If you are in the market for a new car and have a limited budget of Rs 6 lakh, trust us, you still have ample options ranging from the most affordable Alto 800 to the most expensive but a capable cross hatchback, the Ford Freestyle.
We have not included the Tata Nano in the list as production has come to a halt. That aside, you can pick from as many as 18 different hatchbacks spanning across two different segments. All of these come with a petrol engine with the Tiago being the only one to offer a diesel option in this budget of Rs 6 lakh. AMT or automatic transmission is also offered in some of the cars discussed below three models and given rising competition, all the cars are feature packed. Lets have a deeper look into each model – note that the listing below is sorted by price.
1) Cars under Rs 6 lakh : Alto 800
Price: Rs 2.87 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: Upto Rs 30,000 cash, upto Rs 30,000 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.
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. A pure, reliable workhorse in our opinion.
- 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 Rs 6 lakh: 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! 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 slowly by just releasing the brake pedal and no accelerator inputs whatsoever – 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 Rs 6 lakh: 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. 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. Note that both these engines are also seen on the cheaper Datsun redi-GO. 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.
- 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
Milestone: 10719 units in August 2016
Latest Update: 2018 edition with added features was launched in August
4)Cars under Rs 6 lakh: 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 alloy wheels. And there are even more changes on the inside – the entire cabin is redesigned and looks nice for a Rs 4 lakh car. Higher trims also get a segment leading touch screen interface that sounds good and works well to inputs. Space up front is nice though at the back, cars like the Santro fare better.
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 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. You can also pick the longer Go Plus that comes with a unique 3rd of seats that are suitable for kids and youngsters.
- 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
Sales: (Go / Go Plus combined)
August 2018: 490
September 2018: 597
October 2018: 1697
Latest update: Launch of new Go model in September 2018
5) Cars under Rs 6 lakh: 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 Rs 6 lakh: 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.
- 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 Rs 6 lakh: 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 – no wonder than, over 30,000 bookings have been received in less than a month of its launch.
- 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 Rs 6 lakh: 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. Though not under Rs 6 lakh, Tata Motors launched two new versions recently. These include the cross-over NRG and the performance oriented JTP model, thus catering to a wider audience.
- 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
Latest update: Tata Motors launched the performance oriented JTP version of the Tiago at Rs 6.39 lakh
9) Cars under Rs 6 lakh: 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 (November)
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 6 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. 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.
- 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
Latest update: Limited edition launched in October 2018
10) Cars under Rs 6 lakh: Maruti Celerio
Price: Rs 4.66 lakh onwards (on-road, without discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 35,000 cash, upto Rs 25000 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 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 – this is also the reason why the Celerio is very popular among cab operators.
- 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 Rs 6 lakh: 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, but on the good side, is 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. A shortcoming is the steering that does not offer the ‘active return’ feature. 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 Rs 6 lakh: 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 27 units in October 2018.
If you are in the market for a Rs 5-6 lakh hatchback, its best to ignore the Brio. It does offer an automatic but even thats way expensive at an on-road price of Rs 7.66 lakh.
- 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 Rs 10 lakh: 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! Do note that for Rs 6 lakh, you can only buy the K2 / K4 of the petrol model or the base K2 for the diesel one – this is after accounting all the current offers.
- 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 Rs 6 lakh: 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. However do note that for Rs 6 lakh on-road, you can only get the base Era or the one up Magna version.
- 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 Rs 6 lakh: 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. However, under Rs 6 lakh, you can only get hold of the base Lxi version. That said, you still get features like air-con, power steering, ABS and even dual front Airbags. The new Swift looks much better now, with a low and wide stance giving it a sporty look. Step inside and you notice the all-new cabin design as well. It is modern, offers more space than ever before and higher versions come with technologically advanced features. The new Swift gets a new, lighter platform and the reason why both performance and fuel economy have improved over the earlier version – intact the petrol model delivers 22kmpl and diesel 28.4 kmpl as per ARAI certification. AMT (automatic) is available but these variants cost over Rs 6 lakh on-road. The Lxi is feature stripped and only available with the petrol engine but as a fun to drive car, the Swift continues to earn brownie points.
- 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
- Still not as spacious as i20 / Jazz
- Rs 6 lakh will get you the base trim only
Latest update: AMT versions launched in top-spec trim
16) Cars under Rs 6 lakh: Nissan Micra Active
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 this is the older Micra and not the facelift version with updated design and cabin. 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. The Micra Active continues to get the tried and tested 1.2-litre 3 cylinder petrol engine that is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. Sadly, there is no auto on offer (the regular, more expensive Micra gets it) but the engine offers good grunt for city usage, is fairly refined and delivers above average mileage. 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 engine
- No diesel
- No auto option with petrol
- Limited cabin room
- Sober design, dated interiors
Sales: N/A as clubbed with regular Micra
17) Cars under Rs 6 lakh: 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 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. The seats however 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. Do note that for under Rs 6 lakh, you can only buy the base XE petrol that comes with just air-con and power steering.
- 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 Rs 6 lakh: 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. However do note that for under Rs 6 lakh on-road, you can only buy the base XE or one up XM trim levels.
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. 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 Rs 6 lakh: Ford Freestyle
Price: Rs 5.83 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 10K 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, under Rs 6 lakh (on-road) you can only buy the base petrol model but even that comes 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. The Freestyle is also a practical car with lot of storage areas and good driver ergonomics. Although it comes with both petrol and diesel units, we will only discuss the petrol here due to cost limitation. This is 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. Complementing he 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
- Engine nowhere as efficient as rivals