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Tata Punch vs Maruti Vitara Brezza vs Hyundai Venue vs Others

The Tata Punch is lovely in every area, except for the one that matters the most = under the hood

BHPian Aditya recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Tata Punch

What you'll like:

  • Snazzy styling! We love the mini-Harrier face and tight rear end
  • Well-designed & practical cabin with enough space for 4 adults
  • 366-litre boot is accommodating
  • 1.2L NA petrol offers good driveability in the city. Performance is acceptable <90 km/h
  • Sorted road manners & reassuring high-speed stability
  • Enjoyable Harman 6-speaker ICE. One of the better systems in this segment\
  • Features such as auto headlamps & wipers, cruise control, Traction Pro (AMT), cooled glovebox…with factory customization packs too
  • A full 5-stars in the GNCAP! Safety package includes dual airbags, CSC, brake sway control, ISOFIX etc.

What you won't:

  • 1.2L NA petrol’s highway performance is weak. At 100 km/h & up, more noise than action
  • Suspension has a firm tune (R16 variants). It is compliant & liveable, but you do feel bad roads
  • Jerky and slow AMT gearbox when competitors offer you smoother CVTs and torque converters
  • 3-cylinder petrol cannot match the competition’s 4-cylinders in refinement & NVH
  • No turbo petrol or diesel option. Period. Rivals & other Tata cars offer both
  • Cabin width makes 4 adults welcome, not 5
  • Some missing goodies such as an auto-dimming IRVM, split rear seat, rear AC vents, full-size spare…
  • Tata's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble

Review Link

Renault Kiger

Driving Report

Nissan Magnite

What you'll like:

  • The Magnite looks really good…that handsome face is a head-turner
  • Sheer value-for-money pricing. Turbo-petrol with a proper AT under 10 lakhs!
  • Peppy performance from the Magnite’s 1.0L turbo-petrol engine
  • Smooth well-tuned CVT in a sea of jerky AMTs. Has Sport and L modes too
  • Healthy legroom for rear passengers. Space packaging is brilliant
  • Impressive kit (cruise control, LED headlamps, rear air-con vents, 360-degree camera, wireless charger, wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay)
  • 205 mm of ground clearance is more than enough for any kind of bad roads
  • Safety kit includes ESP, TPMS, ABS, EBD & hill start assist
  • Base variant also gets a reasonable kit, including a rear wiper. It’s not poverty-spec

What you won't:

  • Stiff & basic ride quality. You feel each and everything on the road
  • The Magnite is built to a cost and it does show, especially in the budget-grade cabin
  • Lower variants’ 1.0L naturally-aspirated petrol is a boring, unimpressive engine
  • Clunky, firm MT gearshift & a clutch pedal that has more weight than it should
  • No diesel option available on the Nissan Magnite
  • Cabin is narrower than some competitors. Narrow width makes it best for 4 adults
  • Missing features such as an auto-dimming IRVM, full-size spare tyre…
  • Doesn't have the finesse or quality of premium crossovers like the XUV300, Sonet etc.
  • Nissan's tiny dealership network & lousy after-sales quality

Review Link

Maruti Vitara Brezza

What you’ll like:

  • A well-rounded Compact SUV with mature styling & mass-market appeal
  • Competent 1.5L petrol offers excellent driveability & practicality
  • Smooth torque-converter AT replaces the jerky old AMT. Gets SHVS tech
  • Well-mannered suspension riding on big 215/60 R16 tyres. Good ground clearance as well
  • Decent cabin space for a sub-4 meter car. Lots of storage & a powerful air-con too
  • Features such as auto LED headlamps, auto wipers, cruise control, 7" touchscreen ICE etc.
  • Dual airbags & ABS are standard. The pre-facelift version received a 4-star GNCAP safety rating
  • Maruti’s excellent after-sales service, wide dealer network & fuss-free ownership experiences

What you won’t:

  • No diesel option! Maruti’s BS6 1.5L diesel engine is still some time away
  • This 1.5L petrol motor is uninvolving to drive. Enthusiasts, look elsewhere
  • 4-speed Automatic gearbox feels old & outdated. No manual mode or paddle shifters either
  • With the new 1.5L petrol, the car has lost its relative VFM positioning in the segment
  • AT option commands a steep Rs. 1.2 lakh ex-showroom premium!
  • Ordinary interior quality and design. The game has moved on with newer competitors
  • Missing features by 2020 standards (6 airbags, sunroof, leather seats etc.)
  • Boot has a practical layout but is still the 2nd smallest in the segment @ 328-litres

Review Link

The 2020 Facelift

Hyundai Venue

What you'll like:

  • A mini-Creta in almost every way! Same formula, in a smaller package
  • Precise build & quality (including interiors) are easily among the segment-best
  • Competent engines mated to slick gearboxes
  • Fast shifting dual-clutch Automatic gearbox available
  • Balanced road manners. Very easy to drive too
  • Loaded to the gills with equipment (sunroof, Blue Link telematics, cabin air purifier etc.)
  • Top safety equipment includes 6 airbags, ESP, HSA and more
  • Hyundai's competent after-sales & fuss-free ownership experiences

What you won't:

  • Diminutive street presence. Looks more hatchback than SUV from some angles, especially the rear
  • Strictly a 4-seater. All-black interior makes it cosy. Some competitors offer more spacious cabins
  • Missing kit (auto wipers, auto-dimming IRVM, steering reach adjustment...)
  • DCT doesn't have a sport mode or paddle shifters. Fingers crossed on its long-term reliability
  • Weirdly, the highest SX(O) trim doesn't get the DCT or dual-tone colour options
  • Some variant mishaps = e.g. crucial rear wash + wipe just on the topmost trim!
  • AT only on the petrol, not the diesel. XUV300 & Nexon have Diesel ATs

Review Link

The 2020 1.0L iMT

Kia Sonet

What you'll like:

  • A mini-Seltos in almost every way! Same formula, in a smaller package
  • Sharp & handsome styling. In our opinion, this is the best-looking Compact SUV
  • Excellent spread of powertrains including a fast & enjoyable turbo-petrol
  • Diesel AT is fantastic; the only smooth torque-converter gearbox in a sea of AMTs
  • Well-tuned suspension offers a good balance between ride & handling. 205 mm GC too
  • Top safety package includes 6 airbags, ESP, HSA, TPMS etc.
  • Very enjoyable 7-speaker Bose sound system
  • Impressive kit (ventilated seats, sunroof, auto LED headlamps, cruise control, wireless charger)

What you won't:

  • Rear seat legroom is just adequate, while its limited width makes the Sonet a 4-seater
  • Top variants are pricey! More expensive than its sibling, the Hyundai Venue too
  • Some misses ( 60:40 rear seat split, auto wipers, steering reach adjustment, illuminated window buttons, full-size spare tyre on top trims…)
  • Dual-clutch ATs (like the Petrol DCT) have a history of poor reliability in India
  • As always with Kia, the variant spread is tough to figure out. Good luck finding your perfect Sonet!
  • The tasty 1.0L turbo-petrol doesn’t come with a manual gearbox. Venue has that option
  • Waiting periods are a couple of months-long for some trims

Review Link

Tata Nexon

What you’ll like:

  • Very well-priced for what it offers. Undercuts all rivals
  • Funky styling ensures that the Nexon stands out from the crowd
  • 5-star NCAP safety rating & a solid build, unlike many of its flimsy competitors
  • Nice, spacious cabin with comfortable seats. You get a practical 350-litre boot too
  • 1.5L diesel & 1.2L petrol offer good performance. Diesel is especially impressive
  • Balanced road manners for such a tall car. Fine EPS & 209 mm of ground clearance!
  • Loaded with features: Driving modes, LED DRLs, reversing camera, 8-speaker ICE etc.
  • Dual airbags, ABS & Isofix child seat mounts are standard on all variants

What you won’t:

  • Overdone design will be a turnoff for many of you. Rear-end is way too busy
  • Jiggly low-speed ride; bumps are felt in the city (unlike other Tata cars)
  • 3-cylinder petrol can't match 4-cylinder competition in NVH. Has lag too
  • The observant eye will notice some rough edges in fit, finish & quality
  • Concerns over long-term reliability, more so of the freshly developed engines
  • Missing essentials (telescopic steering adjustment, auto-dimming IRVM, proper dead pedal)
  • Tata's inconsistent after-sales experience is far from that of Maruti & Hyundai
  • Shorter service/checkup interval of 6 months & 7,500 km (rivals have 12-month gaps)

Review Link

Maruti Ignis

What you'll like:

  • Unique, funky design - exterior & interior stand out in a crowd. Customisation options available
  • Smart packaging! Good legroom & headroom in such a small car. Useable 260-litre boot too
  • Peppy petrol engine and AMT
  • Dual airbags, ABS with EBD and ISOFIX child seat anchors are standard across all variants
  • Maruti's widespread service network, excellent after-sales support & fuss-free ownership experiences
  • Features such as LED projector headlamps + DRLs, reversing camera, Apple & Android ICE, navigation, electrically-foldable ORVMs etc.

What you won't:

  • Simply overpriced, not a VFM Maruti. Top trim is especially pricey
  • You can buy more accomplished cars for a little more (Baleno) money
  • Weird rear-end styling. Overall, the unconventional looks will polarize opinions
  • No turbo petrol or diesel option. Period. Rivals offer both
  • AMT, although improved, still can’t match conventional ATs on smoothness or speed
  • Narrow cabin width. Rear seat is better for 2 adults than 3
  • 32-liter fuel tank is too small for this segment. Even the humble Alto gets a larger tank

Review Link

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

The Sonet is my top choice among all the Compact SUVs. It's got looks, style, equipment, good engines & a sorted suspension. Second choice, Nexon.

The Punch is lovely in every area, except for the one that matters the most = under the hood!!! That 1.2L NA motor is weak, the AMT is horrendous & the pricing of higher variants too much. When Tata gives it a turbo-petrol, I will consider it. Problem is, they haven't left pricing room for the turbo-petrol.

Here's what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:

There is no car in this segment that is complete in all respects. They all have a catch, a compromise attached, a deal-breaker if you will. Nexon is excellent on most counts but is let down by the stupid AMT and the now optimistic pricing. Ditto for the XUV300, which has the additional handicap of a tiny boot. Sonet and Venue are cramped for space and have questionable safety. Brezza is old, feels outdated and makes do with the obsolete 4 speed AT. There is no redeeming CNG option either. I don’t think Ignis and Punch belong to this category of vehicles, they are a full segment down in all respects.

Surprisingly, it is the Kiger and Magnite that seem to provide the best overall combination of powertrains, space, features, safety and value. Granted, the cabin isn’t as well-appointed as the Venue. But the overall proposition is very good and the price tag is killer. Especially for the turbo petrol CVT.

Too bad the Ecosport has been discontinued, it would have still been my top pick otherwise.

Here's what BHPian harry10 had to say on the matter:

Voted for Sonet.

I own the D-AT one. Engine and gearbox are a gem. All required features are present and then some. Space is good enough for a 6.1 driver like me. Ergonomics are sorted, interiors are pleasing and feel roomy, handling is almost like a sedan with negligible body roll, A.S.S has been a good experience so far, looks are subjective but I like it. Mileage is between 14-16kmpl in NCR with AC and highways it can easily give 20kmpl. Also, NVH is brilliant, coming from a diesel Honda City this is super silent.

Stiff suspension is the only negative for our potholed roads, however with the right tyre pressure and once you learn to adjust your driving style it's easily negotiable. No GNCAP rating so I will give it a benefit of the doubt until it's done but I find the build quality better than my previous Honda City. Also, the thud from the doors and heavy bonnet is a little reassuring.

All in all, at 4300km ODO currently I am a very satisfied owner so far. Touchwood

My only other contender was Nexon and it would have won but for one deal-breaker - AMT gearbox. Would have surely bought it if there was a TC unit. Tata needs to sort this out as I know a lot of people who didn't buy Nexon just because of the gearbox.

Here's what BHPian amvj had to say on the matter:

I voted for the Nexon.

Pros:

  • 5 star NCAP rating.
  • Huge ground clearance.
  • Good Diesel engine.
  • Good Handling and steering.
  • The interiors look decent.
  • Very little niggles compared to other Tata products.
  • The front three quarters look decent compared to over-styled Sonet or ugly Venue or the dull and boring Vitara Brezza.

Cons:

  • Digital speedo is an eyesore. Looks like a cheap Casio watch.
  • The rear design and a white stripe along the body is ugly.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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