Some of us have plenty of kilometres to drive in daily city traffic, especially if you have a job that involves multiple meetings at different parts of a city every day. If you are one of those people who clocks over 60 km a day in city traffic, what you need is a small car that’s easy to drive and gives great fuel economy – the obvious choice here would be a diesel car.
CarToq looks at some small diesel cars that give outstanding fuel economy and are not a strain to drive in city traffic. These are cars that are easy on the wallet and easy on stress levels. These cars need to have fuel efficient diesel engines and/or CNG or LPG fuel options (for low running costs), have easy to operate clutches and transmissions, have virtually no turbo lag, as you need instant pick up, have powerful ACs and creature comforts to keep you cool during the drive, and have good visibility and be easy to park in tight spots. Also read: Best cars for bumper-to-bumper city traffic
Here are five best small cars for heavy city usage, in increasing order of purchase price.
Maruti Alto 800 CNG
The cheapest car you can get that can handle the grind of city traffic is the Maruti Alto 800 CNG. This car comes with power-steering and AC in its top-end variant – the Alto LXI CNG and is priced at Rs. 3.56 lakh ex-showroom. The car has improved interiors, is reasonably spacious for passengers, but has no boot space, has two power windows, good all-round visibility and is really easy to drive. The new Alto 800 CNG has a 796 cc petrol-CNG engine that puts out 47.5 bhp with petrol and about 41 bhp on CNG. One tank of CNG gives it a range of over 300 km. Also read: Top 9 factory-fitted CNG-LPG cars
An alternate choice to the Maruti Alto would be the Hyundai Eon LPG variant.
Maruti Wagon-R Duo
If you want a car that is a little more spacious consider the Wagon-R Duo. This car comes with a 1-litre petrol-CNG engine (also available as an LPG option), which puts out 67 bhp of power on petrol and about 58 bhp on CNG. It has good fuel economy of close to 30 km per KG on CNG, while it has a claimed mileage of 19 kmpl on petrol. The car has good all-round visibility, a light steering, light clutch, but slightly notchy gearbox. The Wagon-R Duo (CNG) is priced at Rs. 4.35 lakh, while the LPG variant is priced at Rs. 4.15 lakh. You will get more boot space with the LPG variant rather than the CNG variant.
An alternate choice to the Maruti Wagon-R Duo would be the Hyundai i10 LPG, but it’s more expensive at Rs. 4.27 lakh to Rs. 4.42 lakh.
Chevrolet Beat diesel
If you are a person who drives long distances in crowded cities, one of the best cars that you can get for city traffic is the Chevrolet Beat diesel. The car is powered by a 1-litre, 3 cylinder diesel engine that puts out 58 bhp of power and 150 Nm of torque with a five-speed manual transmission. The car has a high driving position, and good forward visibility, although rear-visibility is slightly restricted. It is compact and has a tight turning circle, making it easy to manoeuver and park in tight spots. It comes with electronic power-assisted steering. The Beat diesel is priced between Rs. 4.62 lakh and Rs. 5.83 lakh for four variants with the top-end LT option including airbags and ABS.
An alternate choice to the Beat diesel would be the Beat LPG variant that’s priced between Rs. 4.4 lakh and Rs. 4.86 lakh.
Ford Figo diesel
If you want a car that is great for city traffic, with excellent drivability and good fuel efficiency, as well as spacious enough for a large family (if you usually travel with 3-4 people), the Ford Figo diesel would be a good choice. The Figo diesel is powered by a 1.4 litre diesel engine that puts out 68 bhp of power and gives a fuel efficiency of 17 kmpl in city conditions, with a claimed mileage of 20 kmpl. The Figo has an easy to use gearshift, has a good driving feel, has good all-round visibility and virtually no turbo-lag from its diesel engine. The AC is powerful and chills the car well, and it has the added advantage of doubling up as a car for longer trips as well, as it has a fairly large 284 litre boot. The Ford Figo diesel top-end variant comes with airbags and ABS, as well as Bluetooth, power mirrors etc. The Figo diesel range is priced between Rs. 4.79 lakh to Rs. 5.95 lakh. Also read: Driving tips for slow moving city traffic
An alternate choice to the Ford Figo diesel would be the new Chevrolet Sail diesel.
Maruti Ritz diesel
The most versatile, but also most expensive in this line up is the Maruti Ritz diesel. It has a peppy 1.3 litre diesel engine that puts out 74 bhp of power and is very fuel efficient with a claimed mileage of 22 kmpl, and real-world mileage of 18 kmpl. The Ritz has a high driving position, is compact in dimension and has good all-round visibility. Being a Maruti, it also has access to a large service network, even in smaller cities. It is priced between Rs. 5.34 lakh and Rs. 6.26 lakh across four variants, with only the top-end one providing airbags, while the VDI also gets an ABS option.
An alternate choice to the Ritz diesel would be the Nissan Micra diesel, for virtually no turbo lag and ease of driving, Maruti Swift diesel for its sporty drive and Hyundai i20 diesel for its extensive feature list, although all these cars are more expensive. Also read: Best cars for women drivers in India
Share your picks for a small car for heavy city usage. What would be your choices and why?