We all remember Premier Padmini, the most loved family car of India. The same company tried to attract customers with some other offerings too. One such was India’s first compact diesel MPV, the Premier Sigma. Not many of you might have heard this name. Well, this is what we are here for! Let’s take a look at the diesel MPV from Premier.
2004 – Premier Sigma Launched
Premier was not having any stronghold in the country after 2000. Padmini started to fall short in terms of design and power as compared to the cheaper rivals in the market. So the company decided to tap into a new segment, the MPV or the Multi-Purpose Vehicle Segment. Sigma was launched. It is known to be India’s first compact diesel MPV. Feature loaded, Sigma was a perfect vehicle for a family, according to the company!
On the powertrain front, Sigma had 3 engine options. A 1.4-litre IDI diesel engine capable of producing 56hp of power and a peak torque of 97Nm. A 1.4-litre turbocharged IDI diesel with a power output of 67hp and a peak torque of 140Nm. The company offered a CNG variant too. And the CNG powered engine oozed out 54hp of power and a peak torque of 95Nm. The engines were BS3 compliant.
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Before commenting on the power being adequate or not, let’s take a look a the dimensions of the Premier Sigma.
Premier Sigma | Dimensions
|Specifications (mm)||Premier Sigma|
Just to give you a hint, the current generation of Maruti Suzuki Alto is 3,445mm long and 1,490mm wide. So, Premier Sigma was quite compact. And, now about the power, according to me, it was adequate! But, is that all it had to offer? Naah! Let’s take a look at the features it had to offer.
Premier Sigma | Design and Features
One thing, I can say is that Sigma was a good family vehicle for sure. It had a centre roof-mounted air conditioning with front and rear vents. It also had ample space with 9 seating option. All the seats were front-facing. It had front disc brakes to ensure proper braking. And for the rear seats, there were winged windows for proper ventilation. The engine is mounted under the front seats.
Premier Sigma had 4 variants namely Lifeline, Express, School Van and Tourist Van. Lifeline was an ambulance based on the Sigma while Express was a cargo carrier.
Initially, the Sigma was brought in as a CKD unit from Taiwan from Mitsubishi and assembled in Chinchwad, Pune. Later on, PAL started to manufacture it completely in India.
Then, why the failure?
Well, the company was already facing fewer demand issues for other models. Sigma was received well in India initially, but gradually, the rivals such as Maruti Suzuki Omni became a more viable option. Premier promised cheaper and readily available spare parts but with the declining presence, the promise was becoming hard to bear. So, the Premier Sigma was not able to make it big in the market.
What are your views on this MPV? Was it better than rivals or not? Let us know in the comments section below.