About six years ago, the Indian car market was pretty clearly segmented and buyers had a limited number of options in each part of the market. One could buy an A-segment car or go directly to the B-segment and buy something that was slightly larger and a bit more powerful. Now, fast forward to 2017 and there are cars in price ranges everywhere! Our focus today is upon one of the newer segment which is the A+ segment. This is a part of the market that has come into existence thanks to buyers with slightly larger budgets, but still in the range of entry-level cars.
For a long time the significant player here was the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 but over the years it has been joined by the Hyundai Eon 1.0-litre as well as the Renault Kwid which is now being offered with a 1.0-litre unit. The latest to join the fight will be the Datsun Redigo whose 1.0-litre avatar will launch on 26 July in the Indian market. To see where it stands we have pitted it against its biggest rival the Maruti Alto K10.
When it was launched last year, we felt that the Redigo stood out thanks to its appearance and it stands well above the Alto K10 when it comes to looks. Maruti has played it safe with the Alto K10 and stuck to the traditional hatchback traits. Where the Datsun’s face is bright, sharp and with angular lines, the Alto K10 makes use of the 800’s 36 year-old heritage, to keep the association strong. There are traditional small car traits like the flat roofline and vertically stacked tail lamps defining the Alto K10, while the Redigo takes a slightly different approach. The side profile gets flared wheel arches, a strong hip line and wedge shaped tail lamps that give it a distinct identity.
These are budget cars and built to a cost with the same brief in mind. This means that while they may look different on the inside, they are essentially the same in terms of what is on offer. This list comprises fabric seats, hard wearing plastics, 2-DIN music system, bottle storage spaces in the centre console and of course AC. While the elements look different, the layout is pretty much the same and if you took a hard look, it would be a similar setup. The Alto K10 is a bit longer, but in terms of wheelbase, both cars are quite evenly matched.
This is where the game gets even. Both cars are offered with 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engines and five-speed manual gearboxes. Additionally, the Alto K10 is also offered with a five-speed AMT. In the logical progression of things, the Redigo too will get an AMT just like its sibling, the Renault Kwid, and probably within the same time line too. Both engines produces 67bhp and 91Nm of torque but, in the case of the Redigo, the power comes in earlier and peaks torque slightly later than in the Alto K10.
There is a growing demand for such vehicles as they fit a middle spot where the vehicle is not entry-level, but is not too high in terms of price that it becomes hard to purchase without putting in a lot of money. Now in terms of pricing, we believe the price of the Redigo 1.0-litre as compared to the price of the Alto K10 will be a difference of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 from variant to variant.