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Petrol, diesel price hike: Wagon R, S-Presso and other top CNG cars to buy in India

From Wagon R to Eeco, take a look at the top CNG cars available in the Indian market

October 31, 2021 / 12:45 PM IST
Illustration by Suneesh K.
Amid the recent rise in fuel prices, CNG cars have gone from being fleet-cab staples to a perfectly viable choice for private transport. The choices, however, aren’t evenly spread across segments, with Maruti Suzuki being the only brand to offer an extensive range of CNG options, across its portfolio. Take a look at some of the best options: (Illustration by Suneesh K)
4. Maruti Wagon R | Favourite of the middle-class, Maruti's Wagon R came in at the 4th spot as Maruti sold as many as 17,581 units of the vehicle.
Maruti Suzuki Wagon R | When it comes to practicality and ease of ownership, few cars can keep up with the heroic Wagon R. The ease of ingress and egress makes it a viable option if you have elderly family members, while Maruti’s service network and servicing costs continue to place the Wagon R on the monthly best-selling car list. The CNG-kitted option gets a frugal 998cc petrol motor, mated to a manual gearbox and under optimal driving conditions can eke out an ARAI tested mileage of 32.52 km/kg of CNG. At present, the Wagon R CNG version is available only with the LXi and LXi (O) trim | Price: Rs 5.89 lakh (Ex-showroom)
Screen Shot 2021-10-30 at 7.32.22 PM
Hyundai Grand i10 Nios | If Maruti’s models are too minimalistic for your liking, the CNG-compatible Hyundai Grand i10 Nios might be worth considering. Sure, the Sportz 1.2-litre Kappa VTVT option (the top-most CNG variant) might cost a bit more but its features list includes a reverse camera, ABS, EBD, rear A/C vents, front and rear power windows and electronically adjustable RVMs. Apart from that, the naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine offers marginally greater levels of power (65 bhp). Mileage, although more than sufficient, takes a bit of a hit at 18.9 km/kg. On the whole, however, the overall cabin quality and comfort levels are higher than those of its main competitors. | Price: Rs 7.53 lakh (ex-showroom)
maruti suzuki s presso
Maruti Suzuki S-Presso | Sitting on the opposite side of the size spectrum is the pint-sized S-Presso. Featuring the same 998cc, petrol engine found in the Wagon R and gets a meagre 58bhp of power. However, the S-Presso benefits from a lower kerb weight and higher ground clearance, upping its practicality quotient. It’s got a pretty lacklustre features list but parking sensors and bluetooth enabled sound system are included. Its appalling safety rating aside (0 star Global NCAP rating), the S-Presso is a viable option for those switching to a four-wheeler from a two-wheeler. Its claimed mileage of 32.2 km/kg is one of the best in the list, and its compact dimensions make it very easy to drive in the city. | Price: Rs 5.37 lakh (ex-showroom)
8. Maruti Suzuki Ertiga | The big 7-seater from Maruti has now entered the list at the eighth spot as its 9,982 units were sold in September.
Maruti Ertiga | The Ertiga manages to mitigate, if not outrightly solve, the issue of space constraint that plagues all CNG-compatible vehicles. With the exception of the Maruti Eeco, it’s also the only factory-fitted CNG car that can seat seven. With the rear-most seating row folded, it also adds to the storage space, while still being able to seat five. One of Maruti Suzuki’s best-selling cars in India, only the VXi petrol variant of the Ertiga can be bought with a factory-fitted CNG kit. Its 1.46-litre, naturally-aspirated petrol engine, post CNG-conversion, puts out a robust 91bhp making it a more powerful option for those looking for some extra grunt. Dashboard quality continues to be less than stellar, but on all other fronts, the Ertiga CNG is an impressive mix of frugality and comfort, with an ARAI claimed mileage of 26.2km/kg. Of the cars mentioned here, the Ertiga is the only one to have received a 3-star Global NCAP safety rating. | Price: Rs 9.66 lakh (ex-showroom)
Maruti Suzuki Eeco | Sales of the Eeco have fallen as well from 11,547 units in March to 11,469 units in April. Ranking has also dipped from sixth place in March.
Maruti Suzuki Eeco | The Eeco regularly features on the monthly “top 10 best-selling cars” list and it's easy to see why. Nothing in its price range offers the kind of space and potential for customisation as this van. Sure, the absence of extensive safety features is a cause for concern, but that hasn’t stopped it from being a popular choice for both private and commercial transport. While the CNG option is available only with a 5-seat configuration, it’s really the abundance of space that’s allowed it a spot on this list. Powered by a frugal 1198cc petrol motor, the CNG-fitted Eeco isn’t suited to linear speeds. But pretty much nothing in this price range offers the kind of utility and fuel efficiency (An ARAI tested 19.2km/kg) as this gentle giant. | Price: Rs 5.6 lakh (ex-showroom)
Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 31, 2021 12:22 pm

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