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Market success is of course an important way to know if a car is worthy of its price and position or not. And one way to make it a hit is by creating a lot of hype around it: through advertisements, early drive reviews, etc. But sometimes it so happens that even the hyped cars turn out to be market failures. We look at them and why they deserve to be added to your garage.

Tata Safari Storme

Tata Safari Storme

When the Safari was about to be given a major update (new generation, actually) everyone was excited about it. Well, apart from the Dicor, it was the first time Tata Motors was going to give the market an all-new Safari, and thus the hype was well worth it. But with a design that looked more sensible than flashy, underpinnings that were more technical and less marketing-worthy, the Safari Storme failed to be a hit with the masses.

Why you should buy one:

Apart from the almost insurmountable comfort that the Safari’s seats and cabin offer, there’s the brilliant ride quality, ability to be driven over long distances, and the charm. And if all of it doesn’t convince you yet, the Safari Storme (in the VariCOR 400 variant) offers competition-bashing levels of maximum torque, a six-speed gearbox, and at a price that makes it one of the best VFM vehicles on sale in the country.

By Tata Motors’ own claimed figures, the Storme 400 accelerates from 0-100 Kph in just 12.8 seconds, and from 0-60 Kph in 5.2 seconds. In comparison, the XUV500 does the run in 13.3 seconds and 5.9 seconds, and the Fortuner 2.5 does the same run in 13.4 and 6 seconds respectively.

Chevrolet Trailblazer

Chevrolet Trailblazer

The seven-seat SUV segment is a tough nut to crack, because the segment is quite limited (in terms of sales figures) and the well-settled leaders are in no way to make way for others. Launching the Trailblazer wasn’t going to be a safe bet. And of course, it wasn’t. But the idea of getting a real Chevy (and not a GM-SAIC product) with enough bulges and creases to make the Fortuner look small, was intriguing, to say the least. Sadly in the end, partially due to CBU pricing, slightly outdated styling, and lack of options mean the Trailblazer couldn’t live up to the hype.

Why you should buy one:

Apart from the above mentioned looks etc., the Trailblazer, with its 2.8-liter diesel engine (197 hp, 500 Nm) can do 0-100 kmph in just under 10 seconds. And if going mid- to high-level off-roading isn’t your criterion behind buying the vehicle, the Trailblazer still makes sense. And if of course, worth a second look. Since a facelifted version might be coming sometime early next year, you can try getting a decent discount on the outgoing vehicle.

Renault Lodgy

Renault Lodgy

Based on the same platform as the Duster, the Lodgy was hugely awaited. It seemed promising because:

1). It was supposed to have most good bits from the Duster,

2). It was supposed to be more spacious than other car-based rivals.

And although it was the same vehicle as everyone expected and wanted it to be, the sales figures tell a very different story. With about 500 monthly sales, the Lodgy is nowhere close to the Ertiga (manages about 5k sales) or the Innova (previous generation’s monthly sales were in the same ballpark as the Ertiga).

Why you should buy one:

The Lodgy offers comparable space and stability on the move as the Innova but is less expensive — undercuts the previous generation Innova by almost 5 lakhs. The Duster platform makes it interesting to drive, so the one in the driver’s seat stays happy, and the almost flat ride (for an MPV) ensures the passengers remain comfortable, even while at high speeds. Also, while not an SUV, the Lodgy can handle bad roads with ease.

Tata Nano

Tata Nano

You must have already read it a zillion times that the Nano was based on the noble idea of providing a proper four-wheeler mode of transport at a pocket-friendly price. Sadly amidst political issues and apprehension from everyone including industry leaders to environmentalists, the Nano got bogged down. There was a lot of hype, but market success? Not much. After multiple updates and about seven years later, the car manages about 1,500 units every month. That’s about 1/10th of what the more expensive Alto range does.

Why you should buy one:

Now coming to the model itself, the Nano is nothing short of commendable. It’s got great packaging (efficient use of space), has a powerful AC, and can be parked in almost the same space as two bikes side by side. All of that, the ease of driving, and the optional AMT gearbox make the Nano a worthy buy.

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta Sedan Facelift Studio Shot

Ford was extensively testing the then new Fiesta (and even the Fiesta hatchback), back in the day. And with the kind of success the outgoing Fiesta (later named Fiesta Classic,and then Classic) achieved, the new Fiesta’s success was almost inevitable. But a quirky boot design and a high-ish price did manage to stop the Fiesta name to reach the heights that were achieved by its predecessor.

Why you should buy one:

Although Ford lists the car on its website, the dealerships don’t have the car. So your best bet is of course getting a used one. But even then, the Fiesta is a gem not worth missing out on. The electro-mechanical steering (not hydraulic anymore) is the best among the current Fords. The car’s balance is hard to fault, and the cabin also feels special.

Continued: Massive Hype, Big Flops, but why you should buy one

Posted in Buyer ContentFeaturedNews and Views