If you have Rs 4 lakh in your pockets and are looking for a car that fits your bill, you have landed on the right page. With a number of new players joining in, it has become increasingly difficult to choose the perfect car under a predefined budget. From latest entrants such as the Datsun redi-GO, the Tata Tiago, to our all-time favourites such as the Maruti Alto 800 and the Alto K10. Each of these cars have their own advantages which further puzzles the buyer.
To make the car selection process a bit easier for you, we have handpicked top six cars under the price tag of Rs 4 lakh.
Tata Nano – Rs 2.1-3.0 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
When it comes to listing down affordable cars, the Tata Nano’s name is bound to appear. But it’s not only the price that makes it a comprehensive bet, its spacious interiors and class leading fuel economy are some of the other factors contributing towards the Nano’s success.
On the exterior front, the Nano is a decently styled car with a short bonnet and tall boy design which provides the driver a good view of the road. The compact dimensions of the car helps in easy manoeuvring and parking it in tight spots. On top of it, the massive 180mm of ground clearance just eases things further.
Interiors of the Nano are very spacious and can comfortably seat four occupants. Interestingly, the cabin colour code changes as per the car’s paint job. The AC is a chiller and cools the car in no time, even in scorching heat. The comfort too is satisfactory, if not great. The openable boot is a big plus in the Nano, though it’s just 110 litres.
Powered by a small 624cc engine, it generates 38PS of max power and 51Nm of peak torque. Linked to a five-speed manual/ Automated Manual transmission, the car returns an impressive fuel economy of 21.9kmpl.
Why buy – easy manoeuvring, space, strong AC, fuel efficiency, city driving, ground clearance and AMT
Why not – underpowered engine, highway driving stability and sub-standard plastic quality
Maruti Alto 800 - Rs 2.5-3.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Recently facelifted the Alto 800 has been a marathon car for India’s largest passenger carmaker -- Maruti. Though, not one of the greatest looking cars, it is still an all-rounder that every Indian entry level buyer opts for.
The exterior, as said earlier, is not very inspiring with wedge shaped grille at the front, while the headlamps now get an orange tinge on the reflectors. The Alto 800 is a narrow car, the width is even smaller than that of the Nano’s, in turn calling for tight rear cabin space.
You can seat four occupants, but don’t think of accommodating a fifth one. Overall the cabin is basic and seat comfort is mere average. The seating position is low compared to other cars in comparison. The boot is decently sized at 177 litres.
As the name suggests, the Alto 800 is powered by a 796cc engine which pumps out 48PS of power and 69Nm of max torque. It delivers an impressive fuel economy of 22.74kmpl. Although, it has no automatic avatar.
Why buy - fuel efficiency, city driving and after sales service
Why not – rear space, no automatic and looks (or rather lack of it)
Maruti Alto K10 – Rs 3.29-4.14 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Further solidifying the Alto clan’s supremacy, the Alto K10 is a more powerful version of the Alto 800. Not only restricted to power, the differences with the 800 boil down to exterior, interior arrangement and ride quality.
The Alto K10’s appearance is aggressive and looks proportionate, unlike the Alto 800. The redesigned bumper, sharp headlamps, prominent shoulder line are some of the characters which differentiate the K10 from its cousin.
The interior comes with dual tone upholstery, with improved plastic quality compared to the 800. The AC works really well and cools the cabin in a short span of time. Seats are well-cushioned, but the angle of the rear seats is upright, not suitable for long journeys. The music system supports CD, radio, USB and AUX. No Bluetooth on offer though.
Under the bonnet, the K10 holds a 1.0-litre K-Series petrol engine which belts out 68PS and 90Nm of torque. Apart from the manual, it comes with an AMT version as well. This small car offers a mileage of 24.07kmpl.
Why buy – performance, AC, fuel efficiency, city driving, after sales service and AMT (comes with an additional charge of Rs 10,000 above the said price of Rs 4 lakh)
Why not – rear seat space
Renault Kwid – Rs 2.7-3.7 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Undoubtedly, the Renault Kwid has received an overwhelming response from the Indian buyers. Launched in September last year, the manufacturer is selling nearly 10k units each month. The car is aesthetically pleasing and has been the talk of the town.
With the SUV-esque body, the Kwid gets cladding and muscular elements which no other car offers in the segment. If you are still not pleased with its styling and want it to appear as ‘only yours’, then have no fear, as Renault offers an array of accessories to personalise your Kwid.
With an excellent ground clearance of 180mm, the car swiftly tackles the occasional bumps. The compact dimensions make it easy to manoeuvre in city’s bumper-to-bumper traffic. The raised stance helps in easy ingress and egress from the car. The 300 litres of the boot space is the largest in the segment. With features such as an all-digital dashboard and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity, it’s hard to believe that the Kwid’s starting price is just Rs 2.7 lakh.
Coupled to a five-speed manual, the Renault hatch is powered by a 799cc engine which pumps out 54PS and 72Nm of torque. It delivers an excellent fuel economy of 25.17kmpl.
Why buy – looks, fuel efficiency, space, features, style statement and AMT (launching soon)
Why not – underpowered engine, lack of proper service network (although, it’s improving)
Tata Tiago – Rs 3.2-5.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Tata’s latest offering in the small car category, the Tata Tiago, has been in news because of its value for money quotient. It is one of the more sober looking cars amongst its quirky and contemporarily styled competitors. The car takes a leap from all the previous Tata cars offered in the hatch segment and is quite refreshing inside-out.
At the front, the Tiago gets sweptback, smoked headlamps and a ‘Humanity Line’ along with neatly placed chrome-lined fog lamps. A sharp character line runs through the side and meets the wraparound tail lamps. A ground clearance of 170mm ensures it works fairly well in tackling small humps.
With respect to dimensions, it’s the second widest car (1647mm) in the segment after the Hyundai Grand i10. This provides some additional space within the cabin, but the rear bench is still best for two adults and a child. The boot space of 240 litres is marginally behind the Grand i10’s 256 litres. It gets some segment first features such as an 8-speaker sound system by Harman, Multi drive modes, Smartphone apps developed specifically for the Tiago, turn-by-turn navigation and Juke car app among others. A chilled glove box and the availability of additional storage spaces are some of the other convenient features on offer in the Tiago.
It’s available in petrol as well as diesel options, but if your budget is limited to Rs 4 lakh, you can only opt for the petrol variant. The 1.2-litre Revotron engine belts out 85PS of power and 114Nm of torque and returns a decent fuel economy of 23.84kmpl.
Why buy – design, fuel efficiency, city driving and features
Why not – no AMT and rear AC vents
Hyundai Eon – Rs 3.3-4.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
The Hyundai Eon has been an unsung hero in the entry level segment. It might not have beaten the sales cruncher -- the Alto, nor has it stormed the record books, but the Eon certainly has impressed those who are ready to look beyond Maruti.
The South Korean hatch is a looker with plenty of aerodynamic curves flowing across its body. Despite being a decade old, the exterior by no means look dated. With a ground clearance of 170mm, the Eon sits higher than the Alto. It also offers more headroom comparatively.
Let’s speak about the car’s interior. The build quality is better than the segment leader Alto and even the space offered is more. The cabin looks futuristic and is more than just a basic box. Adorned with black and beige layout, it comes with segment first tilt adjustable steering. The seats offer excellent comfort and under thigh support – a trait missing in this segment. The rear space is also better than its competitors.
The Eon is available in a 0.8 and a 1.0-litre engine options, however, the latter goes beyond the Rs 4 lakh mark. The lower capacity engine churns out 55PS of power and 74.5Nm of torque. It returns a mileage of 21.1kmpl.
Why buy – looks, premium interiors, space and after sales
Why not – lighter steering on highways and slightly higher NVH levels