This is a no-brainer of a choice. This is the vehicle that brought crowds to the exhibition in bullock carts and trucks and cycles from even the most rustic corners of Haryana. The car, with its cute jellybean kind of shape, has won popular approval for its looks. Priced at Rs1 lakh, it already has people queueing up, but it remains to be seen whether the price point will be sustained. The car should roll out by Diwali 2008.
Maruti, the undisputed star when it comes to selling small cars in India, has for some time trying to shed its image of making staid, conservative and often, boring small cars by introducing vehicles such as the Swift and SX4. A-Star continues in that direction with its chunky looks and stylistic flourishes in elements such as the headlamps and the grille. The car should hit the roads by October 2008.
Honda has an enviable reputation in India. Almost all the models and variants it has introduced have been leaders in their segments for a considerable amount of time. Now it wants to enter the most competitive car category in India with its Jazz compact car, which has won awards for its spacious interiors and functions. The company has said the car will be introduced next year and while it has kept mum on the price, it’s unlikely to be cheaper than Rs4.5 lakh.
After it’s doomed attempts at selling a sports utility vehicle, the Forester, a couple of years ago, General Motors is back in the gas guzzler space with the Captiva. The sporty looking vehicle with its high seating has been priced at Rs17.8 lakhs and has the option of both petrol and diesel engines. But with Chevrolet more of a mass market brand of the company, it will be interesting to see how much marketshare this vehicle will capture in the premium category.
Hyundai Santa Fe
One of Hyundai’s more popular products in international markets, the Santa Fe will be the third sports utility vehicle from the company in India. It’s a mid-sized crossover vehicle. which is built on the Sonata platform and offers the ride quality if a sedan along with the functionality and ruggedness of a SUV. Like its predecessors, this too will be imported as a fully built unit which will drive up the price to Rs22 lakh.
(Photographs by Ramesh Pathania / Mint)