Several carmakers have pulled diesel engines out of their entry-level line-up. We list the most affordable models available currently.
Published On Sep 17, 2023 09:00:00 AM
If you’re in the market looking for an affordable, frugal-to-run diesel vehicle, your options aren’t many. Stricter emissions norms have resulted in several carmakers pulling diesel engines out of their line-ups, especially in the entry-level segments.
So here’s a look at the top five most affordable diesel cars and SUVs you can buy in the country.
1. Tata Altroz
Price: Rs 8.80 lakh-10.74 lakh
The Altroz is the most affordable diesel car in the country, and the only diesel hatchback you can currently buy, this powertrain also being the pick of the Altroz range. The 90hp, 200Nm, 1.5-litre unit has linear power delivery and a nice mid-range punch, although it’s not very refined. It’s only offered with a 5-speed MT gearbox.
2. Mahindra Bolero/Bolero Neo
Price: Rs 9.63 lakh-12.14 lakh
The Bolero and Bolero Neo share a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder MT powertrain, producing 76hp, 210Nm and 100hp, 260Nm, respectively – it has good low-end grunt, and is more refined than you’d expect. Both are hardy, affordable workhorses with robust underpinnings and seating for seven, but while the Bolero is utilitarian, the Neo has a little more style and creature comforts.
3. Mahindra XUV300
Price: Rs 9.90 lakh-14.60 lakh
The 117hp, 300Nm 1.5-litre engine on the XUV300 feels energetic and has impressive refinement. Performance is strongest in the mid-range, and combined with a nice ride and handling balance, it’s quite nice to drive. It gets both MT and AMT gearboxes, the latter being the better pick, but the XUV300 feels a bit aged now.
4. Kia Sonet
Price: Rs 9.95 lakh-14.89 lakh
The 116hp, 250Nm, 1.5-litre diesel on the Sonet is very refined, be it at idle or on the move. It’s flexible to be in higher gears at lower revs, feeling responsive at all times. It gets an iMT gearbox that’s easy to use, but a proper MT is missed. As for the torque-converter AT, it’s the best in class, but makes the Sonet quite expensive at the top-end.
5. Tata Nexon
Price: Rs 11.00 lakh-15.50 lakh
As with the Altroz, the 115hp, 260Nm diesel is again the pick of the Nexon range. It’s refined and pulls well from low speeds, but has an average mid-range and performance drops suddenly at the top-end. It gets MT and AMT gearboxes, and while neither is particularly smooth, the latter suits the engine characteristics better. The recent exterior and interior updates have made it expensive, but it’s quite a competent package overall.
All prices ex-showroom, Delhi
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