Snapshot – Diesel sedans! Fast, thrilling to drive and frugal to run. The perfect Jekyll and Hyde cars, if you will. While there is a surfeit of options in the mass market diesel sedan category, some cars stand out from the rest, in terms of putting a smile on a driving enthusiast’s face. We take a look at five such cars, all priced at under 20 lakh rupees.
Ford Fiesta Facelift
You want a solid torque kick? Look elsewhere. Want the fastest car off the block? The Fiesta won’t cut the ice for you. What the car will however do is, it combine a bunch of seemingly disparate aspects of motoring into a package that manages to put the thrill back into driving. Don’t be fooled by the spec-sheet. There’s more to this car than the spec sheet can ever reveal. Get behind the wheel of one and experience what we’re hinting at here. The way the electric power steering tells you exactly which way the front wheels are pointing at, the minimal turbo lag of the 1.5 TDCI turbo diesel motor (89 Bhp-204 Nm) that lets you stick to a steady state of propulsion, and of course the suspension package, that just makes you want to carve out corners forever. And then, there’s that solid build. Enough said.
Volkswagen Vento TDI
The Volkswagen Vento is a solidly built car with a powerful turbo diesel engine that offers good performance all through its rev range. The 1.5 liter-4 cylinder TDI motor makes 103 Bhp-250 Nm, and is mated to a five speed manual transmission. The Vento is a sure footed handler, with refined manners on the road. When given the stick, the 1.5 TDI unit does have a tendency to get slightly loud though. Pulling things back, this loudness will be accompanied with plenty of poke both in terms of acceleration and top speed. To sum it up, if you’re looking for a fast, frugal German diesel sedan that’s affordable, the Vento TDI ticks all the right boxes.
Skoda Rapid Diesel DSG
Compared to the Volkswagen Vento, the Skoda Rapid rides and handles better, and this comes as a surprise given the fact that the Skoda car is a badge engineered version of the Volkswagen sedan. In terms of build, there’s nothing to separate both cars. Engines wise too, both cars are similar with the 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel mill being the piece de resistance here. The party trick on the Rapid Diesel is the twin clutch DSG automatic gearbox with 7 speeds. This gearbox makes the best use of the 1.5 liter TDI motor’s torque, and together this combination is quite potent on the road. Oh yes, the Vento TDI is also available with this gearbox, but the ride and handling package of the Rapid sees it edge ahead as far the fun to drive factor is concerned. Then there’s that lower price tag too.
Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
Torque bomb. Two words, that’s all it takes to define the Chevrolet Cruze 2.2 Diesel for you, the most powerful D-Segment sedan in the country. And tuning boxes exist too. The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, with a 2.2 liter turbo diesel motor good for 164 Bhp-380 Nm, hurtles from 0-100 Kph in 9.8 seconds, riding on the wave of torque. 6 speed manual and automatic transmissions are served up. This is a car you want if accelerating like there’s no tomorrow is what moves your cheese. Show the Cruze a few tight corners, and chinks in the armour become apparent, for this car is a straight line warrior that is most comfortable pushing you back in your seat.
Volkswagen Jetta TDI
The Volkswagen Jetta TDI has just received a facelift. The facelift might not be substantial, but what this car offers for a driving enthusiast makes it a top buy. The 2 liter TDI turbo diesel motor of the Jetta is good for 138 Bhp-320 Nm. Known as one of the best all rounder diesel motors, this mill is both powerful and frugal. The 6 speed twin clutch DSG automatic gearbox makes the car very sprightly indeed. Assured handling and a good ride means that the Jetta will be at home while being driven spiritedly and this is one car that will delight the driving enthusiast and the comfort seeker alike.