Snapshot: CarToq profiles half a dozen automatic hatchbacks sold in India. These hatchbacks are relatively affordable (priced under 8 lakh rupees), for the kind of comfort and convenience they offer.
Cars with automatic gearboxes are getting popular in India, a country where manual gearboxes continue to rule the roost. While cars equipped with automatic gearboxes offer convenience in high traffic conditions, they are less fuel efficient than cars with manual gearboxes. Growing spending power has meant that car buyers are willing to overlook the lower fuel economy and go for the sheer convenience that an automatic gearbox equipped car offers. Especially popular among the fairer sex and elderly, the tribe of automatic hatchbacks is steadily increasing.
Maruti Suzuki A-Star Automatic
The least priced automatic petrol hatchback sold in India, the Maruti Suzuki A-Star mates a 3 speed automatic gearbox to the 1 liter K-Series petrol engine that outputs 67 Bhp-90 Nm. Known to be reasonably peppy and frugal, the A-Star Automatic is priced at 4.74 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.
- Maruti Suzuki’s strong after sales service
- Fuel efficiency (ARAI certified 16.98 Kmpl)
- 3 speed automatic gearbox is behind the 4 speed units
- Uncertain future in India with the impending launch of the YL7 hatchback (Global Alto/A-Star replacement)
Hyundai Grand i10 Automatic
The Hyundai Grand i10 is perhaps the most well rounded automatic hatchback to be sold in India, given its spacious, well appointed interiors, value pricing and peppy 1.2 liter Kappa petrol engine that’s fuel efficient too. The engine outputs 79 Bhp-112 Nm, and is mated to a 4 speed torque converter. The automatic variants of the car start at 5.65 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.
- High quality interiors
- Fuel efficiency (ARAI rated 16.95 Kmpl)
- Fun-to-drive factor missing
Honda Brio Automatic
In power-to-weight ratio terms, the Honda Brio Automatic is the the most powerful automatic hatchback this side of the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI. The car is powered by a 1.2 liter i-VTEC petrol engine that outputs 88 Bhp-110 Nm. This engine is paired with a 5 speed manual gearbox, that offers more ratios that most other automatic hatchbacks. Peppy performance is the result. The Brio Automatic’s compact dimensions also make it a very convenient drive around town. The Brio Automatic is priced at 6. lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.
- Peppy engine-transmission combination
- Fun to drive
- Compact dimensions
- ABS+EBD and Twin Airbags standard
- Glass hatch lid a question mark
- ARAI certified mileage of 16.5 Kmpl low for its size and weight
Maruti Suzuki Ritz Automatic
The tall boy design of the Ritz combined with a 4 automatic gearbox makes the car a very convenient option for the elderly. The Ritz used a 1.2 liter K-Series petrol engine (85 Bhp-114 Nm) mated to a 4 speed automatic gearbox. The car is priced at 6.25 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi, and comes with an ARAI certified fuel efficiency figure of 17.1 Kmpl, the second highest among automatic hatchbacks.
- Tall boy design
- Peppy 1.2 liter K-Series petrol engine
- Good fuel economy
- No ABS and Airbags even as options
Hyundai i20 Automatic
One of the largest, budget hatchbacks to be sold in India, the Hyundai i20 comes in automatic guise as well. The car features a 1.4 liter petrol VTVT engine that outputs 99 Bhp-136 Nm, mated to a 4 speed manual gearbox. Driver side airbag, ABS+EBD and climate control are standard, making it one of the well equipped automatic hatchbacks. The car is priced at 7.96 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.
- Well equipped (Climate control, ABS+EBD and Airbag)
- Low fuel economy (ARAI certified 15.1 Kmpl)
- Sluggish gear ratios
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 GT TSI Automatic
The hot hatch amongst automatic hatchbacks and for that matter even manually geared hatchbacks, the Polo 1.2 GT TSI screams performance. The car features a 1.2 liter turbo petrol engine good for 104 Bhp-175 Nm, mated to a 7 speed dual clutch DSG automatic gearbox to make for lightning fast gearshifts. Fun to drive, the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI is also well appointed when it comes to creature comforts and safety features. Priced at 7.99 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi, the Polo 1.2 TSI is the most expensive B-segment automatic hatchback sold in India. Still, the car is great value-for-money due to the equipment it offers.
- Value for money
- Fun to drive
- Loaded with technology
- ARAI certified 17.2 Kmpl makes it the most fuel efficient B-Segment automatic hatchback
- Questionable Volkswagen after sales service
- Question mark over DSG gearbox’s long term reliability