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Top 5 enthusiast (used) cars in India for under Rs 3 lakh

Halley Prabhakar  | Updated: August 28, 2013, 05:49 PM IST

Are you an enthusiast who is looking for a car that drives great but costs less than your neighbour's brand new hatchback? Here is our list of the top 5 enthusiast cars that can be yours for less than Rs 3 lakh.

Mitsubishi Cedia

Positives: Bolt-on performance parts, dynamics, features; Negatives:  Parts availability, needs more powerPositives: Bolt-on performance parts, dynamics, features; Negatives: Parts availability, needs more power

The Mitsubishi Cedia is one of those cars that never really sold well in India despite being a very capable machine. The car changed the way we look at rallying in India and is a favourite  among enthusiasts in the country. The 2.0-litre engine may only put out 115PS but can go up significantly with a few modifications. The motor can even be mildly turbocharged if needed without having to change the internals of the engine. We looked for Cedias around the country and found many going for under Rs 3 lakh! If your looking for a car that has tremendous modification potential, is feature loaded and great dynamics, look no further.

 Skoda Octavia vRS

Positives: Unmatched performance, easy to find bolt-on performance parts; Negatives:  Expensive spares and servicePositives: Unmatched performance, easy to find bolt-on performance parts; Negatives: Expensive spares and service

The original sleeper is now more affordable. Prices have dropped considerably and there are plenty of cars that are now available for less than 3 lakh rupees. The 1.8-litre engine is turbocharged and puts out 150PS and is capable of producing more by just upgrading the ECU. The vRS even comes loaded with features such as a sunroof, stiffer suspension and 16-inch alloy wheels. Since the vRS is a cult car in international markets as well, tuners around the country offer a long list of bolt-on parts such as performance exhausts, ECU, upgraded suspension, bigger turbochargers and a lot more. All this can transform the vRS into a sportscar eater!

Honda Accord 2.4 i-VTEC

Positives: High revving motor, easily available performance parts; Negatives: Soft ride, parts availabilityPositives: High revving motor, easily available performance parts; Negatives: Soft ride, parts availability

Honda's D-segment sedan may focus more towards luxury but a few mods can transform this car into a capable machine. The 2.4 litre motor is a refined and high revving unit and produces 180PS of max power making it the most powerful used car at this price point. The Accord is known for a soft suspension setup but there are quite a few dealers offering stiffer springs that can change the dynamics of the car considerably. The Accord is sold in various international markets as well and hence a lot of cosmetic and performance parts are available with dealers in India too. Hondas command a high resale value but there are quite a few Accords that are now available for under or little above 3 lakh rupees.

Honda City (1st generation model)

Positives: Affordable performance, spares still available; Negatives: Soft suspensionPositives: Affordable performance, spares still available; Negatives: Soft suspension

One may wonder what the first generation Honda City is doing in a under 3 lakh rupees used car list. Well, there are a lot of Citys that go for as less as Rs 1.5 lakh but this means it gives one more moolah to spend on the car. Surprisingly, the City VTEC even today is the quickest accelerating car in its segment. No naturally aspirated 1.5-litre car ( not even the newer generation Citys) has been able to hit the ton in under 10 seconds. However since Honda stopped manufacturing this model in 2003, it is very hard to find cars that have clocked less kms. The City 1.3, 1.5 and 1.5 VTEC all have a lot of potential though and one can find tuners who can rebuild the car and install performance parts that can help the Honda put larger displacement cars to shame. The car is known for its soft ride and skinny tyres and we suggest one should upgrade the same before anything else.

Ford Fiesta 1.6 S

Positives: Superb dynamics, overall package; Negatives: Spares are slightly on the higher side, not many performance parts available in IndiaPositives: Superb dynamics, overall package; Negatives: Spares are slightly on the higher side, not many performance parts available in India

Think of a fast affordable Ford and its the blue Fiesta 1.6S that one first thinks of. The car is still one of the best handling cars in its segment today. The 1.6 S was a limited run so finding one isn't easy however we did find a few cars available for under Rs 3 lakh. Since it hasn't been long since production stopped, you can even find some that have clocked less kms. The 1.6-litre DURATEC engine produces only 101PS but the car's dynamics help it better cars from and above it's segment. The Fiesta then is the ideal track day tool. And if you have an even lesser budget, them one can find the regular 1.6 variants for even cheaper. A few mods can make it as much fun as the 1.6 S but coming by performance parts for this car isn't easy.

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 9.72 Lakhs
Displacement
1498cc
Transmission
Manual
Max Power(ps)
100
Max Torque(Nm)
200
Mileage
25.1 Kmpl
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 15.99 Lakhs
Displacement
1968cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
143
Max Torque(Nm)
320
Mileage
19.5 Kmpl

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