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The automobile industry in India has increased multi fold inthe last two decades. The pre-2000 era has gone when people from the middleclass or upper middle class car buyer was confined to choosing from just 2-3models.

At present the scenario is completely different. Now with the growingcompetition 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 segmentto choose from. Quite clearly, the segment that has witnessed a substantialgrowth is the entry-level segments. If you are someone with a budget of Rs 5lakh and looking to buy a new car, then You surely may get confused with thedecision-making process from an extensive options of car in the market.

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 Good ownership experience and good mileage are two basicfactors mainly looked by people while choosing a car and many of you may justblindly put your money down on a Maruti Suzuki citing the former factors as thereasons. But if you could actually carry out some real research, you may seethere are some pretty decent cars out there.  Why you should go for an entry level segment carAlmost every mass segment car maker has a presence in thissegment that boosts of the small cars like Maruti Suzuki Alto, TataNano,Renault kwid to MPV like Datsun Redi-Go, with almost 30,000 – 40,000 unitsof each variant sold in a month. Entry level segment mostly attracts customers who arefirst-time buyers or are planning to upgrade from two wheelers.There are innumerable key selling points like the compactsize of the car, fuel efficiency that makes the entry-level segment cars  the best-selling cars in the country. In acountry like ours with less parking spaces, it is a wise decision to opt for acompact size car. Other benefit of choosing an entry level segment is thesmaller engines that causes lower frictional losses while driving.

Moreover,the cars in this segment uses a 3-cylinder engine that has less surface areabetween the pistons to give the engine a mechanical advantage over the4-cylinder engine. The 3 cylinder engine makes the car more fuel efficient asthere is one cylinder less to burn the fuel.The car appears lighter and theoverall proportions brings down the manufacturing cost of the car. Apart from these, the cars in the segment also comewith  good interiors and space.   List of cars and featuresWe’ve made the process of selecting your first car mucheasier by charting out the top entry-level hatchbacks under Rs 5 lakh Tata NanoThe list starts with one of the most inexpensive andaffordable small segment car in the world, the Tata Nano. The small Indian carhas gone through several updates since its launch, making it more of a userfriendly car than before.

Tata Nano now has improved interiors with enhancedquality and finish levels. The Nano’s ease of use can’t be matched by any othercar in its segment.  The engine is powered by the tiny 624cc petrol engineproducing 37bhp and 51Nm of peak torque. With the introduction of an AMTgearbox and  the newly inducted powersteering, the small car is now more endearing that makes driving the Nano inurban traffic effortless. The car is priced at a very competitive price range betweenRs 2.06 lakh and goes up to Rs 3.03 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the top endvariant.

The fragile automatic version is the most tuned variant returns a fuelefficiency figure of 22.9kpl Main Features: Front Fog Lamps,Central Locking,MusicSystem+BluetoothOverall Experience: Extremely spacious cabin, large seats,plenty of legroom and head room, now has a boot,Well profiled, looksappealing,Efficient powertrain,Comfortable ride,Good real world driveabilityPrice-Range:2.06 -3.03 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)Claimed Fuel Efficiency:22.9 kplDealers in your city: Maruti Suzuki Alto:The second in the list is the country’s largest  carmaker’s bestselling model – the brandAlto. With almost more than 20,000 units sold every month, this heavyweight inthe entry level segment has even surpassed the iconic Maruti 800 sales figurestoo.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 producingoutput of 47bhp and 69Nm in the process. The K10 series is the most powerful ofthe lot that gets a The K10 gets a refined 1.0-litre K-Series unit thatproduces a modest output of 67bhp and 90Nm. The new variants of Alto K10 comes with AMT options that iscapable of  giving a fuel average of24.07kpl, which is a  commendable figureproduced by the model with the 5-speed manual gearbox.

 The price range of Maruti Alto 800 starts from Rs 2.70lakh(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 K10comes with a base price of Rs 3.48 lakh, but be prepared to shell out Rs 4.34lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the VXi, equipped with the AMT transmission anddriver airbag. Backed by the reliable -everywhere service network that Marutioffers,Alto 800 and K 10 series is undoubtedly one of the best optionsavailable to the India customers in the extremely competitive small carsegment.  Maruti Alto K10Features: Automatic Gear Shift, Driver Airbag, Piano FinishStereoOverall Experience: Low cost of maintenance and after-saleservice,competitively priced and economicalPrice-Range:3.48 -4.

34 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)Claimed Fuel Efficiency:24.07 kplDealers in your city: Maruti Alto 800Features: Driver Airbag, Remote Keyless Entry, IntegratedMusic System Piano Finish StereoOverall Experience: Excellent mileage figures,Refreshedinteriors and features listPrice-Range:2.70 -3.90 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)Claimed Fuel Efficiency:23.

7 kplDealers in your city: Hyundai Eon The Korean company is not too far behind when it comes tocars in the entry level segment. Eon,the most afforadble hatch from India’ssecond largest carmaker is the most fuel efficient and stylish car from thehouse of Hyundai. Engine: The car is powered by an 814cc, three-cylinderpetrol engine that is capable of producing 55bhp and 75Nm of torque. Eon stands out in terms of practicality andstorage space  with the boot having 215litres of capacity. The mileage of the car is claimed to be at 21.1kpl.

 Based on the feedback received by the customers, the carmanufacturers sorted out the less-than-inspiring driving characteristics, inits new offering Eon 1.0. This model has more power delivery and thedriveability is improved to make the overall driving dynamics a  pleasant one. The engine is powered by a new998cc, three-pot petrol mill producing enough power especially within the cityand leaving no room for complaint on the highway. The new Eon 1.

0 mileagestands at 21 kpl. Features: Bucket type front seats, Remote keyless entry,iPod and USB connectivityOverall Experience: Smooth ride, Best-in-class looks andQuality interiorsPrice-Range:3.29 -4.58 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)Claimed Fuel Efficiency:21.

01 kplDealers in your city: Renault Kwid:Renault made a grand entry in the segment with itsSUV-lookalike-affordable hatchback, Kwid. The car turned out to be the game changer for Renault, and what a way toturn the tables down.  Kwid snatched  the tag for the new low maintenance small car fromMaruti and has now become the best-selling model for the company.

  Customers are impressed by the  ground clearance and the boot size offered inthis small beauty.  Step inside and youwill be welcomed by a superior interior that features a touchscreen navigationsystem. You may even love the light steering that makes it easy to manoeuvre intraffic. Renault definitely know how to put up a small car with the butch looksof an SUV.Customers may get the right power with the 800cc and 1Lengines producing 53bhp and 72Nm of torque and a revolutionary AMT gearbox thatlooks like a rotary dial rather than a gear shift.There is a new CMFA platform to make the cabin spacious.

Sowe have a winner here with Kwid for people who love SUV but can’t afford to buyit.  Our advise is to pick this onewithout any second thought. Features: Digital Instrument Cluster, Driver Side Airbag andCentral locking system, MediaNAV navigation and multimedia systemOverall Experience: Satisfactory fuel efficiency, Good powerand torque output, Impressive exterior styling and featuresPrice-Range:2.62 -4.53 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)Claimed Fuel Efficiency:25.17 kplDealers in your city: Datsun Redi-GOIf you are looking for a big, spacious car and have limitedfunds then Datsun Redi-GO is a promising package and a car that makes a strongcase of itself.

The Nissan-owned Datsun has a unique funky styling and isknown for its refined engine.  Most ofits characteristics comes from its sibling Renault Kwid but the car is priced anotch lower than its sibling. You will love the ride in this spacious miniaturewith the small 799cc engine provides a nature ride quality to make it a driver’sdelight.The cabin however lacks many features and  seems a bit boring. There is ample spaceinside the car with an extra seat placed between the driver and front passengerseat at the front. Features:  Driver SideAirbag, Daytime Running LampOverall Experience: Cluster free, fantastic ground clearanceand driving manoevure and a neat cabinPrice-Range:3-4 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)Claimed Fuel Efficiency:25.17 kplDealers in your city:

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