Time flies. We are already through the first half of 2018, which witnessed the mother of all automotive events in India – the 2018 Auto Expo. In the months till now, there have been at least a couple of launches every month. Some cars received mild updates while others went completely under the hammer. Among these, we bring you the top five cars that created a stir in their respective segments.
Mid-size hatchback: Maruti Suzuki Swift
Price: Rs 4.99 lakh – Rs 8.29 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Launch Date: 8 February 2018 (Launch report)
India’s leading passenger carmaker chose the 2018 Auto Expo as the platform to launch the third-gen Swift. And it’s no surprise that the carmaker received an overwhelming number of bookings and enquiries across its dealerships. Packed with features like LED projector lamps and a touchscreen infotainment system in the top-spec model, the 2018 Swift became more feature-rich and appealing than ever before. Although Maruti chose to offer the popular hatchback with the same set of engines as before – a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.3-litre diesel engine – it introduced the option of an AMT with both engines this time around.
Premium hatchback: Hyundai Elite i20
Price: Rs 5.41 lakh – Rs 9.21 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Launch Date: 7 February 2018 (Launch report)
A day before the launch of the 2018 Swift, Hyundai introduced the updated version of the Elite i20. The Elite i20 facelift featured cosmetic changes in the form of a new grille that is in line with Hyundai’s current design language, projector headlamps with daytime running LEDs, new graphics for the tail lamps, a redesigned rear section and 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.
The cabin received a dual-tone scheme, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink compatibility, rear AC vents, rear parking camera (display on the infotainment screen) with sensors, a cooled glove box and electrically foldable and adjustable outside rearview mirrors (ORVMs). Standard safety kit includes dual front airbags and ABS; the top-spec Asta variant also gets four more airbags and ISOFIX anchors.
The 2018 Hyundai Elite i20 continues to be powered by the same set of engines as its predecessor – a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.4-litre diesel engine. However, the hatchback now gets an optional CVT gearbox paired to its petrol engine.
Sub-compact sedan: Honda Amaze
Price: Rs 5.60 lakh – Rs 9.0 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Launch Date: 16 May 2018 (Launch report)
The second-gen Honda Amaze showcased how a sedan can look proportionate even when it’s under four metres in length. The 2018 Honda Amaze comes with a segment-first 3-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Apart from that, it also gets an optional CVT gearbox with both the petrol and diesel engine, which is a first for a diesel-powered car in the segment. Standard across the variants are dual front airbags, ABS with EBD & Brake Assist, reverse parking sensors, impact-sensing door locks, Isofix seat anchors and all four power windows.
As you move higher up the order, you get LED positioning lamps, 15-inch alloy wheels, push start/stop button, cruise control, paddle shift (with CVT-petrol powertrain only) and touchscreen infotainment system (Digipad 2.0) with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and in-built navigation.
It continues to be powered by the same set of engines as its predecessor – a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel engine. Fuel efficiency of both the engines have gone up to 19.5kmpl and 27.4kmpl, respectively.
Crossovers & sub-compact SUVs: Ford Freestyle
Price: Rs 5.09 lakh – Rs 7.89 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Launch Date: 26 April 2018 (Launch report)
Ford launched the cross-hatch version of the Figo, the Freestyle, in April this year. As was expected, it came with usual cross-hatch elements such as a raised ground clearance, a faux skid plate, all-around body cladding, bigger wheels and pronounced wheel arches. Based on the upcoming Ford Figo facelift, the Freestyle gets a new mesh grille and slight chrome detailing in the headlamp cluster.
Powering the Ford Freestyle is an all-new 1.2-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine from Ford’s latest ‘Dragon’ family and a 1.5-litre diesel engine from the outgoing Figo. Both engines are mated to a new 5-speed manual gearbox. However, the absence of an automatic gearbox is a glaring miss from Ford.
Features on offer include auto climate control, passive keyless entry with push-button engine start-stop, auto dimming inside rearview mirror (IRVM), auto headlamps, rear-view camera and rain-sensing wipers. A 6.5-inch SYNC 3 touchscreen system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity is also available. Safety is top-notch with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, auto door lock and high speed warning offered right from the base variant. Furthermore, the higher variants get ESP (electronic stability program), TC (traction control), HLA (hill launch assist) and six airbags as well.
Compact sedans: Toyota Yaris
Price: Rs 8.75 lakh – Rs 14.07 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Launch Date: 18 May 2018 (Launch report)
Giving buyers more options in the compact sedan segment, Toyota launched its all-new offering, the Yaris, in May. Priced at a slight premium over its rivals, the Toyota Yaris is the only vehicle in its category to be offered with an optional CVT gearbox in all its variants besides a 6-speed manual transmission. Taking the safety aspect a notch higher, the Toyota sedan packs segment-first seven airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, disc brakes on all four wheels and ISOFIX child seat anchors as standard.
The Toyota Yaris gets projector headlamps, daytime running LEDs, tail lamps with LED graphics, auto climate control with roof-mounted rear AC vents, a 7-inch infotainment system and a powered driver’s seat.
Unlike its rivals, the Yaris is only offered with a petrol engine – a 1.5-litre motor that pumps 108PS of max power and 140Nm of peak torque. It’s fuel efficiency is rated at 17.8kmpl.
Compact SUVs: Hyundai Creta
Price: Rs 9.44 lakh – Rs 15.04 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Launch Date: 21 May 2018 (Launch report)
South Korean automaker Hyundai updated its highly successful Creta SUV in May 2018. Barring a few changes, everything else remains intact in the 2018 Hyundai Creta. However, the biggest addition is that of the sunroof. It gets a revised front and rear bumpers, a new grille, projector headlamps (similar to its predecessor) and 17-inch machine-finished alloy wheels. The cabin continues with the dual-tone black-beige theme as before.
With no changes whatsoever to its mechanicals, it continues to host the same 1.6-litre and 1.4-litre diesel engines and a 1.6-litre petrol motor. The bigger engines get an optional 6-speed automatic transmission.
Compact SUVs: Mahindra XUV500 facelift
Price: Rs 12.39 lakh – Rs 19.05 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Launch Date: 18 April 2018 (Launch report)
Mahindra introduced the second facelift of its flagship SUV in India, the XUV 500, in April this year. While it continues to retain most of the bits that made its predecessor successful, it now gets a chrome-studded mesh grille, redesigned fog lamp housings, a bigger central air dam, a new layout of LED DRLs, tail lamps with a new triangular wraparound design and 17-inch alloy wheels. The cabin remains the same as before, albeit for the addition of new colours and materials.
Safety and convenience-enhancing features remain the same as before as well. It gets cruise control, a tilt and telescopic steering, automatic climate control, a six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs, automatic projector headlamps with DRLs, a reverse parking camera with dynamic guidelines, a tyre pressure monitoring system, rain-sensing wipers, push-button start and regenerative braking.
Under the bonnet, the details remain the same as before. It continues to be powered by a 2.2-litre mHawk diesel and a 2.2-litre petrol engine.
Luxury Crossover: Volvo XC40
Price: Rs 39.9 lakh – Rs 43.9 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Launch Date: 04 July 2018 (Launch report)
The most affordable Volvo SUV, the XC40, is only available with a 2.0-litre diesel engine. Offered in three variants, the Volvo XC40 is the first car to be based on the Swedish company’s smallest Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform.
Being a Volvo, it packs enough features to make a write-up appear as a brochure. Here’s a list of some of them – LED headlamps with active bending feature, a panoramic sunroof, wireless charging, hands-free boot opening, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with Air Woofer Technology and a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
On safety front, it gets driver, passenger and side airbags as well as pilot assist. Adaptive cruise control, electronic stability control, hill descent control and City Safety are also part of the package. The City Safety feature automatically applies the brakes if it detects a possible collision with other vehicles, pedestrians or animals. It also gets a park assist pilot feature that assists in parallel parking by taking over the steering inputs.