Fun to drive hatchbacks on sale in India: Volkswagen Polo to Maruti Swift

The popularity of SUVs and crossovers is increasing at a rapid pace in India. However, there are still a few popular hatchbacks in India. Enthusiasts and people who love to drive choose sedans and hatchbacks over SUVs for the fun-to-drive factor. However, which is the most fun to drive hatchback available in the affordable section of the market? Well, we have a few choices here.

Volkswagen Polo TSI: No. 1!

Fun to drive hatchbacks on sale in India: Volkswagen Polo to Maruti Swift

Yes, the Polo has aged in the Indian market, it has retained the same platform for years now. Still, the Volkswagen Polo TSI remains the top choice when it comes to choosing a hatchback for an enthusiast. The Polo comes powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that generates a maximum power of 110 PS. The six-speed manual transmission is very slick and has short throws.

With the precise steering and a great suspension, the set-up allows the Volkswagen Polo to retain the top spot in this list. While you may not get the latest features with the Polo, you definitely will enjoy driving the Polo TSI.

The Volkswagen Polo TSI engine is an extremely well-tuned engine with strong low-end and mid-end. Coupled with the slick gearbox with precise steering and suspension set-up, the Polo can be pushed around quite much.

Hyundai i20 N-Line! No. 2

Fun to drive hatchbacks on sale in India: Volkswagen Polo to Maruti Swift

Hyundai entered the premium performance hatchback segment recently with the launch of the all-new i20 N-Line. Hyundai has plonked a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that develops a maximum power of 120 PS. However, there is no availability of a manual transmission with the N-Line. Hyundai only offers a 7-speed DCT or an iMT.

While the i20 N-Line sure hits the sweet spot when it comes to styling and performance, the missing manual transmission keeps it at number 2. Hyundai did a brilliant job with the i20 N Line though. The car offers a weight steering wheel, stiffer suspension, paddle shifters and a sweet-sounding exhaust note.

Even though it comes from the performance arm of Hyundai, the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol of Hyundai is not as fun as the TSI of Volkswagen. It lags behind in initial and middle range power delivery compared to the Polo TSI. A manual transmission would have allowed more control over the revs of the engine.

Maruti Suzuki Swift: No. 3

Fun to drive hatchbacks on sale in India: Volkswagen Polo to Maruti Swift

The Swift is lightweight and gets a decently powerful engine that generates a maximum power of 90 PS and 113 Nm of torque. The Swift is a fun-to-drive car and offers a great suspension set-up too. The short throw gear lever and the turning radius of the Swift makes it a fun-to-drive car even on moderately crowded roads. It changes direction easily and does not shies away from taking high-speed turns.

Although, the steering wheel’s lightweight of the Swift may take some time for one to get used to it the Swift petrol manual is definitely something an enthusiast will choose over rivals in the segment. The Maruti Suzuki Swift has always been known as a diesel rocket but Maruti Suzuki is not offering a diesel-powered car in the Indian market anymore.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno: No. 4

Fun to drive hatchbacks on sale in India: Volkswagen Polo to Maruti Swift

The Maruti Suzuki Baleno used to be available with the powerful 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with the RS variant. However, due to low demands, Maruti Suzuki discontinued that. The standard Baleno remains a great car to drive around for any enthusiast.

It comes powered by a 1.2-litre DualJet petrol engine that generates a maximum power of 83 Bhp and a peak torque of 113 Nm. It is the same engine as the Swift but the Baleno is slightly heavier. Since it is also bigger than the Swift in size, it does not change direction as easily as the Swift. That is why the Baleno remains last in the list. Maruti Suzuki offers both manual and CVT automatic transmission. But of course, the manual version is much more fun to drive around.

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil brings a refined blend of expertise and enthusiasm to motoring journalism at With a career spanning over 11 years, he anchors Cartoq's insightful car reviews and test drives. His journalistic journey began as a correspondent at, where he honed his skills in content writing and scripting car reviews. Later, as Senior Editor for, his expanded role included curating and structuring web content. At, his expanded role includes assisting the video team to create high-quality car reviews. (Full bio)