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Top 5 automatic budget hatchbacks on sale in India in 2021

Rivan RS
·4-min read

A budget hatchback is usually easy on the pocket to buy and maintain and comes with the added convenience of an automatic transmission. These cars are best used for relatively urban commutes, where the automatic gearbox and smaller dimensions shine. With over eight options to choose from, here are Autocar India’s top 5 picks for the best automatic hatchbacks on a budget.

1. Maruti Wagon R 8/10

Spacious and practical, the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R comes with two petrol engines – a 68hp, 1.0-litre and an 83hp, 1.2-litre – both of which get an AMT option. The stronger engine is our pick, as the 5-speed AMT is a good match to this unit with hardly any penalty to mileage, and it has better performance too. The Wagon R’s aggressive price point also makes it excellent value.

Maruti Wagon R automatic factfile

Engine

3 cyl, 998cc, petrol

4 cyl, 1197cc, petrol

Power

68hp

83hp

Torque

90Nm

113Nm

Gearbox

5-speed AMT

5-speed AMT

ARAI mileage

21.79kpl

20.52kpl

Maruti Wagon R automatic prices

Variant

Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)

1.0L VXI AMT

Rs 5.48 lakh

1.0L VXI (O) AMT

Rs 5.55 lakh

1.2L VXI AMT

Rs 5.84 lakh

1.2L VXI (O) AMT

Rs 5.91 lakh

1.2L ZXI AMT

Rs 6.18 lakh

2. Hyundai Santro 8/10

The Hyundai Santro’s AMT unit is smooth and works well with the 69hp, 1.1-litre petrol engine; however, the engine feels weak and dated. The Santro boasts of good quality, is spacious, and well-equipped. It’s also well priced, compared to segment rivals, earning it the number two spot on our list.

Hyundai Santo automatic factfile

Engine

4 cyl, 1086cc, petrol

Power

69hp

Torque

99Nm

Gearbox

5-speed AMT

ARAI mileage

20kpl

Hyundai Santo automatic prices

Variant

Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Magna AMT

Rs 5.63 lakh

Sportz AMT

Rs 5.98 lakh

Asta AMT

Rs 6.35 lakh

3. Datsun Go 7/10

The most affordable car in India with a CVT automatic, the Datsun Go feels smoother to drive than its competition. However, the 77hp, 1.2-litre engine it’s paired to is rather gruff. Although the current Go is a significant improvement over its predecessor, it still falls short of rivals in terms of quality. On the plus side, the Go CVT is the most affordable car on sale in India with electronic stability control, which somewhat accounts for its relatively higher asking price.

Datsun Go automatic factfile

Engine

3 cyl, 1198cc, petrol

Power

77hp

Torque

104Nm

Gearbox

CVT

ARAI mileage

19.59kpl

Datsun Go automatic prices

Variant

Price (ex-showroom, India)

T CVT

Rs 6.31 lakh

T(O) CVT

Rs 6.51 lakh

4. Maruti S-Presso 7/10

The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso is a sprightly urban runabout, thanks to the peppy and frugal 68hp, 1.0-litre petrol engine and 5-speed AMT gearbox. The tall-boy approach has led to a significantly roomy cabin, though the exterior proportions may not be to all tastes. It also feels more basic compared to the other hatchbacks here.

Maruti S-Presso automatic factfile

Engine

3 cyl, 998cc, petrol

Power

68hp

Torque

90Nm

Gearbox

5-speed AMT

ARAI mileage

21.7kpl

Maruti S-Presso automatic prices

Variant

Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)

VXI AMT

Rs 4.83 lakh

VXI(O) AMT

Rs 4.89 lakh

VXI+ AMT

Rs 4.99 lakh

5. Tata Tiago 7/10

The Tata Tiago is well-kitted, drives like a bigger car, looks attractive and is roomy to boot. However, the 86hp, 1.2-litre petrol unit isn’t the most refined or frugal around, and neither is the 5-speed AMT one of the slickest of its kind. Prices are also on the higher side of the segment. Nonetheless, the Tiago’s safety and value for money proposition can’t be ignored.

Tata Tiago automatic factfile

Engine

3 cyl, 1199cc, petrol

Power

86hp

Torque

113Nm

Gearbox

5-speed AMT

ARAI mileage

NA

Tata Tiago automatic prices

Variant

Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)

XTA AMT

Rs 6.00 lakh

XZA AMT

Rs 6.47 lakh

XZA+ AMT

Rs 6.75 lakh

XZA+ AMT Dual Tone

Rs 6.85 lakh

Also see:

Best automatic hatchbacks under Rs 10 lakh in 2021

5 best petrol-manual midsize sedans on sale in India

Turbocharged petrol cars, SUVs for under Rs 10 lakh

Ten ways to improve your electric car, SUV’s range