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The automobile industry in India has increased multi fold in
the last two decades. The pre-2000 era has gone when people from the middle
class or upper middle class car buyer was confined to choosing from just 2-3
models. At present the scenario is completely different. Now with the growing
competition in the auto industry and new reforms introduced by the government,
the consumer is spoilt for choice and has a variety of options in each segment
to choose from. Quite clearly, the segment that has witnessed a substantial
growth is the entry-level segments. If you are someone with a budget of Rs 5
lakh and looking to buy a new car, then You surely may get confused with the
decision-making process from an extensive options of car in the market.


Good ownership experience and good mileage are two basic
factors mainly looked by people while choosing a car and many of you may just
blindly put your money down on a Maruti Suzuki citing the former factors as the
reasons. But if you could actually carry out some real research, you may see
there are some pretty decent cars out there.

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Why you should go for an entry level segment car

Almost every mass segment car maker has a presence in this
segment that boosts of the small cars like Maruti Suzuki Alto, Tata
Nano,Renault kwid to MPV like Datsun Redi-Go, with almost 30,000 – 40,000 units
of each variant sold in a month.


Entry level segment mostly attracts customers who are
first-time buyers or are planning to upgrade from two wheelers.

There are innumerable key selling points like the compact
size of the car, fuel efficiency that makes the entry-level segment cars  the best-selling cars in the country. In a
country like ours with less parking spaces, it is a wise decision to opt for a
compact size car. Other benefit of choosing an entry level segment is the
smaller engines that causes lower frictional losses while driving. Moreover,
the cars in this segment uses a 3-cylinder engine that has less surface area
between the pistons to give the engine a mechanical advantage over the
4-cylinder engine. The 3 cylinder engine makes the car more fuel efficient as
there is one cylinder less to burn the fuel.The car appears lighter and the
overall proportions brings down the manufacturing cost of the car.


Apart from these, the cars in the segment also come
with  good interiors and space.



List of cars and features

We’ve made the process of selecting your first car much
easier by charting out the top entry-level hatchbacks under Rs 5 lakh


Tata Nano

The list starts with one of the most inexpensive and
affordable small segment car in the world, the Tata Nano. The small Indian car
has gone through several updates since its launch, making it more of a user
friendly car than before. Tata Nano now has improved interiors with enhanced
quality and finish levels. The Nano’s ease of use can’t be matched by any other
car in its segment.


The engine is powered by the tiny 624cc petrol engine
producing 37bhp and 51Nm of peak torque. With the introduction of an AMT
gearbox and  the newly inducted power
steering, the small car is now more endearing that makes driving the Nano in
urban traffic effortless.


The car is priced at a very competitive price range between
Rs 2.06 lakh and goes up to Rs 3.03 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the top end
variant. The fragile automatic version is the most tuned variant returns a fuel
efficiency figure of 22.9kpl


Main Features: Front Fog Lamps,Central Locking,Music

Overall Experience: Extremely spacious cabin, large seats,
plenty of legroom and head room, now has a boot,Well profiled, looks
appealing,Efficient powertrain,Comfortable ride,Good real world driveability

Price-Range:2.06 -3.03 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Claimed Fuel Efficiency:22.9 kpl

Dealers in your city:


Maruti Suzuki Alto:

The second in the list is the country’s largest  carmaker’s bestselling model – the brand
Alto. With almost more than 20,000 units sold every month, this heavyweight in
the entry level segment has even surpassed the iconic Maruti 800 sales figures

That definitely says a lot about the brand Alto.


The car comes in two variants – the Alto 800 and Alto K10.
Alto 800 employs a three-cylinder petrol engine replacing 800cc and producing
output of 47bhp and 69Nm in the process. The K10 series is the most powerful of
the lot that gets a The K10 gets a refined 1.0-litre K-Series unit that
produces a modest output of 67bhp and 90Nm.


The new variants of Alto K10 comes with AMT options that is
capable of  giving a fuel average of
24.07kpl, which is a

 commendable figure
produced by the model with the 5-speed manual gearbox.


The price range of Maruti Alto 800 starts from Rs 2.70
lakh(Ex-Showroom) for the Standard Petrol variant to Rs.3.90 lakh(Ex-Showroom)
high-end variant for the VXi trim equipped with airbags. While the Alto K10
comes with a base price of Rs 3.48 lakh, but be prepared to shell out Rs 4.34
lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the VXi, equipped with the AMT transmission and
driver airbag. Backed by the reliable -everywhere service network that Maruti
offers,Alto 800 and K 10 series is undoubtedly one of the best options
available to the India customers in the extremely competitive small car


Maruti Alto K10

Features: Automatic Gear Shift, Driver Airbag, Piano Finish

Overall Experience: Low cost of maintenance and after-sale
service,competitively priced and economical

Price-Range:3.48 -4.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Claimed Fuel Efficiency:24.07 kpl

Dealers in your city:


Maruti Alto 800

Features: Driver Airbag, Remote Keyless Entry, Integrated
Music System Piano Finish Stereo

Overall Experience: Excellent mileage figures,Refreshed
interiors and features list

Price-Range:2.70 -3.90 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Claimed Fuel Efficiency:23.7 kpl

Dealers in your city:


Hyundai Eon


The Korean company is not too far behind when it comes to
cars in the entry level segment. Eon,the most afforadble hatch from India’s
second largest carmaker is the most fuel efficient and stylish car from the
house of Hyundai.

Engine: The car is powered by an 814cc, three-cylinder
petrol engine that is capable of producing 
55bhp and 75Nm of torque. Eon stands out in terms of practicality and
storage space  with the boot having 215
litres of capacity. The mileage of the car is claimed to be at 21.1kpl.


Based on the feedback received by the customers, the car
manufacturers sorted out the less-than-inspiring driving characteristics, in
its new offering Eon 1.0. This model has more power delivery and the
driveability is improved to make the overall driving dynamics a  pleasant one. The engine is powered by a new
998cc, three-pot petrol mill producing enough power especially within the city
and leaving no room for complaint on the highway. The new Eon 1.0 mileage
stands at 21 kpl.


Features: Bucket type front seats, Remote keyless entry,
iPod and USB connectivity

Overall Experience: Smooth ride, Best-in-class looks and
Quality interiors

Price-Range:3.29 -4.58 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Claimed Fuel Efficiency:21.01 kpl

Dealers in your city:


Renault Kwid:

Renault made a grand entry in the segment with its
SUV-lookalike-affordable hatchback, Kwid. 
The car turned out to be the game changer for Renault, and what a way to
turn the tables down.  Kwid snatched  the tag for the new low maintenance small car from
Maruti and has now become the best-selling model for the company.  Customers are impressed by the  ground clearance and the boot size offered in
this small beauty.  Step inside and you
will be welcomed by a superior interior that features a touchscreen navigation
system. You may even love the light steering that makes it easy to manoeuvre in
traffic. Renault definitely know how to put up a small car with the butch looks
of an SUV.

Customers may get the right power with the 800cc and 1L
engines producing 53bhp and 72Nm of torque and a revolutionary AMT gearbox that
looks like a rotary dial rather than a gear shift.

There is a new CMFA platform to make the cabin spacious. So
we have a winner here with Kwid for people who love SUV but can’t afford to buy
it.  Our advise is to pick this one
without any second thought.


Features: Digital Instrument Cluster, Driver Side Airbag and
Central locking system, MediaNAV navigation and multimedia system

Overall Experience: Satisfactory fuel efficiency, Good power
and torque output, Impressive exterior styling and features

Price-Range:2.62 -4.53 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Claimed Fuel Efficiency:25.17 kpl

Dealers in your city:


Datsun Redi-GO

If you are looking for a big, spacious car and have limited
funds then Datsun Redi-GO is a promising package and a car that makes a strong
case of itself.

The Nissan-owned Datsun has a unique funky styling and is
known for its refined engine.  Most of
its characteristics comes from its sibling Renault Kwid but the car is priced a
notch lower than its sibling. You will love the ride in this spacious miniature
with the small 799cc engine provides a nature ride quality to make it a driver’s

The cabin however lacks many features and  seems a bit boring. There is ample space
inside the car with an extra seat placed between the driver and front passenger
seat at the front.


Features:  Driver Side
Airbag, Daytime Running Lamp

Overall Experience: Cluster free, fantastic ground clearance
and driving manoevure and a neat cabin

Price-Range:3-4 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Claimed Fuel Efficiency:25.17 kpl

Dealers in your city:

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