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Indian Cars That Are The Pride Of The Nation | Republic Day Special

Today is a special day and a day like this needs a special mention about the Indian cars that are the pride of the nation. Some of these cars might be a rare sight on the road and some of them are brand new, but the common thread between them is the immense pride we take in owning these pieces of art by an Indian manufacturer. Before we dive into the list, we wish you a Happy Republic Day!

  1. Hindustan Ambassador

    HM Ambassador | The Legacy
    HM Ambassador

    The car, the myth, the legend, this is Hindustan Motors Ambassador and its legacy will always live on. During its heydays, it was fondly called the “King of the Indian Roads” and considering how rugged it was, we had no doubt about it. The Ambassador was not a car for people who wanted to drive, but for those who wanted to be driven around. Most of the Ambassadors on the road back then were chauffeur-driven, and thus quickly became a status symbol. Politicians preferred to travel in one, and so did many celebrities.

    Read here to know more about the HM Ambassador.

    Although it went through a lot of subtle changes, there was never a major update in the design of the car. As people moved to newer designs of cars, the Ambassador could not catch up, and yet, many politicians and a few celebrities like Rajnikanth still use the Ambassador to this day.

  2. Maruti 800

    Maruti Suzuki 800 MPFI
    Maruti Suzuki 800 MPFI

    The Maruti 800 may not be an Indian car by birth but we still consider it the pride of our nation. The next-generation models were designed to suit the Indian market and no other small car would have had a run like the Maruti 800. Ever since its launch in 1983, it has sold nearly 2.87 million cars that were produced in India and many were exported to international markets as well. Right from the beginning the Maruti 800 was a reliable car that was within the reach of many middle class and lower-middle-class people.

    People found it within the budget to own and the maintenance costs were easy on the pocket as well. Even today you will be able to find a well-maintained used Maruti 800 within Rs.50,000 and with just a few tweaks here and there, you can travel anywhere in India. But these will be the most fun to drive in the city traffic because of their peppy engine, lightweight and very compact dimensions. 

  3. Maruti Suzuki Omni

    Maruti Suzuki Omni
    Maruti Suzuki Omni

    The Maruti Suzuki Omni was the second ever vehicle to be made by Maruti Suzuki in India and it was launched in 1984. Although, interestingly, the name Omni was given only in 1988. During the 1990s, if you ever wanted to have a single vehicle for every purpose in life, then it would be the MS Omni. Travelling within the city on narrow roads – sure, transport 7-8 people at a time – without a hiccup, help your cousins or relatives move their household items – absolutely, you want to visit the other side of the country – let’s go already, this was one vehicle that could do anything you ask it to and even more. It’s so practical and spacious that most of the ambulances in cities are the MS Omni. This is the reason we consider this Indian car as the pride of the nation. 

  4. Tata Harrier/Safari

    Tata Harrier vs Tata Safari
    Tata Harrier vs Tata Safari

    The first-gen safari was the most capable large SUV that we saw in India and it was a huge hit ever since its launch. It was one of India’s first indigenously built 4X4 and had great off-road capabilities. Its large aggressive stance gave a very good impression on the Indian market and helped it achieve good sales numbers. The Safari was a benchmark for all the SUVs back then and now with the latest generation, it is raising the bar even higher. For many years the Safari was Tata’s flagship product and everyone wanted to own a Safari back then, including many politicians.

    During the ’90s, if you wanted an SUV, your options would be limited to Maruti Suzuki Gypsy, Tata Sierra, Tata Sumo and Mahindra Bolero. When compared to these vehicles, the Safari is bigger with a muscular design, spacious and luxurious cabin and has impressive off-road performance, which made it the go-to SUV for many prospective buyers. Even today, amongst a horde of SUVs(not to mention the Pseudo-SUV category) the latest iteration of Safari stands out with its quirky design, spacious interiors, latest technology, tank-like safety and impressive engine performance. Owning the old or the new Tata Safari or even the new Harrier definitely means you are having Indian cars that are the pride of the nation. 

  5. Mahindra Scorpio

    First Mahingra Scorpio
    First Mahindra Scorpio

    While Tata was basking in all the glory in the SUV segment, Mahindra had to do something to assist its Bolero and take a piece of the action. This desire to make a competitive SUV was the driving force behind Mahindra making their most successful SUV of all time, the Mahindra Scorpio. The first generation was launched in 2002 and it came with all the bells and whistles for that time. It was powered by a huge 2.6-litre turbo diesel engine that produced 117bhp and 200Nm of torque. This was very powerful compared to the market standards during its launch and it soon became the talk of the town.

    Ever since then, there were several updates to the design and motor, and with every update, there were numerous features that were being added to give a tough fight with its competitors. The Mahindra Scorpio became so famous that almost in every movie the primary car of the villain or his henchmen was a Scorpio, and of course, who can forget the iconic scene in Singham.

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  6. Tata Sumo

    The TATA Sumo | The OG MPV
    The TATA Sumo | The OG MPV

    Tata Sumo is one of the first passenger vehicles to be designed and developed in India. The basic purpose of the car might look like a MUV but it is always more than that. The spacious interiors, the capacity to carry everyone in your house and the most commanding view of the road ahead are what slingshot the SUV to success. The first Tata Sumo was launched way back in 1994 and was one of the first passenger vehicles introduced in India. It was an instant success and according to reports, within 3 years of its launch, Tata Motors sold almost 100,000 Sumo.

    Since then, the Tata Sumo saw several generation updates and unfortunately, it did not age well. The more recent models like the Tata Sumo Gold and the Tata Movus do not have many buyers and the major reason is because of the poor design and lack of features when compared to the competition. It still comes with different engine options and although the motors are capable units, the interiors of the car and the exterior design look dated and hence the sales have witnessed a decline.

  7. Mahindra XUV500

    Mahindra XUV500
    Mahindra XUV500

    Back in 2007, Mahindra decided to go global but did not have the right products to introduce itself as a capable manufacturer in other countries. Its products like the Scorpio were selling in different countries but more as a pickup and Mahindra was never seen as a competition. So they decided to make a global product and finally in 2011 after years of research and multiple changes to the design, they adapted the cheetah design philosophy and the Mahindra XUV500 was introduced. Before launching the product, Mahindra had taken surveys throughout the world as to what they wanted in a car and implemented it to their design while making the XUV500.

    This is the major reason why the XUV500 was an instant hit and the standout feature was the price at which it was introduced. Mahindra marketed the XUV500 as an entry-level luxury SUV and yet it was priced from 10.8 – 12.8 lakhs. The interiors of a car at such a price put even the costlier luxury SUVs to shame, combine that with a rigid monocoque chassis that improved the handling of the vehicle almost like a car and the punchy engines made the XUV500 absolutely irresistible. The XUV500 impressed even the international buyers very much because of the same features mentioned above and that is one of the reasons why it is on the list of Indian cars that are the pride of the nation.

  8. Tata Nexon

    Tata Nexon Dark Edition
    Tata Nexon Dark Edition

    The Tata Nexon is the much needed big break that Tata was waiting for all these years. The Nexon as of now is single-handedly pulling the sales for the company and at the same time, showcasing to the world that Tata is a real threat to its competition. The Nexon was first showcased as a concept at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo and 2 years later it appeared in its true form. Although it took time to claim the top spot it is in now, it had a rather slow but fruitful journey.

    The advantage of the Nexon is its heritage from the Jaguar-Land Rover cousins, as the chassis and the 6-speed gearbox were developed for the Nexon with inputs from the JLR team. The mild facelift that the Nexon received a few years ago made it look even better. The turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, rigid and safe chassis, smooth transmission, aggressive front-end and a sloping coupe-like roofline at the back make the Nexon a great all-around package. The recent addition to the dark edition family only makes the Nexon a sweeter deal to purchase.

  9. Mahindra Thar

    Mahindra Thar
    Mahindra Thar

    The Mahindra Thar is the no-nonsense true-blue SUV that can take you anywhere you want to. If you are in the market to buy an iconic car that is evergreen in its design philosophy as well as takes you to lush green meadows then there is no better car than the Mahindra Thar. It’s rigid, tough, reliable,  feature-rich and powerful which makes it a very compelling buy. This is why this vehicle has a huge cult following and those who are satisfied with this car will never settle for anything else.

    The latest iteration of the Thar is a huge hit in India and the demand is so huge that the waiting period for the new model is almost more than a year. It comes in petrol and diesel engines mated to manual and automatic transmissions and comes with a 4-wheel drive as standard. There are clubs run by off-roading enthusiasts and use the Mahindra Thar either in stock or modified form to run over different obstacle courses.

  10. Mahindra XUV700

    2021 Mahindra XUV700
    2021 Mahindra XUV700

    The latest and greatest model from Mahindra’s lineup is the Mahindra XUV700. This is an international product by Mahindra and it has not compromised on anything when it comes to engine power, cool styling, safety features, luxurious interiors, and superb handling. The Mahindra XUV700 gets a laundry list of features that are matched only by cars in the higher segment and cost a whole lot more.

    The Mahindra XUV700 is one of the first cars from an Indian manufacturer to come with ADAS Level 2 driver assistance features and they work like a charm. It also has blind-spot monitoring cameras that get displayed on the digital speedometer in a rather funky way. The completely digital instrument cluster is a visual treat and displays the right amount of information that a driver needs at a glance. It comes with the largest panoramic sunroof in its segment and also the most powerful diesel as well as petrol engines. This is a vehicle that meets all your expectations and even exceeds them.

All the cars mentioned above are nothing short of amazing as they come from noble grounds and are produced by Indian manufacturers. This is why each of them deserves to be on this list of Indian cars that are the pride of the nation and each of you who owns one can take immense pride in it.

What do you feel when you come across these cars that are made in India and made for India? Do you have any other car with a similar story that we missed? Please let us know in the comment section below.

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Gautam Ganesh
A believer in "Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul." An avid car and bike enthusiast. Anything that has a handle or a steering wheel, excites me.

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