The demand vs supply game doesn’t look to end as with huge demands some of the popular vehicles seem to garner long waiting periods. We look at such cars and their respective alternatives, for those who don’t like waiting for long. And why should they, it’s not the ‘80s!
Starting with the smallest
Waiting period: 3-4 months; Alternative: Datsun redi-GO
It might have shown the hatchback buyer a new direction with crossover looks, better equipped interior, and all of it at a pocket-friendly price. The demand is good enough to give the segment leader (Maruti Alto) sleepless nights, and that’s what’s happening. But on the flip side, Renault’s production is yet to catch up with the demand, hence there’s a waiting period of about four months.
Based on the same platform but without the crossover looks, the Datsun is slightly less expensive (starts at Rs 2.39 lakh), uses the same engine, and is yet to get a long waiting period. The conventional styling isn’t a bad thing per se, considering that it will still turn heads, and the space inside is comparable, too.
Waiting period: 2-3 months; Alternative: Tiago diesel or Celerio
The recently launched, replacement to the Indica, Tata Tiago might have not set the sales charts burning, but with more demand for petrol engined variant, is witnessing a waiting period of about 2-3 months. Offering better value than the competition, the Tiago looks decent, offers good space inside, and has what it takes to make Tata a strong player in the market.
To beat the waiting period, you can either explore the diesel engined Tiago. It comes with a 1.05-liter engine, and as mentioned, is better specified than the competition. You can also look at the Celerio, which is an okay product, comes with either a 1-liter petrol or an 800cc diesel, and does most things a small car in the segment is supposed to do.
Waiting period: 5-6 months; Alternative: Honda Jazz
Sitting above the Maruti Swift, the Baleno has proven to be very successful for Maruti. It offers more space inside, has a more premium cabin, and is surprisingly lighter, too. That means it still feels quick even with the same engines as on the Swift. It also gets ABS and airbags standard on all variants. The high demand has created a long waiting period for the Baleno.
There aren’t many alternatives in the premium hatchback space, and the Jazz fits the bill perfectly. It’s available in both petrol and diesel versions, has the last word in space, and also has Honda’s trademark reliability thrown in for free. While the car is a good package, ensure that you get one of the trims with ABS and airbags.
Maruti Vitara Brezza
Waiting period: 4-5 months; Alternatives: Ford EcoSport
Maruti Suzuki’s first entrant in the segment has, unsurprisingly, turned out be a massive success. Although only available in a diesel version, the Vitara Brezza turns out to be a worthy alternative to regular hatchbacks. It’s as easy to drive but offers a tad more space and ability to travel on bad roads. But success has its downsides, and the Vitara Brezza currently ‘enjoys’ a waiting period of up to five months (and up to nine months on the top-spec, as reported).
The Ford EcoSport kickstarted the compact SUV segment, and while it might have taken a backseat with the new Maruti around, we would still recommend it. Not only does it feel more solid, it drives better, and has more presence, too. You can have one in a wide variety of engines, and the prices are now very competitive.
Waiting period: 2-3 months; Alternative: Renault Duster, Renault Lodgy, or Honda Mobilio
The Honda BR-V might share its underpinnings with the City and the Amaze (engines with the former, platform with the latter) but offers more space than the two, has a slightly more SUV-like appearance, and is off to a good start in the market. But what slightly hampers the deal is the up to three month long waiting period.
In comparison, the Hyundai Creta, whose waiting period is said to have reduced to about a month makes for a great alternative. it’s also offered with a similarly wide engine and gearbox range, has a tad more rugged appearance, but loses out on the third row seating.
Since the BR-V isn’t an SUV per se, you can also look at vehicles like the Renault Lodgy (in the sporty looking Stepway guise) if you want something that can accommodate seven adults, or even Honda’s very own Mobilio. Both of the vehicles are unlikely to have a waiting period.
Waiting period: diesel delivery not begun; Alternatives: Toyota Camry Hybrid
The new Skoda Superb is lighter and larger than before, looks sharper, and will have no issues in keeping up with cars from a segment above in terms of interior comfort and highway cruising. The strong engine line-up includes both petrol and diesel units, but with diesel deliveries reported to start in about three months, you’ll still need to wait.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid can be a worthy alternative. It looks nothing short of an executive sedan, has enough space inside, and if you’re going to be driven around, it’s one of the best options. With a hybrid drivetrain, the Camry is also greener, hence exempt from rules like odd-even. And very economical to run, too — not as much as a diesel yet but very close.
Toyota Innova Crysta
Waiting period: 4 months; Alternatives: Mahindra XUV500
Replacing the original Innova, the Innova Crysta is clearly off to a good start. And with more powerful engines, hugely improved cabin, and a longer features list, there’s a lot going for the vehicle. But all that has accounted for almost a four month long waiting period.
The ideal rival to the Innova would have been the Tata Hexa, but sadly it’s not yet available. Alternatively you can look at the XUV500. Based on a monocoque, the XUV can seat seven, has better dynamics than its brethren, and can even be specified with an AWD system. Also, if the live in the national capital region, with the 1.99-liter version out, the XUV can be bought and registered in Delhi.
Waiting period: 3 months; Alternatives: Toyota Fortuner
The Endeavour has been giving a tough fight to the Toyota Fortuner, and with others (including the Fortuner) still waiting for replacements, it’s clearly the best choice out there. And the market has responded well to the vehicle, so a reported 3 month long waiting period on the 3.2-liter engined version can’t be ruled out.
Leading the segment prior to the launch of the ‘Endy’, the Toyota Fortuner is a commendable product. A new one is expected but with the 2-liter diesel ban in place, it remains to be seen when (and if) Toyota brings it. If you don’t want to wait, then the current Toyota Fortuner is a worthy alternative. Also, unless you’re planning to go off road, check out the 2.2-liter engined version of the Endeavour. It does everything well, but doesn’t have the added poke of the 3.2.