These kind of cars exist in the 20th century. Manufacturers in India will not make anything standard in their cars or bikes unless they think its part of the upcoming regulation or is already in effect. For the longest time, entry-level cars didn’t have ABS or airbags. Well, that is not all. Even today, you have passenger cars that don’t boast a power steering or an air-conditioner. The only reason is to make for a compelling entry price-point. It looks good on print and elsewhere that a particular car is very affordable. Given the cut-throat competition these days, it is imperative that common man benefits from a lower price tag. What they sacrifice though are creature comforts. Some cars like the Nano didn’t have a power steering even in the top variants. Tata Motors though had a reason citing the lower kerb weight and dimensions of the car. As for the cars that are still very much in production and are popular even without these bare necessities, here is the list.
One of India’s highest-selling cars, the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 has been at the top of its game for almost a decade. The Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 in its STD variant doesn’t get an air-conditioned cabin or a power steering. The Alto 800 price for the STD is Rs 2.94 lakh, ex-Delhi.
The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso was launched last year and is a replacement (the company doesn’t say this) for the Alto K10. The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso too has a STD variant that is devoid of these features. The price for the S-Presso STD is Rs 3.7 lakh, ex-Delhi.
One car that doesn’t get a power steering even in its top variants happens to be the Maruti Suzuki Eeco. The company doesn’t offer an AC for the base version but passenger versions above it do get an airconditioner. The Maruti Suzuki Eeco was recently BS6-fied. It’s prices range between Rs 3.80 lakh – Rs 4.21 lakh, ex-Delhi.
Another very popular model that goes up against the mighty Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 happens to be the Renault Kwid. The Renault Kwid was revamped late last year but got BS6 engines at the start of 2020. The Kwid has two engine options – an 800cc and 1.0-litre. Renault India though offers the STD variant only with the smaller engine. The price of the Renault Kwid STD is Rs 2.92 lakh, ex-Delhi.
The recently refreshed Datsun redi-GO has the same chassis as the Kwid. It is but obvious that the variant spread too is the same. The Datsun redi-GO too has a base variant called D and this one doesn’t have an AC or power steering. Datsun has priced the redi-GO D at Rs 2.83 lakh, ex-showroom.
The Datsun Go too doesn’t get an AC or power steering as standard equipment in the D variant. The D variant is available only with the manual transmission but gets front power windows. Datsun India has priced the car at Rs 3.99 lakh, ex-Delhi.
Similar to the Go, even the Go+ doesn’t get a power steering or AC in its D trim. The Datsun Go+ D variant is priced at Rs 4.20 lakh, ex-Delhi. Surprisingly enough, its cousin, the Renault Triber gets power steering as standard equipment.
All-in-all, these are the few passenger cars in India that don’t come with a power steering/airconditioner as standard. Ironically enough, most of these variants are called STD as well. Thankfully enough, cars like the Tata Tiago have moved on from not having a power steering in the base versions. Such cars are usually aimed at fleet operators, not the organised ones. Places like villages or hilly regions usually prefer driving with the windows down. We are being told such variants are highly preferred by the rural population.
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