We witnessed a lot of fireworks in this segment in 2015. The segment saw a lot of new launches like the Punto Evo Abarth, Maruti Baleno, Honda Jazz and the slightly tweaked Elite i20 from Hyundai and the Polo GT twins from VW this year.
Time has come to decide the winner of IndianBlueBook Premium Hatchback of the year 2015.
- The sharp styled and able segment leader, Hyundai Elite i20.
- The practical and big comeback car from Honda, the Jazz.
- The performance twins from VW, GT TSI and GT TDI.
- Maruti’s already popular Baleno.
- The new pocket rocket from Fiat, the Punto Abarth.
1. Hyundai Elite i20
- European design. 2014 upgrade gave an aggressive and classy look for the car
- High-quality interiors. Fit and finish are best in the class
- Slick gear box. 6-speed gear box on the diesel variant.
- Highly refined engines (i20 has the most refined diesel under the Rs 10 lakhs price bracket)
- Hyundai service assurance.
- No signs of cutting corners.
- Good resale value.
- Proven track record.
- Handling is not confidence inspiring like other cars in the segment.
- Huge price gap between the petrol and diesel variants (Around Rs 1.25- Rs 1.3 lakhs).
- Hyundai dropped some features compared to the old variant: sunroof, rear disc brakes, side and curtain airbags, DRLs and auto wipers.
2. Honda Jazz
- Most spacious car in the category.
- Most practical.
- Biggest boot.
- Pliant ride.
- Flexible interiors.
- CVT option in petrol.
- Tinny build.
- Interiors are not up to the mark. A lot of scratchy plastics inside.
- Practicality over form.
- Noisy diesel engine.
- Magic seats and 60:40 split seat only in top-trim.
- Not an agile handler.
3. Volkswagen Polo GT
- Excellent performance from both the mills with 100 + bhp power and ample torque.
- Solid built European hatch.
- Understated timeless beauty.
- 7-speed DSG on TSI is quick and offers good fuel economy compared to ordinary automatics.
- VW emission controversy.
- No manual option for TSI.
- Not spacious, compared to other cars in the segment.
- Indistinguishable from the cheaper Polo variants.
- Volkswagen service and service costs. Customers are skeptical on the service part.
4. Maruti Suzuki Baleno
- Rub-off effect of the successful Swift.
- It’s bigger and lighter than the Swift, read as better Power to Weight ratio.
- Stylish and well planted.
- Fun to drive and confidence inspiring handling.
- Maruti’s wide and deep service network. And that touching ad is true! “Wherever you go, you never drive far from a Maruti service station”!
- Maruti has tried to cut corners to save cost.
- Same engine with the similar power rating of the Swift. Maruti should have offered the 90 bhp engine on the diesel one.
- Thin tyres.
- Don’t have the solid feel of the European counterparts.
5. Fiat Punto Evo Abarth
- The performance king of hatches.
- 143 Bhp engine on a hatch, nothing much to say.
- Exclusivity, guaranteed.
- Good handling prowess.
- Solid feel.
- Distinctive styling, clamoring “Performance hatch” all over.
- Great performance to price ratio.
- Only petrol option limits volume, anyway outright sales number is not what Fiat wants with this car.
- Customers are not confident about Fiat sales and service.
- Rubbery gear shift.
- Low resale value.
- Fiat could have given the car a lithe lean look avoiding flashy boy racer bits.
IndianBlueBook has a systematic and scientific way of analyzing each car based on the following core attributes.
- Interior space
- Service Cost
IndianBlueBook Analysis & Scorecard
|CONTENDERS||HYUNDAI ELITE i20||HONDA JAZZ||VW POLO GT||SUZUKI BALENO||FIAT PUNTO ABARTH|
|ATTRIBUTES||WEIGHTAGE (%)||SCORE / 10||IBB SCORE||SCORE / 10||IBB SCORE||SCORE / 10||IBB SCORE||SCORE / 10||IBB SCORE||SCORE / 10||IBB SCORE|
And the IBB Premium hatchback 2015 is
Coupled with core strengths of Maruti like the strong resale value, mileage, performance and Maruti’s stellar service network, Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes right at the top to take away the IndianBlueBook Premium Hatchback 2015 award.