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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Last updated on: April 25, 2014 21:14 IST

Image: Ausi A3 Cabriolet.
Photographs: Courtesy, Audi

The entry-level luxury car market has boomed ever since the Mercedes B-Class made its debut in 2012.

With the A-Class soon following, the German brand had its first mover advantage. BMW and Volvo quickly followed with the 1 Series and the V40 Cross Country respectively.

However, the segment has attracted attention and a spate of launches is scheduled in the particularly meaty Rs 20 - Rs 30 lakh (Rs 2 milion - Rs 3 million) segment. Here’s a list of entrants to that segment that can be expected soon.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: Audi A3 sedan.
Photographs: Courtesy, Audi

Audi A3 sedan & A3 Cabriolet

Both cars made their Indian debut at last month’s Auto Expo 2014. Both are built on the VW Group’s MQB platform.

The A3 sedan gets a range of engine options in Europe -A 1.4-litre TFSI engine making 140 hp and 250 Nm of peak torque is mated to a 7-speed A/T, a 1.8-litre TFSI engine that produces 180 hp and 250 Nm mated to the same A/T and finally a 2.0-litre TDI engine that makes 150 hp and 320 Nm of peak torque, mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: Audi A3 Cabriolet.
Photographs: Courtesy, Audi

As for the convertible, the company at the Auto Expo had displayed only the 1.8-litre TFSI variant that is mated to either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed AT, even though it offers the car with the 1.4-liter TFSI and 2.0-liter TDI in Europe.

Both cars are expected to launch towards the middle of 2014.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: Mercedes-Benz GLA.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz GLA

Mercedes pulled a fast one on us when it showcased a production version of the compact-SUV, the Mercedes GLA, at the Auto Expo 2014.

The GLA is one of the NGCC (New Generation Compact Cars) that Mercedes had earlier promised for India.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: Mercedes-Benz GLA.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz

Mechanically, the GLA is similar to the A-Class. It gets the same 1.6-litre 156hp petrol engine on the GLA 200 variant and a 2.0-liter 211hp unit on the GLA 250.

The oil burner is the GLA 200 CDI that is powered by the familiar 2.2-litre engine delivering 136hp and 300 Nm and the GLA 220 CDI that whips out 170hp and 350 Nm using the same displacement.

At the Expo, Mercedes India boss said that all efforts of the company are now concentrated in introducing the model in India at the earliest.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: Audi Q3.
Photographs: Courtesy, Audi

Audi Q3 facelift

Some subtle model revisions are expected on the grille, headlamps, interior trims on what is, at least at present, India’s most affordable Audi model.

Audi’s member of board Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed to Indian Autos Blog in Geneva this month that a facelift is in the pipeline and that it would be showcased globally this year.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: Audi Q3 interior.
Photographs: Courtesy, Audi

The car is also expected to be launched in India early next year.

The current Q3 is powered by 2 petrol and 2 diesel engines. The facelift is likely to get some minor cosmetic changes and retain the same 2.0-litre petrol engine and the 2.0-liter diesel motor as well.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: Mercedes B-Class.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes B-Class facelift

The car that pretty much kick-started this segment in India is also in line for a facelift sometime this year, as it has already been almost three years since it was launched globally.

A reliable German site had previously reported that the B-Class facelift will be launched at the Paris Motor Show in October this year.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: Mercedes B-Class interior.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes-Benz.

However, the petrol model of the B-Class was launched in India almost a year after it was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011 and the diesel model took a further 6 months.

So we won’t be holding our breath for this one.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: MINI.
Photographs: Courtesy, MINI

2014 MINI

The 2014 MINI made its debut at the LA Auto Show and the Tokyo Motor Show last November simultaneously.

The 3-door hatchback was confirmed for India in 2014 by BMW India’s head Philip von Sahr.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: MINI interior.
Photographs: Courtesy, MINI

The base Mini Cooper comes with a 3-cylinder 1.5-litre engine that produces 134 bhp and 219 Nm of torque.

The mid-range Cooper D gets a 1.5-liter diesel motor that produces 114 bhp and 269 Nm.

The top-end Cooper S comes with a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine making 189 bhp and 300 Nm.

All 3 models get an option between a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: Mercedes C-Class.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes

New Mercedes C-Class

Even though it doesn’t necessarily fall in this category, the C-Class still remains one of the cheaper Mercedes-Benz cars money can buy in India.

The 2015 C-Class made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show this January.

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7 awesome entry-level luxury cars coming soon to India

Image: Mercedes Mercedes interior.
Photographs: Courtesy, Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz India boss, however, told Indian Autos Blog that it wouldn’t be launched in 2014.

So expect the new generation car first thing in 2015, with its two petrol and one diesel engine options.

This is also the first car to be built on the company’s MRA architecture.

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