The list of features offered in some of the most economically priced cars in India today, is enough make the mind spin; which is why many new car buyers are often overwhelmed and intimated by the sheer number of options
The list of features offered in some of the most economically priced cars in India today, is enough make the mind spin; which is why many new car buyers are often overwhelmed and intimated by the sheer number of options on offer, despite having a general idea of what they want in terms of features.
So to address the question, “Which is the most feature-rich affordable car?”
The answer varies from segment to segment and the price point at which the car is placed in the market.
To ease things out for our readers, we have come up with five feature-rich cars that are priced under Rs 10 lakhs in the Indian market.
Hyundai Grand i10
The bigger, wider and shorter successor to the Hyundai i10, the Grand i10 has a long list of mind-boggling features and an even more over-whelming number of variants on offer. The model sits between the i10 and the larger i20, offers stylish looks and many segment first features such as the rear AC vent, a rear 12V socket and a 1GB internal memory on the integrated music system to store audio files. Furthermore, the standard features offered in the top-end variants include, climate control, rear parking sensors, steering mounted audio controls, driver seat height adjustment and tilt-steering.
The Grand i10 is a lot bigger than the i10 Hatchback, and hence offers a lot more cabin space. It can accommodate up to five full sized adults and still have enough space in the boot for luggage. The beige-black interiors further, make the cabin look roomier and pleasant to be in.
In terms of pricing, the base variant of the Grand i10, Era is priced at Rs 4.25 lakhs and the top-end variant, Asta at Rs 6.29 lakh (both prices are ex-showroom, New Delhi), making the Hyundai Grand i10 out top pick in the most affordable feature-rich hatchback on sale in India today.
The ‘fluidic sculpture’ design philosophy has worked wonders for Hyundai in the past few years – but those lines and creases aren’t the only elements ensuring footfalls at the Hyundai showrooms. The Korean carmaker has been showering its latest cars with a lot of gizmos and fancy stuff to literally tie down its prospective customers. The Verna is one such example. Of course, there’s the regular list – a Bluetooth enabled audio system, iPod compatibility, steering mounted controls, etc. But there are few more that we really like.
There’s the climate control which works wonderfully well for our hot conditions – but what’s more is that Hyundai’s also attached an ‘ionizer’ to the system which constantly cleans the cabin air. That’s the kind of stuff you get on some high-end air-conditioning systems; and having a similar unit in your car from an aftermarket supplier like Bosch or Philips can set you back by a couple of thousand rupees. Another feature we like is the rear-view camera – the display for which magically appears in the electro-chromic rear-view mirror. Now that’s convenience in a concise package.
There’s a good load on the safety tech too. All four discs brakes with anti-lock system and electronic brake-force distribution (ABS with EBD); seatbelt pre-tensioners; and speed & impact-sensing door locks. But what we love the most for a car in this segment is that you can have up to six airbags!
Mahindra Xylo H9
There is no doubt that the Mahindra Xylo is one of the most sought-after MUVs in the Indian market today – disputed its dreadful handling characteristics. But what is worth noting is the kind of features that is packs for this segment. The aircraft-like seat mounted trays for example – which can be a good thing to have on long drives. There is also the multi-information display, which has an informative trip computer – again a nice tool for long distance driving. But what we really like (again, for long-distance drives) is the presence of cruise control! It’s a novel feature for a car in this segment and is a boon if you can find an empty piece of highway. And if you get bored on those long journeys then you have the voice commands. No, really – this one is better. The virtual woman understands the Indian accent and can not only control the audio system, she can also toggle the headlamps, turn blinkers and wipers and lock or unlock the doors and the fuel-lid.
When it comes to Indian market, Mahindra & Mahindra not only know how to tune their SUVs for the Indian terrain but they also know what features and creature comforts the consumers are looking for.
Tata Vista D90
Right from the day the first model Indica came to the market, Tata has offered something more than the competition. Be it space or comfort, the products have excelled! Although the quality hasn’t been anything to write about, it’s good to see a feature rich product from the same house. Called Vista D90, the car gets a 90PS diesel engine, which not just makes it immense fun to drive, it also makes it a better long distance cruiser.
The Vista D90 is available in two variants, namely VX and ZX+ and in terms of features the hatchback gets an FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) body kit, which has been attached to the make the car look sportier. A different colour on the roof looks good breaks the monotony in a similar way the use of chrome does. On the inside, the automatic climate control takes care of keeping the interiors at a set temperature without you having to intervene. The instrumentation panel, moved back to the conventional position, that is in front of the driver makes it look great and not out of place. You get power outlet both at front and rear, which makes it convenient, if you and the co-passengers are smart-phone users. Talking about smartphones, you can connect yours to the car’s touchscreen infotainment system, which plays DVDs and USB too. It also gets navigation on the 6.7″ screen system.
The overall quality has indeed improved if you compare it with the original Indica but given the price point, the car still lacks a bit. But all in all, Tata has successfully made the car a desirable product to live with, thanks to the powerful engine and the rather decent list of features.
Keeping aside the Hyundai’s of the country, the vehicle that has hit the gong loudest in terms of features is unarguably, Ford’s newest entrant – the EcoSport compact crossover. From an industry first – Emergency Assist system to the highly evolved infotainment system in the form of SYNC to keyless go and six airbags, the urban SUV was dropped into the Indian market like a grenade this year.
The interior theme is all-black with silver inserts just like seen in most other Ford cars. Ford has intentionally omitted the rear-arm rest to maximise space. There are nine bottle/cup-holders, two charging sockets, along with cooled glove-box that make this crossover a great option for long journeys.
Given the highly competitive pricing, the distinct looks, the number of variants and the length of the options list, the Ford EcoSport has made sure the register bell keeps ringing.