New Hatchback Confusion

Sagar Jadhav from Pune wants buy a new car under 6-Lakh Rupees. Here is our response to his query-

Based on your requirements and budget, We suggest you to have a look at the Toyota Etios Liva Petrol, Honda Brio, Fiat Punto Pure Diesel & Tata Tiago.

1. Starting with the exteriors, The Tata Tiago and Punto Pure are sure the better looking among the 4. The updated design of the Brio looks fresh but the rear is a love or hate design. The Etios Liva looks plain and simple although the Platinum variant sure has some added style. At the end of the day looks are subject so we can't rate the cars based on that.

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2. Coming to the interior space the Etios Liva is the most spacious of the 4 cars. It is a proper 5 seater and offers ample legroom and headroom. The centrally placed speedo console aids driver visibility. The Tata Tiago is the second most spacious followed by Punto and Brio. The interior quality is best in the Brio and the Tiago but the Liva's interior quality is far more durable and can last long also take a lot of abuse.

3. The Punto has the biggest boot of the 4 cars at 280L followed by the Etios Liva at 251L and the Tiago at 242L. The Brio has the smallest boot at 175L.

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4. The 3 petrol cars have 1.2L engines but the Tiago has a 3-cylinder engine whereas the Brio and Liva get 4-cylinder units. The Punto Diesel is powered by the tried and tested 1.3L Multijet engine. The 1.2L engine on the Liva has ample torque to make driving comfortably but the outright power isn't as good as the Brio which is fun to drive. On the other hand the Brio's low end isn't as strong as the Liva. The 1.2L on the Tiago comes no where close to the similar capacity engines which power the Liva or the Brio. Neither is the 1.2L revotron as fuel efficient as the other two nor does it offer good performance. The multijet Diesel engine on the Punto is tried and tested for more than 10 years in our market. It also powers cars like the swift, dzire, manza.etc. There is a slight lag upto 2000rpm post which the car drives really well.

5. Talking about the fuel efficiency, you can expect about 13-15kmpl from the Liva in the city and 18-20kmpl on the highways. The Brio will offer similar fuel economy. The Tiago will offer you 14-15kmpl on the city and around 19kmpl on the highways. The Punto Pure is the most efficient of the four cars as it's a turbo diesel. You can expect about 16-17kmpl in the city and 20-22kmpl on the highways.

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6. Undoubtedly the best suspension setup of these four cars is on the Punto Pure. The ride quality & handling characteristics are best in class. The ride quality of the Liva and the Tiago are more or less similar just that the Liva feels better once it picks up speed. The Brio has a decent suspension setup but not as composed as the other three cars.

7. Talking about safety the Liva is equipped with dual front airbags and Anti-lock Braking system (ABS) with Electronic brake distribution(EBD). The 4-star safety rating makes it the safest in its class. The Tiago XZ gets ABS+EBD, corner safety control and dual airbags. The Punto Pure like any other Fiat is well built and will definitely keep the passengers safe during a crash. The Brio gets no safety features in the lower or mid variants.

8. You get standard features like the front power windows, power steering, electrically adjustable mirrors & cup holders. In addition to the Punto's features you get rear power windows, 4 speakers, tachometer and a lot of storage spaces. The Brio gets remote locking, adjustable driver seat, 2-DIN head unit.etc. The Tiago XZ is the most loaded with features- Harman stereo system, smart phone enabled navigation, multi drive modes, adjustable driver seat, 8-speaker surround system and multiple storage spaces. Please note that the Comparison is between the Top variant of the Tiago, mid variant of the Brio and the base variant of the Liva and Punto. As the Tiago is from a lower segment it is fully loaded.

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9. The standard manufacturer warranty on the Liva and Punto are for 3 years/100k kms. The Tiago gets a standard warranty of 2 years/100k kms and the Brio gets a standard warranty of 2 years/40k kms. Extended warranty can purchased for all the cars.

10. Undoubtedly the Liva and Brio are going to be extremely reliable in the long run. Being a Toyota the Liva sure has an edge over the Brio because of the after-sales service. The Punto has proven its reliability over the time and you can expect 1 more service center in Pune very soon. The Tiago is relatively new to comment on the long term reliability. Although it has come a long way ahead of the older Tata's which had terrible quality issues. The service center experience is a gamble.

If you want a fully loaded feature rich car and are fine with a mediocre petrol engine then don't look beyond the Tiago. It is safe and fully loaded.

If you want a fun-to-drive petrol car with proven reliability and terrific resale value then the Honda Brio is your best bet. The only sour points are the absence of safety features and a small boot.

If you are keen on a diesel then the Punto Pure is your best bet. It has a proven engine and the ride and handling are simply best in class. Resale of the Punto in Pune market isn't a big issue either.

If you want a balanced product which will seat 5-adults in comfort & keep them safe then the Liva is your best bet. The maintenance cost of the Liva is the cheapest of these four cars and being a Toyota after sales service and long term reliability isn't a problem.