Snapshot – Admit it, a spacious car feels like more bang for the buck, or rather “IS” more bang for your buck. And owning more real estate is almost every Indian’s dream. A spacious car is usually more comfortable, at least while driven sedately, both on city streets and on the highways. Today, we profile 10 of the most spacious compact cars in the country, all in the sub-4 meter space.
Packaging has always been one of Tata Motors’ biggest strengths in the passenger cars business, and the Nano is the example of great things coming in small packages. A little over 3 meters in length, the Nano is the smallest car in the compact car space, but this is only on the outside.
On the inside, the Nano makes much higher priced competitors, namely the Maruti Alto and the Hyundai Eon, seem cramped. The tall-boy design of the car in an egg shaped passenger shell ensure airy and comfortable interiors even for six footers and this is saying something. The car is now available with a facelift, and is called the GenX Nano.
The Datsun Go is a cut price Nissan Micra, a car that belongs to a couple of segments higher than say the Maruti Alto and the Hyundai Eon. In terms of pricing though, the hatchback guns for the Altos and Eons of the world. Big on space on the inside, the Go feels like a distinctively larger car, playing the value card well.
However, even this factor hasn’t convinced enough buyers to go for the Go. Among other things, the Go also features a larger, more powerful 1.2 liter-3 cylinder petrol motor, and a ride and handling package that makes it feel more mature than its competition.
The Go+ is a wagon version of the Go, and sits in a brand new category. The Go+ has no direct competition as such and offers seven seats, of which the last row is barely usuable. However, if buyers see this sub-4 meter offering as a five seater with a cavernous boot, the Go+ does make a good case for itself in terms of the space and practicality it brings to the table.
The car shares its 1.2 liter petrol motor with the Go, and feels quite good to drive spiritedly. The car has been doing better than the Go as far as its performance at the hustings go. The added space seems to be resonating with buyers.
Nissan Micra Active
Nissan has repositioned the pre-facelift version of the Micra under the Active brand. The Micra Active makes for compelling case against the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Celerio and the Honda Brio as far as interior room is concerned.
Like the Datsun Go and Go+, the Micra Activa uses a 1.2 liter-3 cylinder petrol engine with 67 Bhp-104 Nm on tap. The car is easy to drive with good visibility from the driver’s seat, and this is a good reason for beginners to opt for it. Nissan has been spotted testing the Micra Active with a diesel motor too. If this variant does make it to the car, the hatchback will have a solid ace up its sleeve.
Chevrolet Sail U-VA
A car that’s looks squarish from the outside doesn’t appeal to those who want flash, or even a bit of charisma in their cars. However, such cars have cavernous interiors, and this appeals to buyers who want plenty of space and practicality. The Sail U-VA clearly belongs to the latter school of thought.
While its exteriors may be uninspiring, or even bland, the interiors of the car pack in plenty of space. For those who want an affordable,spacious B+ segment hatchback that is available with petrol and turbo diesel options, the Sail U-VA is a good option. General Motors even offers generous discounts and low cost maintenance packages.
Toyota Etios Liva
A car squarely developed to appeal to buying tastes for emerging markets, the Toyota Etios Liva is squarish. These squarish proportions make the car looks boxy on the outside, and even a botox job from Toyota hasn’t done much to make the car appeal to style seekers. It’s a different matter as far as space seekers are concerned though.
The Etios Liva is a testimony to Toyota’s excellent space management. Everything about the car seems to have been designed to maximize space on the inside, to make its occupants as comfortable as possible. The car’s success in the cab market is just one pointer to this.
Hyundai i20 Elite
The Hyundai i20 Elite has the longest wheelbase in its class. This premium B+ segment hatchback has put that long wheelbase to good use, both in terms of the space offered for the passengers as well as luggage. The car also has a capacious boot. The interiors are also appointed plush, making for a premium experience as far as cabin feel goes.
The car has made a giant leap in terms of cabin room from its predecessor. All these factors are translating into big sales for the i20 Elite, which is one of the best sellers in its segment, next only to the Maruti Suzuki Swift. The car is sold with petrol and turbo diesel engine options.
Among sub-4 meter compact sedans, it’s a close call between the Tata Zest and the Honda Amaze. The latter inches ahead because of minimal intrusion from the transmission tunnel, which makes seating a third adult on the rear seat a comfortable affair.
Honda’s space management really comes to the fore on the Amaze, which offers decent boot capacity too. Thin front seats that also feature scooped out backs work well to increase knee room for the back seaters. The car is sold with petrol and turbo diesel engine options.
The Quanto is a Xylo derivative, and like the Xylo, is known for its capacious innards. Marketed as a seven seater, the Quanto is best used as a spacious five seat compact SUV that can take some beating courtesy its rugged, ladder frame equipped underpinnings.
Mahindra has even equipped this SUV with flexible rear seats that make for versatile interiors. The Quanto will soon receive a facelift, with an AMT option, and a revised ride and handling package.
Mahindra Verito Vibe
The Mahindra Verito Vibe is reshaped Dacia Logan. The re-shaping hasn’t gone too well with buyers, and the car remains at the bottom of the pile so far as sales are concerned. However, the Vibe has good vibes when it comes to space on the inside.
With the Logan’s wide body design retained, the Vibe is one of the most comfortable cars in the sub-7 lakh rupee space that offers seating for three adults abreast. The car’s 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel motor (65 Bhp-160 Nm) is a very reponsive and fuel efficient unit that also lasts long.