CarToq’s Premium Hatchback Buyers Guide For 2015

Snapshot – For those who feel that a compact sedan is a big compromise,a premium hatchback becomes the logical option. Cars such as the Hyundai i20 Elite and the Volkswagen Polo GT twins offer compact sedan buying space and performance respectively, in form factors that are much more alluring. The premium B+ segment hatchback segment in India now has plenty of options for buyers, and many more options are coming up in the next six months. Here’s CarToq’s Premium Hatchback Buyer’s Guide for 2015.

Current Options

HYUNDAI i20 ELITE

Hyundai Elite i20

 

To put things into perspective, the Hyundai i20 has a longer wheelbase than the Xcent compact sedan, making for spacious interiors. Also, the Hyundai hatchback has interiors that feel a couple of notches better than those on the Xcent and almost every other sub-10 lakh rupee hatchback sold in India. The Elite i20 is truly a premium hatchback that has also bit bulls eye when it comes to sales numbers. The car is available with 1.2 liter petrol (86 Bhp-112 Nm) and 1.4 liter turbo diesel (89 Bhp-220 Nm) engine options. The diesel engine is easily the pick of the lot when it comes to both performance and fuel efficiency. The i20 Elite Petrol starts at 5.3 lakh rupees, while the diesel engined model starts a lakh higher, at 6.41 lakh rupees.

Why you should buy one…

1.Buy one if you want a premium hatchback that looks very good and also feels very good.

2. If you want a torquey and fuel efficiency diesel engined hatchback.

3. If ride quality impresses you over handling.

Why you shouldn’t buy one…

1. If you want a fun car that can make you smile in the twisties.

2. If you like high performance petrol hatchbacks.

VOLKSWAGEN POLO GT TSI AND TDI

IDE Autoworks' Volkswagen Polo Wrap 1

The Volkswagen Polo GT twins represent hatchbacks with high quality interiors and solid build quality backed up with segment leading performance. The turbo petrol powered GT TSI features a high performance 1.2 liter motor with 103 Bhp-175 Nm. This engine is paired to a 7 speed twin clutch DSG automatic transmission. The diesel variant of the Polo borrows the 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel engine from the larger Vento sedan. This motor makes 103 Bhp-250 Nm, that puts torque to the tarmac by means of a 5 speed manual gearbox. Both the Polo GT TSI and TDI variants are priced at 8.48 lakh rupees.

Why you should buy one…

1. Buy one if you want a premium hatchback with a solid build and high quality interiors

2. If you want the most powerful sub-10 lakh rupee petrol hatchback in the country

3. If you want the most powerful sub-10 lakh rupee diesel hatchback in the country

Why you shouldn’t buy one…

1. If you feel that 8.48 lakh rupees is too much money for a hatchback

2. If you are dicey about Volkswagen’s after sales network

FIAT PUNTO EVO 1.4 Petrol/90 HP Diesel

Fiat Punto Evo

[Image courtesy Blog.Sagmart]

The Fiat Punto EVO is built like a vault, and is a car that handles like on rails. A car meant for the enthusiast buyer, the Punto EVO is one of the better looking hatchbacks in India. The car’s budget trim variant offers a 1.2 liter petrol engine, which is an underpowered option that hardly anyone buy. The real action starts with the Punto EVO’s 1.4 liter FIRE petrol (90 Bhp-130 Nm) and 1.3 liter Multijet 90 HP diesel (91 Bhp-209 Nm) engines. These engines give the car decent pep although more horses under the hood is what the Punto EVO still needs. While this will soon be addressed with a Punto Abarth variant, the current Punto EVO 1.4 Petrol is priced at 7.33 lakh rupees, with the 90 HP Diesel retailing for 7.71 lakh rupees.

Why you should buy one…

1. Buy one if you love a tank-like build

2. If you want a car with a superb ride-handling package

3. If you dig sharp Italian designs

Why you shouldn’t buy one…

1. If you want outright acceleration

2. If you are want a car with good resale value

Upcoming Options

HONDA JAZZ

Honda Jazz  review 2

On the 8th of July, Honda will relaunch the Jazz premium hatchback in India. Bookings for the car have already commenced and the media drives have concluded. Here’s our review of the car that continues to lead the field when it comes to sheer versatility. The Jazz will be sold with petrol and turbo diesel engine options, with the former gaining a super smooth CVT automatic gearbox while the latter makes the hatchback the second most fuel efficient car in the country, secund only to the Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel. The Jazz is likely to command a premium price tag, in line with the one on the Hyundai Elite i20.

Why you should buy one…

1. Buy one if you dig diesel mileage

2. If you want a car (CVT Automatic) that’s super smooth on city roads

3. If you love spacious, versatile interiors

Why you shouldn’t buy one…

1. A sharp handling car like the Fiat Punto

2. If solid build for you means a reassuring thud of the door

TATA BOLD SPORT

Tata Bolt Sport Front

Tata Motors is working hard to give its image a makeover. The Bolt Sport hatchback is a step in this direction. The car will feature the 1.2 liter REVOTRON turbocharged petrol engine in 120 Bhp-170 Nm state of tune. The suspension will be given a once over, with a stiffer set up meant to deliver sharper handling. The car will also sit lower, in tune with its sporty intent. On the whole, the Bolt Sport aims to give the hatchback buyer in India an affordable car that’s fast and sporty. The Bolt Sport will be in India by the end of this year.

FIAT PUNTO ABARTH

Fiat Punto Abarth Esseesse used as an illustration
International-spec Fiat Punto Abarth Esseesse used as an illustration

The Fiat Punto Abarth will soon wear the crown of “the most powerful affordable hatchback” in India, for the car will feature a 1.4 liter T-Jet turbo petrol engine that is tuned to deliver 135 Bhp and 207 Nm. The car is likely to be the fastest accelarating hatchback in the sub-10 lakh rupee category, with a top speed close to the 200 Kph mark. The Punto Abarth will also get a sporty suspension package that aims to make the car more thrilling to handle. Revised cosmetics will make the Punto Abarth look more appealing as well. An August 2015 launch is on the cards.

MARUTI SUZUKI YRA (Not the final name)

Maruti Suzuki iK-2 YRA Concept Hatchback on the move

The Maruti Suzuki YRA will be India’s largest automaker’s stab at the premium hatchback segment. To be priced and positioned above the best selling Swift, the YRA was recently shown to the world in iK-2 concept guise. The car will gain a 1 liter turbo petrol engine while its diesel varant will use the tried and tested Fiat Multijet turbocharged unit. The YRA will be much more spacious than the Swift, and alo promises to bring premium interiors to the equation. The car is expected to see a September 2015 launch.