May 25, 2022


Automotive forever

Top 5 automatic budget hatchbacks in India in 2021

A budget hatchback is usually easy on the pocket to buy and maintain and comes with the added convenience of an automatic transmission. These cars are best used for relatively urban commutes, where the automatic gearbox and smaller dimensions shine. With over eight options to choose from, here are Autocar India’s top 5 picks for the best automatic hatchbacks on a budget. 

1. Maruti Wagon R     8/10



Spacious and practical, the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R comes with two petrol engines – a 68hp, 1.0-litre and an 83hp, 1.2-litre – both of which get an AMT option. The stronger engine is our pick, as the 5-speed AMT is a good match to this unit with hardly any penalty to mileage, and it has better performance too. The Wagon R’s aggressive price point also makes it excellent value.

Maruti Wagon R automatic factfile
Engine 3 cyl, 998cc, petrol 4 cyl, 1197cc, petrol
Power 68hp 83hp
Torque 90Nm 113Nm
Gearbox 5-speed AMT 5-speed AMT
ARAI mileage 21.79kpl 20.52kpl
Maruti Wagon R automatic prices
Variant Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)
1.0L VXI AMT Rs 5.48 lakh
1.0L VXI (O) AMT Rs 5.55 lakh
1.2L VXI AMT Rs 5.84 lakh
1.2L VXI (O) AMT Rs 5.91 lakh
1.2L ZXI AMT Rs 6.18 lakh

2. Hyundai Santro     8/10



The Hyundai Santro’s AMT unit is smooth and works well with the 69hp, 1.1-litre petrol engine; however, the engine feels weak and dated. The Santro boasts of good quality, is spacious, and well-equipped. It’s also well priced, compared to segment rivals, earning it the number two spot on our list.

Hyundai Santo automatic factfile
Engine 4 cyl, 1086cc, petrol
Power 69hp
Torque 99Nm
Gearbox 5-speed AMT
ARAI mileage 20kpl
Hyundai Santo automatic prices
Variant Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Magna AMT Rs 5.63 lakh
Sportz AMT Rs 5.98 lakh
Asta AMT Rs 6.35 lakh

3. Datsun Go     7/10



The most affordable car in India with a CVT automatic, the Datsun Go feels smoother to drive than its competition. However, the 77hp, 1.2-litre engine it’s paired to is rather gruff. Although the current Go is a significant improvement over its predecessor, it still falls short of rivals in terms of quality. On the plus side, the Go CVT is the most affordable car on sale in India with electronic stability control, which somewhat accounts for its relatively higher asking price.

Datsun Go automatic factfile
Engine 3 cyl, 1198cc, petrol
Power 77hp
Torque 104Nm
Gearbox CVT
ARAI mileage 19.59kpl
Datsun Go automatic prices
Variant Price (ex-showroom, India)
T CVT Rs 6.31 lakh
T(O) CVT Rs 6.51 lakh

4. Maruti S-Presso     7/10 



The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso is a sprightly urban runabout, thanks to the peppy and frugal 68hp, 1.0-litre petrol engine and 5-speed AMT gearbox. The tall-boy approach has led to a significantly roomy cabin, though the exterior proportions may not be to all tastes. It also feels more basic compared to the other hatchbacks here.

Maruti S-Presso automatic factfile
Engine 3 cyl, 998cc, petrol
Power 68hp
Torque 90Nm
Gearbox 5-speed AMT
ARAI mileage 21.7kpl
Maruti S-Presso automatic prices
Variant Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)
VXI AMT Rs 4.83 lakh
VXI(O) AMT Rs 4.89 lakh
VXI+ AMT Rs 4.99 lakh

5. Tata Tiago     7/10



The Tata Tiago is well-kitted, drives like a bigger car, looks attractive and is roomy to boot. However, the 86hp, 1.2-litre petrol unit isn’t the most refined or frugal around, and neither is the 5-speed AMT one of the slickest of its kind. Prices are also on the higher side of the segment. Nonetheless, the Tiago’s safety and value for money proposition can’t be ignored.

Tata Tiago automatic factfile
Engine 3 cyl, 1199cc, petrol
Power 86hp
Torque 113Nm
Gearbox 5-speed AMT
ARAI mileage NA
Tata Tiago automatic prices
Variant Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)
XTA AMT Rs 6.00 lakh
XZA AMT Rs 6.47 lakh
XZA+ AMT Rs 6.75 lakh
XZA+ AMT Dual Tone Rs 6.85 lakh

Also see:

Best automatic hatchbacks under Rs 10 lakh in 2021

5 best petrol-manual midsize sedans on sale in India

Turbocharged petrol cars, SUVs for under Rs 10 lakh

Ten ways to improve your electric car, SUV’s range