Hatchbacks... But which one?


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Its time! Time for me to own a new car. My OWN Car. I am tired of asking dad for the car all the time. And I have decided it would be a small car (hatchback). Hi everybody this is my first post here so apologies in advance if offended. [:)]

First let me list out to you the cars I researched upon and test drove:

 Fiat Punto – Emotion - Petrol & Diesel
 Nissan Micra - XE
 Volkswagen Polo – Trendline - Petrol & Diesel
 Maruti Swift – Vdi and VXi
 Maruti Ritz - VDi
 Chevy Beat – LT option
 Hyundai i20 - Petrol & Diesel
 Ford Figo – Titanium - Petrol & Diesel

Now let me answer a few questions I think you guys may have in mind:

 What would you use your car for?
Well the first thing would be commuting daily from home to work and back (which easily comes upto 40 kms), shopping, inter-city travel, Long drives on the weekend (the drive tends to get so long that I end up at either Mysore or Coorg very often). On a serious note I travel a minimum of 60-70 kms each day and double on the weekends. So I am more interested to go for a diesel vehicle but if not then a decent petrol variant would be just fine.

 How many people do you need to transport?
Mostly it’s just me for work, but for other adventure stuff let’s say a couple of friends , or my family of four (definitely to be considered or else ).

 Who shall be driving the car?
Just me. [music]

 What kind of driving do you most often do - highway or city?
Mostly it’s just the city. But I do take the Highway pretty often on the weekends.

 Is fuel cost a worrying factor for you?
Yes it is actually. I would really like a good economical car with good fuel efficiency over a good maintenance period.

 How much can you afford?
Well I am quite fixed with a budget of 5-6 lacs.

 Top 5 priorities I need in my vehicle?
 Fuel efficiency (Easy on the wallet)
 Stylish Good looks (Make heads turn)
 Comfortable drive (Would be spending quite a lotta time in it)
 Spacious but cozy (should be able to fit in atleast 5 ppl)
 Power (Vroom Vroooooom)

If you wanna know anything more just ask. Now coming to my opinions on the cars I test drove:

1. Fiat Punto - The Punto sports a compact look with some very attractive curves and lines combining to give it a “cute” look. Engine and power - 1.3 litre MultiJet Diesel engine, or a 1.4 litre petrol fuelled engine with MultiAir technology with 83 bhp. It has decent space comfortable for 4, can squeeze in a 5th one in the middle. The rear head space is ok but the rear window is more like a vent than a window (No offence Punto fans). But the Price is a major problem – I need to go for Emotion but it’s over and above my budget for a diesel car and even petrol variant. I heard that the service is really bad when it comes to Fiat. Hmmm…

2. Nissan Micra – Looks Girlie with round round thingis everywhere. And the price too is very high for that kinda phuny car. I agree the button keyless entry and button start is real treat but not at the cost what Nissan is offering especially in Bangalore with the road taxes soaring sky high. It’s a fine drive but definitely not interested.

3. Volkswagon Polo – OOH la laa… Awesome good looks. Trendy but decent design. The interior feel too is awesome but the space might be a constraint. I love the diesel variant but the petrol is not that bad too. I would like to go for the trendline variant in either of them. But the price is of concern. I really love the car but am unable to fit it in my budget especially the diesel variant. Kindly let me know how good is the petrol variant and its mileage. Will it be economical?? Cause I don’t wanna end up spending 3k-5k for fuel alone every month.

4. Maruti Swift VDi – I don’t think I need to explain much about the Swift. It’s a very popular car on the Indian roads (feel 6 out of every 10 car is a swift). I like it but its Maruti and I have had a lotta Maruti s before so I kinda want to go for something new. Outta the both (VDi and VXi) I liked the VDi more. One of the choices.

5. Ritz – Nothing different except the new design with a smacked butt! I would rather go with swift even though the latter is cheaper by 20k. Was not so impressive.

6. Chevy Beat – Hmmm.. what do I say about this. Its kinda weirdly good looking. But its nice. I loved the new peppy look with a bold Chevy logo upfront on the grille. Well I like the drive but heard a lotta complaints about its performance. But its very well priced with the top most variant (LT option with ABS and airbags) at 5.5lac. The advantage I have here is that as my brother is a GM employee, I get a cool 55k discount. But… Its still not promising as the space is very less in the rear and also has the smallest boot in the segment. The high dash is of concern, cause I was unable see the bonnet even after seating close to the dash. 50-50.

7. Hyundai i20 – Beautiful car with awesome interiors. Smooth drive. Too many variants. Very confusing. Here too I love the diesel variant more than the petrol. But the mileage is of concern along with a hefty price tag. No other comments.

8. Ford Figo – This was the last one I approached cause I always thought of it to have looked like Ford Fusion from far. But nope.. I must say I am quite impressed about it. Nice design. Decent looking car. I was impressed with all the accessories this car has especially the Bluetooth integrated ICE. Like the new maroon dash. It would look good as I was interested in Black Titanium. The only major drawback I found was that of the rear windows (It doesn’t come down completely and on top of it No rear power windows) . I understand this is because of the design but COME ON!! This is the 21st century we NEED everything to be powered!! Coming to the test drive I felt that the petrol was a bit underpowered as I dint find it to be that powerful or rather energetic. But yes it’s quite a decent petrol engine with good mileage at the price offered. But the Diesel Monster was just awesome.. 1.4 DuraTorq (borrwed from its elder bor the Fiesta) is an absolute killer. I am totally in for it!!

Ok after going for the test drives of the cars specified above I have shortlisted the following by preference:

1. Ford Figo Diesel – Zxi or Titanium – 6.20 – 6.45 lacs
2. Volkswagon Polo – Trendline Petrol – 6 lacs
3. Swift VDi – 6.32 lacs
4. Swift Vxi – 5.45 lacs
5. Ford Figo Petrol – Zxi or Titanium – 4.98 lacs
6. Fiat Punto Petrol - Emotion – around 6 lacs

I am more towards Figo Diesel or Swift VDi. Let me know your views.

P.S :help:– Apart from the above cars I also have few more on mind which are due to be launched soon – Ford Fiesta (Hatchback), Toyota Etios (Hatchback), Suzuki Cervo (I know it’s a very small car but still… looks gud), Chevy Beat Diesel (1 litre), Revamped Chevy U-VA (looks supercool), Toyota Yaris, Volkwagon Up…. And the list goes on. Phew! I guess these are enough to add on to the confusion as my options increase.
 
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I'd suggest you go in for either the
1.Polo Diesel, Trendline if you can't afford the Comfyline. - For its German Quality(read: top class build and finish), looks and snob value.
OR
2.i20 Diesel, Era if you afford Magna. - For its engine, features and VFM.

Nothing else on the list comes closer.

But, given your decision after the TD, from the list, I'd suggest:
1. Polo 1.2 Trendline(P)
OR
2. Swift VDi
3. Figon Diesel.
3
 

Akash

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Looking at your monthly running i feel you should stay away from petrol hearts. IMO Ford Figo diesel is the car for you. AFAIK ford recently reduced prices of spare Which makes the figo even sweeter.
Swift, stay away! Since the new model is on its way.
 

AMG

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I would recommend that you go for the figo diesel.

It is the best diesel hatch in the country.

Or if you want some serious performance, go for punto sports 90 BHP
 
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What is the max budget you can stretch upto?

Going by your priorities, the following cars fit the bill.

1. FE - Figo, Swift, Indica Vista Quadrajet. Remember the Punto is fuel hungry thanks to the additional weight.

2. Looks - Polo, I20, Swift, Punto, Indica Vista, Figo in that order for me.

3. Comfort - Punto & Vista win hands down. Polo & Swifts suspension is setup towards the handling side and are stiff.

4. Spacious - Indica Vista Quadrajet wins this department hands down. Second comes the I20. Punto scores the last in this department.

5. Power - Swift, I20, Vista, Figo, Punto in that order.

For your requirement I would suggest to stick to the diesels.

If comfort, good ass, space is of prime importance my choice would be the Indica Vista Quadrajet. Only drawback is, it wont handle as good as the Swift, Polo & Punto. Fit and finish might not be on par with its European counterparts, but it is super VFM and a sensible buy.

If you are not a fast driver who loves cornering and neck braking speeds, the Vista should cater most of your needs well. And with the saved dough, you can get good alloys, tyres, ICE & probably a tuning box too?
 
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ok. a diesel is for sure for you.
if i would be you, i would not consider anything other than the swift D(new model on its way. so stay away :-)), punto D(so as mc told, low FE), i20 D(superb car) and VW polo D(costly mantainance) and would finally buy the i20.
 
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I would love to know the source of this info.
I own one Punto Diesel, I can guarantee the FE will be similar or better in the list in discussion.
Personal experience? Punto being heavy and underpowered, naturally drinks more fuel. Also the ECU & turbo tuning for some reason adds to the Punto being less FE.

Anyways, for your sake of visual proof, do have a look at the SIAM FE figures for all the diesel cars in the list for BS4 versions. IMO these figures are a bit unrealistic in real world conditions, but the order still remains the same, with the Punto being least FE.

1. Vista QDJet - 22.29.
2. Swift D - 21.9.
3. Punto - 19.9.
4. I20 - 21.93.
5. Figo - 20.

Probably, even the ARAI figures will tell you the same story, though I haven't personally checked.

Do correct me if my figures are wrong.
 
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Punto being heavy and underpowered, naturally drinks more fuel. Also the ECU & turbo tuning for some reason adds to the Punto being less FE.
More than experience, I would say perception.
Punto is heavy, but not at-all underpowered. Don't be confused with some small drive in city traffic. It has adequate power, certainly its not a racing car.
I am not sure how you came to conclusion that ECU and turbo tuning adds to its bad FE. Only thing is that Punto has shorter 1st and 2nd gear, which actually helps to have better FE.


1. Vista QDJet - 22.29.
2. Swift D - 21.9.
3. Punto - 19.9.
4. I20 - 21.93.
5. Figo - 20.
As far as ARAI figures are concerned, you can see the difference in best and so called worst is less than 10%. And ARAI figure is just indicative and doesn't mean in real scenario you will not have variations for different cars.
In real life, Punto gives similar FE like Swift and its marginally better than i20 and Figo.
I am not sure about Vista, but since normally Tatas vehicles are excellent in FE, Vista could be better than Punto.

@RSM
the source from where i got the info about punto D's FE is from a friend who has recently brought the 90HP punto.
Sriharsha, how much FE is your friend getting? Punto 90HP is new, so yet to establish some FE data in real market.
 
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@RSM: I can assure you its not just *perception*.

Let us look at the PTWR for all the cars in the diesel top variant.

1. Swift - 69.76 ps/tonne.
2. Punto - 67.25 ps/tonne.
3. Figo - 63.3 ps/tonne.
4. I20 - 84.5 ps/tonne.
5. Polo - 65.5 ps/tonne.

Now compare their 0-100 timings to see the difference tuning makes.

Figures from OD.

1. Swift - 13.2
2. Punto - 18.7
3. Figo - 16.26
4. I20 - 13.4
5. Polo - 16.16
6. Vista - 16.1

As you can see Punto 1.3MJD is under-powered no matter how much you deny. Just read any reviews on the car and you will know. Performance figures are atrocious. Even Tata has managed a better tune on the same engine than Fiat.

Where Fiat went wrong IMO is in how the torque is spread on the Punto and how the turbo kicks in. Added to the weight of the car the car returns less FE to its competition.

If the guys at TAI are ok with cross posting links from other forums, I would like to post some ownership links to indicate the same.

Why do you think Fiat launched a 90HP version? To cater to the needs of those who felt the 75HP version too underpowered.

What you seem to be missing out on is that more power = more torque = lesser work to be done to get the car upto speeds = more FE. The I20 is surely more FE than a Punto.

The Swift & Vista are more than marginally better than the Punto.
 
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Let us look at the PTWR for all the cars in the diesel top variant.

1. Swift - 69.76 ps/tonne.
2. Punto - 67.25 ps/tonne.
3. Figo - 63.3 ps/tonne.
4. I20 - 84.5 ps/tonne.
5. Polo - 65.5 ps/tonne.
Except i20, how much difference you see in above figure.

Now compare their 0-100 timings to see the difference tuning makes.

Figures from OD.

1. Swift - 13.2
2. Punto - 18.7
3. Figo - 16.26
4. I20 - 13.4
5. Polo - 16.16
6. Vista - 16.1

As you can see Punto 1.3MJD is under-powered no matter how much you deny.
Yes 0-100 Punto is slower than others, but have you seen the in-gear acceleration of Punto. Its far better than others. And this is what matters to most of the normal driver (I know you drive very fast:lol!: and for you all above figure is very poor).
I never say that Punto is fast, and I always say that it has adequate power for normal drivers.

You can read different owner's view on
Punto
http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...red-emotion-mjd-1-year-completed-pg-14-a.html
http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...-after-8000-kms-grande-punto-1-3-emotion.html
http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...m-came-home-punto-emotion-pk-1200km-done.html
http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...-silver-fiat-punto-ownership-review-pics.html

Figo
http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/forums/ownership-reports/1620-chill-ford-figo-1-4-titanium.html
http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...go-1-4-duratorq-diesel-zxi-diamond-white.html




The I20 is surely more FE than a Punto.
This I can definately challange you that this is not the case. Punto will anyday give better FE than i20 and Figo.
It give almost same FE as Swift. And this is the figure which is given by somebody who owns both.


Why do you think Fiat launched a 90HP version? To cater to the needs of those who felt the 75HP version too underpowered.
It was always in the plan and this for real fast drivers, like you[;)]. The normal people doesn't need this much power.

And when you say Swift is better looking than Punto, your hate/love towards Punto is quite evident.

I think we went off-topic.



@Aeonix, for your running you must select Diesel.

Now assuming that you need Diesel hatch in 5-6 lakhs, the only options from your list are
Figo
Swift
Punto
I would like to suggest Tata Vista as well in the list.

In my view, Figo is best VFM amognst those. But if you can strech your budget, Punto should be your choice.
 
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ok. a diesel is for sure for you.
if i would be you, i would not consider anything other than the swift D(new model on its way. so stay away :-)), punto D(so as mc told, low FE), i20 D(superb car) and VW polo D(costly mantainance) and would finally buy the i20.
@sriharsha - Yes I did hear about the New Swift coming in! But when is it expected? Any details or pictures available? (If available plz post it or send me a link). :please:


What is the max budget you can stretch upto?

If comfort, good ass, space is of prime importance my choice would be the Indica Vista Quadrajet. Only drawback is, it wont handle as good as the Swift, Polo & Punto. Fit and finish might not be on par with its European counterparts, but it is super VFM and a sensible buy.

If you are not a fast driver who loves cornering and neck braking speeds, the Vista should cater most of your needs well. And with the saved dough, you can get good alloys, tyres, ICE & probably a tuning box too?

Thanks @ mclaren1885. My dad does own a new Indica Vista (Company provided) and I did drive it a couple of times. And your absolutely rite on the space part but as you say again "The Fit n Finish" is really bad. Very poor plastics. I dint like the drive quality that much. [roll]


@Aeonix, for your running you must select Diesel.

Now assuming that you need Diesel hatch in 5-6 lakhs, the only options from your list are
Figo
Swift
Punto
I would like to suggest Tata Vista as well in the list.

In my view, Figo is best VFM amognst those. But if you can strech your budget, Punto should be your choice.
Thanks@RSM - Currently my nos 1 choice at this time is the Figo Diesel. Like everybody else are suggesting that maybe I shd wait as the the new version of swift is to be launched.


Actually I dont mind waiting a couple of months for the new Swift, cause I don wanna regret later not going for it as it might be worth waiting. I am also keen on the Fiesta Hatchback and the Etios Hatchback too. If not any I always have the Figo diesel to get back to.
 
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Aeonix, Figo is the 2006 Fiesta. So it is not a cost cutting model and you can be very comfortable in going for it. It was a successful international model, which made it way it India, probably too late! We have a Figo ZXi and it is an excellent car for sure.

Looking at your monthly running i feel you should stay away from petrol hearts. IMO Ford Figo diesel is the car for you. AFAIK ford recently reduced prices of spare Which makes the figo even sweeter.
Swift, stay away! Since the new model is on its way.
I second, Akash. Looking at the your requirements, usage and affordability; I guess Ford Figo Titanium is the best buy [thumbsup]
 
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