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    Top 10 Petrol Cars For Best Drivability Under Rs. 20 Lakh

    by Mahesh Yadav on Wednesday, Aug 19 2020

    Marketing often pulls blinds in front of our eyes and we fail to understand the hidden meaning behind the manufacturers’ words. Power is one such thing, which car buyers have often misinterpreted for the longest time. If you want a car that accelerates well at all costs, then power is exactly what you should look for. It’s great for driving on the race track, where you spend most of the time closer to the red line.

     

    Top 10 Petrol Cars For Best Drivability

    For everyday driving, redlining in every gear doesn’t make sense because of three reasons:

    • It puts unnecessary stress on the car’s mechanicals and causes premature failure
    • It’s uncomfortable for the occupants
    • It drastically increases fuel consumption and almost halves the achievable mileage figure

    Torque is what you need to look for. You need to evaluate a car’s drivability based on these 3 things:

    • How much torque does it make? More torque means better acceleration.
    • At what RPM the torque peaks? Look for a lower RPM figure.
    • For how long the torque peaks? A wider RPM range is better.

    You can get more power by increasing the rev limiter, but it doesn’t make any difference in everyday driving as we don’t live in a Fast and Furious world. But we don’t drive in the 5000 to 7000rpm range. Most of us don’t even fully exploit the available torque of a petrol car as it usually peaks at around 4500rpm in a non-turbo car.

    The Tata Nexon facelift is a prime example of this. Tata updated the 2020 Nexon petrol and gave it 10PS of extra power by raising the rev limiter by 500rpm. The older Neoxn petrol made 110PS of power at 5000rpm while the facelift 2020 model makes 120PS at 5500rpm. Since the 170Nm of torque output remains the same, there’s no impact from this in the drivability of the car.

    There’s 1 more thing to consider - the weight of the car. If that weren’t the case, the trucks would be the fastest things on our roads. If you get twice the torque and also double the kerb weight, then it’s not going to feel much different than the lighter car. So, the torque-to-weight ratio is the perfect indicator of how well a car is going to accelerate during everyday driving without revving the guts out.

    So, let’s look at the top 10 petrol cars with the best torque-to-weight ratio currently available for under Rs. 20 lakh.

    10. Hyundai Venue Turbo (149Nm/t) / Kia Sonet Turbo (NA)

    The Hyundai Venue was the first car to get the Korean company’s 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine and soon the Kia Sonet will become the 4th car to get this engine. Since the Sonet and Venue use the same engine-transmission combination and frame, we can safely assume that the two cars will also have similar torque-to-weight ratios.

    The Venue turbo’s torque-to-weight ratio stands at 146.9Nm/tonne with the automatic and 149Nm/tonne with the manual.

     

    Hyundai Venue

    Kia Sonet

    Displacement

    1.0-litre Turbo

    1.0-litre Turbo

    Cylinder

    3

    3

    Cubic Capacity

    998cc

    998cc

    Maximum Power

    120PS @ 6000rpm

    120PS @ 6000rpm

    Peak Torque

    172Nm @ 1500 - 4000rpm

    172Nm @ 1500 - 4000rpm

    Torque:Weight

    146.9 - 149Nm/t

    NA

    Manual Transmission

    6-Speed MT & 6-speed ACMT

    6-speed ACMT

    Manual Claimed FE

    18.2kmpl

    NA

    Automatic Transmission

    7- Speed DCT

    7- Speed DCT

    Automatic Claimed FE

    18.15kmpl

    NA

    9. MG Hector (155Nm/t) / MG Hector Plus (151.6Nm/t)

    The MG Hector and Hector Plus’ also find a spot on this list thanks to their turbo petrol engines. Given the wide range of transmission combinations for the two SUVs, their torque-to-weight ratio ranges from 150.5 for the Hector Plus automatic to 155Nm/t for the Hector turbo non-hybrid.

     

    MG Hector Plus

    MG Hector

    Displacement

    1.5-litre Turbo

    1.5-litre Hybrid

    1.5-litre Turbo

    1.5-litre Hybrid

    Cylinder

    4

    4

    4

    4

    Maximum Power

    143PS @ 5000rpm

    143PS @ 5000rpm

    143PS @ 5000rpm

    143PS @ 5000rpm

    Peak Torque

    250Nm @ 1600 - 3600rpm

    250Nm @ 1600 - 3600rpm

    250Nm @ 1600 - 3600rpm

    250Nm @ 1600 - 3600rpm

    Torque:Weight

    150.5 - 151.6Nm/t

    151.6Nm/t

    151.6 - 155Nm/t

    152.7Nm/t

    Manual Transmission

    6-speed

    6-speed

    6-Speed

    6-Speed

    Manual Claimed FE

    NA

    14.03kmpl

    14.16kmpl

    15.81kmpl

    Automatic Transmission

    6-speed DCT

    -

    6-speed DCT

    -

    Automatic Claimed FE

    11.67kmpl

    -

    13.96kmpl

    -

    8. Skoda Rapid (157.4Nm/t) / Volkswagen Vento (156Nm/t)

    The Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento now only offer a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine. The Rapid has a torque-to-weight ratio of 157.4Nm/tonne while the Vento’s figure stands at 156Nm/tonne.

    The Rapid’s attractive starting price tag of Rs. 7.5 lakh for the Rider variant means that the Rapid is not just the most affordable car in its segment but also has the punchiest engine with a respectable mileage figure.

     

    Skoda Rapid

    Volkswagen Vento

    Displacement

    1.0-litre Turbo

    1.0-litre Turbo

    Cylinder

    3

    3

    Cubic Capacity

    999cc

    999cc

    Maximum Power

    110PS @ 5000rpm

    110PS @ 5000rpm

    Peak Torque

    175Nm @ 1750 - 4000rpm

    175Nm @ 1750 - 4000rpm

    Torque:Weight

    157.4Nm/t

    156Nm/t

    Manual Transmission

    6-speed

    6-speed

    Manual Claimed FE

    18.97kmpl

    17.7kmpl

    Automatic Transmission

    -

    6-speed TC

    Automatic Claimed FE

    -

    NA

    7. Volkswagen Polo Turbo (163.2Nm/t)

    While on one hand, the Polo wins the prize for delivering a pathetic torque-to-weight ratio with the non-turbo engine, with the turbo it shines like a diamond. The Polo’s torque-to-weight ratio stands at 163.2Nm/tonne and its heavier body is to blame for that as it has more torque than the Nios and Aura.

    VW Polo

     

    Volkswagen Polo

    Displacement

    1.0-litre Turbo

    Cylinder

    3

    Cubic Capacity

    999cc

    Maximum Power

    110PS @ 5000-5500rpm

    Peak Torque

    175Nm @ 1750 - 4000rpm

    Torque:Weight

    163.2Nm/t

    Manual Transmission

    6-speed

    Manual Claimed FE

    18.24kmpl

    Automatic Transmission

    6-speed Torque Converter

    Automatic Claimed FE

    18.24kmpl

    6. Jeep Compass (171.6Nm/t)

    The Jeep Compass turbo petrol engine also makes 250Nm of torque, which is similar to that of the Kicks/Duster and better than the Seltos/Creta. Still, its heavier kerb weight puts it too far down the list with a torque-to-weight ratio of 169.5Nm/tonne with the automatic transmission and 171.6Nm/tonne with the manual.

    Jeep Compass

     

    Jeep Compass

    Displacement

    1.4-litre Turbo

    Cylinder

    4

    Cubic Capacity

    1368cc

    Maximum Power

    162PS

    Peak Torque

    250Nm

    Torque:Weight

    169.5 - 171.6Nm/tonne

    Manual Transmission

    6-Speed

    Manual Claimed FE

    15kmpl

    Automatic Transmission

    7-Speed DCT

    Automatic Claimed FE

    14.5kmpl

    5. Hyundai Aura Turbo (172.7Nm/t)

    While the Aura turbo shares its engine, transmission and frame with the Nios, the two cars have different body styles, segments and different price points. So, it’s fair to award Aura a distinct position on the list than the Nios.

    Hyundai Aura Turbo

    The Aura’s torque-to-weight ratio of 172.7Nm/tonne is only 2.3 units less than the Nios’. Although the Aura and Nios have lower torque output than the Polo, their torque-to-weight ratio is a bit better than the Polo’s. When Hyundai gave the Aura and Nios the Venue’s 1.0-litre turbo engine, they took away 20PS of power and offered it with a 5-speed manual transmission instead of 6 gears. Thankfully, the Nios retains its torque output of 172Nm like the Venue. Thus, it will have better performance than the Venue during everyday driving.

     

    Hyundai Aura

    Displacement

    1.0-litre Turbo

    Cylinder

    3

    Cubic Capacity

    998cc

    Maximum Power

    100PS @ 6000rpm

    Peak Torque

    172Nm @ 1500 - 4000rpm

    Torque:Weight

    172.7Nm/t

    Manual Transmission

    5-Speed

    Manual Claimed FE

    20.5kmpl

    Automatic Transmission

    -

    Automatic Claimed FE

    -

    4. Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Turbo (175Nm/t)

    The Grand i10 Nios’ torquey 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine and its lighter kerb weight give it a phenomenal figure for the price. The Nios’ torque-to-weight ratio stands at 175Nm/t. The Nios turbo is the most affordable car in this list bringing the turbo power to the masses.

    Grand i10 Nios Turbo

     

    Grand i10 Nios

    Displacement

    1.0-litre Turbo

    Cylinder

    3

    Cubic Capacity

    998cc

    Maximum Power

    100PS @ 6000rpm

    Peak Torque

    172Nm @ 1500 - 4000rpm

    Torque:Weight

    175Nm/tonne

    Manual Transmission

    5-Speed

    Manual Claimed FE

    20.3kmpl

    Automatic Transmission

    -

    Automatic Claimed FE

    -

    3. Volkswagen T-Roc (176Nm/t)

    The Volkswagen T-Roc’s torque output of 250Nm puts it at #3 on the list. The T-Roc barely makes it to the list as it costs just shy of Rs. 20 lakh threshold. Its torque-to-weight ratio of 176Nm/tonne allows it to brush past the Nios to take the podium.

    VW T-Roc

     

    Volkswagen T-Roc

    Displacement

    1.5-litre Turbo

    Cylinder

    4

    Cubic Capacity

    998cc

    Maximum Power

    150PS @ 5000rpm

    Peak Torque

    250Nm @ 1500 - 3500rpm

    Torque:Weight

    176Nm/tonne

    Manual Transmission

    -

    Manual Claimed FE

    -

    Automatic Transmission

    -7-speed DCT

    Automatic Claimed FE

    14.49kmpl

    2. Hyundai Creta Turbo (182.9Nm/t) / Kia Seltos Turbo (187.7Nm/t)

    The Creta and Seltos are pretty much the same underneath as they both rock the same turbo petrol engine with the same performance figures. They have the same body styles and even sell in the same segment and price band. With the automatic transmission, their torque-to-weight ratios are around 183Nm/tonne. The Creta doesn’t get a manual transmission and therefore the Seltos turbo MT manages to deliver 187.7Nm/tonne.

     

    Hyundai Creta

    Kia Seltos

    Displacement

    1.4-litre Turbo

    1.4-litre Turbo

    Cylinder

    4

    4

    Cubic Capacity

    1353cc

    1353cc

    Maximum Power

    140PS @ 6000rpm

    140PS @ 6000rpm

    Peak Torque

    242Nm @ 1500 - 3200rpm

    242Nm @ 1500 - 3200rpm

    Torque:Weight

    182.9Nm/t

    183.2 - 187.7Nm/t

    Manual Transmission

    -

    6-Speed

    Manual Claimed FE

    -

    16.1kmpl

    Automatic Transmission

    7-Speed DCT

    7-Speed DCT

    Automatic Claimed FE

    16.8kmpl

    16.5kmpl

    1. Renault Duster Turbo (194.2Nm/t) / Nissan Kicks Turbo (187.9Nm/t)

    Although these two cars have some separation with their price tags, they operate in the same segment. So, we’re clubbing them together.

    The Renault Duster edges out ahead with a lighter body as it delivers 194.2Nm/tonne. This figure is about 6Nm/tonne better than the Kicks, which manages to churn 187.9Nm/tonne of torque-to-weight ratio.

     

    Renault Duster

    Nissan Kicks

    Displacement

    1.3-litre Turbo

    1.3-litre Turbo

    Cylinder

    4

    4

    Cubic Capacity

    1330cc

    1330cc

    Maximum Power

    156PS @ 5500rpm

    156PS @ 5500rpm

    Peak Torque

    254Nm @ 1600rpm

    254Nm @ 1600rpm

    Torque:Weight

    194.2Nm/t

    187.9Nm/t

    Manual Transmission

    6-Speed

    6-Speed

    Manual Claimed FE

    16.5kmpl*

    15.8kmpl

    Automatic Transmission

    CVT

    CVT

    Automatic Claimed FE

    16.42kmpl*

    13.9kmpl

    *Source: Team-bhp

    Consolation Prizes

    There are still a couple of cars, which almost made it to the list but lost by a narrow margin. At least two of these deserve a special mention.

    11. Hyundai Elantra (148.6Nm/t)

    The Elantra is the only car on this list, which doesn’t come with a turbo petrol engine. If the adoption for turbo takes off, then we may someday see the Creta’s 1.4-litre turbo engine in the Elantra instead of the 2.0-litre normal. The Elantra’s torque-to-weight ratio stands at 144.4Nm/tonne with the automatic and 148.6 with the manual.

    Hyundai Elantra

     

    Hyundai Elantra

    Displacement

    2.0-litre Non-Turbo

    Cylinder

    4

    Cubic Capacity

    1999cc

    Maximum Power

    152PS @ 6000rpm

    Peak Torque

    192Nm @ 4000rpm

    Torque:Weight

    144.4 - 148.6Nm/t

    Manual Transmission

    6-speed

    Manual Claimed FE

    14.6kmpl

    Automatic Transmission

    6-speed Torque Converter

    Automatic Claimed FE

    14.4kmpl

    11. Mahindra XUV300 (147.9Nm/t)

    The Mahindra XUV300 has the best torque output in its segment but its heavier body puts it behind the Venue in the list. The Sonet is also likely to beat the XUV300’s torque-to-weight ratio of 147.9Nm/tonne or at least end up in the same ballpark.

    XUV300

     

    Mahindra XUV300

    Displacement

    1.2-litre Turbo

    Cylinder

    3

    Cubic Capacity

    1197cc

    Maximum Power

    110PS @ 5000rpm

    Peak Torque

    200Nm @ 2000 - 3500rpm

    Torque:Weight

    147.9Nm/t

    Manual Transmission

    6-speed

    Manual Claimed FE

    17.5kmpl

    Automatic Transmission

    -

    Automatic Claimed FE

    -


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Mahesh is a fan of compact, quirky and underrated vehicles that punch above their weight. Multix, Nano, Strom R3 and Navi are his favorites.

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