Small cars, big choice

Feb 02 2014, 01:30 IST
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Honda’s Amaze is a strong challenger. PTI Honda’s Amaze is a strong challenger. PTI
SummaryA new monthly series with feature consumer products in various categories. Kickstarting with largest-selling cars in India.

Entry hatchbacks

Hyundai Eon (0.8 petrol)

We like: Exterior and interior styling, good-quality materials used in the cabin, lots of cubbyholes for storage and the car is well-equipped too.

We don’t: Mediocre engine, not very exciting to drive, doesn’t like bad roads and lacks outright punch. Boot is a bit cramped.

Opinion: Very stylish, the Eon actually feels a class higher. It is a value-for-money proposition, now also comes in LPG fuel option.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio (1.0 petrol)

We like: K10 petrol engine punchy and very fuel-efficient, comes with an automatic gearbox that is very easy to drive. Spacious cabin.

We don’t: Cabin looks fresh, but exterior design is still not attractive enough, rear section looks like the class-lower Alto 800.

Opinion: A probable winner for Maruti, has the space of the Zen Estilo and the driveability of the A-Star (the model it replaces).

Maruti Suzuki Alto (0.8 petrol, 1.0 petrol)

We like: Low price, good mileage, easy to maintain, seats four comfortably, offers basic features like AC and power steering. Top trim gets airbag.

We don’t: Design is a bit dated and boot cramped. Power (800 cc) is on the lower side. Not too many safety features in entry-level models.

Opinion: First launched in 2000, it is the top-selling car brand for around a decade. The K10 engine is a better choice over the 0.8 petrol engine.

HYUNDAI i10 (1.1 petrol)

We like: Responsive engine, easy to drive in city, has a lot of equipment and there is good space in the cabin. The boot, too, is spacious.

We don’t: Mediocre drive, especially on the highway. Doesn’t have very good high-speed manners. Has started to show its age.

Opinion: A very competent small car, it is priced well, but, of late, competition has taken to its heels. Needs to reinvent itself.

MARUTI suzuki WagonR (1.0 petrol)

We like: Clever interior packaging means lots of space and innovative storage spaces. Has a sporty version, ‘Stingray’, with sharper exterior design and projector lamps.

We don’t: Boxy looks, no automatic transmission option. Needs better build quality, one can find gaps between sheet metal body parts.

Opinion: Among the five top-selling cars for many years and a very popular model back home in Japan as well. Look out for the more premium Stingray version.

premium Hatchbacks

Grand i10 (1.2 petrol, 1.1 diesel)

We like: The diesel version is very fuel-efficient. The car looks smart, cabin quality is a class higher and steering feel is just right.

We don’t: It remains relatively dull to drive, even the

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