Top enthusiast cars priced under 20 lakhs

Snapshot – Who are car enthusiasts?

Mahindra Gypsy

For the kind of ride quality the leaf sprung Maruti Gypsy brings to the table, buying one and taking the family for ice cream can become an ordeal if the roads you face everyday are less than perfect. Yet, the Gypsy is a car that gets the additional stares everywhere it goes. It isn’t butch looks alone that make the Gypsy an enthusiast favourite.

The vehicle’s mountain goat like prowess off the road is what the Gypsy is revered for. Though a petrol engined (1.3 liter, 80 Bhp and 110 Nm) car and a gas guzzler at that, the Gypsy attracts a dedicated bunch of off road enthusiasts who fully know what they’re getting into. The Gypsy starts at 5.79 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.

Mahindra Thar

The Mahindra Thar is a polarizing figure, if it can be called that. While some love the Thar, others detest it. Yet, a Mahindra Thar on the road is something a car enthusiast simply cannot ignore. The Thar does have its gremlins. It is bumpy, not very refined and comes with interiors that cars from the 1980s could put to shame.

Yet, the classic Jeep lines, tried and tested underpinnings from the likes of the Mahindra Scorpio and Bolero, and a powerful 105 Bhp, 2.5 liter CRDe turbo diesel engine gives the Thar an appeal that overrides all its negatives. The Mahindra Thar with the CRDe motor is priced at 7.4 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.

Fiat Linea T-Jet

The Mitsubishi Cedia sedan isn’t available anymore in India and the car that takes over the mantle of a true drivers car is the Fiat Linea T-Jet. The Linea T-Jet is powered by a 1.4 liter turbo petrol motor that outputs 112 Bhp and 207 Nm. A 5 speed manual gearbox is standard.

The car starts at 7.44 lakh rupees and at this price is quite well speced out with a ABS and four disc brakes as standard features even on the base variant. The T-Jet’s vault like built quality and superb ride and handling make it an enthusiast favourite.

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI

The Volkswagen Polo GT TSI is one of the most powerful petrol hatchbacks sold in India. At a price of 8 lakh rupees, the Polo GT TSI offers quite a bit of kit. The engine is a 1.2 liter TSI turbo petrol unit good for 103 Bhp and 175 Nm. The gearbox is a tech laden 7 speed dual clutch automatic unit. Twin airbags, ABS+EBD and ESP come standard on this car. Good build quality and safety levels make it one of the more well rounded hatchbacks sold in India.

Volkswagen Polo GT TDI

250 Nm on a hatchback may be warm by international standards. In India, a county starved for affordable performance, 250 Nm falls right into the hot hatchback territory. The Polo 1.6 TDI is the most powerful hatchback sold in the country, this side of 20 lakh rupees. The car features a 1.6 liter TDI turbo diesel engine borrowed from the Vento sedan. This motor outputs 103 Bhp and 250 Nm. A five speed manual gearbox is standard. The Polo GT TDI is priced at 8.11 lakh rupees.

Volkswagen Vento TSI

The Vento TSI is a turbo petrol sedan that shares its engine and transmission with the Polo GT TSI. The car is one of the few turbo petrol sedans sold in the C-Segment space in India. Perky performance from the 1.2 liter TSI petrol engine (103 Bhp-175 Nm) and a willing ally in the quick shifting 7 speed dual clutch automatic gearbox make the Vento TSI a good bet for the enthusiast who wants the performance of a turbo petrol car with the convenience of a boot attached. In other words, the Vento TSI is a Polo GT TSI with a bigger and more practical boot.

Chevrolet Cruze

The Cruze is all about straight line performance. While corners aren’t exactly the Cruze’s strong suit, the car’s 2 liter Z-Series turbo diesel engine with 164 Bhp-380 Nm means that the Cruze is a scorcher when the going is straight. The Cruze is the most powerful turbo diesel car in the D-Segment and starts at 13.7 lakh rupees for the six speed manual gearbox equipped LT version while the 6 speed automatic variants are priced much higher.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TSI 

The Skoda Octavia TSI is the most powerful D-Segment sedan in the petrol category and is quite a comfortable one at that. Featuring independent suspension at the front and the rear, the Octavia is also a sure footed handler. The first MQB platform based car in India, the Octavia 1.8 TSI gets a 1.8 liter turbo petrol motor that outputs 177 Bhp of peak power and 250 Nm of peak torque. Transmission is by means of a 7 speed dual clutch DSG automatic gearbox. The car is priced at 18.25 lakh rupees.