12 most DESIRABLE cars & SUVs for enthusiasts: 2017 edition

Car enthusiasts have had a lot of relatively affordable options to pick and choose from in 2017. Here’s a quick walkthrough of the most desirable cars for enthusiasts looking at the affordable segments.

Ford Figo/Aspire S

Ford has given he Figo hatchback and the Aspire compact sedan the S treatment. S here refers to tweaked cosmetics and more importantly, stiffer suspension for better handling. The Figo and Aspire S are both offered with 1.5 liter TDCI turbo diesel (98.6 Bhp-205 Nm) and 1.2 liter Ti-VCT petrol (87 Bhp-112 Nm) engines. Both engine get 5 speed manual gearboxes as standard, and prices start from Rs. 6.48 lakhs.

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI/TDI

The Polo GT TSI and GT TDI continue to be the go-to options for enthusiasts looking for solidly built, peppy hatchbacks. The GT TSI has a 1.2 liter turbo charged petrol engine with 104 Bhp-175 Nm, and a 7 speed twin clutch automatic gearbox. The GT TDI features a 1.5 liter turbo diesel motor with 104 Bhp-250 Nm, and a 5 speed manual gearbox. Prices of the Polo GT twins start from Rs.  9.2 lakhs.

Fiat Punto Abarth

The Fiat Punto Abarth continues to be the most powerful, affordable hot hatchback in the country, what with its 1.4 liter turbo petrol motor pushing out 142 Bhp-210 Nm. The car sits lower than the regular Punto, making it stick to the tarmac. It also gets stiffer suspension, and revised styling, mainly in the form of stickers on the body. A 5 speed manual gearbox is standard, and the car’s prices start from Rs. 9.67 lakhs.

Fiat Avventura Abarth

Love the poke that the Abarth Punto offers but want some more ground clearance to take on everything Indian roads can throw at you? Enter the Avventura Abarth, a car that features the same engine as the Punto Abarth, but with a hefty 205 mm ground clearance to boot. The Avventura Abarth is priced at Rs. 9.89 lakhs.

Maruti Baleno RS

The Maruti Baleno RS is the fastest hatchback offered by India’s biggest car maker. The Baleno RS is a hoot to drive because of three things. 1. It’s very light. 2. It features a 1 liter-3 cylinder turbo petrol engine with 102 Bhp-150 Nm and 3. It’s got stiffer suspension. The car is also very affordable, with prices starting from Rs. 8.38 lakhs.

Mahindra Thar

The Thar is a true-blue off roader with a powerful diesel engine and styling that is timeless. It’s available with creature comforts – for a Jeep – such as air conditioning, power steering and heck, even captain seats for the driver and passenger. The Thar CRDE is powered by a 2.5 liter turbo diesel engine with 105 Bhp-247 Nm on tap. A 5 speed manual gearbox and a 4 wheel drive transfer case are standard. The Thar CRDE is priced at Rs. 8.99 lakhs.

Force Gurkha

The Gurkha is similar to the Thar in terms of what it offers but throws in extra options such as lockable differentials at the front and rear, and a hard top. The Gurkha is also available with a soft top, and an rear wheel driven extended wheelbase version. It’s powered by a 2.6 liter turbo diesel engine with 80 Bhp-230 Nm on tap, and a 5 speed manual gearbox is standard. Prices start from Rs. 9.15 lakhs.

Maruti Gypsy

The Gypsy is the cheapest 4X4 money can buy in India, and a very capable one at that. Powered by a 1.3 liter petrol engine with 80 Bhp and 104 Nm on tap, the Gypsy has been around for over 3 decades. The veteran off-roader gets a 5 speed manual gearbox, soft top and hard top options, and a 4X4 transfer case. Prices start from Rs. 6.13 lakhs. Grab one soon as the Gypsy will soon go out of production.

Isuzu V-Cross

The Isuzu D-Max V-Cross is India’s most popular lifestyle pick-up truck. Highly versatile, the V-Cross gets a five seat twin-cab and a massive loading bed. The pick up truck measures over 5 meters in length, and has terrific street presence. It’s powered by a 2.5 liter turbo diesel engine pushing out 134 Bhp-320 Nm. A 5 speed manual gearbox is standard, along with a 4X4 transfer case. Prices start from Rs. 13.32 lakhs.

Skoda Octavia vRS

The Octavia vRS is a practical family sedan that can turn into a super sporty car when the throttle is mashed and a few sweeping corners are thrown in. The car is powered by a 2 liter turbocharged petrol engine with 230 Bhp-350 Nm, mated to a 6 speed DSG twin clutch automatic gearbox. A hoot to drive, yet practical enough for everyday use, the Octavia vRS is priced at Rs. 25.49 lakhs.