The implementation of the Good and Services tax (GST) has taken the auto industry by storm. It’s made luxury cars cheaper and everyone has quickly taken advantage of the reduction to reduce their prices. One of the segments benefitting from this is the niche but unique hot hatch market. Its most significant player is the Volkswagen GTI whose price has now dropped by a massive Rs 7 lakhs! This has resulted in the GTI dropping down into a new price category and getting some new competitors. It now becomes a choice for someone who seeks something fashionable and has a relatively large budget, but also wants something unique.
Toyota Innova Crysta
Surprise surprise! The largest and most expensive Toyota Innova Crystra is now the same price as the GTI. Now comparing both of them is like looking at a rat and an elephant- two worlds apart, but treading on the same road. The Innova variant in question here is the top-of-the-line ZX 2.8 AT 7 seater that comes with each and every bell and whistle that Toyota can offer with its MPV. Funnily enough, the GTI despite differing in length is almost similar to the Innova in terms of features but with go fast credentials that the Innova would find quite hard to match.
Putting the GTI in a similar price bracket as its Czech sibling makes this a family affair and one that looks pretty close as you get the same 1.8-litre four-cylinder motor powering both cars. The GTI is a bit higher on power and due to its smaller size, much more nimble. But the Octavia will let you have fun with/ rapidly elevate heart rate (depending on how you like to see it) along with four more people in rolling comfort thanks to large amounts of space and comfort at the rear. However, in the same price bracket, you also get the diesel AT which while not being as responsive as the petrol variant, will get you across long distances in speed, comfort and with a heavier than normal wallet.
We had an MPV and a sedan and now joining this fray is an SUV which is the Hyundai Tucson. It’s the South Korean automaker’s reply to the growing demand of SUVs in the D-segment and is a worthy alternative to the Elantra. In this price bracket, you can have either the 2WD MT diesel variant or the top-of-the-line GL AT petrol model.
Toyota Corolla Altis
The Corolla Altis got an update earlier this year and this has brought it up to speed with the competition. Our pick for this story is the top-of-the-line petrol AT version which also makes do with a 1.8-litre unit, but with a lower output both in terms of power and torque. However, what you get instead is the Altis’ five decade long reputation of reliability and comfort in return.
Scroll up the list and you will find the Hyundai Tucson as an alternative to the GTI, but we just had to mention the Elantra too - since it is an alternative to the Tucson. You get a range of diesel and one petrol engine on offer as well as a whole host of features in addition to a large and roomy cabin. It’s also quite good looking and scores much higher on presence as compared to its sedan rivals.
The flagship from the Indian automaker hit the roads in late 2016 and has finally brought Tata into the big league after repeated attempts with the Aria. It’s a big diesel SUV with 4WD as well as AT options. However, more importantly you get all the bells and whistles that Tata has to offer in addition to a massive seven-seat cabin.
The reason for mentioning the XUV here is the same reason why we have mentioned the Hexa in this story. In fact, since they are both direct rivals for each other, it also makes rivals to the diminutive but quite fast GTI. The top-of-the-line XUV500 is priced slightly lesser than the Hexa but carries an equal amount of kit on offer.