The Indian car market is full of options with over a dozen odd modes on sale under Rs 5 lakh. However, if you are looking at a people mover, one that comes with 7 or 8 seats, the list trickles down to just four choices in this limited budget. While three of these come with a petrol engine, the fourth option is diesel powered which translates into lower running costs. These 7/8 seater cars are often referred to as MPVs (multi purpose vehicle) or MUVs (multi utility vehicle) and are popular with both private and commercial buyers. Lets have a look at such cars you can buy under Rs 5 lakh on-road.
8 seater cars in india of 5 lakhs : Maruti Omni
Price: Rs 3.07 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: N/A
The most affordable 7/8 seater vehicle you can buy in India is the good old Maruti Omni. Believe it or not, it continues to sell in great numbers in smaller towns and even in popular hill stations due to its small size, large cabin and extremely low running costs. Maruti sold more units in Omni in October 2018 that what Volkswagen and Nissan together managed in the same month. We kid you not!
At an on-road price of Rs 3 lakh, the Omni offers you a lot of bang for your buck.
The design hasn’t changed at all since its introduction decades back though Maruti has given minor tweaks in the form of matt black inserts up front, clear lens headlamps and better looking wheel covers. The cabin though has got major updates and looks good for the price. Its a very practical place to be in too – for example the high mounted cup holder on the right side, lockable glovebox with an open space on the top, wide front bench with a little central padding for a third person!
Space at the back remains impressive for a small car and the Omni can be had in two versions of 5 and 8 seater. The latter option is what we will discuss here and this comes with two rows at the back, facing each other. The sliding door also mean that getting in and out, even in the narrowest of lanes or tiniest of parking spaces is a breeze!
Feature wise though, the Omni lets you down – no keyless entry, no air-con, no power steering or power windows.
The Omni continues to be powered by a super reliable 3 cylinder 800cc engine that offers one of the lowest maintenance costs. It fairly quick for a van and can do speeds in excess of 120 km/h. However, this is something we do not recommend at all. Yes, given the engine placement, it does heat up the front seats but that simply frees up so much space on the inside.
The Omni is still a very popular choice for family users looking at a cheap means of transport. No, its not safe but provides ample A to B performance. At this price, you simply cannot ignore the Omni for the versatility it offers.
- Long term reliability and running costs
- Ample space four adults and luggage
- Easy to drive – peppy motor, excellent visibility
- Feature stripped
- Not safe at all – no safety aids here
- Engine location means front seats very hot in summers
Latest update: Maruti Omni to be discounted from October 2020
2) 8 seater cars in India of 5 lakhs : Maruti Eeco
Price: Rs 3.77 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: N/A
As popular as its own younger sibling the Omni, the Eeco is always in demand in the commercial segment – both for passengers and cargo. In smaller towns, small business owners also rely on the Eeco for their daily needs as well as ferrying their family for outings. For approximately 25% higher cost over the Omni, the Eeco does deliver a lot. Its larger, has more space, a more powerful engine and is overall a much safer car. Plus ofcourse it also gets an optional air-con but sadly that is only reserved for the 5 seater petrol / CNG options.
Powering the Eeco is a tried and tested 1196cc motor that puts out 73 bhp of power and 101 Nm of torque. This engine has proven its reliable nature over the years and is peppy enough for highway usage as well. Infact, the Eeco can hold triple digit speeds all day long and even with driven with a full load of passengers, luggage and air-con, doesn’t break a sweat!
Like the Omni, the Eeco doesnt get any creature comforts like keyless entry, audio system or power steering. Maruti knows a large chunk of buyers are commercial operators and hence all these omissions. Though the steering is heavy at lower speeds, it becomes manageable above speeds of 20-30km/h. Talking of which, an area of discomfort for family usage is the bouncy and hard suspension. Though this is a good set-up for hauling heavy items or a full load of seven and their luggage, when driven with just a few people on board, the Eeco tends to bounce a lot, thereby making the ride very uncomfortable.
Like the Omni, given the price, the Eeco is hard to ignore and is the second most affordable 8 seater car in India.
- Long term reliability and low running costs
- Space on offer at this price
- Factory fitted CNG kit and air-con option
- Design is dated for private usage
- No creature comfort or safety aids at all
- Ride is uncomfortable for family usage
- Engine is not very efficient
3) 8 seater cars in india of 5 lakhs: Datsun Go Plus
Price: Rs 4.26 lakh onwards (on-road, without discounts)
Current Offers: None
Although not a true 7 or 8 seater, the Datsun Go Plus comes with a unique third row that allows enough space of children or short adults. And hence we have decided to include it in the list here. The company recently rolled out a heavily revised version of the Go Plus 7 seater with improvements done across all parameters. The car indeed has improved massively and retails for less as compared to the outgoing model. This includes dual airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors being standard across all versions – a segment first. The Datsun Go Plus looks much better on the outside with revisions done to both bumpers, new horizontal DRLs and inclusion of larger alloy wheels. And there are even more changes on the inside – the entire cabin is redesigned and looks nice for a Rs 5 lakh car. Higher trims also get a segment leading touch screen interface that sounds good and works well to inputs. Space up front is nice though at the back, cars like the Santro fare better. The hand brake lever is back to its conventional position, you can a closing lid for the glovebox and the dual tone theme looks good (Go hatchback gets all black cabin).
We like the way the Go Plus drives and the reason for this is the 1198cc engine : this is bigger than all other rivals in the price band and similar in capacity to the Tata Tiago. Sadly, no optional AMT is offered and the engine is about 15-20% less efficient than other cars but far more efficient than the Omni and Eeco discussed above. If you are in the marker for a seven seater with the last row being reserved for kids or small adults, the Go Plus makes a lot of sense – its comfortable, feature loaded and looks nice for a MPV.
The Go Plus comes with a 5 year warranty set-up and 2 years of ’Datsun Care‘ comprehensive all-inclusive car service package that offers peace of mind to customers. For a budget of Rs 5 lakh on-road, you can pick from the base ‘D’ or the one up ‘A’ variant. the later gets ABS, dual airbags, power steering, air-con, electrically operated outside mirrors and front power windows. So if you are primarily looking at family usage and have kids that can be accommodated in the third row, of all the cars listed in this article, the Go Plus makes for the best buy.
- Looks great for a small MPV
- Feature on offer : dual airbags, ABS standard
- Powerful engine – efficient too
- Revised cabin looks upmarket
- High speed manners
- Engine gets rough / vibey at higher revs
- Limited network, brand appeal
- 3rd row is best for kids
August 2018: 490
September 2018: 597
Latest update: Launch of new Go Plus model in September 2018
4) 8 seater cars under Rs 5 lakh: Mahindra Supro
Price: Rs 5.25 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
The final option is the diesel Mahindra Supro, just over Rs 5 lakh. We are sure with some discounts and hard bargaining, you will be able to get the base model for Rs 5 lakh. However, do note, this is not your urban vehicle or one you will love to be seen in a metro city. But its cheap to run and has ample space for your family needs. This one comes with a 909cc unit belting out as much as 45 bhp of power depending on the version you pick and a healthy dose of torque, 98 Nm. As per the engine you pick, top speed will vary from 70 to over 95 km/h. Mahindra claims a certified economy of 23.5 kmpl for the Supro.
Truth be told, the Supro does not look appealing at all for urban use. This is targeted towards smaller towns and rural markets where the vehicle will find lot of takers. Things are slightly better on the inside and this one even offers power steering and air-conditioning as optional. We haven’t driven one but as per our understanding, the Supro provides good comfort for the price. Mahindra even sells a school van model and optional CNG kits. Mahindra also offers an exclusive life insurance worth Rs 10 lakh to customers and other benefits.
However, all said and done, if you are looking at a 7 seater for pure family and personal use and stay in metro cities, the Supro can be overlooked.
- Efficient diesel motor
- Space for 8 adults
- Only Diesel 7 seater engine at this price
- Dated design
- Brand appeal for metro cities
- Outdated cabin design for a Rs 6 lakh vehicle