The Bajaj Qute is India's first-ever quadricycle. The overall design and utility lie somewhere between that of a three-wheeler rickshaw and a proper four-wheeler. Bajaj Auto has been manufacturing the Qute in India for a while now for export markets but now, the company has finally launched it in India. The Bajaj Qute first debuted at the 2012 Auto Expo, with the production version showcased in 2016 at a special event. It was only in 2018 that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways approved the creation of a new class of vehicles called the quadricycles which now means that the Qute is finally road legal in the country and can be used for both commercial and personal use.
The Bajaj Qute is powered by a 216 cc, single-cylinder, twin-spark engine which is available as a mono-fuel version. That means you can either get it in petrol form, or CNG, not both. The petrol version puts out around 13 bhp at 5500 RPM and 18.9 Nm at 4,000 RPM. Bajaj reckons the CNG variant will be the bigger seller. The CNG variant puts out just over 10 bhp of power and around 16 Nm of peak torque, and the engine is paired to a five-speed gearbox. The Bajaj Qute is available in six colours: green, blue, yellow, white, red and black. For now, the Qute is only available in six states - Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala, Odhisa, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Bajaj Auto plans to roll out 5000 units/month from its Aurangabad Plant and it is to be priced between Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakhs.
More stable and safer than an auto-rickshaw
Better weather protection than a rickshaw
Small footprint, convenient for parking or manoeuvering
High claimed mileage of 35 kmpl
Low running cost, much lower than a conventional car
Sequential gearbox makes changing gears easy
Closed cabin and lack of a blower makes it steamy when idle
No air conditioning/heating or blowers
No improvement in storage for larger objects over an auto-rickshaw
Available in CNG version
Provides better weather protection than an auto-rickshaw
Offers seating for four, including the driver
Claimed fuel economy of 35 kmpl on petrol and 43 km/kg with CNG
The prices of the Bajaj Qute variants start at Rs. 9.11 lakh and the CNG variant is priced at Rs. 12.68 lakh. Renault Lodgy is available in 7 variants and 5 colours. It is only available with a diesel engine and manual transmission and there is still no word about a petrol engine or an automatic gearbox version. Standard features include a low fuel warning light, an accessory outlet, a vanity mirror, and a lane change indicator.
Price Manual (Ex-Delhi)
Rs 2.48 lakh
Rs 2.78 lakh
The Qute CNG will be the variant to go as it is more fuel-efficient than the Petrol variant. It will be a good option to replace the diesel autorickshaw's but the CNG variant occupies space below the seat to occupy the huge tank. The Qute Petrol just comes with the petrol engine and is less fuel-efficient than the Qute CNG.
The Qute is powered by a 216.6cc, liquid-cooled DTS-i engine which can run on petrol, CNG and LPG. It makes a decent 13PS/19.15Nm while running on petrol, 10.8PS/16.1Nm on CNG, and 12.4 PS/18.2Nm when powered by LPG. It comes mated to a 5-speed sequential gearbox (like in motorcycles) and you only have to push the lever up for an up-shift, and pull down for a downshift. The throw of the gear stick felt a little long and heavy and is something that you will have to get used to. There is a clutch, but it’s pretty light with a short throw.
Because the Qute weighs only 465kg(petrol), the power feels just enough to make quick overtakes and keep up with the traffic slightly better than an auto-rickshaw. But when it comes to drivability, the Qute excels as it picks up easily from 30kmph in third and from 40kmph in fourth gear, which will negate the need to shift too frequently in the city.
Maruti Suzuki Alto
51 Nm@4000 rpm
No Of Cylinders
0 - 100 kmph (secs)
The Bajaj Qute is properly made for intracity travelling with a greater sense of security for the occupants. The car can reach up to a max speed a restricted 70 kmph in the 5th gear. As the vehicle is lightweight hence it is really easy to manoeuver it on congested roads. It is not fair to compare the Bajaj Qute with the Maruti Suzuki Alto or for that fact even with the Tata Nano. The Qute is India's first Quadricycle whereas the Nano and Alto are cars and they have more power and torque figures than the Bajaj Qute.
The Qute cannot accelerate up to 100 kmph as the Qute's top speed is 70 kmph. So the acceleration is measured from 0-60 with the other two cars. And frankly, we don't see the point in having triple-digit speeds for the Qute, as you will seldom get tarmac to stretch it.
The linear torque curve and limited top speed make it a perfect urban rider, that can drive all day long without a hiccup. Filtering through traffic is not an issue, due to its small footprint. It is smart of Bajaj to limit top speed at 70 kmph, as the vehicle tends to unsettle at high speeds due to low kerb weight and tall-body design.
Maruti Suzuki Alto
10.8 @ 5500rpm
37.48 bhp @ 5500rpm
47.3 @ 6000rpm
16.1 @ 4000rpm
51 @ 4000rpm
69 @ 3500rpm
0 - 60 kmph (secs)
The Bajaj Qute takes its own sweet time to reach the 60 kmph at 29 seconds whereas the Tata Nano reaches the mark at 17 seconds andMaruti Suzuki Alto does it in 12.5 seconds. The performance handicap doesn't make much of a difference due to limited freedom to stretch its legs and the Qute would seldom be a person's choice for long-distance travel.
This is the one area where the Qute completely outshines the traditional three-wheeler. In terms of handling, the addition of the fourth wheel has helped it gain more stability. Under hard braking, there is a lack of feedback from the pedal, and because of the lack of ABS, the tyres have a tendency to lock up. A more progressive brake feel would have made for a much more stable braking experience. The Qute rides on 135/70 R12 MRF ZECs which offer good grip and give the driver a greater sense of confidence compared to an auto-rickshaw. It gets a monocoque chassis which uses high-strength steel and helps it feel a lot more car-like. It even feels a lot more planted while making sharp turns and will not tip over as easily as a three-wheeler. This gives both the driver and the passengers more confidence and peace of mind. However, it is not as good as traditional cars like Alto or Nano when it comes to Ride and Handling.
Even when it comes to ride-quality, yes, you do feel sharp bumps inside the cabin, but it’s nothing close to the harshness of a three-wheeler. The ride is a lot more supple and especially over a broken patch of road, it remains more composed and offers a better experience. the Bajaj Qute is properly made for intracity travelling with a greater sense of security for the occupants. The car can reach up to a max speed a restricted 70 kmph in the 5th gear. As the vehicle is lightweight hence it is really easy to manoeuver it on congested roads.
The Qute comes with four drum brakes at each of its four tyres and that's pretty much everything to say about the Qute's braking performance. The Qute does not come with ABS, EBD and Airbags. Anyway, the Qute is safer compared to three-wheel autorickshaws but when compared to Alto and Nano, the Qute is far from being considered as safe.
But for a vehicle with a kerb weight of 451 kg, the drum brakes are ample to instil confidence for the driver. The drum setup provides with ample bite but can lose out on performance on the long run due to heat.
Maruti Suzuki Alto
Kerb Weight (kg)
Alto 800 is the only one of the lot, that comes with a disc-drum setup and it also explains the added cost. Bajaj Qute has an edge over the rest with its extremely less kerb weight and thus also adds up to the braking performance.
The figures of the Bajaj Qute are very impressive when you consider the car’s size and weight. The petrol motor when combined with CNG provides 35 kmpl and with its 35 litres fuel tank, the range of Bajaj Qute is 1225 kilometres. As Bajaj Qute is an eco-friendly vehicle with low CO2 emissions it can deliver a fuel efficiency of 43 km/kg which comes out to be 65% than the cars in the same segment. Whereas in the case of the petrol variant, the Qute is able to deliver a max fuel efficiency of 35 kmpl.
Maruti Suzuki Alto
Fuel Efficiency (ARAI)
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres)
Maruti Suzuki stays true to its DNA of making the fuel-efficient cars in the market and it comes second with 864 kilometres of range but still, the Qute trumps the Alto in terms of fuel economy but it is the Maruti Suzuki Alto which is comfortable and safer.
The Bajaj Qute is a quadricycle and has a footprint almost similar to that of a three-wheeler. To keep the overall weight of the car low, the bonnet and doors are made of plastic. A good thing here is that any damage to these doors can be fixed without having to replace the entire unit. The headlights are basic bulbs, underlined by indicators. Under the hood is actually the boot, as the engine is mounted at the rear. The vents just above the bumpers direct air towards the driver’s footwell and the left C-pillar.
The Qute is mostly about carrying passengers for short distances within a short time. It is built like one and the dimensions are pretty much enough to prove that with its small structure. The Qute was made with the mind to replace a traditional autorickshaw and not a car. So it is comparatively shorter, narrower but it is taller than almost all of its competitors. The Bajaj Qute indeed has a very cute appeal with a monocoque body with impact-resistant plastic closures. The car comes with ORVM’s at both sides which can be adjusted manually.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800
Kerb Weight (kg)
Equipped with wipers and washing system, Qute can ease out the hectic to drive in rainy and harsh weather without any hassles. The roof rails carry an additional 40 kgs for better storage. The car sports 12-inch alloy wheels which can provide a better grip on the road. The small dimensions also help the Qute with its kerb weight as it is the lightest amongst its competitors and thus has the best fuel efficiency figures.
Manually Adjustable External Rear View Mirror
The Qute is not a potential replacement for your first car. It's an intra-city low-cost mobility vehicle, which basically means a replacement for an auto-rickshaw. And hence it’s a no-frills experience inside the cabin, closer to a rickshaw than a car. The Qute uses a steering wheel like a car, not a handlebar like in a rickshaw. An analogue-digital instrument cluster in the centre that packs in a gear position indicator, digital fuel gauge, odometer and a trip meter, cover all the basics. There’s no air conditioning unit or a heater/blower, but you do get an FM player with two speakers. Also, there is a 12V socket to juice up your phone. The dashboard is pretty barebones with one lockable storage compartment on each side of the centrally mounted instrument cluster. Also, the dash-mounted gear shifter looks rather rugged.
The seat is non-reclinable, but the driver's seat can be horizontally adjusted for more legroom. Inside the cabin, you sit very tall and get a pretty clear view of the surroundings. The sense of space inside doesn’t feel like a distinct step up. However, keep in mind that occupants will be more comfortable than in an auto-rickshaw as the 2+ 2 setup offers more space for each passenger. The doors also ensure that you don’t overload this little people mover.
At the rear, there is ample knee room but the legroom feels a bit limited. The headroom is very generous and the seats are comfortable for short in-city journeys. A roof liner has also been added to provide better heat insulation inside the cabin. The Bajaj Qute 2019 has dashboard-mounted sequential gear shift which comprises of 5 forward and 1 reverse gear.
There is no infotainment system in the Bajaj Qute. There is a music system which can basically do the job of playing music and radio duties. There is no touchscreen system or navigation in the Bajaj Qute and it is understandable as it was not the market or the people it was focussed on. It is made as a replacement for the three-wheel autorickshaws and the infotainment system is pretty much sufficient for that duties.
The speakers are present at both the front and rear of the Bajaj Qute. It also comes with USB and auxiliary input. Bajaj has also given the Qute a modern update with the introduction of Bluetooth connectivity. This will be a good addition to the Bajaj Qute's infotainment system as it is a lot easier to take and end calls, and also listen to music right from the smartphone.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800
All of the competitors can seat five occupants, but the likes of Alto 800 and Tata Nano does it with much more composure and comfort. The Qute loses out even on the air-conditioning system which makes it the most uncomfortable one to travel in, in a country like India.
Height Adjustable Driver Seat
The boot under the bonnet, at 77 litres, is large enough for grocery bags but its weight-carrying capacity is limited to 20kg. If you need some more space, there is some under the front seats in the petrol variants, but that space is occupied by a CNG cylinder in the, well, CNG variant.
It is surprising of Bajaj to actually chuck out a dedicated cargo space from its compact quadricycle. As the Qute is a rear-engine offering, the front end remains free and thus is used for storage purposes. The Qute also comes with storage space behind the second row of seats which increases its practicality.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800
Cargo Volume (litres)
Additionally, luggage can also go on the roof-mounted carrier, which can hold up to 40kg of weight. Then, there is the boot behind the seats, which, with the seats up, can hold small cloth bags or laptop bags at best. But you can fold them in a 60:40 split and store up to 400 litres of cargo. Also, we would not recommend dairy items there as the compartment sits just above the engine and can get fairly hot.
The Qute wasn't designed to exist in the same space as a regular car in terms of safety. It is, however, a clear step up in terms of stability, weather protection and crash protection, compared to an auto-rickshaw. The Bajaj Qute was crash tested at 50kmph by Euro NCAP, where it scored a single star. In terms of safety features, the Qute only gets seatbelts for all four occupants. Qute has got approval from ARAI after meeting the stringent Indian Quadricycle norms. It has a high strength monocoque body and impact-resistant plastic closures, along with lockable doors, hard rooftop and front & rear seatbelts.
When it comes to safety, Qute is as protective about its surroundings as it is of its passengers. It is cleverly designed to minimize the extent of damage caused to property, pedestrians and other commuters. The Bajaj Qute comes equipped with a lot of safety features like torture track, safety on coastal areas, safety on twists and turns, safety during floods, safety on manoeuvring, safety for the strength of the roof, safety for the seat belt, safety while reversing in speeds. As far as brakes are concerned, there are disc brakes in the front and drum brakes at the rear.
This may sound redundant but I am saying this yet again, the Bajaj Qute is a replacement for the three-wheel autorickshaws and not a traditional car. The Bajaj Qute offers better fuel economy than the Nano by a huge margin and it also has the longest range. But the Nano is far more comfortable and safer than the Qute. So, we leave this choice unto you to pick either the cheap and simple looking Bajaj Qute or the more wholesome and comfortable Tata Nano.
The Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 is more comfortable and safer than the Bajaj Qute. The Bajaj Qute is meant for intracity travel and it can carry at most four passengers whereas the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 offers more comfort and safety than the Bajaj Qute.
The Bajaj Qute is a very simple yet very complicated four-wheeler. Simple because all the components used to make it are very basic, in order to keep the running and maintenance cost low. And complicated because it's not only something new in our market, it has also created an entire category for itself. If you compare it to an auto-rickshaw, the Qute is definitely a step up in term of safety, weather protection and ride quality for both passengers and the driver. Though it has a low running and maintenance cost, it costs Rs 2.7 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), which is slightly more than a three-wheeler. Given the advantages it offers, it seems to be a fair trade. Also, as of now, it's only available as a commercial vehicle in the market. According to the price range with which it is being offered it is quite obvious that Bajaj Qute will definitely make a huge impact in the quadricycle segment of cars. Given the immense safety features, performance, mileage and low emission producing engine.