Snapshot – There are cars, and then, there are boring cars. Some cars want to make you sit and stare at them all day long. Others make watching paint dry a better proposition. Boring is a mild word to describe the design of a few cars in our ‘India’s Most Boring Budget Cars’ list. We’re not picking on super affordable cars as their USP is their affordability. We won’t turn school bullies too. So, that means the Omnis and Eecos of the world are pardoned. Some others, certainly aren’t, and this list is to hold the mirror at their faces.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio
The Maruti Suzuki Celerio was designed to singularly replace two cars – the A-Star and the Estilo. Somewhere along the line, designers of the Celerio thought that it would be a good idea to combine boring lines with square shapes. And the Celerio was born. For a car that has many firsts to its credit, the design is just a big disappointment. While the Celerio could have flown out of showrooms with the Maruti badge on the bonnet and a sharp design that tugs at heart strings, the car is now an average seller, selling mainly on the strength of AMT technology.
The Toyota Liva is a perfect example of a lost opportunity for the world’s largest car maker. Toyota got away with thwe Qualis’ bread box design but simply failed to read the tea leaves in case of the Liva hatchback. The Liva operates in a segment where looks are also an important criteria for car buyers, what with options such as the Maruti Swift and Hyundai Grand i10 also available at similar price points. The Liva looks like it designed in the 1980s and this has ensured that the car is now a cabbie favourite.
The Verito is the Renault Logan that has been given a bad makeover by Mahindra. While bad makeovers can sell SUVs, which sell on the strength of butch looks, the Verito fails to inspire buyers with its slab sided design. The car is a very capable package though, what with the 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel motor under the hood and the wide body design that offers good space on the inside. The Verito’s diesel engine is known to be very reliable, long lasting and fuel efficient. But looks matter too, and the taxi image hasn’t done this car any favours.
India’s entry level C-Segment sedan category hosts a flurry of boring cars, and the Sail is perhaps the most boring one of the lot. The Sail was an excellent opportunity to General Motors, which was frittered away with looks that would have sold cars a decade earlier, and interiors that don’t inspire either. The Sail does have its strengths in the form of a strong 1.3 liter turbo diesel engine, affordable maintenance packages and spacious interiors. However, there’s only so much a boring car can do.
The Chevrolet Enjoy is a rebadged Wuling Hongguang, which is a best selling MPV in China. While the Chinese find the looks of the Enjoy palatable, this MPV is clearly too boring for Indian tastes. Even good pricing and the 1.3 liter turbo diesel engine under the hood couldn’t save the rear wheel driven Enjoy, with competition coming from the mighty Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. The Enjoy is one more entry to the insipid range of cars that General Motors has been serving the Indian market with.
The Nissan Evalia is unconventional with a capital U. It looks large and unweildy but claims great fuel efficiency. It features unusual windows and sliding doors. And last but not the least, the Evalia looks like a delivery van instead of a family MPV. All this has proven to be too hard to digest for the MPV buyer in India, who finds the odd looking Mahindra Xylo a much better bet than the Evalia. Nobody knows why Nissan is even carrying on with production of the Evalia with such abysmal sales numbers.