Bored of reading the positives and negatives of each and every car on sale at the moment? If yes, here’s a quick way to know what twenty popular, affordable cars are good at — and also, what they say about their owners.
Starting with the least expensive:
Alto K10 – Fun loving but frugal
The more powerful cousin of the bestselling Maruti Alto comes with more power under the bonnet, more space inside, and slightly more premium (and better-looking) exterior. It’s peppy enough to be driving in and around town all day long, but is also frugal enough to ensure that don’t mess with the finance ministry with overly long fuel bills. If you own one, you’re likely to be fun-loving but not exactly a spendthrift.
Honda Brio – Young at heart
We’ve said it in the past and we’re saying it again. The Honda Brio might be the least expensive, smallest Honda car in the country, but it’s also huge fun. The 1.2-liter petrol engine loves to be revved, the light steering loves quick turns, and the overall design is, despite it being almost four years old now, one of the youngest, less conventional ones around.
Maruti Wagon-R – Mature and committed
The Maruti Wagon-R is one of the longest running cars on sale, and with more or less the same shape as before, one thing’s clear: there’s something terribly right with it that MSIL didn’t feel the need to change. And that is the vehicle’s tall-boy design, which gives it a lot of space inside. Easy to drive, park, and travel in, the Wagon-R is suited well for someone who’s committed to his car (long ownership) and isn’t fickle-minded at all.
VW Polo – Simple but not boring
With the kind of build quality that VW offers, the Polo is often referred to as ‘built like a tank’. The almost staid styling is almost evergreen — despite its age the Polo still looks good. And as for the person behind the wheel, he/she appears to have some nice taste in cars. The simplicity (or lack of bling, if you will) is synonymous with Polo’s styling but the way it drives makes up for that.
Honda Jazz – Urban and smart
The Jazz when first introduced to the Indian market was a hard sell. It had almost all the positives that the current one has, but was priced very close to the Honda City. But now the market has evolved, and for the urban buyer it’s easy to choose the Jazz hatchback because: 1). It’s almost as premium and spacious as the City, 2). comes with both petrol and diesel engine options, and 3). is easy to park and live with. Smart choice, indeed.
Toyota Etios – Sensible
You want to invest in a sedan but don’t want to empty your bank on an upper C-segment vehicle, then what do you do? The compact sedans are smaller on the inside, so they are ruled out if you’re looking for space. But amidst the two extremes is the Toyota Etios — proper midsize sedan with enough space for luggage in the boot and three passengers at the rear. It’s not bad to drive, either, hence offering the best of (more than) two worlds.
Hyundai Elite i20 – Posh
Talking of premium hatchbacks, there are not many options that come close to the Hyundai Elite i20 in terms of styling and premium feel. It looks beautiful — even by European standards — and is one of the more tasteful choices in the market. As an owner, your liking for posh things is a clear indication!
Mahindra Bolero – Heavy duty
More popular in tier II/III cities and rural areas, the Bolero is for the rugged. It’s as close to soft-roaders as Delhi’s heat is to Siberian Huskies. The styling, an almost agricultural drive, and the lack of creature comforts mean this one’s for the rugged hulk in you. It’s also very capable to travel on bad roads, and can lug around some weight, too. Much like a mountain goat…
Ford EcoSport – Multifaceted
The Ford EcoSport was one of the first compact SUVs to have impacted sales of hatchbacks and similarly priced products from other segments. But it’s not just the body-style that the EcoSport cashes on, it has the ability to please the driver with a good ride and handling balance, to traverse pothole-laden streets, and to look fresh and appealing even after years of successful presence.
Mahindra Thar – Outdoor type
Popular among the show-boaters as well as serious off-road enthusiasts, the Thar is one of the best off-roaders you can buy in India. It’s not too bad on the road, which makes it a do it all machine for the outdoor type. Time to pick your rucksack up and head for an unknown trail in this one!