As Indian car buyers are coming of age and beginning to mature, carmakers are upping their game by offering models with more than 100hp in compact cars. While some of them may be downsized turbocharged motors that provide a healthy dose of thrust while keeping emissions low, there are still a few naturally aspirated ones that offer low-end grunt as well. We have listed cars that you can currently buy in India with a 100hp under Rs 10 lakh that won’t break your bank. However, for the sake of fairness, we have kept a benchmark that all cars mentioned in this list must have a starting price under Rs 9 lakh (ex-showroom).
Ford Figo, Freestyle, Aspire
Ever since Ford India debuted its 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine with the Aspire in 2015, it has been one of our favourite motors on sale. Until this engine came along, most other turbo diesel motors in its class offered little grunt in the low end. The Aspire showed that diesel drive can be fun too. Since then, this has been the sole diesel offering from Ford India in all its compact Figo based models that include the Figo, Freestyle and Aspire. The engine produces 100PS (99hp) and 215Nm of torque and comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Hyundai Nios Turbo, Aura Turbo
Hyundai India has decided that as a part of its new-gen model offering, it will offer a third turbo variant which will come with a downsized turbocharged petrol engine, which it sells as a sportier variant. The Hyundai Grand i10 Nios and the Aura notchback both are offered with a third engine option that comes in the form of a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine that is tuned to develop 100PS (99hp) and 172Nm of torque. The engine in the Nios and Aura are offered with a 5-speed manual transmission.
Volkswagen Polo, Vento
When the Volkswagen Polo and Vento were upgraded to BS6, VW also took the downsized turbocharged route to be able to control costs and emissions. Additionally, VW discontinued its diesel offerings from the Indian market. Now, the Polo and Vento are both powered by 1.0-litre, three-cylinder TSI petrol engine which is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. The engine puts out 109hp and 175Nm of torque. As for automatic options, VW ditched the more expensive DSG twin-clutch auto for a conventional 6-speed torque convertor for the 2020 Polo and Vento models.
Honda’s latest 1.5-litre diesel engine offered with the Amaze is at par to the what’s available with the Ford Aspire (one of its rivals). The turbo diesel motor with 99hp (100PS) with 200Nm of torque. However, this engine tune is only available with the 5-speed manual variant of the Amaze. Should you choose the CVT automatic version, power output from the engine is tuned to drop significantly down to 80hp. While it does meet the price bracket, the automatic version doesn’t make the cut for this list.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Ertiga, Brezza
Maruti Suzuki introduced its new K15B 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine paired with a mild-hybrid system which is a peach to drive in the city and the highway. Maruti Suzuki offers the engine with the Ciaz, Ertiga and Brezza that are available under Rs 10 lakh. The engine churns out 103hp and 138Nm of torque, but the mild hybrid helps aides acceleration making the power delivery smooth and linear, while also making the car more efficient.
The EcoSport uses the same 99hp (100PS) 1.5-litre diesel from the Figo family but offers 205Nm of torque, 10Nm less than its higher siblings. However, Ford also offers the EcoSport with a 120hp 1.5-litre naturally aspirated three-cylinder engine that puts out 150Nm of twist force. Named the “Dragon” engine, it is offered with a 5-speed manual. While there is an automatic version, it does eclipse the Rs 10 lakh mark. But the EcoSport offers the most powerful motor in the segment.
The Hyundai Venue uses the same 1.0-litre turbo petrol form the Nios and Aura, but it is tuned to put out 118hp, 18hp more than its smaller siblings. But, torque output from the motor is identical at 172Nm. While there is a 6-speed manual box as standard, Hyundai does offer the option of a 7-speed DCT that starts at Rs 9.6 lakh, which is still under the Rs 10 lakh mark.
The Nexon’s petrol and diesel engines both offer over 100hp and both start under Rs 10 lakh. The petrol is a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine that develops 118hp and 170Nm of torque, while the diesel is a 1.5-litre unit that generates 108hp and 260Nm of torque. Both engines are offered with 6-speed manuals or semi-automatic AMT options.
Mahindra’s contender in the sub-compact SUV segment is the XUV300. The 1.2-litre petrol develops 109hp and 200Nm of torque. The diesel motor in the XUV300 is a 1.5-litre unit that generated 115hp and 300Nm of torque. Mahindra offers a 6-speed manual as standard, but the diesel is available with a semi-automatic AMT version just under the Rs 10 lakh mark. But, Mahindra is yet to confirm the power and torque figures of the diesel engine following its upgrade to BS6, But it is expected to be similar to its BS4 tune.
The Renault Duster in its BS6 avatar is now a petrol-only model. The Duster uses a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that has a 1.5-litre displacement. It develops 105hp and 142Nm of torque. But the catch is that it is only offered with a 5-speed manual transmission. However, the top-spec model is available under Rs 10 lakh, but only just.
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