and improved manoeuvrability make them the cars of choice for crowded Indian metros. However, with mushrooming road mishaps, safety is a very real concern for both buyers and producers. Here’s a list of the safest hatchbacks below Rs 5.5 lakh available in the country. We’re looking at airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) as the parameters to judge their safety credentials.
Maruti Suzuki A-star:
The A-star is Indian numero uno Maruti Suzuki’s most competitive offering in the Indian hatchback segment. The pint-sized hatch sure does pack a punch though. The top end model, the ZXI Opt, is priced at an extremely frugal Rs 4.51 lakh and offers airbags, ABS and EBD, making it one of the cheapest and safest cars on Indian roads. The 1-litre engine returns 19kmpl which goes a long way towards it being wallet-friendly as well.
Another little hatch that’s big on safety is American multinational car manufacturer Ford’s solitary vehicle in the Indian hatchback market. The 1.2-litre Duratec Titanium variant is at the pinnacle of the list of variants and it’s priced at a prudent Rs 5.02 lakh. It returns approximately 17kmpl which isn’t too shabby at all.
Maruti Suzuki Ritz:
This mid-range hatchback is Maruti Suzuki’s second product with an adequate number of safety features enabling it to feature on this list. The Ritz is slightly bigger than the others on this list, and that’s reflected in its comparatively higher price. The Ritz ZXI is top dog in terms of the car’s internal hierarchy, and costs a fairly economical Rs 5.23 lakh. The Ritz also boasts of a 1.2-litre engine and will give you 17 kilometres to the litre, a range that rates decently well in this segment.
Japanese car maker Honda’s petite Brio ticks all the right safety boxes. One of the smallest cars on this list, its highest rated V MT variant costs Rs 5.24 lakh and for its 1.2-litre engine, Honda claims 18.4kmpl, a good return for a car at that price.
Japanese car maker Nissan’s Micra has been making waves in the Indian hatchback segment. The top end XV variant comes equipped with the prerequisite ABS, EBD and a single airbag (unlike the dual airbags in all the other cars in this list). It is the most expensive of cars on this list at Rs 5.51 lakh. It’s not the most economical with a meagre 9.1kmpl return from its 1.2-litre engine.
A discernable pattern emerges when researching the relevant information on Indian hatchbacks that are high on safety and low on price. It becomes apparent that only the top end variants of these aforementioned cars came equipped with the crucial airbag, ABS and EBD safety precautions, while the mid-range and low end versions typically do not see these features included. The only possible exception to this trend is the Nissan Micra that offers a single driver’s side airbag across all its variants.
Not only are these cars the ultimate in safety and price, but also feature packed to the hilt, as they’re the best possible alternatives for each model of car, which means these cars will keep you safe, sound and driving in comfort. A few cars that also lead the line in terms of these safety features but lost out due to their slightly higher prices are the Renault Pulse RXZ (P), the Maruti Suzuki Swift ZXI, whose top end petrol versions cost Rs 5.55 lakhs and Rs 5.72 lakhs respectively.