Over the last few years, there has been a significant decline in the number of cars offered with diesel engines. There are a multitude of reasons for this, chief among them is that it has become too expensive for many carmakers to upgrade old diesel engines, or build all-new ones to comply with BS6 norms.
However, diesel engines remain one of the most frugal powertrains in the market and are a great option for buyers looking to cover many miles in their car. Additionally, even though diesel prices are at an all-time high, and fuel prices are soaring across the country, it is still significantly more affordable than petrol. Hence, we have put together a list of the ten cheapest diesels you can currently buy in India.
Price: Rs 7.42 lakh-10.14 lakh
As things stand, the Altroz premium hatchback is the most affordable diesel car on sale in our market (in terms of its starting price at 7.42 lakh). Powering the Altroz is a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that is good for 90hp and 200Nm. It can only be had with a sole 5-speed manual gearbox option and has an ARAI claimed mileage of 25.11kpl. The Altroz also offers a distinct design, and a good ride and handling balance.
Hyundai Grand i10 Nios
Price: Rs 7.75 lakh-8.37 lakh
Coming in a close second, the Grand i10 Nios misses out on the title of the cheapest diesel car by Rs 33,000. While it might seem odd that the smaller i10 Nios is more expensive than the larger Altroz, it’s worth noting that Hyundai solely offers it in the better-equipped mid-spec Sportz trim. Under the hood of the Nios is a 75hp, 1.2-litre diesel engine. The motor is refined with strong low and mid-range performance. It’s available with 5-speed manual and AMT gearboxes.
Price: Rs 7.96 lakh-9.41 lakh
Much like the Nios, the Aura sedan features the same 1.2-litre, three-cylinder diesel engine that produces 75hp and 190Nm. It can be had with either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed AMT automatic gearbox, returning a claimed ARAI mileage of 25.35kpl and 25.40kpl, respectively. The Aura’s diesel engine is fairly refined and it also offers easy manoeuvrability in city settings.
Price: Rs 8.28 lakh-10.85 lakh
The Hyundai i20 is the second premium hatchback on this list and it comes with a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that develops 100hp and 240Nm. This engine also features in a host of other Hyundai and Kia models. The new-gen i20 is spacious, comfortable, has great driving manners and is very well-equipped. In the i20, this engine is only offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Price: Rs 8.78 lakh-11.26 lakh
The Honda Amaze is available with a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that churns out 100hp and 200Nm when paired with the 5-speed manual gearbox, but the output drops to 80hp and 160Nm with the CVT automatic. The Amaze continues to be the only model in the segment to offer the unique CVT automatic and diesel powertrain combination. ARAI-claimed mileage is 24.7kpl and 21kpl for the manual and CVT, respectively.
Price: Rs 8.89 lakh-13.79 lakh
Kia’s second model in India – the Sonet – has gone on to carve out a decent amount of space in the compact-SUV segment. Its appeal lies in the lengthy features list it offers, quality cabin and the large variety of engine and gearbox configurations it can be had in. The diesel engine is a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder unit that puts out 100hp and 240Nm when paired to the 6-speed manual gearbox, while it develops 115hp and 250Nm when paired to the 6-speed torque converter automatic. Both versions provide plenty of performance.
Price: Rs 9.85 lakh-13.90 lakh
The Nexon is a comfortable and spacious compact SUV that features a unique and well-proportioned look. It also happens to offer a variety of powertrain options, including petrol, diesel and even all-electric. Focusing on the diesel on offer, it is a 1.5-litre turbocharged unit that develops 110hp and 260Nm and can be had with either a 6-speed manual or AMT automatic gearbox. The Nexon also boasts of a 5-star GNCAP crash test safety rating.
Price: Rs 9.99 lakh-11.72 lakh
Price: Rs 10.75 lakh-17.82 lakh
The Creta is the most popular SUV currently on sale in India, with regular appearance in the monthly top ten sales lists. It offers loads of features, a practical and well-laid-out cabin and bold styling. Powering the Creta is a 115hp, 250Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that can be had with a the 6-speed manual or torque converter automatic gearbox. The engine is quite refined and provides a wide spread of power and torque making it very tractable as well.
Price: Rs 10.92 lakh-15.36 lakh
Closing out our list is the Verna midsize sedan that got a significant update in 2020 that brought with it new styling, more tech and more powering options. The diesel engine under the hood is the same unit as in the Creta – a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder turbo-charged unit that is good for 115hp and 250Nm. There is a choice of both 6-speed manual and 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.
All prices – ex-showroom, Delhi