Being a developing market, the Indian car scene has seen a shift in buyer preferences. While the economy conscious still hunt for the most kilometers per litre, the invasion of manufacturers like Hyundai and VW has made buyers expect a long list of features and good build quality (respectively), and even safety, too. Listening to inputs from enthusiasts and fellow automobile professionals, we’ve made a list of the vehicles that, according to them, offer the best build quality, priced under Rs 15 lakhs.

Editor Note – When we say build quality, we mean how solid the structure of the car feels and also how well put together the interiors are. Essentially, the car should give buyers a “built-to-last” feel, both outside and inside. Some cars have brilliant builds on the outside, but the interiors feel flimsy.  This explains why the Punto and Linea aren’t in this list.

Hatchbacks – VW Polo and Hyundai Elite i20

Volkswagen Polo 1.6 GT TDI 1

This isn’t about the most feature rich vehicles, but both the VW Polo and the Elite i20 top the list in terms of build quality. The Polo feels solid, not just from the way it feels on the inside, but also the way the doors shut and how solid it feels while on the move.

Hyundai Elite i20


The Hyundai Elite i20 offers a selection of high quality plastics on the inside, and the feature-laden cabin ensures it feels from a segment (or two, maybe) above. It might not feel (it’s still a subjective matter, especially at the level we’re talking) as robust as the Polo but is very close.

Sedans – VW Vento

Volkswagen Vento Custom 2

Based on the same platform as the VW Polo, the Vento too comes with the build quality often referred to as ‘tank like’, so it’s not surprising that the Vento made it to the list. It’s mostly identical, except for more space, and the availability of a diesel automatic.

MPV – Toyota Innova

Toyota Innova Limited Edition MPV

While the Ertiga (among its competitors) offers most car-like interior, it’s the Innova that gets the vote from both enthusiasts and customers. The fit and finish inside the cabin might not look as premium but the fact that it continues strongly for lakhs of kilometers on the odo, is a testament to the quality.

Mechanically, it’s one of the few vehicles that continue to gobble long distances tirelessly. Much like the Toyota Qualis that it replaced, the Innova too has a reputation of not giving any issues to its users in spite of huge mileage.

Compact SUV – Hyundai Creta

Hyundai Creta

The latest entrant in the compact SUV segment offers a couple of segment first features, and while the waiting period is a bit troublesome, the Creta seems to be a well-rounded product. And being a Hyundai, it had to have the most feature rich interior, which it thankfully does.

Prices of the top end versions might have hit the roof, but there’s a decently long feature list, and a very nice looking interior to back that. In fact, the Creta not just boasts the best interior, it makes most full-size SUVs (from the segment above) appear a bit lacking.

Full size SUV – Mahindra XUV500

2015 Mahindra XUV500 Facelift 10

Mahindra products, although nicely made, aren’t generally considered the best built. The use of hard plastics is to be blamed – remember the first generation Thar was a disaster! The use of faux wood didn’t help the first generation XUV500 either, but the updated version is some improvement.

In comparison to other seven-seaters, it excels in terms of fit and finish. Whether or not could it hold on as long as a Toyota Innova is something that remains unseen, yet.


  1. What the hell is this?
    Where is the Punto evo? Where is the linea? Where is the ford fiesta where is the ecosport?. Innova has now crossed 15lakhs tag.Do u think ecosport is poorly built.( ecosport weighs 1240kg) heavier than duster and creta. Fiat linea weighs 1268kg its a tank. If u are mentioning the built quality based on interiorplastics, perfection of interiors , etc the name of the article should have been different. This will make people think that a linea is now overtaken in built quality by vento(but it is not- fiat still makes cast iron welded heavy gorgeous machines)

  2. Writer is either instructed not to see beyond volume brands / vehicles or has teambhp knowledge (ex- Honda is a Honda) about vehicles in India. Sad to see Cartoq having such pathetic quality of content.

  3. I can vouch for the fact that fiat siblings are much better built than VW siblings. Anyway, I am glad though that they did not choose i20 & city in respective categories :D

  4. Guys, we’ve added an editor’s note to the story. The reason why the Punto and Linea aren’t here is simple. On the inside, both the Punto and Linea don’t feel very well put together, especially in terms of the fit and finish. We’re considering build as a function of both exteriors and interiors.

  5. Your note states: “how solid the structure of the car feels and also how well put together the interiors are.” and “a “built-to-last” feel, both outside and inside”.

    In my view neither of these would include plastic quality, though would include fit and finish to a certain extent. But most user reviews out there on the FIATs out there seem to suggest that they feel far more well put together down the line, ie 1 year or even 5 years of ownership later, than the VWs and the Hyundais. While I agree the fit and finish of the FIATs especially the pre facelift versions are not as good, but I think I would rate the FIATs based on their ageless build.

    And in my view, build quality can only be judged in the long term, and not by sitting in a brand new car. And it is in the long term that the FIATs out shine others.

    BTW, the long term effect is also why I would not include the XUV500 in the list of vehicles with good build quality.

  6. I can agree vw polo upto one extent, but i20 you gotta be kidding right? Everything which glitter is not not gold. have you ever seen i20s which have had minor accidents, they look like total disaster.

    Have you ever been inside recently manufactured puntos? They make you feel that they are built to long lost.

    The two hatches should be polo and punto. You disagree? just stay a poll and see what readers think.

  7. i strongly disagree with the XUV500 being a well built car.
    What happened to the Corolla Altis and some other cars users are mentioning in the comments?

  8. Not acceptable thread …. I request editors to have a look on facelifted interiors of Evo …its much better than older models. I do agree equiptmnets are not up to the mark when comparing huindais. Fiat and fords deserve to be in this listing.

  9. Common guys wer is da punto, linea, fords… are u guys
    Kiddin putting da i20 in built quality race…

  10. Most the people complaining about this article must be owning fiats and fords…i know u guys love ur cars but this article is bang on target…all the cars mentioned in this article are great in terms of looks ,interior and fit and finish…..i dont know why everyone is complaining about Elite i20..its has won almost every award last year…it really feels a segment or 2 up..and thats why it is the king of premium hatchbacks….sales volume doesn’t lie..

  11. I think i20 Elite is the best hatch back till date, & indeed a built to last Vehicle with Great Xterior & Interior too.,. Ppl disagreeing with this, get a spin of few Kms in all hatchbacks & u’ll deftnly undstnd the differences.,.

  12. I have read ur note regarding the criteria for choosing the cars in this list. However, I strongly disagree with your viewpoints. A cars’s feature list (read Hyundai’s) cannot make it eligible for the ‘built to last’ moniker!!
    Cmon guys!!
    Just have a look at user reviews / long term reviews for ford/Vw/fiat/skoda vehicles!!

    U really need to do some soul searching with regards this article

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