If you have a budget of 10 lakh rupees for an automatic car, here are our top 5 that you must consider...
Long hours in traffic, grinding gears, and having a left-foot workout every day – who likes that? If this is the story of your life, then it’s highly likely that you’re already considering an automatic car as your next purchase.
There’s no denying that automatic cars are steadily gaining popularity in India, especially in the mass-market segment. Given the increase in demand for two-pedal motoring, we now have many affordable options available in the country. However, most of these budget cars are equipped with AMT (automated manual transmission), which, technically, isn’t an automatic gearbox in the true sense, but because it does away with the pain of shifting gears manually, it’s often considered as an automatic gearbox in layman terms. That said, despite AMTs flooding the mainstream car market, we now also have affordable cars equipped with the more superior and traditional options like torque converters, CVTs and dual-clutch automatic or DCT gearboxes.
So, in this piece, we’ve hand-picked – what we believe – are the best automatic cars that are available within the budget of Rs 10 lakh. Take a look…
1. Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI AT
The Polo GT TSI was one of the most loved automatic cars in the Indian market for a very long while. Not only did it bring convenience and superior German tech and build quality in an affordable package, but it was also quite fun to drive. However, in 2020, Volkswagen decided to ditch the 1.2 TSI motor of the Polo as well as the 7-speed DSG. That was replaced by a smaller three-cylinder 1.0 TSI engine and a 6-speed torque converter. Now, on paper, this may look like a downgrade, but in reality, that’s hardly the case. The new 1.0-litre TSI motor is even more advanced than its predecessor – it produces more power (108bhp vs 103bhp) and it’s also more fuel-efficient. The six-speed torque converter is smooth-shifting and pretty quick. Sure, the shifts aren’t lightning quick as the old DSG transmission, but then it won’t also have reliability issues, something that plagued the old Polo GT TSI models. On top of that, the Polo retains its solid ride-and-handling package from earlier, which makes the new 1.0 TSI AT a winning combination.
In case you want a more spacious cabin, you can always opt for the Skoda Rapid Rider AT sedan (priced at Rs 9.70 lakh, ex-showroom). It features the same drivetrain, although being the entry-level variant, it isn’t as well-equipped as the Polo AT.
Price range (Polo AT): Rs 9.59 lakh - Rs 10 lakh (ex-showroom)
2. Maruti Suzuki Baleno / Toyota Glanza CVT
If you’re looking for a fuss-free, reliable, efficient, feature-packed and effortless automatic hatchback, the Baleno/Glanza fit the bill perfectly. Both these cars are identical, except for their badges, and are powered by a 1.2-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine that develops 82bhp and 113Nm. The automatic versions of the Baleno and Glanza feature a CVT transmission, which is pretty smooth and effortless as a daily driver. While the Glanza is available in two variants, the Baleno is available in three as its CVT version is also available in a lower trim. The Baleno, as a result, is more affordable. However, the other two variants are identical to the Glanza’s in terms of equipment and pricing. The Toyota is a bit pricier though, but then it does offer a 3 years/ 100,000km standard warranty as opposed to Maruti Suzuki’s 2 years/40,000km.
Price range (Baleno): Rs 7.89 lakh - Rs 9.27 lakh (ex-showroom)
Price range (Glanza): Rs 8.54 lakh - Rs 9.30 lakh (ex-showroom)
3. Honda Amaze CVT
The Honda Amaze may not be the fanciest sedan out there, neither is it packed with all the modern bells and whistles that you find in similarly priced cars these days, but when it comes to comfort, space and efficiency, the Amaze is still a pretty impeccable package. And more so when you consider its CVT variants. While the 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol CVT variant is a no-nonsense, refined and effortless vehicle, it’s the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel CVT that’s our pick from the Amaze stable. With its seamless shift and a strong mid-range, this engine-gearbox combo is a stellar performer. Not only is it super fuel-efficient, but it’s also plenty quick for all occasions. If you want a diesel automatic within the budget of Rs 10 lakh, there’s nothing like the Amaze diesel CVT on the market.
Price range: Rs 7.93 lakh - Rs 10 lakh (ex-showroom)
4. Nissan Magnite / Renault Kiger
This compact-SUV duo from the Renault-Nissan alliance has taken the market by storm, thanks to their striking looks, spacious and feature-packed cabins, a wide range of engine-gearbox combinations and tempting price tags. Although both the cars are visually very different in their appeal, they both have the same underpinnings and drivetrain options. And the one we like the most is the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine and CVT combo. With 99bhp on tap, it’s a brisk performer. Plus, the CVT transmission is smooth and seamless, making it great for daily driving. What’s more, the CVT is one of the best in business as it doesn’t seem to affect the performance. The three-cylinder turbo engine isn’t the most refined though, but given the pricing of both these compact SUVs, you can’t really complain.
Price range (Magnite CVT): Rs 8.39 lakh - Rs 9.89 lakh (ex-showroom)
Price range (Kiger CVT): Rs 8.60 lakh - Rs 9.75 lakh (ex-showroom)
5. Hyundai Venue 1.0 Turbo DCT
The Hyundai Venue is one of the most well-rounded products on the market and, surprisingly, there’s an automatic gearbox option available within the budget of Rs 10 lakh. What’s more, it’s not just a compromise in any way – in fact, it’s the Turbo version, which features a 118bhp three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, mated to a cutting-edge 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This combination works well in all conditions – whether it’s daily driving or high-speed cruising, this engine-gearbox is refined, powerful and seamless all the time. In addition to that, the Venue’s balanced ride-and-handling, along with its quality interiors. give it a more mature and big-car feel. That said, the ‘S’ variant that’s priced below 10 lakh isn’t very well-equipped as higher trims, meaning you’ll have to live without some creature comforts.
Price: Rs 9.78 lakh (ex-showroom)
Why no AMTs?
Like we said in the beginning, an AMT isn't actually an automatic gearbox per se (read more about it here -- AMT explained), however, it does bring the convenience of an automatic transmission to the masses. But we believe you should only consider an AMT over conventional automatics if you’re on a tight budget and want an automatic vehicle that’s affordable and fuel-efficient. Although there are many AMT-equipped vehicles to choose from today, our pick of the bunch would be Maruti Suzuki Swift/DZire AGS, Wagon R 1.2 AGS, and Hyundai Grand i10 Nios AMT.
Sure, being AMTs, these won’t offer the same sort of seamless performance as that of a torque converter or a CVT, but the AMTs from Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai are pretty good. So, if you’re after fuel efficiency and don’t intend to pay a huge premium for a conventional automatic gearbox, AMTs are still the way to go.
CVT, Torque Converter, AMT & DSG: Automatic Gearboxes explained
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