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Old 2nd December 2019, 14:11   #1
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Default Cars that punch above their weight in India!

Think of it as a 70 kg boxer fighting a 90 kg one. Oxford says:
Quote:
Punch above one's weight = engage in an activity or contest perceived as being beyond one's abilities.
The list of overpriced cars in India runs long. However, what about special cars that offer more than you'd expect for the asking $$$? Surely, there are a couple of such gems in India. Here is my list.

BHPians: Please add to this list with cars which you think punch above their weight!

Tata Nexon


5-star crash test rating in the NCAP - need I say anymore? It's also got nice engines (love that diesel) and is well-priced. Not for nothing is this Tata's 2nd best-selling car today.

Skoda Superb


If you are chauffeur-driven and don't want to spend E-Class / 5-Series money for cruising in luxury, look no further than the Superb. Not only does it match sedans costing TWICE as much in comfort, but it also comprehensively beats some of its own siblings (from Audi). Classy, comfy, solid, well-equipped.

Kia Seltos
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A well-engineered all-rounder that has taken India by storm. A truly premium product that offers an experience matching far more expensive cars. That's precisely why it's consistently selling 10,000+ units / month in a damp market. My sister said that her 50-lakh rupee Land Rover Freelander felt grossly overpriced, after sitting in the Seltos (I agree). This is India's best-selling SUV.

Toyota Innova 2.8 Automatic

Is the Innova expensive? You bet. Still, there is nothing that touches it in terms of practicality, durability & comfort (just ask the industrialists who use its captain seats). Plus, the Crysta 2.8L Automatic has blurred the line between premium MPV & SUV (well, at least the FWD ones).

Skoda Octavia

The definition of VFM! The Octavia 1.8 / 2.0 easily meet or beat the C-Class, 3-Series & A4 in most important areas. Bring in the vRS variant and you are talking about outperforming far more expensive cars from far higher price points.

Ford Endeavour 3.2L

One of my favourite cars on sale in India. A BHPian who owns a Discovery & this Ford said "I cannot understand how the Endeavour offers 90% of the Discovery at 50% of the cost". The Endeavour 3.2 AT is a terrific all-rounder that matches so many SUVs costing 70-lakh rupees or more. No wonder it's selling a consistent ~600 units every month, despite its age, the Ford brand and a tough market.

Tata Hexa

The Hexa might be a flop, but it is one heck of a UV with its magic carpet ride, solid build, classy styling, brilliant automatic gearbox, AWD, spacious cabin and impressive kit (including safety equipment). In terms of product, Tata got this bang on!

Toyota Camry Hybrid

Surprised? You won't be after driving it. IMHO, the 2019 Camry is a Lexus with a "T" badge (it was usually the other way around for the Lexus ES). Yes, it's moved the game that much forward. Just like the Skoda Superb, the Camry delivers comfort levels & tech (including a proper hybrid) that meet or beat the 70-lakh rupee Germans. Heck, it's almost the same car as the Lexus ES at a significantly lower price point.

Skoda Kodiaq

Is the Kodiaq overpriced by 5 lakhs? You bet. When I mentioned this to a senior Skoda official, his response was "tell me something I don't know" ! But it still sells. You know why? Because the car is an a-w-e-s-o-m-e package. Despite its plain styling & strictly "adequate" power, the overall product screams "proper luxury SUV". The Skoda dude told me that he is offering a 70-lakh rupee SUV for 35 lakhs. After taking one on a highway trip, I couldn't agree more. Build + space + intelligence + features + gearbox + road manners + safety are all fantastic.

P.S. Would have loved to include the Abarth Punto here for the sheer performance on tap, but it's (sadly) not had a single factory dispatch since April 2019. Hence, RIP.

P.P.S. Skoda is the only manufacturer to have 3 cars on this list! Says a lot...

Last edited by GTO : 2nd December 2019 at 16:08.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 15:54   #2
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Indian Car Scene!
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Old 2nd December 2019, 16:11   #3
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI

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It was way ahead of its time for a mass-market sub-10-lakhs production car in India when launched. Even after these years, it still holds its position. In those times when most manufacturers shy away from offering automatic in their topmost spec to keep the sticker price low, here is a car with an explosive turbocharged engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic over it's Highline sibling.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 16:13   #4
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

I will add the following to this list:

Ford Figo 1.5 TDCI
Cars that punch above their weight in India!-2019fordfigofacelift01.jpg

Acceptable build and a fairly rounded package but what really takes the cake is the 1.5 TDCI. One stonker of an engine and goes to prove that you don't need big money to buy performance. Handling is not upto par for a Ford but I don't think it's a deal breaker for someone upgrading from a Japanese or Indian car from a segment below.

Renault Triber
Cars that punch above their weight in India!-20191118_174831_hdr010101012.jpeg
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Undeniably the first car that came to my mind here. A family friend owns one and the versatility and VFM this car offers is something a B segment hatch can only dream of. Might just be the car Renault was looking for to get back in the game in India.

Polo GT TSI
Cars that punch above their weight in India!-vwpolotsi01.jpg

Overrated? Probably. But you can't deny the fact that people lap it up despite of the C segment price tag, VW after sales, feature list that isn't exactly segment leading and most importantly, its age. It's far from a hot hatch (a warm hatch if something of that sort exists) but it seems to have struck a chord among buyers who don't mind paying extra for the build and the DSG coupled to the Turbo petrol.

TATA Tiago
Cars that punch above their weight in India!-2018tatajtp02.jpg

Might have a set of anemic engines but it has gone to prove that people will ignore brand value and put their money if the package is worth. This is also the car that helped TATA get rid of some of its past baggage and that's an achievement in itself if you ask me. It's JTP cousin has been yet another surprise and a very pleasant one at that.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 16:16   #5
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

Ford Figo 1.5 Ti-VCT AT

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Excellent ride and handling, good engine and list of electronic safety kit.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 16:39   #6
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteFang View Post
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI
Agreed with the Polo GT TSI for the sheer tech it brought to the mass market segment. The first in that price band with a direct-injection turbo petrol & dual-clutch gearbox.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 16:47   #7
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

Based on what one considers as best bang for bucks, I am now expecting all the cars to feature on this thread and we are already there!
  • We will have choices from nearly every segment that one would think has punch above its weight starting from the Go-Kart called Alto K10, but wait, the Kwid feels like it has all the bells and whistles for similar money you spend and few would think otherwise

  • We will have names of cars that will appear here which may not be all-rounders but will ensure to keep the drivers happy all the times (The beautiful Abarth Punto and the Polo GT) - Punchy performance for less bucks!

  • We can still have the Duster as the most capable off-roader in its segment (testimonies and real life experiences to prove this), The Ecosport still feels the most solid without doubt (and few are happy with the mediocre space behind)

  • There is Hexa and there is Crysta that both appear in the list and from the same segment with quite a wide gap in terms of their pricing - Those who pick either of these 2 will consider this to be a head over heart (or vice versa) decision depending on what they really look for

Makes me think.....this list will never end, and so will the entrants into this thread .
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Old 2nd December 2019, 17:30   #8
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

This thread becoming more like listing out what is good in every car, which I dont think was the intent. Except for the cars listed in the initial post + Polo GT TSI, no other car is really ground breaking. Within GTOs post, the Nexon is a great car, no doubt. But I would put it in the value for money category than 'punching above its weight' category.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 17:50   #9
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

Completely agree with the Hexa comment.

Everything from a product angle has been nailed by TATA. Maybe 3 years down the line, I may buy one in the automatic avatar in the used car market.

Would never buy one because of the depreciation hit a new car will take, unlike the Innova.

Also one observation, the only Indian cars featuring in the list are TATA cars, no Maruti, no Mahindra. Says a lot about our market, we will praise a good product but buy the SAFE one.

I personally feel the Harrier should be on the list, because of the sheer road presence equivalent to the Evoque! This car has ROAD PRESENCE!!!
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Old 2nd December 2019, 17:59   #10
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

I would add the following cars to the list:

1. XUV500 automatic
2. Maruti Ciaz Delta - the new age executive sedan
3. S-Cross Delta with added features
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Old 2nd December 2019, 18:19   #11
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

Would add the Mahindra XUV300 to this thread.



The car looks good, good build and quality interiors. Awesome engines, both petrol and diesel. Loaded with lots of features, including loads of safety kit like 7 airbags, etc. The only big issue with this car is the small boot space. I think this car does punch above its weight.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 18:41   #12
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
P.P.S. Skoda is the only manufacturer to have 3 cars on this list! Says a lot...
Don't have a car to add, but must say the Skoda trio-Octavia, Kodiaq and maybe even the Superb are cars already on my list for a pre owned buy a couple of years down the line. They are already punching above their weight as new cars, considering Skoda's poor after sales reputation and consequent resale value impact, imagine how much above it's weight a pre-owned Skoda will punch.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 19:49   #13
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

I would like to add the Ford Freestyle TDCI 1.5. Its a safe car with beautiful engine, loaded with features and priced well. However, the car does not seem to be available with most dealers. While Ford can make very good cars, it has a lot to learn from Maruti and Hyundai in terms of Sales and Marketing.

I may end up buying a different car ( Altroz??) as it simply is not available with the dealers in NCR.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 19:56   #14
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

If it was allowed to have just 1 car on the list of cars that punch above their weight from these cars then it would have to be the Skoda Superb in my opinion. It is way better at doing this. This is without offence to any other car.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 20:06   #15
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Default Re: Cars that punch above their weight in India!

I think new Maruti Ertiga can also be added to this list.It is got spacious and comfortable interiors,looks good inside as well as outside with a decent adequate engine and for the kind of asking price it is a good mpv selling at about half the price of an innova doing about ninety percent of what Innova can do.
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