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View Poll Results: Which FAST hatchback would you choose?
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS 26 4.81%
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI 288 53.23%
Fiat Abarth Punto 200 36.97%
Ford Figo 1.5L P 27 4.99%
Voters: 541. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 29th March 2017, 11:36   #31
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

A single vote for the Baleno RS says a lot, right? But well, maybe it's a step in the right direction. Maruti's earlier RS variants would probably get negative votes .

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Brutailer View Post
I don't consider any of these cars as a hot hatch. I'd want a car which pushes you back in the seat the moment you dab the accelerator. These cars are too soft and linear. Where's the turbo-kick?
You obviously haven't driven a Punto Abarth or an S-Cross 1.6L . Trust me, they have all the punch you'd want.

Quote:
The only true hot hatch in India is probably the Mini-Cooper S.
Talking about a car that costs 40 lakh rupees in a million-rupee thread is frankly pointless. It's like bringing up the CLA45 AMG when we're discussing fast C-segment sedans.

Also, if you think that more power means more driving pleasure, you are completely wrong. At least for me, it doesn't work that way and I'm willing to bet it doesn't for most people, keeping Indian roads in mind. I can have a lot of fun revving the nuts off a 90 - 100 BHP hatchback. Indian roads aren't Auto Bahns. Heck, years back, I drove an Alto K10 on the highway and still fondly remember that drive!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VKumar View Post
Holding the gear in manual for as long as you wish and from whatever range. Shifting straight from fifth to second in a Honda City i-VTEC at 50 kph because you suddenly spotted a chance to overtake that long truck with traffic heading towards you - an auto can never do that.
Man after my own heart. You just reminded me of many such moves in my 1st-gen City Vtec. Try it in a well-maintained example and you'll fall in love.
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Old 29th March 2017, 12:10   #32
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Voted for the GT TSI primarily because it is the best compromised choice.

Have not driven the Abarth, but from all the reports and reviews, there is no doubt it is the best choice for a hot hatch. But with the availability, production and general nature of Fiat in India, hard to think of confidently buying one.

The RS is a good start from Maruti. Unfortunately expensive and not good enough to challenge either the GT TSI or the Abarth. Good buy for someone who wants a little bit more with the peace of mind of a Maruti. As a fast hatch- Don't think so.

In my view, the Figo 1.5 DCT should not even be in the list. It is more of a paper tiger in my opinion. Specs look good on paper, But neither the engine nor the DCT box are great in anyway, and combining them takes the experience down further. I was initially a big fan of this, but after spending time with the Ecosport AT, my opinion about this DCT has gone down quite a bit. Of course, it is way cheaper than the others and a good choice as an overall package and is a very VFM buy. As a fast hatch- definitely not.

So that leaves the GT TSI as a balance choice. Of course the DSG may break down, but till it does, it is quite an enjoyable little package.
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Old 29th March 2017, 13:38   #33
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

I'm unable to vote here because I would put my money on either the Ford Figo 1.5 TDCi or VW Polo GT TDI, both of which are not listed here.

1. Figo 1.5D - It's a VFM product, very underrated. A simple tyre upgrade can take care of the handling deficiency on stock setup.

2. Polo GT TDI - All the goodness of GT TSI + More torque - Unreliable DQ200 DSG box
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Old 29th March 2017, 14:50   #34
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Voted for the Gt TSI.

yes i own it for last 2 years almost completing 3rd year, i have a 320 D as well and it is parked most of the time, it is a fun car, dsg is amazing, living in mumbai i prefer the Gt TSI as it is the right size, automatic and peppy. Do little mods which you need to do in every stock car to make things as per your liking, none of the manufactures when it comes to car enthusiasts give the right kind of equipment, there is something or the other the enthusiast will change, whether tyre, suspension, stereo or could be anything, from looks to performance to power. atleast as a enthusiast i do the changes, once you do these minor changes the car is a hoot to drive when it comes to GT TSI.

Punto is not my kind of vehicle, even if it is powerful in the segment, but the looks to me and the interior where one would spend most of the time arent upto my liking. Nothing against any punto owners. its my personal choice.

Maruti is a great brand but a light car, never have the confidence to go above 100/120 max, doesnt have that feel in the car. too light with no feel of confidence (again my personal opinion

Gt TSI has almost everything except a few misses, but that can be easily done with few upgrades, it is a global brand and every upgrade is available, depends how much you want to spend.

cheers

Last edited by The Saint : 29th March 2017 at 14:52.
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Old 29th March 2017, 15:58   #35
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

TSI is my pick too, the Fun to drive quotient is just way too high with that car. Put aside everything else, the gimmicky features,the build or anything else. When you hold that steering and you press the accelerator, it just gives you a satisfaction which can't be described in words.

Pity i could not buy it, as i needed a family car, eventually had to make do with Vento TSI instead, as that was the second best thing i could have got.

Last edited by AtheK : 29th March 2017 at 16:03.
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Old 29th March 2017, 16:46   #36
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Voted for the Polo GT TSI. One thing about the GT is that even though on paper the power output of 105 bhp seems not so great, its amazing how fast the car is in the real world. Small engine + small turbo and fast DSG means that there's hardly any lag and you can really have great fun darting the car around in the city. Yes the steering, suspension and brakes spoil the fun as these are the same found in the regular Polos and its a pity VW hasn't really tweaked these things for more fun in the GT TSI. But that's OK. The GT TSI is a mainstream car that's quick and entertaining rather than a hot hatch that's also practical.

The DSG has its flaws and weaknesses, but when it comes to its strong areas it just blows you away with what its capable of. I read people saying automatics are boring and you never have full control etc..etcc. I have been driving the GT TSI for about 2 years now and I've never really missed the stick. Its that good. Be it overtaking or cruising or driving enthusiastically or ripping the car to glory, you can literally communicate with the gear box with your right foot. And mind you I drive a stock car. No paddles no remaps etcc. You have fun, pace, convenience and good fuel economy (for an AT) all in one package. Its a bit complex and there's a small chance it'll break down, but when it works, it is poetry.
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Old 29th March 2017, 16:50   #37
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

^ Yeah, TSI is the first auto-box in an inexpensive car which is not boring. But that reliability thing is always there in your mind..the more you abuse it, greater the chances of it failing which basically stops you from pushing it too hard.

Also, like a bhpian mentioned, which auto box can do 5 --> 2 in an instant?

But would still prefer DSG over the MT in Punto.

Last edited by The Brutailer : 29th March 2017 at 16:54.
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Old 29th March 2017, 17:32   #38
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Quote:
Voted for the Polo GT TSI. One thing about the GT is that even though on paper the power output of 105 bhp seems not so great, its amazing how fast the car is in the real world. Small engine + small turbo and fast DSG means that there's hardly any lag and you can really have great fun darting the car around in the city. Yes the steering, suspension and brakes spoil the fun as these are the same found in the regular Polos and its a pity VW hasn't really tweaked these things for more fun in the GT TSI. But that's OK. The GT TSI is a mainstream car that's quick and entertaining rather than a hot hatch that's also practical.

The DSG has its flaws and weaknesses, but when it comes to its strong areas it just blows you away with what its capable of. I read people saying automatics are boring and you never have full control etc..etcc. I have been driving the GT TSI for about 2 years now and I've never really missed the stick. Its that good. Be it overtaking or cruising or driving enthusiastically or ripping the car to glory, you can literally communicate with the gear box with your right foot. And mind you I drive a stock car. No paddles no remaps etcc. You have fun, pace, convenience and good fuel economy (for an AT) all in one package. Its a bit complex and there's a small chance it'll break down, but when it works, it is poetry.
Totally agree! Have been driving two Automatics (GT and EcoSport) and an AMT. Trust me when I say that the GT will put a smile on your face when you floor that accelerator. It's pure, unadulterated, unfaltering rush of adrenaline when you see the car accelerate to crazy speeds and still keep pulling. The EcoSport is nowhere near- either in the speed or handling department as the GT. And mind you, both are dual clutch gearboxes. The AMT is not even a conversation starter.
Regarding the favorite so-called 'DSG gremlins' and 'long term reliability issue' banter- I think it is more noise than reality. I have been driving the GT for the past four years and across multiple places and terrains and roads and even so-called roads... and the GT has never let me down once. I have friends who've done 48-50K kilometers on their GTs and are still going strong. I don't know what the benchmark for long term reliability is but even if this GT breaks down (and I hope not)- I'll still go ahead and buy another one.
@Santoshbhat- do consider a remap. There are multitudes available for the GT and can be customized according to your driving style.
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Old 29th March 2017, 17:49   #39
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

I voted for the Baleno RS.

My logic might probably seem wierd to others, but its very simple.

Figo and Punto don't make the list for me because the former is not really sporty and the latter is virtually non-existent as an actual viable and sold product. So that leaves the Baleno RS and the Polo.

Out of the two the Polo probably has better engines, gearbox, handling, safety and what not, but before I can use any of those features, I need to be able to sit comfortably in the car (front and back) and get in and out of it without feeling like Gandalf entering Bilbo's home. Without that, everything else is moot.

That leaves the Baleno RS, which is not much of an option to be honest. For that money one would be better served by stretching a bit and buying a Honda City petrol.
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Old 29th March 2017, 17:51   #40
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Its a compromise category. Following are the drawbacks:

Baleno RS - Maruti quality or lack of quality and no AT.
Polo TSI - Back seat space is a miss most of the times.
Fiat Punto Abarth - No AT at this price?
Figo DCT - Weak pickup and lag effect in low RPM.

King of the compromised hill is Polo TSI.
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Old 29th March 2017, 17:52   #41
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Voted for the Abarth.

Best hot hatch in India? For sure.
Do I recommend you buy one? Not too sure about that now.

The thing with the Abarth is that it is for the purists. And I mean purists. Not the "ricers".
The VW will be easier to live with on a day-to-day basis. But the Abarth has a sense of occasion to it. Whenever I see the Abarth on the roads, it gets a second look. That's not the case with the VW.

Also the idea of a hot hatch is incomplete for me without a MT.
A good AT (DSG, ZF) will upshift faster, but in the twisties, where you have the max fun, a MT is just better. No one can really argue with that. Don't agree with the logic that "you can use the paddles". It's not the same and for me, it doesn't seem like I am connected to the car.
Anyone can go fast in a straight line. Plus when did going fast in a straight line become all that fun anyways?

But yeah, having said all that, the Abarth will be a difficult daily. But it will make you smile whenever you are in the right place in the right gear.
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Old 29th March 2017, 18:19   #42
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI

Attachment 1623729

What you'll like:
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New GT TSi comes with 16 inch alloy wheels with 195/55 tyres, so if you could update your sheet with this information.
Even though 16" wheels are not going to make the car any faster, it definitely is going to differentiate from a normal Polo. The wider tyre with lower profile can make you feel the car cornering better.
How much I wished to have 16" wheels when I bought my GT TDi in 2013, yes the 1.6 version .
Ideally VW should consider plonking its 1.4 TSi with 150 bhp into this car and price match it with Punto 1.4, that will make this car most powerful hatchback under 10L.
Imagine a normal Polo with 1.2 TSi and manual gearbox replacing the current one, yea let me dream on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Brutailer View Post
I don't consider any of these cars as a hot hatch. I'd want a car which pushes you back in the seat the moment you dab the accelerator. These cars are too soft and linear. Where's the turbo-kick?

The only true hot hatch in India is probably the Mini-Cooper S.
And now calling a 100 bhp car as a hot hatch. What the heck!
Still for the sake of the poll, have voted for GT TSI only because it introduces dual clutch transmission in a mass market car.
It depends on what you want to call as a hot hatch and the kind of car market. In 1993 Zen 1.0L with 60 odd bhp was considered as a pocket rocket. When Maruti launched Alto K10, it was considered as another fast hathcback and who can forget Fiat Palio GTX. Its fair to call them pocket rocket/ hot hatch as they give more power to the car without the price tag of a house attached to it.

When VW launched Golf GTi in 1975 at Frankfurt Motor show, their idea was to give a normal family hatchback an engine which produced more power than their normal Golfs. They used the suffix GTi to give this differentiation,'i' stood for injection as it was one of the first cars to have mechanical fuel injection.
I have seen many members bashing VW and Fiat for giving the tags GT and Abarth to their cars and getting into arguments. Infact going by the logic of what VW did in 1975, the humble Polo with 1.2 TSi engine and 105 Bhp deserves the tag GT as it was the most powerful Polo in 2013 - a similar logic can be applied to Punto Abarth.

Guess what Mark1 VW Golf GTi had 110 bhp and Mini Cooper in 1961 55 Bhp.

So for a car market like that of ours, these cars (Polos and Puntos) deserve their GT and Abarth tags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Since its 2017, and the age of common rail I think its not fair to have a shootout without the diesels on the list.
Agreed, on the track, petrols might have an edge, but for a production car bought into a house, modern diesels make so much sense.
Even though common rails are popular for the torque they offer, I guess the days of diesel engine in its current form is counted. Globally diesel engines are shamed for their toxic emisson and its effect on human beings and
environment.

In between I voted for GT TSi .

Last edited by rejoycjohn : 29th March 2017 at 18:32.
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Old 29th March 2017, 18:57   #43
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Voted for the TSI. My vote would be biased because I own one. But leaving that aside no other car in this list makes me feel like I'm losing out on anything apart from the Abarth engine. Though the negatives of the Abarth outweigh that gem of an engine
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Old 29th March 2017, 19:52   #44
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Voted for Abarth. Have been saving money to buy one and will be very sad if it gets discontinued. Also don't care about its discontinuation, since cars like that are very hard to come by and the next similar performance (engine, ride, handling, breaking etc.) option is at least 15 Lacs. more expensive.
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Old 29th March 2017, 21:14   #45
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Default Re: Fast Hatches: Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Figo 1.5 vs Abarth Punto

Votes for the Abarth Punto.

If rumors are to be believed our market has once again lost a gem of a hot hatch thanks to herd mentality and the undying thirst for mileage.

The Punto with the manual transmission is the closest one can get to the sheer thrill and pleasure of driving and owning a proper hot hatch.
The "convenience" of DSG can never beat the feeling of shifting gears manually.
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