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So you have finally found some semblance of establishment in the big city that you moved to a few years ago, with a steady job, a decent rented apartment, money invested in all the right places. Now it’s time to take a step further into the adult world and streamline your life by investing in a car.

In fact, at this point, the idea of driving yourself to your destination surrounded by the cool comfort of your very own snazzy ride rather than jostling for space in buses and trains may seem like the reward you so rightly deserve. However, assuming that you’re still on a budget and considering that this is a rather big investment, getting your money’s worth is of utmost importance; as are the size of the car (to enable you to zip through city traffic), ease of maintenance, use of technology and the aesthetics (something that complements your style and personality). We rounded up five cars for you that check all the boxes, making them the perfect picks for your initiation into the world of automobiles.

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Renault Kwid

With driver side air bags and a central locking system, Renault’s Rs 2.62 lac (base model) hatchback has the safety angle down pat. A 799-cc, three-cylinder engine and a mileage of 25kmpl make the Kwid great for zipping down city roads in style. Mumbai-based creative director, Pratim P., 35, says, “The Kwid makes for an incredibly smooth drive, making it perfect for long drives or road trips.”

Tata Tigor

Marketed as India’s first “style-back”, the Tigor attempts to redefine the compact sedan category, emerging as a stylish cross between a hatchback and a sedan. Intelligently engineered with stylish design and ample legroom, the Tigor has a capacity of 1.2 litres for the petrol version and 1.05 litres for diesel. Hyderabad-based car expert Rishabh Agarwal, who writes a blog called Auto by Rishabh, says, “The Tigor offers a unique appealing design and is more than just a hatchback with a boot. It adds practicality with its large usable boot and spacious interiors. The dash is modern and up-to-date with contemporary cars, the ride and handling are great and the starting is well weighed.” Starting at Rs 4.7 lac for the Revotron (petrol variant) and Rs 5.6 lac for the Revotorq (diesel variant), Tata Tigor comes in six yummy colours, from Copper Dazzle to Berry Red.

Tata Tiago (Automatic)

The Tiago “Easy-Shift” AMT, starting at Rs 5.39 lac, is an automated manual transmission, which means you don’t have to bother with pressing the clutch to change gears. Available in the petrol variant, it has a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder engine, making it rather powerful for the money you will be shelling out. With a mileage of 23.84 kmpl, the automatic version is a good buy. If you’re looking for something a little more robust with a higher mileage, the manual version of Tata Tiago is also available, with the diesel version offering a mileage of 27.28 kmpl.

Maruti Suzuki Alto

The “Nokia” of cars, Maruti, is always a safe bet. With the new Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, you’re in for a smooth, colourful ride. Available in five electric colours ranging from Mojito Green to Blazing Red, the Alto sure makes one hell of a style statement. With a mileage of 24.7 kmpl for the petrol variant and 33.4 kmpl for the CNG variant, the Alto 800 sure knows how to pack a punch. Topping off fun and safety with efficiency, it comes with three cylinders and a capacity of 796 cc. “With Maruti, you always know you’re in safe hands. From the ancient Maruti 800 to the new Alto, safety and reliability are a given in every model,” says Dhruv J, 29, a doctor.

Volkswagen Polo

A classic, the Polo still holds its own in a market of newer and faster cars. With precise German engineering and a clean design, the Polo finds its fans among connoisseurs of the vintage and new-age retro buffs. The fifth-generation Polo is available in a 1.2L, straight three, 12-valve petrol tank, along with a diesel variant.

While comfort and style are important to millennials, our increasing carbon footprint has made it imperative for us to care about the eco-friendliness of the gadgets we use. Most cars are available in a CNG variant, which is easy on the atmosphere, as well as on your car. Make sure to make a responsible choice for your first car. After all, firsts don’t come again.

Image Credit: tigor.tatamotors.com

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