Maximising Power and Performance: Top Diesel Cars in India for 2023

Maximising Power and Performance: Top Diesel Cars in India for 2023

Maximising Power and Performance: Top Diesel Cars in India for 2023

Get ready to rev up your engines in 2023 and explore the best diesel cars in India! Even with global pollution concerns, these torque monsters on a budget offer an unbeatable experience. Our curated list showcases economic wonders and high-mileage champs, ideal for budget-conscious drivers with soaring fuel prices. 

From city roads to highways, these cutting-edge diesel engines shine bright. Say hello to the top contenders in the Indian auto market as we bring you the cream of the crop for an exhilarating driving experience. Let’s hit the road with these efficient and powerful diesel vehicles without further ado!

ModelBody TypeFuel TypeMileageEx-showroom PriceUsed Car Price
Tata AltrozPetrol & DieselHatchback18.05 km/l for petrol and 23.64 km/l for diesel₹6.60 lakh onwards₹5.14 lakh onwards
Kia SonetDiesel, Petrol, CNGSUV18.4 km/l (Petrol), 23.9 km/l (Diesel), 26.5 km/l (CNG)₹11.30 lakh onwards ₹9.87 lakh onwards
Tata NexonDiesel, PetrolSUV24.07 km/l (Petrol), 27.5 km/l (Diesel)₹7.60 lakh onwards₹6.54 lakh onwards
Mahindra TharPetrol, DieselSUV15.2 km/l (Diesel)/ 12 km/l (Petrol)₹13.59 lakh onwards₹7.83 lakh onwards
Hyundai CretaPetrol, DieselSUV17 km/l (Petrol), 21 km/l (Diesel)₹10.87 lakh onwards₹7.6 lakh onwards
Mahindra Scorpio NPetrol/DieselSUV14 km/l (Petrol)/18 km/l (Diesel)₹11.99 lakh onwards₹8 lakh onwards
Mahindra XUV700Petrol/DieselSUV15 km/l (Petrol)/17 km/l (Diesel)₹14.50 lakh onwards₹13.10 lakh onwards
Hyundai VenueDiesel, PetrolSUV20.1 km/l (Petrol), 23.4 km/l (Diesel)₹7.68 lakh onwards₹6.95 lakh onwards
Maruti Grand VitaraSUVPetrol, CNG27 km/l (Petrol), 26 km/kg (CNG)₹10.45 lakh onwards₹7.40 lakh onwards
Hyundai AlcazarDieselSUV14.5 – 20.4 km/l₹20.09 lakh onwards ₹18.38 lakh onwards

1. Tata Altroz

Tata Altroz

Discover the ultimate blend of power and efficiency with the Tata Altroz, earning its title as one of the finest diesel cars in India. Embrace the thrill of driving with its remarkable 1.5L diesel engine, boasting an impressive 24 km/l mileage, commanding 108 bhp power output, and a robust 200 Nm of torque. The 6-speed manual or automatic transmission ensures seamless gear shifts, elevating your driving pleasure to new heights.

Not only does the Altroz excel in performance, but it also accommodates five passengers comfortably with its spacious seating capacity. Choose the perfect harmony of affordability and high performance with the Tata Altroz, and embark on an unparalleled driving experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Ex-showroom Price (Delhi): ₹6.60 lakh onwards

Used Car Price: ₹5.14 lakh onwards

Tata Altroz Key Specifications:

Engine1.2L petrol, 1.5L diesel
Mileage19 km/l (petrol), 24 km/l (diesel)
Fuel typePetrol, Diesel
Max power86 bhp, 108 bhp (turbo petrol), 88 bhp (diesel)
Max torque113 Nm, 140 Nm (turbo petrol), 200 Nm (diesel)
Transmission6-speed manual/automatic
Seating capacity5

Tata Altroz Key Features:

2 airbags 
Keyless Entry
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system

What’s Good:

  • One of the safest hatchbacks in India
  • Spacious and practical car
  • Diesel option availability 

What’s Not Good:

  • No automatic option in the turbo petrol and diesel variants
  • Six-month service interval is lower than competitors

Check out our collection of used Tata Altroz cars in India.

2. Kia Sonet


The Kia Sonet, launched in India in 2020, boasts a powerful 1,500 cc diesel engine, churning out an impressive 115 bhp and 250 Nm of torque. With both manual and automatic transmission options, this subcompact SUV offers versatility and performance on the road. Its key specifications showcase a balanced mix of fuel efficiency and power, with a commendable 23.9 km/l mileage. 

The Sonet’s stylish design and feature-packed interior make it an excellent choice for those seeking a comfortable and performance-driven ride. As one of the best diesel cars in India, the Kia Sonet stands tall, promising an exhilarating driving experience with its powerful diesel engine and ample torque delivery. 

Ex-showroom Price (Delhi): ₹11.30 lakh onwards

Used Car Price: ₹9.87 lakh onwards

Kia Sonet Key Specifications:

Key SpecificationsDetails
Maximum Power118 bhp (Petrol), 115 bhp (Diesel), 82 bhp (CNG)
Maximum Torque172 Nm (Petrol), 250 Nm (Diesel), 122 Nm (CNG)
Engine/Battery Pack1.2L turbo-charged Petrol, 1.5L Diesel, 1.2L CNG
Fuel TypeDiesel, Petrol, CNG
Transmission6 & 7-speed Automatic, 5 & 6-speed Manual
Mileage/ Driving Range18.4 km/l (Petrol), 23.9 km/l (Diesel), 26.5 km/l (CNG)
Body TypeSUV

Kia Sonet Key Features:

Key Features
6 airbags
Bose sound system
Anti-lock Braking System
Automatic Climate Control
The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system

What’s Good:

  • Spacious and comfortable interior
  • Powerful and efficient engines
  • Good safety features

What’s Not Good:

  • Higher price tag
  • Occasionally stiff ride quality
  • Some features are available only in top-end variants

Check out our collection of used Kia Sonet cars in India.

3. Tata Nexon

tata nexon

The Tata Nexon, a formidable 1,200 cc SUV, stands out with its muscular exterior and impressive diesel specs. The Diesel variant packs a punch with an 85 bhp power output and a torque of 190 Nm, making it one of the best diesel cars in India. Paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, it offers a thrilling driving experience.

This SUV doesn’t compromise on comfort either. With seating for five passengers and premium features, the Nexon ensures a delightful journey for all. Safety is a top priority, as evidenced by its 5-star rating from G-NCAP, providing peace of mind. What’s more, the Nexon proves its efficiency on the road. The Diesel variant boasts an impressive mileage of 27.5 km/l, making it an ideal choice for those seeking both power and fuel economy.

Ex-showroom Price (Delhi): ₹7.60 lakh onwards

Used Car Price: ₹6.54 lakh onwards

Tata Nexon Key Specifications:

Key SpecificationsDetails
Maximum Power118.35 bhp (Petrol), 85 bhp (Diesel)
Maximum Torque170 Nm (Petrol), 190 Nm (Diesel)
Engine/Battery Pack1.2L Revotron Turbocharged (Petrol), 1.5L Revotorq Turbocharged (Diesel)
Fuel TypeDiesel, Petrol
Transmission6-speed manual, 6-speed AMT
Mileage/ Driving Range24.07 km/l (Petrol), 27.5 km/l (Diesel)
Body TypeSUV

Tata Nexon Key Features:

Key Features
Traction control
Dual front airbags
Rear parking sensors
7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

What’s Good:

  • Attractive and modern exterior design with a solid build quality
  • Spacious cabin with good rear-seat legroom and large boot space

What’s Not Good:

  • The ride quality can be bumpy on rough roads, especially for rear-seat passengers
  • The infotainment system can be slow to respond at times

Check out our collection of used Tata Nexon cars in India.

4. Mahindra Thar

Mahindra thar

The second-generation Mahindra Thar shines as a highly sought-after off-road marvel in India, delivering an exceptional driving experience. Among its exceptional features, the diesel variant stands tall, boasting a powerful 2.2L turbocharged engine that roars with 130 bhp of power and an impressive 300 Nm of torque. This beastly diesel engine ensures remarkable performance on any terrain. 

The Thar comes standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and for those seeking more ease, a 6-speed automatic transmission is also available. With a seating capacity of 5 and a spacious boot space of 433L, the Mahindra Thar Diesel proves to be the ultimate choice for adventurers, blending power, performance, and versatility effortlessly.

Ex-showroom Price (Delhi): ₹13.59 lakh onwards

Used Car Price: ₹7.83 lakh onwards

Mahindra Thar Key Specifications:

Engine2.2L Turbocharged (Diesel)/2.0L Turbocharged (Petrol)
Fuel TypePetrol/Diesel
Maximum Power150 bhp (Petrol)/ 118 bhp (Diesel)
Maximum Torque300 Nm/320 Nm
Transmission6-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
Seating Capacity5
Mileage15.2 km/l (Diesel) / 12 km/l (Petrol)
Boot Space433L

Mahindra Thar Key Features:

4 Wheel Drive System
Multi-function steering wheel
Waterproof Touchscreen Infotainment
Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
Dual Front Airbags
ABS with EBD

What’s Good:

  • Stunning off-roading Capabilities 
  • Commanding road presence

What’s Not Good:

  • Not practical as a family car

Check out our collection of used Mahindra Thar cars in India.

5. Hyundai Creta

hyundai creta

The Hyundai Creta stands tall as one of India’s finest SUVs, and its Diesel variant truly shines. With a powerful 1.5L U2 CRDi engine, this SUV delivers 113 bhp and an impressive 250 Nm of torque, ensuring a thrilling drive. Safety is paramount, with ABS, six airbags, and all-wheel disk brakes to keep you secure on the road.

Beyond performance and safety, the Creta pampers you with cooled seats, a cabin air purifier, and a premium Bose sound system. Its 5-seater capacity and 433L boot space offer ample room for adventures. Affordably priced with premium features, the Hyundai Creta Diesel hits all the right notes for Indian consumers. Whether you’re cruising city streets or venturing off-road, this SUV delivers a reliable and enjoyable experience, making it one of the best diesel cars in India today.  

Ex-showroom Price (Delhi): ₹10.87 lakh onwards

Used Car Price: ₹7.6 lakh onwards

Hyundai Creta Key Specifications:

Engine1.5L MPi/ 1.4L Turbo GDi /1.5L U2 CRDi
Fuel TypePetrol/Diesel
Maximum Power113 bhp/158bhp
Maximum Torque250 Nm/253 Nm
Transmission6/7 Speed [Manual, Automatic (DCT), Automatic (CVT), Automatic (TC)]
Seating Capacity5
Mileage17 km/l (Petrol) / 21 km/l (Diesel)
Boot Space433L

Hyundai Creta Key Features:

Ventilated seating
Elegant dual-tone interior
Stunning panoramic sunroof
8-speaker Bose sound system

What’s Good:

  • Excellent handling that offers a premium ride experience
  • The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • 74.3% advanced high-strength steel structure that improves durability

What’s Not Good:

  • Does not have a 360° camera which is a common feature in other cars in its segment

Check out our collection of used Hyundai Creta cars in India.

6. Mahindra Scorpio-N

Mahindra Scorpio N

The Mahindra Scorpio-N, the latest generation of the popular SUV, stands out as one of the best diesel cars in India. Powered by a 2.2L 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, it delivers a mighty 172.45 bhp and an impressive 400 Nm of torque. With options for both manual and automatic transmissions, this powerhouse offers a thrilling drive on the road.

For adventure enthusiasts, select variants offer an optional 4-Wheel Drive system with terrain response modes and low ratio, perfect for tackling challenging terrains. But the Scorpio-N isn’t just about power—it comes loaded with luxury features like an electric sunroof, dual-zone climate control, and a JBL audio system with a subwoofer. With a seating capacity of 7 and a mileage of 18 km/l (diesel), the Mahindra Scorpio-N combines performance and comfort, making it a top choice among Mahindra cars in India. 

Ex-showroom Price (Delhi): ₹11.99 lakh onwards

Used Car Price: ₹8 lakh onwards

Mahindra Scorpio-N Key Specifications:

Engine2.0L/2.2L 4-cylinder, turbocharged
Maximum Power172.45 bhp
Maximum Torque400 Nm
Transmission6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
Seating Capacity7
Fuel TypePetrol, Diesel
Mileage14 km/l (Petrol) / 18 km/l (Diesel)

Mahindra Scorpio-N Key Features:

Cruise Control
Keyless Entry
Panoramic Sunroof
4 Wheel Drive System

What’s Good:

  • Great road presence
  • Better than its predecessor

What’s Not Good:

  • The petrol variant is low on mileage

Check out our collection of used Mahindra Scorpio-N cars in India.

7. Mahindra XUV700

Mahindra XUV700

The Mahindra XUV700 stands as one of India’s most sought-after cars, and the Diesel variant shines with exceptional specs. Powered by a robust 2.2L diesel engine, it delivers an impressive 185Ps of power and a whopping 450 Nm of torque, ensuring a thrilling and reliable driving experience. You have the option to choose between a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox, and the All-Wheel-Drive system adds to its versatility.

The XUV700 boasts a seating capacity of 7 and comes in the Adrenox and MX trims, each offering a unique driving experience. Alongside the powerful diesel engine, there’s also a 2.0L Turbo-petrol engine with 200 bhp power and 380 Nm of torque. With these top-notch diesel specs and advanced features, the XUV700 stands as one of the best diesel cars in India today.

Ex-showroom Price (Delhi): ₹14.50 lakh onwards

Used Car Price: ₹13.10 lakh onwards

Mahindra XUV700 Key Specifications:

Engine2.2-litre Turbo, 2.0-litre Turbo
Maximum Power185 bhp (Petrol)/200 bhp (Diesel)
Maximum Torque450 Nm (Petrol)/380 Nm (Diesel)
Transmission6-speed Manual or 6-speed Automatic
Seating Capacity7
Fuel TypeDiesel/Petrol 
Mileage15 km/l (Petrol)/17 km/l (Diesel)

Mahindra XUV700 Key Features:

Level 2 ADAS
Panoramic sky roof
12-Speaker Sony Audio System with subwoofer

What’s Good: 

  • Satin-Chrome Grille
  • Diamond-cut alloy wheels
  • mStallion engine

What’s Not Good: 

  • Third-row seating feels cramped and offers very limited leg space

Check out our collection of used Mahindra XUV700 cars in India.

8. Hyundai Venue

Hyundai Venue Electric

The Hyundai Venue’s diesel variant stands out as one of India’s best diesel cars today. With an attractive price and excellent value for money, it’s a top choice for budget-conscious buyers. Its remarkable mileage of around 23 km/l ensures fewer trips to the fuel station, making it economical for long journeys.

Under the hood, the 1.5-litre diesel engine packs a punch with 100 bhp power and a peak torque of 240 Nm, offering impressive acceleration and easy overtaking on both city roads and highways. The Venue boasts desirable features like a multi-function steering wheel, touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, and more, enhancing comfort and safety on the road. Experience its performance and fuel efficiency firsthand for an exhilarating drive!

Ex-showroom price (Delhi): ₹7.68 lakh onwards

Used Car Price: ₹6.95 lakh onwards

Hyundai Venue Key Specifications:

Key SpecificationsDetails
Maximum Power118.41 bhp @ 6000 rpm (Petrol), 113.98 bhp @ 4000 rpm (Diesel)
Maximum Torque172 Nm @ 1500-4000 rpm (Petrol), 250 Nm @ 1500-2750 rpm (Diesel)
Engine/Battery Pack1.2L Kappa Dual VTVT Petrol, 1.5L U2 CRDi Diesel
Fuel TypeDiesel, Petrol
Transmission5-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
Mileage/ Driving Range20.1 km/l (Petrol), 23.4 km/l (Diesel)
Body TypeSUV

Hyundai Venue Key Features:

ADAS Level 2
Lane Departure Warning
Engine Start/Stop Button
Automatic Climate Control
Anti-Lock Braking System
Multi-function Steering Wheel

What’s Good:

  • Stylish and modern design
  • Spacious and comfortable interior
  • Advanced safety features, including six airbags and ESP

What’s Not Good:

  • No diesel-automatic transmission option
  • Rear seat space is tight for taller passengers
  • The infotainment system can be slow to respond

Check out our collection of used Hyundai Venue cars in India.

9. Hyundai Alcazar

Hyundai Alcazar

The Hyundai Alcazar stands out as a stylish and feature-rich SUV, offering a reliable and enjoyable driving experience. Its voice-enabled smart panoramic sunroof adds a touch of luxury and convenience. The true highlight lies in its powerful 1.5-litre diesel engine, delivering impressive on-road performance. With three drive and traction control modes, the Alcazar ensures enhanced versatility.

Step inside, and you’ll be captivated by the exciting interior. The SUV boasts an impressive selection of 64 ambient lighting colour options, allowing you to personalise the atmosphere according to your preferences. Moreover, the dual-tone cognac brown seating exudes elegance and ensures premium comfort for all passengers. Embodying sophistication and performance, the Hyundai Alcazar is a top contender among the best diesel cars in India.

Ex-showroom Price (Delhi): ₹20.09 lakh onwards

Used Car Price: ₹18.38 lakh onwards

Key Specifications of Hyundai Alcazar:

Key SpecificationsDetails
Maximum Power113 bhp
Maximum Torque250 Nm
Engine/Battery Pack1.5-litre diesel engine
Fuel TypeDiesel
Transmission6-speed Manual and Automatic
Mileage/ Driving Range20.4 km/l
Body TypeSUV

Key Features of Hyundai Alcazar:

Key Features
Voice-enabled smart panoramic sunroof
Puddle lamps with Hyundai logo projection
Advanced Hyundai Blue Link ‘Connected-Car’ technology

What’s Good:

  • Complete safety kit including six airbags, ESP, auto-hold, and all-wheel disc brakes
  • 200mm ground clearance that is ideal for Indian roads

What’s Not Good:

  • Third-row seating can only accommodate children
  • Auto wipers missing

Check out our collection of used Hyundai Alcazar cars in India.

The Bottom Line

With an array of remarkable choices, the bottom line reveals some of the best diesel cars in India. The Tata Altroz impresses with its fuel-efficient options and affordable pricing, making it a practical hatchback. Meanwhile, the Kia Sonet takes the spotlight as a versatile SUV, offering various fuel options and exceptional mileage. The Tata Nexon shines with its fuel efficiency and spacious design, providing a reliable and comfortable SUV experience.

For those seeking adventure, the Mahindra Thar stands tall with its diesel engine option and off-road capabilities. The Hyundai Creta and Venue offer reliable performance, with the Creta boasting a larger size for families. Overall, these diesel cars blend economy and power to elevate your driving journey.


Q. What are the lowest-priced Diesel cars in India?

Among the cars listed here, the lowest-priced diesel cars are the Tata Altroz, starting from ₹5.14 lakh, and the Maruti Grand Vitara, starting from ₹7.40 lakh.

Q. What are the advantages of choosing a diesel car over a petrol car in India?

Choosing a diesel car over a petrol car in India offers advantages like better fuel efficiency and lower running costs, making it cost-effective for long-distance travel.

Q. Which car models offer the best fuel efficiency?

The car models with the best fuel efficiency are the Tata Nexon, offering 27.5 km/l for diesel, and the Tata Altroz, offering 23.64 km/l for diesel.

Q. Which car models offer the longest driving range on a single tank of diesel?

The car model with the longest driving range on a single tank of diesel is the Tata Nexon, with a mileage of 27.5 km/l.

Q. How do these cars compare to other cars in their respective classes in terms of performance, comfort, and overall value for money?

These cars compare favourably to other cars in their respective classes, offering good performance, comfort, and overall value for money. The Tata Nexon, Kia Sonet, and Hyundai Venue stand out as strong contenders in their segments.