Most affordable diesel cars, SUVs in India in February 2024

    The list has a car for every buyer and includes an SUV, a hatchback and even an off-roader.

    Published On Feb 20, 2024 05:42:00 PM


    Most Affordable diesel cars, SUVs in India

    The updated Bharat Stage 6 Phase 2 emissions norms, also known as Real Driving Emissions (RDE) norms, came into effect on April 1 last year. Many manufacturers ditched diesel engines in the process as modifying them to comply with the latest emissions norms is expensive. However, there are many diesel cars and SUVs that soldier on in the market.

    Diesel engines remain one of the most frugal powertrains in the market and are great for buyers who cover long distances regularly. We have compiled a list of the most affordable diesel cars and SUVs that are still on sale in India:

    1. Tata Altroz

    Price: Rs 8.9 lakh-10.8 lakh

    Starting with the most affordable option and the only hatchback on this list, the Tata Altroz gets a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine. It produces 90hp and 200Nm of torque and is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The Altroz has an ARAI-claimed fuel efficiency of 23.64kpl, and is a good-looking hatchback with a practical and feature-laden cabin. Furthermore, it is the only diesel-powered hatchback remaining in the country. 

    2. Kia Sonet 

    Price: Rs 9.79 lakh-15.69 lakh

    The Kia Sonet is one of the most popular models in the compact SUV space and is offered with a choice of three engines – a petrol, a turbo-petrol and a diesel. Despite being pricey, the pick of the range would be the 116hp, 250Nm, 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel coupled with the 6-speed automatic gearbox. The diesel can also be paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox. One of its biggest caveats is the lack of space for rear passengers.

    3. Mahindra Bolero Neo

    Price: Rs 9.90 lakh-12.15 lakh

    Moving on to SUVs, the Mahindra Bolero Neo is possibly the closest option in the market to a non 4x4 yet quintessential SUV. Powering it is a 100hp, 260Nm, 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder turbo-diesel engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox that delivers power to the rear wheels. The fuel efficiency figure of the Bolero Neo post its BS6 Phase 2 update is not available as of now. While the Bolero Neo doesn’t offer the sophistication of a conventional urban SUV, it does have a toughness that others don’t offer at this price point. 

    4. Mahindra Bolero

    Price: Rs 9.90 lakh-11.00 lakh

    Pegged as one of India’s bestselling utility vehicles, the rugged Mahindra Bolero has been on sale for more than two decades. Under the hood, it gets a 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder turbo-diesel developing just 76hp and 210Nm of torque. Like the Bolero Neo, it is paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox that sends power to the rear wheels. 

    5. Mahindra XUV300

    Price: Rs 9.92 lakh-14.76 lakh

    Moving on to the XUV300 – the third Mahindra on this list – that gets a 117hp, 300Nm, 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. Power is delivered to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual or an AMT gearbox. The compact SUV’s diesel engine may not be the quietest of the lot, but it is smooth and delivers power in a linear manner. It is also only one of the two compact SUVs in the market with a 5-star Global NCAP rating.

    6. Hyundai Venue 

    Price: Rs 10.71 lakh-13.44 lakh

    A cousin of the Sonet, the Hyundai Venue shares the same underpinnings and powertrains, with its own distinctive styling. The Venue caters to a broad spectrum of buyers with multiple powertrain options. The 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine churns out 116hp and 250Nm of torque, however, unlike the Sonet, it is only mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The Venue diesel engine is smooth and refined at idle speeds with power delivery concentrated lower down in the rev range. 

    7. Tata Nexon

    Price: Rs 11.10 lakh-15.60 lakh

    Like the Sonet, the Tata Nexon is also a popular choice in its segment, so much so that it was India’s bestselling SUV in 2022. One of the reasons for the Nexon’s popularity could be its 5-star Global NCAP and Bharat NCAP rating. In addition to a turbo-petrol engine, the Nexon also gets a 115hp, 260Nm, 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. Like the XUV300, it also gets a choice of either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed AMT gearbox.

    8. Mahindra Thar

    Price: Rs 11.25 lakh-17.20 lakh

    The only true-blue off-roader in this list, the Thar is available with a choice of two diesel engines – a 118hp, 300Nm, 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel and a 132hp, 300Nm, 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel. While both are mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, the latter also gets a choice of a 6-speed automatic. The Thar 1.5 comes with rear-wheel drive and the Thar 2.2 comes with four-wheel drive. Like most other models on this list, the updated fuel efficiency of the Thar is currently unavailable. The Thar is not as easy to drive, practical or comfortable as a similarly priced compact or midsize SUV, thus making it a committed choice as a lifestyle vehicle.

    9. Kia Seltos

    Price: Rs 12.00 lakh-20.30 lakh

    Like its Hyundai sibling, the Seltos also gets a choice of multiple powertrains. It shares the same 116hp, 250Nm, 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine as the Creta, with two gearbox choices – a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed AT. The Seltos' diesel engine is remarkably refined and has low noise, vibrations and harshness (NVH) levels.

    10. Hyundai Creta

    Price: Rs 12.35 lakh-20.15 lakh

    The lack of diesel engines is more apparent in midsize SUVs. The Creta, along with the Kia Seltos, are the only two models that currently offer a diesel powertrain. The Creta uses the same 116hp, 250Nm 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine as the Venue, Sonet and Seltos, and gets the option of a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.The Creta diesel may not be the most exciting to drive, but it does deliver a smooth and refined drive along with a feature-laden interior.

    All price are ex-showroom, India. 

    Also see:

    10 most affordable SUVs on sale in India

    Top 10 EVs with the longest claimed range in India

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