The Indian market is slowly shifting towards automatics and the beginners who are now learning to drive are also trying their hands on automatic cars. Thus, every manufacturer is selling an automatic variant of their car. However, if you are a beginner and you want to buy an automatic car, thereare some factors that you need to consider.
The car you opt for should be easy and cheap to repair in case you break your bumper, rearview mirror, headlight or any other part. The car should be reliable so that you can trust it and it does not leave you stranded somewhere. The spare parts of the car should also be easily available and cheap so that it does not cost you much in case the car breaks down somewhere. Here are three entry-level hatchbacks that you can consider if you are a beginner.
Maruti Alto K10 AMT
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 has been in the market for quite some time now and is probably the oldest among the lot. Being a Maruti, the service network is great, they are easy to maintain and the spare parts are also cheap. The 1.0-litre engine produces around 67 PS which is the least among the three. The engine is refined, trusted and delivers great fuel economy. The steering is also not so hard and is very responsive. The AMT gearbox works well in the city use but can be a bit jerky. You can also shift yourself by slotting the gear lever towards left and then it will hold the gear till its red-line. The Alto K10 VXi AMT starts at just Rs. 4.5 lakhs ex-showroom which is the cheapest. Having said that you would have to wait as the manufacturer has not yet launched the BS6 version of the hatchback.
Hyundai Santro AMT
The Santro was the first AMT to be launched by the Korean manufacturer. The small hatchback impressed everyone with its refined and smooth gearshifts. It might be the most equipped entry-level hatchback in the segment. The small hatchback is easy to drive and the engine is smooth and refined for daily use. The hatchback is powered by a 1.1-litre engine that produces max power of 69 PS. The quality of material used inside is decent, especially when compared to the rivals. Hyundai Santro Magna AMT starts from Rs. 5.53 lakhs ex-showroom.
Tata Tiago AMT
Tata Tiago is the most affordable Tata that is available and with the recent facelift, it looks better than ever. Tiago is the only automatic small hatchback in the segment that comes with driving modes namely City, Sport and Manual. In the City mode, the AMT is relaxed and shifts the gears early to save some fuel. The gearbox also holds up till its red-line only in the manual mode whereas the Sport mode will shift the gears at around 3,000 rpm. Overall, the shifts are smooth if you adapt to the AMT gearbox and there are minimal head nods during the upshifts. The hatchback is well equipped with a digital instrument cluster, automatic climate control and Harman 8-speaker sound system which sounds amazing. Surprisingly, Tiago is the most powerful in this trio, producing 86 PS. Tata Tiago Revotron XZA is the most expensive hatchback starting at Rs. 6.2 lakhs.
One thing to remember is that the Tata Tiago and the Hyundai Santro comes with a rear parking camera whereas the Alto K10 does not. All three cars have rear parking sensors. Overall, all three hatchbacks are easy to drive, nimble and will help beginners gain confidence in driving.