In no particular order, we list out some BS6-compliant Indian cars that deserve way higher sales figures
Amongst global automotive markets, India is considerably different and oftentimes tricky in the books of automakers. Latest data proves that approximately 55% of the entire Indian population is capable of buying a four-wheeler. In fact, major OEMs are expecting a ‘sales boom’ on the Indian market in the not-too-distant future. The average Indian’s buying characteristics stand apart from foreign trends and makes it difficult for new brands to reap the benefits of such a huge customer base.
However, automakers such as Kia Motors and MG Motor proved that newcomers have a chance at clocking appreciable sales figures if their products are good in some key aspects. For instance, the Kia Seltos is offered in over 20 variants (including dual-tone) such that almost every buyer coming in that price segment has a favourable choice. On the other hand, the MG Hector set a high value-for-money benchmark in terms of equipment.
Although COVID-19 has brought down sales altogether, we believe that certain cars deserve to sell more. At least in India, the best-selling car(s) need not always be the best choice to make. In no particular order, here are seven cars from the current BS6 scenario that offer everything to beat apparent market leaders or find more takers. The cars were selected purely from a product standpoint without considering secondary factors such as brand image, aftersales experience, resale value, etc.
Renault Triber (1.0 P: 71bhp/96Nm)
Renault’s Triber MUV is a brilliant example of automotive packaging. Despite spanning under four metres in length, it can seat seven passengers with relative comfort. Of course, the removable third-row may not fit adults of all sizes but the effort made by the engineers deserve appreciation. The French automaker is apparently working on a new 1.0-litre turbo petrol motor for the Triber as well as the production-spec Renault HBC and Nissan Magnite subcompact crossovers.
Ford Freestyle (1.2 P: 95bhp/119Nm; 1.5 D: 99bhp/215Nm)
Starting with the most disregarded fact, the Ford Freestyle is not just a raised Figo with extra cladding. Ford India has always offered a fun-to-drive formula in its products. For several other automakers, this is just a marketing phrase put on brochures or their websites. For a vehicle with a ground clearance of 190mm, the Ford Freestyle is quite dynamic too.
Ford EcoSport (1.5 P: 120bhp/149Nm; 99bhp/215Nm)
The Indian automotive market is becoming flooded with well-packaged subcompact crossovers (wrongly titled as ‘compact SUVs’). Ford India was the brand which popularized the concept with the launch of the EcoSport. The facelifted Ford EcoSport, especially in its ‘S’ diesel avatar, is easily one of the best options in its category. It showcases an optimal balance of pricing, equipment, interior quality and performance. The EcoSport has always remained a well-rounded urban crossover and is awaiting a global upgrade.
Nissan Kicks (1.5 P: 105bhp/142Nm; 1.3 TP: 154bhp/254Nm)
It was only recently that Nissan India introduced the petrol-only Kicks BS6. On the one side, it is too early to comment on its sales performance while on the other, it was never a good seller in BS4 format. The company has not been doing particularly well on the Indian market but the new Kicks seems promising on paper. For starters, its output is the highest in the class, beating the 1.4 turbo mill in the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta.
Mahindra Marazzo (1.5 D: 119bhp/300Nm)
In the MPV segment, the Toyota Innova Crysta is clearly the dominant name. Still, it has several compelling alternatives above and below its rather high price range. With liveable compromises compared to the long-running Toyota seven-seater (justified by a much affordable price tag), Mahindra’s Marazzo is a hugely underappreciated product. The only letdown could be its odd association with a shark.
Ford Endeavour (2.0 D: 168bhp/420Nm)
For the BS6 era, the Ford Endeavour mid-size seven-seater SUV has been toned down a bit. Gone are the proven 2.2-litre (158bhp/385Nm) and 3.2-litre (197bhp/470Nm) diesel mills for a best-of-both-worlds 2.0-litre unit. Compared to its primary rival from Toyota (new model coming soon), the Ford Endeavour packs substantially more on the inside and most importantly, feels fresh. It is a capable off-roader with an unparalleled road presence.
Tata Nexon EV (PMS motor: 127bhp/245Nm)
The all-electric Tata Nexon EV is not exactly a poor seller since it follows a limited production strategy targeted at potential cities. It comes on the list because Tata Motors made a significant contribution to the Indian’s budding EV portfolio. At a reasonable price point, the Nexon EV features enough and more to justify a shift from an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) option.