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Cars that punch above their weight in India!

Think of it as a 70 kg boxer fighting a 90 kg one. Oxford says:

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 GTO's 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

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...

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Redlining the Indian Automotive Scene