Continually increasing traffic is getting more and more people inclined towards automatic cars. And what are automatic cars? The simple definition is: an automatic car is one that does not require YOU to change gears. It changes the gear itself, automatically. There's no clutch pedal, which eliminates the need for pressing and releasing it every time you need to change a gear like you would in a manual transmission car. Therefore, automatic cars are much easier to drive and are a boon in our traffic conditions.
However, automatic cars come at a premium over their manual counterparts and, more often than not, are available only in top-end trims, making the difference look huge when compared to the same cars' entry-level manual variants. The perception that automatic cars are expensive to buy makes many skip the idea of buying an automatic car altogether.
Therefore, this article will give you a list of the cheapest automatic cars that you can buy in India. Please note that all prices mentioned here are ex-showroom, New Delhi. Also, while a manufacturer may give a fancy name to its AMT transmission in the brochures [Easy-R (Renault), AGS (Maruti), Smart Drive Auto (Datsun), and Smart Auto AMT (Hyundai)], we will just refer to them as AMTs to avoid any confusion. Please also note that all cars mentioned in this list are petrol-powered.
Datsun Redi-GO AMT
Datsun, like in our previous story, shines here again by offering the cheapest automatic car in India! The Redi-GO 1.0L AMT is priced at Rs. 4,37,065. It's available only in the top-end S trim, which means that you get all the features and equipment mentioned in the Redi-GO brochure.
In fact, simplifying the trim/variant levels is another area where Datsun excels. Unlike most companies' countless trim levels and options that confuse you, Datsun has kept it really simple. There are just three trims (D, A, and S) and two engines (0.8 L and 1.0 L) on offer.
The 0.8 L car comes only with a manual gearbox and in all three trim levels. The 1.0 L car comes only in the top-end S trim and can be had either with a manual gearbox or an AMT. Simple, isn't it?
The Redi-GO AMT comes with a three-cylinder 1.0 L engine that produces 68 PS at 5,500 rpm and 91 Nm of torque at 4,250rpm. Datsun claims a fuel efficiency figure of 23 km/l for this car.
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 AMT
At Rs. 4,38,559, the Alto K10 AMT is almost as cheap to buy as the aforementioned Datsun. The power and torque figures of both cars are nearly identical too! The Alto K10 AMT's three-cylinder engine 1.0 L engine produces 68 PS at 6,000rpm and 90 Nm at 3,500rpm.
The Maruti is longer (3545 mm) than the Datsun (3429 mm) and has a longer wheelbase as well (2360 mm vs 2348 mm). However, the Datsun is wider (1560 mm vs 1490 mm), taller (1541 mm vs 1475 mm), and has a bigger boot (222 L vs 177 L). The Datsun also has the best in class ground clearance (185 mm).
However, the Alto has something which not just the Redi-GO but any car that's not a Maruti will take a long time to match—the largest sales and service network in India. The claimed fuel efficiency of 23.95 km/l is a shade better too than the Redi-GO's.
The K10 AMT comes only in the VXi trim, which means that it gets almost all the bells and whistles you can in an Alto. We say 'almost' because unlike the manual Alto K10, there's no VXi(O) variant for the automatic Alto K10.
Kwid 1.0 L AMT
The last automatic car in the sub-five-lakh-rupee slab is the Kwid 1.0 L AMT. It's available in four top-end variants [RXT, RXT (O), Climber, and Climber(O)]. There's no base (RXE) or mid (RXL) variant.
The RXT is priced at Rs. 4,72,290 whereas the top of the line trim, Climber(O), will set you back by Rs. 5,01,190. The engine, and its power and torque figures remain identical to the first Redi-GO AMT's. However, the claimed fuel efficiency is the best in class here at 24.04 km/l.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio AMT VXI
This and the next car in this list are from a segment above when compared to the Alto, Redi-GO, and Kwid. At Rs. 5,23,100 (VXi) it's a lot more expensive than all of them too. But then you not only get more value, but also a car that feels more upmarket, for a variety of reasons, than the other three.
For example, you get power windows on all four doors as standard. You don't get rear power windows even as an option in the Alto K10 AMT and Redi-GO AMT. The Kwid has them on the options list though. The Celerio even features the "Auto Down" feature for the driver's side power window, which you don't get even as an option in the other three.
It shares its engine with the Alto K10, and even the power and torque figures are identical. However, the claimed fuel efficiency of the Celerio AMT is 21.63 km/l. This car is also available in the top-end ZXi and ZXi(O) variants at Rs. 5,48,900 and Rs. 5,58,200, respectively.
We recommend opting for the Celerio "X" AMT if the regular Celerio is too plain for you. The X is a jazzed up Celerio essentially, which will appeal more to the younger section of the buying populace. The Celerio X AMT VXi costs Rs. 5,33,100 and its top-end ZXi(O) variant is priced at Rs. 5,67,300.
Maruti Suzuki Wagon R AMT
The longest car in this list, and also the one with the longest wheelbase. Prices for the Wagon R AMT start at Rs. 5,37,500 for the 1.0 L VXi and go up to Rs. 5,94,800 for the top of the line 1.2 L ZXi. We would highly recommend the latter.
The 1.0 L is the same three-cylinder from the Alto and Celerio with the same power torque figures. The 1.2 L engine has four cylinders and produces 83 PS at 6,000 rpm and 113 Nm at 4,200rpm. Its claimed fuel efficiency is 20.52 km/l. The smaller engine's claimed fuel efficiency is 21.79 km/l.
Hyundai Santro AMT
Another four-cylinder car in this list, the Hyundai Santro AMT starts at Rs. 5.52.990 for the Magna variant, while the Sportz variant will be yours for 5,98,490.
The Santro is powered by a 1.1 L 4-cylinder engine that puts out 69 PS at 5,500 rpm and 99 Nm at 4,500rpm. It's the widest car here, and quite feature-loaded too, especially the Sportz variant.
That's the complete list of all automatic cars in India under six lakh rupees. Every other automatic car being sold in India costs over six lakh rupees.