Kerala On Road Official Blog

Posted on : 26 January 2019

Planning to buy a compact hatchback.. here are few choices


Compact Hatchbacks are in trend in India now with new launches every now and then. Maruti and Hyundai have one more segment now to compete against each other where they introduce these vehicles as premium entries than mere entry level models.
Say if you are planning to buy a car for the first time, or if you want a daily city commuter which is fun to drive, hassle free to maintain and easy on pocket during and after purchase, then here are few recommendations for you to consider.

The category that we intend to write about now lies between the range of Rs.4 lakh to Rs.6 lakh. For this price, these cars affectionately called the premium hatchbacks, offer a pretty decent package with nothing much to complain about. The main contenders in this segment are the newly launched Wagon-R, Hyundai Santro and Tata Tiago.


Price Point:

In this segment, price remains one of the biggest deciding factors for many when buying a car. As all these three models fall within the same category, it reduces our work out on a calculator.

These three cars lie in the same price range with not much of a difference.


Wagon R:

The Wagon-Rstarts at a price point of Rs.4.19 lakh for the base LXI(1.0L) variant and goes uptoRs.5.69 lakh for the ZXI (1.2L)variant.

LXI (1.0) (MT) 4.19 Lakh
VXI (1.0) (MT) 4.69 Lakh
VXI (1.0) (AMT) 5.16 Lakh
VXI (1.2) (MT) 4.89 Lakh
VXI (1.2) (AMT) 5.36 Lakh
ZXI (1.2)(MT) 5.22 Lakh


Hyundai Santro

New Hyundai Santro stands head to head with Wagon-R in terms of price.

Here is the price list for Hyundai Santro:
D-Lite (MT) Rs.3.89 lakh
Era(MT) Rs.4.24 lakh
Magna (MT) Rs.4.57 Lakh
Magna (CNG) Rs.5.23 lakh
Magna (AMT) Rs.5.18 lakh
Sportz(MT) Rs.4.99 Lakh
Sportz(AMT) Rs.5.46 lakh
Sportz(CNG) Rs.5.64 lakh
Asta (MT) Rs.5.45 lakh


Tata Tiago:

Petrol Diesel
Tiago XE Revotron 4.03 lakh 4.74 lakh
Tiago XM Revotron 4.35 lakh 5.16 lakh
Tiago XE Revotron (O) 4.37 lakh 5.08 lakh
Tiago XM Revotron (O) 4.68 lakh 5.50 lakh
Tiago XT Revotron 4.68 lakh 5.49 lakh
Tiago XT Revotron (O) 5.00 lakh 5.82 lakh
Tiago Revotron XZ WO Alloy 5.11 lakh 5.92 lakh
Tiago XZ Revotron 5.22 lakh 6.05 lakh
Tiago Revotron XZ Plus 5.64 lakh 6.42 lakh
Tiago Revotron XZ Plus Dual Tone 5.71 lakh 6.49 lakh

Tiago Revotron XTA 5.04 lakh
Tiago Revotron XZA 5.63 lakh
(All the prices indicated are ex-showroom prices.)


All cars in this segment follow a tall boy design to accommodate tall passengers in the cabin except Tiago. People have various choices when it comes to liking a vehicle especially based on the design. Hence, I would rather not comment on it. Each model is special in its own way.

Maruti Suzuki Wagon-R has 6 color options Silky Silver, Poolside Blue, Autumn Orange, Nutmeg brown, Magma grey, Superior white.

Hyundai Santro comes in 7 colors Star dust, Marina Blue, Diana green, Typhoon silver, Imperial beige, Polar white, Fiery red.

Tata Tiago comes with 7 colors Titanium grey, Berry red, Espresso brown, Ocean blue, Platinum silver, Canyon orange, Pearlescent white


Interiors and Features:

Cabin of both the tall boys Wagon R and Santro appear boxy and big enough to accommodate a family. The design provides best headroom apt for tall passengers. The seats in the front and the rear feels basic yet justifies to the price range which these cars lie in, whereas the cabin of the Tiago feels much more plush and it can compete with even the next segment that includes Grand i10 and Swift.

Tiago upholstery provides more comfort in terms of cushioning and positioning. Tiago also has an added advantage such as height adjustable headrests and back seat cushioning that extends till the doors.

In terms of comfort, Santro and Wagon-R stands side by side whereas Tiago is a step forward.The feature list of all three cars are same, but Tiago also gets Harman Music system with 8 speakers which is the best in class. However, the user interface that Hyundai has on offer isn’t available in Tiago.

These cars, though they are budget oriented comes loaded with all the basic features like remote lock, front fog lamps, touch screen music system with smartphone connectivity, air conditioning, and all the required safety features with dual airbags, ABS and EBD. Tiago again stands ahead being the only car to offer alloy wheels and dual tone exteriors.

Overall, Tiago excells the best in comfort with best music system, while the other two models boast of more headroom for tall passengers challenging Tiago.


If the driver spirit in you prefers to spin wheels, then Maruti totally out rides its competitors with a 1.2L K-series petrol engine that revs freely and offers more fun to drive. I would like to mention that this is the engine that does duty on few bigger models as well on Maruti Suzuki lineup). However, this engine is offered only in the top two trims of Wagon-R 2019.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a smaller engine, then Hyundai has a better 1L engine with a good power train both in the case of Manual and Automatic compared to other two models. That’s not all, Santro’s AMT unit is apparently much better than its competitors.

Tata Tiago manages to stay different being the only model from the segment to offer a diesel engine. Having said that, there is lack of elegance while driving this trim. Infact, fun drive factor is totally missing on both diesel as well petrol engines from Tata. In the initial rpms, during our test drive, we felt that the car struggles quite a lot. Once you attain mid range, it feels ok, but sadly there is no top end from this motor.


All the three cars stand close to each other in terms of price, features, performance and comfort. Choice can be purely based on the customer needs. If you are a passionate driver and want an engine that appeals your senses, then Wagon-R with its 1.2L engine fits the best. On the other hand, if you are looking for a hatchback with a decent engine and good AMT, then Santro AMT can meet your purpose.

Overall we felt that Tata Tiago has a better package put together with best interiors, more variants including a special one in the form of Tata Tiago NRG. Tiago as an overall package has comfortable interiors and a pregnant feature list, the only drawback having been equipped with an unimpressive engine. If you feel the interiors are compensating for the engine, then Tiago is a safe bet.


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