No matter if you are in the market looking for a new car or just want to research on the models available under Rs 15 lakh, there are over 50, yes, FIFY different cars on sale ranging across various segments and body types. From entry level hatchbacks to sedans, SUVs, people movers and even fun to drive ones. We took a look at the all the products and filtered the list, taking out options that sells very less – like the Verito Vibe, Linea, Sunny, Nano etc.
The list you see below is filtered in terms of on-road price. Here we go!
1) Cars under 10 lakhs in India : Alto 800
Price: Rs 2.87 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: Upto Rs 30,000 cash, upto Rs 30000 exchange bonus (November)
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 – nothing beats this combination.
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
2) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: 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)
India’s most affordable automatic car comes from Datsun and is available in two versions of T(O) and S. At an on road price of under Rs 4.3 lakh (considering the discounts), the redi-GO AMT offers shattering value for money considering the features it comes equipped this. This includes power steering, air-con with heater, drive computer, audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, driver side airbag, front power windows, keyless entry etc.
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! You can also pick the limited edition that comes with sportier sticker work, black n red theme for wheel caps and other panels, a roof wrap and black-red inserts on the inside as well! While the manual version comes with both 800cc and 1000cc engines, the AMT gets the latter. 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 automatic 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
3) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: 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 (November)
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. There is even a funkier looking version, the CLIMBER. The cabin too excels over rivals when it comes to a premium feel, ditto for class leading features like a touch-screen infotainment interface, full LCD speedometer console, rear arm-rest, rotary knob for gear selector (AMT version) et al. Though the rotary knob does away with a gear lever and hence frees up space, you cannot shift gears manually unlike other AMT cars.
Renault offers the KWID with a choice of two engine options. These include a 800cc and a larger 1000cc motor: the latter is also offered with an optional automatic transmission option. The KWID 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 and remains our pick in the lower end of the Indian car industry.
- 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
4)Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Datsun Go
Price: Rs 3.68 lakh onwards (on-road, without discounts)
Current Offers: None
Datsun recently rolled out a heavily revised version of the Go hatchback 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 looks much better on the outside with revisions done to both bumpers, new 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 4-5 lakh car. The hand brake lever is back to its conventional position, cabin quality has improved massively, you get a proper glove box with a lid and feature list has improved. 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.
We like the way the Go 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.
The Go also feels slightly better on the move in terms of ‘solidness’ and Datsun claims they have worked on the structure too. The Go 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.
- Looks great for a small car
- Feature on offer : dual airbags, ABS standard
- Powerful engine
- Revised cabin looks upmarket
- High speed manners
- Engine gets rough / vibey at higher revs
- Limited network, brand appeal
- Not as efficient as rivals, no auto option
August 2018: 490
September 2018: 597
October 2018: 857
Latest update: Launch of new Go model in September 2018
5) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Maruti Alto K10
Price: Rs 3.71 lakh onwards (on-road, without discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 20,000 cash and upto Rs 35,000 exchange bonus (November)
Maruti’s most affordable automatic car is the Alto K10. 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 AMT version gets the same 1.0-litre three cylinder engine as the MT one. 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. The AMT too seems to have been calibrated better here in the K10, making it perform the best here. Fuel economy too is similar to the other cars.
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. Likewise, the AMT is available in one version only and this comes without features like front fog lamps, keyless entry, body coloured outside mirrors and even side moulding. ABS too is missing. This is one area where the rivals score higher points. The only 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
6) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Hyundai Eon
Price: Rs 3.71 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: Rs 45K Cash + 10K Exchange Bonus (November)
A flat cash discount of 45,000 makes the Eon an irresistible purchase in the segment. It continues to look cute and charming in a way with the angular bumper, huge headlamps and even roof rails! The cabin design is still one of the best in the price band. Well laid out with high quality materials, the dual tone theme is broken well with the massive central console with silver inserts. That said, space is not in the league of other spacious small cars like the redi-GO but has practical touches like ample storage spaces, generous front door pads, open space above the dashboard and even a 15.75cm touchscreen interface with phone link. It even features a tilt adjustable steering which its expensive sibling, the Santro does not.
The Eon comes with both 800cc and 1000cc engine options. The latter is recommended as it provides ample performance to match the big car feel of the Eon and even fuel economy is satisfactory. Hyundai also offers a factory fitted LPG option, a rare find in this segment of cars. Sadly, unlike rivals, Hyundai is not offering an optional automatic with this car and even the driver informational display is basic. The ride quality is impressive and the car feels like a much larger hatchback on the move. No agile handler this but does the job of a small family car. Light steering, easy clutch and good visibility works well. Hyundai is also offering 3 years of warranty (for 1,00,000km) along with 3 years of roadside assistance. However, with rivals getting better, the Eon is finding it hard to get private buyers in place.
- Looks great even 7 years of launch
- Modern interiors, well laid out
- Comfortable ride quality
- Unique LPG option
- No automatic option
- Limited passenger space inside
- Low demand means poor resale value
- Missing features: driver info display, alloy wheels, dual airbags, ABS
Latest update: Sports edition launched in April 2017
7) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Hyundai Santro
Price: Rs 4.44 lakh onwards onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: None
The Santro brand name has made a come back after four years. This time around, its an all-new product and has almost no resemblance with the model that was discontinued in 2014. Launched from Rs 3.8 lakh onwards, Hyundai aims to set their foot strongly in the small car market and also enjoy a first mover advantage in front of the upcoming all-new WagonR. The new Santro is longer and wider than before and has a new design language that would appeal to a wider customer base. It isn’t as tall as before though. It gets an entirely new cabin that certainly doesnt belong to a small car. It not only offers segment best quality, but a practical no-nonsense cabin with features like a IGNIS lookalike speedometer console, large touch screen interface, retro-modern side air-con vents, rear vents et al.
Space is a major highlight here and Hyundai clearly wants to keep their target audience’s families happy. The old 1.1-litre petrol motor makes a comeback but has been revised heavily for increased performance and far lower emission levels : the Santro also offers the most affordable four-cylinder engine in India. Available in five versions, Hyundai is also offering their first ever AMT gearbox here on two mid level versions fo Sportz and Magna. There is no doubt that till the new WagonR arrives, this is the car to buy under Rs 5 lakh.
- Best in class cabin design and quality
- Superior 4-cylinder is very smooth
- Good mix of ride and handling
- Segment leading features
- Not as efficient as rivals
- Conservative styling not to everyone’s liking
- Expensive higher spec models
- Missing features (alloy wheels, DRLs, steering adjust, driver seat height adjust etc)
8) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Tata Tiago
Price: Rs 3.79 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: 1st Year Insurance @ Rs 7400 + Rs 10K Exchange (November)
The Tiago makes up for almost 50% of the total passenger car sales for Tata Motors. Priced just above small entry level hatchbacks, the Tiago offers you more bang for your buck than any other similarly priced model. And we aren’t just talking about the design that looks upmarket but the interiors that would look at home on a Rs 6 lakh hatchback! Available in no less than 12 versions, 2 engine and 2 transmission options, the Tiago comes feature packed including multiple safety aids.
And then there is supple ride quality that betters most rivals. Drive this car over bad city roads and you will come back with a smile on your face. It also scores over others in terms top notch driving dynamics, good city handling and excellent brakes. The 1.05 diesel and 1.2 petrol engines put out more than ample performance for the segment, while delivering excellent fuel economy figures. If you have the budget, take a look at the JTP version that puts out 33% more power and higher torque and is the only car under Rs 10 lakh to have a proper blow off valve sound from its turbo petrol motor. It also gets revised styling with new bumpers, larger alloy wheels and even functional twin tail pipes and hood air-intake. Definitely one of the most fun to drive cars in the price segment given that the suspension too is tuned to deliver better handling.
- Interior design and quality
- Ride and handling package
- No of variants on offer
- Powerful and efficient engine options
- Petrol engine not as smooth as rivals
- Tata’s small cars are known for long term niggles
- Rear headroom isn’t impressive
- Rivals have better resale value
9) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Maruti WagonR
Price: Rs 4.63 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 40,000 cash and upto Rs 30,000 exchange bonus
One of the oldest brand names on sale in the segment is still enjoying massive popularity. The tall boy WagonR is the second largest selling car under Rs 5 lakh in India and though the all-new model is due for a launch next year, the current one continues to sell well, thanks to massive discounts and popularity in the fleet segment. The design has aged well and frankly, this is not a good looking hatchback. The top end model (earlier known as StingRay) does look far better with a bolder stance, projector lamps, gunmetal grey alloy wheels and a little body kit.
The car surely is practical and this is evident the moment you step inside the car. Not only is Ingress and egress good, you get a feeling of space. Dashboard design is not beginning to feel a bit old but the new limited edition brings in a fresh air. Stylish seat covers, styling kit with wooden finish and a double DIN audio system do help a bit. Comfort is good if not excellent though the car lacks features like a digital display for speedometer console, touchscreen interface or rear air-con vents. The WagonR gets a 1.0-litre petrol unit with both MT and AMT options along with a factory fitted CNG kit – this makes it very popular in the commercial segment. The engine itself is peppy, efficient and reliable. However, if you are in the market for a car in this segment, either look at the Santro or wait for the all-new Wagon R due in early 2019.
- Value for money
- Factory fitted CNG, AMT option
- Fuss free and easy to drive
- Proven product, reliable in the long run
- All-new model is due early next year
- Lacks features that rivals offer
- Design is certainly not attractive anymore
- Interiors now feel dated for the price
Wagon R: 10655
Latest update: Limited edition launched in October 2018
10) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Maruti Celerio
Price: Rs 4.66 lakh onwards (on-road, without discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 35,000 cash, upto Rs 30000 exchange bonus (November)
And finally the Celerio, the fourth Maruti in this list. Priced similar to the WagonR, it offers a slightly better cabin, a more comfortable ride quality and even a cross version called the ‘Celerio X’! Not many know but this car is way more efficient than similarly priced cars like the new Hyundai Santro and Datsun Go / Go Plus. It uses the tried and tested 1000cc K10B motor that also powers the Alto K10 and WagonR. This hatchback is sold in both manual and automatic gearbox options with safety features like dual airbags and ABS in the higher versions. It even gets a steering height adjust which more expensive cars like the Santro lack! We like the way the Celerio looks : it has aged well and continues to sell in great numbers. The drive is easy and thanks to a lower height, centre of gravity is lower which in turn makes this stable in terms of handling. A total of 12 different versions are on offer including two powered by factory fitted CNG kits.
- Well packaged cabin : good space and practical
- Maruti’s excellent network and peace of mind
- Higher discounts and offers in the market
- Features on offer : alloy wheels, dual airbags, steering adjust etc
- Pricier than other options here
- Brand image : lot of Celerios on road with a commercial plate
Latest update: Celerio H2 Tour launched in Feb 2018
11) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Maruti Ignis
Price: Rs 5.21 lakh onwards (on-road without discounts)
Discounts: Rs 20,000 cash, upto Rs 25,000 exchange bonus (November)
The Ignis is the most unconventional hatchback in India. It was purposely designed to have a different character and that has gone down well with those looking at exclusivity. The wide grille, protruding wheel arches, a large C pillar and an old school rear design brings in a new trend into the segment. The Ignis can also pass off as a small cross over! The cabin is definitely a highlight, being modern with its design and features on offer. It also gets body coloured elements on the inside to up the bling quotient. No shortcomings here, save for the limited shoulder room at the back. Infact, given the small external dimensions, you will be amazed with the space on offer for four adults.
Geared towards the millennials, the Ignis got off to a good start but with passing time, sales have fallen drastically. Save for the Gypsy, it is the lowest selling Maruti model in India now and also the most affordable Nexa offering. The diesel version was discontinued in mid-2017. Make no mistake, its a great (and fun) hatchback to drive and offers a host of personalisation options at the dealer level. It is the lightest Maruti car to use the 1.2-litre petrol motor and this means performance is terrific. It also gets an optional AMT ‘box across the top three versions which makes this a very good urban car. Add in the ever increasing offers and the Ignis turns into a recommended buy for the young at heart. Even our Senior Editor Bunny has one in his garage of cars and swears by it!
- Unique design
- Personalisation kits on offer
- 1.2 petrol is peppy and very efficient
- Modern interiors, features
- Unconventional design
- Poor resale value
- Rear shoulder space
Latest update: Limited edition launched in Sep 2018
12) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Honda Brio
Price: Rs 5.24 lakh onwards (on-road without discounts)
Discounts: 1st year insurance free (November)
One of the lowest selling hatchbacks in India is the Brio and its a shame. A few years back, this was a great little package but Honda hasn’t done much to update it. The Amaze for example has been updated over the years and is a hot seller but the Brio has been a neglected child. Its still a hoot to drive for enthusiasts but lacks in every other department including the design. For the asking price, it looks small, comes with average interiors, lacks features and cabin space. No touch screen interface, no safety on base model, no rear air-con vents, tiny boot and the list goes on. No wonder, Honda sold only 64 units in September 2018.
If you are in the market for a Rs 5-6 lakh hatchback, its best to ignore the Brio. It does offer a proper automatic though but even thats way expensive at Rs 7.66 on-road. Tip: look for cheap used examples in the market and pick one you want affordable thrills!
- Is fun to drive
- Comfortable ride and yet agile
- 1.2-litre petrol engine loves being revved
- One of the few small cars to offer a proper auto (not AMT)
- Essential features missing
- Cabin space is tight
- Poor resale value
- Expensive for the size
13) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Mahindra KUV1OO
Price: Rs 5.29 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 43,000 cash / Upto Rs 29,000 exchange bonus (November)
Mahindra’s most affordable passenger car (no, the Supro doesn’t cut it for us) comes in the form of KUV, a hatchback on steroids. Truth be told – the KUV is not a SUV, not even close. Mahindra has tried hard to market it as one but its more like a cross or grown up hatchback. Its wide, widest than all other cars and by a good 45mm as compared to say the similarly priced Grand i10. Likewise, its 135mm taller than cars like the Baleno but surprisingly Mahindra designers cramped it into a length of just 3700mm, making it smaller in length than cheaper cars like the Celerio. Weird dimensions aside, the KUV’s design is clearly LOUD, busy and overdone. But believe it or not, it works in smaller cities and B-towns. Mahindra gave the KUV a major update with the NXT model line-up that introduced larger wheels (15-inch) and few cosmetic updates that made it look much better in flesh.
One of the USPs of the KUV is the space on offer. Getting in and out is easy, there is ample space for five well build adults and this is one of the most practical cars in the segment with multiple (and clever) places to keep your knick-knacks. Mahindra is known to make large diesel engines for SUVs / MPVs and their first attempt at small capacity engines paid off well. Both the 1.2-litre units, petrol and diesel, have ample poke for daily use. The NXT version also brought in added features and given the massive discounts (flat 43k cash in November 2018), the KUV does make for an appealing buy. Just don’t expect it to follow SUVs into the wilderness!
- Large size can massage owner’s ego
- Surprisingly smooth engines – superb NVH
- Offers a good ride
- Lower versions look awkward (no alloys for example)
- Engines aren’t as efficient
- Poor resale value
- Brand appeal in front other cars in the same price
14) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Hyundai Grand i10
Price: Rs 5.45 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 50,000 cash and Rs 20,000 exchange bonus (November)
One of the most value packed cars in the segment is the Grand i10. Thanks to huge discounts, the Grand i10 is hard to resist and no wonder then, it is the second largest selling Hyundai offering. The Grand i10 is not a stunning looking car but still very pleasing to the eyes thanks to diamond cut alloy wheels, front LED day-time running lights and even working front air curtains inside the bumper! But the cabin is what keeps us smiling : upmarket feel, dual tone theme and very practical. Ergonomically, the Grand i10 is a great car and major credit for this goes to the slightly front mounted gear lever that makes city driving an easy affair. As expected, Grand i10 gets steering control, including for voice commands, a 17.64cm screen with multiple connectivities, smart keyless with push button start, rear air-con vents and even climate control. There is good space for five adults though boot space is average at 256 litre.
Powering the Grand i10 are a pair of 1.2-litre engines in two fuel types of petrol and diesel. While the petrol is a 4 cylinder set-up, the same that powers the Xcent and i20, the diesel is a 3 cylinder unit but surprisingly very smooth and vibration free. The Grand also gets a proper auto ‘box (not an AMT) and performance is good. Overall, the Grand i10, given the discounts, is very good value for money in the segment. Hyundai also offers a dedicated low cost model for the commercial segment.
- Interiors are upmarket and look good
- Excellent feature list (rear air-con vents, rear camera, push button start)
- Peppy petrol and smooth diesel
- Dual airbags and ABS standard across the range
- Expensive automatic
- Rivals have a better diesel unit
- Not exciting to drive (Swift is better)
Latest update: Safety features made standard in September 2018
15) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Maruti Swift
Price: Rs 5.55 lakh (onroad, before discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 20,000 cash / Upto Rs 25,000 exchange bonus (November)
India’s largest selling hatchback now is the Swift! Believe it or not but the all-new model has improved massively, thus translating into higher sales than ever before. The new Swift looks much better now and the lower, wider stance surely makes it look oh so sporty. Step inside and there is a sea of change in the design and quality parameter. We love the flat bottom steering and round dials for air-con controls and charging / USB outlets. The all black theme works well and the new Swift improves massively on the space front. Higher versions come with technologically advanced features like smart keyless with start-stop button, SmaryPlay infotainment and even LED front and rear lights. The new Swift offers slightly more passenger room though boot, at 268 litres, remains one of the smallest in the segment.
The new Swift gets a new, lighter platform and the reason why both performance and fuel economy have improved over the earlier version. The petrol engine has a certified economy of 22 kmpl while the diesel comes with a rated figure of 28.4 kmpl! AMT (automatic) is available with both petrol and diesel engine options and even the base versions come with dual Airbags and ABS as standard. Both the engines offer excellent performance and the diesel motor now has minimal turbo lag and a flatter torque curve. Given the lower weight, the Swift is one of the quickest accelerating cars in the price band.
- New design is better, Swift looks sportier now
- More space on the inside, base Lxi gets dual airbags
- Lighter architecture means better performance and economy
- High resale value and fun to drive
- Still not as spacious as rivals like the Grand i10
- Ride quality isn’t very comfortable over broken roads
Latest update: AMT versions launched in top-spec trim
16) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Nissan Micra
Price: Rs 5.57 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Cash Benefits up to ₹34 500/-, Interest rate at 7.99%, Insurance of ₹20 000/- @₹1/-, Assured 3g Gold Coin (November)
Before we start, do remember that the Micra is offered in two versions of Active (older) and the revised new version. The Active version looks dated and comes in only two versions of XL and XV. Given the massive discounts that add up, you can buy the XV version for just under Rs 6 lakh. This one comes with dual Airbags, a 6.2 inch touch screen interface, ABS, rear sensors etc. That said, the interiors cannot match upto to modern day rivals in terms of design, space or features – no climate control, no smart keyless entry with start-stop, no rear vents etc.
If you have a higher budget, the current gen Micra petrol is the one to opt for – this one got a major facelift a few years back and looks aesthetically better. It only comes with a CVT automatic option with the petrol motor and this is indeed a superior unit as compared to the AMT / AGS transmissions of rivals. It also gets more features than the Active version with a better looking dashboard. The Micra continues to get the tried and tested 1.2-litre 3 cylinder petrol engine that is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox for the Active or a CVT for the regular model. The diesel unit, only offered on the new Micra (not Active) is the tried and tested 1.5 dCi engine that also does duty in cars like the Duster, Captur, Lodgy, Terrano, Sunny etc, though in different states of tune! The Micra also offers a good ride without compromising on stability or highway manners. Overall though, given its low demand, sober design and dated cabin, you can stay away from this model as rivals are much better in almost all parameters.
- Sorted chassis – good mix of ride and handling
- Reliable and peppy 1.2-litre petrol
- Reliable and torquey 1.5-litre diesel
- Rivals offer better engines in terms of performance / economy
- Limited cabin room for the segment
- Sober design, dated interiors
- Poor resale value
17) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Tata Bolt
Price: Rs 5.58 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
The Bolt was launched with much fanfare and came across as a promising mid-size hatchback. However, with the Tiago now in the Tata Motors’ family, popularity of the more expensive Bolt has come down and sales are at an all time low now. That said, it looks large for the price and offers a very spacious cabin. The interiors were designed from scratch for the Bolt and still look nice. However, it lacks practicality – single cup holder up front, narrow door pads etc. That said, seats are very comfortable and the segment first climate control do keep you happy. Even the audio quality is terrific!
The Bolt comes with an option of two engines – the petrol is the same 1.2 litre Revotron that we see in the Tiago, Tigor and Nexon. In the Bolt it comes with a turbocharger and puts out 90PS of power and ends up offering excellent performance. No AMT on option but we love the way the petrol Bolt drives. The diesel is the tried and tested 1.3 unit that delivers 75 PS of power. The Bolt also drives well in terms of ride and handling. Minimal body rolls and excellent highway manners. All said and done, poor resale, lack of essential features and poor ergonomics put it off the list of prospective buyers. For this price, buyers today have a lot of good options in the market.
- Good ride and handing
- Pair of great engines
- Very spacious interiors
- Looks substantial for the price
- Lack of essential features
- No AMT offered
- Poor resale value
18) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Tata Tigor
Price: Rs 5.75 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: 1st Year Insurance @ Discounted Price of Rs 6899 + Rs 20K Exchange (November)
Slightly more expensive than the Bolt is its sedan sibling, the Tigor. This is also the most affordable compact sedan in India. Available in both petrol and diesel engine options, it is also the only one that comes in a performance variant, the JTP avatar. Tata recently updated the Tigor with minor changes and called it the new 2018 version.
It does look smart up front and Tata has done well to give it a flowing back end design, something that most other compact sedans cannot manage. Space on the inside, being a Tata product, is generous and this compact sedan offers 419 litre of boot space, as much as larger and more expensive sedans.
The petrol Tigor comes in two stats of tune – the normal 84 bhp versions and the turbo charged 112 bhp model. The 5-speed manual transmission remains common though ratios are revised in the latter and if you can stretch your budget just a bit, we highly recommend this version! Called the JTP Tigor, it comes with revised sporty bumpers, larger alloy wheels, lowered suspension and sportier interior trim. And it drives as fast as a Rs 10-12 lakh Honda City! The diesel Tigor gets a 1.05-litre turbo diesel unit belting out 69 horses. Though it is very efficient, like the 3 cylinder petrol, this one too exhibits unwanted vibes and roughness associated with such a set-up.
Where the Tigor does excel is in the ride and handling department. It does manage to absorb bad roads rather well and scores high on comfort. Tata Motors is very confident of the product and at this price, we couldn’t have asked for more!
- Value tag
- Fuel efficient diesel, peppy JTP petrol
- Features at this price point – dual airbags standard
- Looks great in our opinion
- 3-cylinder engines aren’t as smooth
- Tata’s after sales service cannot match Maruti and Hyundai
- Not as spacious (at the back) as Amaze / Dzire
- Only 2 years warranty (rivals offer 3 or 5 standard)
Last update: Launch of Tigor JTP
19) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Ford Freestyle
Price: Rs 5.83 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 15K Cash Discount + Dealer End Insurance Benefit at Slight Lower Prices (November)
Ford’s cross-over hatch is doing brisk business with an average of over 2000 units on a monthly basis and the main reason is its value packaging. For example, even the base petrol/diesel models come with air-con, power steering, ABS, dual airbags, keyless entry and front power windows! The Freestyle also looks great with sculpted bumpers, raised height and body cladding all around. The same can said for the interiors too where quality and comfort remain high though we aren’t a fan of the color combination for the dual tone theme. The Freestyle is also a practical car with lot of storage areas and good driver ergonomics and has among the best touch screen interface for the price band.
The Freestyle comes with a pair of excellent engines. It gets the new 1.2 litre Dragon series engine that puts out impressive figures – 96 PS of power and 120 Nm of torque. No auto option but the 5-speed manual works well in terms of shift quality. The engine itself delivers ample poke and is a delight to drive fast without burning a hole in your pocket in terms of fuel economy. The diesel is the tried and tested 1.5 unit that is also seen in the EcoSport and Aspire and excels in terms of low end torque that is necessary for city driving. Infact, the Freestyle is one of the fastest diesel cars under Rs 8 lakh! Complementing the engine is the suspension set-up : this Ford loves being pushed around corners or a set of hills. Overall, for this price, the Freestyle remains a highly recommended car in our opinion.
- The rugged design works well
- Spacious and comfortable interiors
- Peppy petrol, smooth gear shifts
- Comfortable and yet agile in terms of handling
- No auto yet
- Petrol engine nowhere as efficient as rivals
20) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Maruti Baleno
Price: Rs 6 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 10,000 cash, Rs 15,000 exchange bonus (November)
Among India’s top 5 selling cars and also the largest selling Nexa model, the Baleno has been a runaway success for Maruti. Competing in the premium hatchback segment, the Baleno outsells the i20 and Jazz combined together. While the design is still subjective, where the Baleno scores top marks is inside the cabin. Passenger space is surprisingly very good and it even gets the second largest boot space for any hatch in India. The Baleno comes loaded with all features possible at this price – segment unique TFT speedometer display and steering adjustment for both reach and height for example. However cabin quality isn’t as good as the Hyundai i20’s.
The Baleno comes with both a 1.2-lite petrol and a 1.3-litre diesel unit – both these engines are seen on the Swift and Dzire in similar states of tune. While the diesel gets a manual only, the petrol is offered with both a manual and a CVT auto option. The latter performs far better as compared to the popular AGS / AMT transmissions. Great engine performance aside, we like the way the Baleno rides over city roads, offering an excellent ride quality. High speed manners are mature and for performance seekers, there is also a RS variant with a turbo-charged petrol engine and slightly better aesthetics thanks a small body kit. In a nutshell, if you are in the market for a Rs 6-8 lakh car and do not like the idea of a compact sedan, the Baleno should be your pick.
- Excellent ride and handing
- CVT-Petrol works very well. Diesel is peppy (though noisy)
- Feature loaded – we loved the TFT screen for example
- Surprisingly very spacious for 5 adults and luggage
- Exterior design is subjective and not to everyone’s liking
- Cabin looks nice but quality isn’t on par with the Hyundai i20
- Pan India reach is limited due to Nexa network
- Though very spacious, rear headroom is limited
Latest update: Limited edition launched in September 2018
21) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Hyundai i20
Price: Rs 6 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 20,000 cash and Rs 30,000 exchange bonus (November)
Hyundai’s largest selling car in India is the Elite i20. True to its name, this is a perfect example of a premium hatchback, one that looks appealing in design and offers upmarket, high quality interiors. The Elite i20 got a minor facelift in early 2018 and the top spec model with large alloy wheels does stand out. Step inside and you will continue to be impressed with the quality of materials, far better than that on the Maruti Baleno. And while both cars come feature loaded, the i20 ups the game by providing as many as six airbags, a slide adjustment for front arm-rest, cluster ioniser for the air-con and dual USB ports.
The i20 comes with a choice of a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.4-litre diesel unit. The petrol offers good low end grunt for city runs though is not as rev happy as say the Baleno. We love the gear shifts from the manual ‘box though Hyundai also offers an optional CVT. The diesel unit is a gem, offering 90 bhp of power and 220Nm of torque. Mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox, it is smooth, has low NVH levels (lower than Baleno and Jazz) and this combined with a mature ride quality makes the i20 diesel an excellent package. It may not be an enthusiast’s car but certainly is a recommended, stylish all-rounder. You can also pick from the rugged looking i20 Active that comes with body cladding all around, higher ground clearance and slightly revised interiors. Does look big for a cross-hatch in our opinion.
- Looks great, especially the top spec models
- High quality cabin with unique features
- Excellent diesel engine, is smooth too
- Hyundai’s proven after sales support
- Still not an enthusiast’s tool
- Like the Baleno, this one too has limited rear headroom
Latest update: CVT option launched in May 2018
22) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Volkswagen Polo
Price: Rs 6.12 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Special pricing for various trims, benefits of over Rs 50,000
As much as we like the Volkswagen Polo for the driving pleasure it offers, we are surprised to see the relatively low sales figures in comparison to other cars in the same price band. And this inspite of numerous engine options – the 1.0-litre petrol, 1.2-litre turbo petrol and a 1.5-litre turbo diesel. While the 1.0 and 1.5 come with a manual ‘box, the 1.2 is offered with a segment best automatic gearbox, the DSG set-up. Infact, the this 1.2 TSI Polo is the most fun to drive automatic under Rs 10 lakh (on-road) post all discounts and offers.
Volkswagen keeps making minor aesthetic changes to make sure the Polo looks fresh. For example, the recently introduced Connect Edition that gets new design for the alloy wheels, Connect branding and even a rear spoiler. Likewise the cabin continues to look solid – no bling or funky design but pure German precision and high quality materials. The Polo indeed feels solid on the inside and newer models get an advanced touchscreen infotainment with VW Connect app, Cruise Control, Rain sensing wipers and even a central arm-rest. While its a very comfortable car, space at the back is limited.
We aren’t a fan of the 1.0-litre petrol but the 1.2-litre turbo petrol is absolutely hoot to drive and the 7-speed DSG does what it is meant to be. And then the torque monster 1.5 diesel that puts out 90 PS of power and 230 Nm of toque, even more than the i20 diesel. The Polo, as expected from a VW, remains a pleasurable car to drive, thanks to a well tuned suspension, lighter and yet direct steering and excellent handling capabilities. Even the manual ‘box is a joy to use! If you want a car that can make you smile each time you drive, it has to be the Polo.
- Handles like a dream
- Has solid build quality
- 1.2 TSI and 1.5 TDI offer solid performance
- Massive discounts on offer
- Poor resale value
- Long term after sales support
- Cabin space
- 1.0 petrol is a dull performer
Last update: Launch of Connect Edition
23) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Toyota Etios Liva
Price: Rs 6.13 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: 20K Toyota Genuine Accessories (November)
The Etios Liva is one of the oldest models here and unfortunately, Toyota hasn’t done much to keep it ahead of rivals. True the dual tone edition looks smart and the Cross model adds a bit of muscle but rivals have moved the game ahead further. And the same holds true for the cabin – feels like a generation or two older in the segment. The cabin design, like its sedan sibling, feels dated – the audio system for example is an eye sore, looks more like an after market add-on. Features aren’t as good as rivals either – no rear air-con vents, no smart entry with push button start or no driver information display.
However one area where the Liva scores high is the ride quality and rear seat comfortable – two important parameters which make it stand out and a popular choice in the commercial segment. The 1.2 petrol is surprisingly very good for city runs though not as efficient. The 1.4 diesel offers bullet proof reliability, low running costs and a very good torque spread. Do you know the same engine, in different state of tune, is used in the much expensive Corolla Altis as well? All said and done though, the Liva needs a proper update with massive changes. Private buyers can keep away in our opinion.
- Proven reliability
- Spacious and comfortable
- Excellent ride quality
- Dated cabin design
- Lack of features
- No auto option
- Lower brand value due to commercial use
Last update: Dual tone limited edition launched in Aug 2018
24) Cars under Rs 15 lakhs in India: Tata Zest
Price: Rs 6.15 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 45K Cash Discount + 20K Exchange. Additional Rs 15K Cash Discount on Zest Premio (November)
Tata’s other sedan is the Zest and is widest car in the segment which means seating three abreast at the back isn’t an issue. The Zest is also one of the few cars that Tata Motors exports to countries like South Africa. It was launched in 2015 and was their all-new sedan in years and erased all our past memories related to the Indigo and the Manza. While the design clearly laid emphasis of its past association with cars from Tata’s stable, everything else was a huge step forward with modern technology – for example the turbo charged petrol motor, a great infotainment system with multiple customisation options, a near perfect ride and handling package among others. You can get the 1.3 diesel in two states of tune : 75 and 90 PS with the latter offering brisk performance for everyday use.
However today, with the competition having taken the game ahead by leaps and bounds, the Zest does not come across as a much recommended package. True it is spacious, feels like a well built car, has excellent ride quality and good engines, but for personal usage, given the brand appeal in front of rivals, the Zest will not make for a compelling buy. That said, with discounts, it offers the most affordable diesel-auto set up in the segment. The Premio edition looks superb with blacked out theme for roof, outside mirrors and lower bumper and also gets a tan colour middle part on the fascia – looks fab in our opinion. However dwindling sales numbers reflect a sad story : not a bad car per se, but the competition is so much better now.
- Build quality is solid (heavy)
- Excellent ride quality
- Features (driving modes, voice commands, touchscreen etc)
- Powerful engines (turbo petrol, 90PS diesel)
- Poor in-cabin storage
- Subjective exterior design
- Poor re-sale value
- Brand appeal isn’t as strong
Last update: Premio edition launched in March 2018
25) Cars under Rs 15 lakhs in India: Ford Aspire.
Price: Rs 6.15 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
As competition became better in the compact sedan market, Ford engineers had to re-visit their tables and come up with a heavily updated version, the new 2018 Aspire. This new facelift model manages to make improvements across all parameters including segment first 5 year warranty! The new grille, revised bumper and better looking fog lamp inserts might be subtle changes but go a long way in making it look fresh and premium. The new, larger 15-inch alloy wheels gel along well with the positioning of the car. The rear gets minor updates but as you step inside the cabin, you are greeted with a host of additions.
The biggest highlight on the inside is the new SYNC3 interface that not only offers you segment best touch reception, but also comes bundled with navigation, reverse camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Its a breeze to use, even for new users and was first seen in the Freestyle and the recently updated EcoSport. Moving on, you also get a push button start-stop feature, auto headlamps and auto wipers. The diesel engine is a carry over but it is mated to a new 5-speed gearbox that is lighter and improves fuel economy marginally. With a hundred horses on tap, it continues to offer one of the best combinations of performance and economy in the compact sedan segment and is offers better NVH (noise, vibrations, harshness) levels than the Honda Amaze. The big news however is the arrival of the 1.2-litre Dragon series petrol engine in the Aspire. It offers 9% more power and 7% higher torque while being way more efficient too. The automatic continues to get a 1.5-litre petrol but this time around, Ford has ditched the DCT or dual clutch transmission for a more conventional torque converter. That said, its still way ahead of the AMT / AGS options found on rivals.
- Build quality is solid (heavy)
- Excellent ride quality – comfortable too
- Better value than ever before – prices slashed
- Both engines offer good driveability
- Surprisingly no rear air-con vents
- Relatively lower resale value
- Petrol automatic is simply too expensive
Last update: New 2018 version launched
26) Cars under Rs 15 lakhs in India: Maruti Dzire.
Price: Rs 6.2 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Upto 27.5 cash (special edition) and 30,000 exchange bonus (November)
India’s largest selling sedan garners as many numbers as the next four ‘largest selling’ sedans combined together. This has been the most popular sedan from day one of its launch and the latest version has improved massively. It looks better, though still cant be termed as beautiful, has surprisingly good amount of cabin space and comes with an affordable sticker price. We are a fan of how the cabin looks with the black and beige theme, flat bottom steering, round dials and stand out, tab like central unit. The current Dzire is an all-rounder but remember, the sales figures include the commercial model, Tour, that is very popular with Ola and Ubers of the world. Even then, for private use, its a not a bad deal at all.
The Dzire gets two of the most trusted engines from Maruti’s family – the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre FIAT sourced diesel unit. Both the engines are known for their trouble free performance and Maruti offers optional AMT with both fuel types, a rare offering for the segment.
With the current generation Dzire, Maruti has also improved on the ride and handling parameter tremendously. The steering is light, car agile and yet at higher speeds, the Dzire remains composed. Maruti is even offering ABS and dual airbags as standard across the range. If you want a reliable sedan with space and comfort at this price, look no further.
- Spacious, larger than average boot too
- Highest resale value in the segment
- Peppy petrol, torquey and efficient diesel
- Impressive features, auto in both petrol / diesel
- Base L versions is feature stripped
- Rivals offer better warranty or lower running costs
- Still has the ‘taxi’ image
Last update: Special edition launched in Aug 2018
27) Cars under Rs 15 lakhs in India: Hyundai Xcent
Price: Rs 6.2 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Upto 85000 worth of benefits (November)
The fourth largest selling sedan under Rs 10 lakh is the Xcent. However, trust us, a large chunk of these get sold in the commercial market and that does dent its brand value a lot. Its not a bad car per se, delivering a good mix of cabin space, upmarket feel, features and a good drive. The Xcent gets both a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.2-litre diesel unit with the latter being a 3-cylinder set-up. The latter offers (surprisingly) good NVH (noise, vibrations, harshness) levels. The petrol is offered with a proper torque converter automatic and not an AMT. Infact, this is the most affordable non AMT automatic sedan in India.
The Xcent does end up offering good comfort for passengers. This is due to a mix of space, high quality cabin and a good suspension set-up. That said, its not an enthusiast’s car in the way it delivers performance and handling. What sets the ball rolling in its in favour are the massive discounts, as much as 85,000 including cash and exchange bonus benefits. If you want a no nonsense comfortable compact sedan and dont have an automatic on the wish list, the Xcent does make a lot of sense. Given the massive cuts, the Xcent is a tempting purchase.
- Good fit and finish in cabin
- Huge discounts make it a value deal
- Low NVH levels, this is a smooth operator
- Neutral ride and handling
- Average engine performance and efficiency
- Poor resale value
- Still has the ‘taxi’ image
28) Cars under Rs 15 lakhs in India: Volkswagen Ameo
Price: Rs 6.2 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Upto 50,000 cash, 30,000 exchange and 15,000 corporate discount(November)
Volkswagen’s first compact sedan is outselling the larger Vento month on month. And why not? Its priced similar to the smaller Polo and with a boot, gives owners an ego massaging ownership experience. Build quality is solid and we love the way the Ameo feels on the go. Talking of which, it has excellent ride and handling package, something that only larger sedans offer. This is one compact sedan that doesn’t feel ‘flimsy’ on the move!
Even the 1.5 litre diesel engine is impressive, offering almost 110 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque. Mated to a DSG gearbox, it is the best diesel-auto under Rs 11 lakh. However the same cannot be said about the petrol unit. It has the lowest displacement here, just 1000cc, and offers very average performance with the least fuel economy. Surely a turn off given the dynamics of the Ameo.
The Ameo comes across as a feature loaded car. From cruise control to automatic wipers, you also get auto dimming rear review mirrors, rear air-con vents and a cooled glovebox. Current discount and offers are among the highest in this list and so are the warranty packages – 2 years unlimited mileage, 2 side road side assistance, 3 years paint warranty and 6 years anti-perforation warranty. VW recently introduced the Connect model that gets additions in and out. These include stunning 16 inch Portage alloy wheels, boot spoiler, contrast stitch for seats et al.
- Solid build quality
- Priced on par with the Polo hatchback
- Only compact car to offer DSG gearbox
- Excellent ride and handling package
- Petrol motor has average performance and economy
- Poor resale value
- Limited space at the rear and in the boot
- Long term maintenance costs
Last update: Ameo Sport launched in July 2018
29) Cars under Rs 15 lakhs in India: Honda Amaze
Price: Rs 6.35 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Additional Extended Warranty of 4th & 5th Year (November)
Honda launched the all-new Amaze early in 2018 and it has gone to become the second largest selling sedan in India. Being an all-new generation model, the Amaze excels in all parameters as compared to the outgoing model. It looks new and wears a mature look up front – it is still under 4 meters in length but looks larger in real life. Cabin remains its strongest point, offering one of the most spacious cabins under Rs 8 lakh. Honda has worked hard to impart a premium feel with a dual tone theme and high quality materials and it shows. Interior remain plush for the segment and offer excellent comfort for five adults.
The Amaze continues to come with the same 1.2 petrol and 1.5 diesel units though this time around, both the engine options get optional CVT set-up, a segment first. A CVT transmission is much better as compared to the now common AMT / AGS set-up and offers less lag during gear changes. Infact, for daily usage patterns, the CVT-Diesel offers the best roll-on timings or basically is the quickest in typical traffic conditions. Fuel economy remains high and Honda claims running cost of just 35 paise for petrol and 49 paise for diesel in the long run. Honda has also made the steering larger and heavier in terms of its weight – even the shaft size has gone up from 22 to 33 mm. This in turn calls for less effort from the driver and though I would not call it feather light, it works well for slow speed driving. Honda is offering a standard warranty of 3 years / unlimited km along with extended warranty options of 4 and 5 years, again with unlimited usage. This is segment best. For under Rs 10 lakh, you can pick any of the petrol or diesel variants and that indeed is good value!
- Spacious and upmarket cabin : we love the layout
- Only car under 10 lakh to offer diesel-CVT set up
- Low running costs, upto 5 years / unlimited mileage warranty
- Good ride, mature looks, Honda brand
- Diesel engine is still noisy with vibrations
- Rear headroom is limited
- No rear air-con vents
Last update: Amaze crosses 50,000 mark in October 2018
30) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Mahindra e2O Plus
Price: Rs 6.78 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Yes, you can own an all-electric car for under Rs 8 lakh in India. Mahindra updated the old e2O a few years back into what you see here. It gets two more doors, proper seating for four, a more powerful electric motor and a lot more. Top speed is now rated at 80 km/h and you can go as much as 140 km on a full charge. The controversial design aside, everything about the e2O is good. Take for instance the cabin that is surprisingly very good for four adults and offers a long list of features. Being an electric car, it has an automatic transmission, you get power steering, climate control, digital cluster, reverse camera etc. The best part is the smart phone connectivity that helps you control various aspects like remote cooling (switching on the air-con remotely) as well as knowing the nearest charging stations and car’s health. The little e2O is indeed a clever car. While performance is brisk for city usage, don’t expect it to do highway runs due to limited to speed and driving range. You will also need a dedicated parking slot at home (for charging) but the shockingly low running costs cannot be ignored. If you can work out an arrangement for charging it each night, the e2O indeed is a very good, clean and affordable urban car.
Do note that Mahindra also sells the Verito with an electric motor and that is sold from Rs 10.5 lakh onwards. However we have skipped it from the list here due to poor sales, even less than the e2O Plus.
- Its clean!
- Easy to drive – auto ‘box, instant torque
- Extremely low running costs
- Features on offer
- Limited range
- Extremely poor resale
- Limited performance
- Subjective looks
31) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Tata Nexon
Price: Rs 7.12 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: 1st Year Insurance @ Discounted Price of Rs 13000 + Rs 15K Exchange
Moving on from hatchbacks and sedans, we will run through the most affordable compact SUV in the market. Clever strategy by Tata Motors has ensured that buyers can even pick the AMT variants of any of the fuel types under Rs 10 lakh! The Nexon itself looks big for a sub 4 meter vehicle, essential to massage to the owner’s ego. It also gets a very spacious cabin and Tata has worked hard to deliver the comfort factor. Drive this vehicle over bad roads and you will be impressed with its composure!
The petrol Nexon comes with a 1.2 litre turbo charged petrol motor that delivers 110 PS of power and is mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox – these figures are on par with say the EcoSport petrol. The diesel unit is larger, being a 1.5 unit with 110 bhp on tap. Infact, in the compact SUV segment, the diesel Nexon is our pick. Whats more, its the only compact SUV to offer an optional AMT with both fuel types. Both the engines get driving modes and though aren’t very smooth, offers reasonably good performance for the heavy Nexon. Do note that the Nexon is the safest SUV in its segment as per recent NCAP tests and this is a strong selling point.
With the Nexon, you get to own a good looking large vehicle at a value based price. Tata has ironed out niggles and their cars now come with great after sales support too. The Nexon no doubt makes for a good purchase.
- Looks nice for a compact sub 4m product
- Space on the inside, comfort levels
- Drives nice – the modes do work!
- Safe and solid product from Tata
- Petrol engine isn’t as refined
Latest update: Kraz edition launched in Sep 2018
32) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Maruti Gypsy
Price: Rs 7.13 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
India’s most affordable 4×4 is also part of the list here. The good old Maruti Gypsy is still a hit in various 4×4 groups and why not? With a peppy 1.3 litre petrol motor and light weight, the Gypsy gets good performance for both on and off-road usage. It gets a manual 4×4 transfer case with low ratio as well for extreme off-roading. Bare to the bones, the Gypsy is not your everyday car but one that can serve you for over a decade without requiring any major maintenance at all. The design has largely remained unchanged since its launch and so have the interiors. Basic, utilitarian and made for a purpose, there are no creature comforts at all, so be prepared for this surprise This is one area where Maruti has made no effort to make an every 4×4 for Indians. The new Suzuki Jimny was highly anticipated but Maruti has made no official statements about its launch in India. Till then, to satisfy 4×4 fantasies of adventure seekers, the Gypsy is the only petrol option in India and will seat as many as 8 people with the side facing rear jump seats. And we are sure, like most owners, you will end up customising this capable 4×4 to your tastes.
- Go anywhere capability
- Peppy petrol, reasonably efficient too
- Long term reliability and maintenance
- Relatively lower price as compared to other 4x4s
- Uncomfortable – hard ride quality
- No creature comfort at all
33) Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Toyota Platinum Etios
Price: Rs 7.7 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: 20K Toyota Genuine Accessories (October)
The Etios manages to outsell cars like the Tata Tigor and Ford Aspire and a major chunk of the sales come with the commercial segment. There is a reason for this : the Etios offers one of the best comfort levels at the back seat, long term reliability and good mix of torque and efficiency from the engines. Toyota even offers a dedicated fleet model that comes with ABS, dual airbags, cooled glovebox and even power windows. Toyota offers special benefits for peace of mind to cab operators.
Now while the Etios may not be a great looking car and certainly does not have a modern cabin, if you want a chauffeur driven sedan and a fuss free long term ownership experience, do give this one a serious look. As a self driven car though, the Etios fails to impressive. We aren’t a fan of the centrally located speedometer console and the one in the Etios lacks any sort of driver information. Further, there is no touch screen infotainment or smart keyless entry with start-stop feature. However, being longer than 4 meters means it comes with a massive boot – almost 600 litres of space in here.
In terms of engines, it gets a 1.5 petrol and an equally large diesel motor. We have no complaints from the power plants but there is no option of an automatic in this modern day age! Overall though, stay away if you want a car for personal needs on a daily basis. Do note that for Rs 8 lakh, you will only get the base petrol but that surprisingly comes with air-con, power steering, all four power windows, cooled glovebox, driver seat height adjust, rear armrest, keyless entry, dual airbags, ABS, etc.
- Spacious cabin with a massive boot
- Low running costs, Toyota’s legendary peace of mind factor
- Excellent rear seat comfort
- Neutral ride and handling
- Feature stripped – touchscreen interface, driver info display etc
- No automatic option
- Taxi image keeps customers away
- Old school cabin design
34) Cars under Rs 15 lakhs in India: Honda Jazz
Price: Rs 8.25 lakh onwards
(on-road before discounts)
Discounts: 1st Year Insurance + 20K Exchange. Also, is additional Exclusive Cash Discount of Rs 25000 on Jazz Diesel Version (November)
Honda’s premium hatchback remains ‘premium’ in the way it is priced. Unlike the i20 and the Baleno, the Jazz is not offered in entry level or lower trim levels which pushes up its pricing from Rs 8.25 lakh onwards. True the base Jazz is expensive but comes feature loaded and Honda believes the target audience for the Jazz will as it is not looking at lower, feature stripped versions.
The Jazz continues to look ‘different’. It isn’t sporty or stylish but upmarket in a good way. Honda designs are generally conservative and so is the Jazz. But step inside and you are impressed with the amount of cabin space on offer. Its unbelievable how Japanese engineers have managed to extract so much space from a car that measures under 4 meters. The design is good too and lot of practical touches go in to make this a family happy car too. The Jazz continues to be powered by the same 1.2 litre petrol and 1.5 litre diesel unit. The petrol isn’t a good option for city use due to a weak low end but this is taken care of in the CVT automatic model. The diesel is torquey and efficient but like the Amaze and the City, remains noisy here too. Overall, the Jazz is a very spacious, practical and easy to drive large hatch. Though pricey, it is still a popular car amongst a niche segment of buyers.
- Looks large for a sub 4m car
- Incredibly spacious on the inside
- Very practical, massive boot
- Rides well, like a mature car
- Petrol manual has weak low end grunt
- Low resale value
- Diesel remains noisy
35) Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Maruti Ertiga
Price: Rs 8.39 lakh onwards (on-road)
Maruti has launched the 2nd generation Ertiga in India. This one surely is the star performer when it comes to a 7 seater MPV under Rs 12 lakh. The new Ertiga really is an all-new product and this is evident from the styling itself. It looks mature and has grown up in size too. We love the bold new face with the raised hood and ditto for the sporty bumper. Step inside and the surprises continue. The cabin design of the Ertiga is excellent and could pass off on a 10-14 lakh rupee sedan too – for example the wooden finish on the fascia and the doors, the classy speedometer console with the TFT screen for the petrol model and the sleek climate control knobs. Maruti says due to the bigger dimensions and pushing of the engine mounting ahead, they have liberated 70mm of extra room for the 3rd row passengers. Further every row gets more shoulder room too.
The Ertiga comes across a feature loaded MPV. Dual Airbags, ABS and parking sensors are standard while the top spec Z+ models get the SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system as well. The only feature missing here in our opinion is a cruise control. The big news is that the new Ertiga gets the same 1.5 litre petrol motor that debuted in the new Ciaz. Inspite of putting out more power and higher torque, it is more efficient and also comes with an optional automatic, something we recommend for city users. The 1.3 diesel is also on offer but the different in on-road pricing vis a vis the petrol model is over Rs 1.5 lakh. Hence invest into this only if you have monthly running of over 2000km.
Thanks to the 5th generation HEARTEC platform, the new Ertiga is stronger and yet retains the same kerb weight. NVH levels have gone down and the new suspension is said to be more comfortable. Without a doubt then, the new Ertiga is the best 7 seater MPV in the price band.
- New deign looks sleek
- All-new cabin is excellent in terms of space
- Feature loaded
- Efficient automatic petrol
- No diesel automatic
- Petrol automatic not available in ZXI+
- Omission of cruise control is a surprise
- Rs 1.4-Rs 1.5 lakh premium for diesel
36) Cars under Rs 15 lakhs in India: Mahindra Bolero
Price: Rs 8.57 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Did you know the largest selling Mahindra in India is the Bolero? Drive outside the confines of your metro city into small towns and rural markets or towns based in mountains and you will be amazed with the number of Boleros on the road. This rugged MPV continues to bring in great revenues for Mahindra and is available in various body styles including pick-ups. However we will concentrate on the passenger version here, the latest sub 4 meter version which is called the Bolero+. Mahindra cleverly shaved off some length from the bumpers of the Bolero in order to get it under 4m in length. Next, they introduced a diesel unit with capacity of less than 1500cc. These two factors allowed the Bolero to enjoy small car tax benefits which means in terms of value for money, you can’t get a bigger 7 seater for your money. The top end version for example retails at an onroad price of Rs 9.7 and gets audio system with Bluetooth, a proper driver info display, air-con with heater, front demister, all four power windows and even voice massaging system!
The Bolero+ continues to look old school but this goes down well with a large set of buyers. Step inside and the same story continues – we dont remember the last time Mahindra updated the Bolero’s cabin. Space is good in the 1st rows but not so at the back – the last row also sees the vehicle using side facing jump seats. But the Bolero offers an easy drive for the size and comes with bullet proof reliability. Safety isn’t its fore (no ABS, no airbags) but as we said, this is one of the backbones of rural markets and smaller towns. The Bolero continues to set sales charts on fire…
- Substantial vehicle for the price
- 1.5 diesel offers ample low end grunt
- NVH levels are superb on the inside
- Old school design works well for most
- No safety aids
- Limited passenger space
- Not an everyday personal vehicle
Sep : 7046
37) Cars under Rs 15 lakhs in India: Maruti Vitara Brezza
Price: Rs 8.69 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
One of the few cars in India that are high in demand and come with no discounts or offers whatsoever. Believe it or not, the Vitara Brezza was the fifth largest selling vehicle across India for the month of October 2018. Even if you have a limited budget of say Rs 10 lakh on-road, you can pick from the base LDi, VDi and even the automatic variants of AMT VDi. The Brezza, when launched, was a smart looking urban SUV and with time, Maruti has worked on aesthetics too. For example, the higher (and more expensive) versions get blacked out roof and black theme for the alloy wheels. The lower and mid versions however do look bland. Step inside and the Brezza feels like any other Maruti due to sharing of parts and a familiar design. The VDi does miss out on mood lights, touchscreen infotainment or the door armrest and does look sober in our opinion. However, comfort levels are high and space up front is nice. The 2nd row is more or less similar to other compact, sub 4 m SUVs which means good space for 5 adults. However, no rear air-con vents here.
The highlight here is the 1.3-litre DDiS motor, the most widely used diesel motor in India. Given the Brezza’s relatively lighter weight as compared to rivals, the Brezza offers very good performance and fuel economy. And we recommend the AMT version if you have a lot of city runs to do. The Brezza handles very well, more like a grown up hatchback and Maruti has tuned the steering and suspension very well for enthusiasts That said, ride quality is definitely not as good as the EcoSport’s.
Given its mass appeal, long term reliability and great dynamics, the Brezza is an excellent compact SUV. Just that the more expensive versions are the ones to pick, not the LDi / VDi trims.
- Excellent dynamics
- Decent space, comfortable seats
- Reliable and peppy diesel motor
- High resale value, long term maintenance is low
- No petrol option
- Cabin quality is not a match for the EcoSport
- Feature stripped LDi / VDi models
- To common on the roads (if that effects you)
Latest update: Brezza AMT launched
38. Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Honda WR-V
Price: Rs 8.69 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: 1st Year Insurance + 20K Exchange Bonus (November)
The WR-V was a good gamble by Honda – so much so that monthly sales are neck to neck with that of the Honda City. And this inspite of the WR-V not offering an automatic option, as essential feature these days. We love the way the WR-V looks with enough urban SUV traits. These include black cladding all around, roof rails, faux silver skid plates at either ends, muscular bumpers and lovely alloy wheels. Heck, even the bonnet is raised and sculpted! Its hard to image this car is under 4 meters in length. Getting in is easy and once seated, the all black cabin looks familiar.
The WR-V, like the Jazz, is available in feature loaded trims with no base or entry level variants. Feature loaded it surely is with a sunroof and smart keyless with push button start on the top spec VX : this one also gets a touch interface, rear camera and touch button for the climate control.
There is no dearth of space inside the WR-V. This is the most spacious cross hatch / pseudo compact SUV out there in the market. And this without compromising on boot space at all. The WR-V gets two engine options of a 1.2 petrol and a 1.5 diesel. While the former offers a smooth drive, it suffers from weak low end punch, something very essential for city usage. The diesel motor is good on power and torque but suffers from poor NVH levels. What surprises is that Honda has decided to leave out an automatic : the Jazz offers one with the same petrol engine, so why not offer the same with the WR-V too Honda? You also get the Alive and Edge editions – these are based on the S variants of both petrol and diesel models but offer more features at a small premium.
- Incredibly spacious for a sub 4 m product
- Muscular design with eye catching details
- Strong diesel, smooth petrol
- Well tuned suspension – good ride
- Petrol has weak city performance
- No automatic offered
- Diesel is good but too noisy
Latest update: Edge edition launched
39. Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Ford EcoSport
Price: Rs 8.83 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 25K Cash Discount + Dealer End Insurance Benefit at Slight Lower Prices (November)
The EcoSport is a hot looking compact SUV with the Signature and S models offering stunning alloy wheels. If you want to get noticed in a compact SUV, this has to be it! Recent tweaks have made the EcoSport even more appealing and the cabin remains a strong point, delivering an up-market feel with usage of high quality materials. Its a practical place to be in and the seats hug you well. The doors also close with a re-assuring thud, just what we need from our ‘larger’ cars.
The EcoSport comes with a 1.5 petrol and a 1.5 diesel unit – the former also gets an automatic and surely apart from the low fuel economy, delivers everything a young gun wants. We all know the shift towards petrol powered cars and the EcoSport is rewarding to drive for petrol heads. The diesel does not disappoint either, being smoother than the Brezza and quicker than the Nexon. And Ford has made this a very feature loaded car – even the base gets ABS, dual airbags, rear parking sensors, all four power windows, electrically adjustable outside mirrors and even an audio system with Bluetooth. Impressive. Ford also claims one of the lowest running costs for the segment which indeed is the icing on the cake. We love this little American SUV and is our pick among all the compact SUVs in this higher price band. How we wish this one had a 4×4 option. Sigh!
- The updated EcoSport looks great
- Cabin quality, body hugging seats
- Power petrol, potent diesel
- Low running costs, solid build quality
- More expensive than the Brezza
- Narrow rear seat is best for two adults
- No diesel auto unlike Brezza / Nexon
Latest update: EcoSport S Review
40. Cars under 15 lakhs in India: Hyundai Verna
Price: Rs 8.93 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 20K Cash + 20K Exchange (November)
Hyundai offers the new Verna in almost 20 different versions! That sure will make buyers a confused lot. Three engines, two transmission options – phew! This aside, the Verna does pack in a lot. The current generation Verna was launched in 2017 and has been managing to outsell its arch rival, the Honda City. It priced lower, has more features and you just can’t overlook the punchy diesel motor on offer. The Verna also looks elegant, with styling cues taken from the bigger Elantra. This is a big USP and so are the interiors – while the design might not excite you much, the quality certainly will. The dual tone theme works well and there is liberal use of silver inserts at places. It is also a very feature loaded cabin with segment first additions like cooled seats and even a hands free boot operation. You also get a sunroof and upto 6 airbags.
The Verna comes with a choice of four engine options, 2 each of diesel and petrol. You can also opt for an automatic with both the fuel types. There is no denying the fact that the more powerful 1.6 units should be the pick! In terms of dynamics, the Verna has improved a lot over the years and gets a good compromise of ride and handling. Infact, with superb NVH levels (and even a smooth diesel), the Verna is quiet on the move. Our only drawback on the move is the limited rear legroom, not in the league of cars like the City and the Ciaz.
- Looks elegant – styling is a strong point
- Four engine options, automatic on both petrol and diesel
- Feature loaded – sunroof, cooled seats, hands free boot
- Refinement levels are high
- Isn’t as spacious as rivals
- Petrol units aren’t as efficient as rivals
- Still not dynamically sorted like the Vento / Rapid
Latest update: Anniversary edition launched in September 2018
41. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India : Renault Duster
Price: Rs 9.07 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Benefits of upto Rs 1,00,000 (November)
Priced as much as the EcoSport or the Brezza, the Duster is the most affordable 4m+ family SUV in India. But, the cheapest versions are petrol powered. And under Rs 10 lakh on-road post discounts, you can buy the base 85 PS RxE model but that doesn’t excite us much. Buy this only if you have a monthly usage of say 1800-2000km or more. Otherwise, the 1.5 petrol does just fine. The RxL, in the Rs 10 lakh budget, gets air-con, tilt adjustable steering, all four power windows, audio system, rear arm-rest, electrically adjustable and foldable outside mirrors, rear wash wiper, ABS and a driver side Airbag. Even the top spec models that are well under Rs 15 lakh come feature loaded. The Duster’s shape hasn’t changed since its launch though updates to the bumper, grille and lamps have kept it fresh.
The Duster’s USP is the feeling of having a large SUV (as compared to sub 4 m options) and this is also evident once you step inside the cabin. It really is very spacious for five large adults and so is the massive boot. However, the cabin design is now beginning to feel dated and quality levels aren’t too impressive either. A highlight is the way this SUV rides over broken roads – the composure and ability to absorb bad roads is excellent.
The Duster makes sense for those who want a proper 5 seater SUV with a large boot at an affordable price. You can also pick from the AWD versions which undercuts rivals like the Scorpio 4×4 and Safari Storme 4×4 by a good margin. That said, there are a lot of shortcomings, no wonder sales are the least in the segment and discounts are increasing every month.
- Big car, small price
- Excellent ride quality
- Spacious cabin, large boot
- 1.5 petrol is smooth and punchy
- The design is becoming too old
- Cabin design remains a sore point
- Poor resale value
Latest update: Renault slashes Duster’s pricing
42. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Skoda Rapid
Price: Rs 9.19 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 50K Benefits + 50% Off on 1st Year Insurance. Starting from Rs 9999 EMI for 7 Years + Zero Loan PF, Prepayment, Foreclosure Charges from Skoda Finance (October)
Skoda has worked hard on the Rapid in the last one years, especially the limited edition and ONYX variants. Excellent benefits and finance schemes have also pulled in customers – as a result, the Rapid outsells its sibling, the Vento. They even have a scheme of buying it now and paying in 2020 and car enthusiasts will recall that such ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes are common with Skoda. No doubt, the Rapid looks nice and list of features is very impressive – from white headlight bulbs to black alloy wheels, cruise control to cooled glovebox, the Rapid is up there with the best cars in the segment. However, 6 airbags, sunroof, cooled seats and smart entry with push button start is still missing.
Space on the inside isn’t as much as say the Ciaz or the City but then again, the Rapid is marketed more as a sportier sedan than a spacious family companion. We also like both the engines on offer, the 1.6 petrol and the 1.5 diesel. The former is very peppy and gets an optional 6 speed automatic which the latter comes with segment best DSG option too. Its a big rough (the engine) but the combination makes it a great car to drive. This is also complimented by good handling characteristics – suspension is certainly geared towards handing than comfort. The Rapid also gets a unique 4 year service care that comes with warranty, Skoda Assist and maintenance package for 4 years.
- Multiple versions / editions
- ONYX is a great pick : we love the way it looks
- Skoda’s 4 year service care pack
- Massive discounts and great finance offers
- Not as spacious as rivals
- Poor re-sale value
- Ride quality isn’t a match to the Verna or Ciaz
- Missing feature – smart keyless, sunroof, cooled seats etc
Latest update: ONYX edition launched in September 2018
43. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India : Maruti Ciaz
Price: Rs 9.2 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 10,000 Corporate Discount, upto Rs 15,000 exchange bonus (November)
The largest selling car in its category got a major facelift in August and this has translated into good sales figures as well. The car wears a sleeker, more premium look and this is due to the new grille, tweaked lamps and LED set up for the lamps. The Ciaz is still the most spacious car in the segment and the new version gets additional kit in the form of faux wooden inserts on the fascia and the doors, cruise control and a new TFT screen in the speedometer console. This is only offered in the petrol line-up and gets new dials for the pods. Looks sporty!
The biggest change however is under the hood. The old 1.4 petrol has been replaced by the 1.5-litre K15B unit that not only offers larger displacement but churns out more power and higher torque. The icing on the cake comes in the form of better fuel economy than ever before, partially due to the Smart Hybrid tech, which is now being offered on the petrol Ciaz as well. The engine comes mated to a choice of transmission options, a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed Auto.
The engine is less powerful than the petrols offered by the Honda City and Hyundai Verna. This said, the real strength of the new motor is in the way it builds up speeds from lower engine speeds and this makes it a great city tool. In fact, in spite of the a 4-speed auto (as compared to 5 or 6 or CVT for rivals), the A/T Ciaz does not feel under-powered, nor does it run out of breath on open roads.
The new K15B engine also performs well when given the stick. While it will not be able to overshadow the Honda City 1.5 petrol or the Hyundai Verna 1.6 petrol, it will keep most owners happy, more so due to its frugal nature.
The Ciaz manages to play the pricing card rather well and with improvements across parameters, this new Maruti seems all set to remain the segment leader for months to come. Infact, the top speed Alpha models, with all those features and kit, are significantly cheaper than rivals.
- Unbeatable cabin space and comfort
- Minor updates make it look premium and sleek
- Segment leading fuel economy – new petrol is peppier
- Top end Ciaz is value for money wrt Verna / City
- Diesel motor is weak compared to City / Verna
- No automatic with diesel – surprise for the segment
- Missing feature – Sunroof, cooled seats, auto wipers etc
- Ingres / Egress plus limited rear headroom
Latest update: New Ciaz launched in August 2018
44. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Mahindra TUV3OO
Pricing: Rs 9.59 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 38,000 cash, Rs 15,000 exchange bonus
The most rugged and butch looking compact SUV (SUV under 4m in length) is the Mahindra TUV3OO. The boxy design works well for a lot of owners and its the TUV that gives you the most ego massaging driving experience. It also looks larger than the EcoSport and Brezza and this works well in terms of road presence. There is also a longer TUV Plus variant that ends up offering more space for the 3rd row passengers, making this a nine seater vehicle.
Getting inside is tough as compared to other SUVs but once seated, you are surprised with the fit and finish levels as well as above average cabin design. Given the massive discounts, as much as Rs 38,000 in cash, the TUV is a value deal. And unlike the EcoSport / Breeza, this one has a unique 3rd of seats that makes this a 7 seater. However, the last row is best for kids or adults not over 5.4 in height.
Powering the TUV is a 1.5-litre turbo charged diesel unit that offers excellent NVH (noise, vibrations, harshness) levels – infact, on the move, the TUV is impressively quite on the inside. However, outright performance is lacking due to its weight and the TUV feels best under 3000rpm. There is also an optional AMT and is highly recommend for city dwellers. The larger TUV Plus gets a 2.2-litre turbo diesel and frankly, this one is recommended for the extra punch and performance.
To summarise, the 7 seater TUV is a great product from Mahindra, comfortable and smooth but lacks the eagerness of rivals or a spacious 2nd row.
- Looks big – good for massaging owner’s ego
- Commanding driving posture
- Smooth diesel, NVH levels are excellent
- Body kits available at dealer level
- Extra weight hampers performance
- Cramped 2nd row
- Subjective looks
- Dynamically not as good as rivals
August : 1966
September : 1786
Latest update: TUV300 Plus launched
45. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Volkswagen Vento
Price: Rs 9.67 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 60K Cash + 40K Exchange Bonus + Rs 15000 Corporate (November)
One of the lowest selling sedans in India is the Volkswagen Vento and that is a shame. Given Volkswagen’s prowess in the field of passenger cars, its time they came out with a new generation Vento all together. Sales are so low, the car has benefits to the tune of Rs 1.15 lakh! The recently launched Connect Edition tries to spruce up the design but fails. On the inside, though quality is high (we love the way the doors close with a reassuring thud), design is no more modern and feature list is half empty. From a sunroof to smart keyless entry and smart stop, cooled seats or basic things like a sunglass holder.
What goes in its favour is the ride and handling package which is sure to excite young buyers. The same goes for the 1.2 petrol and its DSG gearbox. This is a turbo charged motor and the 7-speed DSG manages to extract the best from the engine. The Vents also gets a 1.6 petrol (MT only) and a 1.5 litre diesel (MT and DSG). The diesel unit delivers good performance but is not as efficient as rivals and has a rough edge to it.
With massive discounts and the new Connect edition, the Vento might be tempting as a buy. But keep our word for it and stay away!
- Brilliant 1.2 TSI petrol and DSG ‘box
- Feels sold – build like a tank!
- Sorted dynamics will keep enthusiasts happy
- Volkswagen advantage pack
- Due for a replacement with a major facelift
- Not as spacious as rivals like City and Ciaz
- Missing features – Sunroof, cooled seats, smart keyless entry etc
- Poor resale value
Latest update: Sport Edition launched in October 2018
46. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Maruti S-Cross
Price: 10.09 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Upto 23k discount as per variant
Maruti big ‘cross hatchback’ got a major refresh in mid 2017 and that changed the S-Cross’ fortunes in the Indian market. Today it does an average of over 3000 units on a monthly basis which is fantastic for a Rs 10 lakh+ vehicle. The S-Cross comes across as a smart large cross-hatchback and the higher versions look stunning due to the 16-inch alloy wheels and fabulous DRLs inside the headlamps. The front nose is LOUD but does well to get attention on the road.
The cabin got a mild tweak and we dont have any complaints here – the all black theme works well and though its not a modern and funky cabin, the S-Cross offers an upmarket feel and lots of space. You do get a sense of being in a well built car though if you want a higher seating, look at the 1.4 Creta diesel instead. Feature wise, this one is loaded with Maruti’s SmartPlay, push button start, cruise control et al. However surprisingly, rear air-con vents are missing on this. This will be an issue in summers given the large of the car.
The S-Cross used to come with a more powerful 1.6 diesel at launch. However with the update, you can only get hold of the 1.3 unit that frankly feels just about adequate for the weight and size. Make no mistake, it performs when given the stick but for enthusiasts, putting in a couple of lakh extra into the 1.6 Creta diesel is a better bet. Where the S Cross scores very high is in dynamics. Not only does it offer an excellent ride quality, the S-Cross is a good handler for the size and scores top marks in high speed stability as well. If the Ciaz is not your kind of vehicle, the S-Cross at a slight premium is a good investment.
- Facelift is feature loaded and safe too
- Mature ride and handing. Feels solid
- A very spacious cabin with an upmarket feel
- Nexa experience!
- 1.3 diesel is not performance oriented
- No petrol, no automatic either
- Expensive for a ‘large hatchback’
Latest Update: S-Cross gets more features
47. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Honda City
Price: Rs 9.75 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: 1st Year Insurance + Rs 20k Exchange Bonus + 10K Accessories (November)
The most premium C segment sedan, one that has the highest brand value is the Honda City. The latest avatar looks sleek and we are in love with LED lights and lovely machined alloy wheels. Step inside and cabin continues to impress – the sheer amount of space and comfort here is unmatched. Honda gets it right each time and from seats to ergonomics, no complaints whatsoever. It even gets a massive 510 litre boot. The City continues to get a 1.5 petrol or a 1.5 diesel unit. The petrol also comes with an optional CVT that makes it a breeze for urban runs. Its smooth, has enough punch and above average fuel economy. The diesel is very torquey but noisy at the same time and this takes away the pleasure of driving an otherwise fine car. The gearbox too fails to impressive with rough gear shifts. So this is best picked if you want to be chauffeured around daily to work and back.
However, the City makes up by offering a very good ride quality. Though the City is the most expensive C segment sedan, it does offer you a lot of kit. For example, a sunroof, smarty keyless entry with start-stop, LED lights, touch control panel for climate control, DIGIPAD 2.0 infotainment and a multi view rear camera display. Even the entry level version is loaded with dual airbags, ABS, LED DRLs, audio system with Bluetooth and 4 speakers, air-con with dust and pollen filter, powered outside mirrors, all four power windows etc! For private buyers, the CVT petrol set-up is recommended by us.
- Continues to look nice with premium appeal
- Unbeatable space and comfort
- Feature loaded
- Petrol – CVT works well for daily runs
- Low ground clearance
- Noisy diesel motor – no auto option with this either
- Top spec models are very expensive
Latest update: Honda City Edge launched in Aug 2018
48. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Renault Lodgy
Price: Rs 9.86 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 1 lakh + free insurance upto 31st December
Another seven seater family option here is the Renault Lodgy. Its been on sale for quite sometime now but has failed to gain momentum in terms of monthly sales. But given the discounts (1 lakh + free insurance), it is a good alternative to the Innova and can end up saving a lot of money for you. The more expensive Stepway variants look good for a van but the Marazzo and Ertiga do better in this regard. But the Lodgy is more about the cabin space and comfort. The cabin is laid out well and emphasis is clearly on providing practicality, very essential when moving around with loves ones on board. You also get optional 2nd row captain seats in here and space across the three rows is impressive and so is the ride quality, definitely one of the strongest points about this Renault MPV.
In terms of features, the top spec models gets a touchscreen interface with a reverse camera, roof vents for 2nd and 3rd rows, steering controls and the usual kit of dual airbags and ABS. The Lodgy gets both 85PS and 110PS diesel motors and these are the same units that power the Duster and we have no complaints with the motors. They are a bit noisy but do the job very well from a family mover point of view. No automatic here but the Lodgy hits back with a great ride quality. Overall, given the space and good engines, its not a bad deal per se. The discounts are simply irresistible.
- Cabin space and feeling of airiness
- Reliable and efficient diesel motors
- Massive discounts
- Good ride quality
- Poor resale value
- Base STD looks unappealing in terms of aesthetics
- Appearance doesn’t go down well with family buyers
Latest update: Lodgy gets a flat cash discount of Rs 1.5 lakh
49. Cars Between 10 to 15 lakhs: Toyota Yaris
Price: Rs 10.46 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Benefits of upto Rs 1,00,000
Toyota’s much awaited C segment sedan, the Yaris, got off to a good start but off late, sales have come down drastically. In terms of numbers, it sells less than the Ciaz, City and Verna. No wonder then, Toyota is offering benefits of upto Rs 1 lakh on this, making it a better deal now. Its not a bad car per se, offering segment best safety with 7 Airbags as standard from the base version. Even the 7 speed CVT is superior to most other cars, however, the Yaris does not offer a diesel unit and that surely has made a lot of buyers walk away.
In terms of design, it looks like a baby Corolla Altis and that does work in its favour. The wide, stretched headlamps, narrow grille and huge air dam gives it a sporty touch too. However, the rest of the design, along the side and rear is rather sober. The cabin looks great with the waterfall central fascia but space isn’t as good as the City and the Ciaz. And while it gets true keyless entry with start-stop and even powered driver’s seat, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is missing from the touchscreen interface and so is a sunroof.
The Yaris comes with the same 1.5 petrol unit that powers the Etios though in a higher state of tune but yet, cannot match the rivals in terms of sheer performance. However it offers a good city drive, offering ample punch at lower engine revs. The 7 speed CVT is available across all versions. All said and done though, competition has moved on further and the Yaris does not make for a much recommended buy these days.
- Front looks sporty, like a smaller Altis
- 7 airbags and 7 speed CVT across all versions
- Great ride, good cabin comfort levels
- Toyota’s long term reliability plus massive offers
- No diesel on offer
- Missing features (sunroof / auto folding mirrors / Android Auto etc)
- Rear seat is narrow – best fo 2 adults
Latest update:Benefits of upto Rs 1 lakh
50. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Honda BR-V
Price: Rs 10.55 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 1 Lakh Discount Benefits including 50K Exchange Bonus (November)
Honda’s only 7 seater MPV isn’t doing brisk business for the company, being among the lowest selling cars in the price band. That said, we like the way the BR-V looks with a muscular and sporty front end, lovely allow wheels and an overall raised stance. However, dimensionally it is narrower and lower in height as compared to cars like the Breeza and EcoSport.
On the inside, the BR-V is surprisingly spacious and offers a very airy feel, typical of most Hondas. Equipment list isn’t bad either with Honda’s DIGIPAD, climate control and even leather seats. Comfort levels are excellent and the last row can accommodate average sized adults as well. The BR-V comes with a choice of two engine options, the same ones that are offered with the City. These include the 1.5 petrol and 1.5 diesel and the former also gets an optional automatic. Performance is good and though the diesel is noisy, the torque comes in handy while driving with a full load of passengers and luggage.
So where did Honda go wrong with the BR-V? We feel the BR-V is not a proper SUV (full fledged, large) and hence buyers tend to look else where. It is also more expensive than spacious sedans like the Ciaz. Though the recent discounts are massive, do remember resale will be extremely poor.
- Automatic petrol is a great city runner
- Spacious and airy cabin
- Efficient diesel, high clearance
- Noisy diesel
- Poor resale value
- Narrow width, lower height than rival SUVs
51. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Hyundai Creta
Price: Rs 10.84 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
India’s second largest SUV is among a handful of cars that are sold without any discounts. The Creta does come across as a perfect SUV at this price point and there is nothing stopping this from selling over 10-11k units per month. Infact, in terms of revenue generation per month, the Creta is right there on top among all other car models. That speaks volumes about how good this vehicle is.
The 2018 model got design tweaks like a new grille, bumper and those gorgeous alloy wheels. Ditto for minor changes on the inside include feature additions like powered driver’s seat and wireless charging. The cabin design might need a makeover next year but space is excellent, practicality top notch with ample places for knick-knacks and excellent 2nd row space. Boot space is huge and you can push in 3-4 large suitcase as well.
The Creta gets a pair of powerful 1.6 petrol and diesel units and both these offer class leading performance thanks to relatively lower weight of the Creta. You get to opt for an automatic with both the engine options but sadly, a 4×4 is surely missed. Apart from that, the Creta, inspite of being a SUV, is easy to drive and offers more than good ride comfort with excellent dynamics. In all, this price point that is between C and D segment sedans, the Creta is a sure shot winner. Well done Hyundai, well done! Do remember that this list is for cars under Rs 15 lakh (onroad) which means you cannot buy the higher trims or even the diesel AT of the Creta in this budget.
- New 2018 edition looks good
- Spacious cabin, loaded with features
- Excellent 1.6 engines, both get A/T option
- Natural ride and handling, easy to drive
- Getting more expensive with every update
- No AWD / 4×4
- Rivals offer 7 seats for same price now
Latest update: 2018 Creta launched
52. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Mahindra Marazzo
Pricing: Rs 11.45 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
The Marazzo is Mahindra’s latest 7 seater family offering and is priced attractively between the smaller Ertiga and the larger Innova Crysta. All the versions on sale are between Rs 10-13.9 lakh and though the top model does’t offer features like smart keyless entry with push-button start or an optional automatic, as a comfortable and smooth family vehicle, it impresses us a lot.
The Marazzo brings in a fresh breeze of air in the MPV segment in the way it looks. Barring the Alturas, it is the largest Mahindra passenger vehicle ever made and this further hints at the spacious interiors. Ingress and egress are excellent and the cabin offers a lot of room for family use. The optional captain seats for the 2nd row are handy and something that cheaper rivals like the new Ertiga do not offer. Comfort is another area where the Marazzo shines and this is mainly due to extremely low NVH or noise, vibration, harshness levels.
The Marrazo gets a 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine that puts out 121 PS of power and is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The latter makes it very efficient for highway runs. At this price, as a 7 seater, the Marazzo is hard to beat. Do note that for Rs 15 lakh in terms of on roading pricing, you cannot buy the top spec M8 variant.
- Smooth and silent operation
- Space for 7, captain 2nd row
- Fuel efficient
- Priced just right
- Missing features (push button start etc)
- No petrol, no diesle automatic
- Weak engine with a full load of passengers
- The new Ertiga is over a lakh cheaper
53. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Mahindra Scorpio
Price: Rs 11.76 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 40K Cash + 25K Exchange Bonus (November)
Like the Safari above, the Scorpio too is one of the oldest names here but continues to sell very well with about 3000-4000 units on a monthly basis. This is quite popular in smaller towns, hill stations and even rural markets and no wonder then, Mahindra continues to make money on this. Sadly, there is no automatic on offer and even the 4×4 is only sold in top spec W11 variant which goes against Mahindra’s ‘Live young, live free’ campaign.
The Scorpio got a mild update in 2018 with minor design tweaks in and out along with more power for the high spec versions. It continues to look imposing and we dont find any fault with this ageing design. Its difficult stepping inside but once seated up front, visibility is excellent and it does well to massage the owner’s ego. The layout is nice and though its feature loaded, front doors get zero space for any kind of knick-knacks. Likewise, for such a large vehicle, space in the 2nd row is surprisingly limited. You do get optional captain seats but not in all versions.
The 2.2 diesel motor remains a gem and offers the Scorpio very good performance for both city and highway runs. The new 6 speed gearbox also allows for better fuel economy. NVH levels are well controlled and its a shame the Scorpio is not offered with an automatic – there used to be one earlier. Ride quality is nice but given the high stance and centre of gravity, handling is best termed as average for most users.
In all, the Scorpio remains a better bet than the Safari and is our pick among the two and do remember that for under Rs 15 lakh, you can only pick the S3 and S5 models which are relatively feature stripped.
- Looks imposing
- Cabin design, front seats, view
- Strong engine
- Excellent resale value
- No diesel automatic
- 4×4 only in the top spec S11 variant
- Limited space in 2nd row
54. Cars Under 15 lakhs in India: Tata Safari Storme
Price: Rs 13.29 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
The big burly Safari Storme remains one of the oldest brands in this list. The latest versions is famously known as Varicor 400 due to the amount of torque the 2.2 engine develops – 400Nm along with 150 PS of power. Design wise, not much has changed over the past few years when the Storme came into the market. However, the Safari lacks modern touch and this is the reason sales are around the 500 mark on a monthly basis.
That said, in terms of sheer road presence, you can’t ignore the Safari. Its huge, looks muscular and towers over other small cars in traffic. The cabin remains as impressive as ever in terms of sheer space available though lack of features is a big surprise from a vehicle of this price. No driver information display, navigation, climate control, push button start etc. Comfort levels however are unparalleled and both driver and passenger will be at ease during day long drives. Ditto for the ride quality which absorbs undulations and bad roads with utter ease.
The engine is known for its performance and reliability and though the 4×4 model is over Rs 15 lakh, with a low ratio transfer case and ample ground clearance, this is one capable SUV. The Safari is one of those vehicles that you buy when heart wins over head : passion over practicality.
- Road presence and sheer size
- Cabin comfort and space
- Ride quality
- Engine offers good punch, is fairly reliable
- No automatic
- Missing features
- Poor resale value
- Not your daily drive for city usage
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