Midsize sedans for the price of an Alto

With about 20,000 units sold every month, the Maruti Suzuki Alto (in both 800 and K10 flavours) is easily the most popular entry-level hatchback in the country. Being positioned in the most price-sensitive segment, the vehicle loses out on space, performance, and even desirability. To answer to those needs, we take a look at sedans in the used car market that offer all of that but at the same price as a new Alto 800, which is Rs 2.55 lakh.

To ensure that it’s not the added space/value you’re bringing to your garage, we have also listed down every car’s USP below its name. These become all the more relevant when you compare them to an entry-level (albeit newer) hatchback.

Honda City ZX

Honda City ZX

The City ZX brought back the famed VTEC system, after a run of i-DSI-powered version, but unlike the legendary ‘VTEC’, the City ZX was more modern. It came with a better ground clearance and was no short on refinement. The space inside is good, the steering is light enough for the city, and it can handle bad roads, too. All that for anything between Rs 2.5 and 3 lakhs!

Buy if you want:

Honda reliability and refinement

Space

Don’t buy if you want:

Driver involvement

Diesel powertrain

Ford Fiesta (Classic)

Ford-Fiesta-Classic-India

Once the company’s flagship sedan in India, the Fiesta (later sold as Fiesta Classic/Classic) is one of the most driver-orientated cars in the country. Both petrol and diesel engines are available, and if you’re a keen driver, then it’s a must-have for your garage. The interior isn’t the best both in terms of design or fit. However you aren’t likely to notice any of that once behind the wheel.

Buy if you want: 

Driver involvement

Good looks

Don’t buy if you want:

Silent engine — the diesel can be loud

Inexpensive maintenance

Maruti Suzuki SX4

Maruti-Suzuki-SX4-VVT

MSIL’s offering the C-segment happens to be designed by the same house responsible for cars like the Grande Punto. And while looks are subjective, the ground clearance of 180 mm stood out for the SX4. Diesel-powered examples came late, so you are unlikely to find them in the said price range, but there are a plenty of 1.6-liter petrol versions in our budget.

Buy if you want:

Distinct styling

Good ground clearance

Don’t buy if you want:

Good view all around — the A-pillar and the quarter glass panel make a wide blind spot

Great fuel economy — the 1.6-liter petrol isn’t the most fuel efficient units around