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Top 5 cars for Rs 10 lakh

Rs 10 lakh can get you a wide range of cars from sedans to SUVs to MPVs. But, how does one make the right choice? Read on...
Top 5 cars for Rs 10 lakh
Having options might not always be a good thing, especially if your options are all good. But, help is at hand. We at ZigWheels have picked out the top 5 cars for Rs 10 lakh; cars you can’t go wrong with. To get to this list we had to go through some good, some sensible and some very tempting cars. Just so we got the list right, we rated these cars on five parameters; parameters that majority of Indian car buyers consider as top priority. Moreover, we haven’t just given you a make and model; we have listed out exactly the right variant down to the drivetrain, so you don’t have to go through the endless list of variants, fuel and feature listing for each manufacturer.
The Parameters: 
All cars were rated on a scale on 1-5 with 1 being poor and 5 being outstanding.
Engine and Gearbox: 
We considered everything from driveability to refinement to NVH before deciding on the rating for the engine, while for the gearbox, things like shift quality and ease and progression of clutch actuation (seamless and timely up and down shifts for automatics) was looked into.
Ride and Handling: 
In a market like India, wherein good roads are hard to come by, ride quality – at both low speed and high – is extremely important. But, just a plush ride isn’t enough; the ride shouldn’t be noisy or coupled with vibrations either. As for handling, we considered both ease of driving in the city and the car’s stability in a straight line, under braking, and around a corner.
The more the features, the better. Well, for most part. We also looked into the ease of using these features and not all features were given equal weightages. Features that are more useful, naturally, got a higher rating.
Fuel Economy:
Easily the most important buying criteria, we simply took ARAI quoted fuel economy figures to arrive at a score. The higher the kmpl figure, the higher the score.
Fun to Drive:
Fun to drive is the most subjective parameter here. But, also a crucial one. And for a car to be fun to drive everything from the engine and gearbox performance, to the steering feel and response, to the tyre grip and the overall handling prowess of the car were rated on. The cars that managed to put bigger smiles on our faces, scored higher.
Top 5
New Honda City

Rank 1: New Honda City VX CVT (P) and VXMT (D)
Score: 19/25
Two City variants feature in this list and ace the ratings. The CVT equipped top-end petrol and the top-end diesel City. The former is smooth and responsive with a quick shifting gearbox and comes with paddle shifters as well. It is also the only petrol automatic to choose in the list and is more economical than the manual City at 18kmpl. The diesel is the most efficient car at this price, managing to squeeze as much 26kmpl and that counts for an extra point in our country. It rides decently as well, does the new Honda City with a greater focus on ride than handling. The City comes in top-trim and is loaded with features right from the sun-roof to a touchscreen entertainment system. All this makes it the best all-round package at a shade under Rs 11 lakh and that’s why it’s our pick of the lot.
New Hyundai Verna
Rank 2: Hyundai Verna SX O (D) MT and AT
Score: 18/25
The Verna gets edged out of the top spot by a mere point and that shows how tough the competition is. Apart from the higher fuel economy that the City manages, there’s very little that separates the Hyundai and the Honda in the ratings. The Verna too comes in top-trim in the manual and half a trim lower in the automatic (without the leather upholstery essentially). The diesel Verna is powerful and responsive and in case of the automatic, the cheapest diesel auto you can buy. The segment has a strong focus on economy though and here’s where the Hyundai loses out to the City with a mileage of 22.3kmpl for the manual Verna. Features wise, the Verna comes with all the bells and whistles, has an absorbent ride and now with the suspension upgrade, doesn’t handle too badly either. Still not the car to drive enthusiastically around a series of corners despite the powerful engine, the Hyundai Verna diesel makes for a very good family sedan. 
Volkswagen Vento
Rank 3: Volkswagen Vento 1.6D Highline
Score: 17/25
The competition from Germany is right on the Verna’s heals. The Vento loses out on the features and fuel economy front, two aspects rated very highly by Indian car buyers. The Vento is still the most fun to drive sedan in this lot and comes with a fantastic diesel engine. German build quality and a cheaper price tag are big plusses for the Vento as well. Yes the Vento in top trim costs just Rs 10.05 lakh and that makes it Rs 80,000-90,000 cheaper than the City and the Verna. You get quite a few features knocked off but if you are stretching your budget already, the Vento is a good buy. 
Renault Duster
Rank 4: Renault Duster 110PS RXL
Score: 17/25
The Duster scores as much as the Vento and is the only SUV in our top 5. We also like it a lot and believe it’s one of the fastest point A to B cars on sale in India. The Duster’s superb ride and handling combination complemented by the punchy diesel engine make it the car of choice for long distance getaways. The six-speed gearbox on the 110PS Duster makes it a good highway cruiser and can eek out relatively good mileage out of the SUV. But it just doesn’t match up on the features front in the mid-spec RXL variant compared to the other cars on this list. It isn’t as fuel efficient as its competitors here either with an economy of 19.01kmpl. The Duster then is the enthusiast’s pick in this price bracket. If you are wondering, why not a Nissan Terrano, the Duster is cheaper and mechanically the same.
Old Skoda Superb
Rank: Wild Card! Pre-owned Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI
Score: Doesn’t matter
Aha! If you are reading this then you should also consider a pre-owned car. You can get cars a segment higher like a Chevrolet Cruze or a Skoda Yeti as well but a powerful petrol had to make the cut. The almost 5-metre luxury sedan can blow the socks off this competition in every aspect besides the fuel economy. You’ve got 160PS on tap from the turbo petrol motor and the Superb is also an excellent chauffeur-driven car. A 2011 model with about 50,000km on the odo will cost under Rs 11 lakh. The Superb is a bargain but be wary of the DSG gearbox since a lot of cars have reported gearbox issues and they are very expensive to repair. 
- Rating given is 1 to 5 from worst to best for relative understanding and do not imply individual ratings of the car.
- All prices ex-showroom Delhi.
- Mileage is ARAI certified figures.

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