15 hatchbacks & sedans with SUV-like ground clearance: Tata Tigor to Hyundai i20 Active

SUVs are becoming increasingly popular among India’s car buyers. This can be attributed to their looks and to their high ground clearance that allows them to tackle the rough road conditions in India with ease. Meanwhile, manufacturers have also been launching hatchbacks, sedans and crossovers that offer an increased ground clearance to help customers drive a little more smoothly on Indian roads. We take a look at 15 such vehicles that offer ground clearance similar to SUVs.

Datsun redi-GO
Ground clearance: 185 mm

The Datsun redi-GO is one of the most affordable cars on sale in India today. The redi-GO targets a younger audience with its quirky looks. With 185 mm of ground clearance on offer, the redi-GO is perfect for tackling the environment it is meant for, the city and its uneven road surfaces.

Datsun offers the redi-GO with two engine options. The smaller engine is a 0.8-litre unit producing 53.6 BHp and 75 Nm of torque while the larger 1.0-litre powerplant cranks out 67 Bhp and 71 Nm of torque. The 1.0-litre redi-GO is also offered with an AMT gearbox and is the most affordable AMT car on sale in India.

Maruti Ignis
Ground clearance: 180 mm

maruti ignis

Unveiled at the Auto Expo 2016, the Maruti Ignis is the most affordable car you can buy at a Nexa showroom today. The hatchback combines the goods looks of Japan’s ‘kei’ cars with premium interior and exterior options, which makes it rather appealing to Indian customers. Another plus point for the Ignis is its 180-mm ground clearance, which allows it to tackle most rough roads in India.

The Ignis gets both petrol and diesel engine options. The 1.2-litre petrol engine generates 82 Bhp and 113 Nm of peak torque while the 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine produces 74 Bhp and 190 Nm of torque. Maruti offers the Ignis with both manual and AMT transmission options.

Renault Kwid
Ground clearance: 180 mm

renault kwid

The Renault Kwid is the best selling car from the French carmaker in India. The reason for its popularity, especially among younger buyers, is its SUV-inspired looks, which are complemented by the 180 mm of ground clearance on offer.

Renault offers the Kwid with two petrol engine options. The smaller engine is a 0.8-litre unit with 53 Bhp and 72 Nm of torque on tap and larger 1.0-litre engine that produces 67 bhp and 91 Nm of torque. The 1.0-litre engine is also offered with an AMT gearbox, which is controlled by a dial on the centre console.

Ford Figo
Ground clearance: 174 mm

The Ford Figo is the American carmaker’s most affordable car currently on sale in India. The Figo is loved by enthusiasts for its handling prowess thanks to a sharp steering brilliant suspension set-up. Despite its ability to demolish corners, the Figo has a high ground clearance of 174 mm.

Ford offers the Figo with three engine options – two petrol and one diesel. The smaller petrol is a 1.2-litre unit with 87 Bhp and 112 Nm of torque, while the larger 1.5-litre engine generates 110 Bhp and 136 Nm of torque. The diesel Figo is the most powerful in its class with 98.5 Bhp and 215 Nm of torque on offer.

Ford Figo Aspire
Ground clearance: 174 mm

The Ford Figo Aspire is the sub-4-metre-sedan version of Ford’s Figo hatchback and is the first compact sedan offered by the American carmaker. The Aspire offers the same amount of ground clearance as the hatchback at 174 mm and the three engine options remain the same.

Fiat Punto Evo
Ground clearance: 195 mm

Fiat Punto Evo

The Fiat Punto Evo is one of the most underrated cars in its segment. The entry-level Fiat for India is offered with two different ground clearance levels. The petrol variants have a ground clearance of 185 mm, while the diesel Punto Evo ups that number by 10mm to 195mm.

The Punto Evo is offered with both petrol and diesel engine options. The 1.2-litre petrol engine generates 67 Bhp and 96 Nm of torque. The Punto Evo also gets a 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine that generates 75 Bhp and 197 Nm of torque.

Tata Zest
Ground Clearance: 170 mm

The Tata Zest was first launched in 2014 and offers a robust build quality and a high ground clearance of 170 mm, which makes it perfect for city driving and for a long cruise on weekends. The short wheelbase and high ground clearance of the Zest allow it to go over rough roads without causing any damage to its underside.

Tata Motors offers the Zest with a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.3-litre Fiat Multijet diesel engine. The 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine produces 89 Bhp and 140Nm of torque. The diesel engine comes in two states of tune – 74 Bhp and 190Nm of torque and 89 Bhp with 200Nm of torque.

Maruti Ciaz
Ground Clearance: 170 mm

New Maruti Ciaz

Maruti Suzuki recently gave the Ciaz sedan a facelift, which not only updated its looks but also granted it a brand new petrol engine. The Ciaz offers 170 mm of ground clearance, which is quite high, especially for a sedan,

The Maruti Ciaz is powered by an all-new 1.5-litre petrol engine with hybrid assistance that produces 103 Bhp and 138 Nm of torque. The 1.3-diesel too is assisted by Maruti’s SHVS mild hybrid tech and produces 89 BHp and 200 Nm of torque. The diesel version of the Maruti Ciaz is one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the country and it returns a mileage of 28.09 km/l.

Fiat Linea
Ground Clearance: 185 mm


The Fiat Linea is the only sedan on offer for the Indian market from the Italian carmaker. The Linea offers a best-in-segment ground clearance of 185 mm.

Fiat offers the Linea with three engine options – two petrol and 1 diesel. The turbo 1.4-litre petrol produces 112 Bhp and 207Nm of torque. A more powerful version of the engine ups the power to 123 Bhp though the torque remains the same. The 1.3-litre diesel engine cranks out 92 Bhp and 210 Nm of torque.

Tata Tigor
Ground Clearance: 170 mm

The Tata Tigo is the compact sedan version of the Tiago hatchback. The Tata Tigor is the most affordable sedan that you can buy from Tata Motors and its notchback design makes it one of the most unique looking cars on the road today. The Tata Tigor offers 170 mm of ground clearance.

The Tata Tigor is offered with two engine options – a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.05-litre diesel. The petrol engine produces 84 Bhp and 114 Nm of torque, while the diesel powerplant cranks out 69 Bhp and 140 Nm of torque.

Toyota Corolla Altis
Ground Clearance: 176 mm

The Corolla Altis is the currently the best-selling D-segment sedan on sale in India. The Corolla is preferred for its rear seat comfort as most owners prefer to have someone drive them around thanks to those luxurious reclining rear seats. The Corolla Altis offers a high ground clearance of 176 mm.

Toyota only offers the Corolla Altis with a 1.8-litre petrol engine in India. The Corolla’s petrol engine produces 138 Bhp and 173 Nm of torque and comes paired to either a 6-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox.

Ford Freestyle
Ground Clearance: 190 mm

Ford introduced the Freestyle crossover to India earlier this year. The Freestyle, which is based on the Figo, offers a high ground clearance of 190 mm, which is just 10 mm lower than that of the EcoSport compact SUV. The Freestyle gets a host of features including Anti Rollover Program (ARP) and traction control among many others.

The Freestyle is offered with two engine options – the all-new 1.2-litre Dragon petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel. The 1.2-litre petrol engine produces a segment-leading 95 Bhp and 120 Nm of torque, while the 1.5-litre diesel engine is borrowed from the Figo and produces 98.5 Bhp and 215 Nm of torque.

Fiat Urban Cross
Ground clearance: 205 mm

The Fiat Urban Cross is based on the Avventura, which in turn is based on the Punto hatchback. The Urban Cross is a more premium looking crossover compared to the Avventura and offers slightly more SUV-ish looks. The Urban Cross offers 205 mm of ground clearance like the Avventura.

The Urban Cross comes with a 1.3-litre diesel engine offering 92 Bhp and 209 Nm of torque. The more powerful 1.4-litre petrol engine is tuned by Abarth and produces 138 Bhp and 210 Nm of torque.

Hyundai i20 Active
Ground clearance: 190 mm

The Hyundai i20 Active is a crossover, based on the Elite i20 hatchback, that offers 190 mm of ground clearance. The i20 Active gets body cladding that along with the raised ground clearance give the i20 a more rugged and robust look.

The i20 Active is offered with a 1.2-litre petrol engine producing 82 Bhp and 115Nm of torque. The diesel option is a 1.4-litre engine cranking out 89 Bhp and 220 Nm of torque

Toyota Etios Cross
Ground clearance: 174 mm

The Toyota Etios Cross is a crossover based on the Etios hatchback. Toyota has given the Etios Cross thick body cladding, faux skid plates and new bumpers to differentiate it from its sibling. This combined with the 174 mm ground clearance gives the Etios Cross a more robust look and allows it to travel through tougher terrain while maintaining lots of room for passengers on the inside.

Toyota offers the Etios Cross with a 1.2-litre petrol engine producing 79 Bhp and 104 Nm of torque and 1.3-litre diesel powerplant cranking out 67 Bhp and 170 Nm of torque.

Special mention – Volvo S60 Cross Country
Ground clearance: 201 mm

The Volvo S60 Cross Country may not be one of the most affordable cars in India, but it gets a special mention because of its unique crossover-sedan design. The S60 Cross Country is based on the S60 sedan but gets body cladding all around and a suspension set-up that raises the ground clearance to an SUV-like 201 mm. This allows owners to enjoy the comforts of the luxury sedan even while traversing through rough country roads.

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