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India’s Best Premium Hatchback - What’s Your Choice?

Modified On Jun 04, 2020 05:29 PM By Dhruv

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From the scores of options, which one do you think is the best premium hatchback on sale in India?

Sedans and SUVs may come and go but hatchbacks are here to stay. What we mean is that despite the trends that have emerged in the Indian car market over time, hatchbacks have always had a special place in the Indian buyers’ heart. They are compact, affordable and in certain cases, even offer that touch of premiumness we expect from bigger cars. But which one is India’s favourite? Vote for your preference in our user-driven automotive awards: Auto Premier League, and get a chance to win exciting prizes. Here are your options: 

Maruti Suzuki Swift (Rs 5.19 lakh to Rs 8.02 lakh)

The Swift has been the king of the hatchback segment since, well, since it first made its way onto showroom floors in 2005. Its refined petrol engine and sporty characteristics made the Swift a popular choice. Its legend was further cemented with the arrival of its diesel counterpart in 2007, which offered unparalleled ‘punch’ at the time and had a frugal appetite. The Swift is now in its third generation for the Indian market and has continued to improve on the formula fun yet frugal.

Pros

  • Sporty characteristics with a frugal appetite.

  • Good cabin space.

  • Good cabin insulation.

Cons

  • Stiff ride can be tiresome on ‘Indian’ roads.

  • Plastic quality inside the cabin feels hard.

  • Safety rating is not on par with its rivals.

  • No diesel engine option 

For more detailed information about the Maruti Swift, click here.

Volkswagen Polo (Rs 5.82 lakh to Rs 9.59 lakh)

You’d be lying if you said that you never wanted the taste of a German car. And that is exactly what the Volkswagen Polo has always been about, the ‘German’ experience, albeit on a budget. It has remained unchanged to quite an extent since it first came out in 2009, even though global markets have had newer models for quite some time. Those who love the Polo will go to the ends of the earth to justify its existence, only because of the fact that its drive experience is quite simply unmatched by any other car in the segment.

Pros

  • Excellent driving dynamics.

  • Most powerful hatchback in its segment.

  • Build quality is solid.

Cons

  • Relatively high service costs.

  • Back seat is cramped.

  • No diesel engine option 

For more detailed information about the Volkswagen Polo, click here.

Hyundai Elite i20 (Rs 6.49 lakh to Rs 8.3 lakh)

The i20 was the first car in the segment that prioritised features. It offered equipment that you would only expect in cars a segment or two above like six airbags. It also had a highly refined diesel engine that could deliver a punch or be frugal when you asked of it. This versatility made it quite a people-pleaser. We expect the fourth-generation i20 to make its way to showroom floors around the festive season and it must be said that its looks have just gotten better with every passing generation.

Pros

  • Easy to drive in city traffic.

  • Arkamys sound tuning delivers a premium audio experience.

Cons

  • Steering is too light for highway use.

  • Some premium features are only available in top-spec variant.

  • No diesel engine option for now 

For more detailed information about the Hyundai Elite i20, click here.

Ford Figo (Rs 5.39 lakh to Rs 7.85 lakh)

The Figo set the segment ablaze with its first-generation model. Its excellent driving manners, roomy cabin, and superior build quality set it apart from its rivals. Over the years, however, the Figo has failed to improve on its once upon a time dominance, meaning it has moved down the leaderboard. That said, it still offers an excellent driving experience for those who put driving pleasure above everything else.

Pros

  • Excellent safety equipment on offer.

  • One of the most fun-to-drive cars in the sub-10 lakh segment.

  • Petrol engine has a sweet-sounding exhaust note.

  • Diesel engine offers quite some punch.

Cons

  • Some premium features are missing even on top-spec variant.

  • Rear headroom is an issue for taller passengers.

  • No automatic transmission option at all.

For more detailed information about the Ford Figo, click here.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno (Rs 5.63 lakh to Rs 8.96 lakh)

When Maruti first launched the Baleno hatchback in 2015, its design was well accepted by the masses. Years later, that still continues to be the case. Roomy cabin, long list of features, and peppy powertrains helped it quickly gain the top spot in the segment. Last year’s facelift brought mild-hybrid tech, a more powerful petrol engine along with a few extra features added to mix. 

Pros

  • Premium features available from mid-spec Delta variant onwards.

  • ISOFIX anchor points are standard across the range.

  • LED projectors on lower-end variants sweeten the pot.

Cons

  • Side and curtain airbags feel like a big miss.

  • Automatic gearbox is a CVT and not the best at that.

  • Rear passengers miss out on an armrest.

  • No diesel engine on offer

For more detailed information about the Maruti Baleno, click here.

Hyundai Grand i10 (Rs 5.89 lakh to Rs 5.99 lakh)

Being able to compete with the Swift is not an easy task but the Grand i10 has been doing it for years now. This feature-rich hatchback is looked up to for the fact that it offers a premium experience at a budget price. It might not be the sportiest of offerings around but it does have other tricks up its sleeves.

Pros

  • Premium quality cabin.

  • Spacious cabin and boot.

  • Excellent smartphone compatibility. 

Cons

  • Integrated headrests for the front seats are not very practical.

  • No automatic or diesel engine on offer.

  • Number of variants have been reduced.

For more detailed information about the Hyundai Grand i10, click here.

Tata Altroz (Rs 5.29 lakh to Rs 9.29 lakh)

The Altroz is a relatively new offering for the Indian market, launched just before this pandemic. It really hasn’t had the time to make an impression on most. However, there is no denying that it is a head-turner and people do notice it whenever it passes by. From the time we spent with this car, it might not be outright exciting but it does have its quirks.

Pros

  • Handles quite well.

  • Suspension has been tuned well.

  • Spacious cabin.

Cons

  • Engines feel unrefined.

  • Transmission feels clunky.

  • Piano black finish on the outside can lose its sheen quickly.

For more detailed information about the Tata Altroz, click here.

Honda Jazz (Rs 7.45 lakh to Rs 9.4 lakh)

The Honda Jazz took the Indian market by surprise when it was launched in 2009. Its ‘Magic Seats’ were all the rage but a price-sensitive market meant that the Honda hatchback was not received too well in terms of sales. Those who bought the Jazz swore by it but ultimately, its higher than usual price tag meant that not many were ready to go for one. The current Jazz offers features at par with the segment like a touchscreen, auto climate control, push button start-stop as well as a spacious cabin.

Pros

  • A true 5-seater because of the space inside the cabin.

  • Offers the most amount of boot space amongst its rivals.

  • Ride quality is excellent in the city.

Cons

  • Limited variants mean a higher entry cost for a new buyer.

  • Top-spec petrol manual doesn’t get feel-good features.

  • Magic seats should have been retained.

For more detailed information about the Honda Jazz, click here.

Toyota Glanza (Rs 6.97 lakh to Rs 8.9 lakh)

The Glanza is simply a Baleno with Toyota badging. What it brings to the table is a better warranty package and lower pricing for select variants. The Glanza gets the same 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol as well as a mild-hybrid-equipped option from the Baleno. The best thing about this premium hatchback is that in times of need, Maruti’s vast service network will also be capable of catering to it.

Pros

  • Gets plenty of safety features as standard.

  • Lots of premium features on offer across all variants.

  • Comes with an impressive warranty package.

Cons

  • Doesn’t get the option of a diesel engine.

  • Looks quite similar to the Baleno.

  • Limited variants mean a higher entry cost for a new buyer.

For more detailed information about the Toyota Glanza, click here.

Ford Freestyle (Rs 5.89 lakh to Rs 8.19 Lakh)

It might be referred to as a Figo-on-stilts but we’d say that is a good thing. It gets the best of both worlds, the Figo’s impressive safety package, nice driving manners and a ground clearance that is as good as some SUVs. This added clearance will especially come in handy for those who like to tour often and visit places where roads are often broken.

Pros

  • 190mm ground clearance gives it go-anywhere capability.

  • Good suspension irons out the bumps with ease.

  • Punchy petrol and tried-and-tested diesel make for good engine offerings.

  • One of the safest cars in the sub-10 lakh price bracket 

Cons

  • Premium features such as LED lighting are missing.

  • Material quality inside the cabin is not so good nor is the space.

  • It doesn’t come with the option of an automatic.

For more detailed information about the Ford Freestyle, click here.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis (Rs 4.89 lakh to Rs 7.19 lakh)

The Ignis burst onto the scene as a premium offering for those looking for an upmarket experience but with a compact footprint. Its tallboy design coupled with conventional Japanese styling made it quite noticeable when it was first launched. A recent facelift has once again upped the appeal of the Ignis, although it did lose out on some buyers by becoming a petrol-only offering, long before Maruti adopted that policy across the board.

Pros

  • Ground clearance of 180mm allows it to tackle bad roads efficiently.

  • Generous cabin space for four passengers.

  • High seating position offers a good commanding view of the road in front.

Cons

  • Plastic quality inside the cabin doesn’t match the Ignis’ premium positioning.

  • Centre console of mid-spec variants looks quite awkward.

  • Rear visibility is limited.

For more detailed information about the Maruti Ignis, click here.

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios (Rs 5.06 lakh to Rs 8.29 lakh)

The Grand i10 Nios is Hyundai’s way of bridging the gap between the i20 and the Grand i10. It keeps the proportions of the Grand i10 in mind but spruces up the looks and the interior to bring it on par with the Elite i20. The Grand i10 Nios proves that good things come in small packages too.

Pros

  • Cabin looks thoroughly premium.

  • Generous amounts of space for rear occupants.

  • Premium features such as wireless charging. 

Cons

  • Diesel variants are limited in number.

  • Features such as rear wiper and rear headrests are limited to the Asta variant.

  • AMT doesn’t offer the same smoothness as a conventional automatic.

For more detailed information about the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios, click here.

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3 comments
1
V
vinod thomas
Jun 8, 2020 8:28:51 PM

Ford freestyle is the best

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    N
    navaneethakrishnan palanisamy
    Jun 8, 2020 2:48:07 PM

    Ford Figo is the best

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      1
      A
      anirudh sharma
      Jun 8, 2020 7:06:36 AM

      Free style ford

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