Snapshot – If you want speed on a budget of about 20 lakh rupees, the D-Segment sedan space is the place to be in. Now 20 lakh rupees is an amount that many car buyers can afford considering growing disposable incomes. So, the D-Segment sedans are still relatively affordable as far as the mass market is concerned. We’ve picked out four cars in the sub-20 lakh rupee space that can hit a genuine 200 Kph, a speed that is still hallowed for the sheer rush it brings on the unpredictable Indian roads. Hitting such speeds on public roads is a one way ticket to insanity. We suggest that you don’t indulge in such theatrics. Instead, reveling in the rush of acceleration that these powerful cars deliver would be the right way to enjoy all that power. That way, the top speed boils down to a feel good factor.
Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 TDI
The Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 TDI is German and this lineage reflects in every aspect of the sedan. The car is well built and looks fresher than before thanks to the recent facelift. The interiors are subdued, and perhaps a little basic but reek of high quality all around. They’ll wear hard and look good years down the line. The car feels solidly built with that reassuring thud to accompany everytime you shut the door. The real action is under the hood though.
The 2 liter TDI turbo diesel motor pumps out 138 Bhp-320 Nm and drives the front wheels by means of a 6 speed twin clutch DSG gearbox. Acceleration is brisk with the 0-100 Kph mark achieved in 10 seconds, which means that riding the torque surge of this car will be fun. Top speed, is a heady 200 Kph and the Jetta’s sorted ride and handling dynamics ensures that the car remains stable at obscene speeds. Prices of the Jetta Diesel start at 15.32 lakh rupees.
Chevrolet Cruze 2.2 VCDi
The Chevrolet Cruze is what the car god ordered for acceleration junkies. With 380 Nm of sheer thrust, the Cruze is a devil on the straight road. The 2.2 liter Z-Series turbo diesel engine is smoother than the unit it replaced, with more power and torque to boot. The 4 potter makes 164 Bhp of peak power and 380 Nm of peak torque. Buyers have the option of ordering the car with either a 6 speed manual or a similarly cogged automatic gearbox. The sprint from standstill to three digits takes the Cruze Diesel a touch under 10 seconds. The mid range surge is what this car is all about.
When given the stick, the Cruze Diesel will get you to a genuine 200 Kph but the power and torque doesn’t remain as strong as say the Jetta or the Octavia at the top end of the speed hill. It boils down to the character of the engine. But in terms of sheer value, the Cruze leads, what with its 14.27 lakh rupee starting price tag. However, you must know that the Cruze can’t hold a candle to the Jetta as far as ride and handling goes. The former simply feels more involving to drive.
[Image courtesy Steeroids]
Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI
The Skoda Octavia is in its third generation in India and has hopped on to the Volkswagen group’s MQB platform. The car is more German than Czech now. The diesel variant of the Octavia is the car that brings Skoda the numbers in the D-Segment. The reason is simple. The car uses the 2 liter TDI turbo diesel engine from the MDB range that is tweaked to work with MQB cars. This motor puts out 148 Bhp-320 Nm, is more responsive than before, and is also quite fuel efficient.
The package is potent, especially when combined with the 6 speed twin clutch DSG automatic gearbox. Top speed is a little over 200 Kph, while acceleration is rapid too, with the 0-100 Kph run dispatched in just 9.3 seconds. This makes the Octavia the quickest and fastest diesel car in the 200 Kph D-Segment club. The car is also the most spacious too, with generous levels of equipment and top notch quality all around. Pricey it is, with the diesel engined variants starting at 17.87 lakh rupees. But for the sheer balance of performance and luxury the Octavia offers, the price seems worth it.
Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI
There’s two key changes that make the Octavia 1.8 TSI a clear enthusiast favourite over its diesel engined sibling. One is the 1.8 TSI turbocharged petrol engine that makes 177 Bhp-250 Nm, and the other is the independent rear suspension that really does its bit to sort out the ride and handling of the car, to enthusiast levels. These two factors make the Octavia 1.8 TSI a hoot to drive, and the 7 speed twin clutch DSG twin clutch automatci gearbox adds to the overall effect of thrilling performance.
Talking numbers, the Octavia 1.8 TSI goes from standstill to 100 Kph in just 8 seconds while top speed is a 220 Kph, one that makes the car really stand out as the performance leader. For those seeking efficiency though, the diesel motor is the clear bet. The petrol engined Octavia is for those who want a large, comfortable D-Segment sedan that will go very fast when given the stick. At 19.66 lakh rupees, the Octavia doesn’t come cheap, but fast+reliable does comes with its price.
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