The diesel hatchback comparison chart is now updated to include the Hyundai I20 CRDI Diesel. The comparison is for the highest end trims for all models. Why ? Because only then can we compare features to features. the lower end trims are basically diesel engine and chassis.
The list now contains the following:
Ford Fusion Plus TDCi
Skoda Fabia 1.4 TDI Elegance
Getz Prime 1.5 CRDI GVS
Suzuki Swift VDI ABS
Suzuki Ritz VDI ABS
Grande Punto Emotion Pack Multijet
Hyundai I20 Asta (O) CRDI
Palio Stile 1.3 SDX
Indica Vista Aura Quadrajet
Indica Vista Aqua TDI
Tata Indica V2 DLS BS III
The specifications are now color coded to indicate the largest dimension/best value/cheapest cost(green) and lowest dimension/value /highest cost(red). Hope this sheet is easier to read now.
The costliest is still the Skoda Fabia and the cheapest still remains the Indica V2.
The I20 is the second costliest in this comparison but also comes with a long list of features even longer than the Fabia.
Middle of the list with medium features and middle of road price is the Swift and the Ritz.
Thanks: A lot of feedback, errata identification and great suggestions from Jacob, Manoj and Vasu were used to update the older sheet – Thank you for reading through in detail and giving valuable feedback and pointing out the many errors !
Some items still pending such as mileage data for the latest updated cars and the performance figures for acceleration and braking. This will be done in the next update.
The I20 & I: I tried checking with the Hyundai dealership I bought my Getz from but they still do not have a registered Diesel or Automatic available for TD. They have promised to get me a TD as soon as their vehicles get registered.
The title just about sums up the end of my past week and my weekend.
Accident: Last Thursday on the way back home from work was trying very hard to drive without getting bugged by the many jokers/morons/imbeciles on the road. I get no further than 5 km from office, when starting off from a signal, in my Swift get hit by another Swift ! I was in the center lane going straight, had a Tata Ace to my left and the Swift on my right.
The signal changes and I start off on the way ahead since there is no traffic ahead of me. Tata Ace also starts off to my left. There is some two wheeler in front of the Swift to my right, waiting to turn right so he cannot go straight ! What does the Swift joker do ? Turn left suddenly without checking whats moving on his left. I hear a the screech of metal on metal and though it didn’t sound too bad I knew my car was hit. Since there was a lot of traffic I had to take car to go straight put on my left indicator and try to move to the left. I see the Swift that hit me also come up and ahead of me and stop. I get out of my car to see that my car is scratched from the driver side door all the way down the rear passenger door till a little before the wheel arch :-(. Another point – the driver at the back has to take care not the one in front – our dude doesnt know all such rules. The location of the scratches is proof enough for me – from my driver door and backwards. I didnt even see the car to my left cutting into me since he was behind me and in my blind spot – but I was very clear – I was going straight and was in my lane.
The guy driving the other car has come to my car by then and guess what – he asks me why I didn’t check before turning in front of him ! I was pretty shocked and told him dude I was in the correct lane going straight and he was the one cutting lanes without looking. He just didn’t want to listen. Kept repeating that I turned in front of him and that he was in the right lane turning right and that I was turing right as well !
I go look at his car. Its hood and bonnet was covered with bird droppings and there were several dents and dings all over and the car looked like it hadnt been washed since the last rains. Its front number plate was bent in two places. It was very obvious he was not a careful driver and more obvious that he didn’t take much care of his car. His left mirror was folded in (probably busted already) and his bumper was hanging off its mounting brackets. The height of irritation for me was knowing that most of the dents on his car were not due to my car. Maximum there was a scratch on his bumper. I am willing to bet the bumper was already hanging loose !
I told him listen – your car has damage and so does mine – so what do you expect me to do ? I stood there quietly for a while and said nothing (fuming inside). The guy realised he is not getting any money out of me – he seemed more than happy to go away. I was bugged and furious that I took a photo of his number plate with my phone cam. I have the plate number with me. What good is it for – will mention it a bit later.
I sat in the car for a bit to let my BP and heart rate come down – then resumed my journey. Worst part was I was watching my speed before the hit while usually I have to admit I would have been speeding down that stretch ! The one day of all days I was going carefully.
Another 7 km later and within 2-3 km of where I stay I see the bird crap covered car. All that he told me earlier about wanting to turn right was all lies. The place he was going to was totally in the direction I was going. He was in the wrong lane at that signal and cut lanes at the last minute ! I get the damage to my car !
Anyways after spending a miserable evening at home, the next day I leave the car at home and take the train to work. I schedule a service appointment for my 20K service and also to get the paint touched up. I was supposed to do a service booking but had forgotten about it till the scratches reminded me.
I was glad the service advisor wasn’t pushing me to get the whole door panels repainted and said that a touch up was enough. Luckily there was only minor denting and nothing too drastic. I mentioned the rattling sounds that were driving me nuts that came from the left passenger door and from the right driver door and from the hatch. No mechanical issues. Mileage I was getting was on par with what was expected of the petrol swift. Was getting around 11.5+ when they said around 12 was normal for city driving. I have 205 section tires so was expecting only that much.
One of my many buddies at the Service center offered to lookup the number plate of the Swift that hit me after he heard about the accidental damage – but I told him not to bother since there was nothing further I was going to do to him anyways. I can fantasize about it but reality is that I am no goonda and dont have time to go take panga with every moron on the road. :-(.
Yet another service advisor was intrigued and puzzled by the dog-bite mark damage on the front wheel arches. My car is being recognized as one with the bite marks by pretty much all the folks there !
Ritz VDI Diesel Test Drive:
While scheduling the service I had called up my favourite sales person at the dealership Mr. Jayavel who had sold me my Swift and asked to schedule a TD of the Ritz diesel. I was not able to TD it the last time I had visited there with my friend who was looking to buy a new car. Mr Jayavel knew I had no interest in buying a car but still ensured the car was there waiting for me. He even delayed a trip to a customer location to ensure I got my test drive – waiting for over one hour from the original time I had mentioned since I was stuck waiting for the service advisor to meet me and take my vehicle in for service. That’s what I call service from a sales person who knew from the beginning that he will not make a paisa from giving me a test drive but still took the pains to arrange one for me .
For that reason alone I am doing something I haven’t done so far – If you are in Chennai or know someone in Chennai looking to buy a car (specifically a Maruti) – please do give a call to Mr Jayavel at 9841727884 and mention you heard of his service from his old customer (me). He is part of the dealership team that is specific to handling corporate customers so be assured of professional service from him. Please note – I make no monetary benefit from mentioning his number or this – this is just my way of saying thanks ! (I refuse to mention which dealer – as I am not endorsing the dealer – please do not ask).
Ritz Diesel Experience: Only at the start was there some noise to indicate it was a diesel. After that it was super smooth and silent just like the Ritz Petrol. The clutch was as light as my own petrol Swift and the gears slotted in very very nicely with good feel just like the petrol Ritz. As I had mentioned in my comparison post the gear selector seemed better than the Swift. The steering was light and the car was easy to move through traffic. Just managed to drive it for 2-3 km as the sales person was needing to take it someplace to a customer’s home and was already late. I didn’t get a chance to check its pickup or braking since it was in traffic but just one time I was able to floor the accelerator , the car hesitated a very little bit before picking up speed at a very fast pace after 2000 RPM bringing a wide smile to my face. I really want a longer test drive. :-).
On Sunday managed to rest and recover from the shock the bill of the 20,000 Km service gave me. Around Rs 6800 was the total amount of which 250 was for mud flaps that were changed on my request since one of them was torn after having been hit by a biker. The scratches were mostly removed by polish but the deeper gashes had to be touched up by hand. This wasn’t done very well but hides the damage for now and I do not have to worry about rust. I didn’t realize that the 20K service was this costly. Will scan the bill and put up the detailed break up in a separate post. This is the highest ever I have paid for scheduled service so far in my 2+ years of ownership.
Call me biased but I think my very favourite Automotive Bloggers (IndianAutosBlog.com, Motorbeam.com, Vicky.in & wheelosphere.org etc.) and discussion forum (www.team-bhp.com) did a much better job than mainstream media and Fiat India before and after the launch of the Grande Punto on the 17th providing photos, writeups and specifications for several days and weeks prior. Most information about the new vehicle and the specifications were out on the net for several days.www.zigwheels.com even had a review of the car yesterday. It was no surprise to hear of the engine options at all from Fiat. The only item worthy of waiting for the launch was the price of the variants.
My hatchback comparison charts are updated with the Grande Punto details for both the Petrol and Diesel versions. Please click here for the Petrol Comparisons and here for the Diesel Comparisons. I have used only the top of the line versions of petrol and diesel in the comparison.
Innovative and useful features of the Grande Punto:
Tail Lamps are out of harms way. Hopefully fewer dings will occur where they are placed.
The climate control with pollen filter – good for those with allergies.
The service check reminders are useful. They can get annoying if they malfunction however :-).
Having the ignition key in a position that the driver can easily see is definitely a welcome feature.
The Programmable speed limit warning again is useful but may get annoying.
The Blue & Me seems like a cool thing to have – hopefully it is not too complicated for our regular folks to understand. Do not want to hear about crashes because of jokers fiddling with the system on the move.
The fold-able key is another cool feature.
Dimensions wise it is the 3rd longest hatchback currently on the market behind the Fusion and the Fabia. Legroom should be pretty decent. It just about as wide as the Swift (narrower by 3mm). Wider hatch backs include the Fusion, I20, Swift, Jazz & Vista. So seating space for 5 inside should be adequate.
I need to see it in person to really say how it looks. I like the looks of the car in most colors. Just felt the grille for the red or lighter colored cars should have been defaulted to black. The silver colored grille and fog lamp surrounds seems a bit out of place. The straight on front view is the best followed by the front 3 quarter view. I really do not care for its looks from the side or from the back where it just looks like every other hatchback and leaning towards plainness. I fear there may be a huge blind spot up front at the A-pillar – will need to test drive to make sure.
Fiat has really played it safe and made the car available in the most common and popular colors. I think they are playing it too safe. A few uncommon colors would have helped the car stand out. Their famous purple that was there on the Palio 1.6 and the brilliant yellow of the Palio S10 are notable omissions. I predict the hot color for the car will be the Exotica Red.
The top of the line petrol 1.4 Emotion Pack is the 5th costliest in the list with the Jazz, Fusion, Fabia and I20 being costlier.
The top of the line Diesel 1.3 Emotion Pack is the 3rd costliest after the Fabia and Fiesta.
The real competition for the Grande Punto is the Hyundai I20 which is close to it in size and price and has a similar bag of feature laden trims that will entice buyers. There really will be bloodshed when the I20 diesel comes out. The Jazz looks very overpriced now and there is a lot of sentiment on the net and on Twitter mentioning cancelling Jazz bookings/thoughts to go for the Punto. I also predict to see some movement away from the Ritz to the GP as well.
I think the Grande Punto has been well priced and provides enough trim options for customers wanting a hatchback of that size. The design looks good, the price is right and the features are just right including the most sought after safety features of ABS & Airbags. The Diesel trims are as well equipped as the Petrol trims. Yes the price is higher but thats still fine.
The key to its success in India will now depend on the sales and service experience. I just hope the Fiat/Tata alliance can somehow work together well to pull it off.
I want to test drive the Grande Punto just to get an idea of how it handles. Have registered for a TD and am now waiting for the call confirming the TD. Will post updates after that.
I was cribbing while waiting for the Ritz launch, I held my tongue during the Jazz launch since I had a feeling we would have a huge let down and then finally the Grande Punto launch was no different. The manufacturers of all these three vehicles seem to think that their online presence can be ignored and all that matters is the big press conference where they call journos from the big mainstream media like print and TV and for the heck of it some of the major online websites. I think they need to carefully coordinate the launch at the press conference and at the online presence to happen simultaneously or within a matter of minutes – or hell kick it off during the press conference and show off their website as well. In the past 3 launches the online sites were updated only several hours past the official unveiling and till then had almost useless information with no time mentioned for the release of useful info. Its not like they are building the website after the official launch. The product has been ready for years, features and engines decided for India, website content is ready for weeks if not months, the pricing has been planned well in advance – all that is pending is to push a button which is the equivalent of “publish” to make all the data available to the thousands like myself who were sitting in office on their day jobs checking the official Indian website of the Fiat Grande Punto www.fiatpunto.in at every free moment for details and also hoplessly checking the Fiat India website as well . After my initial enthu on noticing Fiat has a blog called Fiat For You– which was not being updated after June 17th morning a lot of my enthu went away.
I finally stopped checking the site after coming home and still checking till around 8.00 PM. Had dinner and came back to check it and finally saw that the details are showing up hours later. The blog was also updated aroudn the same time.
After the Honda Jazz release on June 10th, I updated my Super Hatch (Petrol) Comparison chart. I will do a Diesel sheet soon.
While doing the updates I realized if the Jazz can touch 8 lakhs+ on road and still be in the sheet – then it was inexcusable on my part to omit the Ford Fusion which I had earlier left out because I was wanting to keep the list under 7 lakhs. It is a bit of a misfit since it has a 1.6L engine while the others are 1.3L at most.
My Thoughts: Overall the Hyundai I20 seems to be spacious and feature loaded at a decent price when compared to the Fabia and the Jazz. It tops in safety features as well. Compared to the Jazz, now even the Fabia seems like a value for money car !
PS: Hope the post title made some sense :-). Have a Happy Weekend !
I test drove the Maruti Suzuki Ritz ZXI (Petrol) last weekend. I am comparing it to the Swift as I think customers will find it tough to decide between these two cars from Maruti.
I like the front and the front 3 quarter view. Looks like a mature grown up Swift !
To get used to the rear I may have to start drinking something stronger than non-alcoholic beverages and quite a bit of it as well till my vision blurs. The rear doesn’t look too bad when the car has wider tires (like on the ZXI) and also when it is on the move. When stopped and up close it does look a oddish nice kind of strange.
The side view is interesting till the C pillar – then almost like the designers ran out of paper/screen space while making the drawing they stopped with a vertical line and ended the rear !
You will tire of hearing about the “boomerang” shaped tail lights from the dealer sales person very quickly. You would wish you had a real boomerang to fling at the sales guy. The tail lamps are pulled inwards and a strange window lineof the side windows is seen when viewed from the full straight rear position.
The exterior door handles, ORVMS are the same/very similar as the Swift. Rear bumper fog lamp looks similar.
The bonnet seems higher than the Swift. Good for gently tapping errant pedestrians and accounts for better pedestrian safety for sure.
Here is a side by side comparison of the Swift (my own car) and the Ritz exteriors.
The seating position is a bit higher than in the Swift and seats feel the same. Almost like sitting on a cushion and driving the Swift.
The front quarter glass was a nice touch and helps a bit with visibility up front but there is still a huge blind spot at the A-pillar. Otherwise front visibility is good.
Visibility from the back will take some getting used to as the rear glass seems a bit small.
Rear wash/wipe & defogger only on the ZXI (just like the Swift).
The space saved by moving the gear lever in front isn’t used for anything.
The outside rear view mirrors are well placed, right sized and useful.
Lot of the interior is borrowed/shared with the Swift but still some cost cutting seems to have been there. Indicator/Wiper stalks, steering wheel, door locks & power window switches are all the same. Ashtray is the same. Gear lever knob is almost the same. Interior roof light seems the same.
The open glove box in addition to the closed one on the ZXI with the airbags is very useful – something the Swift ZXI doesn’t have and wastes space because of the airbags. The coin holder and storage space on the top of the dashboard is also good. Glove box seems similar in size to the Swift.
The front door pockets have storage space for bottles. There is only one central console mounted cup holder.
The steering mounted stereo controls are good but a bit annoying till u get used to them since they are in the spot the horn is on my car. Instead of honking I found myself increasing the stereo volume or muting the stereo without wanting to. The buttons seem a bit delicate and fiddly. More video game like than car like.
The increased head room allows 3 people to sit a lot more comfortably at the back than in a Swift. Legroom in the back was more than adequate. Feels more spacious than the Swift.
Luggage space was almost the same as the swift. If you want to carry a lot of luggage you should look at other vehicles possibly sedans. The 60:40 split is possibly the only saving grace of this car – I really wish the Swift had this.
The two tone dashboard was of a slightly vague light blue-grey color. I didn’t care for it too much. Matching colors to the exterior would have made sense but someone at Suzuki likes that weird color of blue.
The front under seat storage is a joke. Very small and without a lock. A newspaper and a magazine may just fit into it. If it were metal it could have been used to bake brownies – it was shaped like that.
Air conditioning seemed just about adequate (maybe the larger glass areas and lack of tints on the Demo car and the hot summer sun was a factor). I may have been spoilt by driving around with climate control and dark tinted small windows in the Swift. Blower fan gets noisy at “3” position. The side vents close fully and are a design different from the Swift. The climate control is the only key feature missing on the Ritz that the Swift has.
Drive & Handling:
It took some time to get used to the gear shifter because it is positioned almost a half a foot ahead of the gear shifter in the Swift/most cars. The gear shifter felt really good and the shifts were very precise – even better than the Swift. For people with multiple cars this gear shift will be a difficult to get used to, especially when you have to switch cars daily. On the move the car is very silent and the engine barely lets you know it is on and running and at idle it was very silent. It did make some minimal noise when pushed but for it to move you have to push it past 3000 RPM. The older Swift engine would be screaming a nice song at 3K RPM.
Clutch, brake & accelerator pedals are the same as the Swift. Clutch is light and easy to use.
First gear seemed ok enough but the 2nd gear seemed a bit lethargic and the 3rd gear seemed pretty decent. I barely managed to get to 4th before I had to shift down because of traffic. By then the TD was over and we were back at the dealership.
The separate tachometer was a bit distracting in my view. Maybe since I am used to a tachometer next to the speedometer.
The ride was smooth and handled rough patches of road without too much noise and without losing balance. It didn’t feel top heavy like the Wagon-R does when taking turns at speed. The wider stance has to be thanked for it.
Visibility out front is very good and maneuvering the car in traffic is easy. Of course it is not an 800 but easy enough to drive.
There seems to be sufficient interest in the car at the dealership and there was a steady stream of people coming to do test drives. Was almost knocked down by an 80 year old man and his wife who were rushing to TD the Ritz. This couple was doing the TD after finalizing the deal for buying the car !!!!! The people coming to TD the Ritz seem to primarily be ones who are married and have a family.
The dealer also mentioned that Maruti is forecasting long delays on all other vehicles other than the A-Star, Ritz and SX4 to make sure the sales of these continues. They are also trying as much as possible to not take bookings of any vehicle other than the above mentioned 3 cars. Even test drives of other vehicles are not being done ! I think this may backfire and cause people to defect to Hyundai , Tata and other manufacturers. Need to wait and see how well the Ritz is received and also if Hyundai and Tata sales go up because of Maruti.
Which one is better ? There is no binary answer to this question. The Ritz is better than the Swift because of its fuel efficient, lighter, newer engine, interior space, features. The Swift is better than the Ritz for its looks, sporty responsive drive, slightly better trim level and features. Both seem to have their good features.
If you want a new car that does everything well, has seating space for 5 and will offend no one – take the Ritz.
If you have dreams of up-sized/wide alloys rims, low profile tires, spoilers, body kits, vinyl stickering and sports tuning then go for the Swift.
Test drive both and then just flip a coin and choose whichever one. You win with either of the two !
The market segment of feature filled large size hatchbacks in India is becoming very exciting with several new model launches planned for the next few months starting with the just launched Ritz in May, Jazz in June and the Punto and Polo soon after. If you were looking at purchasing a large sized Hatchback and puzzled with the options before you, you must have realised the need to do a lot of research to narrow down what fits your budget and your needs.
“Don’t Panic” – help is at hand. I have done the research on the key features, dimensions and specifications of the large hatchbacks available in the Indian market today for you. The focus of my comparison is primarily space,safety and features.
Skoda Fabia 1.2 Ambiente
Hyundai I20 Asta(O)
Chevrolet Aveo U-VA 1.2 LT
Hyundai Getz Prime 1.3 GLX
Indica Vista Saffire Aura
Maruti Suzuki Swift ZXI
Maruti Suzuki Ritz ZXI
These are all petrols only to keep the total on road cost under 7 lakhs. Indian Manufacturers have the highest trim levels with safety features only on their petrol models. The Fabia, Getz Prime, Swift & Ritz come in diesel versions as well but are usually not as well equipped (only exception being the Fabia) as the petrol equivalents.These vehicles have a good mix of space, are fairly new on the market and come with basic safety features. (**I have included the Indica Vista in the list only because it was similar in size to the other but feature wise it doesn’t come close).
The attached PDF file has this in an easy to compare format. Do take a look and let me know if you need any additional information. Click here for the PDF file. (I am not affiliated to any of the manufacturers other than through ownership of a Getz and a Swift.)
Do also take a look at these older posts of mine to help you