Best diesel AT SUVs for Rs 15 lakh: Reliable & fuel efficient options

It will be daily driven and could cover up to 3000 km per month.

BHPian knightfurry recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Dear Bhpians,

Never thought I would post in the what car section as I’m ‘the go-to guy’ for car/bike suggestions in my family and friends. But I’m in a tough situation. My and wife are not able to decide on a car for our daily runs.


I stepped into the driving world with a Ritz diesel. The torque was addictive and I loved it thoroughly. After about 1.2L on ODO, I upgraded to Ecosport Diesel Manual. Drove it for 6 years/ 80K kms sold it and got a diesel Compass S. Six months after selling my Ecosport I regret my decision. Don’t get me wrong, Compass is an excellent car and very reliable. I have done 20K in less than 10 months and have loved every mile with it.

Current Scenario:

Now there are two main problems with my current usage:

So we arrived at a decision to purchase a new city runner.


Our requirements are simple Sasta. Sundar. Tikau.

In short, I’m searching for Diesel Auto Ecosport.

Options Considered

Please help me end this dilemma with your valuable suggestions.

Here’s what BHPian saikishor had to say on the matter:

Go for the Sonet eyes closed. It is the only proper diesel auto on the affordable side of the market. I think you can get hold of the mid-HTX variant within your prescribed budget.

Except for the questionable safety, the Sonet is a very desirable car. I was very apprehensive when my relatives decided on the Sonet due to the safety factor. But after driving it my opinion changed completely. It has very good interiors, an attractive design and a refined, punchy and efficient engine. And let’s not forget the top-notch service experience that Kia provides.

Since you already have a Compass, I would suggest you go for the Sonet.

Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:

Your mileage figures are pretty low. Is your car an automatic? If not, get it checked. My manual Compass gives 13-14kmpl in city conditions and up to 20 km/l on highways. An easy hack to improve city mileage, at the cost of a bit of ride comfort, is to bump up your tire pressures. Run at 38psi cold, your FE will increase by 2-3kmpl. The compass needs 4-wheel alignment, and it is very easy for the rear wheels to lose alignment without you noticing. You’ll only observe low fuel efficiency and a minor reduction in pick-up. Get this checked.

There is no scenario in which a downgrade from Compass to something like a Sonet makes sense. Sonet is a little more efficient, but a lot less of a car otherwise in every way possible. No point looking at the Nexon at this time either, a major model change is just a few months away. Thar is pricey, uncomfortable, and as (in)efficient as a Compass AT.

If you are looking for a car to cut back on city driving expenses, you basically have just two real choices. EV or CNG. CNG gives a lot more options, but they are all manual. If the manual is OK, get the new Altroz iCNG with your eyes closed. If you insist on the convenience of automatic, you will have to consider aftermarket conversions. In the EV space, it is best to wait for the upcoming Punch EV. Either way, keep the Compass for highway duties.

If you are clear on letting the Compass go, the ideal replacement for your kind of running is the hybrid. Hyryder hybrid base S model suits your requirements, comes with all essential equipment and is within 10% of your stated budget.

Here’s what BHPian batish had to say on the matter:

Except for Diesel, Vitara Brezza ticks all your boxes. It is SUVish, has ample features, a reliable AT Gearbox and good mileage. On top of that, no worry about parts or service. Reliable and compact. Moreover, compatible with BS 6.2 norms.

Test drive it once. See if it works for you.

Here’s what BHPian PaddleShifter had to say on the matter:

I have divided your post into two parts. The part above the dotted line lists the problem/ requirements, i.e.

  1. Finding a city car.
  2. Should be able to ferry goods for business at times.
  3. Can be handed over to employees.
  4. A daily runner (in the city)- implies that mileage matters.

The part below the line lists the options. But here you are worried about safety and highway usage. I assume that the car will also see “some” highway usage? Would you consider Thar for city use that can be handed over to your employees?

Considering that you already have a Compass for highway runs, you should keep your original need in mind, i.e. everyday use car that can handle goods and can also be handed over to employees.

This will allow you to pick between the two obvious choices, the Sonet Diesel TC or the Nexon (EV). These are the cars you actually need.

Brezza petrol won’t return more than 10-11 km/l under any circumstances in city usage and 16-18 km/l on highways. Your Compass diesel is a much better highway companion in that sense.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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