Continued: Massive Hype, Big Flops; But why you SHOULD buy one

Fiat Abarth Twins

Fiat Punto Abarth

True to the brand name, the Abarth twins in India brought blistering pace at a not so heavy price tag. Of course, the Punto platform was ideal for the added power, but not a lot of people had seen if a well-built and rather-heavy can be as much fun.

Avventura Powered by Abarth

Sadly the commendable effort by Fiat India was received with disappointment. Not a lot of people turned up to buy the vehicles.

Why you should buy one:

If there has to be a vehicle (two of those, actually) that you can buy without thinking twice, then that ’s the Fiat Abarth Punto (or the Avventura Powered by Abarth). The 1.4-liter turbocharged petrol engine is nothing ordinary, the chassis balance is nothing short of superb, and the directness in the way the vehicle drives is available with no other car in its class or the ones above. It’s still got a hydraulic power steering and a manual gearbox — both of which are a joy, latter slightly less so.

Tata Aria

tata_aria

Although the Magna couldn’t make it to the production lines, the Aria did. And this premium product from Tata Motors looked promising. It made more power than the Safari, was more luxurious, and was a slightly different offering from everything Tata sold in the market. The Indian market’s inclination towards more rugged-looking vehicles, the presence of fierce competition from the likes of the XUV500, and the decently high price tag ensured the Aria stayed miles away from success.

Why you should buy one:

hexa

Do not. It will be replaced by the Hexa, which isn’t just more powerful, it’s going to be better specced, and will also offer segment-first features like an LR-like Terrain Response system, etc.

Ford Figo

Ford Figo motion

The first generation Ford Figo hatchback made the brand’s presence stronger in the country, thanks to an accessible price range, direct drive, and an overall simplicity that competitors lacked. The new Figo, then, should have been a hit, but as it turns out, it is yet to pick up pace.

Why you should buy one:

Multiple reasons for this one. While the directness of the previous Figo is lost a little, the new Figo is more premium, looks better, has more powerful engine options, and can quite be the hot hatch  without with the right set of upgrades. There’s a very powerful yet usable diesel engine that easily is the version of choice, while those looking for an automatic will not be disappointed in the 1.5-liter petrol unit that comes with dual-clutch gearbox. And you can get the exact configuration but with a larger boot in the form of the Figo Aspire compact sedan.

Figo Aspire

Figo Aspire side

The Figo Aspire came before the Figo but offers the functional of an added boot but keeping the price neat, thanks to its sub-four-meter dimensions. Ideally the vehicle could have gone to challenge the Amazes and Xcents of the segment, if not the very successful Dzire, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Why you should buy one:

It happens to be the only sedan (sub-four-meter) that can bring a smile to the driver’s face. It corners nicely, and the engines (except the base petrol) are powerful enough to handle every everyday situation. The cabin feels nice, even when compared to that of the sibling hatchback, and it can even compete with the midsize sedans in terms of driving fun.

Force One

Force One

Roping in Mr Amitabh Bachchan might do nothing to the product, but that can affect the vehicle’s overall sales. But like the Maruti Versa that he endorsed before it, the Force One also turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt. The vehicle is spacious inside, comes powered by a Mercedes-licensed engine, but misses out on interior quality, exterior design, and of course, a widespread sales and service network.

Why you should buy one:

It’s got its positives, but the competition has moved far ahead. Sadly we can’t quite advice you to buy one now.