Tata Motors has launched the new Punch micro SUV in India, priced at ₹ 5.49 lakh to ₹ 9.09 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The car was first revealed to us as the HBX concept at Auto Expo 2020 and since then the micro SUV has been one of Tata Motors' most awaited products. The automaker, which began accepting bookings for the Punch on October 4, 2021, says the micro SUV has bagged the highest bookings compared to any other Tata model. So if you are planning to buy the new Tata Punch, we would ask you to check out these 5 pros and cons before you make that final decision.
- Tata Motors promised that the production version of the Tata Punch would remain identical to the HBX concept, and the company kept its promise. Borrowing cues from the Nexon, Harrier, and Safari, the new Punch has the proportions and stance of an SUV. This is what will attract customers.
- The Punch offers a number of smart features such as projector headlights, LED DRLs, 16-inch diamond-cut alloys, LED taillights, and dummy skid plates. Inside, the Punch comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a multifunction steering wheel, a partial digital instrument cluster, and more.
- The punch comes in 4 versions/characters: Pure, Adventure, Accomplished and Creative, and Tata offers optional custom packages for all four variants: Rhythm, Dazzling, and iRA. The optional pack is priced between ₹ 30,000 and ₹ 45,000, and for the premium, it adds plenty of features from the higher-spec variants, the low- and mid-spec bezels. So you don't need to upgrade to a higher-spec variant just for certain features like the 7-inch screen, 16-inch aluminum alloy, DRL, or rear camera.
- While the Tata Punch is not a 4WD SUV, it still comes with some pretty impressive off-road credentials. In addition to the best-in-class ground clearance of 187mm, the Punch comes with high approach angles (20.3 degrees) and departure angles (37.6 degrees). In addition, it has a wading capacity of 365 mm. Additionally, the AMT version also comes with a new feature called 'traction pro' mode that provides an extra boost of power for navigating through muddy, low-traction surfaces.
- With prices starting at ₹ 5.49 lakh for the manual and ₹ 6.99 lakh for AMT (both ex-showroom, Delhi), Punch is quite aggressively priced. In fact, the micro SUV also beats class leader Maruti Suzuki Swift by over INR 36,000 and is a bit more expensive than some of its other competitors like Hyundai Grand i10 Nios and Maruti Suzuki Ignis. It is also worth considering the fact that you get a product similar to an SUV at the price of a compact hatchback.
- At this point, more than a con, we wished Punch had a turbocharged petrol engine on offer. While the 1.2-liter Revotron is a refined engine, a more powerful petrol turbo would have sweetened the deal. Given that Tata already offers one with the Altorz, it was supposed to at least come with the high-end trims.
- Without a diesel engine. Yes, there is a growing demand for petrol cars, but given that the company does not offer a turbocharged petrol engine, you should at least consider offering a diesel option. As mentioned earlier, Punch is based on the Altroz platform, and the automaker offers a diesel option for the luxury hatchback. So why not with the punch?
- While we appreciate that Tata has offered an AMT option for Punch since launch, we wish it had a better automatic transmission. Sure, the AMT does the job of offering non-clutch driving, but it still has the downsides that come with any AMT and isn't as fun to drive as the Manual.
- The Punch is a good-looking car, however, we cannot rule out the excessive use of plastic. While it makes sense for the exterior design, we wish the cabin was a little more convenient and finished in terms of the quality of the plastic used. At the very least, the soft-touch plastic could have been offered in the higher-spec models.
- Now, Punch has a 5-star safety rating from Global NCAP, and with a score of 16.45 out of 17 in adult safety, it is basically the safest car in India at the moment. However, the fact that it only has a lap belt for the middle rear passenger is a bit disappointing. In fact, Global NCAP has also recommended that Tata consider offering a Punch with ESC, side head-impact protection, and three-point seat belts in all seating positions, as standard.