Old has to give way for the new. This is how the world works, with the only constant being change. There are five cars that will drive into the sunset in India this year, and among these cars, three already have cleared the production line and most stockyards. Today, we take a look at five cars you’re going to miss in the market, and list out the highs these cars stood for. While a few other cars have been discontinued too, your heart won’t beat as hard, for these cars don’t have that extra something, that something called character.
The Ford Fiesta was the best, sub-15 lakh rupee driver’s sedan sold in India, but has had to leave, rather too soon. Ford killed the new Fiesta way back in 2011, when it got too optimistic with the car’s pricing. Ever since, nothing has resuscitated this car, which is a gem to drive. Ask any owner of the Fiesta if you still harbour any doubts. India has lost a legend, a car that could have been so much more, to so many more buyers and enthusiasts. By discontinuing the Fiesta sedan in under 2 years after the major facelift, Ford has thrown up its arms in despair. Why doesn’t the sedan buyer in India appreciate cars that are super fun-to-drive? One can only hope that the Fiesta’s demise doesn’t inspire insipid cars to take its place, for life’s too short to be wasted behind the wheel of boring machines.
The Toyota Innova is still around, but this won’t be for long. One of the boldest moves from Toyota in India, the Innova replaced a best selling icon, the Qualis MUV, when it arrived way back in 2005. Eyebrows were raised when Toyota discontinued its best seller for something relatively unknown back then. But over the past decade, the Innova has endeared itself to lakhs of buyers, almost all of whom swear by the sheer reliability and workman-like character of this comfortable MPV. Later this year, production of the Innova at Bidadi is expected to roll to a halt, even as the MPV’s next generation version waits eagerly in the wings.
The Figo changed the game for Ford in India. This hatchback established that Ford could build hot selling cars that retained everything that the Ford driving DNA stood for, in an everyday package that wasn’t expensive to maintain in the long run. An image changer for Ford, the rain making Figo continues to be the sweetest handling hatchback that money can buy under 10 lakh rupees, period. The car’s diesel engine was just about adequate even as the petrol motor was under powered. Other bits such as space and features saved the day for the Figo, attracting more than just enthusiasts to its fold. Ford has stopped producing the Figo at Maramalainagar, with production of its replacement hatchback beginning at Sanand.
While it’s been much derided lately for being little else than a cab, the Indica was an epoch moment for Tata Motors, for it was India’s first indigenously developed passenger car that took on global giants. The Indica put Tata Motors through a steep learning curve, and along the way became the first car of lakhs of Indians. The car continues to be a source of livelihood for millions of cabbies who ply their rides across every nook and cranny of the country. So, it’s with some emotion that Tata Motors will say goodbye to this legend, even as the Kite hatchback arrives to take its place. The writing is on the wall, and the Indica is set to go the way the Vista did a few months ago, into the sunset.
The Classic could’ve been kept alive, for it was pure to drive, much purer than the Figo Aspire can ever aspire to be. With its party tricks being the fast hydraulic steering and the superbly set up suspension, the former Fiesta has danced many balls with enthusiasts willing to trade straight lines for curves. Though short on power in diesel guise, the Fiesta was never short on thrills. The petrol variant married power and handling like few cars in the budget category ever could. And the S variant that Ford sold for a while continues to inspire enthusiasts. Now discontinued and succeeded by the Figo Aspire, the Classic will go down as well, a classic.