In a country like ours, where fun and family almost stand synonymous, comfort precedes looks when it comes to travel and drives. Thus, a traditional 5-door hatchback certainly suits the Indian requirements well, but a slick, uber-cool 3-door spinoff can also have its own advantages. The heavy traffic and the subsequent trauma in handling bigger cars highlight the idea of smaller, smarter rides.
Times are changing and so are the sensibilities of the auto enthusiasts. With more affluence and exposure, the next-gen car enthusiasts are now open to the efficient, smart-looking variants of conventional cars, as first or even second cars.
MINI Cooper S
March 2015 saw the launch of MINI’s 3 Door Cooper S in India. Available at a whopping 34.65 lakhs (INR) in both petrol and diesel variants, and only in the 3-door version, the S variant is indeed the most recognized version of Cooper model. The sporty, feisty vehicle has a smooth kick-in and gives the quick reminder of BMW technology at work. The head-up display, parking-assist and the aptly placed rear mirrors that come to the driver’s quick aid are other noteworthy features. While the legroom in the back is good enough, getting there isn’t as easy as the front seats slide only a little. All in all, the car looks funky and cool from the outside and premium and plush inside.
The GTI is the first 3-door variant of Volkswagen Polo on Indian roads. The cool, sporty 3-door Polo is easy to ride and handle, and has comfortable rear seating alongside. It comes at a starting price of 20.69 lakh INR and offers a wonderful mileage of 16kmpl. The hassled urban commuters, who find trouble maneuvering their bigger cars in traffic-laden roads and lanes, find relief with this smaller car that sits low and hunkered down on the ground. The real winning feature, however, is the potent engine and the solid performance it delivers.
Swift is hands down the most successful and widely sold product of the company in India. A slick, 3-door version should be the next, obvious promotion of the established hatchback original. The front and rear have both undergone transformation with new bumpers and restyled lights, along with more technological features.
Hyundai i20 Elite
The Elite i20 with fewer (read 3) doors definitely looks nicer. Hyundai launched (in select markets) this variant with a 1-litre, turbocharged petrol engine and can go up to a cool 0-100kmph in barely 10.2 seconds. The petrol version of Elite i20 starts at 5.29 lakh INR, diesel at 6.71 lakh INR and the models are available in many colors both in single and two tones.
When the mention of 3-door vehicles comes, who can forget the Jeep Wrangler in its original 3-door avatar? The Fiat-owned automaker Jeep is bringing the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited which is built on an extended platform of the 3-door variant and is an awesome and cool drive with a strong 3.6 liter petrol unit. It is one up the classic Wrangler due its extended wheelbase that aids in third-row seating.
The 3-door cars may not be too much in the limelight but they do provide a ‘different’ look and experience that most car buffs love. Here’s looking forward to many more such models in the New Year!