Rs 12 lakh budget: Best petrol hatchback, SUV or sedan option to buy

I've test driven the Brezza, Venue, Aura, Altroz, Baleno & the Sonet, but am confused which to purchase.

BHPian confusedbuyer80 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I am looking for a car with a final cost between Rs 10 - 12 Lakh. I am open to sedan, hatchback and C-SUV with a preference for the latter most. Drove my last car for 64.7K km in 9 years (including 1.5 years lull for Covid). So, am not a driver who takes out the last bit of the car.

Let me detail the options I've explored (Petrol only cause I can't get break-even in Diesel):

  1. Maruti Baleno 2022 Alpha Model (MT): Decent-looking car. Found performance to be good on TD. Feedback says it's fuel-efficient with a mileage of around 20 km/l.
  2. Hyundai Venue SX (O): Might go for iTurbo. Found it comfortable. I didn't find many issues with pick-up as I started on the shop premises. However, my wife found the initial pick-up to be late. I like its looks, especially its IC. No other car even compares to that. Good reviews here on Hyundai after-sales service.
  3. Hyundai Aura SX (O) or SX CNG: Haven't really taken TD but found it good look-wise. Decent enough for me to own it (even without pride)
  4. Tata Altroz XZ+: Became a fan of it post-reading threads here. Have sat in it and explored the interiors and exteriors. Didn't get any TD. Bad reviews on Tata after-sales service.
  5. Kia Sonet: Saw a couple in parking. Looks decent. Reviews on this forum are okay. Not sure about Kia's after-sales service.

I like Tata Altroz over Baleno and even Aura for that matter. But every review here says it's not fuel efficient. Most of my driving is going to be in City with a quarterly trip on Highway.

Baleno, everyone says, is not safe but just good with mileage and performance. Aura is probably the same case but with less performance (you may correct me here). But if I am ready for Altroz, then why not stretch it to CSUV?

I am enamoured with Venue and Sonet (more on the former one). My last car never gave more than 11 km/l (combined). I doubt if Venue or Sonet will give me more than 13 km/l (combined).

End to the long post. Should I really worry about mileage cause petrol keeps getting costlier and maybe Car is just a luxury not worth spending a lot on? ( I know this is blasphemy here). Or whether there is no significant advantage even of owning those so-called FE cars and ultimately everything ends up costing the same.

Request your feedback. Don't worry even if it's harsh I want to learn from you experts.

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

Mileage is a very real concern. I'd say with Venue and Sonet DCT petrol, the longevity is a big question mark for the gearbox. And mileage is going to be low. I would say if possible stretch your budget and get Diesel AT. If you can't, Baleno has really good Fuel efficiency plus it's Maruti, so good peace of mind. I would get an automatic, personally.

Update 1: Honestly - I would pick Baleno from your list then - as the transmission is TC and is reliable, plus Maruti so it's hassle-free ownership. If you like a sportier drive with the Venue/Sonet and the likes is up to you, but you're trading FE and potential transmission issues down the line which might cost you a bit.

Oh, Altroz returns poor FE numbers. I just drove my brother's Altroz, didn't like it personally and the FE is not great. Would pick Sonet/Venue over that.

Update 2: Road presence wise Baleno is not that great, but I just took a TD of Baleno automatic and it's pretty good! Nicely tuned engine, suspension and throttle response. I just like how you get all that plus pretty decent FE for petrol. But yes if you're looking for C-SUV form factor, I don't think you can go wrong with either! It's your pick.

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

Between Venue and Sonet, I would choose Venue because of much better safety features - traction control and 6 airbags for SX(O) vs 4 airbags in the HTX line - and Sonet got a poor NCAP rating.

Quoted mileage of the cars is comparable.

Update: I checked the GNCAP page now and there is no test result for Sonet. However Carens and Seltos got 3-star ratings, so there is apprehension in general that Sonet's rating may be bad too.

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