If you are one of those who like their time spent behind the wheel of a fun to drive, fast car, know that you belong to a minority in an economy and features obsessed market like ours. But if you can spare a million Indian Rupees to burn some fuel for the smoke to come from the rubber, thankfully, there are some fantastic factory-fresh options available. Here’s a list of 5 cars under INR 10 lakh which promise many smiles per kilometre. while still being your daily driver. All prices are Ex-showroom, Delhi.
The newest members to join the fun-to-drive club come from a manufacturer who wasn’t until now, known to offer driver focused cars. So they partnered with J.Anand, a former racer from Coimbatore, who sprinkled some pixie dust on Tata’s everyday cars. Powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged motor which spits out 114 PS and 150 Nm, the suspension on both cars has been tweaked for go-fast intent. The rubber compound was handpicked, there are active vents on the bonnet, and the result of all that is an experience which leaves a sweet after taste inside the cabin after you’ve run riot. Our pick between the two? The Tiago JTP, if fun alone is on your mind. Need a little more boot space, the Tigor with its fastback looks is just as much fun.
Take a well-balanced chassis, wrap fat rubber over 15 inchers and drop the springs by 5 mm to make them stiffer. Sounds simple, but works like a charm. And the Ford Figo 1.5 diesel sports edition is a charmer. Powered by a fun, yet, efficient motor which has been paired with a brilliant chassis-suspension combo, this little Ford punches above its weight. Want some more space and something which looks like a sedan? There’s an aptly named option which presents a fun, but practical case for itself too.
If all things modern isn’t your cup of tea and you miss the analogue feel of all things round in your palms, this Fiat is a time machine. What do you get? A hydraulic steering system which speaks Italian, a mad romeo motor, tank-like build, and a chassis-suspension combo which will make tears of joy roll through your cheeks. Drive it like you stole it and and the 125 PS motor will still sip only a litre for every 10 kms, even with half of your belongings stashed in the large boot. What’s the price you pay for fun apart from the cash? A tiny dealership network which is shrinking by the day, and inconsistent quality of after sales service. But if you can live with that, you’ll live twice your time behind the wheel.
All of the above which is true for the Fiat Line 1.4 T-jet, is also true for the Fiat Abarth Punto. But the truth packs more venom in this case and stings with a 145 PS force. And that force is felt through that telepathic steering wheel as soon as you take off, making its presence felt even in third gear! The handling and ride quality will blow your valves and even if you run out of fuel money at the end of the month, you can just place a mat next to the car, lie down, and admire the beauty of this beast. The bits inside are just as yesteryear as those inside the Linea, but you wouldn’t care about any of that for the way this thing drives.
They’re fast, they’re modern, and they’re German. What can you have? Either a slick shifting automatic gearbox with that brilliant Tsi motor, or a diesel sipping manual which packs enough torque to loosen your tight screws. Mix it up with fantastic build quality, a well-appointed cabin, a premium badge, finely tuned ride & handling capabilities, and you’re ready to play road Polo.