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Indian Diesel Car Hatchback Review-Toyota Etios Liva, Renault Pulse, Maruti Swift, Ritz, Hyundai i10, Skoda Fabia
The Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI is equipped with a 1422 cc engine which gives it excellent pickup and power. Excellent for long ouot station drives and also within the city. Fuel efficient and very comfortable to drive. Stylish looks and roomy interiors coupled with maximum fuel efficiency makes this a car chosen by many.
The Ritz boot- Note the rear lights
The Maruti Stable
All diesel cars from the Maruti stable boast a Fiat engine, not manufactured by Maruti at all. Though the ride is smooth and the car is fuel efficient , the cost of maintainance becomes more after the first service. On average, a petrol version of the new Maruti Swift will cost around 1000 Indian rupees for regular servicing, while the diesel version of the same variant will be between 3000 and 4000 indian rupees. Also, after driving for 15,000 kms the engine begins to make rattling noise, which becomes more pronounced as the number of kilometers increase. Also, the cost of spares of the diesel engine will be higher. But, before you give up on the diesel version of Maruti Swift, let me make it clear that you need to be sure about why you need a diesel car. For example, if you are a person who needs to drive around within the city everyday, in heavy traffic, you would be better off with a petrol variant. But, if you are someone who needs to drive around on the outskirts of a city on a daily basis, or if you need to commute between cities on a regular basis, the diesel version will serve you well. It goes without saying that Maruti has service stations all over India and their service is swift as well.
The Ritz from Maruti is similar to the Swift in engine capacity and all features. Taller people will be more comfortable because of the Tall-boy aerodynamic styling. The design being aerodynamic makes it more swift and stable on Indian highways. Pricewise, Ritz is cheaper and has a sporty new look and is available in attractive colors. The K-series 1.3 L diesel engine is very fuel efficient too. The dash mounted gear console gives it a stylish interior look with audio controls mounted on the steering for easy access. A real pleasure to drive. I liked the feel of the Ritz on a test drive when compared to the Swift. Also the rear seat of the Ritz was more comfortable. Ground clearance is 170 mm which is good.
The i10 from Hyundai is sporty and elegant with a 1.2 L diesel engine. It gives excellent mileage within the city @ 14.2 kmpl and on the highways, 18.8 kmpl. A stylish compact car yet roomy enough for a small family. A pleasure to drive and very comfortable too. Ground clearance is 165 mm which is good for city roads.
Tata Indica Vista
The New Tata Indica Vista
My husband, an engineer, regularly commutes between various sites and plants in and around Bangalore city. This being the reason, he opted for a diesel car. The all new Tata Indica Vista. It gives him great milage within the city and outside. He has been using this car for more than 8 months now and loves it. The interiors are comparable to any sedan, as there is plenty of legroom, spacious glove compartment, and very, very comfortable on long drives. Even if 3 people choose to sit in the back seat. This car is the most comfortable for 3 people at the rear, and we have tested this on all cars of this class-Hyundai i 10, Renault Pulse, Toyota Etios Liva, Fiat Punto.
Toyota Etios Liva
The Etios Liva was a big disappointment. Test driving the vehicle showed that engine power was not upto the mark. The interiors were ok, not enough leg room and the back seat was not comfortable.
The Pulse Dashboard
Test driving the all new Renault Pulse was simply awesome. Great power output, excellent pickup, smooth drive, beautiful and comfortable interiors, stunning looks, fuel efficiency, but the price just a little over 6 lakhs for the basic model. 1.5 L dCi packed into a small car. Gives you excellent mileage @ 23.08 kmpl. It sports some excellent new features with great service. If your budget can be stretched, this is the car to be investing in. The diesel variant is worth every penny. The Pulse is definitely the car you will see more of on the Indian roads.
On Road Price Comparison of The Basic Model with Diesel engine among Hatchback(Set to increase from April 1 st 2012)
Current Price(On road)
Tata Indica Vista
Toyota Etos Liva
In Conclusion-The Clear Winner
In conclusion, after test driving all new Indian diesel cars in the hatchback segment, it goes without saying that one must look for driving comfort, fuel efficiency, cost effectiveness, stylish good looks, comfortable seating with plenty of leg room, and excellent pickup. Also, it is not necessary to go in for a high end model. One can opt for a 2nd or 3 rd variant and upgrade with the necessary features or accessories to cut down on costs. But, you must stick to their brands, so as to avail of their warranties on the whole. Only some car manufacturers make this mandatory so check out before hand.
It is often said that a diesel car is a good investment, provided you know that diesel spares cost more, servicing costs are more and you will be happy you made the right choice. Also, the newer diesel cars are more comfortable than those of yester years. Noise levels are unheard of particularly in the Tata Vista and the Renault Pulse. If you should choose the Tata car because of the lower price, be sure to sell the car within 3-5 years, for after 5 years, the diesel engine life begins to wane.
If you should choose between a Swift, Ritz and an i10, definitely go in for the Ritz. Ritz is cheaper and sports some excellent new features backed by Maruti's great service all over India. And the Ritz also enjoys some excellent reviews online and offline.
So, Happy driving, and share your views in the comments below. Especially if you have recently bought any of the above cars. You will be helping others looking to buy a good diesel hatchback. Also, participate in the poll below. Thanks!
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