Even though it is known that the overall automotive industry in India has been facing a rather slump period since the past two years, the floor at the recently concluded 2014 Delhi Motor Show begged to differ.
Even though it is known that the overall automotive industry in India has been facing a rather slump period since the past two years, the floor at the recently concluded 2014 Delhi Motor Show begged to differ.Â
The week-long show, which ended on February 11, 2014 boasted seventy vehicle debuts, including 26 global reveals. We pick out our top five favorites that are slated to launch in the country before the end of 2014.Â
Honda Mobilio MPV
Honda’s onslaught on its way to recovery, which began with the company’s first-ever diesel engine equipped Amaze sedan last year will continue with the same momentum in 2014 as well – courtesy of the all-new Honda Mobilio MPV. The three-row, seven seater people carrier is the third model that has taken shape from the Brio platform after the Brio hatchback and the Amaze sedan. The MPV will be offered in both petrol and diesel engine options that will come mated to a 5-Speed manual gearbox. We also hope to see an automatic gearbox thrown in the mix. The Mobilio MPV is scheduled to be launched in the second quarter of 2014 and when it does it will rival the likes of Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo, etc. We expect the MPV to be priced between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 12 lakh in the Indian market.Â
The seven-seater Mobilio MPV is not the only blockbuster model that will see the light of day in the Indian market this year. It will be joined by the very capable all-new Honda Jazz that had a short life in India, thanks to poor demand caused mainly by a higher price tag and the lack of a diesel option. However, the all-new Jazz is expected to launch by the end of 2014 and promises to tackle both the issues head on. It will be powered by the Honda’s 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine and also the automaker is trying to localise the production of the car so as to price it more competitively. We expect the Jazz to be priced between Rs 5.5 lakh and Rs 7.5 lakh.Â
Nissan resurrected it low-cost Datsun brand last year after over three decades of absence. And the first model that will come out with the Datsun tag in the Indian market is all-new Datsun Go hatchback. Styling-wise, the Go hatchback looks aggressive and not like other low-cost cars. On the inside, it gets low-cost, but nicely designed parts. The Go is based on the same platform as the Nissan Micra and hence, the car is spacious on the inside. Datsun Go will come powered by the Micra’s 1.2-litre petrol unit and will be priced below Rs 4 lakh.Â
Toyota Corolla AltisÂ
Toyota’s flagship sedan, the Corolla Altis has finally gone for an extensive facelift and was presented at the 2014 Delhi Motor Show. The sedan now in its 11th generation features tons of styling cues taken from the Furia Concept shown at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2013, which means a sculpted chin, upswept headlamps and thicker character lines across the doors. The rear resembles the Toyota Camry and wears lots of chrome. Expected to go on sale in May 2014, the new Corolla Altis could be priced between Rs 12.3 lakh and Rs 16.7 lakh.Â
Mercedes Benz GLA-ClassÂ
In a surprise move, Mercedes Benz India not only showcased the European-spec production vehicle of its smallest SUV at the convention, but also confirmed that the GLA-Class will grace the Indian shores before the end of 2014. Merc’s baby-SUV is based on the company’s new and versatile front-wheel drive MFA platform that has already proved its capability with the stunning A-Class, CLA-Class and the B- Class Sports Tourer. Making use of Merc’s aggressive design DNA coupled with luxurious class-leading interiors, the GLA-Class will undoubtedly, shake up the luxury compact SUV segment in India. The soft-roader will be brought into the country via the CBU route and will be offered in both petrol and diesel engine options that will come mated to a 7-Speed dual clutch transmission. When launched, the GLA will go head on with the likes of the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1.Â
In spite of slump period, car manufacturers in India have confidence that they will be able to capture a sizeable chunk of the market.Â
Let’s see how they do it!