Budget Rs. 4 lakh: Need suggestions for a new or pre owned AT hatchback

I recently sold my Hyundai Eon and was wondering what it could be replaced with today at a reasonable price.

BHPian LilBimmer recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I bought a brand new Hyundai Eon maybe in 2011-12. It was an unrequired purchase just to keep an allotted parking space in the building. I recently sold it to make space for a new car.

Now this car, it wasn’t in the greatest condition bodywork wise, but mostly was mechanically sound. The first 2-3 years of ownership I babied it and got it fixed every time there was a (frequent) dent or scratch caused by an errant autorickshaw or 2 wheeler. Finally, I just stopped with the cosmetic repair. I serviced it, paid the insurance, and just drove it.

The Eon became my “go anywhere, leave it parked anywhere” car, mostly to be used around the crowded western suburbs of Mumbai, where I would absolutely not take any of my other cars. It could get scratched, dented, and I couldn’t care less. As long as it worked mechanically, I was fine with it.

NOW. 2 months post selling this car, I really miss it, and I was wondering what it could be replaced with today at a reasonable price. Brand new would be preferred, but I’m open to preowned too.

My prerequisites for the car are – Small hatchback, Aircon, manual transmission, electric front windows, adjustable steering column and Bluetooth for phone calls. Anything else is a bonus. If I were to choose further, fold down rear seats. No exotics, diesels, Tata or Mahindra cars. I simply don’t have the patience.

Please help me with any opinions or ideas. I was at one point 3 years back seriously thinking about the Renault Kwid, but is there something even lower cost?? Open to all ideas. Ideally don’t want to spend over 3-4 lakhs (can be increased if that’s unrealistic).

Here’s what BHPian fhdowntheline had to say on the matter:

I am in the same boat right now. I did a test drive of an Ignis AMT yesterday in a quest to look at a second, beater, small lane city car option. While the car itself was comfortable, I observed that the AMT response was not to my liking. Furthermore, the -AMT-Manual mode didn’t feel too great either, kind of neither-here-nor-there. And there were two more negatives: 1) No steering return to centre and 2) a sort of a blind spot on the left if you are turning right from a small lane to a busy street, this blind spot is because of that exaggerated C pillar slant where there would normally be a quarter glass . On the positive side, the driver seat was good, and there is additional flexibility for 40/60 in the rear seat and of course, Maruti frugality.

But on the flip side, on a whim, I tried the Grand I10 Nios. Now they had a CNG Sportz manual version only for a TD. But I was pleasantly surprised. The cabin ambience felt a level better in many aspects, the visibility was excellent all-round, and the car was such a pleasure to drive with its slick gearshifts and light clutch. No, it was no scorcher, but that isn’t the purpose anyway. In fact, it felt so refreshing and liberating to drive a manual car after some time at a personal level, and especially after that rather moody AMT on the Ignis. The suspension also felt quite ok, and build quality was acceptably decent (GNCAP notwithstanding). The only small issue I observed that the rear seat had less legroom at my driving position, and while the seat squab was better than the Ignis, the seat was rather low, therefore the rear door sill was rather high for someone to do a quick egress.

I have driven the SPresso AMT earlier, and I felt that AMT was better and more predictable than the Ignis one. And mind you, these are all showroom Test drive cars, so I would conclude that the AMT behaviour also reflects the driving style of a driver, much like a manual gear/clutch. In comparison, the other ATs are a bit more user-agnostic over long term. I want to try out the Wagon R especially the 1.2 , before taking a call. But now I am more inclined towards manual transmission if it is slick enough like the Grand I10.

Here’s what BHPian windrider had to say on the matter:

It is clear that you are looking for a beater car. Stop thinking about what brand to buy and get a Maruti . You held onto the Eon for a decade so I’m guessing you intend to keep your next car also for this period of time. If you are buying brand new, the Alto would be my number one choice. Sad that they discontinued the pocket rocket k10 but the 800 is still around. I own a k10 myself as a secondary car. If you are not concerned about looks, the S-Presso is a very good alternative and much more spacious than the Alto. If you want something from a class above these, pre owned is the way to go. You can find many 2-3 year old Swifts or Hyundais in the used marke,t but I have noticed that post Covid, prices have skyrocketed in the used car market. I would advice you not to go for brands such as Renault since there is no guarantee if they will even be in India in a couple of years . Cheers.

Here’s what BHPian GForceEnjoyer had to say on the matter:

You’ll have to go a little higher on the pricing part if you want something brand new; the Maruti Ignis immediately comes to mind. If you’re okay with used, then you can get something like a Grand i10/Swift/Tiago. Or you could go the tried and tested Alto/Celerio route.

Here’s what BHPian GreyNormad had to say on the matter:

I’d suggest the S-Presso auto. Small on the outside, decent inside; has all the features you’re looking for plus some. Very frugal and quite a hoot to drive around in the city. Take TD. It’ll impress you.

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