We often talk about favourite cars, but not too much about the engines which play a huge part in making them our favourite. Sometimes, it also happens that the engine alone shines bright while the rest of the car tries to play catch up and vice versa. Since we’re talking about motors, here are our top 5 picks which power examples, all of which are priced under INR 10 lakh.
Suzuki K-Series 1.2-Litre Petrol
Hands down the best 1.2-litre petrol engine out there, this naturally aspirated gem is the motor which powers the Baleno, the Swift, the Ignis and also the Toyota Glanza now. A free-revving delight, this engine can sprint to its redline, feel relaxed even if you wish to just trundle along and also cruise when asked for. Mated to a slick gearbox, this engine is also fuel efficient and with the right, right foot controlling its throttle, it can easily make the car cover 20 kilometres plus while sipping just a litre of fuel. With the Baleno, it is now also offered with Hybrid tech.
Fiat Multijet 1.3-litre Diesel
Also lovingly called the national engine since it was first introduced, the upcoming BS VI norms will be pulling the curtains down on this popular motor. A punchy engine which comes alive once its little turbo is on a song, it has served under the hood of all of Fiat’s cars for India, all the Marutis and some Tatas. Its most memorable state of tune till date was when it was introduced to power the first-gen Swift, where the kick from the turbo was felt in the most exciting manner. Although turbocharged, this engine doesn’t mind being revved and has been verified by an entire nation to be seriously fuel efficient. Over the years, it has been tuned to make the car more driveable, but it still is a little charmer.
Ford 1.5-litre TDCi Diesel
We often find ourselves recommending the Ford Ecosport and the Figo when we stumble upon questions from friends and family. A large chunk of that recommendation is because of the TDCi motor which powers both these cars. Not tuned to deliver its goods in an overwhelming manner after it crosses a particular stage in the rev band, this engine, although turbocharged, feels healthy and happy from the word go, right till its redline. It is efficient too and just the reason why it makes us do what we talked about earlier.
Mahindra D15 1.5 Litre Diesel
Introduced under the hood of the Marazzo first, this engine now also powers the new XUV300. Cranking out class-leading power figures of 300 Nm and 115 Bhp, this engine is also one of the most refined homegrown motors ever made. It isn’t as awake in the lower reaches of its power band, but beyond 1,500 rpm, it is on a song and feels like a bigger motor than it actually is. Mated to a 6-speed gearbox, the torque it builds adds more legs to the Marazzo’s abilities and more excitement to what the XUV300 can do.
Hyundai 1.4-Litre U2 CRDi Diesel
Rate to deliver 90 PS and 224 Nm of torque, Hyundai’s 1.4-litre CRDi engine is refined, scores high on driveability, and over the years has been tuned to offer well-spread performance. With closely stacked final ratios of its 6-speed gearbox, open-road performance is strong and the motor, like most small capacity diesel engines, is efficient too. Not for nothing that it powers mostly all cars in Hyundai’s portfolio, from the Elite i20, its Active variant, the Verna, the Creta, and now the Venue too.