The Indian car market witnesses over a dozen odd car launches, both new and variant additions, every year. However, these are spread across various price segments. But if you are in the market looking for a relatively new, or a fresh car that can be purchased for less than Rs 5 lakh, what are the best options? We at Cartoq narrowed down to five different car models that either got a major revamp, or an addition of a new variant this year in 2018. Two among these, the Datsun Go / Go Plus and the Santro are all-new or major product revamps.
Do note that we have set an upper limit of Rs 5 lakh in terms of on-road price and not ex-showroom price because that is what a customer like you needs to pay to drive the car out of a showroom. Note that we have sorted the list as per launch date.
1) New Cars in India Below 5 lakhs: 2018 Renault KWID
Launch Date: 1st August 2018
Price: Rs 3.02 onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: 50% Off on 1st Year Insurance + Rs 15000 Exchange Bonus + 4 Year Warranty on Select Model (November)
Our favourite entry level hatchback got a revamp for 2018 (but in August!) in the form of added features and minor design tweaks. Talking of which, the 2018 edition gets dual-tone bumpers, chrome addition for the grille and even C-shaped lighting signature for the headlights. Renault is also offering body coloured bumpers, full wheel covers and front fog lamps for the mid and top-end variants. The Kwid Climber version is now being offered with body cladding with Climber logos, orange ORVMs, rugged fog lamp housings, orange highlights on the front bumper and roof rails.
The 2018 Renault KWID gets goodies like a rear arm rest (wow for a small car), a reverse parking camera and a 12V power socket for rear passengers as well. All versions also get rear seat belts with Emergency Locking Retractors (ELR) and this is a good safety addition. The automatic or the AMT versions of the KWID finally get the crawl or the creep function as well as a hill assist aid. Do note that the popular RXL model gets front power windows and remote central locking. Other features include power steering, air-conditioning and Bluetooth.
There are no changes to the engines which means you can pick from the smaller 799 cc that puts out 54 BHP / 72 Nm or the larger 999 cc motor with 67 BHP / 91 Nm. While a 5-speed manual transmission is offered with both units, a 5-speed AMT is optional on the latter. With a 4 year / 1 lakh km warranty in place, the KWID remains the best small hatchback around.
- Multiple engine and transmission options
- Baby SUV looks go down well with buyers
- Segment leading ride quality
- Segment first features (rear arm-rest, touch-screen etc)
- Small tank: only 28 litres
- Huge turning radius of 5m!
- No visual difference between base and top-end
- Lowering market demand = poor re-sale
Milestone: 10719 units in August 2016
Latest Update: 2018 edition with added features
2) New Cars in India Below 5 lakhs : Datsun redi-GO limited edition
Launch Date: 4th September 2018
Price: Rs 3.97 lakh onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Discounts: 1st Year Insurance + 2 Gram Gold Coin + Rs 12K Exchange Benefits + 3 Year Road Side Assistance (November)
Datsun’s largest selling car in India got a Limited Edition earlier this year. It does manage to stand out in terms of appearance – the roof wrap, body graphics with front and rear bumper under-covers, a black grille with red inserts and even tail gate graphics. Things don’t stop here as the Limited Edition gets red and black leather upholstery inside the cabin along with red trim around the air-conditioning vents, chrome gear bezel, chrome interior door handles and carpet mats. In terms of features, this edition also comes equipped with rear parking sensors for safety. Not many know that the redi-GO is also the most affordable automatic hatchback in India but sadly, the limited edition is only being offered with the manual 800cc / manual 1000cc set-ups.
The redi-GO looks pretty nice for a small car and with generous dimensions, manages to stand out in the crowd of hatchbacks on the road. It even gets slim DRLs or day time running lights up front! While the manual version comes with both 800cc and 1000cc engines, the AMT gets the latter. Its good for 68 PS of power and 91 Nm of torque and has a rated fuel economy of 22.5 kmpl. We like the way this AMT set-up works and this combined with a light steering and high seating makes this a very sorted urban car. It gets a creep function which allows the car to move ahead by releasing the brake – very useful for slow moving traffic. As expected, you can also take over the automated shifts by shifting the lever to the left while in D mode.
On the inside, the redi-GO gets an all black color theme that is broken well by silver inserts at places. Practical points include open space above the glove box, under the air-con and multiple cup holders. That said, all four doors do not offer any storage space at all. However Datsun claims the redi-GO has the roomiest interiors for the segment. Overall, if you want a funky looking small car at the lowest price, it has to be the redi-GO!
- Most affordable automatic
- Modern interiors
- Easy urban car (tall seating, good visibility, light steering)
- Peppy and fuel efficient
- High speed manners
- Interior fit and finish
- Limited network, poor resale value
- Cost cutting evident (single front wiper, non retractable belts)
Latest update: Limited edition model launched in Sep 2018
3) New Cars in India Below 5 lakhs : WagonR limited edition
Launch Date: 5th October 2018
Price: Rs 4.8 lakh onwards (on-road before discounts)
Discounts: Upto Rs 40,000 cash and upto Rs 35,000 exchange bonus (November)
One of the oldest brand names on sale in the segment is still enjoying massive popularity. The tall boy WagonR is the second largest selling car under Rs 5 lakh in India and though the all-new model is due for a launch next year, the current one continues to sell well, thanks to massive discounts and variants like this one, the limited edition. Customers can pick this on both the L or the V variants and the combined value of features being offered is lower than what the customer would have to pay for otherwise. Exterior additions include body graphics and a rear spoiler. On the inside, the limited edition WagonR gets a styling kit with faux wooden inserts, rear parking sensor display, seat covers with branded cushions, a Bluetooth enabled audio system (already there in V), WagonR branded floor mats and a new steering cover.
In terms of pricing, the kits can be bought for Rs 15,490 – Rs 25,490 depending on the variant you pick in the first place. Mechanically and design wise, no changes at all. Talking of which, the design has aged well and frankly, this is not a good looking hatchback. The top end model (earlier known as StingRay) does look far better with a bolder stance, projector lamps, gunmetal grey alloy wheels and a little body kit.
The car surely is practical and this is evident the moment you step inside the car. Not only is Ingress and egress good, you get a feeling of space. Dashboard design is not beginning to feel a bit old but the new limited edition brings in a fresh air. Comfort is good if not excellent though the car lacks features like a digital display for speedometer console, touchscreen interface or rear air-con vents. The WagonR gets a 1.0-litre petrol unit with both MT and AMT options along with a factory fitted CNG kit – this makes it very popular in the commercial segment. The engine itself is peppy, efficient and reliable.
- Value for money
- Factory fitted CNG, AMT option
- Fuss free and easy to drive
- Proven product, reliable in the long run
- All-new model is due early next year
- Lacks features that rivals offer
- Design is certainly not attractive anymore
- Interiors now feel dated for the price
Latest update: Limited edition launched in October 2018
4) New Cars in India Below 5 lakh: Datsun Go / Go Plus
Launch date: 10th October
Price: Rs 3.68 lakh onwards (on-road, without discounts)
Current Offers: None
Datsun recently rolled out a heavily revised version of the Go hatchback with improvements done across all parameters. The car indeed has improved massively and retails for less as compared to the outgoing model. This includes dual airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors being standard across all versions – a segment first. The Datsun Go looks much better on the outside with revisions done to both bumpers, new DRLs and inclusion of alloy wheels. And there are even more changes on the inside – the entire cabin is redesigned and looks nice for a Rs 4 lakh car and the hand brake lever is back to the normal position. Higher trims also get a segment leading touch screen interface that sounds good and works well to inputs. Space up front is nice though at the back, cars like the Santro fare better. The Go Plus also offers a unique 3rd row of seats that can take in kids with ease.
We like the way the Go drives and the reason for this is the 1198cc engine : this is bigger than all other rivals in the price band and similar in capacity to the Tata Tiago. Sadly, no optional AMT is offered and the engine is about 15-20% less efficient than other cars.
The Go comes with a 5 year warranty set-up and 2 years of ’Datsun Care‘ comprehensive all-inclusive car service package that offers peace of mind to customers.
- Looks great for a small car
- Feature on offer : dual airbags, ABS standard
- Powerful engine
- Revised cabin looks upmarket
- High speed manners
- Engine gets rough / vibey at higher revs
- Limited network, brand appeal
- Not as efficient as rivals, no auto option
July 2018: 300
August 2018: 490
September 2018: 597
Latest update: Launch of new Go model in September 2018
5) New Cars In India Below 5 lakh: Hyundai Santro
Price: Rs 4.44 lakh onwards onwards (on-road, before discounts)
Current Offers: None
And finally the all new Santro. This brand name has made a come back after four years and this time around, its an all-new product and has almost no resemblance with the model that was discontinued in 2014. Launched from Rs 3.8 lakh onwards, Hyundai aims to set their foot strongly in the small car market and also enjoy a first mover advantage in front of the upcoming all-new WagonR. The new Santro is longer and wider than before and has a new design language that would appeal to a wider customer base. It isn’t as tall as before though. It gets an entirely new cabin that certainly doesnt belong to a small car. It not only offers segment best quality, but a practical no-nonsense cabin with features like a IGNIS lookalike speedometer console, large touch screen interface, retro-modern side air-con vents, rear vents et al.
Space is a major highlight here and Hyundai clearly wants to keep their target audience’s families happy. The old 1.1-litre petrol motor makes a comeback but has been revised heavily for increased performance and far lower emission levels : the Santro also offers the most affordable four-cylinder engine in India. Available in five versions, Hyundai is also offering their first ever AMT gearbox here on two mid level versions fo Sportz and Magna. There is no doubt that till the new WagonR arrives, this is the car to buy under Rs 5 lakh.
- Best in class cabin design and quality
- Superior 4-cylinder is very smooth
- Good mix of ride and handling
- Segment leading features
- Not as efficient as rivals
- Conservative styling not to everyone’s liking
- Expensive higher spec models
- Missing features (alloy wheels, DRLs, steering adjust, driver seat height adjust etc)