When hatchbacks were first introduced in India, competition was mostly centred on price and fuel efficiency. Today, many more parameters are considered by buyers rather than just the above two. In fact, the focus has shifted from petrol hatchbacks to diesel hatchbacks, with the latter offering better a value-for-money quotient to the buyers. At present, Chevrolet Beat and Maruti Suzuki Ritz are one of the toughest diesel powered rivals in the compact segment of the Indian auto market. The cars compete in both on pricing front and style quotient in the country.
For starters, Beat's exterior design with muscular lines of design appeal more than the Ritz. The front grille, along with the headlamps appear more aggressive than that of Ritz. A common grouse is that the Ritz’s rear pillar blocks vision while reversing the vehicle. Interestingly, both models have been highly successful in the Indian market for their respective manufacturers.
Due to the tall boy design of the Ritz, a lot of interior space has been created. Four adults get adequate legroom and headroom in this vehicle, even if they are tall. Getting in and out of the Ritz is easy due to its tall boy design. In contrast to this, the rear seats in Beat are relatively cramped for space. Whenever a driver adjusts his driving position as per height and convenience, legroom is further reduced. But the Beat does have an option of leather seats, which is not available in the Ritz.
From the inside both the cars look quite contemporary with some uniquely designed portions. For example the central console of the Ritz is of waterfall type with very conventional positioning of buttons. The Beat’s console along with the whole dashboard is way sportier and beautifully carved. The cluster behind the steering wheel is very innovative in both the cars as both features a single dial for a clean view. The tachometer which tells the rpm is placed on the dashboard right next to the steering wheel in Ritz.
Ritz gets audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, a feature which is missing on the Chevrolet hatchback. On the inside, the Beat's cockpit-like design appeals more to the young buyer, rather than the one offered in Ritz. Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) along with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) is installed as standard on Ritz, while it is optional for Beat. A USB compatible audio system with Aux-in is available on the Beat, but not on the Ritz. In short, Chevrolet's interiors look more refreshing than Maruti.
The Chevrolet Beat gets a smaller engine than the Maruti Suzuki Ritz. It has a 936 cc engine which produces a maximum power output of 58 bhp, with a torque of 150 Nm. In comparison to this, Maruti Ritz gets the 1248 cc Multijet diesel engine, capable of generating a maximum power of 75 bhp, with higher torque of 190 Nm. This allows the driver to accelerate harder in the Ritz.
Mileage is one area where the Beat outperforms the Ritz by a significant margin. Chevrolet Beat delivers an outstanding fuel efficiency of 24 kmpl, against a mileage of 21 kmpl in the Ritz. Both figures are certified as per Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
On the price front, with a bigger engine, the Ritz is more expensive, starting at Rs. 4.75 lakh, while the Beat diesel begins at Rs. 4.29 lakh. Being less expensive and with more impressive features, it is the Chevrolet Beat which is likely to influence more number of buyers in this segment. On the other hand, buyers looking for power and who do not mind the Ritz's design would like to purchase the same.