Team-BHP > What Car? > Hatchbacks


View Poll Results: Which petrol hot hatch will you choose?
Tata Tiago JTP 161 21.90%
Maruti Baleno RS 22 2.99%
Fiat Abarth Punto 260 35.37%
VW Polo GT TSI 273 37.14%
Other (Please specify in your post) 19 2.59%
Voters: 735. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 31st December 2018, 13:51   #106
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Default Re: Your favourite hot hatch in India?

Let me share my recent experience with the two contender cars in question, i.e. the Abarth & the GT TSI.

I have been looking for a hatchback for the past couple of months that I can use for city commutes and the occasional highway trips - performance being the main criteria. I would say it outright: I have a bias towards manual transmission, and with the possibility of the era of stick shift coming to an end in the near future, I had no plans of getting an AT car.

I test drove the Figo S, Baleno RS, i20, GT TDI 1.5, Abarth Punto & GT TSI, multiple times over a period of 5-6 months to form an educated opinion on what I like and dislike about each car.
When talking about a “hot” hatch, being selective about the aspects that make a hatchback car “hot” for “you” is extremely subjective and we shall always be out of sync with the market stats, let alone trying to understand each others’ point of views at TeamBHP. We ought to consider all parameters to award the title that we so often talk about and defend passionately here, but seldom give any objective and panoramic explanation that supports real life stats or dare I say, our actions.

Coming back to the cars I test drove, it eventually came down to two options, the TSI or the Abarth.
We have numerous posts on this thread that read: Abarth has better steering, better suspension/handling, 4 disc brakes and a MT - Agreed; but I disagree that just these four aspects outweigh the total package, that is the GT TSI, IMHO.
Let me tell you something: the 0-100 timings, hydraulic steering, stiff ride for better cornering, etc. simply vanish when you do not feel “excited” about “owning” a car. I’d even go so far say to that it’s unfair to drive a car, sing praises about a couple of aspects, then never buy the car even if it’s within your budget, citing some reason(s) that cleverly disguises your lack of “excitement” toward the car. Well, if you were so gung ho, by all means please go ahead and write a check.

We choose to say that the Abarth is clearly superior in performance characteristics, whereas it is far lacking in quite a number of other factors that make or break a person’s decision while buying a car. The GT TSI has so much going for it that lacking in a couple of aspects, especially when the difference is not huge, per se, it still tips the scale in its favour.
Be it the classy looks, better seat ergonomics, visually appealing dashboard, an excellent gearbox, huge mod potential, the GT TSI far outweighs the minor setbacks against the Abarth, IMO. As a result of all things combined, there’s a certain indeterminate feeling about the TSI, that places it right on the edge between safe and adventure.

There was a time when the Swift entered the Indian market and introduced the “hot hatch” category. When it’s engine was detuned, we started to look elsewhere, and the i20 was passed on the title. After that, it was the era of 1.6 GT TDI, which unfortunately was short lived. Beyond that, I believe it’s the Polo GT TSI that is exhilarating enough, while appealing to the regular masses, and deserves to be called the favourite hot hatch of India. The Abarth did push the boundary, but I don’t think it was enough to warrant enthusiasts looking for outright performance to turn a blind eye to what it clearly lacks; and the market stats say so.
While I am all for manual transmission, I will not hesitate from saying that the DSG combined with the 1.2L engine clearly outweighs the “feeling” of driving the 1.4L Abarth, which not only does not outperform the GT TSI in all aspects, but is a far cry from MT and engine combo of the 1.6 GT TDI.
Had it been the Swift 1.4L (Swift Sport international model), I think it’s safe to say that the story might have been different... Till then, I’ll stick with the Polo 1.2 GT TSI as my favourite hot hatch in India.
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Old 31st December 2018, 14:12   #107
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Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
No offence and with due respect, I would not take someone who used the Abarth very minimally (3k kms?) and mostly within the city for commute very seriously with regards to opinions on the car.
So by your logic we should not even believe the reviews put up by automobile journalist such as Autocar, Zig Wheels or even our very own Team-Bhp official reviews who review the cars for not even 3k but a few hundred kms before sharing its story with the world.

Back in the days there used to be these old Parsi uncles who used to love their cars more than their wife. They knew their car's mechanicals and dynamics in and out despite barely clocking Kms on their cars and keeping them in showroom condition in their garages. I'm sure these guys were more passionate about their cars than you or me. You don't need to clock kms to be an enthusiast and know your car or else (as per your logic) Uber drivers/T-registration drivers who drive lakhs of kms would be the real enthusiasts of the world.
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Old 31st December 2018, 14:30   #108
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Default Re: Your favourite hot hatch in India?

If we don't consider Mini and Polo GTI, Abarth Punto is the obvious choice.

I have tried my hands on Baleno RS, Polo GT TSI and Abarth Punto. Abarth was amazing & explosive out of all three of these. It gave me that "pushed back to the seat" feeling in real meaning. TATA's JTP twin look convincing. However, I can't give "My Favourite Hot-Hatch" award to a car without driving it.
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Old 31st December 2018, 15:53   #109
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Default Re: Your favourite hot hatch in India?



It is interesting how the thread has gone from "your favourite hot hatch in India" to "favourite hot hatch of the masses".

So many interesting perceptives here, leading to many becoming quite defensive too. Chill out people!

Well, I think my Kwid 1.0 should also be a worthy car to be chosen. Almost 100 BHP/tonne ratio, manual, easy to live with inside the city, needs less/no parking space, handles well, has better A.S.S than fiat and VW(in my city), no reliability issues whatsoever, great headlamps and 180 mm GC. Quite a convenient car I would say, or even better, there is this AMT variant too. Package you see, the total package, that too at less than half of most hot hatch prices

Who ever wants to disagree with this, you are welcome and I would agree with you too. Let's end this 2018 happily!

Happy New year folks!

Last edited by PrasannaDhana : 31st December 2018 at 16:05.
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Old 31st December 2018, 22:10   #110
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Default Re: Your favourite hot hatch in India?

Interesting discussion this thread has thrown up.

Here are a few thoughts. I could be wrong of course.
  1. Most people voting on this poll may not have actually driven these cars. Surely next to none have driven the JTP as test cars are just becoming available. Very few would have driven the Abarth Punto given its scanty availability. So most views are probably based on reviews / accounts from acquaintances.
  2. Very few would have actually driven more than one of these cars to make realistic comparisons.
  3. A greater proportion of those who have driven Abrarth Punto would have also driven the Polo TSI while a smaller proportion of those who have driven the Polo TSI are likely to have also driven the Abarth. Simply because of the low availability of the Abarth.
  4. There are multiple interpretations of the term “hot hatch” and “performance”. For some, drifty cornering, spongy braking and light steering may provide the thrills while for others the ability to push further with planted ride, heavier steering and surer braking may be greater fun. Fun-to-drive is after all subjective.
  5. For many, “overall package”, “convenience”, “low end driveability”, “easy maintenance”, "practicality" are all important factors even in selection of a hot hatch.
  6. Though the JTP promises to combine performance with practicality and affordability, chances are that potential "enthusiast" buyers will find excuses such as lack of auto-transmission, suspect service etc. not to buy it.
  7. Many appear to be evaluating the listed cars as the “best car to own” rather than “favorite hot hatch”. This maybe because for most of us the default way of thinking of a car is as "the one car to own".
  8. The market for cars whose sole USP is predominantly "performance" and "driving pleasure" is and will remain a tiny one.
With the end of the age of internal combustion engines in sight, these are likely to be the last of the fun-to-drive hatches in the sub-10L segment. So, ladies and gentlemen, whichever one you vote for, drive these exmples of a disappearing breed of automobiles and enjoy them while you can. Happy New Year!

Last edited by cogWheel : 31st December 2018 at 22:31.
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Old 1st January 2019, 17:21   #111
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Default Re: Your favourite hot hatch in India?

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Originally Posted by Starfire View Post
I'm sorry what? With all due respect the Abarth Punto and the Polo GTI are NOT equal.
Chill mate! No one said they're equal. octane1002 just wants to make a point about the bang-for-buck factor Abarth offers in it's segment.

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Originally Posted by chase_nt View Post
I'd like to point out that I've probably owned and driven more cars than the average team bhp member on this forum
I'm sorry but that sounds very hubristic! Have you carried out a survey as regards to forum members' experience with cars/ have you got hold of any such data? No offence intended!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chase_nt View Post
However the first time I took delivery of the Abarth Punto and drove it home I said to myself "how can a 145 bhp hatchback feel so slow"?
If I remember correctly, you made a post about your drive back home from Vijayawada in which you never mentioned about it's slowness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chase_nt View Post
All a true enthusiast needs is a few minutes behind the wheel of car to know about it.
Very true but perceptional dissimilarity and subjective divergence is quite prevalent even among the "true enthusiasts".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starfire View Post
So by your logic we should not even believe the reviews put up by automobile journalist such as Autocar, Zig Wheels or even our very own Team-Bhp official reviews who review the cars for not even 3k but a few hundred kms before sharing its story with the world.
I guess you've misconceived DRIV3R's post. All he meant was the respected BHPian chase_nt's experience with Abarth Punto was mostly confined to city driving.

Also his reproval regarding the car seemed to arise mostly from the lack of convenience of AT rather than lack of power/fun factor.

Since you've quoted Autocar, Zigwheels and Team BHP's reviews, let us analyze their respective reviews about Abarth. AFAIK, none of them called it a slow/inconvenient car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
IMHO, it is a classic case of requirements-product mismatch leading to dissatisfaction ultimately.
You're spot on! On a relevant note, I'd like to quote GTO's post from this thread (ARTICLE: How to buy a *NEW* car in India).

Quote:
The right car: After deciding on your price range you should outline what sort of car best meets your needs – if you are a family of two you shouldn’t bother buying a large MUV like the Toyota Innova. With a growing range of makes and models you will probably find that several cars fit your budget. Look through Team-BHP reviews to see what owners have to say about their machines. Consider how long you plan to keep your car and how your needs may change with time – kids (future) can make a big difference here. Analyze your needs before you decide on a car.

Test drive yourself: Never buy a car based solely on someone else’s opinion, even if it is that of a world-renowned automotive expert. What is right for someone else may not be right for you; think about details like the comfort of the driving position and engine responsiveness. A one-kilometer test drive will reveal nothing – go for a comprehensive test drive in traffic, on open roads and up and down hills. Even if you are not inclined toward other choices in the market, drive them anyway. Sometimes the best buys can be found in the least expected places.
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Old 1st January 2019, 22:32   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pferdestarke View Post
I'm sorry but that sounds very hubristic! Have you carried out a survey as regards to forum members' experience with cars/ have you got hold of any such data? No offence intended!

If I remember correctly, you made a post about your drive back home from Vijayawada in which you never mentioned about it's slowness.

I guess you've misconceived DRIV3R's post. All he meant was the respected BHPian chase_nt's experience with Abarth Punto was mostly confined to city driving. Also his reproval regarding the car seemed to arise mostly from the lack of convenience of AT rather than lack of power/fun factor.
If you think I sound hubristic so be it. I am proud of having owned and driven a lot of cars and I make no bones about it. I may not have carried out a survey per se but one look at the "view my garage" option will give you a glimpse of what cars a team bhp member owns or might have owned. But then again its just a rough estimate because many members may not update this section judiciously. The reason I had to make the hubristic statement is because one of the members used a "scooter and sports bike analogy" which to me sounded as though my opinions were just being dismissed. Just including the words "no offence" doesn't make things OK as its just a means of sugarcoating what they actually imply to shove it down someone's throat. Just because I don't like the Abarth and bought a GT TSI once again that's no reason to dismiss a members opinion and try to use analogies that offend members on this forum.

I never mentioned about its slowness because it was a highway drive. If you look at my post on page 5 of this thread you will see that I mentioned that the Abarth is Excellent on a highway and on ghats but it is Terrible within the city because it lacks low end torque which is very vital in city driving conditions. This could have been alleviated if the gear box was a proper unit designed for the Abarth and not just lifted from the lower powered versions of the Punto. Whatever i am mentioning here is the black and white of the Abarth in real world driving conditions and i have no reason to be critical of it beyond its actual flaws. The fact that it has a large turbo or the fact that the turbo spools at 2000 rpm are immaterial to me and the only thing that matters is how I feel behind the wheel in all conditions. The 145 bhp Abarth gets a F when it comes to its prowess in a city and I cannot classify it as a hot hatch in my book as it fails miserably in city conditions. The fact that the Abarth is a manual or the GT is a automatic don't matter to me. What matters to me is performance in every real world driving situation and I cannot call a car a hot hatch if it performs well just in a couple of situations and flunks in the other situation.

It also seems that some of the team bhp members are taking things a bit too far. For me the GT TSI is a hot hatch where as for you the Abarth is. They are listing out the positives of the Abarth but when a member who has owned and driven both cars gives his opinion they seem to be taking it as a personal attack on them by using unwarranted analogies and also questioning whether a person who has driven a car for JUST 3k kms should be taken seriously. I don't work for VW, I just happen to like one of their cars because in my book its better than the other car, is that so hard to digest? These sort of comments are not what I expect on this forum and I would like the mods to please cut in before this thread just degenerates into a unnecessary debate.
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Old 1st January 2019, 23:01   #113
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Default Re: Your favourite hot hatch in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chase_nt View Post
The reason I had to make the hubristic statement is because one of the members used a "scooter and sports bike analogy" which to me sounded as though my opinions were just being dismissed.
My sincere apologies if you feel I have offended you! I do respect your opinions and so do the other members.

But that doesn't mean everyone has to abide in you. Just like yourself, everyone else is entitled to their own opinions.

I have been following your Abarth ownership thread and taken your views into consideration while making the Abarth vs GT TSI decision and I sincerely thank you for that.

Have a happy and prosperous new year!
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Old 1st January 2019, 23:02   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chase_nt View Post
The 145 bhp Abarth gets a F when it comes to its prowess in a city and I cannot classify it as a hot hatch in my book as it fails miserably in city conditions.
There would be very few people who would actually buy a "hot hatch" for driving in the city. You mentioned the cars great on the highways and ghats, and in my opinion that's where cars like these should shine.

Have driven both the Abarth and the tsi.
It's the Abarth drive I foundly remember even now, it makes me smile even now, that steering , the way it handled and that power. Still hoping I could own one sometime . .


The Polo tsi feels somewhere in the middle. It's convenient and it's fun. The Abarth isn't convenient as the tsi for sure, but I still remember that drive ever so foundly even after an year. And that's why the Abarth cuts it for me

Last edited by VRPAI : 1st January 2019 at 23:15. Reason: Missed the last para.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 10:36   #115
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Default Re: Your favourite hot hatch in India?

I own a Abarth, its absolutely hoot to drive in city or on highway. Someone said it suffers from low end torque, i also initially felt the same coming from Palio 1.6 but after driving the car for couple of 1000kms i was perfectly fine, cars low end drivability improved a lot. I have mentioned the same in my review thread too. Out of my daily commute around 8kms is mad bumper to bumper traffic, only 1st and 2nd gear crawling. I have never managed to stall the car. I hardly touch the accelerator pedal and use only clutch to crawl in the traffic. you can even shift to 3rd gear without touching the accelerator pedal and car pulls nicely, maybe to even higher gears but i have never tried. Even on the incline at my parking entrance car pulls easily with just clutch modulation, without accelerator input. Only issue in b2b traffic might be FE, which is low. I get around 9kmpl in these conditions. But drivability issue because of low end torque is not a concern, at all.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 11:18   #116
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Default Re: Your favourite hot hatch in India?

An interesting poll guys! Didn't expect the results to be neck and neck between the Polo GT Tsi and the Abarth. Having done upwards of 51k kms, the Abarth is hands on the preferred car of the two except for the automatic gearbox. Further, given the modularity of VW cars, the GT TSI is even more mod friendly than the Abarth. Yes, I sorely miss a 6th gear, but the car is good enough for my needs. After selling my Spark, the Abarth is used everyday and I don't think its as difficult in the city as we thought in the initial days of the ownership. Of course, she's rarely taken out in bumper to bumper traffic.

Here's a snapshot of some hot hatch polls that I could find:
Your favourite hot hatch in India?-poll.jpg
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Old 2nd January 2019, 11:29   #117
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Default Re: Your favourite hot hatch in India?

I actually test drove both Abarth and GT Tsi and bought the GT Tsi and have voted for it.
I took multiple test drives of both before finalizing on the Polo and bought it because of the convenience the DSG offered without compromising too much on the performance. Also I felt the performance in the city wasn't as different as the reviews pointed out. On the highway yes, the Abarth offered much much more- I also loved the steering, though I did feel it could have been a tad smaller in diameter (probably a personal thing).

Was the Abarth amazing to drive - yes it was.
Was it better than GT Tsi - yes
Did I feel the difference as much as the reviews pointed - No
Will I go back and buy the Tsi again - yes I would, even though I have had a dual clutch replaced under warranty.

The thing that I do miss is the steering that Abarth offered, but for me overall the Polo felt like a package that suited my requirements better.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 13:03   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chase_nt View Post
It also seems that some of the team bhp members are taking things a bit too far.

They are listing out the positives of the Abarth but when a member who has owned and driven both cars gives his opinion they seem to be taking it as a personal attack on them by using unwarranted analogies and also questioning whether a person who has driven a car for JUST 3k kms should be taken seriously..
Woah woah! Looks like you have actually taken it as a personal attack.

Let me come to the argument of "number of cars owned by average bhpian" as a metric of the value in their opinion as an enthusiast. I have owned 20 cars in the last 25 years, and another bhpian friend of mine has owned just 2 cars so far. He drives a humble alto k10, but is more of an auto enthusiast than majority of us in this forum. I would value his opinion over mine when it comes to cars. My point here, before you again misunderstand it, is that one does not have to own many cars or drive many km to have an opinion.

Judging a person by the number of cars he had owned / kind of cars he had owned is as illogical as judging a person's view by the number of km he has driven his car.

After all, one only has to have money to buy cars, doesn't necessarily mean the buyer is an enthusiast.

If my analogy of scooter and motorcycle pinched your nerves, my apologies. You have misunderstood and directly equated yourselves with the guy and your gt tsi to the scooter. That is definitely NOT what I meant, and I have specified it at that post itself. All I meant was the buyer 's decision can be due to his needs and not just because his choice of the two cars is hotter than the other.

As we have told it several times in this thread already, every one has an opinion. If mine differs from yours, well, let's agree to disagree. Finally, it is a public forum, and there will be people disagreeing with one's opinion. Calling moderator action for opposing views is not how it works. There has been absolutely no personal attacks or sarcasm in any of the posts in this thread.

Peace !

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 3rd January 2019 at 12:59. Reason: Fixed the quoted post.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 15:44   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrasannaDhana View Post
If my analogy of scooter and motorcycle pinched your nerves, my apologies.
As long as each of us is lucky enough to be driving the car that we really adore that's all that really matters. So let's just get behind the wheel of our machines and have fun as that's what really counts. Sayonara!

Last edited by Zappo : 2nd January 2019 at 19:30. Reason: Fixed typos and punctuations.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 15:59   #120
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Default Re: Your favourite hot hatch in India?

For me Polo GTI (1.8 AT). It is seriously fast, specially 40-120 timing. In sports mode it is a beast...

I have driven it for 27000+ Km in 1 year, and every time it puts a smile...

Happy new year and happy and safe driving.

Best regards, Abinash
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