Cars Under Rs 7 Lakh In India : Hatchbacks to an Electric Car

Cars Under Rs 7 Lakh In India : Hatchbacks to an Electric Car

If you are in the market looking for a new car and have a budget of Rs 7 lakh (on-road price), be ready for a long list of options! From hatchbacks to compact sedans and even sub 4 meter SUVs, there is no limitation in terms of sheer variety available.

In terms of fuel choices, you can pick from petrol, diesel, CNG, LPG and even an electric option from the house of Mahindra. Both manual and automatic transmissions options are available. Do note that for larger hatchbacks and compact sedans, you can only buy certain trim levels and we have mentioned the same under such cars.

Please note that we have not included cars with extremely poor sales – these include the Mahindra Verito Vibe, Fiat Linea, Nissan Sunny, ICML Rhino and the Tata Nano.

1) Cars under Rs 7 lakh : 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All

Maruti Alto 800

This is the new age ‘M800’ of India –  launched in 2000 as the replacement for the good old Maruti 800, the Alto 800 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.

Pros: 

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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 7 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All

The cute little urban mover from Datsun is the redi-GO. Given its excellent pricing, it is also India’s most affordable automatic car 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.

Pros:

  • Most affordable automatic
  • Modern interiors
  • Easy urban car (tall seating, good visibility, light steering)
  • Peppy and fuel efficient

Cons:

  • High speed manners
  • Interior fit and finish
  • Limited network, poor resale value
  • Cost cutting evident (single front wiper, non retractable belts)

Sales:
Aug: 1674
Sep: 1658
October: 1151

Latest update: Limited edition model launched in Sep 2018

3) Cars under Rs 7 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All

Renault Kwid Exterior 132531 2

Launched in September 2015, the KWID has been Renault’s largest selling car in India for several years and our pick in the small hatchback segment. The 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 smaller 800cc unit is extremely efficient and makes the KWID India’s most efficient petrol vehicle. 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.

Pros:

  • 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)

Cons:

  • Small tank: only 28 litres
  • Huge turning radius of 5m!
  • No visual difference between base and top-end
  • Lowering market demand = poor re-sale

Sales:
August: 5541
September: 5529
October: 6035

Latest Update: 2018 edition with added features

4)Cars under Rs 7 lakh: Datsun Go

Price: Rs 3.68 lakh onwards (on-road, without discounts)
Current Offers: None
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All

Datsun Go

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. There is also a 5+2 version, the Go Plus that gets a third row of seats. But space is enough only for kids or small adults.

Pros:

  • Looks great for a small car
  • Feature on offer : dual airbags, ABS standard
  • Powerful engine
  • Revised cabin looks upmarket

Cons:

  • High speed manners
  • Engine gets rough / vibey at higher revs
  • Limited network, brand appeal
  • Not as efficient as rivals, no auto option

Sales:
August 2018: 490
September 2018: 597
October 2018: 857

Latest update: Launch of new Go model in September 2018

5) Cars under Rs 7 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All

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.

Pros:

  • Peppy and efficient
  • Peace of mind, resale value
  • AMT works better than rivals
  • Best high speed manners here

Cons:

  • 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 7 lakh: Hyundai Eon

Price: Rs 3.71 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: Rs 45K Cash + 10K Exchange Bonus (November)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All

hyundai eon

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.

Pros:

  • Looks great even 7 years of launch
  • Modern interiors, well laid out
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • Unique LPG option

Cons:

  • No automatic option
  • Limited passenger space inside
  • Low demand means poor resale value
  • Missing features: driver info display, alloy wheels, dual airbags, ABS

Sales:
August: 3916
September: 5309
October: 5

Latest update: Sports edition launched in April 2017

7) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: Hyundai Santro

Price: Rs 4.44 lakh onwards onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: None
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All

Hyundai Santro7

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 and unlike other 3-cylinder set-ups offers a very refined and smooth drive. However, it isn’t as efficient as rivals, delivering 10-15% less economy. 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 in the Rs 5-6 lakh bracket.

Pros:

  • Best in class cabin design and quality
  • Superior 4-cylinder is very smooth
  • Good mix of ride and handling
  • Segment leading features

Cons:

  • 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)

Sales:
October: 8535

8) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: Tata Tiago

Price: Rs 3.79 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: 1st Year Insurance @ Rs 7400 + Rs 10K Exchange (November)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All expect diesel NRG

Tata Tiago Jtp 1

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. That said, refinement isn’t of the highest order. If you have the budget of just over Rs 7 lakh on-road, take a look at the hot new JPT 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.

Pros:

  • Interior design and quality
  • Ride and handling package
  • No of variants on offer
  • Powerful and efficient engine options

Cons:

  • 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

Sales:
August: 9277
September: 8377
October: 7549

Latest update: Tata Motors launched the performance oriented JTP version of the Tiago at Rs 6.39 lakh

9) Cars under Rs 7 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
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All

2018 Maruti Wagonr Limited Edition

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 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. If you do opt for this car, invest into the top spec VXI (O) with the AMT gear box – makes for a wonderful urban runner.

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.

Pros:

  • Value for money
  • Factory fitted CNG, AMT option
  • Fuss free and easy to drive
  • Proven product, reliable in the long run

Cons:

  • 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

Sales:
August: 13658
September: 13252
Wagon R: 10655

Latest update: Limited edition launched in October 2018

10) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: Maruti Celerio

Price: Rs 4.66 lakh onwards (on-road, without discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 35,000 cash, upto Rs 30000 exchange bonus (November)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All

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 net’! 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! AMT or an automatic is offered in both the regular and the X versions. However do note that the top spec ZXI AMT lacks a few features as compared to the top spec ZXI MT versions to keep price in check.
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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Pricier than other options here
  • Brand image : lot of Celerios on road with a commercial plate

Sales
August: 9503
September: 9208
Celerio: 9260

Latest update: Celerio H2 Tour launched in Feb 2018

11) Cars under Rs 7 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All expect top spec Alpha AMT

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 and with wider tyres, looks super cool! 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 without sacrificing fuel economy. However the steering missing out on the ‘active return’ feature. 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 (AMT) in his garage of cars and swears by it!

Pros:

  • Unique design
  • Personalisation kits on offer
  • 1.2 petrol is peppy and very efficient
  • Modern interiors, features

Cons:

  • Unconventional design
  • Poor resale value
  • Rear shoulder space

Sales
Aug: 3043
September: 2648
October: 2253

Latest update: Limited edition launched in Sep 2018

12) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: Honda Brio

Price: Rs 5.24 lakh onwards (on-road without discounts)
Discounts: 1st year insurance free (November)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All except VX A/T

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 that offered pure driving pleasure but Honda hasn’t done much to update it over the years. Infact the speculation is that production of the Brio will come to a halt soon! 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 ABS 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!

Pros:

  • 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)

Cons:

  • Essential features missing
  • Cabin space is tight
  • Poor resale value
  • Expensive for the size

Sales:

August: 157
September: 64
October: 27

13) Cars under Rs 7 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: K2, K4, K6 of petrol, K2 and K4 of diesel

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. However the cheaper models, under Rs 7 lakh on-road do not get all new aesthetic touches and hence look average in comparison.

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 7 lakh (on-road), you cannot buy the K8 petrol or K6/K8 diesel versions.

Pros: 

  1. Large size can massage owner’s ego
  2. Surprisingly smooth engines – superb NVH
  3. Offers a good ride

Cons:

  1. Lower versions look awkward (no alloys for example)
  2. Engines aren’t as efficient
  3. Poor resale value
  4. Brand appeal in front other cars in the same price

Sales:

August: 1173
September: 1171
October: 1244

14) Cars under Rs 7 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: Petrol – all except Sportz AT, diesel – Era & Magna

Hyundai Grand I10

One of the most value packed cars in the segment is the Grand i10. Thanks to huge discounts, as much as flat Rs 50,000 cash discount, 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 excellent and the Magna AT can be bought in less than Rs 7 lakh, on-road price. 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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Expensive automatic
  • Rivals have a better diesel unit
  • Not exciting to drive (Swift is better)

Sales:
August: 11,489
September: 11,224
October: 11,820

Latest update: Safety features made standard in September 2018

15) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: Maruti Swift

Price: Rs 5.55 lakh (onroad, before discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 20,000 cash / Upto Rs 25,000 exchange bonus (November)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: LXI, VXI, ZXI, VXI AMT for petrol, LDI for diesel

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. Infact it is the most fun to drive car under Rs 7 lakh and the petrol mill continues to provide excellent performance. 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 punch for daily use 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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons

  • Still not as spacious as rivals like the Grand i10
  • Ride quality isn’t very comfortable over broken roads

Sales
Aug: 19115
September: 22228
October: 17215

Latest update: AMT versions launched in top-spec trim

16) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All for Micra Active, base petrol XL CVT for newer Micra

nissan micra india launch

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 any of the Active versions for under Rs 7 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. For Rs 7 lakh, you can get the base XL CVT of the newer model too.
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.

Pros:

  • Sorted chassis – good mix of ride and handling
  • Reliable and peppy 1.2-litre petrol
  • Reliable and torquey 1.5-litre diesel

Cons

  • Rivals offer better engines in terms of performance / economy
  • Limited cabin room for the segment
  • Sober design, dated interiors
  • Poor resale value

Sales:
Aug: 302
Sep: 232
Oct: 249

17) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: Tata Bolt

Price: Rs 5.58 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: N/A
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All petrols except XT, XE diesel

Tata Bolt

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 and its best to look beyond the Bolt for your new car purchase.

Pros

  • Good ride and handing
  • Pair of great engines
  • Very spacious interiors
  • Looks substantial for the price

Cons

  • Lack of essential features
  • No AMT offered
  • Poor resale value

Sales:
August: 127
Sep: 218
Oct: 137

18) Cars under Rs 7 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: XE, XM, XZ for petrol, XE for diesel

Tata Tiago Tigor Jtp3

Slightly more expensive than the Bolt is its sedan sibling, the Tigor. This is also the most affordable compact sedan in India without sacrificing on a good ownership experience. Available in both petrol and diesel engine options, it is also the only one that comes in a performance variant, the JTP avatar. However, this performance version will set you back by about Rs 8.4 lakh, on-road price. 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 latter is over the budget of Rs 7 lakh and the former does just fine for regular usage. It comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and though not very refined, is efficient. 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! However for Rs 7 lakh, ignore the diesel and pick the XZ petrol.

Pros

  • Value tag
  • Fuel efficient diesel, peppy JTP petrol
  • Features at this price point – dual airbags standard
  • Looks great in our opinion

Cons

  • 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)

Sales
August: 1646
September: 1843
October: 2927

Last update: Launch of Tigor JTP

19) Cars under Rs 7 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: Ambiente, Petrol of petrol, Ambiente only of diesel

If you want a proper cross hatch under Rs 7 lakh on-road, the Freestyle works just well. 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 7 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.

Pros:

  • The rugged design works well
  • Spacious and comfortable interiors
  • Peppy petrol, smooth gear shifts
  • Comfortable and yet agile in terms of handling

Cons:

  • No auto yet
  • Petrol engine nowhere as efficient as rivals

Sales
Aug: 2564
Sep: 2302
Oct: 1929

20) Cars under 7 lakh: Maruti Baleno

Price: Rs 6 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 10,000 cash, Rs 15,000 exchange bonus (November)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: Sigma, Delta of petrol

Baleno Wallpaper Dekstop 11

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. However, under Rs 7 lakh, you will not be able to get hold of the CVT petrol or the manual diesel. 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 – but well over Rs 8 lakh on road.
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 or a diesel car, the Baleno petrol should be your pick.

Pros

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Sales
August: 17,713
September: 18,631
October: 18,657

Latest update: Limited edition launched in September 2018

21) Cars under 7 lakh: Hyundai i20

Price: Rs 6 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Rs 20,000 cash and Rs 30,000 exchange bonus (November)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: Era and Magna of petrol

40444 Hyundai Elite I20 1

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. However, the diesel models start at over Rs 7 lakh on-road and hence out of the context here. Overall, while the petrol i20 may not be an enthusiast’s car, it certainly is a recommended, stylish all-rounder.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Still not an enthusiast’s tool
  • Like the Baleno, this one too has limited rear headroom

Sales
August: 11475
September: 12380
October: 13290

Latest update: CVT option launched in May 2018

22) Cars under 7 lakh: Volkswagen Polo

Price: Rs 6.12 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Special pricing for various trims, benefits of over Rs 50,000
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: Trendline, Comfortline of petrol

Volkswagen Polo

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 – however, it carries a sticker price of over Rs 8 lakh, on-road. 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. But even this one is out of context here due to its price of over Rs 7 lakh, on-road.
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. If you want a car that can make you smile each time you drive, it has to be the Polo. Sadly, in a budget of Rs 7 lakh, you can only pick the 1.0 petrol and that frankly can be overlooked due to weak performance and average fuel economy.

Pros:

  • Handles like a dream
  • Has solid build quality
  • 1.2 TSI and 1.5 TDI offer solid performance
  • Massive discounts on offer

Cons:

  • Poor resale value
  • Long term after sales support
  • Cabin space
  • 1.0 petrol is a dull performer

Sales:
August: 1899
September: 1583
October: 1588

Last update: Launch of Connect Edition

23) Cars under 7 lakh: Toyota Etios Liva

Price: Rs 6.13 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: 20K Toyota Genuine Accessories (November)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: All petrol except VX limited edition

Toyota Etios Liva Inferno Orange Dual Tone Colour

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. Note that for Rs 7 lakh, you will not be able to pick the top spec limited edition of the petrol unit or any of the diesel versions.

Pros:

  • Proven reliability
  • Spacious and comfortable
  • Excellent ride quality

Cons

  • Dated cabin design
  • Lack of features
  • No auto option
  • Lower brand value due to commercial use

Sales:
Aug: 1891
Sep: 1493
October: 1696

Last update: Dual tone limited edition launched in Aug 2018

24) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: XE, XM, XMS of the petrol unit only

Tata Zest

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.

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, but not under Rs 7 lakh on-road. Dwindling sales numbers reflect a sad story : not a bad car per se, but the competition is so much better now. For the price, we would recommend the Tigor over the Zest any day.

Pros:

  • Build quality is solid (heavy)
  • Excellent ride quality
  • Features (driving modes, voice commands, touchscreen etc)
  • Powerful engines (turbo petrol, 90PS diesel)

Cons:

  • Poor in-cabin storage
  • Subjective exterior design
  • Poor re-sale value
  • Brand appeal isn’t as strong

Sales
August: 964
September: 1722
October: 896

Last update: Premio edition launched in March 2018

25) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: Ford Aspire.

Price: Rs 6.15 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: None
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: Ambiente and Trend (Petrol) only

Ford Figo Aspire Facelift Studio Shot 2

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. 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. However, we are talking about a limited budget of Rs 7 lakh and for this, you can only pick the base Ambiente or one up Trend. The Trend Plus retails at Rs 7.2 lakh (on-road) and this is highly recommended as it offers essentials like front fog lamps, touch-screen infotainment system, steering control, rear camera etc. 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 – but starts from Rs 7.4 in terms of on-road price.. 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. In other words, a better everyday drive and yet lighter on the pocket.

Pros:

  • Build quality is solid (heavy)
  • Excellent ride quality – comfortable too
  • Better value than ever before – prices slashed
  • Both engines offer good driveability

Cons:

  • Surprisingly no rear air-con vents
  • Relatively lower resale value
  • Petrol automatic is simply too expensive

Sales
August: 523
September: 1640
October: 2520

Last update: New 2018 version launched

26) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: LXI, VXI only (petrol)

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. 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.

That problem in this budget of Rs 7 lakh is that you can only buy the LXI or VXI petrol models and even the latter does not get rear parking sensors / camera, front fog lamps or even a pinch guard for the driver side window. 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 but within this budget you can neither have the diesel, not the automatic AMT.
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. In a budget of Rs 7 lakh, we would suggest you look at the Aspire for that special ownership experience.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Base L versions is feature stripped
  • Rivals offer better warranty or lower running costs
  • Still has the ‘taxi’ image

Sales
August: 21,990
September: 21,296
October: 17404

Last update: Special edition launched in Aug 2018

27) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: Hyundai Xcent

Price: Rs 6.2 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Upto 40000 cash and Rs 45,000 exchange bonus
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: E, E Plus and S for petrol, base E for diesel

Hyundai Xcent

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 in metro cities. 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. In this limited budget of Rs 7 lakh, you can only pick the E, E Plus or the S trims of the petrol. No auto and no diesel either.
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 95,000 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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Average engine performance and efficiency
  • Poor resale value
  • Still has the ‘taxi’ image

Sales
August: 4981
September: 4105
October: 3143

Last update: Dual airbags and ABS made standard from August 2018 onwards

28) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: 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)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: Trendline and Comfortline petrol only

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 10 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. Do remember that for Rs 7 lakh, you can only pick the entry and mid level of petrol unit and thats a shame. The Ameo, for the ride and handling it offers, deserves a more powerful petrol unit.
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 but sadly, that cannot be had in under Rs 7 lakh.

Pros:

  • Solid build quality
  • Priced on par with the Polo hatchback
  • Only compact car to offer DSG gearbox
  • Excellent ride and handling package

Cons:

  • Petrol motor has average performance and economy
  • Poor resale value
  • Limited space at the rear and in the boot
  • Long term maintenance costs

Sales
August: 721
September: 1034
October: 923

Last update: Ameo Sport launched in July 2018

29) Cars under Rs 7 lakh: Honda Amaze

Price: Rs 6.35 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: Additional Extended Warranty of 4th & 5th Year (November)
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: Base E petrol only

new honda amaze images

Honda’s largest selling car and India’s second largest selling sedan can also be bought under Rs 7 lakh (on-road) but only the base E petrol model. 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 7 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. However, as said above, you cannot buy the petrol CVT or diesel manual in this limited budget of Rs 7 lakh. 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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Diesel engine is still noisy with vibrations
  • Rear headroom is limited
  • No rear air-con vents

Sales
August: 9644
September: 8401
October: 5542

Last update: Amaze crosses 50,000 mark in October 2018

30) Cars under 7 lakh: Mahindra e2O Plus

Price: Rs 6.78 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: N/A
Versions under Rs 7 lakh: P4

31805 Mahindra E2o 004

Yes, you can own an all-electric car for under Rs 7 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.

Pros:

  • Its clean!
  • Easy to drive – auto ‘box, instant torque
  • Extremely low running costs
  • Features on offer

Cons:

  • Limited range
  • Extremely poor resale
  • Limited performance
  • Subjective looks

Sales: N/A

 


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