The calendar year 2022 saw a number of big-ticket and high-profile launches ranging from the entry-level segment all the way to the opposite end of the price spectrum. However, while the launches were plentiful there were some that were more notable than others. We look at some of the important launches for the year.
The new Maruti Alto K10 is Maruti’s first major model change when it comes to the entry-level segment in years. The new K10 moves to the Heartect platform and debuts an even more frugal Dual Jet iteration of the K10 petrol engine. More importantly, it means that Maruti will retain a presence in the entry-level market even with the smaller Alto (800cc) now coming to the end of its life cycle.
Citroen marked its entry into the Indian market with the well-rounded but pricey C5 Aircross SUV in 2021. While this model was focused solely on giving a taste of what Citroen had to offer, it’s the C3 that arrived in 2022 that’s the most important model for the brand. The C5 was never intended to be a volume seller while the C3 is the intended bread-and-butter model for the brand as it focuses on the mass market. The C3 has already garnered some interest among new car buyers with Citroen, despite its still limited presence, seeing sales in the triple digits for the new model.
Tata’s push toward electric mobility in the mass market segments has been unmatched in recent years with nearest rivals sitting well above Tata’s targeted segments. The Tiago EV is another product that could help Tata further cement its market share in the EV space especially given its pricing. With a starting price under Rs 10 lakhs, the Tiago EV is not only a smartly-styled and well-equipped electric hatchback its also the most affordable in the market yet. While deliveries only start next year we do expect the model to play a notable part in pushing e-mobility among PV buyers.
The launches of the Slavia and Virtus marked the competition of Skoda and Volkswagen’s ambitious India 2.0 plan. The Kushaq and Taigun gave the company entry into the competitive compact SUV space last year while the Slavia and Virtus replaced the ageing Vento and Rapid from their respective line-ups. For Skoda the India 2.0 plan has brought in greater sales volumes with the company en route to its best year yet.
The Honda City has been one of Honda’s most popular models in India and with the fifth-gen model, the carmaker became the first to offer strong hybrid tech in a mass market segment. While notably pricier than the standard City, the City e:HEV promises lower running costs owing to its efficient strong hybrid system with the model also the first Honda to debut the company’s Sensing advanced driver aids in India. The City hybrid will also help the company going forward with the auto industry set to see the setting in of new Real Driving Emission and CAFÉ norms.
The launch of the two siblings – part of Maruti and Toyota’s partnership – was important as both manufacturers looked to make an impact into the compact SUV space. The Hyryder was Toyota’s first attempt at cracking this end of the SUV market while for Maruti the Grand Vitara marked a renewed attempt at the segment having previously tried to establish itself in the compact SUV market with the S-Cross.
Both manufacturers however have stayed away from the diesel market packing their SUVs with tech and strong hybrid systems – a segment first.
Tata rolled out a new derivative of the Nexon EV in 2022, the Nexon EV Max. The most notable change to the new Nexon EV Max was the use of a larger 40.5 kWh battery pack taking the claimed range up to 437 km per charge – up from 312 km for the standard Nexon EV. Performance too was made more potent with a more powerful 141 bhp motor with 0-100 kmph time also slipping under the 10-second mark.
Mahindra has had some blockbuster launches in India in recent years. The second-gen Thar was instantly popular, the XUV700 launched last year has a long waiting list and the Scorpio-N has followed the same example. 1 lakh bookings in just the first 30 minutes saw the SUV create history in India and demand for the SUV still remains strong despite a lengthy waiting period. Mahindra’s also taken a big step forward with the new Scorpio be it in refinement, performance and equipment too with its latest SUV being another Global NCAP 5 star model.
BYD has been present in India for years though its only now started to focus on the passenger vehicle segment. The company has manufactured buses in India for a while and the all-electric e6 MPV too was first targeted at commercial buyers before becoming available to private buyers. The Atto 3 however is the company’s first dedicated electric car focused solely on private buyers and as we’ve seen in our review its quite a promising product too. The company’s also started establishing its PV dealer network so we can expect to see more products in the future.
The biggest talking point about Mercedes’ EV flagship isn’t just the tech on board but also the brand’s commitment for local assembly. The EQS is Mercedes’ first EV to be locally assembled at its plant in Chakan and that is a big step for the manufacturer. Local assembly has also kept prices in check with the EQS setting you back a similar amount to the standard S-class. Those wanting more performance of course have the CBU import AMG EQS to look at as well.
The new-gen Tucson brought with it Hyundai’s latest design direction as well as becoming the brand’s first model to feature Advanced Driver Aids in India. The Tucson arrived with level 2 ADAS features in India with the tech likely to water down to other models in the future.
Volvo’s global plans call for a complete shift to electric for its entire line-up and the same applies to India. The XC40 Recharge is the first in a line of EVs for India from the Swedish brand with atleast one EV now to arrive every year.
It might be a CBU import but the EV6 is the technological showpiece for the South Korean brand in the Indian market.
Maruti launched the heavily updated Brezza in India this year with more features, tech and fuel efficient petrol engine.
Another volume move, the Baleno and Glanza are now into their second generation packing in more tech and more safety kit.
The XM is BMW M’s second-ever bespoke model and first-ever plug-in hybrid. It’s also officially on sale in India. Enough said.
In a market dominated by electric SUVs, the i4 does offer buyers the choice of going for a conventional electric sedan. It’s not ground-breaking but it still offers decent value at its price point.