These cars can provide the same level of excitement while also being pocket friendly at the same time

Every car manufacturer has the core aim of only one thing – to sell as much cars as possible and position itself as a strong player. With this aim, they seldom produce cars which although being groundbreaking on most of the aspects, fail to click in the minds of the customers. This happens with almost every manufacturer at one point of time or the other. Blame it for the wrong pricing, bad timing or simply bad luck, there are some products which fall under this category.

In this feature story, we are going to take a look on ten such cars which unfortunately are selling in less numbers despite being great products in one aspect or the other. Following is a list of those ten cars which deserve to sell more for the great products they are:-

TATA NANO AMT

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Tata might have launched the Nano with high aspirations of making it a people mover for those people who were unable to afford a proper four-wheeled car. However, this very tactic of Tata of branding the Nano as a ‘cheap car’ backfired as this pretty cute little city flicker from Tata became a synonym of cheapness in Indian Automobile scenario. But make no mistake, as the Nano really has some strong points up in its sleeves, which include a spacious cabin, a frugal engine and now even an optional convenient AMT gearbox.

Tata launched the Nano AMT a couple of years ago in order to rebrand it as a proper solution for the increasing traffic conditions. What Tata has done is that it has mated the tiny two cylinder, 624cc engine with a 5-speed AMT gearbox, keeping the performance of the car intact with maximum power rated at 38 PS and maximum torque at 51 Nm. The convenience of the AMT gearbox, and including the diminutive dimensions of the Nano, make it simply a very fun to drive the car in city conditions. Sadly, even after this, Tata has been unable to push up the sales of the car.

Prices start at – Rs. 3.00 lakh

FORD FIGO 1.5 LITER

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The first generation Ford Figo was nothing short of a bestseller for Ford in India, with the then smallest Ford churning up some surprising numbers in terms of sales, and giving some dreadful nightmares to the likes of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. However, the initial craze of the Ford Figo began to fizzle out after a couple of years, due to the arrival of more contemporary and reliable rivals. However, Ford was quick enough to respond with the launch of the all new generation model of Figo, which features an all-new styling in and out and some really comprehensive changes under the bonnet.

Though Figo is available with a choice of three different engine options, the engine to particularly look out for is the 1.5 liter TDCi diesel engine. This oil burner on the Figo is a four cylinder, 1498cc diesel engine which produces a maximum power output of 100 PS and a peak torque output of 200 Nm, making it the most powerful diesel hatchback in the country. Though, this new generation Figo diesel, in spite of delivering a stonking performance through its diesel engine, is currently struggling to keep up its pace amidst the stiff competition.

Prices start at – Rs. 5.70 lakh

FIAT ABARTH PUNTO

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The Indian car market has never been favorable to the amazing car what the Fiat Punto is. One of the most good looking cars to ever appear in the Indian automobile history, the Fiat Punto has been struggling to make its presence felt in India right from the day one. With a tank like a build quality and impressive dynamic dynamics to go for, the Fiat Punto has always been one sure shot driver’s delight, which continues to be the strong points of the new Punto Evo as well. However, there was always a dearth of a powerful petrol engine which could complement the strong chassis of the car.

Thankfully, Fiat took notice of this point and what it did was that it plonked a four cylinder, 1368cc turbocharged petrol engine in the Punto Evo, which develops a massive 145 bhp of power and 212 Nm of torque, which makes it the most powerful mass-market hatchback in the country today. Complemented with larger 16-inch wheels and disc brakes all around, the Abarth Punto, what it is named as, is the last word for performance hungry enthusiasts. However, even the die-hard loyalists of Fiat, as well as enthusiasts, doubt to put up their money on the Abarth Punto, solely for the uncertain future and poor after sales support for Fiat in India.

Prices start at – Rs. 9.90 lakh

FIAT LINEA 125 S

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Just like the Punto Evo, the other offering from Fiat in India, the Linea is one drop dead gorgeous looking sedan which is easily the most beautiful car in its segment even after the fact that the original design is almost a decade old now. Fiat did carry out a nip and tuck job with the Linea facelift a few years ago, giving it a mid-life facelift, which blessed the car with a powerful 1.4 liter T-JET turbocharged petrol engine, which at that time, used to produce a maximum power output of 114 bhp.
However, to keep the model still fresh and keep going, Fiat introduced a couple of new features and retuned the engine of this model. Dubbed now as Linea 125S, the 1.4-liter engine of the car has been retained, but retuned to now make a maximum power output of 125 bhp and a peak torque output of 208 Nm. However, even after this subtle update, the sales of the Linea 125S is almost negligible in comparison to that of its rivals, which are selling at least twenty times more of it.

Price start at – Rs. 9.90 lakh

MARUTI S-CROSS

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In a bid to revamp its image in the premium segments of the Indian automobile market and to get over its image as a small car maker in the country, Maruti Suzuki, in a full-fledged manner, rebranded its premium segment with the NEXA outlets, with the S-Cross as its first ever offering. Branded as the first ever proper crossover of the country, the S-Cross has received a rather lukewarm response owing to its slightly unimpressive styling.

The car is available in two diesel engine options – while the smaller one is the tried and tested 1.3 liters Fiat sourced engine, the bigger one is an all new-for-Maruti four cylinder, 1598cc diesel engine, which produces a maximum power output of 120 bhp and a peak torque output of massive 320 Nm of torque, making it an undisputed choice for long mile munchers, thanks to the impressive power delivery in higher revs and mid-range. However, despite its wonderful performance, this 1.6-liter variant is selling very low due to its exorbitant price tag which puts it up as a rival of more potent and bigger cars like Renault Duster, Hyundai Creta and even Tata Safari Storme.

Prices start at – Rs. 12.04 lakh

RENAULT DUSTER AWD

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When the Duster was launched for the first time in India, it immediately ranked in as one of the best-selling premium cars in the Indian market owing to its advantage as the first move taken in the compact SUV segment. With its butch SUV-ish stance and city-friendly dimensions, the Duster became the favorite of premium car buyers, surpassing even some of the C-segment sedans in terms of sales. However, with the advent of a storm named Hyundai Creta, the Duster has ended up being an average performer when it comes to sales numbers, even after the fact that it is the only compact SUV which offers the option of All-Wheel Drive (AWD).

The Duster AWD is being offered with the four cylinders, 1468cc diesel engine, which produces a maximum power output of 110 bhp and a peak torque output of 245 Nm. Thanks to its option of all-wheel drive, the Duster AWD is a breeze to drive in off-road conditions, which is furthermore complemented with its amazing chassis and suspension setup. However, while the regular variants of the Duster are already challenging themselves against the Hyundai Creta, the Duster AWD with its slightly higher price tag is finding only a handful of takers.

Prices start at – Rs. 13.79 lakh

RENAULT LODGY

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Riding high on the success of the Duster compact SUV in its initial stages, Renault decided to keep the momentum going with the compact MUV Lodgy. Launched as a direct rival to the cars like Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Honda Mobilio, the Renault Lodgy offered the dimensions and spaciousness of the Toyota Innova at a price and frugality of an entry level MUV in the Indian car market.

From the starting, the Lodgy is being offered with a choice of two engine options – the four cylinder, 1468 cc diesel engine in two states of tune, 85 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque and 110 bhp of power and 245 Nm of torque. However, the boxy looks of the Lodgy, especially from the rear, as well as slightly expensive ownership costs has resulted into the fact that the Lodgy has never been a good seller. Even after Renault tried to spruce up its looks and stance with the Stepway variants, which made the Lodgy look slightly upmarket and rugged from outside, the MUV failed to pick up its sales after it fell off on the first step itself. However, the Lodgy, with its impressive origin dynamics and a good cabin, deserves a second chance in the Indian car market.

Prices start at - Rs 7.88 lakh

HONDA MOBILIO PETROL

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The Indian car market had never wanted a petrol MUV, owing to the fact that the MUVs are largely used by cab operators and large families whose frequent running cycles make the petrol MUVs less affordable. However, this hasn’t stopped the car manufacturers to introduce their MUVs with a petrol engine option, in order to satisfy the petrol car lovers. Same goes for Honda, which has gained the reputation of offering the best-in-industry petrol engines, which are known for their refinement and low NVH levels. Honda introduced the Mobilio MUV with a choice of both petrol and diesel engines, and while the diesel Mobilio itself is dying a slow death, the least said about the petrol Mobilio, the better.

But let us remind you the fact that the Mobilio is powered by the same four-cylinder, 1497cc petrol engine, which powers the City. This engine is already the best-in-class in terms of refinement, with the peak power rated at 119 bhp and peak torque rated at 145 Nm. This makes the Mobilio one sweet car to drive, which at the same time, offers impressive and thrilling performance if one wishes to ask. That being said, the Mobilio petrol is just placed at Honda’s official website with negligible takers for itself.

Prices start at – Rs. 7.38 lakh

CHEVROLET CRUZE

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Remember the times when the Cruze was launched? Those were the times when the D-segment of sedans was limited to a choice of cars from Japan in the form of Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic (both of them petrol powered cars) and a single choice from Europe in the form of Skoda Laura (which offered both petrol and diesel mills). At such a time, when the segment was in the need of a proper diesel powered car, Chevrolet struck the hammer at the right time with the Cruze, by offering it only in the diesel guise.

With its sporty looks and muscle car stance coupled with an even more powerful four cylinder, 2.0 liter turbocharged diesel engine, the Cruze became the hot favorite of the enthusiasts. The thundering performance which the 2.0 liter engine of the Cruze offers gave it the nickname of ‘diesel rocket’ across the country, which gave the Cruze a popularity Chevrolet needed badly to keep continue its presence in the Indian car market. However, the times have changed much, and all of its rivals have moved much ahead with frugal engines, futuristic looks, and more sophisticated cabin, and at the same time, the Cruze, with the same good old design and engine, with very mild changes is demanding a comprehensive upgrade. But for those who are out in this segment just for pure performance, there is still no other car which comes close to the level of performance which the Cruze is offering.

Prices start at – Rs. 14.95 lakh

TATA SAFARI STORME VARICOR 400

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There was a time when the Tata Safari was a symbol of power and presence. And why not? It’s massive proportions, huge stance and powerful diesel engine made the Tata Safari the preferred choice for authoritative people, including big businessmen and government officials. Tata gave it a refresh in the form of the Safari Storme, which saw the SUV receiving substantial design tweaks at both front and rear, and an inclusion of some comfort features inside. However, all these changes did little to lift up the dwindling sales of Tata Safari, which is why Tata decided to give the SUV a much-needed power boost in the form of the Varicor 400 variant.

This particular variant is the same old Safari Storme, but with a more powerful engine. While the base 2.2 liters, four cylinder diesel engine is the same as before, the performance has been lifted up which now is rated at 156 bhp of power and 400 Nm of maximum power, making it the most torquey vehicle in its class. However, the fact that the Safari Storme now appears to look like a decade old vehicle, especially with the arrival of more contemporary vehicles like the Hexa, the Safari Storme looks much lesser value for money. Though, if performance is all that you want, the Safari Storme Varicor 400 still remains the undisputed choice to intimidate the other similarly priced cars.

Prices start at – Rs. 14.09 lakh

Riju Ganguly
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