Top 5 good cars in India with underpowered engines
The power output of a car defines the driving experience of the driver and the vehicle's capability as well. Also, the power output plays a role in defining the owner's thinking towards the value he or she gets from the money spent to buy the vehicle.
Often it has been seen that a good car comes to the market but lets down with its underpowered engine. People who buy the particular vehicle ends up banging their heads in frustration. Despite the auto manufacturer spending years of time and thousands of crores of investment in the project, it fell short in an area that counts most for a majority of the buyers.
One of the reasons behind some of the cars in India being underpowered is that the Indian government imposes a higher tax on high displacement engines, which results in the majority of the carmakers opting for a larger number of smaller displacement engine powered cars and a few of their offerings come with bigger engines, considering the fact that despite a sea change in the customer preferences in last two decades, Indian buyers are still very much price sensitive, especially when it comes to big-ticket purchases like cars.
Here are a few good cars in India that have been spoilt due to underpowered engines.
Tata Altroz is certainly one of the best cars launched in the recent past. The car came almost without any deal breakers. It's stylish, modern feature-packed, well equaipped, spacious, safe and the handling too is pretty good. However, the 1.2-litre three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine that powers Tiago is something that reduces its score in the overall point chart.
The petrol motor appears anaemic and weak in terms of power output and performance, considering the car's overall size and appearance. The engine churns out 86 PS of power and 113 Nm of torque. A turbo-petrol variant is on offer, but the first impression always lasts long.
Renault witnessed success with Kwid and since then its reliance on the small but feature stuffed, compact stylish vehicles has increased when it comes to introducing new products in the Indian market. The budget MPV is one such model that won many hearts since its arrival by enabling the buyers to own a 7-seater MPV at an affordable price, which gets good features, flexible seating options, practical and efficient Easy-R AMT transmission, etc.
However, using the same 1.0-litre engine that works under the hood of the Kwid hatchback didn't do justice with the Triber. The 1.0-litre BR10 three-cylinder petrol engine under the hood of the Triber comes as a slightly tuned variant that kicks out 72 PS of power and 96 Nm of torque. Such a big MPV could have easily done better with a larger engine.
Tata Tiago, Tigor
Both the Tata Tiago hatchback and the Tigor compact sedan have proved their mettle. Both these cars became the volume driver for the homegrown auto major with their overall practicality that includes stylish design, modern features, spacious cabin, built quality, safety, and competitive pricing. However, both the cars use the same 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine that also powers the Altroz.
Despite both the cars being capable to oust their segment rivals, the two models lack in terms of power output and performance. Both the cars having kerb weight in excess of 1,000 kg, the Tiago and Tigor are underperforming, as Maruti Suzuki Hyundai offerings in the same segments come with superior powertrains. The 1.2-litre petrol engine is not refined either.
Ford Endeavour is probably the biggest disappointment in this list of cars. The large SUV has every potential to be a hunk in its segment that also has popular rival like Toyota Fortuner. The Ford Endeavour comes with masculine design, a host of features, high-grade safety, 10-speed gearbox, uber tough built quality and highly-capable off-roading capacity.
Currently, the Ford Endeavour is available in India with a 2.0-litre diesel engine. The SUV has ditched the previous bigger and better 3.2-litre diesel motor. While driving it in the city doesn't give you any reason for disappointment, a bigger engine could have done a better job on highways.
New Hyundai Santro
Hyundai brought back the iconic Santro badge to India in 2018, after a long discontinuation period. The car that gave Hyundai a strong foothold and its identity in the Indian market was reintroduced with a completely new design and modern features.
The hatchback that sits in the same segment as Tata Tiago and Maruti Suzuki WagonR gets power from a 1.0-litre four-cylinder MPI petrol engine, which churns out meagre 68 PS of power and 99 Nm of torque. This makes the hatchback grossly underpowered compared to its rivals, despite reducing the NVH level and improving the driveability compared to the original Santro that still rules the Indian roads.