Rs 10 lakh: New petrol automatic car to replace my Dzire

The top-spec Tata Punch feels overpriced for what it offers and is a small car as well.

BHPian umohan98 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

We're a happy two-car family, with a 2010 Swift Dzire VXi and a 2017 Pre-facelift SCross 1.3. The Dzire is now beginning to show its age, with issues in starting up and brake fade. Last year, we had a service bill of almost INR17000 trying to fix up some of the issues that had propped up. The Dzire is primarily used by my mother, who is a doctor, and hence these startup issues mean the car has to go.

The new car will be bought in exchange for the Dzire, and will not be used for more than 2000kms per year, in city traffic. Thus, we fixated upon a Petrol Automatic to replace the car.

We've shortlisted the following cars that we feel suit our criteria:

1) 2020 Dzire ZXi+ AMT


  • All good to have features, like Hill Hold Control, Auto Engine Start Stop, Leather-wrapped steering
  • Decent Space inside
  • Excellent fuel efficiency (24kmpl claimed, my dad has been bowled over by this single stat)
  • Manual Mode to drive in the hilly areas. This is an added advantage since it will be our first automatic car, and we can have more control over the gear changes with this.
  • A newer gen K12 compared to the Baleno.
  • Easy to drive
  • A Maruti.


  • Poor Build, our 2010 Dzire feels more solid compared to this
  • Beige Overload inside, since it rains for around 5 months here, can easily be soiled.
  • Return to centre issues that have been reported, a test drive is needed to understand how severe these are.
  • Doesn't feel good inside.
  • Crash ratings of other Marutis

2) Baleno Alpha CVT


  • Looks more premium than the Dzire
  • Black interiors that soil-less easily, and look better.
  • UV Cut Glasses
  • CVT, a better gearbox technology (maybe?)
  • A bit more spacious
  • Nexa service has been good so far with our S-Cross


  • Lack of Hill Hold control
  • Less manual control compared to AMT
  • Lesser fuel efficiency compared to Dzire.
  • Crash Ratings
  • No rear armrest

Other Cars that can be considered:

  • Hyundai Aura 1.2 SX AMT
  • Hyundai i20 1.2 Asta IVT or 1.0 Asta IMT

Hyundai Aura in the 1.2 SX AMT variant also seems to cover the basics pretty well, but the looks will need some time to digest. It lacks features like the Hill Hold, which seems like a good technology. It also isn't as fuel-efficient as the Dzire, on paper at the least. But the interiors are certainly much better, and it feels better built compared to the Maruti.

The i20 will involve stretching the budget by around a lakh and brings in yet another question: IVT vs IMT, and Turbo vs Natural Aspiration. IMT again seems like a good technology on paper although. The negatives of the Aura apply here as well, with no Hill Hold and lesser fuel efficiency. Also, I don't personally like how the i20 looks, it feels over styled to me.

We didn't consider cars from other manufacturers. Tata, although its products are good, doesn't have an automatic with the Altroz and the Tigor feels small. The Punch in its top variant feels overpriced and is small again. Honda has been reduced to a small manufacturer in India now and lacks the finesse that it had back in the 2010s. Also, since we plan to keep this car for long, around 10 years, we don't want the manufacturer shutting its shop, say, 6 or 7 years down the line.

The Dzire fits the bill for almost all our requirements. But it doesn't feel like a 10lakh car. We will most probably buy the car in December so that it can be registered with a 2022 Number Plate with the BH Series.

The questions:

  1. Is the 2022 Baleno worth waiting for, or we go for the Dzire right away?
  2. How important is the Hill Hold Control?
  3. Are CVTs easy to live within the hills?
  4. Dzire vs Baleno vs Aura, what would your recommendation be?

Here's what BHPian AJ56 had to say on the matter:

I’d remove Suzuki’s from the list based on the poor crash ratings alone, it’s a major concern and one must do all they can to stack the cards of fate in their favour should the unthinkable happen, besides build quality is important to you and they feel like tin cans every time you close a door.

Hyundai I’d say only consider the i20 as it’s the only one in the budget that comes with proper transmissions (non-AMT), also the i20 interior is better quality than the Aura. If you’re going to keep the car long don’t let a slightly higher price keep you from a better product that you’ll use almost every single day for 10 years.

Any reason why the Polo isn’t considered? It no longer comes with the questionable DQ200 transmission and is the best built and safest car you can buy under 10L today.

I know you’re against Honda but at least test drive the Amaze as it comes with a CVT transmission that’s very smooth in the city, it is underpowered but for the intended purpose I don’t think that's a deal-breaker. Even if an mfg leaves a market, spares are never a concern for many years after and the Amaze being a mass-market car that sells in good volume will never face such issues even if Honda leaves after a few years.

If you can wait, then wait as it’s only a few months and you’ll be able to see if the 2022 model offers something that may change your decision.

Hill hold is nice to have but really it’s strictly optional as when stopped on an incline you should have the handbrake on and then just build some power before letting off and you’ll never roll down, with an automatic it’s even easier as no clutch slip is needed but keep in mind you can still roll back in D if your foot is off the accelerator and the incline is steep enough.

CVT’s are fine in the hills, more importantly, I’d look at power if you’re attempting to accelerate at a high altitude (lower O2 means engines make less power than at sea level) + steep incline requires a powerful car unless you’re ok with flooring it every time you want to move forward with some intent.

Between those 3, Aura anyday.

Here's what BHPian Voodooblaster had to say on the matter:

The Seltos GNCAP fiasco doesn't inspire much confidence in Sonet

The Indian-spec S-Cross is untested by NCAP

The Brezza AT -torque converter though antiquated, is reliable

Being an NA engine, it'll probably have the least headaches in ownership over the long run.

Here's what BHPian Knighted06 had to say on the matter:

Please have a look at MG Astor as well. Although I'm not a big fan, but as a product, the Astor SUV is a solid product and has a good presence. My family had to learn the hard way to appreciate a good product rather than stay loyal to a certain company.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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