Zooming in: Top five cars to hit the Indian roads this year

Zooming in: Top five cars to hit the Indian roads this year

By SHAMS NAQVI | | 31 December, 2016
five cars, cars of the year, Maruti Ignis, Tata Hexa, BMW 5 series, Maruti Swift/ Dzire, Lexus RX450h/ ES 300h
The Indian auto industry will want to forget the year 2016 in a hurry. Due to demonetisation the market went into a slump and the sales were badly hit. The auto makers will be hoping for a better 2017 in comparison and as is the case every year this year too will see a lot of big ticket launches. Here’s our pick of the top five cars that will hit the Indian roads this year.

Maruti Ignis

The Maruti Suzuki Ignis will be the first big launch of the year.  India’s largest car maker will launch the car on the 13th of this month. The car will be retailed through company’s premium dealership chain Nexa that already sells cars like the Baleno and the S Cross. This clearly points towards the fact that the Ignis will be positioned as a premium hatch. The car that was first shown to the Indian audience last year at the Auto Expo will come in both Petrol and Diesel engine options. While the petrol will be the 1.2 liter motor the diesel will be the tried and tested 1.3 liter mill. Maruti will offer the Ignis in both manual and AMT gearbox options.

Tata Hexa

Another big launch this month will be the Tata Hexa. The Hexa is India’s largest auto maker’s brand new 7-seater SUV replacing the Aria which couldn’t impress the buyer. We’ve already driven the car and we have to say the Hexa is miles apart from the Aria. Based on Tata’s famed Impact design philosophy the Hexa scores really well on features, comfort and ride quality. The Hexa runs on a 2.2 liter Varicor 400 Diesel motor that gives a maximum power of 150PS. It will come in both manual and automatic transmission and former will also have a 4x4 variant. 4 driving modes have different engine, ESP and Traction control settings which makes the Hexa a capable set of wheels for almost any kind of surface. 

There is ice skating in the open air and a glittering funfair, named Winter Wonderland, in Hyde Park;the social round of Christmas drinks partieswith omnipresent mulled wine or champagne. 

BMW 5 series

The luxury car buyer can look forward to the new BMW 5 series this year. Just like the new 7-series that was the launched last year, the seventh generation 5 too will be big on comfort and gadgetry. This includes the much talked about gesture control, smart key as well as automated parking. Some other features include heads-up display and a 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system. The new 5 series will be offered in one petrol (252bhp) and 2 diesel options (190 bhp & 265bhp). The dimensions have now gone bigger the styling retains the sporty cues. The German car maker has already started testing the sedan in India and the launch should happen in the middle of the year.  

Maruti Swift/ Dzire

2017 will be a busy year for Maruti. A new generation of India’s most popular car the Swift will be launched later this year. This will be preceded by the launch of the new Dzire in the market. Just like its predecessor the new generation swift is also an eye catcher and has LED lamps and spoiler amongst other things. Inside the new Swift will come with a 4.2 inch display screen that comes with Apple car play and Android Auto along with adaptive cruise control. There will be petrol and diesel variants which could also come with CVT and AMT options. The car will see its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March and is expected to be launched during the festive season. 

Lexus RX450h/ ES 300h 

Big news for Lexus fans; the luxury arm of Toyota Motor Corporation will be launched in India this year. There’s been talk of Lexus coming to India for a few years but now it’s confirmed that the Japanese car maker will indeed do that this year. It’s likely to begin with the RX450h SUV and the ES300h sedan which initially will be imported as completely built up units. Both these cars will be hybrids beyond which the range will be expanded later in the year. The first launches are expected to take place in March and the prices are likely to start at Rs 60 lakh (ex-showroom).

Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars

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