Hyundai Exter packs in a range of segment-first and best-in-class features, which could be a reason to worry for rivals like Tata Punch
In Indian automotive space that is dominated by Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors are facing a tough battle for the second position. While Hyundai is ahead in most months, the overall lead is not enough to feel comfortable. A significant percentage of Tata sales comes from Nexon and Punch, which have achieved cumulative production milestones of 5 lakh and 2 lakh units, respectively.
Like assassins are sent to eliminate rivals, Hyundai seems to be following a similar strategy to take on Tata Punch. Hyundai’s answer to Punch is Exter that will enter production around July. Market launch is expected around August. Bookings are currently open for a token amount of Rs 11k.
Reasons why Hyundai Exter is worth the wait
Youthful design and styling – Hyundai Exter appears to have a more dynamic profile. Or it could be just the human tendency to be attracted to something new. Some of the key highlights of Exter include parametric front grille, rectangular headlamps, top-mounted H-shaped LED DRLs, prominent skid plate, squared wheel arches, blacked-out pillars, roof rails, body cladding and diamond cut alloy wheels. It is also expected to get a single pane sunroof.
More spacious – Hyundai Exter could offer more space on the inside. It can come from effective utilization of cabin space. Dimensionally, Exter will be around the same size as Tata Punch.
Segment-first features – Exter is bringing in loads of new equipment. One of the key highlights is front and rear dashcam, which can be useful for collecting evidence, as required for making insurance claims. Other segment-first features include tyre pressure monitoring system and burglar alarm. Exter will be the first sub-4-meter SUV in the country to be equipped with 6 airbags as standard across all trims. Although not confirmed, Exter could also get largest-in-segment touchscreen infotainment system.
Advanced safety features – To take on Tata Punch that has 5-star safety rating (Global NCAP), Hyundai has equipped Exter with more than 40 advanced safety features. It includes segment-first features such as ESC (electronic stability control), VSM (vehicle stability management) and HAC (hill assist control). Other safety features include auto headlamps, headlamp escort function, rear parking camera, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, emergency stop signal and 3-point seat belt & seatbelt reminder (all seats).
Exter CNG from Day 1 – As compared to Tata Punch that is yet to get a CNG option, Hyundai Exter will have CNG right from start. Exter will have a total of 3 powertrain options. The 1.2-litre Kappa Petrol engine (E20 Fuel Ready) generates 83 hp of max power and 113.8 Nm of peak torque. Transmission choices include 5-speed manual and smart auto AMT. The bi-fuel petrol with CNG variant will have 5-speed manual transmission.
Is it worth the wait?
With such compelling features on offer, Exter is definitely worth the wait – especially when the launch is so close. If you are planning to buy Punch, it is advisable to wait till official launch of Exter. Once Exter prices are out along with variant wise features, it will help you decide better, as to which of the two to buy.
With a fully-loaded Hyundai Exter, Tata Motors may have to introduce some updates for Punch. Tata also seems to be focusing on a new front in the form of Punch EV, which is expected to be launched soon. Hyundai Exter EV is also in the making.