New Small Cars in India – The Best of 2012

Continuing from my previous post, where I showed you the various New small cars in the Indian Automobile market in 2012, here is a deep-dive into the various specifications in a way to underline the various pros and cons of these cars, with the ultimate aim to choose the best value-for-money automobile, which would not drain your pockets. For the comparison to come into this stage, I have eliminated the following cars, as they are either too highly-priced, or, are not fuel-efficient:

Volkswagen Up, Beetle New, Skoda Fabia Scout, Mercedes Benz B-Class, Maruti Wagon-R Diesel, Swift, Mahindra Ssangyong Korando, Ford EcoSport, Fiat Punto Evo, and BMW Mini Cooper.

The cars numbered below are only in reverse alphabetic format, and is not a countdown. Price depicted here are On-Road prices in Kolkata (India), and Mileage is to be read as: Mileage (City). The final verdict is depicted towards the end of this article.

1.      Tata Nano Diesel

Pros Cons
Mileage – 33kmpl Power – 34bhp
Price – INR 2.32 lacs Overall Width – 1495mm
Overall length – 3099mm Max Speed – 105kmph
Overall Height – 1652mm Torque – 48Nm
Ground Clearance – 180mm Transmission – 4-Speed Manual
Displacement – 624cc Power Steering – NA
Fuel – Diesel Airbags – NA
ABS – Yes Power Windows – Only front
Boot Space – 80 litres
Tyres – Tube

Having more Cons than Pros, this one definitely cannot feature in my list of top 3 automobiles

 2.     Renault Pulse RxZ

Pros Cons
Mileage – 23kmpl Ground Clearance – 120mm
Price – INR 7.54 lacs
Overall Width – 1665mm

This seems more of a car which you could buy just for its brand name. I don’t see much sense anyways

 3.     Mahindra Reva NXR

Pros Cons
Mileage – 250km per charge Power – 17bhp
Overall Length – 3280mm Overall Width – 1514mm
Ground Clearance – 160mm
Max Speed – 86kmph
Displacement – 1498cc
Torque – 55Nm

Again, another car with more Cons than Pros. Go for this car only if you are hell-bent on saving the environment from pollution. Else, I don’t see this as a possible buy this season

 4.     Hyundai EON D-Lite+

Pros Cons
Mileage – 21kmpl Power – 55bhp
Price – INR 3.65 lacs Overall Height – 1500mm
Overall Length – 3495mm
Displacement – 814cc

Well, this does look like a possible competitor for the top spot, but frankly, a car with 55bhp power, in my opinion, is not worth having. So, I am deliberately keeping it out of the race

 5.     HM Ambassador sub-4-metre CS

Pros Cons
Mileage – 30kmpl Overall Length – 3999mm
Power – 173bhp AC – NA
Price – 7.43 lacs Tyres – Tube
Overall Width – 1778mm
Overall Height – 1800mm
Ground Clearance – 200mm
Max Speed – 295 kmph
Torque – 134Nm
Transmission – 6-Speed Manual
Fuel – CNG
Airbags – Only front
ABS – Yes
FM Radio – Yes
CD/DVD Player – Yes
Rear Defogger – Yes

What do you think? The age-old darkest horse of the Indian Automobile Industry, Hindustan Motors, is set to come up with a blinder, by the end of this year. HM, since 1942

 6.     Ford Fiesta hatchback

Pros Cons
Mileage – 36kmpl Overall Height – 1475mm
Power – 123bhp Displacement – 1596cc
Overall Width – 1722mm
Ground Clearance – 190mm
Max Speed – 169kmph
Airbags – 7 (Front, passenger, and sides)
FM Radio – Yes
CD/DVD Player – Yes
Boot Space – 295 litres
Rear Defogger – Yes
Tyres – Tubeless

Another maestro, soon to be released in the Indian market, that’s going to take the market by storm

 7.      Chevrolet Spark Electric

Pros Cons
Power – 114bhp Overall Width – 1495mm
Price – INR 5.42 lacs Tyres – Tube
Overall Length – 3495mm
Displacement – 995cc
Torque – 180Nm
Transmission – 4-Speed Automatic
Fuel – Petrol / Charge

Practically, not many Cons. This might well be a very good competitor in the race to the top

 8.     Chevrolet Spark LS 1.0

Pros Cons
Power – 83bhp Mileage – 10kmpl
Price – INR 3.63 lacs Overall Width – 1495mm
Overall Length – 3495mm
Max Speed – 161kmph
Displacement – 995cc

This could have been a good competitor, but its Mileage will hit it hard on its way to the top

 9.     Chevrolet Sail Hatchback

Pros Cons
Price – INR 6.19 lacs Ground Clearance – 110mm
Overall Width – 1690mm
Max Speed – 177kmph
Torque – 107Nm

A car with that much ground clearance, won’t let me drive, virtually anywhere in India.

10. Chevrolet Beat PS Diesel

Pros Cons
Price – INR 5.46 lacs Wheels – Stainless Steel
Ground Clearance – 175mm Power Windows – NA
Max Speed – 165kmph
Displacement – 936cc
Torque – 150Nm
Fuel – Diesel
Tyres – Tubeless

This car can probably be a good competitor in the race, but can we really afford a modern car without Power Windows? Of course, we can get around with SS wheels, with some maintenance!

 11.   Bajaj RE60

Pros Cons
Mileage – 35kmpl Power – 20bhp
Price – INR 1.55 lacs Overall Width – 1312mm
Overall Length – 2752mm Max Speed – 70kmph
Overall Height – 1650mm Torque – 51Nm
Displacement – 200cc Transmission – 4-Speed Manual
CD/DVD Player – Yes Power Steering – NA
Boot Space – 44 litres
Tyres – Tube

Given the price, I guess the cons are well-understandable. But, is it really worth your money?

Verdict –

#3 Chevrolet Spark Electric

Other than its Tube tyres, I don’t think there is any specification going against a buying decision

#2 Chevrolet Beat PS Diesel

If you can tolerate Stainless Steel wheels and no Power Windows, this car is worth its price

#2 Ford Fiesta Hatchback

A joint 2nd, if you can consider this to be a small car, as Ford is marketing it to be.

#1 HM Ambassador sub-4-metre CS

Well, well… Surprise! Yes, it has Tube tyres, it does not have AC in its base model, and its looks are still the same as that of the Ambassador of 1942. But, if you look a bit closer, this is going to be a power-packed vehicle for you this season. And, as far as the looks are concerned, I guess all the small cars in the market, of any brand; look almost the same, having similar jazzy looks. What stands apart is the Amby. Hindustan motors, the first motor company of India, has really gone against it to get this beast out!


About theultimaterenaissance

I am an Engineer and a Management Graduate. I love writing poetry and research reports on cars. Surfing, listening to music, and Reading and writing Technical & Research papers are among my most savored hobbies.
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