Every year, the first three months witness important car launches, as automakers refrain themselves from launching new models at the end of the year. This year too, we observed significant launches which included entry-level hatches, hot hatches, compact sedans, sedans, sports cars, compact SUVs and premium SUVs. Besides the cars, a premium brand, Lexus, was also introduced in these three months. Since most bestselling cars in our market fall under Rs.10 lakh, let’s take a closer look at the cars launched from January 1, 2017, that come under this slab.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis
Launch date – January 13
Among the most awaited Marutis of the year, the Ignis was launched with much fanfare at Rs.4.59 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The all new Maruti Suzuki Ignis looks way different from every Maruti car on sale at present. It gets a funky styling with the LED projector headlights having DRLs, dual-tone exterior paint shades and the ‘Smart Play’ touchscreen infotainment system that support Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and navigation. There are n number of customization options that one gets with the Ignis. Powering the mini-crossover are the familiar 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel mills, generating 83PS and 75PS of power respectively. It is linked to a 5-speed manual or AMT transmission.
Nissan Sunny Facelift
Launch date – January 17
Nissan launched the facelifted version of its Sunny at Rs.7.91 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) in January this year. The updated sedan gets a new body colour – Sandstone Brown, and chrome garnishing on door handles, while the interior too received cosmetic upgrades in the form of an all-black finished cabin. The Nissan Sunny facelift is available with a 1.5-litre HR15 petrol engine and a 1.5-litre DCi diesel motors. The former is now tuned to deliver an increased power figure of 99PS. The transmission options remain the same – a 5-speed manual or a CVT gearbox.
Hyundai Grand i10
Launch date – February 6
At the onset of the Valentine month, Hyundai rolled out the facelift version of its Grand i10. Launched at Rs.4.58 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Hyundai Grand i10 now looks sportier thanks to minimal yet intelligent exterior updates. For instance, there are new front and rear bumpers, boomerang-shaped fog lamp housing with integrated LED DRLs, and thick black plastic finish enveloping the license plate and extending to two big reflectors on the sides. The major update in the Grand i10 is under the hood: it gets a new 1.2-litre, U2 CRDi diesel which now pumps 75PS of max power and 190Nm of peak torque.
Honda City Facelift
Launch date – February 14
Exactly on the day of love, Honda showered its bliss on this part of the world by unleashing the Honda City facelift. At Rs.8.50 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the sedan now omits the previous model’s base E trim and adds a new top-of-the-line ZX variant. It now gets a larger and more aggressive grille with LED lighting on head and tail lamps, rear spoiler and fog lamps along with revamped front and rear bumpers, bigger air vents, and 16-inch diamond cut alloys. On the inside, there’s a new 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in navigation, 1.5GB media memory, MirrorLink connectivity for smartphones, voice recognition and feed from the rear-view camera. The mechanicals of the Honda City facelift are exactly the same as offered in its predecessor – a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol and a 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine.
Maruti Baleno RS
Launch date – March 3
The last month of the financial year began with the launch of a hot hatch from Maruti Suzuki, the Baleno RS. Available only in the top-end Alpha trim of the Baleno, it was launched with a sticker price of Rs.8.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Baleno RS or Road Sport debuted a new family of Boosterjet petrol engines from Maruti Suzuki in the country. Under the hood, it conceals a 1.0-litre Boosterjet motor which pumps out max power of 102PS at 5,500rpm and 150Nm at 1700-4500rpm. Mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, it returns 21.1kmpl of mileage. Making it distinct from the stock Baleno are the sportier-looking redesigned front and rear bumpers along with body skirts, a new mesh grille and all black alloys.
Renault Kwid Climber
Launch date – March 9
A week post Baleno RS' debut, the French automaker launched its mesmerizing Renault Kwid Climber at Rs.4.30 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). First showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo, the Climber is based on the range-topping 1.0-litre RXT (O) and comes with manual as well as Easy-R AMT transmission options. For approx. Rs.25,000 more over the RXT (O) trim, you get new front bumper overriders and faux skid plates with orange highlights, glossy orange highlights on outside rear-view mirrors and roof rails, orange indicators on its front fenders, door protection cladding, new set of wheels, a new ‘Electric Blue’ shade and plenty of orange inserts in the interior.
Launch date – March 16
After opening its year-account with the City facelift, Honda entered the league of compact SUVs by launching the all-new Honda WRV at Rs.7.74 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Limiting its variants to only two, Honda offered the WRV in S and VX trims. Based on the Honda Jazz, it offers dual airbags and ABS with EBD as standard. It shares powertrains with the premium hatch, however, the CVT option, offered in the Jazz, isn’t available. Borrowing a lot of features from the facelifted City, it is equipped with one-touch open and close sunroof, 7.0-inch infotainment system, passive keyless entry, 16-inch wheels and an increased 188mm of ground clearance (23mm more over the Jazz).
Nissan Terrano Facelift
Launch date – March 27
After its Sunny sedan, Nissan India launched an updated version of its Terrano SUV. Good thing is, the prices of the refreshed version remain unchanged i.e. Rs.9.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi); however, it’s also true that the vehicle features bare minimum changes. Some updates in the Nissan Terrano facelift includes a tweaked front grille, turn indicators on ORVMs (which are now electrically foldable) and a new Sandstone Brown shade. Interiors are bestowed with a new black-brown upholstery, new dual-tone fabric upholstery for the seats and a 7.0-inch touchscreen panel. It is equipped with the same set of engines as that of its predecessor – a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel.
Launch date – March 29
The first quarter of the calendar year 2017 ended on a high note with Tata introducing the most awaited launch of the year, the Tata Tigor. Based on the Tiago hatch, the Tigor was launched at Rs.4.70 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and comes with a plethora of features. After the Tiago and the Hexa, the Tigor is the third product boasting the IMPACT design philosophy. It gets dual-barrel smoked projector lamps, dual 12V charging ports, a rear armrest with integrated cup holders and a 5.0-inch Harman touchscreen infotainment system paired with an eight-speaker (4 speakers + 4 tweeters) sound system. The touchscreen acts as the monitor for the reverse camera, supports video playback, has voice command recognition, GPS navigation via NaviMaps App and SMS readout functionality and many more features. The most surprising element in the compact sedan is the massive 419 litres of boot space.