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3 best diesel compact sedans with automatic transmission

3 best diesel compact sedans with automatic transmission
Omkar Thakur Omkar Thakur Wednesday 12 October 2016, 20:19 PM

Compact sedans are probably the most value-for-money cars in India. They offer you features and fun of a sedan in the size of a hatchback. The Volkswagen Ameo, the newest entrant, brings the first real automatic and a dual-clutch gearbox at that to the game dominated by AMTs. So, based on our scientific rating methodology, here is how the automatic diesel compacts, the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, the Tata Zest and the Volkswagen Ameo, fare amongst themselves.

Volkswagen Ameo (66/70)

Yes, the Ameo does make it to the top of the list and turns out to be a genuinely good car according to our scoring system. On the features front, it has a touchscreen infotainment system, all four auto-up and down power windows, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and auto-dimming internal rear view mirrors. In terms of comfort, it gets automatic climate control, height adjustable driver seat and rear AC vents. The driver armrest has storage underneath along with bottle holders for both the rows and 330-litre boot. On the safety front as well, it gets ESP along with ABS and EBD and child seat anchor points added to the dual front airbags. The 108bhp of power and 250Nm of torque are class leading along with the two years unlimited kilometre warranty cover. In terms of fuel economy though, it is the least with 20.14kmpl. The price tag is the highest too, but the equipment list and the dual-clutch gearbox do justify it.

Tata Zest (64/70)

The Tata Zest has always been stuck in the wing. It is leagues ahead when compared to older Tata cars in terms of build and quality while retaining the space and comfort. It has got the largest boot measuring 390 litres and is probably the most spacious in terms of cabin space. In terms of power, the Quadrajet engine comes with the 90bhp setup, as compared to the 74bhp Swift Dzire. It gets touchscreen infotainment, all four power windows, height adjustable driver seat and electrically foldable wing mirrors. It features the automated manual transmission which works quite decently and helps the car deliver 21.58kmpl.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire (61/70)

The Swift Dzire is the bestseller in this segment and sells more cars than all of the competition together. Looking at what Maruti gives with the Dzire, it doesn’t look justified unless you take the maintenance costs and the service network in to account. Also, it is the cheapest of the three, undercutting the Zest by a whisker. It misses out on touchscreen infotainment but gets climate control, retractable wing mirrors, power windows and a driver height adjustable seat. The boot, at 320 litres, is the smallest and it gets fabric interior like the Zest and unlike the leathers on the Ameo. It also gets dual front airbags with ABS and EBD like the Tata Zest. In the power game, it is last both in terms of power and torque and gets an AMT similar to the Zest. But it is the most efficient at more than 26kmpl.

Below is the detailed list of pointers that we have taken into consideration. Each car is rated individually on a scale of 10, with the winner getting maximum points and then the rest in descending order. The car with the highest score wins.

Price: We have considered the top-of-the-line versions of each car and the most affordable gets maximum points and vice versa.

Efficiency: The most efficient car gets maximum points followed by the second, third and so on; these are purely based on the ARAI claimed figures.

Power: The car with higher power rating wins, in case two cars have similar power rating, then the car with higher torque figure gets more points.

Utility: Utility provisions like boot space, cup holders, bottle holders and other storage places can be listed on paper. More the boot space, more the points, these are then added together with the points on ergonomics. Every additional cup holder, bottle holder and storage place over the front door pockets gets counted in the total score.

Convenience: Every feature that is worth mentioning gets one point. So a basic music system will lose out to one with Bluetooth telephony, while a touch-screen system with navigation scores over most others. Projector headlamps, rear AC vents, parking sensors and all other features will get counted here.

Warranty: Higher the number of years, more the points. If the number of years is the same, then weightage would automatically shift to kilometres. Unlimited is better than 1,00,000km, which is then preferred over 50,000km and so on.

Safety: Basic safety like the front airbags, ABS-EBD are a must, anything less and the car loses points. More features here and it will certainly reflect positively on overall score.

 

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