The Indian car market is inclined towards fuel efficiency and value-for-money. Enthusiasts have quite a limited choice in the budget segments. Here are 10 such-enthusiast oriented hatchbacks and sedans. These cars offer good performance as well as sharp handling.
Maruti Baleno RS
The Maruti Baleno RS is the first turbocharged petrol car launched by Maruti. Maruti has tweaked the chassis and the suspension of the Baleno RS to add better handling characteristics to the vehicle.
The Baleno RS is powered by a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that churns out a maximum of 101 Bhp and 150 Nm. Maruti has also added a new body kit to make it look more aggressive.
Fiat Abarth Punto
This is the most affordable Abarth badged vehicle that you can buy in India. The Abarth Punto was one of the first true hot hatches in the Indian market. The car uses a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces a maximum of 143 Bhp – 215 Nm. The Abarth Punto is the fastest accelerating vehicle in the sub-10 lakh rupees segment with 0-100 km/h time of 9.54 seconds.
Fiat vehicles are always known for their driving capabilities. The Abarth Punto gets stiffer suspension and gets disc brakes on all the four wheels. The car also gets lowered to minimize the body roll.
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI
Volkswagen Polo is quite a popular car among the enthusiasts. Volkswagen launched the more enthusiast biased GT TSI with a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The engine produces a maximum of 103 Bhp – 175 Nm. The power is delivered to the front wheels through the 7-speed DSG dual clutch transmission.
Ford Figo S
Ford Figo has been the top choice of many enthusiasts because of its sharp handling. Ford launched the Figo S earlier this year to cater to the enthusiast segment. The Figo S gets tweaked suspension set-up to give it a sharper handling and stiffer ride. The car also gets visual upgrades like mesh grille, smoked out headlamp cluster, new blacked out mirrors and 15-inch black rims. The engines remain same. Figo S is powered by 1.2-litre 87 Bhp -113 Nm petrol engine and 1.5-litre 99 Bhp – 215 Nm diesel engine.
Skoda Octavia vRS
Skoda’s vRS badge made a comeback to India with the new generation Octavia. The car is locally assembled and is imported as CKD (Completely Knocked Down) unit. The Octavia vRS has become quite popular in the market and Skoda has already sold out the first batch of the vehicles. The performance sedan is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 230 Bhp – 350 Nm. The engine is mated to a 6-speed dual clutch transmission that powers the front wheels.
Fiat Linea 125S
The Fiat Linea 125S is the most powerful car in the segment. It utilises the same 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that powers the Abarth Punto but it produces 123 Bhp – 208 Nm in the Linea. However, the handling characteristics of the vehicle make it a top choice for enthusiasts who are looking to buy a vehicle in this segment.
Skoda Rapid diesel
The Skoda Rapid is not very popular in the market but it turns out to be one of the top choices for the people who love to drive. The Rapid diesel is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder, turbocharged engine that produces a maximum power of 108 Bhp – 250 Nm. The car is available with both 5-speed manual and 7-speed DSG transmission.
Ford Figo Aspire S
The sedan version of the Figo is also an enthusiast’s delight to drive. The car gets the same re-tuned suspension set-up with 15-inch wheels that offer a firmer ride for better handling. The car is powered by the same 1.5-litre diesel engine producing 99 Bhp – 215 Nm and 1.2-litre petrol engine producing 87 Bhp – 113 Nm. The Figo Aspire S is only available with 5-speed manual transmission.
Volkswagen Ameo diesel
Volkswagen entered the sub 4-metre sedan segment with the Ameo. The car is a sedan version of the Polo and uses the same PQ25 platform. The Ameo diesel uses a 1.5-litre engine that churns out a maximum power of 108 Bhp and 250 Nm of torque. Volkswagen offers a 5-speed manual but the real fun to drive variant is the one that is powered by the 7-speed DSG dual clutch transmission.
Volkswagen Polo GT TDI
Volkswagen launched the diesel version of the Polo GT following the success of the GT TSI in India. The GT TDI is powered by a 1.5-litre diesel engine that produces a maximum of 108 Bhp – 250 Nm. The GT TDI gets a 5-speed manual transmission, which makes it an enthusiast’s delight.