For some cars are a mode of transportation, for others its sheer joy. Many carmakers across the globe have been launching cars since the past century. Some cars faded with time, some never took off. And then some cars are there that have become immortal. Here is the list of 10 such immortal cars that are still plying on the Indian roads or our hearts.
Honda Accord | It takes years for Accord to do what other cars do easily! Depreciate!!
The Japanese multinational carmaker launched this D-segment car back in 2001 when the segment was starting to gain popularity. Within 2 months of its launch, Honda was able to sell over 600 Accords to the Indian customers. The premium sedan had airbags, ABS with EBD, cruise control, power steering, power windows, electric ORVMs, keyless entry, automatic transmission, GPS navigation and much more back in that time. The car was powered by a 2.4-litre petrol engine which could churn out 142hp of power and 196Nm of torque. The second-gen Accord, launched in 2004 was given a more powerful engine option too: a 3.0-litre V6 VTEC petrol engine. The sedan became more elegant and powerful. Then few mid-life upgrades were given to the mid-sized sedan every then and now. Accord has been one of the best sellers for Honda. You can still find many cruising on the roads.
HM Ambassador | A Cult Above the Rest
Some cars don’t even need an introduction. I can safely say that the Ambassador is the symbol of the Indian automotive industry. The elite-class carrier was introduced in the mid of 1958. The car ran for nearly 60 years before the production was halted. HM Amby was so famous among the Indian customers that the company tried to convert it into various segments such as station wagon, pickup truck and so on. Amby was also known as the ‘Laal Batti Vali Gaadi’ as it was famous among the country’s politicians. This car will never go out of fashion for sure as it has got a never-dying cult following. Even if the company announces to relaunch, the car will easily find buyers. It will always remain the king of Indian roads.
Premier Padmini | Never Out Of Fashion
In the first part of Immortal Cars, one of our readers pointed out that we missed one of the most iconic cars of all time, Premier Padmini. If HM Amby is said to be the symbol of the automotive industry, then Premier Padmini also holds the same title. The Premier Padmini was the Indian Fiat 1100-D. With sleeker and streamlined looks, Padmini became a persuasive opponent to the HM Ambassador. You can still find some roaming on the roads of Mumbai as a taxi as the car was assembled in Premier’s plant in Kurla, Mumbai. It was powered by the Fiat-sourced 1.1-litre petrol engine with a power output of 40hp and a peak torque of 71Nm. Padmini will never leave the hearts of the buyers for sure.
Toyota Camry | For those who wish to arrive in style
Although not a very famous sedan in India, the Camry has been rolling globally since 1982. It was launched in India back in 2002 and the company has sold over 13,000 units of the premium sedan. It was one of the first hybrids to launch in India too. Toyota has been a prominent carmaker in the country and Camry has always been a part of the legacy Toyota has built. Last year, Toyota launched the Camry hybrid in India with a starting price of ₹36.95lakh. It is powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine mated with an electric motor. Although the Camry hybrid is not a hot-sell in the country at present, changing consumer trends might lead the future in the opposite direction.
Honda Civic | Forget the toys, drive the dream
Although the Civic launched in India in 2005, the history dates back to 1972, when the smaller than Jazz Civic was launched. The global oil crisis led to the great selling figures for the Civic as the car offered great fuel efficiency. Since then the Civic has got various body types before getting the sedan look in 1991. In 1995, the car also got a sporty R-type Civic which was only launched in Japan though. When it was launched in India, the Civic was equipped with two engine options: 1.8-litre and 1.3-litre petrol mills. The 1.3-litre engine was paired to an electric motor, yes! it was a hybrid at that time. Although at that time, Honda was not able to compete with the rivals, as time passed, Civic began to attract the Indian customers. Nowadays, it is one of the most sought after sedans in the segment.
Ford Fiesta | Got Everyone Talking
Fiesta has been a very popular car from Ford in India. It was launched in saloon version in the country back in 2005. Fiesta was feature-loaded and powerful as well. It was equipped with a 1.6-litre petrol engine that gave out 100hp of power and a peak torque of 145Nm. Ford even launched a sportier version named Fiesta S as the first-gen was gaining a lot of popularity. It had a better suspension for better comfort. Then in 2014, the sedan received a major facelift. One of the most prominent changes were the Aston Martin inspired hexagonal front grille. But by then, the competition from the rivals was fierce. Even after being equipped with a 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine which produced 89hp of power and a peak torque of 205Nm with almost no turbo lag, the car couldn’t make it to the heart of a lot of customers.
Toyota Fortuner | The Undisputed SUV Leader
Launched back in 2009, Fortuner has been undisputedly the first choice of many SUV buyers. It’s tall boy stance, fierce-looking bold front and power led the people to choose it over any other SUVs. Fortuner came powered by a 3.0-litre engine. The brute force was powering all the wheels i.e. it was an all-wheel-drive SUV. Since then, the company gave some facelifts to the SUV. Maruti Suzuki tried to rival the Fortuner with its own V6 powered Grand Vitara but the import duties kept it away from the roads. Fortuner has never been given a tough competition and the future seems the same.
Mahindra Thar | The Religion, The Pilgrimage
Thar has a cult of its own, or rather I would say a religion of its own. Mahindra’s SUVs have been known for reliability, stylish and sturdy. The saga of Mahindra Jeep dates back to 1949, 2 years after the Independence of India. After 60 years of successfully making off-roader for the army as well as the civilians, Mahindra launched Thar in 2010. Since then, the company has not played with the design Indians love a lot although there were engine options added to the Thar time by time. The icon has been ruling the Indian roads and there seems no end to the popularity it has gained any time soon.
Toyota Innova | The King Of MPVs
Another Toyota on the list shows how reliable the cars from the company are. Innova is such a sturdy and reliable car that you may still see a 15-year-old MPV cruising easily on the Indian roads. The car was introduced in 2005 after the success story of Qualis gave Toyota confidence about the country’s market. It has been a favourite among families as well as taxi buyers too. Being comfortable, powerful and fuel-efficient is what makes it the favourite MPV in the market. It was the very first MPV in India to have rear-wheel drive. For 15 years straight, Innova had no direct rival until now when Kia Carnival has been launched. But still, there is no chance that the following of Innova will fade away anytime soon.
Hyundai Tucson | Reach Where Internet Doesn’t
The Korean carmaker introduced Tucson back around 2005 in the Indian market. The SUV had a nice 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine which produced 120 hp pf power and a peak torque of 270Nm. It came with a four-wheel-drive transfer case too. It was also equipped with features that were a luxury at that time. But due to being way ahead of its time, the SUV was not able to gain much popularity back then. But now the times have changed, Tucson has started gaining popularity. 2021 Tucson has also been spied testing on the Indian road which really means that the company has great plans for the SUV in future.
So this was the second part of the Immortal Cars in India. Did we miss any this time? Let us know in the comments section below.