There are plenty of small cars coming into the country next year, but go up the price ladder a little and you'll notice that there are also going to be a lot more entry-level luxury offerings this year.
DISCLAIMER: All prices shown are estimates and are there only to give a general idea of where the car slots in rather than an exact figure.
Touted as the most affordable Mercedes-Benz, the A-Class is all set to enter out market later on in the year. The A-Class has traditionally been a very quirky hatchback, and while the latest iteration has been watered down a little, it's still a very capable car. The end product is a great looking hatch that carries the three-pointed star with pride!
When it comes in, the A-Class will most likely come with the same petrol engine as the B-Class, and in addition to that, it will also bring a diesel engine in tow (which will eventually find its way under the hood of the B-Class too)
The real kicker will be the price. At under Rs 25 Lakh, the A-Class aims to attract a lot of new blood to the brand!
Engines: A180 - 1.6-litre turbo-petrol, 121 bhp/ A200 CDI - 1.8-litre turbo-diesel, 134 bhp
Price: Rs 20-25 Lakh
When will it get here? Mid-2013
The V40 is a hatchback aimed at the likes of the BMW X1, Mercedes B-Class and the Audi Q3. This new model from the Volvo stable along with their discounts on the current models will mean that you can expect to see a lot more Volvos on the roads pretty soon.
The V40 is a pretty capable hatch, and competes very favourably against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Audi Q3, so despite not having as much badge value as the others, it's still worth looking at.
The V40 Cross Country, which is basically a raised V40 hatch with plastic side cladding may also make it here as a variant. Possible engine choices for the V40 include the 2.0-litre D3 engine sending around 160 bhp to the front wheels, while a more powerful petrol engined option may be available with all-wheel-drive later on in the year.
Engines: D3 - 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, 160 bhp
Price: Rs 28-33 Lakh
When will it get here? April-June 2013
While the A-Class will hold down the fort as the most affordable Mercedes in India, the CLA will be the most affordable Mercedes sedan.
Penned along the same lines as the current CLS-Class, the CLA is more of a four-door-coupe, featuring a racy coupe like roof-line and aggressive styling. While the CLA-Class still hasn't made its official debut, it will break cover pretty soon.
It's based on the same platform as the A-Class, so when it does come here, expect it to come with the same set of engines and priced in the Rs 25-30 lakh price range. This car will slot in below the C-Class as the new entry-level Mercedes sedan. Internationally, there's also a hotted up AMG version of this car doing the rounds, called the CLA 45 AMG, which will feature all-wheel-drive too!
Engines: 1.6-litre turbo-petrol, 121 bhp/1.8-litre turbo-diesel, 134 bhp
Price: Rs 25-30 Lakh
When will it get here? Late-2013
Audi's current entry level car happens to be the Q3 SUV, but later this year, that is all set to change. The A3, set to take on the likes of the 1 Series and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class will soon make an entry in the Indian market.
The A3 is based off VAGs MQB platform, which also underpins some pretty capable machines in the VAG stable.
It's a front wheel drive machine in base trim with all-wheel-drive available in higher trims, so you can bet it will perform just as well as the others in the Audi stable.
Plush interiors and an exterior that mimics larger Audis means that this could well be an instant hit for them provided the pricing is favourable.
Engines: 1.8 TSI, 180 bhp and 2.0-litre TDI 170 bhp
Price: Rs 18-25 Lakh
When will it get here? Mid-late 2013
In going into even more uncharted territories Audi will later bring a smaller SUV/Crossover into the mix with the Q2. While it won't exactly be an SUV in the traditional sense, think of it like a higher riding hatchback with rugged styling.
One of the main rivals of the Q2 will be the Mini Countryman, but expect the Audi to cost a fair bit less, more in the Rs 20-25 Lakh price band. Knowing Aud, this will most likely get quattro all-wheel-drive in at least one of the variants and possibly a very potent diesel engine plonked under the hood to power it.
No other details of the Q2 are out yet though, so keep your eyes open for more updates as we get them.
*Note: Representative image of Q3, not actual car!
BMW 1 Series
With Mercedes and Audi planning their own entry level cars in India, BMW isn't one to be left behind, so naturally, they pulled the smallest car in their stable (apart from the MINIs that is) and are planning on bring it down to compete with the other entry level luxury cars.
The 1 Series is fundamentally different from the other two though, in that it still retains a rear-wheel-drive layout over the more practical front-wheel-drive one. This means that the 1er is a little more cramped than the others, but will definitely be the driver's car of the lot. The most likely candidates to make it here will be the 118i petrol and the 120d diesel models. Going by BMWs history though, expect it to come specced with an 8-speed automatic as the only transmission option
All that is set to change with the next generation though, when the 1 Series will adopt a FWD platform which it will share with the MINI brand, which will make it a lot more practical and better suited to take on the other FWD hatches.
Engines: 118i -1.6-litre petrol, 170 bhp/ 118d - 2.0-litre diesel, 145 bhp/ 120d -2.0-litre diesel, 180 bhp
Price: Rs 20-25 Lakh
When will it get here? Mid-2013
With the B-Class, A-Class and the upcoming CLA-Class, Mercedes has the hatchback and sedan segment pretty much covered, but what about an entry level SUV to go up against the BMW X1 and Audi Q2/Q3?
They've got one of those planned as well. Called the GLA-Class, the new small SUV/Crossover will come in late this year/early next year and will compete directly with the Q2. In terms of size, expect it to have more or less the same interior dimensions as the A-Class, and similar styling too.
No other information about the GLA-Class is known at the moment, but you can be sure we'll keep you updated as we know more
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo-petrol, 121 bhp/1.8-litre turbo-diesel, 134 bhp
Price: Rs 30 Lakh
When will it come here? Late 2013/Early 2014
*Note: Representative photo of Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, not the actual car!