Hatchbacks for rough roads

A while back we had looked at hatchbacks that can take on rough roads quite easily in our story on big and tough premium hatchbacks for rough roads. And after looking at a few cars that suited the needs of drivers on rough roads, we put them through a poll to see what you would vote as the car with the best build for rough roads.

The results are interesting. What we had chosen as the best hatchback for bad roads was also voted by the CarToq community as the best car for bad roads.  The criteria for a car to qualify was that it needed to have high ground clearance of over 170 mm, good engine power of over 70 bhp and a stiff suspension set up that would make manoeuvring over bad roads easier. They also needed to have wheel rims that are over 14-inches in diameter. Also read: Best cars for heavy city usage

Fiat Grande Punto

2012 fiat punto review

The Fiat Grande Punto emerged as the best car for bad roads with 61% of the voters saying it was the best built car for rough roads. The community is right. The car has the maximum ground clearance now among premium hatchbacks – with 185 mm on the top-end variants and 195 mm on the base Active variant. Also read: Fiat Punto and Linea Absolute editions launched

Maruti Swift

The car which got the second best – but by a huge difference in margin was the Maruti Swift at 20% of the community saying it can handle bad roads. The Swift has good handling with a responsive steering and a rally based suspension setup that’s quite stiff and can take a beating. Of course, in the long run, the Swift is likely to develop rattles much earlier than the Punto. Also read: Swift voted as car for best city driving experience

Maruti Ritz


The third choice by the community for a car that can handle bad roads quite well was the Maruti Ritz. It got 10% of the vote from the community – most appreciated the ground clearance and tall driving position, which made it relatively easy on bad roads, as well as the stiff suspension setup that can take quite a beating without the car bottoming out. Also read: Hatchback launches in 2012

Toyota Etios Liva

The fourth choice that we had suggested was the Toyota Liva, but it got only the remaining 9% of the vote. The Liva is relatively simple in its mechanicals, again with 170 mm of ground clearance. The Liva comes in both diesel and petrol, with the diesel 1.4 litre engine being highly fuel efficient. What works in the Liva’s favour is also the Toyota brand, which buyers see as standing for reliability. Also read: Toyota Etios Liva road test

Tata Vista

What is interesting though is a suggestion that the Tata Vista be brought into the picture as a big and tough hatchback for bad roads. The Vista has only 165 mm of ground clearance (all the above cars have over 170 mm of ground clearance), but it also has a robust and stiff suspension that manages to handle bad road quite well. There are instances of the bumper touching the road on bad humps, but nothing that the car can’t handle says the community. The Vista is available in 12 variants now – six petrol and six diesel, with the diesel also including a 1.3 litre 90 bhp version now. The car is mechanically sound and spares are cheap. Also read: Tata launches 90PS diesel Vista Quadrajet