While the prices of compact and midsize cars have increased much more than ever before, there is a welcoming trend which supports the high entry-level pricing of the new models. Compared to before, the base-spec variants of cars are much better equipped with comfort, convenience and safety features, which make them a whole lot more desirable. It is due to this better packaging with features that despite having some really attractive features in higher-spec variants, even the base variants of cars are enjoying a high popularity.
Features like side and curtain airbags, touchscreen infotainment system and steering-mounted audio controls, which were considered pricey features earlier, are now present even in the entry-level base variants of cars. This move by carmakers has become a boon for those car buyers, who aspire to have a bigger car in terms of size and dimensions.
Not crazy about features? Consider base variants
These are the people who can compromise with lower features for performance, fuel efficiency and space, the key parameters of a car which remain the same in all the variants. The base variants are also beneficial for those car lovers who love customizing their vehicles with fancy add-ons without spending the premium for the higher variants.
Used to last-generation cars like the old Honda Civic or Renault Duster?
Features captivate many buyers. But for a lot of others, features are not a big deal at all as long as essential requirements are met. There are many who are used to last-generation performance sedans like the old Octavia, or the last-gen Honda Civic, or the original Fluidic Verna etc and look at cars as utilitarian machines which do a job well. Older buyers may fit well into this category. Also in many parts of India, buying a top-end variant of a car does not get you additional snob value because, well, many on-lookers do not even notice your car or its variant and trim! For those who own the cars mentioned above or similar cars, even the base variants of the cars given below might be a massive upgrade!
If the lower or base variants offer more than what you are used to, and more than what you want, well then why not! After all, many base variants offer as much or more features than the top-end variants of cars just a segment below!
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Following are some of the cars whose base variants have become popular and are well-accepted by car buyers in the country today:
The range of Skoda Slavia starts with the Active variant, which itself is well-equipped with features like daytime running LEDs, steering-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls with a knurled finish, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, rear AC vents and tilt-adjustable steering. This variant of Slavia is a great alternative for those who want a proper sedan at the price of a top-spec variant of a premium hatchback.
Just like the Active variant of the Skoda Slavia, the base-spec MX3 variant of the Mahindra XUV700 has also become a hit among car buyers. For the price of a mid-spec variant of a smaller premium compact SUV, the XUV700 MX3 variant offers the stance and space of a bigger midsize SUV. This variant packs in features like a flush-type door handle, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, remote keyless entry, steering-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls and rear AC vents.
Want to have an experience of a top-spec variant in the entry-level variant of a car? The base V variant of the fifth-generation Honda City fits the bill for this desire. The Honda City V packs in features like a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, automatic climate control, steering-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls, rear AC vents, push start-stop button, projector headlamps and alloy wheels, which make it one of the best base-spec variants of a car one can buy.
Another vehicle which has a heavily-loaded base variant is the Hyundai Alcazar. The base Prestige variant of the Hyundai Alcazar is loaded with features to the brim. On the outside, it gets all the highlights like triple-LED projector headlamps, LED fog lamps, diamond-cut alloy wheels and LED tail lamps. On the inside too, there is no lack of features, as this variant gets a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, automatic climate control, push start-stop button, multi-functional steering wheel, full-TFT instrument console and rear AC vents. It also gets premium features like a panoramic sunroof, air purifier with AQI display, drive and traction modes and wireless charger, thus making it a terrific variant to consider.
The base-spec Kia Carens might not be as well-equipped with comfort and convenience features as the other variants mentioned above. However, the base-spec Premium variant of the Kia Carens is worth going as it offers side and curtain airbags as standard, which none of the other cars below Rs 10 lakh gets in their base variants. This essential safety feature is usually available only in top-spec variants of compact and midsize mass-market cars in India.
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