5 most fuel-efficient cars for first-time buyers

Keeping affordability as well as fuel efficiency on priority, this list only has cars priced under INR 5 lakhs

13th Sep 2019
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The Indian car market is a unique one. Not only do customers want more features, but they want that at an affordable price tag. But most importantly, India wants the most is ‘Kitna Deti Hai’. In fact, the fuel efficiency of a car often changes the buying decision. Maruti Suzuki has been ruling this arena for a long time. In fact, they still hold the top spot if we look at the whole industry. However, the entry-level segment has seen several new players who have transformed the way first time car owners shop. Not only have they introduced premium features but have taken the fuel efficiency game to a whole new level. Here are the 5 most fuel-efficient cars for first time buyers looking for a car under INR 5 lakhs:


Renault Kwid (25.17 kmpl)

Renault Kwid


The French carmaker took the entry-level car market by storm when they first launched the Renault Kwid. This small entry-level hatchback’s SUV styled design helped it grab everyone’s attention. The chrome front grille is a delight to look at. Besides that, the plastic body cladding adds to the rough looks. Add to that a best in class 300-litres boot space which can be extended to 1,115-litres and you have a first car option which would not disappoint you.


Offered in two engine options, the Renault Kwid’s 0.8-litre SCe petrol engine manages to return a fuel efficiency of 25.17 kmpl! This three-cylinder engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox and produces 54 PS of power and 72 Nm. The Renault Kwid has a ground clearance of 180 mm. Also, the car gets a digital instrumentation and a touchscreen infotainment system. Reverse parking sensors add further convenience to driving. Renault Kwid also offers power windows, intermittent wipers and remote keyless entry.


The Renault Kwid is available in Fiery Red, Ice Cool White, Moonlight Silver, Outback Bronze, Planet Grey and Electric Blue. Also, the car is offered in 4 variants. Pricing starts at INR 2.76 lakhs for the standard trim and INR 3.98 lakhs for the RXT (O) (both prices ex-showroom, Delhi).


Other significantly usable features include a rear centre armrest, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Sadly though, the AMT option is only available with a 1.0-litre engine.


Maruti Alto K10 (23.95 kmpl)

Maruti Alto K10


Unlike the Kwid, the Maruti Alto K10 is more fuel efficient than the Alto 800. The cute little hatch continues to get small car looks but with usable interior space. The thin chrome strip on the front grille adds a sporty touch.


The features list of Maruti Alto K10 is fairly comprehensive and includes driver side airbags, seat belt reminders, reverse parking sensors and dual tone indicators. Besides that, the Maruti Alto K10 gets internally adjustable ORVMs, front power windows and keyless entry. Both the instrumentation and music system do not get any fancy TFT displays. Also available are a tailgate opener and headlamp on reminder.


Powering the Maruti Alto K10 is a 1.0-litre K10B engine and has a fuel efficiency of 23.95 kmpl. The engine is capable of producing 68 PS of power and 90 Nm of torque. Transmission options include either a 5-speed manual or the convenience of an AMT! The Maruti Alto K10 is offered in 3 variants.


The Maruti Alto K10 can be purchased in Tango Orange, Granite Grey, Fire Brick Red, Silky Silver and Superior White. Pricing of the Maruti Alto K10 begins at INR 3.65 lakhs to INR 4.43 lakhs (both prices ex-showroom, Delhi).


Tata Tiago (23.84 kmpl)

Tata Tiago


The new Impact design philosophy of Tata Tiago is a delightful offering for first time car buyers. Right from hexagonal front grille, glossy black roof and spoiler. Besides that, the interiors get a darkened theme. The higher priced variants though also get 15-inch alloy wheels, projector headlamps and a touchscreen infotainment system. However, the higher variants cross our threshold of INR 5 lakhs.


At the heart of Tata Tiago is 1.2-litre Revotron three-cylinder engine with a fuel efficiency of 23.84 kmpl. The engine can produce 85 PS of power and 114 Nm of torque. Gearbox option in the two variants available under INR 5 lakhs is only a 5-speed gearbox. An AMT is available only in the higher priced variants.


Another interesting feature present in the Tata Tiago is Multi Drive modes. These include City and Eco modes in the manual option. The higher priced AMT gets City and Sports modes. This makes the Tata Tiago the most affordable car with driving modes.


Colour options of Tata Tiago include Pearlescent White, Ocean Blue, Berry Red, Titanium Grey, Canyon Orange, Espresso Brown and Platinum Silver. The Tata Tiago starts at INR 4.40 lakhs for the XE variant and INR 4.90 lakhs (both prices ex-showroom, Delhi) for the XM variant.


Maruti Celerio (23.1 kmpl)

Maruti Celerio


The Maruti Celerio may seem as the unwanted child in the company’s vast small car portfolio. However, it still packs a punch. The split front grille carries a simple design yet manages to grab eyeballs. The electrically adjustable rear-view mirrors also get integrated indicators. The alloy wheel design though looks dated. Interiors are dual tone, but the beige does not give the Maruti Celerio any brownie points. Besides that, the Maruti Celerio also gets a seat height adjuster in the front.


Sadly though, unlike several more affordable cars, the Celerio, gets an analogue speedo and a basic stereo system. Powering the Maruti Celerio is the same 1.0-litre K10B three pot engine which also does duty in the Alto K10. Performance figures of 68 PS and 90 Nm are also identical. Gearbox options include a 5-speed manual and an AMT. The Maruti Celerio has a fuel efficiency rating of 23.10 kmpl.


Colour offerings of the Maruti Celerio include Arctic White, Silky Silver, Glistening Grey, Blazing Red, Torque Blue and Tango Orange. The Maruti Celerio starts at INR 4.31 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). However, the AMT version is priced higher than the INR 5 lakhs mark.


Datsun RediGo (22.7 kmpl)

Datsun RediGo


Although the Datsun RediGo originates from the Renault Kwid, the RediGo is tuned differently. The tall boy designed car gets chrome surroundings for the front grille. Also, the LED fog lamp strips add a modern touch. The headlamps too get chrome inserts. Besides that, the interiors are spacious which is not easily given away by the car’s compact dimensions. The blackened interiors are sporty to look at while the music system gets Bluetooth compatibility.


The Datsun RediGo was recently upgraded with new safety features. These include driver airbag, rear parking assist sensor, high-speed warning and seat belt reminder as standard. Other features include remote keyless entry and a high 185 mm ground clearance.


The 1.0-litre petrol engine in the Datsun RediGo has a claimed fuel efficiency of 22.7 kmpl. Gearbox options include a 5-speed manual and an AMT. The engine produces 67 PS of power and 91 Nm of torque. The Datsun RediGo 1.0-litre is available in Ruby, Silver, Lime, Grey and White shades. Pricing ranges between INR 3.90 lakhs and INR 4.37 lakhs (both prices ex-showroom, Delhi).

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