Five used cars below 1 lakh rupees (hatchbacks)

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Added in: Maruti Suzuki

Only last night, we came up with a list of five used sedans that you can get for below 1 lakh rupees in used car market. The list includes some hand picked sedans that would anyday be a better buy than a bargain basement hatchback and would bring along a lot more than the advantage of enough boot space that a three box design brings along. CLICK HERE for the list of these sedans. Yesterday, we talked about how a first car buyer, who might very well be new in his job and doesn’t have a huge budget, would aspire to own a sedan over an entry level hatchback or a premium motorcycle. However, today, we will have our focus on a totally different set of five used cars below 1 lakh rupees. Yes, we’ll be talking about the hatchbacks that can bought for under 1 lakhs in the used car market and while in no way do we wish to compare these with the sedans we talked about last night, we do need to recognize that there is a large section of used car buyers who wish to enjoy the added convenience that comes with a hatchback, along with presumably lower cost of maintenance and ease of driving. While none of these hatchbacks in the ‘ used cars below 1 lakh ‘ list we have here  might be even half as exciting as some of the sedans we talked about last night, we need to keep in mind that these vehicles here are far easier to maintain and also score higher in the practicality quotient. So here it is for you, a list of five used cars below 1 lakh rupees (hatchback) –

(Cars listed in alphabetical order of names)

Fiat Palio

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The Fiat Palio is a fairly  known model in Indian car market. Unfortunately though, it is known as much for maintenance woes as it is for its exciting performance. However, looking at the rock bottom prices at which this car is sold at, the Palio still makes for a compelling buy in the used car market, especially if you consider the almost tank like build quality, good ride and handling and a design that doesn’t really look all that dated. And its even better for those few who still value and respect the Fiat badge. The Fiat Palio was sold with four engines here- a 1.2 petrol, 1.6 petrol, a 1.9 diesel and later a 1.3 Multijet diesel. While the 1.6 petrol engine variant is a true driver’s car in almost every sense of word, we would still advise you to look for the 1.2 Nv models, which isn’t really all that lazy and is far more frugal and cheaper to maintain. Also, the 1.9D is an indirect injection unit and we would want you to stay clear of it. Towards the fag end of its career, the Palio also got the internationally acclaimed 1.3 litre common rail diesel engine but finding this model for a lakh rupees is ultra tough and we aren’t exactly game for it.

Hyundai Santro

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The car that set HMIL’s ball rolling,  the Santro was among the best selling cars in Indian market for almost a decade, until the advent of fresher competition and Hyundai shifting its focus on to other hatchbacks for our market. Essentially a direct rival to the Maruti WagonR, the Santro too benefits from airy interiors, fairly frugal engine and ease of maintenance. Hyundai’s decent after sales network is an additional bonus. The car was launched in India with a 1.0 litre petrol engine. However, some time later, it got an engine upgrade in the form of a 1.1 litre unit that still powers the last gen i10 in India, albeit with some upgrades. It is the 1.1 litre unit that we want you to look for. However, worth a mention here is that the Santro is known to hold its value well, which means it would be tough finding a relatively newer car. We reckon that you would still manage to get your hands on the pre-Xing model, which has all the virtues of the Xing, save for more digestible looks. The Santro is not too exciting to drive but other than this grouse here, we feel that its really tough going wrong with this car. Easy maintenance, Hyundai back up, airy interiors, light controls, what else do you require from a family hatchback?

Maruti Alto

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Easily the most loved car in India, the Alto was recently replaced by the Alto 800, which is basically an Alto plus new exteriors and interiors. The Alto has been on sale in India for over a decade now, which means that stumbling across one in used car market is as easy as it gets. The Alto was also sold with a 1.1 litre four cylinder engine in its initial years but we would say that you’ll be extremely lucky to find one. But in case you do, go for it without a second thought. The 800cc variant is far easier to find, and the non power steering variants from around 2007-08 go for as less as INR 1 lakhs. Factor in the Maruti peace of mind, frugal but peppy engine, decent ride and handling (for a small car), cheap spares and a powerful aircon, and you are looking at another winner here. However, the Alto doesn’t really enjoy spacious interiors and the rear legroom is best described as cramped. The boot too isn’t all that big either but again, it does the job. Probably the most trusted car in the used car market, the Alto still has a lot going for it. Definitely a great car for students, city run-abouts and new drivers (we are talking about the power steering variant here).

Maruti WagonR

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Once the largest selling car in Japan, and arguably among the largest selling in India too, the WagonR became a direct rival of the Hyundai Santro in India. Bestowed with equally roomy interiors, a peppy but reasonably frugal 1.1 litre four cylinder engine and the Maruti after sales backup, the WagonR is easily among the most sensible choices in the used car market today. It is the last gen WagonR that we want you to look for and less than a decade old LX variants can be found going for an asking price of around INR 80,000 in the used market. The two biggest weaknesses of the WagonR we can think of are the not so great road handling manners and the narrow rear bench. Apart from this, the WagonR is a hugely practical car that has a lot of headroom, light controls, a good engine and of course, the Maruti peace of mind. Another really compelling buy in the used car market today.

Tata Indica

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Arguably the most successful car in the history of Tata Motors, the Indica has by now seen a gazillion facelifts and God-knows-how-many engine upgrades. However, the base motor continues to be the extremely frugal 1400cc diesel engine that might not be too refined and powerful, but is quite low on maintenance and bestows the car with unbelievably low running costs. Also on sale were 1.2 litre XETA and 1.4 litre petrol engines that are neither really fuel efficient nor powerful. Hence, we would like you to look only for the diesel engine option but keep in mind that finding a relatively newer car is almost impossible. Other than the easy-on-the-pocket diesel engine, the car also has very roomy interiors and looks much like the Euro spec Corsa from few generations ago, if that at all helps with your buying decision. The Tata Indica might not be the easiest car to find in this budget. Also, it might not even be the best car to own from among the list of cars we have here. However, we still feel that this car could appeal to large families looking for low running costs and enough space for five adults.

So, on which of these used cars below 1 lakh rupees will you want to put your money on?  Do let us know about your feelings by commenting below. Also, let us know if you want us to add some more cars to this list. 

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