While 2018 wasn’t exactly a slow year in terms of new car launches, 2019 looks jam-packed already with not one, not two, but five all-new models slated for launch in January itself. And it’s a really interesting mix spanning different segments – in the mix are an affordable, mass-market hatchback, two midsize SUVs, an entry-level luxury sedan, a luxury MPV and a full-blown seven-seat luxury SUV. Here’s what the line-up looks like:
Toyota Camry (Jan 18)
The all-new Camry will arrive in India in hybrid guise only. Compared to the outgoing model, the new petrol-electric powertrain has been updated to produce a total of 208hp (176hp/221Nm from the petrol engine and 118hp from the electric motor). The eight-gen Camry is based on the same platform that underpins the Lexus ES 300h, which means that the new Toyota is larger and more spacious than the outgoing model. The new entry-level luxury sedan has also been redesigned to look more aggressive and features a significantly updated cabin. There’s a new 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 10-inch head-up display and a 7.0-inch multi-information display in the instrument cluster. Despite benefitting from the Indian government’s FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles) scheme due to its hybrid status, Toyota’s new rival to the Skoda Superb, Volkswagen Passat and Honda Accord is expected to be priced at about Rs 39 lakh (ex-showroom).
New Toyota Camry Hybrid review, test drive
Nissan Kicks (Jan 22)
Nissan has officially begun taking bookings for its new Renault Captur, Hyundai Creta and Maruti Suzuki S-cross rival. The India-spec Kicks larger than its international counterpart as it is based on the Japanese brand’s M0 platform (shared with the Captur and Terrano), unlike the international model, which is based on the V platform. The model is entering quite a competitive segment, where Nissan hopes segment-first features such as a 360-degree surround-view camera will help distinguish the Kicks from its rivals. Also on the equipment list are an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED projector headlamps and cruise control, among other things. Engine and transmission options, for now, are shared with the Renault Captur and include the 106hp, 1.5-litre petrol motor and 110hp, 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine, mated to 5-speed manual and 6-speed manual gearboxes, respectively.
2019 Nissan Kicks India review, test drive
2019 Nissan Kicks image gallery
Nissan Kicks video review
Maruti Suzuki Wagon R (Jan 23)
Like the outgoing model, which has been on sale in India since 1999 (though it was updated in 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2013), the all-new Wagon R is a made-for-India vehicle. While it will retain its predecessor’s boxy silhouette, the new tall-boy hatchback will have a more rounded look and is expected to be longer. The added length is expected to help liberate more legroom at the rear, with reclining rear seats providing more comfort. The new model will be based on the same platform as the outgoing WagonR, albeit with updates to meet India’s upcoming crash test norms. The same three-cylinder, 1.0-litre engine is expected to be retained (with petrol and CNG variants), along with 5-speed manual and AMT options. Higher-spec variants of the new Wagon R are likely to feature a SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system found on other Maruti Suzuki cars. When it launches, it will compete against the Hyundai Santro, Datsun Go facelift, Tata Tiago and its own stable-mate, the Maruti Suzuki Celerio.
Tata Harrier (Jan 23)
One of the most anticipated launches of 2019 is the Tata Harrier. Expected to be priced between Rs 16-21 lakh (on-road), the new rival to the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Mahindra XUV500 and Jeep Compass will be offered in four variants. While there’s no automatic gearbox or AWD on offer at launch, the Harrier, which is based on the same platform that underpins Land Rover’s Discovery Sport, is expected to be more capable off-road than its front-wheel-drive rivals thanks to the Land Rover-like Terrain Response controller for the ESP. The 140hp, 2.0-litre diesel engine (sourced from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) will have three drive modes – Eco, City and Sport. Distinct styling, spacious interiors, a feature-rich cabin and segment-rivalling safety kit mean the Harrier has plenty of people waiting – now to see if Tata can surprise everyone with the pricing.
Tata Harrier vs rivals: Specifications comparison
2019 Tata Harrier video review
2019 Tata Harrier review, test drive
Tata Harrier vs rivals: Feature comparison
Tata Harrier variant breakup revealed
Mercedes-Benz V-class (Jan 24)
Mercedes is set to re-enter the premium luxury MPV segment with the V-class. The current-gen model, which has been on sale internationally since 2014, will be shipped in from Spain as a CBU. Depending on its sales, Mercedes will consider local assembly for the V-class. The India-spec model is expected to come in two lengths – 5,140mm and 5,370mm – and two seating configurations – six-seater and seven-seater. The MPV will be powered by a BS VI-compliant version of Mercedes-Benz’s 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine, which will be mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Expect prices to be in the range of Rs 75-80 lakh (ex-showroom).
BMW X7 (Jan 31)
BMW’s all-new flagship SUV, the X7, will be unveiled in India on January 31 though sales will start later in the year. The first version to go on sale will be the range-topping M50d variant. Estimated to be priced at Rs 1.6 crore, the X7 M50d is powered by a quad-turbocharged, 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine that generates 400hp and a massive 760Nm of torque. Lower-powered variants – the xDrive40i (340hp, 3.0-litre petrol) and xDrive30d (265hp, 3.0-litre diesel) – will arrive in September 2019 via the CKD route. All engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic that sends power to all four wheels. An off-road package, which comes with four surface-specific drive modes, is expected as standard too. While it hasn’t been confirmed, the X7 may be offered in two seating configurations – six-seat and seven-seat. Its cabin is similar to the X5’s and comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display, four-zone climate control system, soft-close doors, a three-piece glass sunroof, a park assistant function with a reversing camera and a reclining function for all three rows.
BMW lines-up 12 new launches for 2019
2019 BMW X7 image gallery