Autogyaan: 5 Hatchbacks We’d Love to See in India
We as Indians love hatchbacks. We love how they are practical and economical. We love how they can be easily manoeuvred out of any traffic jam and parked in the tightest of corners, doing all this while not emptying our bank accounts. Here are 5 hatchbacks we’d love to see on Indian roads (only if they were assembled here, of course).
1) Volkswagen Golf
The quintessential hatchback, the VW Golf is one of the all-time best selling cars, and has graced international ‘car of the year lists’ time and again. The newest iteration is over a 100kg lighter than the previous one, and has impressive safety features such as lane keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control. It’s still a great ‘driver’s car’ and does everything that a hatchback should, and how.
2) Ford Focus
Like the Golf, the Focus is hatchback royalty. It has been an unmitigated success since its launch in 1998. The 2013 model manages to improve upon an aging design with new stylish looks and a well thought out interior. Very refined and practical, it still handles brilliantly and the pricier sporty versions offer some of the quickest engines in the range. Hot hatches really don’t get better than this (just look at those alloy wheels!).
3) Renault Clio
First things first, the Clio’s menacing looks ooze character, you can’t help but notice it. The supermini ticks all the boxes its accomplished predecessor dealt with, and still manages to improve upon others. It’s wider, lower and lighter than before making it handle much better and providing a very composed and comfortable ride. It has a bold, lively interior and comes with a punch-filled economical engine. It may not be as refined as some of its competitors, but it might put a bigger smile on your face.
4) Volkswagen Up
Volkswagen has built more than its share of hatchbacks, and there have been quite a few misses (read VW Fox) to go with the hits. But let there be no doubt, the Up belongs with the latter. This agile, little city car has a lot more space than it seems, and an interior that will put many pricier hatchbacks to shame. It’s not the most powerful or the best equipped car in its class, however it more than makes up for it with a very forgiving ride and a snappy gearbox. The Up does a lot more than is expected from it, and is just too much fun to drive for us to ignore it.
5) Kia Rio
Considerably cheaper than the Golf and the Focus, the Kia Rio will fit in well in the Indian market. Although its performance and handling is not at par with most of its pricier competitors, it has an extremely spacious and stylish interior. Coupled with great modern looks, the gulf between it and its rivals isn’t as big as you’d expect it to be. Boasting a five star NCAP crash test rating, it’s very safe and sturdily built. On top of what is simply a very solid and reliable car, Kia offers a mind-boggling 7 year warranty on all its models in more than 20 European countries. If that won’t sell a car, god knows what will.