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    Default Hot cars Of 2010

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    As far as the automobile industry is concerned, 2010 has been an eventful year, especially after the Auto Expo that witnessed as many as 25 launches in various segments. Yet, hatchbacks rule the growing car market in India and the segment has been abuzz, with more foreign players entering the arena. From new launches by iconic brands like Volkswagen and Nissan to facelifts to the existing models, there were more than enough reasons for the middle-class car buyers to rejoice. Since the much awaited Nissan Micra is already here and there are not many launches slated for this year, this is the right time to have a quick analysis of the new and top five hatches of the year.

    Nissan Micra

    The Nissan Micra is the latest one to plunge into the already overcrowded B segment. Micra has enjoyed huge success across the world and now the Japanese carmaker is offering this bubbly car to Indian buyers with the latest generation technologies. Hope you all have read the road test and review of Nissan Micra already. What makes Micra different from its contenders are its unique features and commendable interior space. You will have to compromise on the ‘Maruti-ish’ gear shifting and lack of thigh support. However, Nissan is yet to announce the price and a lot will depend upon the announcement on July 14th. If strategically priced, Nissan has a champ just waiting to reign Indian roads.

    Volkswagen Polo

    With flawless German engineering and an aggressive price tag of Rs 4.34 lakh for the base variant, Polo is giving its competitors sleepless nights. After the launch of Swift back in 2005, probably no other car in the segment has been able to tickle the male libido as vigorously as the Polo. Not many cars can beat the Polo for its best in class ride and interior quality. Although the rear leg room is less than what the exterior of the car suggests, the interiors are typically VW – top quality and functional. A pair of three-cylinder engines – a 1.2 petrol and a 1.2 turbo-diesel – power the Polo. A 1.6 four-cylinder petrol is also expected later in the year.

    The Polo neither hesitates nor has a tendency to stall at slow speeds and the engine pulls cleanly from even low speeds. The midrange is the engine’s strongest bit and feels responsive. The light, crisp and short-throw gearbox has the best shift quality of any hatchback.

    1200cc Petrol - Trendline: Rs 4.34 lakh; Comfortline: Rs 4.83 lakh; Highline: Rs 5.72 lakh || 1200cc Diesel – Trendline: Rs 5.32 lakh; Comfortline: Rs 5.81 lakh; Highline: Rs 6.70 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)

    Chevrolet Beat

    The Chevrolet Beat with its unconventional styling can be considered as the most unique model in the current crop of hatchbacks in India. The Beat scored a 4 star NCAP safety rating. The safety features include ABS, dual airbags, rear defogger, central locking, rear wash and wipe, front fog lamp, seatbelts with load limiters. Beat is a great car in the city and the refinement at low rpms is imposing. Beat can comfortably accommodate 4, but adding a 5th adult would be a little cumbersome.

    Chevrolet Beat Price: 1.2 PS – Rs.341,989 1.2 LS – Rs.362,353 1.2 LT – Rs.399,899 1.2 LT (O) – Rs.443,808.00 (ex-showroom Delhi)

    Ford Figo

    The Figo is one of the biggest B-segment cars in India. It’s longer than the Swift, has a longer wheelbase than the Ford Fusion. The Figo’s American genes spill over on the inside – roominess. The Figo is almost 300 mm fatter than the Polo and is also well equipped on safety with features like dual airbags, rear defogger, ABS with EBD, rear wash and wipe, engine immobilizer, central locking and 3 point seatbelts. Figo is powered by the all-new 1.2-litre Duratec engine. This all-aluminium unit meets the Bharat Stage IV norms and given its long stroke cylinder dimensions; as a result, the car is not just revvy but also pretty strong on torque, which is what matters in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Ford is also offering the Figo with the already acclaimed 1.4-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel. The turbocharged diesel engine develops 69PS at 4000rpm and makes a whopping 160Nm at 2000rpm, giving driveability an all new dimension among B-segment vehicles India. Prices start from 3,53,700/- for the Figo Lxi Petrol to 5,31,400/- for the Figo Titanium Diesel.

    Fiat Punto

    he Fiat Grande Punto is one of the few plausibly priced cars that will make both the common man and the petrolhead think dirty thoughts. Fiat claims that the 1.2-litre FIRE engine is now BS-4 compliant and is more fuel efficient (ARAI figure of 15.2kmpl, up by 0.9kmpl over the BS-3 version.) The Punto isn’t very spacious; its rear legroom at 670mm is the same as the Ritz meanwhile rear headroom is also poor at just 890mm. So, if you are the type who likes to be chauffer driven, then this is not the car for you. Yet, both petrol and diesel options offer a good mix of adequate power and fuel efficiency as well. The 1.2-litre Grande Punto now costs Rs 4.26 lakh for the Active variant, Rs 4.57 lakh for the Dynamic and Rs 4.87 lakh for the Emotion variant (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi.)
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