While SUVs might have taken over the market, premium hatchbacks are still a viable option for buyers. They may lack some SUV characteristics but can be more fuel-efficient & aerodynamic. The available engine options with turbo variants, comfort & features are excellent. They can also be more affordable than SUVs.
Here we have the best premium hatchbacks in India:
- Tata Altroz
The Tata Altroz has fantastic looks and gets a spacious cabin. It also has very good driving manners with decent ride and handling. The icing on the cake is a 5-star Global NCAP safety rating which is sure to attract buyers looking for a safe car.
Engine options include a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol unit and a 1.5-litre diesel burner. There is a 5-speed manual transmission across all engine variants while the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol gets a Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission option.
The exterior looks sleek and sporty with LED projector headlamps and 16-inch alloy wheels. The rear gets an integrated spoiler for that athletic demeanour.
- Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Maruti Suzuki Baleno received an update this year, making it the most recently updated premium hatchback. It has been ruling this segment for a while and is expected to perform better after the update. It is powered by a 1.2-litre DualJet petrol engine churning out 90hp & 113Nm torque with a fuel efficiency of up to 23kmpl. It has a 5-speed manual/automatic transmission and start/stop technology.
It has a spacious interior with features such as a 360-degree camera, heads-up display, Arkamys-tuned sound system, revamped projector LED headlamps, and 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also gets cruise control & automatic climate control. Baleno gets upto 6-airbags ABS, EBD and ESP, with a price range of ₹6.49-9.71 lakhs ex-showroom throughout 4 variants; Sigma, Delta, Zeta, and Alpha. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno is the best car under 10 lakhs.
- Hyundai i20
The i20 does have a striking exterior design that is a real head turner. The interiors are feature laden, spacious and there is lots of safety equipment making the car a good-value-for-money proposition. There are also a lot of powertrain options to choose from.
The i20 gets three engine options, a 1.2 litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, a 1.5-litre diesel powerplant and a little 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit. Transmission options for the 1.2-litre NA include a 5-speed manual unit and an iVT (intelligent variable transmission). The 1.2-litre turbo gets either a 6-speed iMT gearbox or a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission. Finally, the 1.5-litre diesel unit gets a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The main rivals of the Hyundai i20 include the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Tata Altroz, Honda Jazz, Volkswagen Polo and Maruti Suzuki Swift. Some of the disadvantages of the i20 include a stiff ride at slow speeds, a relatively high price point, and cabin material quality that could have been slightly more premium for the price you pay.
- Honda Jazz
The Jazz is the only hatchback offering from Honda and takes on the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai i20 as its main rivals. The cabin is designed to offer the maximum space possible from the given dimensions.
The front end is dominated by a black grille with plenty of chrome embellishments that wrap around the LED projector lamps. The rear end receives a LED wing light and the sporty hatchback gets a one touch electric sunroof.
Engine options include an i-VTEC 1.2-litre, BS6 compliant petrol engine (89 bhp / 110 Nm) mated to either a 5-speed manual or 7-speed CVT transmission. The CVT variant gets paddle shifters on the steering wheel adding to the sporty appeal. Fuel efficiency is decent at 16.6 kmpl for the manual and 17.1 kmpl for the CVT variant. The Honda Jazz is one of the best mileage cars in India.
- Toyota Glanza
The Toyota Glanza gets a spruced-up exterior that has some distinctive styling elements as compared to its sibling, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. It is more expensive than the Baleno, but it comes with an extended warranty and Toyota’s after sales service is an attractive incentive. The Glanza also has a more premium look, especially from the front.
The Toyota Glanza is powered by a 1.2-litre, dual VVT (Variable Valve Timing) petrol engine that is good for a maximum power output of 89 bhp and 113 Nm of torque. The engine is available with a 5-speed manual or an AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) unit.
L-shaped LED DRLs at the front along with LED projector headlamps give the Glanza a sharp looking exterior. It also gets new front and rear bumpers, diamond cut alloy wheels and special LED split rear lights.
Interiors get a heads-up display (HUD), 360-degree camera for added safety, automatic climate control, high-end sound system, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors and 6 airbags. There is also a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and cruise control features.
Premium hatchbacks in India have constantly been evolving to become the preferred choice over compact sedans and SUVs. With the added benefit of being able to manoeuvre in city traffic, while still being big on interior space, premium hatchbacks are as comfortable as their larger siblings. Hatchbacks also come with some powerful engines to deliver a thrilling experience while providing excellent drivability.
Sales figures of premium hatchbacks highlight their immense popularity and the Indian car buyer is spoilt for choice when it comes to this segment. We hope this list narrows down the best hatchback you are looking for. It should give you a better understanding of the options you could be driving.