If you are in the market for a new car and have a limited budget of Rs 4 lakh, you still have ample options ranging from the most affordable Alto 800 to the all-rounder Tata Tiago. In all, there are seven different cars on offer and you can even pick an auto (redi-GO) for just under Rs 4 lakh! However, which among these are our top picks?
For this, we divulge deeper and filter the cars depending on what kind of version / trim level you can buy for under Rs 4 lakh on-road. This is exactly the reason why cars like the Tata Tiago and Datsun Go didn’t not make it in the list as only the base version of these models quality under the budget limit set for this article
Best Cars under Rs 4 lakh : Number 4
Name: Maruti Alto 800
Price: Rs 2.87 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: Upto Rs 30000 cash, upto Rs 30000 exchange bonus (November)
Versions under Rs 4 lakh: All (post benefits)
Launched in 2000 as the replacement for the good old Maruti 800, the Alto is India’s most affordable car (Tata Nano’s production has been halted) and the largest selling car in small towns and rural markets. Maruti has sold 35 lakh (yes, 35,00,000) Altos since then in the Indian car market. There is no denying the fact that the Alto 800 is a car for the masses! Bullet proof reliability, low running costs and ease of driving is that the little Alto offers. Powered by a 800cc engine and mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, the Alto 800 offers surprisingly brisk performance for city runs. Maruti also offers a company fitted CNG kit for even lower running costs.
The cabin, though not as spacious as the Nano, offers a clean design with durable materials. Higher spec models offer integrated audio system, front power windows, keyless entry and a driver side airbag is optional across all trim levels. You can even personalise the car with accessories online and get the same delivered via your nearest showroom.
At this price, the Alto 800 offers an unbeatable package. Its long in the tooth but is still winning thousands of hearts across India each month.
- Value for money, factory fitted CNG option
- Driver airbag optional across all versions
- Light controls make it easy to drive
- Efficient and cheap maintenance cost
- Not a good highway companion
- Not as spacious as say the Nano or redi-GO
- Average road presence
Sales (not available as figures are clubbed with Alto K10)
Latest update: Alto Utsav edition launched in October 2017
Best Cars under Rs 4 lakh: Number 3
Name: Datsun redi-GO
Price: Rs 2.83 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts:1st Year Insurance + 1 Gram Gold Coin (800 cc) / 2 Gram Gold Coin (1 Litre) + Rs 10K Exchange Benefits + 3 Year Road Side Assistance (November)
Versions under Rs 4 lakh: All manual variants
Datsun’s little redi-GO hatchback benefits from a low entry price as well as tempting offers that make sure you can purchase any of the manual variants for under Rs 4 lakh. The top spec trims offer air-con, power steering, a drive computer, front power windows, keyless entry, Bluetooth enabled audio system and even a driver side airbag. Do opt for the larger 1000cc motor as it offers a lot more pep as compared to the small 800cc engine.
The redi-GO looks pretty nice for a small car and with generous dimensions, manages to stand out in the crowd of hatchbacks on the road. It even gets slim DRLs or day time running lights up front! While the manual version comes with both 800cc and 1000cc engines, the AMT gets the latter – but this is over 4 lakh. Its good for 68 PS of power and 91 Nm of torque and has a rated fuel economy of 22.5 kmpl. We like the way this AMT set-up works and this combined with a light steering and high seating makes this a very sorted urban car. It gets a creep function which allows the car to move ahead by releasing the brake – very useful for slow moving traffic. As expected, you can also take over the automated shifts by shifting the lever to the left while in D mode.
On the inside, the redi-GO gets an all black color theme that is broken well by silver inserts at places. Practical points include open space above the glove box, under the air-con and multiple cup holders. That said, all four doors do not offer any storage space at all. However Datsun claims the redi-GO has the roomiest interiors for the segment. Overall, the redi-GO is a very good affordable urban car that can handle the occasional highway duties too.
- Most affordable automatic
- Modern interiors
- Easy urban car (tall seating, good visibility, light steering)
- Peppy and fuel efficient
- High speed manners
- Interior fit and finish
- Limited network, poor resale value
- Cost cutting evident (single front wiper, non retractable belts)
Latest update: Limited edition model launched in Sep 2018
Best Cars under Rs 4 lakh: Number 2
Name: Maruti Alto K10
Price: Rs 3.71 lakh onwards (on-road, without discounts)
Discounts: Rs 20,000 cash and upto Rs 35,000 exchange bonus
Versions under Rs 4 lakh: All manual petrol versions
This current generation K10 got a major facelift in 2014 and even four years down the line, looks fresh and appealing for this price. Not as tall as the KWID or the redi-GO, but in smaller towns, the K10 is quite popular. The Alto K10 gets the 1.0-litre three cylinder engine, the same seen in the Celerio and Wagon R. This one puts out 67 PS of power and 90 Nm of torque, more or less similar to that of the other two cars in the same price band. However, it feels a tad smoother at idle and on the move. In terms of mix of performance and economy, its hard to beat the K10 at this price point.
The cabin of the Alto K10 is a weak point. It isn’t as modern as the rivals and the AMT gear lever takes up a lot of space which means this version comes without cup holders up front – storage space is lacking here.
In terms of space, the Alto K10 cannot match up to the rivals either. For Rs 4 lakh, you can pick from any of the manual petrol variants – for example the top spec VXI Option that offers a driver side airbag, front fog lamps, air-con, power steering, audio system, keyless entry, and front power windows. The strong point going in favour of the Alto K10 is Maruti’s widespread network and long term peace of mind factor.
- Peppy and efficient
- Peace of mind, resale value
- AMT works better than rivals
- Best high speed manners here
- Cabin design is outdated
- No storage space due to AMT lever console
- Limited cabin design
- Missing features (fog lamps, keyless entry etc)
Sales : Alto K10 (not available separately, is always combined with Alto 800)
Latest update: Alto K10 Plus launched in March 2017
Best Cars under Rs 4 lakh: Number 1
Name: Renault KWID
Price: Rs 3.02 onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: 50% Off on 1st Year Insurance + Rs 15000 Exchange Bonus + 4 Year Warranty on Select Model (October)
Versions under Rs 4 lakh: STD, RXE, RXL, RXT (800cc)
And that brings us to the best car under Rs 4 lakh in India – the Renault KWID. Our only grouse is that under Rs 4 lakh, you can not buy the 1000cc RXT but with the smaller 800cc unit. It does come feature loaded, including the touchscreen infotainment system though. Launched in September 2015, the KWID has been Renault’s largest selling car in India for several years. SUV inspired design has gone down well with buyers and the car looks upmarket, from a higher segment. The cabin too excels over rivals when it comes to a premium feel, ditto for class leading features and space!
Renault offers the KWID with a choice of two engine options as stated above an we will only talk about the smaller 800cc unit that is good for 54 PS / 72 Nm and is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. A great positive aspect about the KWID is the way it rides, like a mature, much larger hatchback and this ups the comfort quotient by a good margin. Renault has been on their toes to launch limited edition versions and new trim levels every few months and this has kept the KWID fresh in the market. With 8 versions on sale today across a price difference of 2 lakh, this car manages to attract a wide set of buyers.
- Multiple engine and transmission options
- Baby SUV looks go down well with buyers
- Segment leading ride quality
- Segment first features (rear arm-rest, touch-screen etc)
- Small tank: only 28 litres
- Huge turning radius of 5m!
- No visual difference between base and top-end
- Lowering market demand = poor re-sale
Latest Update: 2018 edition with added features