The last quarter of the year is the time when manufacturers reap maximum profits. Firstly, a lot of people buy new cars around Diwali (with the maximum deliveries taking place on Dhanteras). Secondly, many wait for the lucrative year-end offers since prices rise in the new year. This year was interesting since the biennial Indian Auto Expo was conducted this February, which is where the launching spree started. Here’s a list of the recently launched and soon-to-be-launched cars in the country that you should look out for this festive season.
The Ameo is the first vehicle from German giant Volkswagen to be specifically developed for India. The compact sedan segment in which the Ameo competes is undoubtedly one of the most flooded segments in the country. The petrol version of the car was launched earlier in June, while the diesel one was launched last month. VW certainly came late to the party, but offers the most value-packed product, with the maximum number of features and the most powerful diesel engine in its class with an option of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Also, in terms of safety, it comes with dual front airbags and ABS (anti-lock braking system) as standard.
Check out our Ameo review: Volkswagen Ameo Diesel: First Drive Review
The Hyundai Elantra was the surprise entry of the year. It was not even showcased at this year’s Auto Expo but came before the Tucson, which was showcased. Like the previous model, the new Elantra is loaded with features. Then there are the additional goodies and the sharp new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, all of which means that the current Elantra is better than ever. It came with a brand-new fuel-efficient 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, along with the carried-over 1.6-litre diesel. Hyundai has also priced it aggressively and it undercuts its arch rival, the Toyota Corolla Altis.
Check out our Elantra’s review: 2016 Hyundai Elantra: First Drive Review
Honda Accord Hybrid
After a brief discontinuation, the Honda Accord has finally been reintroduced in the Indian market. Once the segment leader, the previous-generation sedan failed to impress the buyers when faced with its younger, more economical to run diesel-powered rivals, and was discontinued. Now the Accord is back with a vengeance and has returned in a hybrid avatar, which returns a whopping 23.1kmpl (ARAI-certified) more than its arch rival, the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Moreover, it is also the more powerful of the two with 215PS of max power and 315Nm of peak torque. The Accord also offers segment-first features such as Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto Support, Honda Lane Watch, Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres with 18-inch alloys and all-LED lighting.
Check out our Accord Hybrid review: Honda Accord Hybrid: First Drive Review
Audi introduced its fifth-gen, sharp-looking A4 in the country last month. The previous model had lost its charm with the introduction of newer competitors, especially the new C Class. That said, the Audi is back with a bang! The new A4 is based on the MLB Evo platform, which also underpins the Q7 and the Bentley Bentayga. And courtesy the new platform, it is a whopping 120kg lighter than the previous model. The A4 also comes with a brilliant 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster and an 8.3-inch infotainment system supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Power comes from a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol as of now, which returns an ARAI-certified fuel efficiency of 17.84kmpl.
Check out our review of the A4: Audi A4: First Drive Review
Mahindra now gives us a good zero-emissions option for our daily city commutes! Mahindra Electric is India’s sole all-electric automaker and it has recently introduced a new version of the e2o, christened the e2oPlus. ‘Plus’, because it has two extra doors, a spacious cabin and a more powerful motor (41PS/91Nm) compared to the regular e2o. And with the new battery pack, its range has been increased to a decent 140km on a single charge. Now you can celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali with the new e2oPlus.
Check out our review of the e2oPlus: Mahindra e2oPlus First Drive Review
Hyundai has said that it will launch two new cars every year. For 2016, the Tucson will be the second one, after the Elantra. The third-generation Hyundai Tucson was reintroduced at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo and will be launched next month. The mid-size SUV will compete with the likes of the Honda CR-V and the Skoda Yeti, and is likely to undercut both in terms of pricing. It will be loaded to the brim as it will share most of its features with the current Elantra. Mechanically, Hyundai will offer it with a choice of 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines, along with six-speed manual and automatic transmission options.
Every automaker has a flagship model in which it showcases its prowess in terms of technology, design and powertrain options. Soon, the Hexa will sit as a flagship product in Tata’s line-up and it is undoubtedly one of the major offerings that will help the Tata brand in its road to resurrection. As happened with the Tiago, Tata has put its heart and soul into this new crossover and will launch it in January next year. However, you can reserve your Hexa very soon, since the pre-bookings will start from November 1. The car will be powered by Tata’s 2.2-litre Varicor diesel engine, which puts out a healthy 156PS of max power and a blistering 400Nm of peak torque. It will be available with an option of six-speed manual or automatic, and will come in both 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrain options. The latter will also be available with ‘Super Drive Modes’. Tata has left no stone unturned with the Hexa. Even in terms of features, the vehicle comes with a five-inch Harman infotainment system coupled to a 10-speaker JBL sound system, ambient lights, leather seats, projector headlamps and LED tail lamps, to name a few.
Check out our Hexa review: Tata Hexa First Drive Review
Volvo has been relentless with its launches this year. Its upcoming model in the country – the S90 – is its flagship sedan. Based on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform of the uber popular XC90 SUV, the S90 is in a league of its own. The sedan shares a majority of its features and design elements with the SUV, including Volvo’s latest 2.0-litre from the new four-cylinder family of engines – Drive-E. The S90 will be launched next month and we expect its prices to start from Rs 55 lakh.
Check out our review of the S90: Volvo S90: First Drive Review