Fuel economy is probably one of the most important factors that an average Indian buyer considers while buying a new car. Even though there is a huge change in the buying pattern and many leaning towards luxury and performance over mileage-oriented cars, for a majority of these customers, fuel efficiency is still a major determining factor. While diesel cars have proven highly fuel efficient when compared to petrol models, there are hardly any good options when it comes to the entry-level hatchbacks. And this is where CNG-powered cars come in.
Cars that run of Compressed Natural Gas, or commonly known as just CNG, is currently one of the most fuel-efficient models in the country. There is a huge demand or CNG-powered cars among Indian buyers and while initially, car owners could only get it retrofitted from private sellers, seeing the lucrative market, a few carmakers also started offering company fitted CNG cars. Sadly right now there are only five entry-level hatchback cars in the market that come with company fitted CNG kits, and four out them are made by Maruti Suzuki. Hyundai used to offer CNG variants of the i10 and Grand i10, but currently the CNG models are only sold in the fleet market. While a lot of carmakers are yet to enter this niche yet profitable segment, here are the five models that you can currently in India.
Tata Nano eMax
Price: ₹ 2.82 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
When it comes to affordable entry-level cars, we cannot leave the Tata Nano name out of the list. Along with the regular Nano, Tata Motors also offers a CNG-powered model christened - the Nano eMax. Priced at ₹ 2.82 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Tata Nano eMax is powered by the same 624 cc, 2-cylinder petrol engine as the regular Nano, but this one comes paired with a CNG kit. While running on CNG, the engine makes 32.5 bhp and develops 45 Nm of peak torque. The motor comes mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox as standard. The Nano eMax is based on the XM variant and offers a fuel efficiency of 36 km/kg.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 CNG
Price: ₹ 3.67 lakh to ₹ 3.77 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Maruti Suzuki offers CNG option for most of its hatchback models sold in India and the Alto 800 is the most affordable option among them. Like in the Nano eMax the CNG kit comes paired with the 799 cc, three-cylinder petrol engine that makes 30.1 bhp and develops 60 Nm of peak torque. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard. Maruti offers the CNG option only with the LXI variant, which also gets optional driver side airbag. The car offers a fuel efficiency of 33.44 km/kg.
Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 CNG
Price: ₹ 4.06 lakh to ₹ 4.16 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The more powerful Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 also comes with a CNG option. The tried and tested 1.0-litre K-Series engine is paired with the CNG kit that churns out 58.5 bhp and 78 Nm of peak torque. A 5-speed manual gearbox is offered as standard and the Alto K10 also comes only in the LXI variant. The CNG-powered Alto K10 returns a mileage of 32.26 km/kg.
Maruti Suzuki Wagon R CNG
Price: 4.65 lakh to ₹ 4.88 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The CNG variant of the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R is probably one of the top selling CNG hatchbacks in the country, mainly because of its increasing demand in the fleet segment. This is understandable considering the standard WagonR itself is quite popular for its tall boy stature and spacious cabin. The WagonR also comes powered by the 1.0-litre K-Series petrol engine paired with the CNG kit that makes 58 bhp and develops 77 Nm of peak torque. The transmission duties are handled by a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard. Like in the Alto twins, the CNG-powered Wagon R is also only offered with the LXI variants and offers a fuel efficiency of 26.6 km/kg.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio CNG
Price: ₹ 5.0 lakh to ₹ 5.12 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Christened the Maruti Suzuki Celerio Green, it is currently the most expensive CNG-powered in the list. Unlike its cousins, the Celerio Green is based on the VXI model of the standard Maruti Suzuki Celerio. Powered by the tried and tested 1.0-litre K10B engine that makes 58 bhp and 78 Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to 5-speed manual gearbox as standard and offers an impressive fuel efficiency of 31.79 km/kg.