“Tata knows what Indians want, Tata creates what Indians need.”
First of all we would say that Tata is back with a punch on all the rivals. Punch slots in below the Nexon, which is already a sub-4m vehicle, for that tasty tax break. It’s just 3.8 metre long, but still packs in impressive space, a useable boot, light weight and some capability.
Much like the Tata Harrier and the Tata Safari, the Punch too gets a set of sleek DRLs on top and boxy projector headlamp units on the bumper below. The fog lights too, sit within the bumper. The raised bonnet line not only looks good, but also aids visibility for the driver and passenger. 16 inch alloys spruce up the overall look of the vehicle. At the back the Punch looks cool and this is enhanced by the three-tone color of the vehicle.
Tata punch has a great bright Interior and most probably best in the segment. The 7 inch Harman infotainment system sits in the middle and offers a plethora of functions which include Apple and Android connectivity and even serves as a display for the climate control system. The layered dashboard design is pleasing to look at, and so are its rectangular air-vents. Contrasting white panels, textured plastics and other materials look appealing.
The rear seat is where things get really surprising. Sitting at the back with the driver’s seat adjusted for our driving position, at 5’9”, we were surprised by the legroom and general comfort. Headroom is also generous. The floor pan is almost completely flat, so the unlucky middle passenger may not be so unlucky after all. There are no rear AC vents, however. Like the Altroz, the doors open to 90 degrees. Combined with the 190 mm (unladen) ground clearance, ingress and egress are quite easy, and this should be a good vehicle for senior citizens or those with mobility challenges.
We get a 1.2-litre petrol engine with either a five speed manual or AMT and that’s about it. It’s the same naturally aspirated ‘Revotron’ engine that we have seen in the Altroz and the Tiago. Here, it makes 84bhp of power and 113Nm of torque. There are two drive modes on offer – City and Eco though it’s best to leave it in City mode as default because throttle responses feel marginally duller in Eco mode, pedal to the metal driving reveals a greater performance delta between these two modes, particularly in the AMT version.
Tata Motors fully expects the Punch to hit the hatchback sales, as well as some from the competition: the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite. Price hasn’t been declared yet but expecting the range would be from 5 lakhs to 9 lakhs on exshowroom.