That our car market has hit a rough patch isn’t really breaking news, but that’s no reason to think that carmakers are giving up. Judging by the slew of cars set to make it here in 2014, we have a lot to look forward to. So before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to run through our list of new SUVs, MPVs, hatchbacks and saloons headed our way in 2014.
Nissan has brought the Datsun brand back from the dead after over three decades, and the Go will be its first model. The new Datsun will be a budget brand with all its core products priced under Rs 4 lakh. The Go’s styling is quite aggressive and certainly not like the other low-cost cars, like the Renault Logan, another car from the Renault-Nissan Alliance. On the inside, it gets low-cost, but nicely designed parts, and this has helped keep the costs down. An interesting detail is the gearlever and parking brake which have been moved to the dash and space between the two front seats has been bridged by a cushion and a backrest. Though risky, Indian car buyers are likely to use this space ‘innovatively’. The car’s wheelbase is the same as that of the Nissan Micra and hence, there’s plenty of space on the inside. It will also be powered by the Nissan Micra’s 1.2-litre petrol motor, but with less power. Datsun will focus on making this car both fuel efficient and affordable to maintain.
On sale: March 2014
Price: Rs 3.0-3.5 lakh
Engine(s): 1.2 P
Competition: Maruti WagonR, Hyundai i10, Chevrolet Beat
Honda New Jazz
The very capable Honda Jazz had a relatively short life in India, thanks to poor demand, caused mainly by a high sticker price and the lack of a diesel option. However, an all-new Jazz is coming next year and is going to tackle both those issues head on. Firstly, it will be available from the outset with Honda’s brilliant 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine that currently sits in the nose of the Amaze. The 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol engine will also return, and Honda is working to localise the car more extensively to price it more competitively this time around. The new look of the Jazz with its attractive grille and headlamps and more rounded roof do wonders for its image. While the old car’s one-box, MPV-like looks may have put some people off, the next-gen Jazz fares a lot better in this respect. And as with the outgoing Jazz, you can expect lots of space in the cabin and a big boot too, thanks to Honda’s legendary interior packaging skills.
On sale: End 2014
Price: Rs 5.5-7.5 lakh
Engine(s): 1.2 P, 1.5 D
Competition: Hyundai i20, VW Polo
Chevrolet Beat Facelift
There’s no doubt the Chevy Beat is one of the most modern looking hatches on sale in India. However, GM felt it needed an update, and in late 2011 introduced a facelift, which GM India has taken its time to bring here. The good news is that we’ll be seeing it next year. There’s a bit more chrome on the outside, and a softer edge to the grille. There are new bumpers, new mirrors and reprofiled head- and tail-lamps. GM will also likely take the opportunity to rejig its model line-up, introducing both more affordable as well as better equipped models.
On sale: Mid 2014
Price: Rs 4-6 lakh
Engine(s): 1.2 P, 1.0 D
Competition: Hyundai i10, Maruti WagonR
Maruti New Celerio
Hyundai found room in its hatchback line-up for another model - the Grand i10, and now Maruti will replace two of its hatches with a new one. The company only recently discontinued the slow-selling Zen Estilo, and the A-star is also slated to get the axe. Filling the rather large gap in the range left by both these cars will be one all-new hatchback, called Celerio which will be built on an all-new platform. Initially, the car will be powered by one of Maruti’s K-series engines, most likely the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder K10 that currently powers the Alto K10, WagonR and A-star. There could be a diesel at a later stage, and that will likely be the famous Fiat 1.3-litre Multijet that powers many other Maruti cars. As you can see from the spy photograph, the YL7 has a bit of a ‘tall boy’ profile, and this points to lots of space in the cabin – something that has been an issue in the smaller Maruti hatchbacks. The Celerio will be revealed at the 2014 Auto Expo in February.
On sale: Early 2014
Price: Rs 3-4 lakh
Engine(s): 1.0 P
Competition: Hyundai Grand i10, Ford Figo
Tata Indica Vista Facelift
Tata’s Indica Vista is scheduled for an extensive makeover and the company will display the updated car at the Auto Expo in Feb 2014. The refreshed car is expected to receive a host of upgrades to improve its value proposition, which has taken a hit in recent times. The facelift will borrow a lot of styling cues inspired from the Manza hybrid showcased at last year’s Auto Expo, which will include a whole new design for the front. The signature tail-lamps will make way for differently designed units as well. The refreshed interiors will sport more equipment too. The engines will remain the same but there are rumours that Tata is working on a new three-cylinder diesel engine to put under the hood of the new Vista.
On sale: Early 2014
Price: Rs 4.11-6.82 lakh
Engine(s): 1.2 P, 1.3 D
Competition: Hyundai i10, Maruti WagonR
Hyundai New i20
There’s an all-new i20 that’s just being given its final finishing touches, and you’ll be able to buy it next year. It’s built on an all-new platform, and going by the photos we’ve seen of it testing, it appears to have grown in size a bit. This makes sense, as the recently introduced Grand i10 offers close to as much space as the current car. We don’t expect the engine options to change – a 1.4-litre petrol and diesel as well as a 1.2-litre petrol. The styling, like the Grand i10’s, will be a more grown up, restrained evolution of the company’s now iconic Fluidic Sculpture design language, and as ever, expect it to be packed to the brim with equipment.
On sale: Late 2014
Price: Rs 5-8 lakh
Engine(s): 1.2 P, 1.4 P, 1.4 D
Competition: Maruti Swift, VW Polo
Issue: 180 | August 2014
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