Can Tata Punch pack a punch against sub-compact SUV rivals? What we know so far
Tata HBX concept car was recently revealed in production ready form as Tata Punch and is expected to be officially launched in India during the upcoming festive period. Banking on the preference for SUV body style and shape, Tata Punch is looking at being a viable option for younger buyers and those on a budget but still looking at an SUV-ish body profile.
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Micro SUVs like Tata Punch and the upcoming Hyundai Casper could open up a very interesting space in the Indian automobile market, one that could perhaps eat into the strides made by cars competing in the sub-compact SUV space. Tata's own Nexon competes in this field of play and against the likes of Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Mahindra XUV300, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Toyota Urban Cruiser and the relatively newer players like Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger.
Punch will sit below the Nexon in the Indian market and is expected to be priced at or just under ₹5 lakh when launched. This could, in pricing terms alone, help it take a straight aim at Magnite and Kiger which start at around ₹5.50 lakh.
Tata Motors clearly sees a narrow opening and is ready to pounce to make it bigger. The car maker is looking at the exterior styling, cabin design, peppy drive and features to help prop up Punch against other rivals, direct or indirect. "True to the SUV genes of all Tata Motors’ products and catering to needs of customers who are looking for a compact city car with pure SUV characteristics, Punch will be the fourth addition to our SUV family, widening the range of options for all to choose from," Shailesh Chandra - President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, recently said.
Tata Punch is expected to be powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine and may even include an automatic gearbox option. Reports suggest it could boast a seven-inch main infotainment screen and a semi-digital driver display, among other feature highlights.
The sub-compact SUV segment is large. And so, Punch may or may not be able to sway the prospective buyer looking at a premium option. But entry-level sub-compact SUVs may be concerned as the latest from Tata gears up for an official launch.