6 most affordable cars in India

The affordable compact four wheeler segment has suddenly caught everyone’s attention with two new launches in close succession – Tata Motor’s much talked about Tiago (earlier christened as Zica) and Datsun’s second attempt with the Redi Go. Moto Adda takes a quick look at the 6 most affordable hatches in India that aimed at first time car buyers or those looking for a second car.

Tata Nano

Nano GenX_1

First on the list is our favourite, the compact yet spacious Tata Nano. We loved the shape of this car right from the start and Tata Motors have bettered their product with the recently launched Nano Gen X which now comes with Easy Shift (AMT) gearbox. Happy to note that the folks at Tata Motors have closely looked at customer feedback and incorporated a host of changes while adding some new features into this compact car. Some of these features include the Auto shift gearbox with a Sports mode (WOW!!), rear trunk with about 100 liters of storage space and plush new interiors. This truly makes for an ideal city car and is in a league of its own.

Engine Capacity: 660 cc – 38 bhp

Price: Starting at under 2 lakhs for the base model and Rs 2.7 lakhs for the Easy Shift automatic variant.

 

Datsun Redi-Go

Datsun Redi-Go_1

Unveiled on the 14th of April, Redi-Go is Datsun’s third offering in the Indian market after Datsun Go and Go+. While the first two have not lived up to the company’s expectations, Redi-Go promises to rake in the numbers thanks to its refined looks and lean price tag. Yes, the Redi-Go is expected to sell for about Rs 2.5 lakhs with bookings having already started from 1st May and deliveries expected from June’16. Don’t expect fancy features such as touch screen entertainment or ABS, but you will get your money’s worth. We must appreciate the company’s efforts to make this car stand out in the looks department (esp at the back) while keeping the ground clearance at 185mm. The Redi-Go will directly compete with Maruti’s Alto 800 / K10, Hyundai Eon, Tata Tiago and Renault Kwid.

Engine Capacity: 800 cc mated to 5 speed gearbox

Price: Expected to fall under 2.5 lakhs for the base model

 

Tata Tiago

Tata Tiago

This is yet another surprise package from the Tata stable with fresh styling and a refined three pot petrol and diesel engine developed in-house. Tata Motors have taken on the challenge of giving us another success story (after Indica) in the form of Tiago with a very modest price tag while offering rich features within the cabin. If not for the Tata badge, you would never have guessed this to be a Tata product. The Tiago also proved its durability during the recently concluded 50,000 km non-stop run at top speeds breaking multiple records under the #GearedForGreat challenge (Click here to read our story). The car scores high on looks, features, refined interiors and claimed fuel efficiency of about 25 km/l. What more can you expect from an entry level car. To market their new line of products, they have signed up with Lionel Messi for many crores.

Engine Capacity: 1.2 L Revotron Petrol and 1.05 L Revotorq Diesel

Price: Starting at 3.20 lakhs for the base model and about 4.9 lakhs for the top end variant

 

Renault Kwid

Renault Kwid White

After its success with the Duster, Renault India has not been fortunate with any other successful product so far. Renault Pulse, Scala Sedan and Lodgy have not been able to cut ice with India car lovers resulting in average sales. However, their latest offering the Kwid with its SUV inspired design has caught our attention thanks to its looks, optional features and low price tag. The final verdict will come from the people soon enough. Regardless, we are happy to look beyond the Maruti stable for pocket friendly cars.

Engine Capacity: 800 cc petrol offering 54 PS of power with a fuel efficiency of 25 km/l

Price: Starting at 2.65 lakhs

 

Hyundai Eon

Hyundai Eon Blue

Hyundai has been a tough competitor to the Maruti since it entered the market with the Hyundai Santro in 1998 and has since slowly eaten away their market share making it the second largest automobile manufacturer in the country. I have personal been a big fan of the Santro and still continue to own a 1.1 ltr 2002 ZipPlus model. While the Santro went out of production last year, they brought in the Eon well before (2011) to fill the gap in their portfolio. Designed under the new fluidic philosophy, the Eon is quite good looking both inside out. While the market didn’t warm up to this car initially, they company has managed to rake in the numbers in the last couple of years. Guess it’s time for a refresh with new entrants emerging every other month.

Engine Capacity: 800 cc petrol motor generating 56 PS of power and the recently added 1000cc motor generates 69 PS

Price: Between 3.25 lakhs to 4.4 lakhs

 

Maruti Alto 800

Maruti Alto 800

Maruti has been the country’s darling since the 80’s. They have produced some brilliant products in association with Suzuki of Japan like the 800cc Van (still in production), 800 car, Esteem, Baleno and more recently the Swift, S-Cross, Baleno hatchback and Brezza. Known for their price points and low annual maintenance they have become a dominant player in the country. Their biggest success story after the 800 was the Alto 800 which was powerful yet frugal and in a better shell. People lapped up this product and still continue to do so. Today, shoppers have a 1000 cc engine option as well. However, with stiff competition, Maruti better pull out a surprise (esp in the design dept) if they plan to dominate the entry segment.

Engine Capcity: 800

Price: Base variant starts at 2.5 lakhs and the K10 variant can go up to 4.35 lakhs

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Tata Motors creates history with 360 records

Tata Bolt and its team posing after the record breaking attempt

Tata Bolt and the entre team posing after the record breaking attempt

Last week, Tata Motors set 360 records of various sorts at a closed 4.2 km long NCAT high speed test track in Ahmednagar. The only Indian car brand to do so in a short span of 18 days. One might wonder what drove them to achieve such a feat. Well, we have a couple of theories for you;

  1. Since Tata motors entered the passenger car segment, they have kinda struggled to get a strong foot hold in the market. Their launch of Manza was a step towards changing the customer mindset and offer premium / refined products at great value. However, their latest set of products, the Zest sedan, Bolt hatchback and the newly launched Tiago are much more refined and are helping the brand change its legacy as a mass carrier.
  2. Tata Motors have essentially been stuck in the value segment and a few of their product positioning strategies have backfired (Ex: Nano, a brilliant product but was poorly positioned as the cheapest car or most of the company’s adds position their brands as VFM)

Now, with the JLR acquisition fully integrated into the Tata fold, the Indian conglomerate is keen to bring some of Jaguar Land Rover’s best practices and design aesthetics to its Indian product portfolio. The Tiago and the soon to be launched Hexa have greatly benefited from the new design language. The company is also making a conscious effort to correct its shortcomings and bring out world class products that are completely Made in India.

All four Tata cars on the 4.2 km oval track

All four Tata cars on the 4.2 km oval track

This marathon event with four stock production cars running constantly for 18 days in a #GearedForGreat Challenge achieved multiple record-breaking distances culminating at 50,000 km each with an average speed of around 120 kmph. A team of 60 drivers took turns to keep the cars running with regular stopovers for quick service, oil and tyre changes.press-01apr16-05-highres

All four cars cars started their endurance run on the 14th of March breaking all existing records for 24 hours with the Tata Bolt storming through to a new Indian mark of 3161 km at an average speed of 131.7km/h. From here on it was all about setting new benchmarks on the tough 4.2 km high-speed circuit with all four corners featuring steeply banked curves of varying degrees. Despite the extreme stress, the new engines – The Revotron 1.2T, the Revotron 1.2L and the Revotorq 1.05L held up magnificently over the entire record distance without any deterioration in performance.press-01apr16-08-highres

An individual normally covers a distance of 50,000 km, in 3-4 years under normal driving conditions in India and it is almost impossible for an average consumer to consistently achieve average speeds beyond 130km/h for a serious length of time. All these cars have proved that the new generation of Tata products are not only aesthetically pleasing but seriously durable.

All four cars posing after achieving the 50k mark

All four cars posing after achieving the 50k mark

This grid below shows the time taken by each of the cars to achieve the 50,000 kms milestone. Kudos to Tata for this massive feat. #GearedForGreat

Cars Completion Time
Revotron
 Zest 408hrs 50min 26.688sec
Tiago 414hrs 59min 20.995sec
Bolt 429hrs 53min 29.400sec
Revotorq
Tiago 418hrs 51min 26.801sec