The best selling car in this segment is Maruti Swift, with average monthly sales of 18,000 units. After that is Hyundai i20 at 10,000-12,000 average monthly sales. Polo sales average at 2,500 to 3,000 units a month.
All the cars featured in this comparo comply with the Indian government’s sub-4 metre (length) norm which fetches them a hefty excise duty concession, so dimensions are pretty close. Elite i20 is the longest car of the lot at 3,985 mm while Polo finishes second at 3,971 mm. New Jazz measures 3,955 mm in length while Swift comes in last with a length of 3,850 mm.
The pecking order changes slightly when it comes to wheelbase. Elite i20, Jazz, Polo and Swift have wheelbases of 2,570 mm, 2,530 mm, 2469 mm and 2,430 mm respectively.
Engines and gearboxes
The sub-4 metre rule applies to the powertrain department as well and hence there isn’t much difference in the petrol engine displacements. Invariably, all the cars in this comparo are powered by 1.2-litre petrol engines. The VW Polo offers a two 1.2-litre petrol units – a naturally aspirated three-cylinder motor and a turbocharged direct injection (TSI) four-cylinder motor.
VW’s 1.2L TSI emerges as the most powerful petrol motor in the segment with a healthy 105 PS. Jazz’s i-VTEC motor comes second with a power output of 90 PS, followed by Swift and Elite i20 which generate 84.3 PS and 83 PS respectively. Polo’s base three-cylinder mill finds itself at the bottom of power chart with a modest 75 PS on tap.
The German hatchback’s turbo petrol motor also clearly wins the torque game with a healthy output of 175 Nm. The popular Maruti and Hyundai hatchbacks take distance second with identical outputs of 115 Nm. At 110 Nm, Polo MPI and Jazz i-VTEC dish out the least amount of torque.
All the models save for Polo GT TSI come with 5-speed manual transmissions as standard. Polo GT boasts of an advanced 7-speed DSG automatic while new Jazz offers a stepped CVT with paddle shifters.
Polo and Jazz have 1.5-litre diesel engines with the former getting two states of tunes. Elite i20 employs a 1.4-litre oil burner while Swift settles for a 1.3-litre Fiat-sourced unit. Polo GT’s TDI motor tops the chart with 105 PS, closely followed by Jazz’s motor which is good for 100 PS. Regular Polo diesel delivers 90 PS which is identical to Elite i20 diesel. Swift diesel has the least power output at 75 PS.
Polo GT puts out a punchy 250 Nm of torque, regular Polo delivers 230 Nm, Elite i20 is good for 220 Nm, Jazz offers 200 Nm and Swift makes do with 190 Nm.
Jazz and Elite i20 diesels sport 6-speed manual transmissions while the rest are available with 5-speed manual units. None of the diesel cars in the segment get automatic option.
Out of the petrol models, Maruti Swift emerges as the most fuel efficient motor with an ARAI certfied mileage of 20.85 kmpl while Polo MPI is the least economical at 16.47 kmpl. New Jazz CVT returns 19 kmpl while the FE figures of manual variants vary from 18.2-18.7 kmpl depending on the trim level. Elite i20 petrol has a mileage of 18.6 kmpl.
Coming to diesel models, Honda Jazz clearly outwits the competition with an ARAI certified mileage of 27.3 kmpl. Swift joins in at second with a fuel efficiency of 25.2 kmpl while Elite i20 finds itself at third position, delivering 22.54. Polo’s 90 PS and 105 PS engines are good for 20.14 kmpl and 19.91 kmpl respectively.
Fully loaded variants of all these models offer ABS with EBD, dual airbags, reverse parking sensors, central locking with remote alloy wheels and fog lamps. Salient features of each car (top-end variant) are as follows.
New Honda Jazz: LED taillights, comprehensive touchscreen AVN, leather wrapped steering wheel, paddle shifters (CVT), Magic seats (flexible configuration), auto AC with touchscreen controls and reverse parking camera.
VW Polo: Automatic climate control, music system with Bluetooth, and flat bottomed steering wheel.
Hyundai Elite i20: Reverse camera, automatic headlamps, keyless entry with start/stop button, 2-DIN audio system with built-in 1GB memory, rear AC vents, automatic climate control and electrically folding ORVMs.
Maruti Swift: Music system with Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry with start/stop button and automatic climate control.
Among the petrol versions, Maruti Swift has the cheapest entry level price at INR 4.58 lakhs while Honda Jazz and Elite i20 have identical starting price points of INR 5.30 lakhs. VW Polo emerges as the most expensive petrol car in this comparo with a starting price of INR 5.33 lakhs.
As far as diesel versions are concerned, Swift is again the most affordable car of the lot with a starting price of INR 5.76 lakhs, then comes Elite i20 at INR 6.41 lakhs, Jazz at INR 6.49 lakhs and Polo at INR 6.68 lakhs. [Note: All prices aer ex-showroom, New Delhi).
For a detailed comparison, have a look at the brochures of respective cars below.