Now not every car is perfect. Seriously, not even the best-selling cars in India are perfect. Every car has some drawback or the other, which buyers tend to overlook or simply ignore as other aspects of the car or carmaker are just overwhelming.
However, have you actually taken a minute to step back and figure out the flaws in the top-selling cars in India – there are quite a few. Here’s a list of each car, which is a best-seller in the country, and its flaws.
The Maruti Alto 800 (and K10) is the largest-selling car in India, consistently selling an average of 22,000 units a month (that’s more than some cars sell in an entire year). It is compact, has a peppy 800 cc engine (or 1-litre in the K10) that is fuel efficient and easy to drive at a very competitive price tag. All these factors make it a favourite with car buyers looking for an entry-level hatchback.
Flaws: However, it has a couple of flaws – but not big enough to discourage someone from buying it. Rear visibility with the Alto is a bit of an issue owing to the thick C-pillars and the fixed head restraints don’t help either. The Alto 800 also does not have provision for fog lamps and it is still sold with only one door mirror (the left side one is sold as an accessory).
The Maruti Swift is India’s most popular premium hatchback. The car comes with a 1.2 litre petrol or 1.3 litre diesel engine, which has pretty good power outputs for its category. The Swift offers a fairly robust suspension and has fairly sharp handling with a pretty light electric power steering. It is almost the default choice for those looking for a premium hatchback.
Flaws: However, the Swift has a couple of flaws. For one, the rear seat of the Swift is a single backrest, which folds down to increase luggage space – but if you use this you can’t carry passengers, as it is not a 60:40 split folding design. (EDIT: The facelifted Swift ZXI has a 60:40 split folding rear seat). The A-pillar in the Swift is pretty thick and hampers visibility, especially when driving on hilly roads.
The Maruti Dzire is essentially a Swift with a boot. It has the same features as the Swift and is powered by the same engine and gearbox choices. The only difference is in the body style – the Dzire is a compact sedan, while the Swift is a hatchback.
Flaws: The biggest drawback in the Swift Dzire is the boot – the size of the boot. It can hold only about 316 litres of luggage in that tiny boot with no flexibility of being able to fold the seats as needed. That boot lends itself to another issue with the Dzire – the design of the car. It is not proportionate enough, being a sub 4 metre car with a fairly long front end.
This tall-boy from Maruti is a very practical car, being spacious enough and decently powerful. It is priced aggressively and has been a best-seller since 2001. The car has good headroom and legroom for four, with the option of split folding seats (not in the base model).
Flaws: There is no major flaw with the Wagon-R except for the looks. The other thing is the visibility from the driver’s seat. The dashboard appears a bit too high up, hampering visibility in the new Wagon-R. Also the car is prone to plastic rattles with age.
Hyundai Elite i20
The Hyundai Elite i20 is the only non-Maruti vehicle in the top five sold in India. It is feature packed, offering everything from power-folding mirrors, a push-button ignition, alloy wheels etc. The i20 is fairly spacious and also has good engine choices – a 1.2 litre petrol putting out 84 bhp of power and a 1.4 litre diesel engine that puts out about 90PS of power with a six-speed manual transmission.
Flaws: The car has regressed with the latest update. In its earlier model it came with rear disc brakes, rear fog lamps and also offered features such as daytime running lights in the iGen model. These features were done away with when the Elite i20 was launched (although the Active has brought back daytime running lamps). Another flaw that some like actually is the super light steering.
However, none of the flaws that these cars have are deal breakers, as the positive factors outnumber the negatives quite a bit. Share any other flaws you think these cars may have.