Basically in Indian market there are various segments with various customer choices, a part of buyers are looking for compact SUVs, while the other half is always up for sedans, but the largest chunk of customer base is always keen to go for hatchbacks. A 4/5 seater car is always in their mind, while going for a buy.
Keeping that in mind more or less all the automobile manufacturers, be it homegrown or an international brand, are making hatchbacks their prime segment to cater the particular customer base, and here comes the fiery fight of hatchbacks.
In Indian automobile market now a day, two facts are visibly noticeable. It’s all about compact SUV’s and hatchbacks. Recently we saw a few compact cars made their way into the market, among which most popular and hyped was Honda Jazz, and there are many more to hit the Indian shores soon, in the form of new Ford Figo, new Hyundai Eon, Tata Kite, Fiat Panda, Renault Kwid and many more.
So today let us take a quick look at seven hatchbacks precisely, which are very popular at present scenario in Indian automobile market.
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Month of July was all about Jazz. The music was heard earlier a few years ago, but people didn’t listen to it, due to the overpriced musician. This time though Honda made really no mistake. They brought a new Jazz with all new stunning and gorgeous looks, which was a hit even before the launch on 8th July in Delhi, with lots of pre-launch bookings.
As promised, this car came with wrapped in a package of sporty, practical stylish looks. The car gone through under the knives and came out a lot different than its predecessor. Take a look at the front profile; it adorns the new standard Honda style statement with sharp angular headlamps, sleek front grilles with the Honda logo integrated at the center and an aggressive looking front bumper.
The side profile didn’t go through much change, but there is a deep and sleek character line through the sides which ends at the rear tail lamps, and that gives the car an all new styling. Another new addition is the side indicators integrated in the rear view mirrors. At the rear too Honda does some styling job. The two part high tail lamps are sharp and give the car a crisp look at rear with a chrome bar running parallel with the rear windshield. The rear profile too comes with lots of cuts and creases, not that much sharp, but enough to draw the attention.
Dimensionally the car comes quite spacious, and factually it is the most spacious car in the same segment with ample room for 5 persons sitting arrangement inside. It comes with 3955 mm of length, 1694 mm wide, 1544 mm of height and a wheelbase of 2530 mm. Not only exterior, the interior too looks premium with the neat styling and with various safety features it promises to go up to the mark.
New Jazz came with both petrol and diesel options, along with manual and automatic transmissions. There are 5 diesel variants as well as 7 petrol ones too; all of them are priced between 5.30 lakhs to 8.59 lakhs. The diesel engines of Jazz is the standard 1.5 liter i-DTEC, which is the most fuel efficient among its class with the figure of 27.3 kmpl and produces 100 PS peak power and 200 Nm torque, which means this car is empowered for mundane daily city rides as well you can glide through the highway stress free. The petrol variant trims come empowered by 1.2 liter i-VTEC engine capable of producing 90 PS power and 110 Nm torque. Petrol variants come with 5 speed manual transmission gearbox, just like the diesel variants, but the interesting part is there are two automatic versions available in petrol section, and these automatic versions draw huge pre-launch bookings.
Hyundai Elite i20
Hyundai has made quite an impact in Indian market with their hatchback fleet, and Elite i20 is one of the most popular of that fleet. First unveiled at 2007 Paris Motor show i20 gone through various changes, the latest form is Elite i20, which is presently one of India’s most popular premium hatchbacks.
Designed with South Korean auto manufacturers “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0” concept, this car comes in really fluid style, with a resemblance with Grand i10 and Xcent. The large hexagonal front grille gives a sense of power, as well as style too. The headlamps are sharp, with a rich horizontal strip connecting both of them. The side profile too comes a bit muscular, with all those thick and bold aerodynamic character lines, large wheel arches. The add on styling are the blackened B and C pillars and electrically adjustable wing mirrors with power folding function. The rear profile too looks neatly dashing with sharp tail lamps and curves just above the rear bumper.
This car comes lengthier and wider than the Jazz with the numbers 3985 mm and 1734 mm respectively, while the height is 1505 mm, which is a 39 mm lower than the newbie Jazz and the wheelbase stands out at 2570 mm. The interior is spacious, stylish, power packed, and equipped with various features, albeit not available in all the 10 trims. The higher end trims come sporting multi-function steering wheel, unique 2 DIN music systems, chilled glove box, parking assisting rear view camera, automatic AC, engine Start/Stop switch, while the standard features include rear AC vents. Altogether, with a budget of around 8 lakhs this car is definitely an attractive buy for the young generation.
The Elite i20 comes at a price in between 4.89 lakhs to 7.66 lakhs, in 4 trims available both in petrol and diesel variants. The petrol unit is a 1.2 Kappa engine which is equipped with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) technology and mated to a 5 speed manual transmission, producing 85 PS power at 6000 rpm and 113 Nm at 4000 rpm. The diesel unit is 1.4 liter CRDi engine with 6 speed manual gearbox delivering 90 PS power at 4000 rpm and 219 Nm torque at 1500 to 2750 rpm. With 22.5 kmpl fuel economy this car is pretty decent, but the sad thing is there is no automatic transmission available at present, although the talk of town is Hyundai will launch a 4 speed automatic version of the car, though we don’t know the timing of that.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Indian citizens have always favored Maruti Suzuki over any other brand. Maruti Suzuki also didn’t let the Indian auto lovers down, and when a customer gets an automatic option in a small hatchback, that too well within the range of 5 lakhs, then the car surely draws lots of applause and gain popularity. Exactly that happened with Celerio, and the award “Best Hatchback of 2014” went to this car only, not only that, recently it touched the milestone of 1 lakh unit sale.
It came in Indian market after a 2 long year’s gap from the manufacturer and replaced the A-Star and Estilo, and gained popularity immensely. This car comes with a fascia different from the other hatches from the same makers, along with chrome grilles, stylish headlamps, and aggressive looking front bumper.
At the side profile there is a long crease runs through from the front wheel arch to the rear tail lamps, apart from that there are a few cuts too to give the car a stylish look. To be honest, the side profile comes with a nostalgia with a resemblance with various other Maruti Suzuki hatches from past. The rear profile is neat and simple with large angular tail lamps and slightly curvy hatch door along with the registration enclosure integrated in the rear bumper. Compare to the other two hatchbacks, we discussed earlier this car comes pretty smaller with a length of 3600 mm and width of 1600 mm and a height of 1560 mm, along with a wheelbase of 2425 mm only, but in a traffic congested city it is always easier to maneuver a small car like this. It comes as various feature packed too.
The best part of Celerio is being the most affordable automatic hatchback in India, although the AMT is available in three trims (LXi, VXi and ZXi) of petrol variant only. Initially launched in petrol variants only, later the diesel and CNG powered cars joined the Celerio fleet. The petrol cars come with 998 cc K-series engine available in both manual and automatic transmission producing 67 bhp power and 90 Nm torque, whereas the diesel variants come with 800 cc twin cylinder unit mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox, capable to produce 47 PS peak power and 125 Nm of torque.
Indian roads are basically too much congested with narrow lanes and increasing number of vehicles. Therefore, it is always easier to go with an automatic transmission, and Maruti Suzuki just hit the bull’s eye at that point, by bringing the ATM options available within 4.29 lakhs to 4.96 lakhs.
Fiat Punto Evo
As the hatchback segment in Indian market is pretty much competitive, the auto makers are keen to get a share of the market pie by lowering the price. Italian auto manufacturer Fiat did just that with their innovation Punto Evo.
As the name suggests, this one evolved from the Punto, which was a genuine good looking hatchback, but Punto Evo has gone through some major restyling such as the new stretched back angular headlamps, muscular looking bold new bonnet styling, fog lamps encircled by the chrome lining. The side profile hasn’t gone through much changes but the rear forked a few bits of style statement, in the form of LED stripped tail lamps, chrome encircling auxiliary lamps sitting at the bottom, which all just made this car quite interesting. This new generation hatchback comes with a dimension of 3987 mm of length, 1687 mm of width, 1495 mm of height and 2510 mm of wheelbase.
You won’t be disappointed with this car, if you are looking for a stylish and feature packed interior, as it comes with stylish dashboard and nice instrument cluster along with various safety features too, but if you are looking for a spacious interior here, you may get disappointed.
Come to the powertrain, there is not a slightest change, as the Punto Evo comes with same 1.3 liter diesel units and 1.2 liter and 1.4 liter petrol units carried over from the earlier model and all of these motors come along with a 5 speed manual gearbox. The 1.2 liter petrol unit delivers 67 PS of peak power at 6000 rpm and 96 Nm of torque at 2500 rpm, while the more powerful 1.4 liter petrol unit churns out 90 PS power at 6000 rpm and 115 Nm torque at 4500 rpm. The only diesel engine comes in the form of 1.3 liter multijet unit which delivers power in two forms, 75 bhp and 92 bhp, while the torque figures are 200 Nm and 210 Nm respectively, although disappointingly there is no automatic transmission available yet. The pricing of this car is also well within range, which is in between 4.55 lakhs to 7.20 lakhs.
Maruti Suzuki Wagon R
Again, Maruti Suzuki rocked the Indian market with their very popular hatchback Wagon R. Call it stylish, many won’t agree, call it efficient and made for everyday use, and almost everyone will nod in approval. First came to market in way back 1993, it was always popular, both in International market as well as in India too, and presently it’s boasting the success of its fifth generation.
The fifth generation Wagon R design is not very stylish, but definitely smart enough. The front profile comes with large angular headlamps unique blue lens, chrome accentuated front grilles, sporty bezel designed fog lamps and a new styled front bumper. The side profile simple, with only one light crease running parallel below the glass area, while the rear profile too bears the simplicity with crystal effect tail lamps, a thick chrome bar above the deeper registration enclosure. The interior is not that much roomy, but that’s somehow considerably okay, when it comes within a budget of 5 lakhs only. It comes with a dimension of 3599 mm of length, 1495 mm (VXi, LXi) and 1475 mm (LX) of width, 1700 mm (VXI, LXi – with roof rails) and 1670 mm (LX – without roof rails) of height along with a wheelbase of 2400 mm.
Basically Indian citizens look for a diesel options while buying a car because of lower price of diesel than the petrol, but Wagon R proves to wrong at that instance. Till date, Maruti Suzuki has sold over 15 lakhs of unit of this car only, making it one of the most popular hatchback of Indian auto market. This car isn’t available in diesel option yet, only in petrol and CNG options till now, although a diesel variant is expected later this year. The petrol variants are available in 4 trims with a 998 cc K-series all aluminum light weight 3 cylinder engine mated with a 5 speed manual gearbox, which burns fuel with an economy of 20.5 kmpl and churns out 67.06 bhp power at 6200 rpm while the torque amount is 90 Nm at 3500 rpm. The diesel variant expected later this year is supposed to get a 970 cc engine with a fuel economy of 23 kmpl which will come with a price tag of 3.7 lakhs.
So, why this car is very popular instead of coming with the shortcomings? Our answer is, it is one of the most practical, easy to drive car within the budget.
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10
Make a list of popular hatchbacks in India, you may find a long list from the Maruti Suzuki only, keeping aside the other makers single handedly. So, last but not the least comes Alto K10. Maruti Suzuki is well known for dominating the small hatchback segment with its fleet in Indian market. They brought the new generation Alto K10 last year, and grabbed the attention unlike its predecessor which was unveiled in 2010.
This car is made on the same platform of Maruti Alto 800, although it comes muscular with all new swept back headlamps, all new front grilles, black plastic cladding encircled fog lamps at the front profile. The side profile comes without any major changes, and that may lead to a mistaken identity for this car with Alto 800, although a bigger rear view mirror is there. At the rear only change comes in form of slightly restyled tail lamps.
It comes with a length of 3545 mm, 1295 wide and a height of 1475 mm along with a wheelbase of 2360 mm. If you aren’t impressed by the exterior, you might well be seeing the interior. It will definitely make you glued to it with the premium stylish interior which comes in the form of a dashing dashboard, a soothing light and dark colour combination, an interesting audio entertainment system along with ample head and leg space which delivers the upmarket comfort level, but this car is definitely not that upmarket when it comes to the safety measurements, as it comes only driver side front airbag, as well as there is no ABS available in this car.
Alto K10 comes similar when it comes to the powertrain, as it also have no diesel engine options available as of now. The 1 liter K-Next engine powering the K10 produces 67 bhp at 6000 rpm and 90 Nm at 3500 rpm and delivers a fuel economy of 24.1 kmpl. Although this car comes with basically 5 speed manual transmission, but the good thing is, it comes with a 5 speed automatic transmission gearbox at the price of 4.3 lakhs.
When we are talking about popular hatchbacks, how can we not talk about Tata, the most prestigious auto manufacturer in Indian market? Well, recently Tata took a hit at their sales figure in the run with other makers, but that didn’t drive them out of the fight. Tata constantly made efforts to get into the competition, thus made some simple yet popular hatchbacks in the form of Indica, Vista, and lately Bolt.
As we are talking about Bolt, it is basically a car same as like Zest minus the boot, and entered the market to directly take on the Hyundai Elite i20 and Fiat Punto Evo. First unveiled in 2014 Auto Expo, this car looks like a newly styled Tata Indica from distance, although take a closer look of the front profile, you can see the projector headlamps which is first in this segment, despite being used in some premium hatchbacks like Maruti Suzuki made Stingray. The lower front part is definitely stylish compare to the other hatchbacks from Tata.
It also adorns the all blackened B and C pillar, just like Zest sedan at the side profile along with 15 inch alloy wheels, which looks nice actually. At rear there nothing to boast about, but the LED tail lamps actually gone through a slight restyling. Dimensionally it comes with 3825 mm in length, 1695 mm in width, 1562 mm in height and a 2470 mm wheelbase.
The interior is quite impressive, although only the top end variants get the Harman infotainment touch screen panel. Come to talk about space inside, this car seems okay. Bolt comes with both petrol and diesel variants, at a price range of 4.5 lakhs to 7.1 lakhs. The diesel engine comes in a form of 1.3 liter multijet unit producing 74 bhp peak power and 190 Nm torque, while the 1.2 liter Revotron turbo petrol churns out 88 bhp and 140 Nm torque. Before the launch of Bolt Tata did some extensive promotion highlighting the feature Multidrive which includes three drive modes – City, Sports and Eco. All the petrol and diesel variants of Bolt got manual transmission, and we are yet to receive any news about an automatic transmission.