The Indian car market is all about hatchbacks. Puny and efficient, they cost less and the modern ones offer a lot more. And when we speak about hatchbacks, we are speaking about Maruti Suzuki’s bastion. Hyundai has managed to eke out a mention in the top-five in the past few years despite the huge advantage that Maruti enjoys. So in this top-five list, we will skip a couple of Maruti models to add the new kids on the block who have made a difference.
1. Maruti Suzuki Alto
The Alto is the most-approachable Maruti in the Indian car market and offers both 800cc and 1.0-litre petrol engines with both manual and automated-manual gearboxes. It also offers the factory-fitted CNG options, thus making its variant portfolio one of the widest in the market. No wonder it sells 20,000 units on an average with 23,371 units sold in July 2018.
The Swift changed the perception of a hatchback when it was launched back in 2005. With its Mini- like looks and an economical peppy motor, it became the new definition of the Indian buyer who now had more disposable income thanks to the economic upswing. The introduction of the super-efficient diesel made it the bestseller since 2008 and even after 10 years, it hasn’t changed. The all-new Swift was launched last year and it sold 19,993 units in July 2018.
This might sound repetitive, but the Baleno turned the premium hatchback segment on its head when it was launched a couple of years ago. With 17,960 units sold in July 2018, it ranks fourth in the list of the highest car sellers in July 2018. With its new lighter platform and the trusted powertrains, the Baleno has been ruling the roost for more than a year now.
The Elite i20 was the first premium hatchback to be sold in India and ended up pioneering a segment that is potentially the next big thing in the Indian car market. It also established Hyundai as a trusted brand, giving it the volumes and also its feature-studded image. Consistently maintaining five-figure sales numbers for the past few years, the i20 sold 10,882 units in July 2018.
5. Tata Tiago
Ideally, the Tiago doesn’t make it to the top-five selling hatchbacks on pure numbers. But as we said before, the Tiago has certainly uplifted the mini-hatchback segment. Competing against the likes of the Alto 1.0-litre, it offers more space, better styling and a plusher ride. The little hatchback has been the driving force behind Tata’s turnaround and certainly reminds us of the first Indica, the car that redefined the budget hatchback segment in India 20 years ago.