The Indian market is a tough one to survive in. Not only do customers have brand preference, they also have strong brand hate on other side. There are some cars that were either too early for their time or tried to conquer the segment but weren’t successful and were discontinued. There are 7 such cars that are making a comeback soon.
Nissan currently has only one SUV on sale in the country, the Terrano. Globally, the Nissan brand is well known for its SUVs, however we haven’t received any global SUV yet. While we did have the X-Trail on sale previously, it was removed from the Indian market a few years ago.
After having showcased the new X-Trail at the 2016 Auto Expo, the company is expected to bring the X-Trail name back to India sometime this year. The new X-Trail which will come will be offered in hybrid form only, which will make it the only hybrid SUV in the segment and the only compact SUV to get a hybrid powertrain (the other SUV being the XC90). The vehicle is expected to be priced around the 35 lakh mark. Power comes from a 2.0 liter petrol engine that is mated with an electric motor. Output from the petrol engine is 145 Bhp and 207 Nm where as the electric motor produces 40 Bhp and 107 Nm.
The Civic was a car that India loved. It was a sporty executive sedan that looked great, drove well and even after a decade, continues to stay fresh. Very few cars have managed to do that in India, the Civic being one of them. Sadly due to the coming of diesel alternatives, the Civic lost out and was later discontinued. Good news though for those who miss it. Honda is planning to revive the Civic brand with the all-new Civic. It looks a lot more fresh with LED headlamps and the new grill. Power comes from either a 1.8 liter, 2.0 liter NA engine or a 1.5 liter turbo petrol engine. India will mostly get the same 1.8 that was previously on offer in the Civic.
VW showcased the Passat at the 2016 Auto Expo and said that it will make a comeback to India in 2017. The only thing we do not know is whether the company will bring in the GTE hybrid version or the mainscale diesel version. A few diesel test cars have been spotted in India though. The diesel will be powered by a 2.0 liter engine that produces 174 Bhp and will be mated to a 6-speed DSG. It will be interesting to see if the company does bring in the GTE version, since the Camry hybrid is doing well.
Skoda Octavia vRS
The vRS was one of the first cars that were built to cater to the enthusiast market. The 1.8 liter turbo petrol was the only affordable turbo car in the country at that time. That coupled with the sleek looks make it a car that people still crave to own. While the current Octavia has a vRS too, we are yet to get it. That will change come mid 2017 when the company will introduce the new vRS in the country. If reports are to be believed, it will get the 2.0 liter TSi unit making 227 Bhp and 350 Nm. There could also be a diesel vRS which is the same 2.0 liter TDi unit but produces 182 Bhp and 380 Nm. Interesting times ahead for the petrol heads.
The famous Santro is expected to make a come back to the Indian market. It is a car that bought Hyundai on the map from no where. It was launched way back in 1997 and continued to be on sale till 2015. While details on the new car are scarce, we do know that the vehicle is expected to reach our shores sometime next year. Positioning is not clear, since they already have the Eon and the Grand i10. Since they have discontinued the i10, this could possibly replace that.
The Prius is all set to make a come back to the Indian market very soon. The launch was slated for the first part of 2017. The vehicle was unveiled at the Auto Expo last year and then showcased at Toyota’s festival, the Caravan late last year. The vehicle is powered by a 1.8 liter Atkinson engine coupled with an electric motor. the engine churns out 96 Bhp and 142 Nm where as the electric motor produces 71 Bhp and 163 Nm. It has a claimed fuel efficiency of 40kmpl which is very impressive.
While Mitsubishi hasn’t really been very strong over the past few years, they are well known for their SUVs. The previous Outlander was very capable and also sold in decent numbers. This is expected to make a come back to the Indian market and a few units of the same were imported for testing as well. What is interesting is that the Outlander will come with a 7-seat option, something that the CR-V and the Tucson lack. Power will come from a 2.4 liter engine making 165 Bhp and 222 Nm.