So, let’s begin the discussion about the premium hatchback segment. The segment players here are – Baleno, Glanza, i20 and apart from the Altroz all these cars only offer petrol engine options. So, why is it so? Maruti got the diesel engine from Fiat who stopped making that diesel engine. The Toyota Glanza is a rebadged Baleno so there is no diesel option that it can offer. The Hyundai i20 was never tested with the 1.5-litre diesel engine, which is their new BS6 engine. Hence, the only option left is the Altroz. Now the question arises – is it worth buying a diesel premium hatchback?
First, let’s get straight what is a premium hatchback? A cabin with a lot of space inside, good comfort for both the rows. Boot space is also more than a regular hatchback. Features like Cruise control, 16-inch tyres, armrest, wearable key, rear AC vents, ambient lighting and in some cases dual tone/blacked-out roof design. Some cars have all these features while some are segment first. Also manufactures go all-in on the quality of plastics and material in this segment. That’s why buyers are willing to pay a bit more for the – premium hatchback.
Due to Covid-19 which is a very important factor, our driving will increase on an average by 15-20%. How? grocery shopping, office commute- you will need to drive a car. Public transport will be avoided by many for the coming few years. There is no solution at the moment to it, unless a vaccine is made available. Hence the point is very simple – driving will go up. Most of us will prefer personal cars over cabs too. So, it will be a good idea to even consider a diesel engine today as your daily driving goes up?
In terms of performance, existing petrol engines lack torque. Diesel engines have considerably higher torque and the Altroz diesel has a torque of 200 Nm @ 1250-3000 rpm which makes for more fun to drive experience. The biggest difference in a diesel car and petrol is its performance on the highway. With five people in the car, the diesel engine on the Altroz won’t have much of an issue. So, even overtaking is a lesser effort in an Altroz diesel.
Mileage: This is an important aspect to buy a diesel car – and here the Altroz scores it. ARAI claimed number is 25.11km/l. We haven’t tested the Tata Altros in real life but this is the same 1.5 litre diesel engine seen on the Tata Nexon. A lot of our subscribers who have bought the car claim to get a mileage of 22-29 km/l. Unbelievable? This gives us a fair bit of an idea that the vehicle gives good mileage, at least better than petrol. Also pushing a Diesel car to its limit does not drop the mileage as it does on a petrol vehicle. This makes accessing performance easy and takes out the worry of mileage.
After BS6 shift the maintenance of the diesel engine have come at par. The amount of maintenance requiring parts on both engines is the same. The same engine is seen in the US and European markets. We have used the Nexon diesel for around 56,000 km and the maintenance cost is very low. Check out our in-depth, Nexon long term series.
In terms of resale, actually Altroz will shoot up in value. Try and understand this fundamental – In the used car market the diesel cars have better resale than petrol. This is despite the fact that diesel cars usually have more km clocked on them. Let me give you one more example: Toyota Innova back in the day (2005) when it launched, the top model was priced a Rs 10 lakhs ex-showroom. In 2014 when the car was discontinued the price was Rs 15 lakhs. This meant for those who had bought the Innova in 2005 – 2009 got a good return over their resale of their vehicle.
Here there is a point to add, The difference between the models of diesel and petrol was Rs 1.1 lakh. With the BS6 it has increased furthermore to Rs 1.5 lakh. With one more phase of BS6 pending the difference between petrol and diesel is expected to increase furthermore. The phase 2 is expected by 2023. So if you buy a car now the resale will also increase accordingly in the next few years. it will remain a depreciating deal but the depreciation value will be less. So the initial investment on the vehicle might be high but the rate of depreciation also decreases. Watch the Video below to understand this concept better.
Now, its time for the last and final question – should you consider the Altroz with it’s diesel engine option? Tata Altroz has provided a fantastic diesel driving experiance. If we talk about performance, ride and handling or even interiors and features. Let’s talk about these aspects in detail now.
The ALFA platform has proven to be excellent in crash testing. It is the safest hatchback in India as per the Global NCAP numbers. 5 star rating in Global NCAP. Doesn’t need anything more to be spoken about it. This speaks all about it. Along with this the agility of the car with the ALFA platform is an important addition. This does translate into a better handling car overall.
Already spoken about how good the diesel engine is in performance. There is no doubt about the outright performance and even the mileage. So, for enthusiasts, it is the most apt choice. This will be the best choice for you.
In terms of space, front and rear seats are very spacious. Altroz has a flat floor that makes seating for 3 persons in the rear seat really comfortable. The 345L Boot space is the best in class. Along with space, there is a lot of comfort on offer too. Both the elements of comfort, seat and suspension are set up to guarantee good comfort. This eliminates the compromise you make while buying other vehicles making it best in class option today.
You get quite a lot of features. Inside you get a 7” touchscreen infotainment by Harman , 7” digital instrument cluster, Cruise control, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, push start stop, ambient lighting, rear AC vents, rear charging point, turn-by-turn navigation. So, it is one of the most loaded car in terms of features as well.
We reckon the Altroz diesel has been best choice since its launch, at the same time now it is the only choice for you today. If you love driving or go out often then it is a good reason to switch over to a diesel engine option over the existing petrol engine options. Hence, it is highly recommended for you to pick a petrol engine over the diesel. But if you want a diesel hatchback with all the goodies, there can be only one premium option in the segment – Altroz.