The Indian market has never really been enthusiast focused. Yes, we have had the few one offs that are fun to drive, but as a market, ours isn’t really a driver focused one. However, some manufacturers are still catering to the niche market. Here are 10 affordable cars that are fun to drive too:
Ford Figo Sport
Rs 7.22 lakhs (diesel), 99 Bhp
Ford has always been known for making cars that are driver focused. The Figo is another example of the same. While the previous generation Figo was known to be among the most dynamic hatchbacks in the segment, the new one continues to live up to that tag. The company recently launched a new Sport variant with an improved suspension and larger 15″ alloys to help improve the handling of the car.
The Figo Sport comes in both petrol and diesel avatars, however it is the diesel one which is the more sporty one. Power comes from a 1.5 liter engine that makes 99 Bhp and 215 Nm. This is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox which transmits the power to the front wheels. The best part is that the vehicle is reasonably priced, for the performance it offers.
Maruti Baleno RS
Rs 8.69 lakhs, 101 Bhp
Number two on this list is the Baleno RS, which is Maruti’s latest offering and one that we are excited about. The RS is Maruti’s first true hot hatchback, aimed for the enthusiasts. The vehicle is powered by a 1.0 liter 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine that makes 101 Bhp and 150 Nm. While this does sound less, the vehicle weighs less than 1 ton (950 kgs), which means the power to weight ratio is much better than its closest rival, the Polo GT TSi. The company has even retuned the suspension to make the car handle better.
VW Polo GT twins
GT TSi: Rs 9.22 lakhs, 103 Bhp
GT TDi: Rs 9.32 lakhs, 108 Bhp
VW launched the GT Twins to take on the hot hatch market, at a time when there was no real competition. The GT TSi is powered by a 1.2 liter turbo petrol engine making 103 Bhp and 175 Nm where as the GT TDi is powered by a 1.5 liter engine making 108 Bhp and 250 Nm. While the TSi is mated to a 7-speed DSG, the TDi is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The best part about these cars is the fact that they are very tunable and there are a lot of parts out there, if you wish to modify them, ranging from power updates, interior updates, suspension updates as well as rims and tyres. The company has also introduced a new Sport variant with 16″ rims and a new spoiler at the back.
Fiat Punto Abarth
Rs 9.91 lakhs, 145 Bhp
The Abarth Punto is the most powerful and the fastest hot hatch on sale under Rs 10 lakhs. This is the vehicle that shook the segment when it was introduced, in terms of the performance offered. The Abarth is powered by a 1.4 liter turbo petrol engine that makes 145 Bhp and 212 Nm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox which feels a little rubbery. The car has a responsive steering, but the suspension setup is a little off. While the Abarth has been lowered compared to the normal Punto, a lot more can be done to make it handle better. Like the GTs, this one too can be modified easily, with lowered suspension and remaps on offer.
Ford Ecosport Ecoboost
Rs 8.63 lakhs (starting), 124 Bhp
The Ecosport is perhaps the only compact SUV in India that is actually fun to drive. Be it the 1.5 diesel or this, the 1.0 liter Ecoboost engine. The engine is an all-new turbo petrol one which displaces 999 cc and produces 124 Bhp and 170 Nm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. Despite having the ground clearance of a SUV, the vehicle is still fun to drive.