We have an enormous number of SUVs in the Indian market. The segments alone have been diversified into so many names that it’s becoming seemingly hard for an average Joe to keep a note of the overall product line-ups. Mini-SUVs, sub-4m compact SUVs, mid-size SUVs, and full-size SUVs are some of the categories of SUVs we see in the Indian market.
Even though the SUVs now reign supreme in the Indian market – and also globally – it still not is the most popular body type in the Indian market. There are many consumers who still prefer buying hatchbacks, be it for the ease of driving, ease of maintenance, lower upfront costs, and budget constraints.
Therefore, after hanging our head against the wall to find the most capable SUVs in each of the hundreds of segments, we decided to come up with the most suitable hatchbacks that are below 8 lakhs in price. After all, sub-4m compact SUVs are the more popular choices above this price bracket. So, here goes.
1. Renault Kwid
Starting lower down the range, it’s the Renault Kwid that simply wins our heart for being the most capable entry-level hatchback in the Indian market. Be it the muscular SUV-inspired styling, comprising the split headlamp setup at the front with LED DRLs at the top and the main headlamp unit lower down, or the LED inserts at the back and a very butch overall appeal, the Renault cars are the most rounded hatchback in its class. It also carries a good level of equipment, with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay/ Android Auto and a segment-first reverse parking camera. Powering the Kwid is a 799cc three-cylinder petrol engine (53bhp and 72Nm) or a slightly peppier – and also our pick of the range – 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit, which makes 67bhp and 91Nm and also gets the option of an AMT gearbox apart from the standard 5-speed manual.
2. Tata Tiago
The Tata Tiago has won many hearts since it made its debut in the Indian market a couple of years ago. It is the mos popular hatchback in the segment, which dwarfs each of its competitors with a stellar value-for-money proposition. The main highlights of the Tiago remain to be its very well-proportioned styling, a healthy equipment list – comprising a fully-digital instrument cluster, 15-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, with a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay/ Android Auto and a reverse parking camera – and ample of interior space. It comes powered by a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which comes with the convenience of an AMT gearbox and a 5-speed manual unit. It is good for 84bhp and 113Nm of torque.
3. Hyundai Grand i10 Nios
The Grand i10 Nios, despite being not popular in comparison to the Maruti Suzuki Swift, is a far better overall package. It features a striking design, replete with projector headlamps, massive cascading grille at the front, 15-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, and a clean tail section. It also excels in interior space and the overall quality and fit-and-finish inside the cabin. It almost feels like a much expensive car from behind the wheel. The equipment highlights constitute a part-digital instrument cluster, wireless smartphone charging, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay/ Android Auto support, and much more. Apart from the standard 1.2-litre petrol and diesel engines, the Grand i10 Nios also comes with the option of a 1.0-litre T-GDI petrol engine, which, combined with the capabilities of Nios, makes it a delight for the enthusiasts.
4. Hyundai i20
The last of this lot is the third-generation Hyundai i20, which is about to set its foot in the Indian market. It is the most premium option if you’re considering a hatchback that simply does it all. With the third-generation model, Hyundai cars have taken the styling of the i20 leaps ahead of its predecessor, since it now comes with a very aggressive and striking front-end, replete with snazzy projector units, a gloss-black cascading grille, and a sporty bumper. Overall, styling-wise, it’s the most fascinating hatchback in the Indian market. On the equipment front, it gets a 10.25-inch infotainment system, a fully-digital instrument cluster, cruise control, wireless smartphone charging, an electric sunroof, and so on. It gets the same engine options as the sub-4m compact SUV Venue, comprising a 1.2-litre petrol unit, a 1.5-litre diesel mill, and a peppy 1.0-litre T-GDI gasoline engine.