Looking for a good automatic city car for under Rs 8 lakhs

Even though my requirements were minimal, I realised I won’t get them met under Rs 6 lakh. Hence, I increased my budget to Rs 8 lakh.

BHPian doc&drive recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

It was last month I decided to purchase a city car for my wife, who is a debutant.

My requirements were limited, that it should be an automatic and a solid built car with good safety aspects. I fixed a budget of Rs 6 lakh OTR here in Kerala.

I started my hunt for a companion to my BMW X1:

Started with Tata Tiago and took a test drive.


  • Well built
  • Good on safety
  • Decent equipment list.


  • AMT – Gear shifts were jerky and it was the first time I drove an AMT-equipped car.
  • Interior fit and finish could have been better.

Hence I said no to Tiago.

My second consideration was Hyundai Santro


  • Better interior fit and finish
  • AMT shifts better compared to Tiago.
  • Better service network


  • Didn’t have the solid feel of Tiago.
  • Some interior part reminds me of some compromises.

So dropped Santro as well.

Even though my requirements were minimal as far as I am concerned, I realised I won’t get them met under Rs 6 lakh. Hence I increased my budget to Rs 8 lakh.

Then I found the Hyundai i10 Sportz AMT


  • Well-built and had a solid feel compared to the Santro.
  • Feature rich


  • AMT gearbox.
  • Fixed headrest – I realised this is a luxury these days.

I didn’t consider Maruti cars as I am not sure regarding the safety aspect, as well as AMT gearbox.

I had a look at VW Polo and Honda Jazz CVT which costs around Rs 12 lakh and Rs 11 lakh OTR, respectively.

So I was about to make my decision and it was favouring the Hyundai i10 Nios.

But to add the dilemma, Ford launched the Figo automatic, which I couldn’t resist test driving due to its torque-converter gearbox.


  • Smooth shifting gear box.
  • Solid built.
  • Good handling


  • Ford service and long-term assistance, as there are rumours that Ford is going to exit Indian market.
  • Even though gear shifts are smooth, it’s not a quick car. I felt the i10 Nios is quicker in a 0-100 km/h sprint.
  • The budget is more than 8 lakhs, Titanium variant cost 9.2 OTR and Titanium plus around Rs 9.7 lakh OTR.

I cannot solve this hurdle and I am not able to decide on one car.

Should I go for Hyundai i10 Nios, which has a better after sale service, and inside my budget or extend my budget by Rs 1 lakh and to go for Figo Titanium, which has a proper automatic transmission.

Here’s what BHPian 2000rpm had to say on the matter:

You need to look at the used car market. That will open up a whole host of possibilities.

Here’s what BHPian carthick1000 had to say on the matter:

I think you should go for i10, if you don’t mind the 2-star GNCAP. If you do mind safety and overlook the other niggles, go for 4-star GNCAP Tiago. Also Tiago saves you a bit more money.

We had an i10 here in Europe in the past (3rd gen AC3 made in Turkey with 3-star Euro NCAP) and it felt pretty solid at highway speeds and felt like one class above. There has been some corners cut for the Indian model, which is the reason for 2star GNCAP. But still it is a very capable platform to take some abuses in rural KL roads too. IIRC, there was also a very informative thread about the structural comparison of different Hyundai models (Indian vs Euro spec) here in team-BHP. You should take a look.

Ford is probably better left untouched given the latest developments. 2000rpm’s suggestion of checking the used market is a very interesting one. Indeed opens up a lot of possibilities and a bit more confusion too.

Here’s what BHPian darkLightning had to say on the matter:

For your budget of up to 8L the two options which are having good build quality are Tiago and Figo.

The Figo’s automatic system is far better than Tiago but yes peace of mind will be an issue with Ford India’s future out in the dark.

I don’t know about the state of Tata ASS in your region but be prepared for adventurous experiences with them.

Maruti and Hyundai both are not in the same league safety wise as the above two.

If you are ready to explore in 8-10L price range then Jazz/WR-V can be a decent and relatively safe option.

However one out of the box suggestion would be to check out Kiger/Magnite, they have good safety ratings and top models come out in the 10-10.5L range, I am not sure but one of their non-top models could satisfy your requirement, plus I heard some news today that there is discount on offer for Kiger.

P.S – I was in similar dilemma as you in 2018, ended up picking Celerio AMT, which is a great car for what it offers but yes not as safe as Tiago/Figo.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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