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Buy Or Hold: Wait For Tata Altroz Or Go For Rivals?

Published On Dec 18, 2019 12:00 PM By Sonny for Tata Altroz

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Is Tata’s premium hatchback worth waiting for over established rivals that are readily available?

Tata is set to join the premium hatchback segment with the Altroz. Even though it was expected to arrive in mid-2019, the launch of the Altroz has been pushed forward to 22 January 2020. It will rival the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz, Toyota Glanza and Volkswagen Polo. The question arises, should you pre-book and wait for the Altroz or pick one of its established rivals instead?

Premium Hatchback

Price range (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Tata Altroz

Rs 5.49 lakh to Rs 8.49 lakh (expected)

Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Rs 5.59 lakh to Rs 8.90 lakh

Hyundai Elite i20

Rs 5.53 lakh to Rs 9.34 lakh

Toyota Glanza

Rs 6.98 lakh to Rs 8.90 lakh

Honda Jazz

Rs 7.45 lakh to Rs 9.41 lakh

Volkswagen Polo

Rs 5.82 lakh to Rs 9.32 lakh

Maruti Suzuki Baleno: BUY for BS6 petrol manual and automatic along with mild-hybrid option

The best-selling premium hatchback is priced attractively and was the first in its segment to offer BS6 petrol powertrains. Maruti offers it with two BS6 1.2-litre petrol engines - the first is the updated naturally-aspirated engine while the other is a new DualJet Dual VVT petrol engine with a mild-hybrid system. Both are mated to a 5-speed manual but only the non-hybrid engine gets the option of a CVT automatic. The non-hybrid petrol engine claims an ARAI-certified fuel efficiency of 21.01kmpl in the manual variant and 19.56kmpl in the automatic one. The mild-hybrid petrol engine offers an improved efficiency of 23.87kmpl. The hybrid engine produces 90PS of power while the other makes 83PS of power, but both have the same 115Nm of torque. 

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Diesel Variants, RS Get Costlier

For now, the Baleno is also available with the BS4 1.3-litre diesel engine mated to a 5-speed manual, producing 75PS/190Nm with a claimed fuel efficiency of 27.39kmpl.

Maruti offers ISOFIX child seat anchors as standard as well as a rearview camera, LED projector headlamps, push-button stop-start, auto AC and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

Hyundai Elite i20: BUY for features, added safety, and powerful diesel engine option

The Hyundai Elite i20 has often set the benchmark for premium features in this segment. It is the only one to offer up to 6 airbags and wireless charging. The i20 also gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Auto Link connected car technology, auto AC with rear AC vents, tilt and telescopic steering adjust along with automatic projector headlamps.

India-spec Hyundai Elite i20

The Elite i20 is currently offered with two BS4 engines - a 1.2-litre petrol motor(83PS/115Nm) and a 1.4-litre diesel unit(90PS/220Nm). Hyundai’s 1.4-litre diesel engine is one of the torquiest motors available in this segment. The petrol engine is mated to a 5-speed manual with the option of a CVT automatic while the diesel motor is only available with a 6-speed manual. The Hyundai hatchback is due to receive a generation update in 2020 with new BS6 engines.

Toyota Glanza: BUY for Toyota after-sales service and BS6 petrol engines

The Glanza is the rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. The higher price tag can be attributed to the fact that it starts from the mid-spec equivalent. It gets features like auto AC, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, height-adjustable driver’s seat and push-button stop-start as standard. The Glanza shares its 1.2-litre BS6 petrol powertrains with the Baleno and even comes with the option of a CVT-automatic in the non-hybrid variant. There is no diesel engine option with the Glanza.

Tata Altroz vs Maruti Baleno vs Toyota Glanza vs Hyundai Elite i20 vs VW Polo vs Honda Jazz: Spec Comparison

Toyota has distinguished the Glanza from the Baleno by offering the mild-hybrid variant at Rs 65,000 lower than Maruti Suzuki. It also gets a 3-year/1-lakh km warranty as standard as compared to the 2-year/40,000km warranty for the Baleno. Toyota is also offering 3-year roadside assistance with the Glanza and the extended warranty covers the Glanza for up to 5-year/2.2 lakh km.

Honda Jazz: BUY for its spaciousness

Honda’s Jazz is the priciest offering in this segment and yet does not offer any standout features for the extra cost. However, it does offer a spacious and premium cabin feel while the 354-litre boot is the biggest in the segment. The Jazz comes equipped with features like cruise control, auto AC with touch-panel controls, LED taillamps, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a rear parking camera. 

Honda Jazz Exclusive Edition

The Jazz is currently available with BS4 engines - a 1.2-litre petrol unit (90PS/110Nm) and a 1.5-litre diesel engine (100PS/200Nm). The petrol engine gets the choice of a 5-speed manual or a 7-step CVT while the diesel motor is only offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The diesel engine has a claimed fuel efficiency of 27.3kmpl.

Volkswagen Polo: BUY if you want a driver’s car and petrol-automatic option

The Volkswagen Polo recently received a mild facelift, but it is still powered by BS4 engines. The engine options include a 1.0-litre petrol engine (75PS/90Nm), 1.5-litre diesel engine (90PS/230Nm) and a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine (105PS/175Nm) with the GT Line. The naturally aspirated engine and the diesel engine are mated to a 5-speed manual while the turbocharged petrol engine gets the 7-speed DSG automatic which is the most refined petrol-automatic option in the premium hatchback segment. The GT Line diesel variant offers slightly more performance - 110PS and 250Nm.

Volkswagen Polo Front Left Side Image

The Polo’s interiors aren’t the most spacious nor the most modern. The Volkswagen hatchback’s appeal lies in its driving experience. It is still well-equipped with features like cruise control, auto AC, an auto-dimming IRVM, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system and it even gets rear AC vents.

Discounts: It is also important to note that all the above-mentioned models are currently available with year-end discounts

Tata Altroz: WAIT for looks, spacious cabin, and factory customisation options

The Tata Altroz has been unveiled in its top-spec variant ahead of its launch. It will be offered with two BS6 engine options - 1.2-litre petrol engine (86PS/113Nm) and 1.5-litre diesel engine (90PS/200Nm) at launch. Both engines are mated to a 5-speed manual. Tata is expected to introduce a petrol-automatic variant with a dual-clutch transmission post launch.

The Altroz will be loaded with features like a semi-digital instrument cluster with a 7-inch TFT display, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, auto AC with rear AC vents, cruise control, ambient lighting and idle stop start. Tata’s premium hatchback is the first model built on the ALFA ARC platform and features a flat rear floor and doors that open up to 90-degrees for easy ingress and egress.

Tata will also be offering factory customisation options for the Altroz as a segment-first feature. The carmaker will allow Altroz owners to equip a few features onto a lower-spec variant which would then be factory fitted. Interested buyers can select their factory customisation package at the time of pre-booking as well.

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