It is designed for efficient urban commuting
Navigating the world of the cheapest cars can be both exciting and challenging, especially in a market as diverse and competitive as India.
As the demand for budget-friendly vehicles continues to rise, car manufacturers are constantly innovating to provide consumers with economical yet reliable choices.
Based on India’s average annual salary, many people opt for compact and cheap cars.
This means that only a small percentage of Indians can afford cars from manufacturers like Mercedes and BMW.
We look at 10 of the cheapest cars in India.
From compact hatchbacks to efficient city cruisers, we explore the vehicles that offer exceptional value for money without compromising on essential features.
Price: From Rs. 2.6 Lakh (£2,400)
Manufactured by Bajaj Auto, the Bajaj Qute is one of India’s cheapest cars, making it very popular, especially in densely populated cities.
It has a unique design that falls somewhere between a small car and a three-wheeled auto rickshaw. It features a cabin that can seat up to four passengers in a 2×2 configuration.
It is classed as a quadricycle rather than a full-fledged car.
However, this might lead to certain restrictions in terms of where it can be driven.
The Qute is equipped with a small displacement engine, often around 200-250cc, which can be powered by either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG).
It is designed for efficient urban commuting and lower emissions compared to larger vehicles.
The small engine size of the Qute contributes to its fuel efficiency, making it an economical choice for short-distance travel within urban areas.
Meanwhile, the CNG-powered engine highlights Bajaj’s commitment to reducing emissions and promoting environmentally friendly transportation solutions.
Price: From Rs. 3.4 Lakh (£3,500)
First introduced in 2016, the Datsun Redi-GO is designed to cater to the entry-level car market in various countries, including India.
It features a modern and youthful design with distinct lines and angles.
Its compact dimensions make it well-suited for navigating through crowded urban environments. The exterior design often incorporates bold front grille styling, swept-back headlights, and a short rear overhang.
The Redi-GO typically comes equipped with small displacement engines that prioritise fuel efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
These engines are often around 800cc to 1.0-litre in size and are designed to offer decent performance for city driving while keeping fuel consumption low.
Due to its compact size and efficient engines, the Redi-GO is generally known for its good fuel economy, making it suitable for city commuting and short trips.
The Redi-GO is ideal in India, where roads can quickly become congested.
Despite the compact cabin layout, this car can seat up to five passengers.
Price: From Rs. 4.7 Lakh (£4,400)
The Renault Kwid has been one of India’s cheapest cars since it was first introduced in 2015.
It gained attention for its distinctive and modern design, which includes chunky body cladding, a raised stance, and a bold front grille.
The Kwid’s compact dimensions make it well-suited for urban driving and manoeuvring through tight spaces. Its small footprint contributes to its agility and ease of parking.
While the Kwid was initially launched in India, it has been introduced in other markets as well. It competes with other entry-level hatchbacks and budget-friendly cars in its segment.
As a budget-friendly car, the Kwid is an attractive choice for first-time car buyers and consumers seeking economical transportation.
Maruti Alto 800
Price: From Rs. 3.5 Lakh (£3,300)
The Maruti Alto 800 is a popular car in India and one of the cheapest.
It has been on the market since 2000, and over the years, it has gained a reputation for being a reliable car with low maintenance costs.
The vehicle is renowned for its excellent fuel efficiency, which is a key factor for many car buyers in India.
With its small engine size and lightweight design, the car can go a long way on a single tank of fuel, making it an economical choice for everyday driving.
The Alto 800 is designed to be easy and inexpensive to maintain.
Safety features include front airbags, seat belts with pre-tensioners and an anti-lock braking system (ABS). These features help to ensure that passengers are protected in the event of a collision.
Price: From Rs. 3.4 Lakh (£3,500)
One of India’s cheapest cars is the Tata Tiago. It is also a popular car as many drivers opt for one if they are looking for a compact hatchback with a sleek appearance.
The Tiago is actually one of the fastest-selling vehicles in the Indian market.
It comes in both diesel and petrol engines and it has several features to ensure that passengers are comfortable.
A number of safety features also ensure that journeys are without major risks.
Drivers on a budget have nothing to worry about when considering the Tiago as it ranges from Rs. 3.4 Lakh (£3,500) to Rs. 6.4 Lakh (£6,600).
Price: From Rs. 4.2 Lakh (£4,000)
The Maruti S-Presso was introduced in India in 2019 and it is designed to cater to the entry-level car market.
While it is classified as a compact hatchback, the S-Presso adopts a crossover-like appearance, blurring the lines between hatchback and SUV.
This design approach appeals to consumers looking for a compact vehicle with an adventurous and robust image.
It also has a distinctive and bold design that incorporates elements of an SUV, such as raised ground clearance, chunky body cladding and a tall stance.
Despite its compact size, the S-Presso aims to provide a commanding presence on the road.
The S-Presso typically comes equipped with small displacement petrol engines designed for fuel efficiency and city driving. These engines offer adequate power for urban commutes and short trips.
Depending on the market and model year, the S-Presso might be available in different trim levels or variants, each offering various features and customisation options.
Price: From Rs. 3.3 Lakh (£3,100)
The Hyundai Eon features a sleek and modern design that aims to stand out in its segment.
Its fluidic design, characterised by gentle curves and contemporary styling cues, gives the car a youthful and attractive appearance.
The Eon’s compact dimensions make it well-suited for India’s roads and navigating through congested urban areas.
It was introduced to India, where compact cars are popular. Since first being introduced in 2011, the Eon has been a popular model.
In addition to its small size, the Eon’s small engine size and efficient design contribute to its reputation for good fuel economy, making it suitable for city commutes and short trips.
And depending on the market and model year, the Eon has different trim levels, each offering varying levels of features and customisation options.
Price: From Rs. 5.3 Lakh (£5,000)
Maruti is a prominent budget-friendly car manufacturer in India so it is no surprise that the Celerio is one of the country’s cheapest models.
Introduced in 2014, the Celerio features a contemporary and straightforward design.
While not overly flashy, its design is aimed at providing a pleasing and inoffensive appearance that appeals to a wide range of consumers.
Its compact design make it well-suited for urban driving but the Celerio offers good cabin space for passengers as well as a functional layout.
The rear seats can also be folded down to provide extra cargo space when needed.
Its small petrol engines are designed for efficiency and city driving. These engines provide adequate power for daily commutes and short trips.
Price: From Rs. 4.8 Lakh (£4,500)
This compact hatchback has been in India since 1998 and has been one of its cheapest cars.
Over the years, its design has evolved, incorporating modern styling cues while maintaining a simple and practical appearance.
Due to its compact design, the Santro is well-suited for city driving.
Its design and cheap price make the Santro a popular option for first-time drivers.
The Santro’s small engine size and efficient design contribute to its reputation for good fuel economy, making it suitable for city commutes and short trips.
In India, where smaller cars are more in demand, the Santro has been one of the most popular models, accounting for 76% of Hyundai’s total sales at one point.
Maruti Wagon R
Price: From Rs. 5.5 Lakh (£5,100)
The Maruti Wagon R has been one of the leading compact hatchbacks in India since 1999.
It has an upright design that maximises interior space but it has undergone multiple updates over the years.
The Wagon R is known for its spacious cabin, providing ample headroom and legroom for both front and rear passengers.
The tall design also allows for a more vertical seating arrangement, enhancing the feeling of space.
Its practicality is highlighted by its spacious boot, flexible seating options, and functional layout. It’s designed to accommodate various types of cargo and offer versatile usage for everyday needs.
Whether you’re a first-time car buyer, a student, or someone seeking a practical daily motor, these vehicles will shed some light on some of the most pocket-friendly options available in the Indian automobile market.