Undoubtedly, Swift established the segment of premium hatchbacks in India. People started spending extra money for hatchbacks served with a bit more features, style and of-course performance. Soon, Swift was followed by other premium hatchbacks such as i20, Polo and Punto which took the standard to an all different level. Sensing the pace in our market, all of these are now ready with major face-lifts with Volkswagen being the first to come up with the new gen VW Polo while Fiat have launched their Italian beauty, Punto Evo. Elite i20m has also been launched.
Now when the stage is set, we decided to a preview comparison of these cars which are best in their business and know their target customers really well. Wonder, what will be the situation like? Read on.
None of these are any regular hatchback and that's quite visible in their appearance as well. The latest gen Polo gets even bolder and sleek than before. The added chrome and sharp lines make this car look solid and sporty. The car rides on 15-inches alloy wheels and looks fresh with restyled tail lights and bumpers. The upcoming Elite i20 is also expected to get 15inches wheel as the car has gone under significant exterior changes. The car looks sharp and aggressive from every angle. The hexagonal front grille, elongated headlights, re-profiled rear bumper, boot and new horizontal tail lights add to its premium looks.
Elite i20 is to be the longest and widest in its class as the new Polo and Punto Evo manages a length and width of 3971 mm/1682mm and 3987 mm/1687 mm respectively which is even less than the size of the current i20 which measures 3995 mm long and 1710 mm wide. And as expected, Swift which currently stands at 3850 mm long and 1695 mm wide won't get any major changes in the body dimensions. So undoubtedly, it will be Elite i20 which will stand nose ahead of others. Even the wheelbase of new Polo (2469 mm), Punto Evo (2510 mm) and Swift (2430mm) is relatively lesser than the current gen i20 (2525 mm). Punto Evo is currently the only car in segment to get 16 inche alloy wheels with highest ground clearance of 185 mm.
It's Fiat Punto Evo and Elite i20 which comes with new and bright dual tone interiors while Polo features familiar interiors with slightly new detailing around centarl console. Punto Evo shares its dashboard with premium sibling, Linea while Elite i20 gets new wide and hexagonal shaped central console with up-market look. Expect new Swift to carry forward its interior styling, there could be addition of dual tone color though. New Swift will come with advanced features such as push button start, music system with Bluetooth connectivity, foldable ORVMs and automatic climate control which makes it more competitive as rest of the competitors are also blessed with these features. Here once again Elite i20 will top the ranking with longest list of features in its class which includes everything from push button start to parking sensors, camera and many more.
In terms of petrol engines, apart from Swift, rest of the three are available with two petrol engines each. The new Polo comes with a regular three cylinder, 1.2L 74bhp engine and soon to be launched 1.2L TSI unit with an utmost power output of 103bhp. The Punto Evo comes with two four cylinder engines; one is 1.2L 68bhp engine while it also has a bigger 1.4L 89bhp unit. Hyundai Elite i20 will also carry forward its both both 1.2L Kappa and 1.4L Gamma unit with respective power outputs of 83bhp and 99bhp. Swift is likely to be offered with familiar 1.2L K-series 86bhp engine. The 1.2L TSI from VW will be mated with 7-speed DSG gearbox while the Gamma unit in i20 is most likely to retain its 4-speed automatic gearbox. Rest of the engines come equipped with five-speed manual gearbox.
The diesel brigade includes three diesel engines with Punto Evo and Swift sharing their 1.3L Multijet diesel engine. However, in Punto Evo, this engine is available in two states producing 74bhp and 90bhp; both mated with a five-speed manual gearbox. Specifications of Swift (1.3L, 74bhp/190Nm, 5-speed gearbox) are also expected to be remain unchanged which brings us down to Elite i20 and new Polo. Elite i20 will continue to be served with its 1.4L, CRDI 89bhp engine which is the only engine in the lot to be equipped with a six-speed gearbox as the new 1.5L four-cylinder engine of Polo with a power output of 90 bhp and 104bhp is also served with a five-speed gearbox. The Polo GT TDI with a power output of 104bhp will become the most powerful car in its segment.
New Punto Evo 90 bhp retails at INR 7.20 lakhs while the top variant of Polo diesel is available at a price of INR 7.37 lakhs. This makes sure that Elite i20 which slightly more expensive at Rs 7.6 lakh. The Swift top-end diesel meanwhile costs Rs 6.7 lakh. The Elite i20 then is expensive but in our opinion worth it. It is the most spacious and has the most features thus to us it makes the best deal.