The automobile industry is a ruthless one. Some of the cars are not good and when they fail, it is fair. But some cars do not just do it for the public even though they are great and for them, we would say that they do deserve a second shot. So we are here today to kick off your Monday blues and take you on a nostalgic trip with these 10 great cars from the past that deserve a second chance.
Launched in 1999 with the underpinnings of the Ford Fiesta, the ‘josh machine’ turned many heads. With its ‘cat-inspired styling’, a feature-loaded interior and a couple of engines options ( my favourite being the 1.6-litre petrol producing 92 BHP) it was a great product. It competed with the likes of the Honda City and Maruti Esteem and stayed relevant for a long period of time. But after a couple of facelifts and a gen upgrade in 2009, it just didn’t click with the consumers. Other issues were too expensive and rare to find spare parts and fuel pump issues, but it still was a great affordable sedan. We definitely want a new Ikon, maybe a hybrid?
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS
A hot hatch manufactured by the most reliable carmaker and with an affordable price tag; that’s sounds like a recipe for success right? Well not really. The Baleno RS was the sporty version of the premium hatchback and came with a 1.0 Boosterjet petrol engine producing peak power @102 BHP. It had stiffer suspension, better handling and was a proper driver’s car. But Indians couldn’t get their heads around it and it was tanked shortly. We are sorry Suzuki, please bring it back!
Fiat Linea T Jet
The Linea was a solidly built sedan. It handled beautifully too. The C-segment sedan from Italy was the first ‘affordable turbo petrol sedan’. It came with 1.3-litre turbo petrol which produced 114 bhp! But it is a norm in India that fast cars won’t sell, and the same curse hit the Linea. With Fiat on the verge of irrelevance in India, maybe a new-gen Linea T Jet could help them make a 180-degree comeback.
Maruti Suzuki Kizashi
I can’t even remember the number of times I’ve mentioned this car on our lists. It was so good! Sexy looks, a plush cabin and a roaring 154 bhp engine. On paper, it could give the Skoda Octavia and the Civic a run for their money, but that didn’t happen. It was expensive because it was a CBU and combined with parts availability, it was an impractical car. However, with Maruti Suzuki having so many plants with a lot more facilities, I’m sure they can find an empty assembly to build an all-new Kizashi.
The Fusion was a car way ahead of its time. It was spacious, built solid, had a powerful engine, and had a good ground clearance; which made it more practical than the other hatchbacks at that time. Dare I say that it was the first ‘crossover’ to be offered in our county. But it had a price tag a little higher than the other hatchbacks which led to its early death.
In my opinion, the Honda Brio was the best looking hatchback of all time. It had cute and contemporary styling, an 82 bhp engine and was a great car to have in your garage. Sadly the Swift craze stole the spotlight from the Brio and it was tanked after a couple of years. Dear Honda, some Indians do appreciate good cars, please give the Brio another shot.
The son of the legendary Lancer, Mitsubishi Cedia was a very capable car. It had sporty looks, a 2.0 petrol engine producing 114 bhp and an attractively affordable price tag. While it did wonders in the rally scene, it couldn’t show the same flair in the consumer market. This was mainly because of Mitsubishi’s brand image at that time, it being unreliable and having a bad network. With the new Pajero to hit the Indian shores soon, would it be too crazy to have a new-gen Cedia? I figure not.
Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara
Before Maruti Suzuki made a mockery out of the word SUV with cars such as the S Presso and Ignis, they did had a proper offroader. The Grand Vitara was the flagship model of the Japanese brand and it was very premium and capable. It came with a 2.4 litre DOHC engine producing a massive figure of 164 bhp. But the compact SUV trend hadn’t graced India at that time and the Grand Vitara turned out to be a failure. Times have changed though and we are sure the Vitara can do wonders in India this time.
Some cars are good, some are great but a few are iconic, and the Tata Indica belonged to the third subset. It was the first Indian hatchback to come with a diesel engine and was a serious competitor to the Maruti 800. It was the car that opened the gates of the passenger car segment for Tata. Yes, it was the one that started it all. It sold in huge number for more than a decade but in the end, it was tanked because of the Vista. I truly believe though that Tata should pay homage to the Indica by making a limited edition version. The consumers will go bonkers!
Tata Tiago JTP
Another hot hatch, another sad story. JTP was the performance division of Tata and just like us, they love fast cars. They took the entry-level hatchback, the Tiago, gave it a couple of steroid injections and boom! The birth of the Tiago JTP. It was a proper track day car and with its tiny structure, easily manageable. However, Indians thought it was too costly for its size and the story of the Tiago JTP came to an end. Hear me out Tata, along with the Indica limited edition, please give us a limited edition Tiago JTP. We promise we will be kind to it this time.
These cars did not get a fair chance and do deserve a comeback. So readers these were 10 great cars that deserve a second chance. Know of any other cars that did not get their fair share of the time? Let us know in the comments below!
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