In a country like ours, whenever we consider buying a new car, parameters like power & acceleration are usually not on the list of priorities. Fuel efficiency & pocket friendliness are the foremost factors on the mind of a majority of people & we already have a list of the 5 Best Mileage Cars in India That Will Save You A Lot Of Money for them. This article on the other hand is for the breed of self professed speed addicts who enjoy the adrenaline rush of zipping through traffic and don’t mind shedding a little extra cash for the thrill of driving. For the Paul Walker fans who might not be able to afford a Nissan GTR for now, but that has nowhere stopped them from “taking to the streets” albeit in a more economical, slower & hopefully safer way, we have compiled a list of the Top 5 Fastest Hatchbacks in India under 10 lakhs. These hot hatches only need the driver to put the pedal to the floor, and before you can blink, they are racing against time. So without further ado, let us bring to you the list of these most powerful hatchbacks in India.
The Top 5 Fastest Hatchbacks in India 2016
Hatchbacks are smaller cars usually intended for economical & convenient city driving around congested roads. But with such diversity in the market, a lot of hatches are now packing quite a punch under the hood. We have hatchbacks which can make the dash to a century in less than 10 seconds which was the criteria taken into consideration while compiling this list of the 5 fastest hatchbacks in India :-
Hyundai i20 Elite (Diesel) | Price (ex-showroom) : 6.80 – 9 lakhs
0-100 Kmph in 11.94 s
The new generation Hyundai Elite i20 with it’s wide stance & blackened B & C pillar not only looks sporty but with the 1.4-lire U2 diesel engine (88 bhp, 220 Nm) climbs up to 100 in a sporty 11.94 seconds too. It is last on our list of Top 5 Fastest Hatchbacks in India, just nudging past the Etios Liva TRD Sportivo by 0.6 seconds. The dashboard of the Hyundai i20 Elite has a rich dual tone to it & comes with a MID screen which puts on display a host of information. Keyless entry, steering position reminder, gear shift indicator & headlamps with escort function are just a few of the many features that the i20 offers. At 170 mm, the ground clearance is high enough to ensure that the under-body remains untouched.
With negligible turbo lag, the car has a linear pick-up curve until 1500 RPM, when the turbo kicks in & gives the performance more than a leg up. The engine is very quiet in action up till 3000 RPM & comes mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. It returns an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 22.54 km/l.The new i20 handles well around corners & has a suspension that lets you ride in relative comfort & ignore all but the largest potholes on the road. All in all “Elite” does complete justice to it’s name.
Honda Jazz (Diesel) | Price (ex-showroom) : 6.9 – 8.99 lakhs
0-100 Kmph in 11.31 s
With aggressive pricing and a powerful new Diesel oil burner, the 3rd generation of the Honda Jazz has received a much warmer response as compared to its predecessors and is 4th on our list of Top 5 Fastest Indian Hatchbacks. It has some very appealing design elements like a sporty belt line which integrates into the tail-lamps. Jazz has the same sense of elegant comfort which is characteristic of a Honda. One key feature is the ample amount of room, both in the front & rear. A lot of features are carried over from the Honda, though cost cutting has caused the Jazz to lose out on luxuries like the push start/stop button & key-less go. The 3rd generation Jazz has seen Honda seriously taking up the ground clearance issues & the car now sits higher than ever before.
It’s the 1.5-litre diesel mill (98 bhp, 200 Nm) which is the real power churner here. It makes a quick dash to a century at a respectable 11.31 seconds & comes synced to a 6-speed gearbox. The turbo lag is hard to notice & the hatch boasts of good low-range pickup. However, the NVH levels are evident once you press the pedal to the metal. The Jazz proudly claims an ARAI certified mileage of 27.3 km/l, which makes it one of the most fuel efficient cars in the country. Body roll has been kept in check despite the Jazz’s height, and overall you can take it into turns without any misgivings. The steering suitably becomes heavier in response to increasing speed. Despite being on the stiffer side, the suspension deals with most of the bumps on the road.
Ford Figo 1.5 TDCi | Price (ex-showroom) : 5.63 – 7.68 lakhs
0-100 Kmph in 9.72 ss
With Ford giving an inspiring new look to Figo, the hatchback with its eye catching front grille looks much peppier than before & is the 3rd fastest hatchback in India. The blacked out B-pillar does its job of giving it the intended snazzy look. With a plush cabin and a black-grey dual tone dashboard, the interiors have an aesthetic appeal about them. Only the top variant gets a 4.2-inch screen, though the quality of the audio system in other variants is commendable. The Figo is priced at least a lakh below it’s counterparts & hence the lack of certain features like keyless go & push start/stop button seems justified.
Again, it’s the diesel engine which makes you go ‘Whoosh’, racing up to 100 in a mere 9.72 seconds which is why it is the fastest diesel hatchback in India. Ford has packed quite a beast in the Figo, with the 1.5-litre diesel unit (98 bhp, 215 Nm) being superbly tuned to suppress any turbo lag which is why it is also amongst the most powerful hatchbacks in the country. The car speeds up at your whim & drives like a dream on highways. Mated to a 5-speed gearbox, it has an ARAI stamped mileage rating of 25.83 km/l. A new electric steering & springy suspension make it a very soothing ride. It won’t kiss the ground when going over speed breakers with it’s best in class ground clearance of 174 mm.
Polo GT TSI/TDI | Price (ex-showroom) : 9.05 & 9.16 lakhs respectively
0-100 Kmph in 9.7 s
The only car on the list which has the company of its petrol sibling, the Polo GT TSI/TDI doesn’t take more than 10 seconds to reach a century, which makes it the 2nd Fastest Hatchback in India. The performance model is very similar to the regular, the difference lying in little details like the GT on the front grille, alloy wheels, black ORVMs & rear spoiler. An all black interior of the quality that you would only expect out of a Volkswagen merges seamlessly with the silver inlays to give a rich look. The rear might get slightly cramped, but apart from that the Polo GT offers unparalleled ergonomics in its class with features like one touch up/down for every power window.
The 1.2-liter TSI petrol powerplant (103 bhp, 175 Nm) responds to the slightest nudge through all RPM ranges & is as silent as a mouse despite having the heart (engine) of a lion. The petrol comes mated to a 7-speed DSG with three modes – D for drive, S for Sports & tiptronic function which lets you shift gears. The TDI received an engine upgrade with a new 1.5-litre motor (103 bhp, 250 Nm), a tuned version of the same mill that powers the regular Polo. The car responds well up to the mid range but a lack of boost is evident at the top-end of the RPM spectrum. The engine has a nice hum to it which becomes audible post 3500 RPM. The TDI is marginally slower than the TSI (approximately 0.2 seconds) & is mated with a 5-speed manual. The fuel efficiency of the TDI at an ARAI certified mileage of 19.19 km/l is better than the TSI’s at 17.21, but not by much.
The suspension on both the cars is a bit soft & springy which becomes evident when going over rough patches. Apart from that, ride quality is great and the steering is responsive enough, but you could hope for more, especially from a performance car from Volkswagen’s stables. The TDI does have a bit of under-steer when you corner too hard, something which is less evident in the TSI.
Fiat Abarth Punto | Price (ex-showroom) : 10.31 lakhs
0-100 Kmph in 8.8 s
Though it toes the price line at 10.31 lacs, but it’s not only the first true blue hot hatch to grace Indian roads but is also the Fastest Hatchback in India. The aggressive Abarth Punto styling with the red race strips, the Abarth trademark Scorpion mounted atop the roof & claw shaped alloys are sure to make heads turn & attract envious, open mouthed stares. Hip-Hop Black is the color you want as it combines with the red to give the Abarth the look of what a customised hatch might look on Need For Speed. The all black interior of the Punto Evo is in place with slight changes in the form of red & yellow elements and a door sill which has Abarth written all over it to welcome you into the Scorpion. A small screen audio system with livable performance blares out the beat to groove to. The ground clearance has been reduced to 155 mm from 185 mm in the Punto Evo.
Talking about the performance of the 1.4-litre turbocharged engineering marvel of a petrol engine (145 bhp, 212 Nm), pressing hard on the pedal will throw you back in your seat though at lower RPM’s, you can feel a bit of a lag creep in. But, the mid range sees an inspiring burst of power from the T-jet engine. You can hit 100 in an astounding 8.8 seconds & the Abarth is also the most powerful hatchback which does not have the tag of a luxury brand. Revving the car out loud in the parking lot won’t win you any fans since it pretty much sounds like a typical petrol motor. It could have done with a smoother gearbox. The lower ground clearance makes the car stable around corners at high speed, though it needs a skilled hand to maneuver it over big breakers. The hydraulic steering offers superb feedback and handling.
We sure had a few tough competitors who narrowly missed the cut to be the fastest hatchbacks in India, chief among them being the Toyota Etios Liva TRD Sportivo (12 s), Maruti Suzuki Baleno (12.36 s), Honda Brio (12.5 s) & Grand i10 (13 s).
Feel free to leave a comment below if you own any of the speedsters listed above and would like to share your experience with us.