The Rs.10 lakh dilemma
Choosing from the compact SUV, MPV, mid-size sedan
If you have a budget of about Rs.10 lakh for a car, you can be pretty spoilt for choice. Not only are there many brands to choose from, there are different body styles to pick as well. You can choose a compact SUV such as the Ford EcoSport or Renault Duster, an MPV such as the Maruti Ertiga or Honda Mobilio, a mid-size sedan like the Maruti Ciaz or Honda City or even crossovers and premium hatchbacks such as the Hyundai i20 Active or Volkswagen Polo GT.
To make an informed decision, you would primarily look at what your needs with the car would be and of course, the type of fuel based on usage. Here’s how you can decide which car would suit you best, based on body style.
Compact SUV If you are the type of buyer with a sporty streak in you, you could consider a compact SUV such as the Ford EcoSport or Renault Duster. The advantage you would have with a compact SUV is higher ground clearance and robust suspension systems, which would serve you well especially if you drive in an area that has bad road conditions. While you would get a feature-rich Ford EcoSport Titanium diesel within Rs.10 lakh, you would have to settle for the entry level Renault Duster 85PS diesel or mid-level 1.6 petrol variant. Duster’s advantage over EcoSport is more space. Both offer good road presence.
Mid-size sedan A person looking for image value and better cruising comfort would seek a sedan. Cars such as the Honda City, Maruti Ciaz, Nissan Sunny and Skoda Rapid fall within this budget—available in both petrol and diesel engine choices. Sedans offer better handling and road manners compared to compact SUVs and MPVs, and these cars have very comfortable rear seats that would appeal to the chauffeur-driven lot. Plus, there’s something quite classy about a sedan in terms of image value. Honda City and Maruti Ciaz are favourites among buyers of mid-size sedans
Multi-purpose vehicle If you want a multi-faceted vehicle that can seat up to seven or eight passengers, you would probably consider an MPV. You could look at the Maruti Ertiga, Honda Mobilio and Renault Lodgy. The first two come in petrol and diesel choices, while the Lodgy is only offered with a diesel engine right now. The Ertiga would be the most valuefor- money choice here as you would get a top-end diesel variant within this price (with safety features), but it is also the least spacious MPV. For more style and space, you could look at the Honda Mobilio while the Renault Lodgy would offer you the maximum space and flexibility with seating options.
Premium hatchback Younger buyers and those who love driving would also consider a premium hatchback for its sportiness, better handling, and looks and, of course, ease of parking. The Hyundai i20 Active, for instance, caters to buyers who love the outdoors by offering some benefits of a compact SUV (such as high ground clearance and body cladding) in the form of a premium hatchback. The Hyundai Elite i20 and Volkswagen Polo, on the other hand, cater to buyers who want elegant looks and stonking performance. The Polo GT TDI and TSI, for instance, offer power and handling that can beat many mid-size sedans, while the Elite i20 has features that are usually seen on expensive luxury cars
The author is automotive journalist. The views are his own.