The Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh segment is no longer the same as it was once - only dominated by saloons. So what options do you have if you're shopping a car in this price range?
There was a time when the Rs. 20 lakh - 25 lakh segment was flooded with choices, mostly with D & D+ segment saloons. However, with a drastic shift in customer preferences - mid-sized SUVs and MUVs have cannibalised the entire D-segment. The cars from the D+ segment, on the other hand - have graduated up to around the Rs. 30 lakh mark, all thanks to inflation.
Therefore, the aforementioned price range now doesn’t have any dominant body-style in terms of a segment, but instead consists of a few vehicles across a range of segments. We pick the best 5 which we think are definitely worth a look - between Rs. 20 lakh - 25 lakh (on road).
FCA has given the entire car industry quite a shock with the new Jeep Compass’ pricing. Granted, you can get home a Jeep Compass for much less than Rs. 20 lakh - but be warned that the lower-grade trims aren’t very well equipped. The base Sport trim doesn’t even get features like fog lamps and alloy wheels - something you don’t expect from a vehicle costing upwards of Rs. 15 lakh. So, it's highly recommended to opt for the upper Longitude or Limited spec models which have most of the essentials covered.
The Compass is a well rounded mid-sized SUV which - which boasts good dynamic abilities along with urban-friendly dimensions. Being a Jeep, the Compass remains the only vehicle in this price range to be offered with a true 4x4 system for the off-roading audience.
The Compass can be had with both petrol and diesel engine options - however, the 4WD system is not offered with the petrol engine, and there is no diesel automatic option at launch.
Also read- 2017 Jeep Compass Review: First Drive
The Skoda Octavia is one car that has kept the spirit of the shrinking D-segment saloon segment very much alive. It is one of the most well rounded cars you can buy under Rs. 25 lakh, and checks most of the boxes.
It looks good, is spacious on the inside, is extremely well built, drives wonderfully, and comes powered by a trio of capable powertrain options. While competing saloons like Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla do cost less, the Octavia offers better equipment and quality levels to justify its premium price tag.
Also read- 2017 Skoda Octavia Review: First Drive
Volkswagen Polo GTI
As a community of passionate motorheads, we at autoX simply cannot overlook the enthusiasts. And so, there you have it - the VW Polo GTI. Imported in to India as a 3-door hatchback - and priced at Rs. 20 lakh, there are absolutely no rational reasons to put your money on this car.
However, the 189bhp VW Polo GTI has absolutely no intentions of appealing to the sensible buyer in the first place. Buy it for the superlative acceleration and physics defying driving dynamics that simply put it in a league of its won. Buy it for the legendary GTI badge and real world performance that can embaress a lot of fast cars out there. It also comes with a few subtle aesthetic enhancements to announce that this isn’t your average Polo.
Also read - VW Polo GTI vs Mini Cooper S JCW: Comparison
While Jeep’s stellar pricing may have overshadowed the Hyundai Tuscon, it remains a very capable car in its own right. Physically, the Tucson is larger than the Compass - translating to slightly better interior space. The Tucson is a refined crossover, and comes with the option of automatic gearbox with both petrol and diesel engines.
However, the biggest advantage of the Tucson is that it wears the Hyundai badge - which ensures mostly trouble-free ownership. In comparison, it's too early to gauge how Jeep will fare in the long term after sales criteria.
Also read- 2016 Hyundai Tucson Review: First Drive
The second generation Toyota Innova is absolutely the best selling vehicle of the Rs. 15 lakh – 22 lakh price range. Granted, that kind of money sounds a bit too much for an Innova - but the second generation ‘Crysta’ and ‘Touring Sport’ models have gone quite upmarket compared to the first gen model.
Based on a standard rear-wheel-drive body on frame setup, the Innova is positioned as a premium family hauler. It also gives a lot of flexibility when it comes to engine and transmission options – one petrol and two diesel engines, with petrol and bigger diesel engines getting an auto gearbox. Plus, the Toyota Innova brand name has earned a solid goodwill for itself over the past decade – which ensures low depreciation values.
However, the Innova Crysta still makes the most sense if you have a large family. It won’t offer the SUV-like stance of Compass or Tucson, or the all-rounded finesse of the Octavia, or the insane performance of the GTI. But it will figuratively run forever.