India is the land of more than 1.3 billion residents and with a population density of a staggering 420 people per square kilometer, it is no wonder that we are always craving some parking space in our cities. With narrow lanes, ever-increasing traffic and a majority young population, small cars in India have always been the choice among the masses. In terms of numbers, the Indian car market is the fourth largest car market in the world.
Interestingly, the penetration of cars in India is still on the lower side, just 50 cars per 1,000 people. Compared to this, China, the world’s biggest car market, has over 230 cars per 1,000 people. Thus, our Indian market offers the highest growth potential for car manufacturers from around the world.
Historically, the hatchback segment has seen the most action in terms of model offerings and in the current times, the ‘traditional’ hatchbacks have also evolved with customer demands. So much so that, in present times there have been a number of subcategories that have originated within the ‘Hatchback’ marketplace, eg, entry-level, premium, ‘cross’ (with features like higher ground clearance, etc), performance editions with upmarket engine and suspensions, among others.
So, What is a Hatchback Car?
There are various body types with which we can define cars. A small car in the Indian context is generally a Hatchback. Though by definition a hatchback car is a car whose boot (or the rear door) opens upwards to provide easy access to the cargo space, for our Indian car market, a small car that does not have an extended boot/ cargo/ loading is only considered as a hatchback.
What this means is the fact that there are many cars on sale in our market right now, that, though, might be a ‘hatchback’ going by the definition, but due to its positioning and the segment, it might be called something like a compact-SUV, Compact Sedan, sedan, etc, in the Indian market.
Which Cars are Hatchbacks?
Thus, in an Indian context, a Hatchback is a two-box car that offers a boot lid. Here, ‘two-box’ is defined as having an engine bay plus the cabin without a boot space extending out at the back.
That said, here are a few pros and cons around the purchase of a hatchback that you should know of.
Things to Consider Before Buying Cheap Hatchbacks:
- Easy on the pocket in terms of the purchase price.
- Lower input costs in terms of financing.
- Are mostly fuel-efficient.
- Easy to handle and ergonomically inclined towards comfort.
- The smaller size makes these cars easier to park.
- Offer enough space to seat up to four average adults in relative comfort.
- Do not have enough space for larger families.
- Cargo/ luggage space is usually (but not necessarily) not much.
- Performance-wise, an entry-level hatchback is usually targeted towards city use, ie, home to office, market travel. However, due to their lightweight and smaller size, they might not be comfortable or spacious for extended long highway travels.
- Lack of safety features might be an issue.
- Lack of premium appeal.
Best New Hatchbacks of 2022:
There is an incredible depth and variety when it comes to car companies offering hatchback cars and their variants in India. As a buyer, you are spoilt for choice if you are in the market to find the most suitable and best hatchback cars in India. As such, we have compiled a list of all hatchback cars that are on sale in India right now. These small cars in India offer the best of everything that the car brands can provide for the prices they ask for. There is a hatchback for every driver and customer.
1. Maruti Alto 800:
An icon in its own right, the Maruti Alto 800 has been among the country’s most loved and sought-after ‘first car’ for years now. It is powered by the proven and trusted Maruti's three-cylinder 796 cc engine that makes 40 bhp maximum power and 60 Nm of peak torque. The Maruti Alto 800 prices fall in the range of INR 3.2 Lakhs to 4.95 Lakhs with an ARAI-certified fuel efficiency of 22.05 kmpl. And interestingly, there is an all new Alto expected to launch this year too.
2. Datsun redi-GO:
The most affordable Nissan-Renault alliance product in the country is the Datsun redi-GO hatchback. The Datsun brand is owned by the Nissan-Renault alliance and they brought it back to life as an economy brand that would make cars for the masses. In terms of design, the updated redi-GO offers a striking front facia that lends it an aggressive and sporty stance. It is powered by a frugal 999 cc three-cylinder engine good enough for a commendable 67 bhp of max power and 91 Nm of peak torque. It offers a claimed fuel efficiency of 22 kmpl and is priced in the range of INR 3.83 Lakhs to INR 4.95 Lakhs
3. Maruti S-Presso:
If a bulky but majestic SUV is your choice but you still want to have all the good bits of an affordable, reliable hatchback, then the S-Presso is among the small cars in India that you might want to pick. Powering the S-Presso is a 998 cc three-cylinder petrol engine producing 58 bhp of max power and 78 Nm of peak torque. Priced between INR 3.85 Lakhs to 5.56 Lakhs, it is affordable yet quirky enough.
4. Datsun Go:
The Datsun GO is offered with a bigger 1198 cc three-cylinder engine as compared to the redi-GO. This means that it is more powerful than the redi-GO as well with a maximum power output of 76 bhp and a peak torque of 104 Nm. It looks decent, offers good enough space for the segment and is priced around INR 4.02 Lakhs to INR 6.51 Lakhs. It has a claimed fuel efficiency of 19 kmpl.
5. Renault KWID:
Among the most famous and successful entry level hatchback cars in the country is the Renault KWID which has recently been updated with a newer Renault design theme. It is striking to look at and is offered with a 799 cc three-cylinder engine having outputs of 67 bhp and 91 Nm. It has a claimed fuel efficiency of 22.25 kmpl and in case you are interested in it, the prices range from INR 4.49 Lakhs to 5.83 Lakhs.
6. Hyundai Santro:
The car which started it all for Hyundai in the country, the Hyundai Santro is a legendary car model name in the country. In its latest avatar, it has a design that is in line with its hatchback siblings from Hyundai and offers great features and Hyundai’s reliability while continuing on with the theme that made it such a phenomenal success. You can never go wrong with this one. Powering the Santro is a 1086 cc three-cylinder engine with 66 bhp and 99 Nm of outputs. With a claimed fuel consumption of 21 kmpl you can choose its various variants from the price range of INR 4.86 Lakhs to INR 6.44 Lakhs.
Check the best accessories for your Hyundai Santro here.
7. Maruti Celerio:
Another hugely successful Maruti hatchback car in India is the one that has been recently updated in an all new avatar. In terms of design, the new Celerio looks much more premium, modern and is larger than the model it replaces. If that’s not all, the new Celerio also arrives with a moniker of being the country’s most fuel-efficient car on sale, with a claimed figure of a staggering 26 kmpl. Powering it is a three-cylinder 998 cc engine good for outputs of 66 bhp and 89 Nm. It is priced between INR 5.15 Lakhs to 6.94 lakhs.
8. Tata Tiago:
The safest small car in India by a fair margin, the Tata Tiago is also among the most stylish, well-built and good handling hatchbacks in the country. No wonder Tiago has turned out to be such a massive success for Tata Motors. It gets a wonderful 1199 cc three-cylinder engine that is not just incredibly frugal at 24 kmpl fuel efficiency but is also adequately powerful with the outputs such as 75 bhp of max power and 95 Nm of peak torque. It drives well, has a suspension that perfectly suits our kind of roads and is priced competitively in the range of INR 5.22 Lakhs to 7.67 Lakhs.
9. Maruti Ignis:
One of the most fun to drive small cars in India at present, the Maruti Ignis is a youthful, quirky yet highly lovable hatchback car. Offered with a 1189 cc three-cylinder petrol powerplant the Ignis makes a commendable 82 bhp of max power and a peak torque rating of 113 Nm. It is frugal as well with an ARAI certified fuel efficiency figure of 21 kmpl and is priced in the range of INR 5.25 Lakhs to INR 7.62 Lakhs.
10. Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS:
A hatchback car for India that truly depicts just how wonderfully well Hyundai Motors understands the Indian consumer and the market. The Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS is great to look at, well built and is also offered with the outstanding combination of the fabulous Hyundai 1-liter turbocharged GDI petrol engine that comes mated with a super slick manual gearbox. If you love to drive small cars in India, then this particular variant might just tick all the right boxes. The IMT-Turbo variant outputs 99 bhp and 172 Nm of peak torque from a 998 cc three-cylinder turbocharged GDI petrol engine. You can also choose from a long list of variants other than the Turbo-Petrol one too. The price range for the NIOS are from INR 5.29 Lakhs to INR 8.51 Lakhs (covering all variants).
11. Maruti Wagon R:
The eternal tall-boy car, the Maruti Wagon R has been the go to car for the vertically gifted for decades now and it continues to be the no nonsense, practical, confident and spacious small car in India that is big on space. No wonder then, the Wagon R, even after all these years remains among the best selling cars in the country, every single month. It gets the proven 1197 cc four-cylinder unit from Maruti that is good enough to produce a maximum power of 89 bhp and 113 Nm of peak torque. It has a mileage of 24.50 kmpl and is priced between INR 5.39 Lakhs to INR 7.10 Lakhs.
12. Maruti Swift:
There are not many cars that can claim to have mesmerized a country as vast and as diverse as India than the Maruti Swift. The Swift is an absolute blockbuster and the phenomenally successful small car in India that continues to create sales records after sales records every passing month. It is priced in the range of INR 5.90 Lakhs to INR 8.77 Lakhs and has a 1197 cc four-cylinder motor producing 85 bhp and 113 Nm. It has a mileage of 24 kmpl.
Check out some of the best accessories for your Maruti Swift.
13. Tata Altroz:
The Tata Altroz is the safest car that is manufactured by an Indian car brand in the country and it might also be among the most handsome premium hatchbacks on sale in the country, currently. This stunning Tata small car in India is testament of how far the automotive behemoth has come from its humble beginning in terms of design, safety and features along with performance. It is powered by a 1199 cc four-pot diesel engine that makes 90 bhp and 200 Nm of torque and has an ARAI certified mileage of 25 kmpl. The petrol powered Altroz comes in a turbo-charged variant as well (standard naturally aspirated petrol engine variants are also offered) that makes 109 bhp and 140 Nm from a 1199 cc three-cylinder unit. The price range in which the Tata Altroz is offered is - INR 5.99 Lakhs to INR 9.99 Lakhs.
Take a look at some of the best accessories for your Tata Altroz.
14. Mahindra KUV 100 NXT:
The offering in the hatchback cars segment by Mahindra is its most affordable small car in India as well, the Mahindra KUV 100 NXT. It has an exterior design that mimics the design of bigger Mahindra SUV’s and also comes with a unique 6 seater variant as well. Powering the KUV 100 NXT is Mahindra's 1198 cc petrol engine that produces 82 bhp and 115 Nm from its three-cylinder arrangement. Prices for the Mahindra KUV 100 NXT are set in the range starting from INR 6.15 Lakhs going up to INR 7.61 Lakhs. It has an ARAI certified mileage of 18.15kmpl.
15. Maruti Baleno:
In terms of positioning and features, the Baleno is Maruti’s most premium Hatchback car in India. It is also its safest car, (however not as much as the competition) and is understandably a stellar success. Only recently a facelifted version has been launched of the Baleno and it gets new features such as HUD and an enhanced safety net of 6 airbags on higher spec variants. Powered by the same engine that is available in the Swift petrol, the Baleno has a 1197 cc four-cylinder motor that makes 88.50 bhp and 113 Nm of peak torque. Its ARAI certified fuel efficiency is 22.94 kmpl and is priced in the range of INR 6.35 Lakhs to INR 9.49 Lakhs.
16. Toyota Glanza:
The new Toyota Glanza is a rebadged Maruti Baleno with a cool new front fascia that is sportier. It also shares all its specs with the Baleno such as its 1197 cc four-cylinder engine good for 88.50 bhp and 113 Nm of peak torque along with a 22.94 kmpl ARAI certified mileage. Pricing for the Toyota Glanza has been set in the range of INR 6.39 Lakhs to INR 9.69 Lakhs.
17. Hyundai i20:
Hyundai Motors’ answer to the perfect premium small car in India has been the i20 and in its latest avatar the Hyundai i20 has pushed the boundaries of design, features and equipment amid others in the segment. It is striking to look at, has a performance to match, is offered in a long list of variants that suit every kind of a premium hatchback car buyer’s need and yes, it has a legacy of its own in the country. The Hyundai i20 is offered with a choice of two different petrol engines, one of them being a 1-Liter turbo-charged unit that makes 99bhp and 172 Nm of peak torque. This turbo-petrol engine is also offered with an innovative, incredibly smart and effective IMT gearbox that you should have a test drive of in order to experience it. It is spectacular in design and super easy to use. The pricing for the Hyundai i20 starts from INR 6.98 Lakhs and goes all the way up to 11.48 Lakhs.
18. Honda Jazz:
The original (very) ‘big’ small car icon of the world, the Honda Jazz remains as practical, as spacious, as reliable, and as Honda as ever. The Honda Jazz is still the hatchback that offers more space than even cars from a segment or two above, meaning it continues to be the perfect small car in India. Powering the Honda Jazz is a 1200 cc four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 99 bhp of maximum power and a peak torque rating of 110 Nm. The ARAI certified mileage for the Honda Jazz is 17.1 kmpl and it is priced in the range of INR 7.71 Lakhs to INR 9.95 Lakhs.
Now coming to the segment of niche ultra premium small cars in India that are absolute hoots to drive and style that is evergreen, the Mini. The company, owned by BMW, sells a total of 4 different Mini models in the Indian market namely Mini Cooper 3 Door, Mini Cooper Convertible, Mini Cooper SE, and the Mini John Cooper Works. All of these models are powered by the same turbocharged 1998 cc four-cylinder petrol engine that makes a staggering 190 bhp of maximum power and an equally commendable 280 Nm of peak torque. The prices for all Mini models on sale in the country combined are in the range between INR 39 Lakhs to INR 47.20 Lakhs.
20 . Mercedes-Benz AMG A 45 S:
The most powerful and blisteringly fast small car in India has to be the stunning Mercedes-Benz AMG A 45 S. It is powered by a 1991 cc turbocharged petrol engine that makes a whopping 451 bhp of maximum power and a peak torque of 500 Nm. For a car this small in size, such power outputs can only mean one thing, incredible performance. The price set by Mercedes-Benz for the AMG A 45 S is INR 79.50 Lakhs and it is worth every single rupee. What a car!