India’s Longest Serving Veteran Cars – Part II

Snapshot – In our second edition of veteran cars that have been in the Indian market for the better part of a decade and a half, we take a look at six more cars that have stood the test of time, many of them going from strength to strength.

Tata Indica

Tata Indica EMAX CNG

Launched in 1998, the Tata Indica earned Tata Motors its spurs as a serious player in the passenger car segment. Big on value, space and features, the Indica got off to a strong start. Teething troubles did trouble the brand though, with Tata Motors coming back with a V2 variant that sorted out many of the car’s original problems. From here on, the Indica moved from strength to strength, establishing a stronghold in the cab segment. In its current, eV2 guise, the B-Segment hatchback is offered with CNG and diesel engine options. A new hatchback code-named the Kite is said to soon take over the reins from the Indica.

And the original avatar…

tata indica first generation

Maruti Suzuki WagonR

2013 Maruti Suzuki WagonR Facelift

When the WagonR first arrived into India in 1999, the car was Maruti Suzuki’s immediate response to the threat posed by the Hyundai Santro, the country’s first tall boy hatchback. In its initial years, the WagonR played a second fiddle to the Santro, which was going great guns. After a few years though, the WagonR came into its own, hitting the Santro hard and stealing sales. With LPG, CNG and petrol options on offer, the WagonR is seen as a reliable, no-nonsense family hatchback, and 12,000 monthly units of this car are sold on an average. Tellingly, the Santro has been retired by Hyundai.

And the original avatar…

first generation wagonr

Maruti Suzuki Alto

Maruti Alto F8D

The Maruti Suzuki Alto is the country’s largest hatchback. When it was first introduced in 2000 though, sales weren’t half as strong. The Alto had a formidable competitor within Maruti Suzuki showrooms, in the form of the 800 hatchback. Ultimately, Maruti had to slowly make the 800 fade away to let the Alto come into the limelight, and into buyers’ garages. The Alto is sold with 800cc and 1 liter petrol engines, and is the least priced automatic car in the country, what with the facelifted Alto K10 gaining an AMT option.

And the original avatar…

first generation maruti alto

Mahindra Bolero

Mahindra Bolero

Known primarily as a utility vehicle maker, Mahindra gingerly stepped into the passenger car space with the Armada, a five door MUV. The Armada was the Bolero’s predecessor, and since 2001 there has been no looking back for the latter – India’s best selling MUV. The Bolero is sold with a range turbo diesel engines that are reliable, fuel efficient and affordable to maintain. Available with multiple seating layouts, the Bolero is a big draw in rural and semi urban parts of the country.

And the original avatar…

first generation original mahindra bolero

Skoda Octavia

2015 Skoda Octavia vRS

The Octavia was launched in 2002, and established Skoda’s brand in India. Three generations of the Octavia have been sold in the country, all of them brisk sellers. The Octavia nameplate established that Skoda builds cars that are solid performers. However, Skoda’s poor after sales service could never really fulfil the potential that the Octavia brand came armed with. Yet, buyers opting for the Octavia do so on the car’s strengths rather than that of the brand. The Octavia’s latest iteration is its most luxurious and modern yet, and is based on the MQB platform.

And the original avatar

Mahindra Scorpio

2015 Mahindra Scorpio SUV Facelift 4

The Bolero put bread on the table but it took a Scorpio to make Mahindra the utility vehicle brand that family car buyers could begin seriously considering. The Scorpio is India’s best selling ladder frame equipped SUV, and is sold in a wide range of variants, catering both to the people mover and the SUV enthusiast segments. The Scorpio’s base S2 variant brings in the big numbers from semi-urban and rural markets, while the S4 4WD and S10 variants are enthusiast focused.

And the original avatar…

First Generation Mahindra Scorpio SUV