#1 -Tata Nano: 4-door hatchback. India. $2,497. You know already the specs: 0.6 liter, 2-cyl (non-opposed), 33 HP and a fuel economy (combined) of about 5 l/100 (47 mpg). This car is well thought out, and lots of patents have been resulted from the creation process, from the Nano's powertrain to the assembly process itself. Will this car ruin the world? Some voices say that more cars on the roads imply more pollution, which is hard to argue against. On the other hand, Tata is betting that a green sheen won't hurt. The company will offer this model with Euro III compliant emissions from the start and with Euro IV compliance in the near future. This car is well thought out, and lots of patents have resulted from the creation process -- from the Nano's powertrain to the assembly process itself. Will this car ruin the world? Some voices say that more cars on the roads imply more pollution, which is hard to argue against.
#2 Chery QQ: 4-door hatchback. China. $4,781 It's almost twice as expensive as the cheapest car on the this list, but that doesn't stop it from coming in at #2. This car sparked some trademark issues because of similiarites to the Daewoo/Chevrolet Matiz (also known as the Spark in some markets). The Chery QQ is made in China as well as Iran and Sri Lanka. Until the Tata Nano actually arrives, it will remain the cheapest car you can buy.
The QQ is powered by a 0.8-liter, 3-cyl engine which is good for 51 HP. There's a 1.1-liter I4 that produces 67 HP. Mileage figures aren't totally clear on the Chery website, but they fluctuate between 5 and 6 liters per 100 km (47 to 40 mpg), which isn't bad at all. it.
Until the Tata Nano arrives, the Suzuki Maruti 800 will be the cheapest car you can buy in India and in other nearby countries (and even South America). Some versions of the Maruti have been sold arrived in Europe and this inexpensive machine is called the "smallest car in production" for good reason: it's a really small car.
Power comes from a 0.8-liter 3-cylinder engine, which gets about 45 HP. Unfortunately, like some of the other misers on this list, the Maruti 800 needs 6.5 liters of gasoline for every 100 km of average driving (which comes to 38 mpg). Luckily, the driver can improve the economy to just 6 liters per 100 km (40 mpg) by turning off the A/C unit.
#4 - Geely MR: 5-door. China. $5,500
Very similar to the HQ (coming next at position #5), the Geely MR has its roots in the Daihatsu Charade from the mid-'80s. The difference is that this car can be fitted with more "sporty" powertrains. Besides the standard 1.3-liter, 4-cyl, 86 HP, there's an optional 1.5-liter good for 94 HP, an upgrade that makes the MR still good for about 35 mpg.
#5-Geely HQ SRV: 5-door "tall" estate. China $5,780