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Old 13th April 2022, 12:01   #1
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What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

Hey everyone,

I have finally decided to take the plunge and buy a new car. Although I have been considering used options, the state I will be located in (GA) does not seem to have a great variety of the kind of cars I want, so buying new seems wiser & easier.

My requirements are: I want something reliable I can commute (~50 km) with every day. I want the car to feel capable and nice to drive on highways for road trips (this is why I am ruling out the i10, Swift, etc).

I basically want a petrol hatchback that's highway capable and easy to live with. I have had enthusiast dreams in the past, but I am having to let them go as I realise that my work won't allow the kind of downtime that temperamental cars require. I had posted a while ago about manual transmission FTD cars, but that's not on my radar (alas) any more.

A Polo would be nice, but the VW dealer I talked to said they're all sold out. That leaves (afaik) only two options: N Line and Altroz Turbo. The N Line to me seems better in every respect than the Altroz, other than safety. It's quicker, probably easier to maintain, seems more reliable, etc. But the 3 star rating is a downer.

I just wanted to ask. Am I missing an option that I should consider? Should I give the Altroz a serious look? I don't like how slow it is (from what reviews describe). In the end, which is the better car? Should I care about the safety rating even though I also ride a motorcycle, which essentially has a negative 100 safety rating?

I think it's a lacuna in our market, that for the sort of requirement I have (and within this kind of budget), there are essentially only two options, both of which are compromised in serious ways. Have I overlooked something? I am 80% of the way there towards booking an i20, but I just wanted to ask on there before I take the plunge.

Things I don't care about: Automatic or manual, rear seat space, boot space, looks, features.

Last edited by karanddd : 13th April 2022 at 12:03.
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Old 13th April 2022, 12:08   #2
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re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

If you're running is 50km per day, any reason why you don't want to look at diesels?

I believe Altroz diesel is more preferred than the turbo petrol but I guess only you can take a call after driving both.

Looking at the range of cars you have picked, any chance you can stick in a Honda City manual petrol base model? It's petrol if you want to stick to this choice and it's decently equipped with a great engine. Plus it's reliable.
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Old 13th April 2022, 13:14   #3
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re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

I think for your requirements, the i20 N Line is the right choice, however safety is an issue. If performance is not a big concern, why don't you consider the jazz? It's a reliable car, and comparatively safer.
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Old 13th April 2022, 17:35   #4
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re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

Considering the options you are considering, you seem to have a budget of ~11-12 lakhs. In that price range, the Honda City 4th Gen V variant is also worth considering (or perhaps the 5th Gen Base variant).

Between Altroz and i20 Turbo / N line, go for i20 Asta Turbo/N6 depending on the features which you prefer. I personally prefer Naturally Aspirated engines over Turbo engines.

Other non-turbo Hatchbacks which you can consider are Honda Jazz and Toyota Glanza.
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Old 14th April 2022, 06:54   #5
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re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbohead View Post
If you're running is 50km per day, any reason why you don't want to look at diesels?

I believe Altroz diesel is more preferred than the turbo petrol but I guess only you can take a call after driving both.

Looking at the range of cars you have picked, any chance you can stick in a Honda City manual petrol base model? It's petrol if you want to stick to this choice and it's decently equipped with a great engine. Plus it's reliable.
50km only on working days, and even then I may sometimes use my motorcycle, which is why I am expecting to drive only around 1000-1200 km a month, which to me does not seem to warrant a diesel. I also prefer petrols + am worried about the life of diesel cars etc.

The Honda City is a good idea, and does seem to tick the requirements, although the power figure is disappointing. Do you know how it compares to the N Line or the Altroz in terms of driving feel and highway manners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vedirah View Post
I think for your requirements, the i20 N Line is the right choice, however safety is an issue. If performance is not a big concern, why don't you consider the jazz? It's a reliable car, and comparatively safer.
The Jazz seems alright, but the engine is not particularly powerful, and I think it'll be underwhelming to drive on the highway, which is why I didn't consider it in the first place. I'd like at least a 100 bhp car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by divirokr View Post
Considering the options you are considering, you seem to have a budget of ~11-12 lakhs. In that price range, the Honda City 4th Gen V variant is also worth considering (or perhaps the 5th Gen Base variant).

Between Altroz and i20 Turbo / N line, go for i20 Asta Turbo/N6 depending on the features which you prefer. I personally prefer Naturally Aspirated engines over Turbo engines.

Other non-turbo Hatchbacks which you can consider are Honda Jazz and Toyota Glanza.
I also prefer NA engines, it's a shame all the enthusiast hatchbacks are turbocharged. The City seems like a viable, albeit somewhat underpowered, option. I just don't know if it makes sense to pick the City over the more powerful N Line or Altroz when I don't need the extra space.
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Old 14th April 2022, 09:59   #6
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Re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

50 km commuting per day makes this a no-brainer. You absolutely need an automatic. If you aren't an MT -> AT convert today, you will become one soon (as a majority of BHPians have become). Go for the i20 N-Line DCT. Fast, fun, practical as a family car. You'll enjoy it. Be sure to check our Official Review as well as ChiragM's ownership report on the car. Small + fast is a lot of fun, and the i20 N-Line will leave you giggling.

Yes, it has gotten 3 stars vs the Altroz's 5 stars, but you also ride a motorcycle...so. Even a 3-star car is 100X safer than a motorcycle.

The Altroz variants to buy are the Turbo-Diesel (no AT so not for you) or the DCT (fantastic commuter, but mediocre outright performance). Between the Altroz & i20 ATs, would suggest the i20 DCT for you due to the power on tap.
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Old 14th April 2022, 10:01   #7
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Re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

I took the test drive of both city 4th Gen and i20 turbo and the only difference I felt was when the turbo in i20 kicks in. It does feel quite energetic post the turbo lag which kicks in at around 1500-2000 rpm. The intelligent manual transmission is another advantage in case you tend to drive a lot on roads with heavy traffic.

However if you tend to drive on higher revs a turbo engine will consume more fuel. City on the other hand has a more linear power delivery which surely doesn’t feel underpowered. Having owned both Hyundai and a Honda, I also feel Honda has an edge in terms of reliability. You also get better safety with City and the extra space is just an added bonus.

You should also take test drives of both the cars and experience the difference. If you also prefer NA engines, City will have an advantage.
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Old 14th April 2022, 10:12   #8
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Re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by karanddd View Post
I think it's a lacuna in our market, that for the sort of requirement I have (and within this kind of budget), there are essentially only two options, both of which are compromised in serious ways. Have I overlooked something? I am 80% of the way there towards booking an i20, but I just wanted to ask on there before I take the plunge.

Things I don't care about: Automatic or manual, rear seat space, boot space, looks, features.
Small diesels are disappearing fast, with 50Kms running I would buy the i20 diesel - experience the super smooth CRDi.

Is there a case for diesel? It's likely that a car would make that 50Kms running stretch to 70-80kms a day and then weekend drives, airport runs etc etc.
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Old 14th April 2022, 11:20   #9
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Re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

I would definitely go for the I20 over Altroz. Since there is a 50km drive, automatic would definitely be the better choice. You could also pair the 1.0 turbo with the iMT transmission which could be the best of both worlds.
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Old 14th April 2022, 12:41   #10
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Re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

@karanddd: You are right on the Jazz.
It may be found wanting on highways (reaching upto 120 KMPH can take a while) . I recently did Bangalore-Pune in a day and there were times I felt it had more power to overtake but I can assure you that Jazz automatic can be an "island of peace" in our chaotic city traffic condition.


Cheers.
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Old 14th April 2022, 19:57   #11
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Re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

If you can find an old 1.6 NA Petrol Fabia, go for it it is an absolute steal even in today's crazy used car market. The drivetrain in it was used beyond its discontinuation in the rapid as well so maintained should not be an issue.

If a new car is what you want, I wouldn't call the Hyundai particularly reliable as such and the safety on offer for a pretty highly priced product does leave a sour taste. As for the Altroz, it is too heavy for its engine and Tata is yet to come up with a good petrol motor (I think they are banking on electric). An S-Cross might seem underpowered (it is) but its reliable japanese motor will allow you to redline it everyday for a decade without issues and its chassis+suspension package makes for very good high speed manners. The glass area also gives good visibility all around making the car feel smaller than it looks from the outside, when being driven.
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Old 15th April 2022, 08:39   #12
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Re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

N Line over Altroz. Safety is a concern, but I would still prefer more fun to drive car over safety rating.

But if space and phase out is not an issue, you can check for Polo in other dealership. It’s best of both worlds - faster and more fun than NLine and safe too.
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Old 15th April 2022, 08:53   #13
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Re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

Altroz Turbo is a decent car. Yes, it is only in 5-speed manual, so you are making some compromises. But, you are paying less too.

As long as you are okay to fight with Tata ASC, (and I think 6 months maintenance?) I'd say go for it.


I'd also suggest you to take a look at Glanza/Baleno. It is not snail car as people make it out to be. As per Maruti's claims, they have improved chassis stiffness as well.
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Old 15th April 2022, 15:43   #14
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Re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by prajwalmr62 View Post
I'd also suggest you to take a look at Glanza/Baleno. It is not snail car as people make it out to be. As per Maruti's claims, they have improved chassis stiffness as well.
Opinions on t-bhp and ACI review confirm that MS, because of their fanatical obsession with fuel efficiency has dumbed down new version of K12 engine to the point that older Baleno feels faster and powerful. Not that old Baleno set the streets on fire anyway.
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Old 15th April 2022, 20:35   #15
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Re: What hatchback : Hyundai i20 N-Line or Tata Altroz Turbo?

You may want to check out the S Cross, if you are OK with a manual. A Creta sized spacious crossover for the price of the compact hatches. I have done 2k km in my new Zeta manual and it is totally fuss free. All the 2k km have been highway driving and it has been largely fatigue free. If it's not a boy racer you are looking for, then it's definitely worth a look.
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