The automobile sector took a beating like never before in the past few months. Factories shut down. Sales dried up with manufactures not producing cars and dealerships not moving inventory due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with the country moving into the “Unlockdown” phase there is a new resurgence in the market. A market with a lot of new buyers. While traditional buyers are slowly moving towards their pre-planned car purchase. There is a new type of buyer that will enter the market. The post-lockdown first time buyer. Many new motorists. People who have relied on public transport and have made do without a personal vehicle will need a car for their family to safely travel and social distance themselves. So today we will discuss and tell you among the following offerings – Tiago, WagonR and the Santro, which will be best for you and your family.

 1) Price

The price of all these 3 cars under Rs 7 lakhs (ex-showroom). Below are the base and top-end prices.

Hyundai Santro –  Rs 5- Rs 6.88 lakhs (ESP – 4.57-5.78, On Road Delhi – 5.03-6.3)

Maruti Wagon R – Rs 5.28 – Rs 6.5 lakhs (ESP – 4.45-5.48, On Road Delhi – 4.9-5.98)

Tata Tiago – Rs 5.61 – 7.1 lakhs (ESP – 4.6-6.1, On Road Delhi – 5.13-6.9)

Cars for first time buyers

While the Tiago with its top end is the expensive option. Maruti offers only one standard airbag in all variants except the (O) variant where the second airbag is offered as an option. These are good options to choose from for – first time car buyers

2) Safety

Crash test ratings: Santro – 2 stars, Wagon R – 2 stars, Tiago – 4 stars

Cars for first time buyers

The Tiago and Santro get 2 airbags on the base model mein but the Wagon R ko milta hai sirf 1 airbag as standard. Tiago scores more in safety and surely has the focus on safety clear. This makes it a clear recommendation for those who are looking to drive the car in the city or on the highway. Safety should be a priority for first time buyers.

3) Space and Comfort

In space, Wagon R is the most spacious car of all 3. Then its the Santro and the Tiago. There is a lot of space in the Wagon R,  however it isn’t the most comfortable. Here is where the Tiago and Santro score a higher number in terms of comfort. This is what makes it a better choice. Tiago even has an adjustable headrest as well on offer. Seat cushioning is better on the Santro and the Tiago. There is no driver seat height adjustment in the Santro and Wagon R, which makes it difficult for shorter or taller drivers to adjust their seats. The Santro (Wagon R) misses out on steering adjustment also. Whereas Tiago and Santro do have steering adjustment and Tiago gets seat height adjustment also.

Cars for first time buyers

4) Infotainment Features

Common features: Touchscreen System – Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Steering control controls, Bluetooth connectivity.

Cars for first time buyers

The WagonR gets a total of  two speakers, whereas Santro gets four. Tiago the most at eight with four speakers and four tweeters. Plus, these are by Harman so the audio quality is also a lot better. You do get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and other features plus more than the rest. This makes the Tiago far superior to the other two in the segment. Reverse parking camera is available on the Tiago and Santro. Wagon R only gets reverse parking sensors on it

6) Features

Common features: 14-inch wheels, Rear parcel tray, Front fog lamps, Rear wiper wash + defogger, Electric ORVM adjustment

Cars for first time buyers

Tiago gets 15-inch wheels + alloy wheels, fully automatic climate control and digital instrument cluster. The front seats get adjustable headrests on the Tiago. These additions make the Tiago a better option. Santro gets the Hyundai iblue app and rear AC vents. These are also good features to have.

7) Specifications

Cars for first time buyers

Tiago is the most powerful car here. And in terms of overall performance, Tiago aur Wagon R are better.All three cars have clutchs setup light and easy hai to drive in the city. One important aspect is the mileage of the three vehicles. As per ARAI all are 19-20km/l, however in real life there isn’t much of a difference in them. We have had buyers with good mileage on the Tiago and the Wagon R. Santro isn’t the best when it comes to driving in traffic.

8) Maintenance Cost

All three cars have almost same service cost with not much of a difference. Santro service interval is 10,000kms, Wagon R is 10,000kms and Tiago is 15,000kms. Tiago ka service interval is longer, which helps to visit the workshop less. Making this a better pick here. To add more to the confidence, there is a Gold AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract) for Rs 4368 for a year/15,000kms. This adds on to the convenience of the buyers.

Cars for first time buyers

9) Ride and Handling

The ride and handling of these three vehicles is very different. Tiago’s major strength is its ride and handling.It’s on bad roads that the Tiago really shows its true capability in dealing with the rough stuff. Santro’s ride quality is good enough, and Wagon R is a bit stiff. But in handling, Santro and Wagon R with the their tall boy designs and thin tyres don’t inspire confidence. Tiago gets the edge here. Here there is no competition.

10) EMI

The Tiago continues to be our clear recommendation. Be it performance, comfort, build quality, features, mileage or even ride and handling. Tata Tiago is the best affordable car one can buy today. Currently Tata Motors offers really good EMI plans with – Rs 4999 which is cheaper than most of the EMI plans.

In normal situation, any of theses cars EMI plan costs about Rs 2000 approx per lakh. This means about 5-6 lakhs translate to about Rs 10,000-12,000 approx. Maruti and Hyundai are also offering a scheme on EMI reducing the cost for the time being to Rs Rs 1300-1700 per lakh, which translates to about Rs 8000-10,500 in total. For me, my family’s safety is very important, and even if there weren’t many features I would have picked the Tiago for its safety. It is the best car for first time buyers.

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