Most Popular Cars Running on Indian roads

Popular cars on Indian roads;picture:swarajyamag.com

While in a country as big as India, living among its huge population, one is bound to come across the vast list of vehicles that are available to the people. More than 13 Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), along with at least 30 more brands, run operations in the country providing a plethora of car models.

Having knowledge about some, or even all, of them is a major task that not every person can accomplish, provided their interest in the area. So much so, the number of segments in Private Vehicles are not just limited to three (Hatchback, Sedan, SUV) anymore, as pointed out by a sales analysis by Auto Punditz.

 

Getting to know about the various car segments, each with its own set of vehicles, including the top-specced, least favoured and the best-selling models is an exhaustive list to compile. However, when it comes to buying a car, everyone searches for this same information that could help them make an informed decision.

Top 10 car manufacturers in India;Youtube-Planetz Top10

This time, we try to list down the major options available to consumers in each of the PV segments sold in India, according to their volume sales and popularity. The list will consist of some of the best-selling models in each segment along with newcomers, as well as point out to stay away from certain others where applicable.

 

It would be beneficial to both car buyers, providing them with relevant information on alternatives in a particular segment, as well as to brands hoping to step into the Indian car market seeking competitive market analysis, making it a comprehensive catalogue.

Different segments of cars in India;pic credits:autocarindia.com

Different segments of cars in India;pic credits:autocarindia.com

Hatchback Segment

 

 1. Entry-level Hatchback Segment

The segment populated by most first-time buyers in India, entry-level hatchbacks are a great buy for anyone on a tight budget. Sure, you can opt for a second-hand vehicle but owning a new car has its own charm. And these micro-sized cars help millions of families realise this delight. Some of the best-selling models include:

 

India’s most loved small car! The cute, tiny and capable Alto became India’s best-selling car in 2004, selling more than 39 lakh (3.9 million) units till date. The 800-cc engine gave wings to the low-income and middle-income families to buy their first car and include their families with them in a spacious cabin with features such as electric windows, power steering wheel and an effective AC unit. The Alto has since been revamped a number of times and new powertrain options have been introduced with a bigger 1000-cc engine in the Alto K10. It still remains a top choice for many buyers today

Maruti Suzuki Alto

Renault Kwid

​The Kwid takes it up a notch introducing a premium texture in this segment. The bold new design with aggressive attributes attract the consumers the most, followed by a stylish interior and a decent mileage. Kwid, as the brand calls it, commands attention while providing the driver ‘more’ than he asks for. It offers a smooth driving experience with easy manoeuvrability. The range includes an automatic version, apart from the basic manual and an adventure focussed, Climber version. Kwid is currently the volume sales driver for Renault in India, being predominantly the small car market it is.

 

Other options in this segment include:

Datsun Redi-Go

Marketed as a cheaper alternative to Alto, it lacked a few basic fixtures such as standard air conditioning and even electric power windows. The Redi-go since has not been able to record impressive sales in private vehicles market, however, has retained its presence, with collaborations with app-based cab companies such as Ola and Uber.  

Tata Nano

Previously regarded as the World’s cheapest car, the Nano after numerous updates, now offers much more than it used to, but with an increase in price. It is one of the cheapest cars available in Indian to come with automatic transmission.

Hyundai Eon

Hyundai’s cheapest and smallest product in the Indian market. Now Discontinued.

 2. Compact Hatchback Segment

The most sold segment by far in India, the compact hatchback segment is naturally the most populated as well. A big majority of families, mostly first-time buyers, prefer to go for a compact hatchback by paying a slight premium over the entry-level cars, which entitles them to a privileged ride in a great product.

Maruti Suzuki WagonR

The tall-boy approach of the WagonR attracts a whole crowd of people as it provides the maximum amount of space and comfort in its segment. Seven versions of the WagonR over a span of almost 20 years have catered to the common needs of the Indian middle-income groups with updates in every aspect with every model. The car’s looks, for the latest generation, may not seem very alluring to some but it’s the practicality that engages most of the customers. Its ability to occupy five adults comfortably with a decent boot is an USP.

Maruti Suzuki Swift

The Swift, quite possibly, is India’s most loved small car, after Alto. Launched 15 years ago, Swift gave the people a capable option with stylish looks, not-so-crappy interior and a decent drive quality. At least 22 lakh Indians agree with it. The latest gen Swift comes fully loaded with touch screen system and driver assistance systems and has elevated itself from a mere small car. It was the first ‘hot hatch’ that made way for the popularisation of the segment.

Hyundai i10 Grand

Probably Hyundai’s biggest sales driver in India, the Grandi10 is by far the most popular Hyundai car on Indian roads. Carrying forward the legacy of the global sensation, i10, the Grand version accommodates perfectly every small and minute expectation of a typical Indian family, from 5 adults seats to a huge boot, a peppy engine to a decent fuel economy as well as a well-laid out dash. It come well equipped with all the bells and whistles one could ask for and even gets the AMT option!

Tata Tiago

Tata’s namesake saver in the past few years, the Tiago, first launched as a replacement for the Bolt soon overtook the sales of any other model in Tata’s line up with its refreshing new design, formed to entice the younger population. It is a capable machine with aggressive features and 1.2 L Revotron petrol engine with MT/AT that makes it fun to drive. The cabin is modern and practical with an unbeaten Harman speaker system. The Tiago, being a compact hatchback, is not so compact on space and offers a generous amount even on the rear seat with a big boot.

Ford Figo

Ford’s smallest car in the market, the Figo has been a sales driver since its launch in 2010. It has been a popular choice among new and nuclear families with space concerns from a car that could provide a good driving quality. As Ford vehicles are most famous for, the Figo made its name for being unaffected by the Indian road conditions and not requiring much maintenance. The car offers simple laid out interior with a massive centre console, without too many efforts. The boot offered is a bit smaller in size, but the overall package attracts customers, nonetheless. The diesel variant is especially fun to drive with a huge 1.5L engine that provides with almost 100bhp for a car this small.

Other options in this segment include:

Maruti Nexa Ignis

The strange looking, futuristic car with tall-boy image.

Datsun Go

A small car bigger than then entry-level small car Redi-Go.

 3. Premium Hatchback Segment

The segment, probably as popular in the country as the entry-level segment, was not so big in the past and has seen a big rise in the recent few years. Premium hatchbacks became the way of the world for working professionals with modest incomes looking for a stylish car, and for families looking to buy a hatchback with more space. Basically, a compact sedan size car in the looks of a hatchback, the premium hatchbacks were the first to offer latest equipment and features with technology advancements.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno

The Baleno is India’s favourite premium hatchback with a global design statement that attracts every customer. It offers luxurious blacked-out interiors in a cabin with ample space, latest features for convenience and comfort as well as a great ride quality along with Maruti’s sense of reliability. The car is truly an all-in-one combination of sweet-striking looks and performance capability, offering European spec lineaments.

Hyundai i20

The i20 has been a constant hit among Indian consumers since its launch just like its younger brother, i10. The sporty design language seems appealing to most, apart from the dual-tone interior dashboard that simple looks elegant. It doesn’t seem clustered and doesn’t needs to try hard to attract its breed of people. It is highly popular among the younger generation probably due to its power packed performance.

VW Polo

The Polo has been much of a sensation in India as well, as it has been around the world. Featuring a very simple design with practical interiors, the Polo doesn’t quite seem like the go-to premium hatchback for every user, but it does prove to be one with its capabilities. The VW promise and build quality is one of the major reasons for its sales, although a high price is turn off for many consumers.

Toyota Etios Liva

Etios sedan’s small brother. Now Discontinued.

Other options in this segment include:

Sedan Segment

 4. Compact Sedan Segment

The sub-4-meter compact sedans have seen an incline in sales due to increasing family sizes across the country and the need to accommodate more within less. Proving to be a better option than a premium hatchback for some, the compact sedans appear as better alternatives when it comes to catering the needs of a family instead of just an individual. It is a densely populated segment, with two cars in the lead.

Maruti Suzuki Dzire

Country’s most loved compact sedan, the Dzire sells record units every month across the nation. It is the most loved family car in India with over 1.9 lakh units (1.9 million) delivered. Feature packed with the latest convenience instruments, an engine capable to cover the lengths of the nation and cargo capacity for five adults and their luggage, the Dzire beats its competition with much more than an excellent fuel economy. It is also one of the most common cars plied as cabs in the country.

Honda Amaze

Giving a tough competition to the Dzire, on both private vehicle trends as well as commercial (cab) vehicle front is Honda’s volume sales driver Amaze. Now the smallest car in the company’s portfolio, the Amaze features stretched proportions and offers better legroom space than the Dzire as well as a bigger boot. However, it also lacks behind in certain aspects such as low-cost maintenance and brand reliability. Its i-DTEC diesel engine is especially popular for its powerful performance, while on the highway or in city traffic.

Other options in this segment include:

Tata Tigor

Truly a good looking and excellent driving compact sedan but with poor PR. 

 
 

 5. Mid-size Sedan Segment/Executive Sedan

The mid-size sedans represent a small segment of cars in the country whose demand has not increased much in the past but has also not diminished and stayed constant. The new SUV obsession has bitten into the share of mid-size sedans, preying off its profits.

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz

Maruti’s best-selling executive car, the Ciaz demonstrates ultimate comfort and sheer luxury in the brand’s line-up. It is the preferred choice for Government agencies to impart to their employees as work-cars. The car offers ample space in the rear with latest equipment and carries a very simplistic design and aura throughout. It doesn’t scream to be noticed, instead tries to blend in with long body lines and a happy front-face.  

The country’s best-selling mid-size executive sedan is also the Honda India’s best-selling model. The Honda City provides its customers with that extra bit of elegance and luxury that makes it stand out form the crowd. The car’s bends and lines do not make it look like a very long car, which it is, and provide it with a commanding stance on the road. The interior is undoubtedly the best in the segment with all the bells and whistles available in the top-end trim. The City, recently overhauled by the company, implies sophistication in all aspects. Read our full review of the latest 5th generation Honda City here!

Hyundai Verna

The Verna was able to make its name in the market dominated by Ciaz and City to an extent more than any other competitor. The Korean carmaker’s mid-size sedan attempted to offer similar features as the City at a lower premium and with a more basic design.

Other options in this segment include:

Toyota Yaris

Toyota’s take at an executive sedan proved to be quite capable.  

Nissan Sunny

India’s longest mid-size sedan caaaaaar! Now Discontinued.

 6. Premium Sedan Segment

The premium sedans segment in the country has, as well, seen a constant demand in the recent years without much appreciation or depreciation. The premium sedans offer more on everything, be it space, features or even the price, than their mid-size counterparts.

Skoda Octavia

The Skoda Octavia has been one of the most iconic sedans on Indian roads for quite some time now. It is one of the best-selling premium sedans in the country in the price segment of Rs. 18 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh. There isn’t much competition there and the Octavia sure doesn’t allow any either. The Octavia is long, sleek, elegant, affluent, comfortable and sporty. It has it all. In fact, it is Skoda’s best-selling car after the much cheaper Rapid. Skoda, unfortunately has decided to discontinue the car due to emissions regulations until a new version is launched, expected by 2020 end.

Honda Civic

The global sensation has been a hit in India as well, offering stylish design and sophisticated interiors. The Honda Civic recently received an upgradation from the company concerning India’s regulation norms and remains a first choice for many considering a classy vehicle, although it seems outdated on many aspects.

Other options in this segment include:

Toyota Corolla

The global sensation of safe and reliable sedan for executives. Now Discontinued.

Hyundai Elantra

Previously a prominent alternative, it lost value and fame due to insanely high costs.  

 7. Luxury Sedan Segment

The uber-luxury sedan segment in India is not such a big market, owing to low affordability of a majority of the people and growing interests into the SUV segment of those who can spare the cash for these beauties.

Skoda Superb

Making a name in such a slim market is a tough job proved wrong by the Superb. The car is a limousine full of sheer luxurious features and convenience. It gets a great powertrain that drives this mammoth smoothly on the tarmac, a feature loaded infotainment system that no one could complain about and leg room a class apart. Essentially, it is a bargain at its cost.

Other options in this segment include:

VW Passat

A global sensation that recorded high sales until more capable vehicles entered the market. Temporarily production halted.

Honda Accord

A personal favourite, the long and elegant Accord seems perfect in all aspects, but one of price. Now Discontinued.

 

 8. Compact SUV Segment

The is one of the most popular new segments in the country. It is gaining immense fame and regard owing to the SUV craze in India as well as its potential to cruise through the Indian roads with ease.

Hyundai Venue

Hyundai created the Venue by truly analysing the Indian community’s needs and requirements from a small SUV. The Venue became an instant hit as soon as it was launched offering ample space and plethora of convenience features. It immediately became one of India’s best-selling compact SUV, just behind the Brezza. The Venue offers a more premium experience than the rugged Brezza as well as a bigger boot, apart from the India-specific features such as glovebox cooling, rear parcel tray and a wider rear seat.

Maruti Suzuki Brezza

India’s best-selling compact SUV by volume sales, the Brezza is a champion in the industry. It offers practical design, performance and efficiency along with the trust of Maruti brand. The car might lack behind on gaudy trinkets here and there, but gets the job done well. To some, its style statement seems impressive and to others it seems a bit low key. Nonetheless, its performance is the main factor behind its success, that has not been hampered since its inception. 

Tata Nexon

Another one of India’s best-selling compact SUVs is the Tata Nexon. The car primarily gained attention, at first, with its unconventional design that attracted a majority of young consumers and, later, with its success at the Euro NCAP crash tests when it scored excellently. In 2018, the Nexon became the safest Indian car by achieving this feat and translated it into record sales.

Ford EcoSport

Ford’s global compact SUV reigned the Indian markets for a long time as it was probably the first and only car of its type in India. People showed immense love and affection to this cute little SUV that offered excellent comfort and convenience to the consumers. People were attracted by its traditional design, especially the side-hinged tailgate and the mounted spare-wheel. The quality of the interior is not at par with its competitors but remains practical enough. The drive quality is by far one of the best in the segment.

Other options in this segment include:

Mahindra XUV 300

Latest addition to the segment with a decent design and a smaller boot.

Mahindra TUV 300

Mahindra’s initial attempt at a small SUV but with a third row, making it kind of a stuck-in-between product.

Honda WRV

Honda’s take at the compact SUV lacked a bold and muscular design that most people wish to own.

 

 9. Mid-size SUV Segment

This segment is highly populated in the SUV market with a huge list of products from many different manufacturers. The mid-size SUVs have become a favoured option for many families to own a piece of luxury at a fraction of the cost.

Kia Seltos

The latest entry in the segment became one of the best-selling last year with record sales and waiting period as much as three months long. The Seltos combines the basic aspects of an SUV such as a bold and aggressive design, high stance and sporty characteristics with tons of connected tech and features inside.

Hyundai Creta

The unprecedented king of the segment, Creta proved its metal to its competitors by recording huge volume sales during its five-year production run from 2015. Creta offers a spacious cabin with minimalistic design layers to blend in with the crowd. However, once inside, any rider can conform to the fact that it is anything but regular. It offers sheer luxury for its price and features such as a huge panoramic sunroof among many others to attract new customers. A new model has been recently launched that claims to continue the legacy.

MG Hector

Another newcomer in the industry, the Hector got popular solely on the basis of being a connected SUV. Perhaps India’s first connected SUV, the features it offered were truly amazing, but at the same time, not so practical for the everyday drive, especially in India. Regardless, it fulfilled the basic Indian checklist of an aggressive design with a spacious cabin and latest tech gaining it the third spot in the ‘Top 3 mid-size SUVs in India’.

Jeep Compass

The compass made its debut in the Indian markets in 2017 and it since has made a name for itself in the segment. The Jeep Compass was the first performance focussed mid-size SUV in India, offering a range of different drive modes. However, even after getting fame, the compass was not able to sell in volumes due to a high asking price. Also, some of the features that it offered, such as the e-parking brake, were not understood and hence not appreciated by the masses of the population.

Renault Duster

The first ever mid-size SUV in the Indian markets, Duster is responsible, to a large extent, for creating an SUV market in India at the first place. Although it seems a bit outdated at present as compared with the competition, it fared well against them until a few years back with appropriate offerings.

Tata Harrier

Tata’s Creta rival made a big name for itself after its launch. The Indian consumer particularly liked the huge and bulky body structure that the Harrier donned as well as the whole design language. Inside, the Harrier offers luxury and comfort never seen before in any Tata vehicle. Automatic transmission in such a vehicle is necessary, which was missed in the Harrier until early this year when the AT Harrier was launched.

Mahindra XUV 500

Mahindra’s old creation fared well against the new rivals with its capacity to sit seven adults. Previously considered a big SUV, the XUV 500 soon entered the mid-size SUV segment with its proportions similar to that of the Creta. And with its high seating capacity, it still maintains decent sales numbers as the only 7-seater mid-size SUV in the segment.

Other options in this segment include:

Mahindra Scorpio

Mahindra’s macho SUV, absolutely loved by the Indian population. Not so premium in feel and fit.

Hyundai Kona

India’s first mid-size electric SUV. Too expensive for the market.

MG ZS EV

MG is offering India’s second mid-size electric SUV. More practical than the Kona.

Maruti S-Cross

Probably Maruti’s only unsuccessful car in the past few years.

Mahindra Thar

Mahindra’s popular sports-cum-lifestyle vehicle, perfect for off-roading. One of India’s most personalised SUVs ever.

Tata Safari

One of India’s favourite SUVs of all times. Now Discontinued for civilian use.