Tata Motors launched the Punch micro-SUV earlier this month, with introductory prices ranging between Rs 5.49 lakh-9.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), valid up to December 31. The Punch is the smallest SUV in Tata’s line-up and slots between the Tiago NRG and Nexon compact SUV.
It is solely available with a naturally aspirated petrol engine, although it does get the option of both a manual and an AMT automatic gearbox. It is available in eight trims – Pure, Pure(O), Adventure, Adventure (O), Accomplished, Accomplished (O), Creative and Creative (O) – where (O) denotes optional custom packages for each trim. So if you are in the market for a Tata Punch, we’ll tell you which variant you should go for.
- Base Pure trim feels too bare-bones
- Accomplished trim is the most value-for-money pick
- Top-spec Creative trim is well loaded, but pricey
Tata Punch: which engine gearbox combination to pick?
Under the hood, the Tata Punch is powered by a sole 86hp, 113Nm, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine and comes mated to either a 5-speed manual or an AMT automatic gearbox.
In our review of the Tata Punch, we found that both the manual and AMT gearboxes are fairly smooth and easy to operate, although they are suited to very different needs. The AMT gearbox is more refined than Tata’s older-gen units and shift shocks and pauses between gearshifts are pretty well contained. However, the gearbox does have a tendency to upshift to the highest gear at the earliest (in the interest of fuel economy), thereby encouraging a laid-back driving style. It’s thus very well suited for stress-free driving in the city, something that newbie drivers and first time auto gearshift users will greatly appreciate.
However, to get the most out of this engine, which is anyway not particularly exciting, one should stick with the manual gearbox. Thankfully, the clutch is light and easy to operate and will be fine for use within the city. Both gearboxes return comparable ARAI rated fuel economy – 18.97kpl for the manual and 18.82kpl for the automatic.
Tata Punch: what do you get for your money?
As already mentioned, the Punch is available in eight trims and based on the features offered with each trim, here’s what you should pick to get the most bang for your buck.
Tata Punch Pure (Rs 5.49 lakh-5.84 lakh)
The base Pure trim of the Punch has been competitively priced, but it’s quite bare bones both on the inside and outside and feels like a car bought on a strict budget. While it comes equipped with basic safety features like dual airbags, ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors, it only gets halogen headlamps, 15-inch steel wheels, front power windows and misses out on a basic 2-DIN audio system. Opt for the optional Rhythm package for an additional Rs 35,000, and you will get a 4-speaker sound system operated through a 3.5-inch screen on the dashboard.
Tata Punch Adventure (Rs 6.39 lakh-7.34 lakh)
Moving on to the Adventure trim, this version of the Punch feels a little more upmarket, thanks to exterior upgrades such as body coloured outside rear view mirrors and door handles and full wheel covers. Even on the inside, it gains conveniences like electric adjust for the wing mirrors, rear power windows, USB charging ports and a 4-speaker audio system with a 3.5-inch screen. It also brings in the convenience of the AMT gearbox. However, for Rs 90,000 over the Pure trim, it does not feel like a significant upgrade. Adding the optional Rhythm pack brings in a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a rear parking camera, but the price also shoots up by another Rs 35,000.
Tata Punch Accomplished (Rs 7.29 lakh-8.34 lakh)
For just Rs 65,000 more than the Adventure trim with the Rhythm pack, the Accomplished trim packs in a lot more features that will be appreciated by owners in the long run. Features from the Rhythm pack of the Adventure trim come as standard here and it also gains a lot of feel-good features such as cruise control, keyless entry and go, push button start/stop, driver’s seat height adjust, fog lamps, LED tail lights and even a Traction Pro mode for the AMT gearbox. You can make it even more upmarket with the optional Dazzle pack for an additional Rs 45,000, that although a little more expensive, brings in niceties such as 16-inch alloy wheels and projector headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lamps. It offers the most of what the Punch has to offer, without having to upgrade to the top-spec trim.
Tata Punch Creative (Rs 8.49 lakh-9.39 lakh)
Top-spec Creative trims on the Punch are certainly on the pricier side, and cost Rs 1.20 lakh more than the Accomplished trim. However, for that money, the Punch comes loaded with all the amenities you’d expect from a modern car. New additions include roof rails, auto-folding wing mirrors, puddle lamps, automatic headlamps and wipers, cooled glovebox, leather steering and gear knob, auto climate control and a rear center armrest. Tata has surely gone all out with the top-spec Creative trim of the Punch. The optional iRA pack adds connected car tech for an additional Rs 30,000, although this can be skipped. You also get dual-tone color options on the top-spec Creative trim.
Tata Punch: which variant to buy?
Now to answer this question, the base Pure trim feels quite bare-bones and should be opted for only when on a strict budget. Meanwhile, the next-in-line Adventure trim does not feel like a significant step up from the base trim, but commands a significant step up in price, and hence should be avoided. The Accomplished is the one that promises the most bang for your buck, packing in all the essentials you’ll ever need. The Accomplished trim with the optional Dazzle Pack would be our pick of the range. As for the top-spec Creative trim, if you want the bragging rights of the top-spec variant, and can afford it, then the Punch Creative makes for a sensible buy as it will hold its relevance for all the conveniences it has to offer for quite a few years to come.