Compact and automatic — the best combination to face traffic congestion or parking challenges
Are you in the market for an automatic hatchback but are on a tight budget? We take a look at the best budget-friendly automatic hatchbacks you can currently buy. These cars are best used for relatively urban commutes, where the automatic gearbox and smaller dimensions shine. With over eight options to choose from, we have selected the 5 best options.
The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso is a sprightly urban runabout, thanks to the peppy and frugal 68hp, 1.0-litre petrol engine and 5-speed AMT gearbox. The tall-boy approach has led to a significantly roomy cabin, though the exterior proportions with small footprint, high roof and narrow body makes the hatchback appear gawky, while the upright SUV-like styling may not be to all tastes. It also feels more basic compared to the other hatchbacks here, but then it is the cheapest car in this list.
Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)
₹4.90 — 5.06 lakh
The Hyundai Santro’s AMT unit is smooth and works well with the 69hp, 1.1-litre petrol engine. However, the engine feels weak and dated though it is refined. The Santro’s cabin is well put together, quality of materials used also feels good and there is plenty of space on offer too. Depending on the variant there is plenty by way of equipment too. It is also well priced, compared to some segment rivals. Price (ex-showroom, Delhi) ₹5.69 — 6.42 lakh
The Maruti Suzuki Wagon R’s compact dimensions make it city friendly. Its tall boy design and high set seats not only help liberate space in the cabin, but aid in easy ingress and egress too. The hatchback comes with two petrol engines — a 68hp, 1.0-litre and an 83hp, 1.2-litre — both of which get an AMT option. The stronger engine is our pick, as the 5-speed AMT is a good match to this unit and it has better performance too. The Wagon R’s aggressive price point also makes it excellent value.
Price (ex-showroom, Delhi) ₹5.63 — 6.33 lakh
With the facelift in 2018, Datsun gave its hatchback a big shot in the arm with revised styling, a better-equipped and spruced up cabin, and more safety kit. Currently, the most affordable car in India with a CVT automatic, the Datsun Go feels smoother to drive than its competition, though the 77hp, 1.2-litre engine is rather gruff. Also, while the current Go is a significant improvement over its predecessor, it still falls short of rivals in terms of quality. On the plus side, the Go CVT is the most affordable car on sale in India with electronic stability control, which somewhat accounts for its relatively higher asking price.
Price ₹6.31 — 6.51 lakh
The Tata Tiago is well-kitted, drives like a bigger car, looks attractive and is roomy to boot. However, the 86hp, 1.2-litre petrol unit is not the most refined or frugal around, and neither is the 5-speed AMT one of the slickest of its kind. Prices are also on the higher side of the segment. Nonetheless, the Tiago’s safety and value for money proposition can’t be ignored.
Price ₹5.99 — 6.85 lakh
Prices as on May 3, 2021