Affordable Petrol Cars With Diesel-Like Torque

Snapshot – You buy a diesel for high fuel efficiency and good torque. Big torque means good driveability and in some cases, a nice turbo kick to keep you entertained. To make the same kind of torque that diesel cars deliver, manufacturers needed to bump up petrol cars’ engine displacement. Larger engines mean more fuel consumption. But that was until turbocharging arrived onto petrol cars. With a turbo in tow, petrol cars are just as powerful and torquey as diesels, while also being quite fuel efficient. Here are eight such examples in the sub-20 lakh rupee segments. Petrols that deliver diesel-like torque, that’s what this story is all about.

Tata Bolt 1.2 REVOTRON

Tata Bolt Sport Front

The Tata Bolt REVOTRON is the least priced turbo petrol car that money can buy in India, with prices of the car starting at 4.45 lakh rupees. The Bolt uses a 1.2 liter-4 cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine. Peak power is rated at 88 Bhp while the peak torque of 140 Nm comes in at just 1,500 rpm. Now, this is a torque peak that is even better than of most diesel cars in the B+ hatchback segment. The interesting aspect about this engine is that it is tuned mainly for driveability than out-and-out performance. This is the reason why Tata Motors has limited the torque to 140 Nm. If needed, the torque can easily be pushed up, and this is what will happen with the high performance upcoming version of this car, which will be dubbed the Bolt Sport.

Tata Zest 1.2 REVOTRON

2014-Tata-Zest-Front view

The Zest shares its petrol engine with the Bolt, and is the only compact sedan in India to offer turbocharged petrol power. Like the Bolt, the Zest gets multiple engine maps, which can be switched on the move. Sport mode delivers sharper engine responses while the economy mode keeps things more relaxed in order to aid fuel efficiency. In terms of sheer value, the Zest leads its segment, what with prices starting from 4.86 lakh rupees.

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI

Pete's Tuned Volkswagen Polo GT TSI in Red
The Polo GT TSI is a car built mainly for driving enthusiasts. The Polo GT TSI is the most powerful petrol powered hatchback that money can buy in India’s sub-10 lakh rupee segments. The car uses a four cylinder, 1,2 liter turbo petrol engine with 103 Bhp-175 Nm outputs. The key here is that the engine of this car makes the peak torque at just 1,500 rpm. The other sucker punch this car deals out is its 7 speed twin clutch DSG automatic gearbox. 7 speeds mean that the engine’s torque can be used optimally. Also, the twin clutches mean very quick gear changes. The torquey petrol engine and the quick shifting gearbox makes the Polo GT TSI beat diesels in both driveability and outright performance. The car is priced at 8.48 lakh rupees.

Fiat Linea T-Jet

Fiat Linea Sedan Facelift 1

The Fiat Linea T-Jet is the torque king among petrol cars in the C-Segment sedan category, with 207 Nm of twist coming in at 2,200 rpm. In comparison, the diesel variant of the Linea makes 209 Nm at 2,000 rpm but isn’t half as fun to drive. The 1.4 liter T-Jet engined Linea is also cheaper than its diesel iteration, by nearly 60,000 rupees, with prices starting from 8.08 lakh rupees. If you want a fun petrol car that can whip the behinds of diesel cars, the Linea T-Jet ticks all the right boxes. The fuel efficiency is lower than what diesels deliver though.

Volkswagen Vento 1.2 TSI

Volkswagen Vento Sedan Facelift 2

The Vento 1.2 TSI is a Polo with a boot. The ‘Big Car’ image and extra legroom for the back seaters are two other advantages of this car, which is also significantly pricier than its hatchback sibling. The Vento TSI shares its turbo petrol engine and the 7 speed DQ200 twin clutch automatic transmission with its hatchback sibling. Performance is almost as good as the lighter Polo. Prices of the Vento 1.2 TSI start at 9.85 lakh rupees.

Ford Ecosport Ecoboost

Ford Ecosport Beast Custom
Ford Ecosport Beast Custom

The only turbo petrol SUV within 30 lakh rupees, the Ford Ecosport Ecoboost is a lot of car for little money, in this case 9.14 lakh rupees. The crossover is powered by a 1.0 liter-3 cylinder turbo petrol engine known as the Ecoboost unit. This is the smallest turbo petrol engine in India, but with a lot of muscle, 125 Bhp and 170 Nm of it. The peak torque of 170 Nm is produced at just 1,400 rpm, and the Ecosport scampers to 100 Kph in just 13 seconds. This is one compact SUV that can give many diesel sedans a scare when it comes to flat out performance.

Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI

Volkswagen Jetta Facelift 1

The entry-level version of the Volkswagen Jetta Facelift is powered by a turbocharged petrol engine, in this case the 1.4 liter-4 cylinder TSI unit. The motor makes 120 Bhp of peak power and 200 Nm of peak torque. The peak torque is produced at 1,500 rpm and this engine is known as one of the more frugal petrol units on the Jetta. A six speed manual gearbox is standard on this car, which is essentially a budget iteration of the D-Segment sedan. Prices start at 14.15 lakh rupees.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI

Skoda Octavia TDI

The Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI is the fastest D-Segment sedan in the country and much credit needs to be given to the 1.8 liter TSI turbo petrol motor, which makes 177 Bhp and 250 Nm. The engine is paired to a fast shifting 7 speed DQ200 twin clutch automatic transmission. The peak torque at 1,250 rpm defines performance of this car, which is electric to say the least. A 0-100 Kph run in 8 seconds, with a top speed of over 220 Kph characterize this high performance sedan, whose RS variant will soon be in India. Also, the Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI benefits from independent rear suspension, which makes for better handling. The car’s lower priced variant is fitted with the 1.4 liter TSI engine. The price of the 1.8 liter variant is pegged at 19.66 lakh rupees.