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The Best Cars You Can Bring Home For Under 20 Lakhs!

nissan wheel

Before listing out the top 10 cars under 20 lakhs in India, I’ll take a detour to help you understand what you really want to buy.

I’ll do this by briefly going over the terminology used in the automobile industry and the different types of cars available out there.

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First let’s learn what the different car specifications mentioned by the manufacturers really means, and how much should they affect your decision. I’ve covered a very basic list here:

  • Horsepower in literal terms is the power of the car’s engine. The unit horsepower is defined as the total power it takes to lift a 550 foot-pound object to a height of one foot in one second. The horsepower of a car will give you an overview about the performance of the car’s engine when used in mid and upper range. The horsepower cannot be used as a singular thing you can check for and be relaxed about the performance as many other things like the torque available, the weight of the vehicle, aerodynamics, etc. have a major effect on the car’s performance as well.

 

  • Engine capacity and Fuel type – The engine capacity of a car is the gross volume of all the cylinders running in the engine (in cc/litres).Vehicles with bigger engine voluminous capacity, have more power.
    Fuel Types available in India include: Petrol/Diesel, CNG/LPG, Electric, and Hybrid.

 

  • Torque as we were taught in physics is simply the rotational equivalent of the force, it is usually measured in pound-feet, which basically means the twisting or rotational force generated when a one foot long lever is being applied with a one-pound force at an end. Usually torque and horsepower are talked about at once, and it is rightly done as torque plays a major role in the low- and mid-range response of the car.

 

  • Mileage or Miles per Gallon (MPG): This is basically a representative of the automobile’s appetite for fuel. But usually the official mileage figures touted by the manufacturers are a bit too optimistic. This is so, as these figures are estimates which are based on results of tests which do not test the car in real-world situations. So you can’t really trust any of the official mileage numbers, although you can go out on forums and find out the real mileages.

 

  • Zero to Sixty must be the most used term in the industry, it refers the time taken to accelerate from zero to 60mph or zero to 100kph, which literally equates to 62 mph. For a sports car this time can be even less than 4 seconds, whereas a SUV will take at least 9-10 seconds to hit 100. But these numbers given by the company are recorded in ideal conditions on a test race track with a professional driver at the seat. If you have to commute on a lot of highways and high speed roads, then definitely check it out.

 

  • Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price which is popularly abbreviated as MSRP is the sticker price of the car. Everything you pay above this number is showroom theatrics, so thoroughly research the car you want to buy and get the real MSRP before walking into a showroom. Everything above this price should come with some add-on in the car.

 

  • All-wheel drive v/s 4-wheel drive: The cars which come with four-wheel drive mode provide the driver controls to choose to use the engine power to run all four wheels, usually some dashboard shifters are provided to do so. Whereas the cars with the all-wheel drive mode are automatic and the transition from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel is seamless and needs no intervention from the driver. Either way, you get extra traction in many conditions at the expense of more fuel and maintenance to run an all-wheel/four-wheel drive vehicle versus a comparable two-wheel drive model.

 

  • Transmission refers to the gear system used in the automobile for transmission. With advancement in technology transmissions are getting more and more sophisticated and complex. You can get Manumatic transmission, clutch less manual transmission, and CVT automatic transmission. The manumatic is an automatic with a separate gear changing mode which can be opted and operated by the driver-operated. Whereas, clutch-less manuals have to be operated by the by the driver continuously for smooth shifts, but these usually also feature a fully automatic mode. A CVT automatic or Continuously Variable Transmission adjusts the ratio constantly in response to many different factors like load and throttle, depending on the use of the vehicle a CVT can even get you a better mileage.

 

Classification based on Body Shape by SIAM

In 2011, Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM) issued a classification document for cars based on engine size and car dimensions. Classification:

Mini Cars:

  • Length: less than 3600 mm
  • Seats available for: 5 people
  • Body Style available in the category: Hatchback
  • Engine capacity: 1.0 Litres

Cars like: Maruti 800, Maruti Alto, Hyundai i10, A Star etc.

 

Compact Cars:

  • Length: Between 3600 – 4000 mm
  • Seats available for: 5 people
  • Body Style available in the category: Hatchback/Sedan/Notchback/Estate
  • Engine capacity: Up to 1.4 Litres

Cars like: Swift, i20 etc.

 

Super Compact Cars:

  • Length: Between 4000 – 4250 mm
  • Seats available for: 5 people
  • Body Style available in the category: Hatch/Notch-back/Sedan/Estate
  • Engine capacity: Up to 1.6 Litres
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Car like: Logan etc.

 

Mid-Size Cars: Seats upto-5,

  • Length: Between 4250 – 4500 mm
  • Seats available for: 5 people
  • Body Style-Sedan/Estate/Hatch/Notchback
  • Body Style available in the category: Up to 1.6 Litres

Cars like: SX4, City, Fiesta, Ambassador, Indigo CS

 

Executive Cars:

  • Length: Between 4250 – 4700 mm
  • Seats available for: 5 people
  • Body Style-Sedan/Estate/Notchback
  • Body Style available in the category: Up to 2.0 Litres

Cars like: Skoda Octavia, Accent Viva

 

Premium Cars:

  • Length: Between 4700 – 5000 mm
  • Seats available for: 5 people
  • Body Style-Sedans and Estates
  • Body Style available in the category: Up to 3.0 Litres

Class B – Multi-Utility Vehicles and Sports Utility Vehicles

UV1: These are of less than 4400 mm in length and can price anywhere up to 15 Lakh, some popular cars in the category are: Toyota Innova, Tata Sumo, Scorpio, Mahindra Bolero etc.

UV4: They can cost you anywhere from 15 to 25 Lakh INR, but they do provide a bit more luxury and comfort. Examples: Skoda Yeti, Mahindra XUV 500 etc.

2×4 or 4×4 off road capability ; Generally ladder on frame ; 2 box ; 5 Seats or more but up to 10 Seats

  • Class C – Vans These are generally 1 or 1.5 box built vehicles and can seat up to 10 people, some example are: Maruti Omni, Tata Ace Magic, Maruti Versa etc.
  • Class V1: These include the various hard tops available which are usually used for personal transport and generally cost less than 10 Lakh INR

Features to check for, actually don’t miss these:

  • Features pertaining to comfort & convenience:

Power Steering is a must, you should definitely check if the car you are planning to buy has this motorized mechanism which makes your life a whole lot easier.

Power Windows are a necessity too, no one wants to flex their biceps to pull the windows, and so power windows with a simple button or switch would do.

Central Locking system is the wirelessly controlled security system which allows you to simultaneously open and close all the doors of your car using a key chain sized remote.

  • Features pertaining to the security features:

Anti-lock Braking System which is popularly known as its abbreviated name ABS uses a creative braking system that prevents the brakes of the car from locking to the surface, it is especially useful in situations like slippery roads etc.

Airbags are must too. But you should know that the airbags don’t work without seatbelts, so keep on your seat belts, then it can basically cushion you from the force to prevent injuries due to some collision or crash.

Now that you have an idea about what’s out there and what’s what in a car, you are in a better position to decide what you want, so to help you along in getting your dream car, here is a list of the 10 best cars under 20 lakhs INR, available in India:

*Note that the price range mentioned in the list is an approximate and covers the price of the lowest end model to the highest priced luxury/premium model of the car.

List of Top 10 Cars under 20 Lakhs Rupees India

#10. Mahindra Scorpio

Mahindra Scorpio

Recently, M&M was thinking to release a 2.2-litre version of Scorpio with a petrol version in India, the main reason behind it being the judgement given by the court on the ban of the sale of high capacity diesel cars in India from 1st January 2016.

Approximate Price Range: 8.5 lakhs – 14.5 lakhs INR

Seating Capacity: 7

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions:

Length: 4456 mm

Width: 1820 mm

Height: 1995 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2680 mm
  • Turning Radius: 5.65 m
  • Ground Clearance: 180 mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 60 L
  • Engine capacity: 2179 cc
  • Peak Power generated: 120 BHP@4000 RPM
  • Peak Torque available: 280 NM @1800 RPM

The Good:

  • The built body is very robust and can handle wear and tear very well
  • The giant not only comes with a 2.2 L engine, it is an efficient diesel engine, giving a very good mileage
  • 4WD version of the vehicle is available for base variant too and not just the premium version
  • The resale value of Scorpio is high
  • The premium version comes with a plethora of features which can give you a royal feel you expect in luxury cars

The Bad:

  • The suspension can be better, a Scorpio ride is still very bouncy
  • The leg room available for the people sitting in the second row is not enough for full comfort
  • The finish quality of the car may disappoint some people
  • There is no option of automatic transmission in any of the models available

#9. Tata Safari Storme

Tata Safari Storme

The new version of Tata Safari Storme has been officially launched as the Safari Storme Varicor 400, which comes with a new and improved engine: a 2.2L diesel engine.

Approximate Price Range: 9 lakhs – 15 lakhs INR

Seating Capacity: 7

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions:

Length: 4655 mm

Width: 1965 mm

Height: 1922 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2650 mm
  • Turning Radius: 5.4 m
  • Boot Space: 918 L
  • Ground Clearance: 200 mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 63 L
  • Boot Space: 918 L
  • Engine capacity: 2179 cc
  • Peak Power generated: 155 BHP@4000 RPM
  • Peak Torque available: 400 NM @1750 RPM

The Good:

  • The car comes with very spacious interiors and a whole lot of boot space
  • The safety features available in the car can be designated to be advanced level
  • The high-end version also comes with a AWD system
  • The newly designed exteriors of the vehicle are quite impressive
  • The engine performance has also gotten better than the previous versions
  • The service provided after sales is pretty good too
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The Bad:

  • The price tag of the car is on the higher end and the car also needs maintenance which will cut into your wallet too
  • The base variant comes without a pre-installed music system
  • The mileage of the car is not that impressive and can be definitely worked upon by the manufacturers

#8. Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet is thinking of coming out with a hybrid version of the sedan, the unveiling is expected to happen this year.

Approximate Price Range: 14.2 lakhs – 16.86 lakhs INR

Seating Capacity: 7

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions:

Length: 4597 mm

Width: 1788 mm

Height: 1477 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2685 mm
  • Turning Radius: 5.4 m
  • Boot Space: 918 L
  • Ground Clearance: 165 mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 55 L
  • Boot Space: 300 L
  • Engine capacity: 1998 cc
  • Peak Power generated: 165 BHP@3800 RPM
  • Peak Torque available: 360 NM @2000 RPM

The Good:

  • The car comes with some really trendy interiors which give you the feel of luxury
  • The car is pretty spacious, the leg space available makes it a comfortable ride
  • The vehicle boasts of the alloy wheels, which give the car a classy look

The Bad:

  • The car offers lower ground clearance than its competitors, which is always a con when you have to drive the car in India
  • The leather interior upholstery which gives you a feel of luxury is missing from the lower-end models on offer
  • The car doesn’t come with an inbuilt navigation system and there is no option of getting one installed either
  • The mileage of the vehicle is disappointing and including the price range of the car to the equation makes it a very expensive affair

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#7. Toyota Innova

toyota innova

Toyota is coming up with a new model of the car in 2016, it is rumoured to be named the Innova Crysta and would come with a 2.4 L GD series engine replacing the traditional 2.5 L Diesel engine it used to offer.

Approximate Price Range: 13 lakhs – 16 lakhs INR

Seating Capacity: 7

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions:

Length: 4585 mm

Width: 1765 mm

Height: 1760 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2750 mm
  • Turning Radius: 5.4 m
  • Boot Space: 918 L
  • Ground Clearance: 176 mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 55 L
  • Boot Space: 760 L
  • Engine capacity: 2494 cc
  • Peak Power generated: 101 BHP@3600 RPM
  • Peak Torque available: 200 NM @1200 RPM

The Good:

  • The car is very spacious and comfortable with classy interiors
  • The performance and drive experience is of the Best-in-class level
  • The vehicle is quite reliable and robust, needs comparably low maintenance

The Bad:

  • The design used is very old, and need an update
  • The car is not very fuel efficient as the mileage it offers is comparably lower than its direct competitors

#6. Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta

The German auto giant Volkswagen has announce that the 2016 version of Jetta will come with a newly designed infotainment system with a touch screen, similar to the system provided in the iconic Beetle.

Approximate Price Range: 14 lakhs – 20 lakhs INR

Seating Capacity: 5

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions:

Length: 4659 mm

Width: 1778 mm

Height: 1453 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2468 mm
  • Turning Radius: 5.5 m
  • Boot Space: 510 L
  • Ground Clearance: 159 mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 55 L
  • Boot Space: 300 L
  • Engine capacity: 1968 cc
  • Peak Power generated: 138 BHP@4200 RPM
  • Peak Torque available: 320 NM @1750 RPM

The Good:

  • The safety features provided in the car give all of its competitors a run for their money
  • Even after the fact that the car runs on a diesel engine, the acceleration and performance of the car is not at all bad, in fact it is pretty respectable
  • The exteriors introduced in the last model were a definite upgrade from its predecessors, making the overall look of the car quite more appealing and pleasing to the eye

The Bad

  • Jetta is comparably more expensive than cars of similar built and performance
  • The leg space available doesn’t correspond to the price range, and can be improved quite a lot
  • For Indian roads the ground clearance is a bit too low can prove to be major let down
  • The diesel engine on board the car is pretty fuel inefficient, although it makes it up in the performance, but still people going for this car should be advised
  • The latest version didn’t had many interior upgrades and looked almost the same from inside

#5. Mahindra XUV500 Automatic

Mahindra XUV500 Automatic

Mahindra has announced that the newer version of this SUV or as they like to call it an XUV – Extreme Utility vehicle will get an engine upgrade with better technical specifications.

Approximate Price Range: 11.5 lakhs – 17.5 lakhs INR

Seating Capacity: 7

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions:

Length: 4585 mm

Width: 1890 mm

Height: 1785 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2700 mm
  • Turning Radius: 5.6 m
  • Boot Space: 930 L
  • Ground Clearance: 200 mm
  • Fuel Capacity: 70 L
  • Transmission: 6 Geared Manual/Automatic
  • Engine capacity: 2179 cc
  • Peak Power generated: 140 BHP@3750 RPM
  • Peak Torque available: 330 NM @1600 RPM

The Good:

  • The design is not only good for pace but for durability as well
  • The seating space in the cabin for the first 2 rows is more than ample making it a very comfortable ride.
  • The engine on this beast is very efficient and delivers a whole lot of power
  • The ride quality for city roads and highways is very good and definitely nicer than its competitors
  • The higher end versions come with a whole array of features
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The Bad:

  • Restricted third row seats
  • Small luggage capacity
  • No automatic transmission
  • Mahindra’s after sales services

#4. Toyota Corolla Altis

Toyota Corolla Altis

The newer version of the Corolla is longer, wider and has more pizazz than its predecessor. The fans of the car all had the same complaint that it’s not stylish and doesn’t make you give it another look, but the company has finally addressed the issue with the latest version.

Approximate Price Range: 13 lakhs – 18 lakhs INR

Seating Capacity: 5

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions:

Length: 4620 mm

Width: 1775 mm

Height: 1475 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2700 mm
  • Turning Radius: 5.4 m
  • Boot Space: 470 Litres
  • Fuel Capacity: 55 Litres
  • Transmission: 6 Geared Manual/Automatic
  • Engine capacity: 1798 cc
  • Peak Power generated: 139 BHP@6400 RPM
  • Peak Torque available: 173 NM @4000 RPM
  • Transmission available: Manual – 6-Geared/7-Geared with CVT

 

The Good:

  • The new version comes with some exceptional good features giving you a very good driving experience
  • The car is very comfortable, and boasts of a lot of space
  • The new design is bold and completely different from the less stylish predecessors

The Bad:

I’ll say nothing bad about this beauty except maybe the dent it causes in your wallet.

#3. SKODA YETI

SKODA YETI

Approximate Price Range: 19 lakhs – 20.5 lakhs INR

Seating Capacity: 5

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions:

Length: 4222 mm

Width: 1793 mm

Height: 1691 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2578 mm
  • Turning Radius: 5.0 m
  • Boot Space: 416 Litres
  • Fuel Capacity: 55 Litres
  • Transmission: 6 Geared Manual/Automatic
  • Engine capacity: 1968 cc
  • Peak Power generated: 138 BHP@4200 RPM
  • Peak Torque available: 320 NM @1750 RPM
  • Transmission available: Manual – 6-Geared

The Good:

  • The car is very smooth to handle, it’s a very good choice for urban city dwellers.
  • Not only it has a brilliant engine, it also provides ample comfort and a premium luxury feel

The Bad:

Although it’s called a SUV, it can’t even seat 7 people, that’s the only bad about Yeti, and that too because it was made that way, to be easy to drive in traffic.

#2. Hyundai Neo Fluidic Elantra

Hyundai Neo Fluidic Elantra

Hyundai brought the facelift model of Elantra with premium features in India in 2015.

Approximate Price Range: 14.5 lakhs – 18.5 lakhs INR

Seating Capacity: 5

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions:

Length: 4530 mm

Width: 1775 mm

Height: 1470 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2700 mm
  • Turning Radius: less than 5.0 m
  • Boot Space: 420 Litres
  • Fuel Capacity: 56 Litres
  • Transmission: 6 Geared Manual/Automatic
  • Engine capacity: 1582 cc
  • Peak Power generated: 127 BHP@4000 RPM
  • Peak Torque available: 259 NM @2750 RPM
  • Transmission available: Manual – 6-Geared, Automatic – 6 Geared

The Good:

  • The new Fluidic design is very innovative and stylish
  • It offers plenty in the form of comfortable interiors and all the safety features
  • The suspension of the car is very good and makes your driving experience much better

The Bad:

  • The steering response the car give especially at higher levels of rev is not impressive

#1. Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia

It is the most popular model by Skoda that wins this rat race, its Skoda Octavia, the car that really helped Skoda to establish itself. The name Octavia was recently replaced with the Laura remarketed as a next generation Octavia. But then the popularity of the Brand forced Skoda to resurrect Octavia.

The car has a very innovative design and hence attracts a sense of appeal, the looks are classy and the comfort it provides is at a luxury level.

It comes with a plethora of features, in addition to one of the most powerfully built engines. The interiors are exceptional too.

Approximate Price Range: 14.5 lakhs – 20 lakhs INR

Seating Capacity: 5

Available in three variants:

  • Engine capacity: 1400 cc

Peak Power generated: 138 BHP@5100 RPM

Peak Torque available: 250 NM @1250 RPM

  • Engine capacity: 1800 cc

Peak Power generated: 177 BHP@5100 RPM

Peak Torque available: 250 NM @1250 RPM

  • Engine capacity: 2000 cc

Peak Power generated: 141 BHP@5100 RPM

Peak Torque available: 320 NM @1250 RPM

Technical Specifications:

  • Dimensions:

Length: 4659 mm

Width: 1814 mm

Height: 1476 mm

  • Wheelbase: 2688 mm
  • Turning Radius: 5.2 m
  • Ground Clearance: 155 mm
  • Boot Space: 590 Litres
  • Fuel Capacity: 56 Litres
  • Transmission: 6 Geared Manual/Automatic
  • Engine capacity: 1582 cc
  • Peak Power generated: 127 BHP@4000 RPM
  • Peak Torque available: 259 NM @2750 RPM
  • Transmission available: Manual – 6-Geared, Automatic – 7 Geared

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At Last…

Apart from these, a number of new cars were launched by each of the dominant car brand at the Auto Expo this year, with some of the cars ready set to change the market for SUVs.

While it’s a wait and a watch for these new cars, most of which will be launched during June-July, I would still go for the top cars mentioned above, especially a SKODA. What is your preference in this list?

We would love to know your opinion in the comments sections below.

 

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