Has Tata punched above its weight?

The new micro-SUV from Tata is loaded with features. How it will fare in the long run is to be seen, but the initial package, including the price, looks attractive


By Auto Crat

The Punch can be Tata Motors’ big disruption fist in India’s small car segment, especially in the micro-SUV sector. When Tata Motors’ reputation in India isn’t anything to be proud of, a galaxy of new products, some of them of good quality, intends to change that perception. The Punch, makes its point through its reliable petrol engine, but also though its safety standard. The Global NCAP recently awarded the car a 5-star rating for adult protection in the crash test. In the test, it got 16.45 points out of 17 for adult safety and 10.89 points out of 49 for child occupant safety. That’s a great deal, with even Maruti Suzuki falling way back in that regard.

With it being called an SUV micro or not it is expected to be run on fast expressways and for long distances. But small cars, around the world, need safety standards that they generally do not match up. Tata has done this with the crash test, though other factors such as speed ratings of the standard tyres and overheating factors will also come into play. That will be proven over distances and over time.

Meanwhile, this new SUV has resulted in Tata showing off a long order list. Diving into the publicity mode, the company has tweeted: “The moment you have been waiting for is here. India, it’s time to #PackAPunch with the All-New TATA PUNCH. Smiling face with sunglasses”.

 Tata Punch is what can be called a sub-compact SUV. As of now, reviewers have called it spacious, well-designed, with modern up-to-date elements and functionality.

As with all Tata products, the price point has been kept at the best zone. A Tata Punch starts from around Rs 5.5 lakh. There are four Variants.

 The competition : Hatchbacks of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai.

How is this better?
The company claims that 5 advantages :
-Commanding driving position

-High ground clearance

-Space and comfort

-The safety of the customers.

 In a basic walk-around will Exterior of Tata Punch:
It is on what the company calls its Alpha architecture. Some reviewers are calling it a Safari lookalike, but it is not. The front grille and headlamps, side lamps are similar, but the rear is more like the Nexon. One can call it a mix and match, with sizes tapered down. It has a black grille like the Nexon, too. Doors open 90 degrees, for easy entry and exit. LED tail lamps, rear wiper, high mounted stop lamps and reflectors. Fog lamps in certain variants and large black cladding gives a nice impression.

Interior : Dual tone black and white.
In the top variant the four variants are: Pure, Adventure, Accomplished and Creative has a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system, which supports Android Auto and Apple Car Play. Plus a music system from Harmon.

 Plus features : Flat bottom steering wheel, cruise control, automatic climate control, engine start stop button, auto folding ORVM, cooled glove box, auto headlamps and rain sensing wipers. IRA connected car technology is also given in the top variant. For the convenience of the rear passengers, it gets armrests, although the rear AC vents are missing.

Engine :
1.2 liter Revotron petrol. The same engine is also available in the company’s Altroz. It generates 86PS of power and 113 Nm of peak torque. Transmission: 5-speed manual and a 5-speed AMT gearbox.

 According to the company, the engine has been updated with ram-air technology, which gives you better fuel efficiency even at high speeds.

 Special feature : Three traction modes – Sand, Mud and Rock. However, this is available only with the AMT gearbox.

 Ground clearance : 187mm.

 Drive modes : Eco and City.

 Savings : Idle Start Stop feature, to improve mileage.

Safety Features :
-Dual Airbags

– Reverse Parking Camera

– Front Fog Lamps with Cornering Function

-Auto Headlamps

-Rain Sensing Wipers

-Fortified Cabin

-Rear Defogger

-Support Isofix

Engine and Transmission:
Engine Type                          1.2 Revotron Petrol

Fuel Type                                Petrol

No Of Cylinders                       3

Gearbox                                 5 Speed

Engine Displacement              1199 cc

Max Power                             84.48bhp@6000rpm

Drive Type                              FWD (front-wheel drive)

Transmission Type                 Automatic

Drive modes                          Eco & City

Performance and Fuel Economy
Mileage (ARAI)                                    18.97 Kmpl

Brakes, Steering, Suspension and Tyres:
Suspension Front                    Independent, Lower Wishbone, McPherson with Coil Spring

Suspension Rear                    Semi-independent twist with shock absorber.

Wheel Size                              R15

Brakes Rear                             Drum

Suspension Rear                    Rear Semi Independent Twist Beam
with Coil Spring

Interior Dimensions:
Seating Capacity                      5

Fuel Capacity                          37 Liters

Exterior Dimensions:

Length*Width*Height              3827*1742*1615 mm^3

Wheelbase                               2445 mm

4 Variants:
Pure                                       Rs. 5.49 Lakh

Adventure                               Rs. 6.39 Lakh

Accomplished                         Rs. 7.29 Lakh

Creative                                  Rs. 8.49 Lakh

Additional Features                 Central Remote Locking With Flip
Key, 90-Degree Door Opening; D-Cut Steering Wheel.