Unveiling The Punch
The Indian SUV market has had a plethora of options for consumers. With a wide range of stylish SUVs across various sizes from seven-seaters to five-seaters, there was just one option that a buyer would be most eagerly looking at. A stylish SUV fits comfortably in their budget. That is where Tata Motors has handed over to the consumers their latest offering. The all-new Tata Punch.
Tata Motors term this as having ‘the agility of a hatchback and the DNA of an SUV’, the punch is one such car that can satisfy the buyer’s requirements fairly well especially owing to the fact this car happens to be among the lowest priced SUVs in the offering. The Punch, being 3.8m long, happens to be just between the size of Tata’s Hatchback Tiago and their SUV Nexon. The SUV sports a bold stance, with a fair resemblance to its siblings: TATA Safari and TATA Harrier. It stands out with smart 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights and their traditional black front grille which is now a common part of Tata’s design language.
At the rear, the Punch houses smart Y-shaped tail lamps and packed with proper cuts and curves at the perfect angles thus making the car visually a treat for any automobile enthusiast and definitely a stylish offering for this segment. Tata has also brought in finer detailing such as the one-horned rhinoceros motif present in the rear windscreen as well as the glove box. If its small dimensions call the car to be a hatchback, the high ground clearance (187mm) reclaims the image of being an SUV. Let’s take a look at what this new SUV brings on offer inside the cabin.
Inside Tata Punch
If the Punch brings a stylish look on the outside, it lives up well to its charm on the inside too. With a wide door opening of about 90 degrees, it makes getting into the car a very pleasant affair. And once inside, the classic 7-inch floating touch screen infotainment system, the rectangular AC vents and the smart climate control switch for the air-conditioning unit make for a classy and elegant interior set-up. The seats are positioned higher to give you a commanding road presence with adjustment options available to suit the drivers need. The rear seat too is comfortable with adequate knee room and headroom and a flat floor line makes it easier for the third passenger to lay their feet.
On technicality too, the Punch has made a strong statement. With state of the art features such as android auto and apple car play, a 6 speaker sound system by Harman, cruise control, cooled glove box, rain-sensing wipers, fog lamps and two 12V power outlets among others make the car’s efficiency and comfort top-notch for this segment. It also has remote controls for lighting and the horn, as well as a valet mode, GPS services, a car health monitor, and voice commands, demonstrating its technological prowess.
The added incentive is the large 319 litres boot (which stretches up to 366 litres if filled up to the roof, the storage space of the car is well suited for housing the basic family luggage for a short trip. Yes, the punch has lived up to its expectations of being feature-packed.
The Punch houses the same 1.2-litre revotron engine found on the Tata Nexon though it comes with one change. The engine on The Punch does not have the turbocharged variant. It consists of a regular engine option. Hence, when compared to other SUVs there are chances of falling short in the performance criteria. Furthermore, Tata has not yet given an option for the 1.5-litre diesel engine to be on The Punch which is available on its other SUVs. Tata Punch produces a decent 86 PS of power at 113 Nm of peak torque which is fairly adequate for a drive around the city or even the occasional highway journey. Tata has also only provided two transmission options, the 5-speed manual and the 5-speed AMT version.
On the brighter side, Tata Punch brings a great ARAI certified mileage of 18.97 kmpl which makes the car highly budget-friendly in times of sky-high fuel prices. It also houses the start-stop button to preserve fuel in city traffic conditions. And, at this price point, the SUV offers good off-road capability, as well as the ability to handle significant steep twists and curves with ease and deliver a pleasant driving experience. With engine enhancements, the drive is smoother, yet there is still more scope for refinement as post the 4000RPM mark, the engine can get a little bit noisy.
The car brings city, eco and sport driving modes for different terrain as well which becomes a welcome addition. The overall ride, handling and suspension set-up of the car is totally on point and has not left much scope for the customers to have a negative experience. Light steering and a tough suspension provide an enjoyable experience, even when the car is pushed around corners and also brings a good braking system thus providing for a great driving experience as well.
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Safety has been one section where Tata has led without stiff competition. With all their cars scoring high on the safety tests similar results were expected from The Punch and undoubtedly the car has passed with flying colours. With a 5-star rating at the Global NCAP test by scoring 16.45 points out of 17, Tata Punch is India’s safest SUV. With safety features including two airbags, ABS and ISOFIX child safety seat anchors being standard Tata has once again made sure safety is their top priority for the customers. The car also comes with small tricks such as intrusion alert, find my car, speed alert, emergency SMS making it a very interactive experience. And with Tata Motors also providing a warranty of 5 years across their car lineup and having low maintenance costs, owning the Tata Punch is undoubtedly a relaxing ordeal.
Variants & Pricing
The Tata Punch is being offered in 4 Variant options.
1. Pure (MT) Rs 5.49 Lakhs onwards. (Ex-showroom Delhi)
The base variant with dual airbags, ABS, EBD, Tilt steering and front power windows among other features.
2. Adventure (MT/AT) Rs 6.39 Lakhs onwards. (Ex-showroom Delhi)
Powered with all 4 power windows, 3.5-inch floating display, 4 speakers, body-colored ORVMs, follow-me-home headlamps and more.
3. Accomplished (MT/AT) Rs 7.29 Lakhs onwards. (Ex-showroom Delhi)
It Houses the 7-inch floating display with android auto and apple carplay, Reverse camera, fog lamps, 4 speakers with 2 tweeters, cruise control, start-stop button, height-adjustable driver’s seat and more.
4. Creative (MT/AT) Rs 8.49 Lakhs onwards. (Ex-showroom Delhi)
The top-of-the-line model has leather-wrapped steering and gear knobs, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a cooled glove box, and a long list of other amenities. It also adds the ‘ira’ tech to the car for providing a complete interactive driving experience and one can keep proper track of their vehicle.
Along with these variants, Tata also has a list of customizable options at the disposal of the customer’s discretion such as accessories, color combinations thus expressing how well Tata has kept customer satisfaction in their minds.
The necessity for a small SUV that caters specifically to consumers on a low budget has always been a need in the Indian market, and Tata Punch has made sure it delivers precisely what the consumers wanted. A bold and aggressive exterior, comfortable and feature-packed interior with an airy and plush cabin feel. Housing segment-leading features as well to make the customers feel more wanted and more importantly, excellent mileage and lower running costs to be friendly to the customers pocket as well undoubtedly this car has what it takes to establish its presence in the market.
Yes, there can be areas where Tata can improve, first up providing the car with a diesel engine option, or the turbocharged engine choice as well along with a 6-speed transmission set-up. Tata motors have assured the buyers about the addition of a turbocharged engine. Shailesh Chandra, President of the passenger vehicles business unit for Tata Motors says they’re also working on bringing a pure electric variant of the Punch. They’re already in the process of working on it The engine can be better refined and AC vents at the back would certainly be a welcome addition, however, that being said the car has kept the budget buyers need in mind and we can surely expect a good performance by the Tata Punch and see it receive appreciation from the buyers. Would you choose this car over its rivals? Do let us know your views in the comment section below!