Besides being slotted as popular choices for first time car buyers, hatchbacks are a huge hit because of their compact dimensions and ease of driving. Not to mention the abundance of features that manufacturers are now offering with their cars. Key players as well as new ones in the market are all out to make the most of this opportunity. So this year, there will be even more new hatches hatching. Scroll down to see which of these are headed our way.
The A3 sedan has been a runaway success for Audi in India and the manufacturer now looks to emulate this with the hatchback version. Expected to be manufactured in India, the new A3 will take on the likes of the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The A3 hatchback, will be priced very competitively and will have interiors which will belie its price tag. Don't expect any more room at the rear than the A-Class though. We expect the Audi A3 hatchback (or the Submissive Special, as it's nicknamed in 50 Shades of Grey) to be priced around Rs 20-22 lakh.
BMW's 1 Series hasn't had the success that its SUV equivalent has. The 1 Series facelift is expected to be unveiled at a motor show this year and shortly thereafter make its way to our shores. There wouldn't be any major changes with the powertrain and the facelift will just have a couple of nips and tucks. Expect prices to increase marginally.
The diesel Coopers were launched last month and now Mini is ready to bring in the petrol variants. Expect scorching performance from this turbocharged petrol mill. The turbo petrols will be priced higher than the diesel variants and should be here by February.
The A-Class has been around for more than three years now. Just the right time for an update then. This baby Merc is also expected to debut with a facelift at one of the international motor shows and should be in India within a month or two after that. Expect updated instruments and more gadgets to play with.
We have already driven this car and at that point of time, Mercedes' response on questions regarding its availability in India was an ambiguous ''sometime next year''. We believe the new B-Class will be here in the first quarter of 2015. The exteriors and interiors have been spruced up and so have the engines. There is also the promise of more fuel efficiency and lesser emissions.
It has been spied testing innumerable times and is part of Hyundai's plans for 2015. The Elite i20 Cross will most probably be launched in the month of March and will have the same 1.4-litre diesel and 1.2-litre petrol engines from the new i20. The ground clearance could have been raised. There will be daytime running lamps though. The i20 Cross will take on the Avventura, Etios Cross and Cross Polo.
Datsun first showcased this car as a concept and promised that the car will make it to production by 2016. The concept looks daring and it is but natural that some of the lines will be toned down by the time it reaches the conveyor stage. It will be built on a new platform and will come with a petrol motor. Positioned below the Go, the price may be close to the Rs 4 lakh mark.
This will be the first hatchback that will be launched this year. The Bolt is based on the same platform as the Indica Vista and is the hatchback version of the very capable Zest sedan. It will have a turbo petrol engine, the first in the class and also a 75PS diesel motor. The interiors are also unlike any Tata hatchback and include a touchscreen navigation system as well.
The Kite will replace the Indica and is being built on a new iteration of the ageing car''s platform. It is expected that the same roomier interiors from the Indica will be carried over, however in a better package. The Kite will take the price wars in the entry-level hatchback segment to new levels.
A Nano with power steering was a reality in 2014. Now a Nano with an openable boot will be one in 2015. Yes, the concept displayed at the expo will be in production form in a few months. Tata has already started testing the Active Twist. Also, it could be the most affordable automatic car in the world with an AMT version to also make its way in the facelift. Plans for the diesel Nano are on hold as of now.
Make no mistake. This isn't the facelifted Figo. In fact, it is an all-new car which was first displayed as a concept in its sedan form few days before the expo. The Classic will be replaced by the Figo sedan. Expect new engines as well. In an attempt to capture the market, Ford is expected to price the car similar to the old Figo.
Maruti's new Celerio was the hot topic in 2014 and in 2015, the diesel variant could set the sales charts on fire. The new Celerio diesel will use an indigeniously developed 800cc motor with a fixed geometry turbo and make close to 50PS of power. At this stage, it is not clear if there will be an AMT clubbed with this motor.
The performance version of the now-discontinued Fiat 500 will be on sale soon. While we are yet to sample the car, it's a given that the turbo petrol motor will be a stonker. The interiors are also a step-up from the old 500. Since this will be a CBU, expect prices to remain high and the 500 Abarth to be a collector's item.
The Punto will also get a performance variant with the Abarth version set to debut soon. The 1.4 T-Jet from the Linea will have bumped up power configurations estimated to be around the 140PS mark, making this truly a hot hatch. Of course, the power will come with a price hike and the seemingly affordable and delectable Punto Evo will be priced north of Rs 10 lakh.
The mini-MPVish Jazz is set to make a comeback this year with production having reportedly started at the company's plant. It will come with a choice of a petrol and a diesel engine from the Amaze. This time around, expect Honda to skip steep pricing for the car and instead, position it just below the Amaze.