The Datsun Redi-GO is one of the cheapest cars available in the country now. And it offers just the basic features you need, along with decent cabin space. The unique design aids in giving the car enough headroom for tall passengers. The overall styling isn’t in line with everyone’s tastes but the car has got good ground clearance. The 1.0-litre engine showcases decent performance for its size and gives appreciable mileage figures too. The engine on the Datsun Redi GO comes mated to a 5-speed manual or an AMT unit.
The Renault Kwid is the cheapest offering from the brand and it has got an SUV-like design plus decent ground clearance. The Renault Kwid is available with either an 800cc or a 1.0-litre petrol engine. The car has also been introduced in numerous limited editions too. Though not everyone will be a fan of the ‘hatchback-on-steroids’ looks, the car gets the highest sales numbers for the French car brand in India.
The Maruti Alto K10 features Maruti Suzuki’s peppy K-Series engine. In addition to the petrol version, the Alto K10 also has a CNG variant. The Maruti Alto K10 is available either with a 5-speed manual or an AMT and is one of the cheapest Maruti models currently available. The regular Maruti Alto has been the largest-selling car in India many times.
The Hyundai Eon is the cheapest offering from the Korean brand and rivals the likes of the Maruti Alto and the Renault Kwid. The Hyundai Eon is available with an 800cc and 1.0-litre engine options, mated to a 5-speed manual. An LPG version of the Eon is also available in select markets. The Hyundai Eon the smallest car to employ the brand's Fluidic design language and has got all the basic features you would expect on the inside.
The Maruti Celerio was the first and only affordable AMT car on the market when it was launched. Other manufacturers started making AMT versions of their hatchback models mainly after the introduction of the Celerio. The 5-speed AMT of the Maruti Celerio offers a smooth driving experience. A funkier version named as the Celerio X, is also available on the market. The Celerio X carries only cosmetic changes compared to the regular variant.
The Maruti Wagon R has a unique ‘tall-boy design' and is an ideal car for the city. Currently sold in the 'Stingray' form, the Wagon R has gone through several updates since its introduction in 1999 and the it has got compact dimensions. While the Maruti Wagon R doesn't have the best luggage space, it has got huge amounts of headroom. The same trait makes it an ideal choice for tall drivers looking forward to buying an affordable small car.
The Volkswagen Polo boasts of class-leading German engineering and offers premium quality interiors. While the current Polo petrol has been downsized to a rather underpowered 1.0-litre unit in the name of fuel efficiency, the brand still has the more fun GT TSi variant. The Volkswagen Polo GT TSi has a turbocharged 1.2-litre unit; a solid performer in its segment. The car also features Volkswagen’s reputed seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
The Volkswagen Ameo is a car made specifically for India. It is slotted between the Polo and the Vento. The compact-sedan isn’t the best to look at (especially from the back), but offers well-put interiors and class-leading German engineering. The 1.0-litre petrol engine is not the best-performing but returns decent mileage. Volkswagen is working on a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit and might introduce the same in their entry-level products.
While the regular Baleno is powered by the same 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine from the Swift, the more performance-focussed Baleno RS employs a 1.0-litre turbocharged Boosterjet unit. The engine makes enough output to make the lightweight Baleno RS, a good performer. The RS has also got some unique styling bits on its bumpers and headlamps to differentiate it from its regular sibling. The interiors are well-appointed and offers enough space.
The Ford EcoSport S petrol has the most-powerful 1.0-litre engine available in the country right now. The EcoBoost engine offers a linear power delivery and comes mated only to a 6-speed manual transmission. Being a Ford, the EcoSport S promises a fun driving experience while not compromising a lot on fuel efficiency. The interiors are well-equipped and the seats offer good support. Being a global product, the EcoSport showcases excellent build quality.