Various factors have come together for pushing the popularity of small car segment in India. Small cars are fuel efficient, when compared to middle-sized and luxury cars, and also come at a reasonable price for the ever-expanding Indian middle class. The congested roads and small lanes in the country are also one of the prominent reasons why small cars are a hit in India. At the moment, the Indian car market is flooded with small cars and car companies are all set to launch over 10 small car models in the year 2010. The article enlists all the small cars entering the Indian car market in the next year. Read on to know your pick!
2010 Small Car Models In India
Ford Figo (which means “cool” in colloquial Italian) is an attempt of Ford to get a foothold on the strong market of small cars in India. With a 5-door hatchback design, and a chunky and muscular stance, Figo is an attempt of Ford to get a share in the B segment of Indian car market, accounting for a whopping 70% in new vehicle market. Having a signatory kinetic design, it has a solid stance, large interiors, and a modern and trendy look, ready to give some stiff contest to the likes of Maruti Ritz, Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20, and Skoda Fabia. It sports a 1200-cc engine, with modern headlamps, sculpted bonnet (very similar to Ford Fiesta and Ford Icon), and a side and rear look that matches Ford Fusion. Automobile Experts believe Figo’s USP to be the bountiful spacious interiors, which are believed to set new standards for small hatchbacks. Having lost its cult status in the American-European market, Ford is shifting its base to East and has chosen India for its revival ground, which augurs well for the Indian market.
Chevrolet Beat can be considered as an attempt of Chevrolet to get a hold on the Indian small car market. After failing to woo the Indian consumers with Spark and Aveo U-VA, Chevy has come out with a compact 1.2-litre hatchback, with an expected high mileage and stylish interiors. Beat swanks of a sporty exterior, with a large air dam and headlights placed all through the edges of the front hood. According to the design team assistant manager Injo Kim, the inspirations behind Beat were every day heroes. “People who wake up every morning and yearn to make a difference”! Like them, the Beat is simple, free, and casual, with a strong heart.” As Chevy plans to enter the Indian market with huge numbers, this car will not be kit-assembled, rather made locally. It is also expected to be the export hub for the small cars. The cape and the maleta of the Chevy to entice the Indian customers is an exclusive customization it is offering. From the wheels to the dashboards, almost every feature is augmented for greater customization. Priced at rupees five lakhs, “It will be a high-end small car”. Whether Beat would be able to revive the lost reign of Chevrolet or not, only time will tell!
Fiat Linea Multijet & T Jet
The Italian carmaker Fiat has seen both good and bad times in India, but has always wedged on. It is being expected that the two new variants of Fiat Linea - Mutiljet and T-jet would rejuvenate the brand and bring it back to the golden times. Fiat is betting too much on the two models and not without good reasons. The 1.6 multijet features a 1599cc engine, while the T-jet houses a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine. Breaking the old myth of Fiat not giving prominence to beauty and appeal, the two new models Linea Multijet and T jet, have beautiful sculpted interiors and exteriors. And never one to compromise on features like safety, solid built and performance, these two cars comes out with the best of both worlds. Moreover, Linea is the only car among its entire clan to offer an air convent. With incredible roomy and splendid interiors, Linea offers a superb ride quality. Multijet has a little more torque than T jet, but the cabin noise is more prominent in the former, than the latter. Linea T jet would be the only model to have a turbo charged petrol engine. Combined with anti-lock braking system and Electronic brake force distribution system, these two cars are expected to priced around 9 to 10 lakhs (Linea T jet) and 10 to 12 lakhs (Multijet).
After an overwhelming success of i10 and i20, it was natural that Hyundai would want to cash in on the popularity of the i-series. With that purpose, the automobile giant is planning to launch the next car from the same series: the i30. The hatchback will feature a 1.4-litre engine that promises an average mileage of 10kmpl. Trendy, sleek, sporty, and saucy, the car will offer an assortment of comfort, style and economy - all rolled into one. It would offer both the petrol and diesel variant and give an array of features with a classy set up. A visual pizzazz, i30 is a 5-door hatchback, with detailed style both from inside and outside. It also comes with many safety features, such as airbags, electronic stability program, anti-lock braking system, traction control, etc, which are sure to give a superior edge to i30, over other entrants. As with almost all the Hyundai, this car also has less CO2 emission and gives a good fuel output. The car is expected to be available for around 8 lakhs.
The people’s car manufacturer is rolling out its Volkswagen Polo on the Indian roads, supposedly in early 2010. Seeing the huge possibility in Indian small car segment market, the carmaker has decided to bring out Polo, which would compete with the likes of Maruti’s Swift, Ritz, Tata Motor’s Indica, and Hyundai’s Getz. The car would be designed and developed in India, possibly in Maharashtra.
Fiat Palio CNG
With the ever-increasing price of petrol and diesel, many car drivers are opting for a fitted CNG or LPG kit. Keeping this in mind, Fiat has decided to cleverly roll out a CNG variant of its hatchback Palio, by early 2010. It is yet another effort by Italian carmaker, Fiat to get a grip on Indian market, where it is not doing well yet. Currently, Palio is available in diesel and petrol variant and as CNG is cheaper than both the petrol and diesel, the carmaker is hoping the CNG variant to boost up the sale. It also expects to attract consumers on the basis of being the first eco-friendly car. Till then, it is wait and watch game, whether this new variant is able to boost up the sale of Palio in Indian market or not.
Seeing the potential of the small car market in India, the Japanese carmaker Nissan is planning to launch its next generation small car, Nissan March, in India. Nissan March is expected to be launched in India in early 2010. It would be pitted against Hyundai Santo, Chevrolet Spark and Hyundai i10. With a tagline of “to make driving fun again’, Nissan March, with a spacious and plush interiors, sports a cacao hue for the interiors. It also has hordes of safety features like ABS (anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brake-force distribution), airbags, reinforced cabins and crushable zones, and BA (brake assist). Nissan March will be available in India in two variants, namely 14E and 14C, in 1.3 liters.
Mahindra Renault Sandero
Called just “Sandero” in the International market, the Mahindra Renault Sandero will be launched in the Indian small car segment in early 2010. A little over four meters, Sandero is much more spacious as compared to other cars in hatchback section. It is supposed to give tough competition to Maruti Swift, the all new Indica Vista, etc. The additional feature, along with the roominess, is the storage capacity - of 320 liters. The rear door opens up to 67°, making the access to the rear seats easier, which gives an additional advantage to this hatchback against almost all the small cars available in the market. With a room for five passengers, Sandero offers an option of fitting child seat to any three of the rear seats. The car is available in 1200cc for petrol engine and 1500cc for diesel engine. It also comes with a load of safety features, which include 5 airbags, anti-lock braking system, padded doors, 3-point seat belts, honeycomb dashboard, rail direct1.5 dCi etc. The design of this hatchback is a blend of Clio and Logan and thus looks both, rugged, robust and sophisticated. The styling also gives away the generous roominess of the hatchback.
Bajaj Lite has already generated enough curiosity in the Indian car market. The car has been specifically designed by Bajaj Auto, the Indian Automobile giant, keeping in mind the bumpy Indian roads. The car is expected to hit the roads by the end of 2010. It will have both engines - diesel and petrol and will be initially priced at Rs. 1,17,000/-. The concept car is being manufactured at Bajaj plant in Chakan. Bajaj Lite is likely to have both manual and automatic transmission, as suggested by reports. It is being manufactured under the expertise of French-based Renault and is expected to pose a serious competition to Tata Nano. Bajaj Lite will have a RR (rear-engine, rear-wheel drive) layout with a 600cc two-cylinder engine. The top speed is 140 Kmph, and the car will come with AC and instrument panel gearshift.
Around 3,565 mm long, 1,470 mm tall and 1,600 mm wide with a wheelbase of 2,360 mm, Nissan Pixo is almost the same size as Fiat’s Panda mini car. According to Nissan, the five-door hatchback can accommodate four passengers with enough comfort. The car will be offered with an efficient three-cylinder, 1.0-litre engine, with a standard 5-speed manual gearbox, while buyers can also opt for a full four-speed automatic. Pixo has been built in collaboration with Suzuki Motor Corporation in Delhi, India, and is essentially a restyled version of the new Suzuki Alto. The differences, however, are evident in a different nose, bumpers, wheel covers and seat trim of the Pixo. The car will be available at a very reasonable price. Its emissions of 103g/km of CO2 and a promised return of up to 64mpg are not very high.
The Skoda Roomster, produced by the Czech automaker Škoda Auto, is a five-door five-seat multi-purpose, vehicle-styled, leisure activity vehicle. The Roomster is based on the concept car of the same name, which was originally revealed in September 2003, at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The concept was slightly shorter - 4,055 mm (159.6 in) against 4,205 mm (165.6 in) - than the model that is being produced, but had a longer wheelbase - 2,710 mm (106.7 in) against 2,617 mm (103.0 in). The engines of Skoda Roomster will come in both petrol and diesel version. Petrol engines include the multi-valve inline three cylinder 1.2-litre, with power rated at 51 kW (69 PS; 68 bhp), followed by the 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre inline four cylinder EA111 engines, with a power of 63 kW (86 PS; 84 bhp) and 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp) respectively. Diesel engine comprise of inline three-cylinder, 1.4 Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI), with two power levels, ‘base’ at 51 kW (69 PS; 68 bhp) and ‘sport’ at 59 kW (80 PS; 79 bhp). The most luxurious models have a four-cylinder 1.9 TDI, with 77 kW (105 PS; 103 bhp).
Skoda Fabia Combi
Skoda Fabia Combi offers the passengers better comfort and more space to store luggage, as compared to its predecessor, Skoda Auto. The boot has a volume of 505 liters and the total size of the luggage compartment is 1,485 liters. The car is 7 mm longer and 46 mm higher. The shape and roof of Fabia Combi impart the car a streamlined appearance, which accounts for the dynamic look of the car, along with its dark columns. The headlights contribute to the friendly appearance of the car, while the front grille is inspired from the traditional design, sporting vertical bars and Skoda logo. The interiors of the car are well organized to ensure comfort, safety and convenience. The main features include enough room for passengers sitting in the rear seats, many storage trays, boxes, etc. and high-quality materials in the interior. The lower lockable box can serve as a small refrigerator in the air conditioned version of the car. Fabia Combi has been reasonably priced at Rs. 8,50,000.
Tata Indica Vista Ignis
Tata Motors is likely to launch a new variant of Tata Indica Vista, named Ignis, in 2010. Three variants have already been launched by the company, Aqua, Terra and the Aura. Ignis will have 1.4L Saffire engine. This 1.4L Saffire engine is capable of producing 90PS of max power at 6000rps and 115Nm of peak torque at 4500rmp. The other features of the car are dual front bags, one for the front passenger and one for the driver. ABS and EBD will be the new safety features, not present in the earlier models belonging to the vista range. The size of Ignis will be bigger than the existing Indica model. The music system fitted in the car will have Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port. The steering wheel will sport a new design, in order to accommodate the airbag and steering mounted controls for the audio system. The car is likely to be priced between 4.5 to 5 lacs.