After having to deal with Mumbai traffic for quite a while now, I honestly believe that hatchbacks are ingenious. They do almost everything you expect of a car in city conditions, with the added benefit of them being easier to drive, park and live with. But we’ve got so many of them in so many different segments that it can get quite confusing to make up your mind on just which one suits you best. And that’s where we come in with our ultra, mega, super hatchback comparo of the year!
What we’ve gone and done is get 10 hatchbacks across multiple price points and pit them against one another. We’ve tried to focus on the newer products within the space, so this means we’ve got cars right from the entry-level segment like the Tata Nano AMT and Renault Kwid to premium hatchbacks like the new Honda Jazz and Maruti Suzuki Baleno. But when I say we pit them against one another, I must make it clear that these weren’t the conventional tests we usually do in our comparos. We devised 11 offbeat tests that are fun yet relevant to real-world situations. We also managed to bring some people from outside OVERDRIVE’s core testing team to give us some perspective on what you, the buying public, feel about each car.
Obviously, we couldn’t perform these tests on public roads because that would be illegal and a serious nuisance. We needed a private track of sorts that had enough space to park 10 cars and then more for us to act a little silly with them — err test them. Gautam Singhania, the chairman and MD of the Raymond Group, has a private drift track in his headquarters in Thane. That would suit us just fine! A few calls were made, and he was more than happy to let us use his track for two days. With that set, it was track time!