If there is a manufacturer which ought to be happy and benefit from our list then it’s got to be Hyundai. Perceptions about Hyundai couldn’t have been more different from what our list suggests. Out of the 9 cars on our list of the fastest accelerating cars to 100kmph in India, 3 are Hyundai’s. In India and internationally Hyundai’s are known to provide value for money amongst other thing. ButHyundai’s aren’t considered to be tailored towards enthusiasts. Surprisingly enough and going against the flow, some of the fastest cars in India are Hyundai’s. There are also 2Skoda’s in our list which isn’t a surprise and the Laura has been praised by all automotive publications for its handling and performance. The Mitsubishi Cedia also finds its way which though might not surprise many readers but it would surprise some who had assumed that the Cedia was now out of production. Volkswagen is represented by the Polo 1.6 which is amongst the few aspirational cars in India. Another interesting entry worth noting is the Volvo S60 T6 which is a highly underestimated car but surprisingly there is only one BMW amongst the nine cars.
You wouldn’t have guessed this. No one associates Hyundai with performance and enthusiasts would tell you to look away from this Korean manufacturer if you were in the market looking to satisfy your boy racer aspirations. It’s no secret now that the Japanese and European manufacturers are wary of the Koreans. Hyundai’s now handle better than ever and the new Elantra is proof of that. Quality has improved too and Hyundai’s now are better engineered, offer excellent value while not lacking in performance either. The i10 Kappa has emerged as the fastest accelerating petrol hatch to 100kmph under 5 lakhs beating the Honda Brio and the Chevrolet Sail. Thei10 Kappa is priced at Rs 4.81 ex-showroom New Delhi and the hatch had received a facelift in 2010.
The facelift added to the hatch a larger air dam on the front bumper, there is a new hexagonal grille and more angular headlights. There is now a higher bonnet line and the hatch overall looks youthful and its dimensions make it perfect for city use. The interior quality might not be to the level of the Volkswagen Polo but the beige cabin looks airy. The instrument console looks smart, the display has a blue backlight and the steering wheel is chunky. The ergonomics are good and the front and rear passengers get good leg and headroom. The Magna variant comes with air con, central locking, power windows and trip meter. There however isn’t an adjustable steering wheel, remote locking, alloy wheels, airbags, parking sensors or an audio system.
The 1.2-litre Kappa engine is basically the 1.1-litre iRDe engine with bigger intake and exhaust valves. There is also special coating on its pistons and power from the SOHC, 16-valve, 4 cylinder engine has now increased to 80PS@6000rpm with a maximum of 112Nm of torque @4000rpm. The engine comes with variable valve timing technology, is lively to rev and goes up to 6500rpm. There is an offset crankshaft which reduces vibrations and friction while the small and light piston skirt reduces mass. The mid-range is where the Kappa engine is its most fun and though the low end is better than the 1.1-litre motor on thei10, the acceleration puts a smile of the faces of most. The engine uses aluminium block construction, the hatch pulls well across the rev range and it has a top speed of approximately 160kmph. 100kmph is reached in just 12.04seconds which is just a bit quicker than the Honda Brio and even the Skoda Fabia 1.6 with an ARAI claimed fuel efficiency of 20.36kmpl which is more than the Brio, Chevrolet Beat and also the Ford Figo. Matched to then engine is a five speed manual gearbox.
The suspension is made up of Macpherson struts at the front and torsion beam at the rear. The i10 gets gas filled shockers but because of the tall springs this hatch isn’t as confidence inspiring around the corners like the Ford Figo. The steering is direct and ride is excellent.
It took Volkswagen a while but better sense did prevail and the manufacturer did launch the Polo with a 1.6-litre petrol engine. The Polo with its build quality, ride and handling and the brand image associated with Volkswagen immediately became the most talked about hatch in India and deservedly so. To be completely honest the 1.2-litre diesel and petrol engines were disappointing. When VW entered India the Polo it seemed would be to us what the Golf is to the Europeans. But the engines on offer lacked power. The 1.6-litre motor though corrected things and at under 10lakhs this is the fastest accelerating petrol hatch. The Polo 1.6 is priced at Rs 7.34lakhs ex-showroom New Delhi and is available only in the top of the line fully loaded Highline variant.
Built on the PQ25 platform, the styling may be categorized by some as boring. The styling is conservative like on all modern VW’s but the clean and simple lines work for the Polo. The hatch looks smart with the sharp headlights and with the twin bar horizontal grill. The bumpers are meaty and the wheel arches are flared. The lines are prominent and like the exteriors the interiors too are simple to look. The dashboard is in beige and black and has an uncluttered look. Ergonomics are good, the cabin has a mature look and adding flair is the red backlighting for the instrument gauges. The dials are large, there are faux chrome door handles and the Highline variant comes with MP3 player, rear wiper, remote locking, multi-function display, alloy wheels, fog lamps, split and folding rear seats ABS and airbags. There though are no steering wheel mounted controls. While the front passengers get good space the rear occupants aren’t as lucky. Built quality is definitely the best in the segment.
The 1.6-litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine produces 105PS@5250rpm and 153Nm of torque at 3750rpm. Acceleration to 100kmph takes just 11.62seconds which is much faster than the Maruti Suzuki Swift, Honda Jazz, Fiat Punto 1.4 and the Hyundai i20. Even low down in the rev range this engine is loads of fun and the engine revs all the way to the redline while providing torque all along. At high revs too the engine feels refined with a top speed of 190kmph. Power delivery is linear and the engine note is meaty. Matched to the engine is a 5 speed manual gearbox. ThePolo rides on MacPherson struts in the front and torsion beam at the rear. The chassis delivers good control and though around corners there is a bit of roll, the handling overall the best in the segment. The steering is well weighed and the ride is typically German.
The Mitsubishi Cedia has been long forgotten by perspective car buyers in our country. The Cedia was given a boost with its participation in the Indian National Rally Championship but sales have remained disappointingly low for the manufacturer despite the sedan being a well-engineered package. To boost sales Mitsubishi slashed around 1.5lakhs off the sedan but that hasn’t done much either. But the fact remains that the Cedia has emerged as the fastest petrol sedan to 100kmph at under 10lakhs. The Cedia is now sold only in the Sports variant and is priced at Rs 9.37lakhs.
Compared to sedans like the Hyundai Verna Fluid the Cedia looks dated. The sedan has been on sale since 2006 and the diamond shaped headlights along with the Mitsubishi logo on the front grille now has started to look old. The front bumper has a big air dam and at the rear are the clear lens wrap-around tail lamps. The interiors are beige and there is a wooden strip on the dashboard. The quality of the plastic is good and the driving position is driver focused. The front seats are height-adjustable and the sedan gets leather seats, metal finish to the accelerator and brake pedals, ABS, front air bags and the front and rear passengers both get good space.
The Cedia uses a 2-litre, 4 cylinder petrol unit that produces 110 PS@5250 rpm with a peak torque of 175Nm@4250rpm. The sedan accelerates to 100kmph in just 10.23secomds which is faster than any other petrol sedan in India under 10lakhs. Closest to the Cedia is the Honda City which takes 10.28seconds and the Fiat Linea T-Jet takes 11.05seconds. The Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Verna Fluid, the Skoda Rapid and the Maruti Suzuki SX4 are all slower to the Cedia. The torque spread makes the engine fun to use and the motor is smooth with good throttle response. The engine is matched to a 5 speed manual gearbox and has a top speed of around 190kmph. The sedan rides on MacPherson struts at the front with multi-link suspension at the rear and the chassis is nicely balanced and cornering abilities is amongst the best in the segment. The steering is direct but the ride is a bit on the stiff side.
Ever since its launch the Skoda Laura has been the obvious choice for those looking for a sedan for around 15lakhs which offers more than just hassle free motoring. The Laura which replaced the Octavia has been the most interesting choice in this segment and while majority of the customers today are going bananas over diesel motors, the Laura 1.8 TSI is a pleasant change in current trend. The Laura with the TSI engine is perhaps the only car in India at under 20lakhs which leans more towards performance and is the only sub 2-litre sedan capable of knocking off the 100kmph mark in under 9seconds. Prices for the Laura 1.8 TSI start from Rs 12,92,111 ex-showroom New Delhi.
Styling on all contemporary Skodas have now started to look the same and though the Laura is a smart enough a sedan it is understated like the Fabia. The narrow grille, stretched headlamps and the centre crease on the bonnet give it a very European look along with the strong shoulder and waist lines. The wheel arches are flared and the interiors though are high on material used and finish, lack flair. The dash has a two-tone colour layout and the Laura comes with ABS, EBD, front airbags, rear parking sensors, touch screen infotainment system, fog lamps and leather steering wheel.
The 4 cylinder, 1.8-litre, TSI unit which is made by Volkswagen produces 160PS and a maximum torque of 250Nm between 1500 to 4500rpm. This engine is used by Audi, Volkswagen and Seat and is crisp with excellent throttle response. TheLaura accelerates to 100kmph in just 8.56seconds and its closest rival is the Maruti Suzuki Kizashi which reaches the 100 mark in 9.13seconds. The Honda Civic is another car which reaches the ton mark in under 10seconds taking 9.59seconds while the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla Altis and the Volkswagen Jetta all take over 10seconds. The TSI engine uses direct injection, a Borg Warner turbocharger with an intercooler and as is the case with direct injection engines the torque kicks in nice and early. The ARAI claimed 13.14kmpl isn’t bad either and the engine is matched to a 6 speed manual gearbox. The engine pulls hard from across the rev range with a top speed of 225kmph. There is power to be enjoyed even in speeds in access of 150kmph and the sedan uses MacPherson struts at the front with torsion bar while at the rear it uses a multi-element rear axle and torsion bar. The suspension setting is a bit on the stiff side which makes the Laura a really good handling car and the steering is direct. There is very little body roll around corners but the ride is a bit on the stiff side.
We’ve tried to keep ourselves strictly to the segment in terms of the budget but for this one it made sense to make an exception. The Volvo S60 T6 is priced just a bit more than the 40lakh budget that we have kept and is priced at Rs 40.34lakhs ex-showroom New Delhi. The S60 T6 though in our research is the fastest accelerating petrol sedan to 100kmph, is faster than the BMW 328i and is only marginally more expensive than the 3-series. Volvo has found it hard in India with BMW, Mercedes and Audi getting the bulk of the sales and though cars like the S60 T6 and the XC60 are extremely competent cars, Indians haven’t developed a liking to Volvo’s in general. Volvo would claim that the S60 is their most dynamic car in its 83 year history and is a car that that enthusiasts will immediately take a liking to.
The S60 T6 is a muscular sedan with soft edges and a prominent shoulder line. The front has a tipped forward stance and the styling particularly of the headlights is borrowed from the XC60. The styling is fluid and the sloping roofline gives it a coupe like stance. The bonnet is long and sculptured and the design grows on you with time. The dashboard has wood and leather with a floating centre console and the quality is excellent. The interiors look premium and sporty at the same time with some nice touches like the rotary dials for the stereo. Leg and headroom for front and rear passengers is good and the seats are comfortable.
The S60 T6 uses a 3-litre, 6 cylinder petrol engine that develops 304PS. The engine is matched to a 6 speed automatic gearbox and aided with the 4WD 100kmph takes just 6.37 seconds. The straight six engine is a blast to drive and though we would have liked the turbo to kick in a bit earlier, there is power to be had across the rev range. This is a seriously quick car and the BMW 328i which is its closest rival takes 6.4seconds while the Mini Cooper S takes 7.8seconds. The Honda Accord V6 reaches 100kmph in 7.8seconds, the Mini Countryman reaches the ton mark in 8.44seconds and the Audi A6 2.8TSI which is also priced at under 40lakhs reaches the figure in 7.7seconds. Faster than all these cars including the S60 T6 is the Audi S4 with a V6 engine and the S4 reaches 100kmph in just 5.54seconds. The S4 though is priced at Rs 45lakhs.
The stiff chassis along with the torque vectoring on the four-wheel-drive delivers an engaging experience for the driver and the suspension works well around corners. The suspension settings can be changed of the T6 between comfort and sports mode and the sedan comes with 215/50 low profile tyres. The ride is on the stiff side but the feedback from the electro-hydraulic steering should have been more.
If you were surprised on knowing that the Hyundai i10 Kappa is the fastest accelerating petrol hatch to 100kmph under 5lakhs then you’ll definitely wouldn’t haven’t predicted that the i20 is the fastest diesel hatchback in India. The i20 is thought of as a practical car for families which provides good space but has never been on the radar of those with a need for speed. What is surprising though is the fact that the i20 is faster to 100kmph than the Maruti Suzuki Swift. Hyundai had given this hatch a facelift earlier this year and prices for the diesel i20 start from Rs 6.92lakhs to Rs8.66lakhs ex-showroom New Delhi.
The 2012 i20 uses the fluidic design look which is now seen on all Hyundai’s and amongst the changes to the hatch include redesigned headlamps and a slimmer grille. The grille is now a part of the bonnet and other changes include a restyled front and rear bumper. The changes makes the hatch look better than before and it also gets chrome handles, new alloy wheels and the turn indicators are now part of the outside rear view mirrors. The tail lamps at the rear are new and the top of the line variant gets a new spoiler. There have been changes made to the interiors of the 2012 i20 and these include a digital readout between the dials for fuel consumption, there is also a new parking camera with reverse sensors the display of which is on the rearview mirror. The fully loaded model gets keyless entry, electric folding mirrors, climate control, automatic headlamps, Bluetooth, auto wipers and no less than six airbags. Apart from the Nissan Micra the i20 is the only other hatch with a smart key with push button start. Quality of material used has also improved and more importantly the length of the i20 has increased by 55mm. The interior has enough space for the front and rear passengers and the boot is reasonably spacious.
The 1.4 CRDI motor with DOHC produces 90 PS@4000rpm with maximum torque of 224 Nm@1750 rpm compared to the Swift which produces 75PS and 190Nm. The torque rating is the highest in the segment and the acceleration to 100kmph takes 13seconds which is over half a second faster than the Swift. The Ford Figo which also uses a 1.4-litre engine is around .45second slower than thei20 and the Volkswagen Polo is significantly slower. Power comes in a burst with a top speed of over 160kmph. Matched to the engine is a 6-speed manual gearbox and the hatch has an ARAI claimed 21.93kmpl. The i20 includes technologies like swirl control valves and electrical Exhaust Gas Recirculation. The Fiat Punto produces 93PS@4000rpm and 209Nm of torque @2000rpm but the gear ratios and weight make it much slower than the i20. The hatch uses MacPherson struts and coil springs at the front with a torsion beam axle at the back. While the ride quality is one of its strengths, handling remains soft.
We’ve had a few surprises thrown at us while researching for the fastest accelerating cars in India. The Mitsubishi Cedia emerging as the fastest petrol sedan was unexpected and neither did we expect the Hyundai i10 to emerge as the fastest hatch in its segment. Hyundai has now featured for the third time on our list and while the i20 came out as the fastest accelerating diesel hatch in India, the Verna Fluid is the fastest diesel sedan under 10lakhs to 100kmph in the country. The Verna which was launched in India in 2011 marks a giant leap compared to the model that it replaces and prices start at Rs 9,39,379 ex-showroom New Delhi. With the new Verna Hyundai is attempting to give the customer more than just a great value car but also a great looking and strong performing sedan.
The Verna is the best looking Hyundai in our market and gone are the days when Korean styling was looked down upon. The sedan displays the manufacturers fluidic design theme and at the front are the large headlights. The lines on the bonnet look good and catching your eye are the ‘L’-shaped fog lights on the front bumper. From the side you notice the rising shoulder and the sloping roof gives it a coupe-like look. At the rear are the chrome-tipped twin tailpipes and the fluid design styling continues inside with a dashboard which flows into the centre console. Ergonomics are good, the dials have white backlighting, and the steering wheel is borrowed from the i20. Though the interior quality and finish is better than what we have earlier seen from Hyundai, it isn’t to the level of the European rivals like Volkswagen and Skoda. Front and rear passengers get good space and the Verna comes with keyless entry, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control and steering mounted audio controls. The SX variant comes with electrically foldable out-side rear view mirrors, a reverse camera, cooled glove box and alloy wheels.
The 1.6-litre common-rail VGT aided diesel with its 128PS@4000rpm and 259Nm of max torque produced between 1900 to 2750rpm makes the Verna the fastest accelerating diesel sedan under 10lakhs in India. 100kmph is reached in 10.54seconds which makes the Verna the only sub 11second diesel car in the country in its segment. The Vento and the Rapid reach the ton mark in 11.33 and 11.44seconds respectively which the Maruti Suzuki Dzire reaches the same figure in 13.4seconds. Not only is the Verna the fastest accelerating sedan in its segment it is also the most powerful. The Chevrolet Optra Magnum with its 2-litre engine was the only other diesel sedan capable of reaching 100kmph under 11seconds but it has been discontinued now. Power delivery is smooth and linear and the Verna has a wide power band. The turbo lag is minimal, the engine is matched to a 5 speed manual gearbox and the Verna delivers an ARAI claimed fuel efficiency of 22kmpl. The ride quality aided by the standard MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion bar at the rear is good and the damping has been kept on the soft side. Passenger comfort is high but the soft suspension generates body roll.
The Skoda Laura has not only emerged as the fastest petrol car to 100kmph between 10 to 20 lakhs but also is the fastest diesel car in that segment. That position belonged to the Chevrolet Cruze but earlier this year the power on the Cruze increased from 150PS to 166PS which did result in better in gear acceleration but the new Cruze is around .5 of a second slower to 100kmph than before. The Cruze’s loss is the Laura’s gain and aided by the DSG dual clutch automatic gearbox the Laura is the fastest diesel sedan to 100kmph in its segment. Prices for the Laura Automatic start from Rs 15,85,820 to Rs 19,16,818 ex-showroom New Delhi.
The Laura is typical of the way Skoda’s now look. It is understated but the build quality is excellent and the sedan looks absolutely solid in flesh. The headlights go deep into the front fenders and at the front is the narrow grille with a prominent centre crease on the bonnet. The wheel arches are flared and while the cabin feels special some more design elements would have been welcomed. You can’t complain about the fit and finish, the ergonomics are spot on and adding a feel of luxury is the leather wrapped steering wheel and the wooded trim on the two tone dashboard. The Laura comes with indicators on the outside rear view mirrors, ABS, traction control and front airbags and rear parking sensors. The Elegance version further gets wooded inserts, heated seats and dual zone climate control while the top of the line L&K variant comes with headlight sensors, front parking sensors, side and curtain airbags, 12-way driver adjustable seat, ESP and a touchscreen display with 6 CD changer. Interior space is sufficient too.
The 2-litre TDI diesel engine is the same as on the Superb and the Volkswagen Jetta and produces 140PS. with 350Nm of torque produced between 1750 to 2500rpm. The twin cam engine uses 16 valves and accelerates to 100kmph in just 9.72seconds which is half a second faster than the Cruze which takes 10.22seconds. The VW Jetta takes 10.9seconds while Hyundai Elantra is quicker and takes 10.28seconds. The engine is matched to a twin clutch DSG gearbox and the Laura was the first sedan in the segment to offer this in its segment. Bottom end torque is strong and the engine revs freely delivering torque across the rev range. The Laura uses MacPherson struts and torsion bar at the front while at the rear is a multi-element axle and torsion bar as well. The handling is class leading and body roll around corners is controlled. The sedan inspires confidence, the steering has decent feedback but the ride because of the damping is a little on the stiff side.
Finally there is aBMW on our list. The Volvo S60 T6 just managed to edge past the 328i but the BMW 3-series 320d is the fastest diesel sedan to 100kmph under 40lakhs. The all new 3-series was launched earlier this year and the sedan further builds the reputation the 3-series as a true driver’s car. Prices for the 320d start from Rs 28.9 lakhs while the top of the line luxury line variant is priced at Rs37.9lakhs ex-showroom New Delhi. Unlike the Audi A4 which was merely a facelift, the 3-series is completely new and it still is the best option in its segment for the driving enthusiast.
There is a bit of similarity between the old and the new 3-series but the 2012 variant gets a stretched kidney grille, the headlights are longer and sharper and the bonnet is more muscular. The stance is athletic with prominent lines on the bonnet and on the sides and we particularly likes the short overhang. The headlights have twin corona rings, the shoulder line catches your eye and the wheel arches are flared. The rear has a bit of similarity with the 5-series. The interiors are completely new with a clean look to the dash and the multimedia screen has been replaced by a flat screen. The material used are of the best quality and the wheelbase is more than before. The iDrive allows you to alter most settings and the sedan comes with dynamic stability control, dynamic traction control, ABS, dynamic brake control and corner braking control.
The 2-litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine is the same as before and produces 184PS@4000rpm with a maximum torque rating of 380Nm between 1750 to 2750rpm. This highly acclaimed engine is regarded as one of the best diesel engines around and it accelerates to 100kmph in 7.5seconds and the 4 cylinder motor is refined with torque delivered across the rev range. The engine is matched to an 8 speed automatic gearbox and the engine’s willingness to rev is like that of a petrol motor. The closest to the 320d is the Mercedes C250CDI which takes 7.97seconds while the Volvo S60 T5 takes 8.19seconds and the Audi Q3 takes 8.35seconds. The Volkswagen Passat is marginally slower to these vehicles and reaches 100kmph in 8.73seconds. The 3-series is lighter than before and the wheelbase is stretched by 50mm. Interior space has improved and the 3-series now gets an electrically-assisted steering with double-wishbone front suspension. The rear suspension is from the 5-series has a 50:50 front-rear balance and the ride and handling have both improved. Dynamically the 3-series is undoubtedly the most rewarding car in its segment.