India’s one of the most renowned brand in tractors manufacturing, Sonalika, once came up with a car. Yes, a car! And that too not a small car but a proper MPV. And this MPV goes by the name of Sonalika Rhino. Being produced by a tractor company, everyone expected the car to be robust and powerful. Was it able to meet the expectations? Let’s find out.
Sonalika Rhino | Engine Specs
This MPV was powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged inter-cooled diesel engine capable of producing around 97hp@3,600rpm of power and 240Nm@2,000-2,500rpm of torque. The engine was mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Rhino had a mileage of around 12kmpl making it a good choice for the taxi segment too. This car can go up to a top speed of 155kmph. So it has got a good engine. But is this all it has to offer?
A fully loaded Sonalika Rhino had a lot to offer. For instance, it offered Dual AC, power windows, power steering, central locking, fog lamps, body-coloured bumpers, beige upholstery, 8-seat capacity and much more.
The middle row of the Rhino had a roof-mounted blower vent and the air conditioning unit is also a good one. The centre console is a bit untidy with ultra-bright blue illumination for the buttons.
Was it a copy of Toyota Qualis?
Many people get a glimpse of Qualis while watching the Sonalika Rhino. The side view of the car typically resembles a lot with the Qualis. At the front, the bonnet of Rhino is more slanted than the Qualis. At the rear also, there is an uncanny resemblance between the two.
But actually it is not a copy of the Qualis. This MPV was made with the collaboration between Rover UK and ICML(Sonalika). This is a completely in-house developed car with an in-house developed engine.
Price and the reason for the downfall
The fully loaded variant of Sonalika Rhino would cost less than ₹9 lakhs on-road. It was competing with the likes of Tata Sumo, Chevrolet Tavera, Mahindra Bolero and Scorpio and Toyota Innova. Well, the rivals are a major reason for the downfall. Actually, the Sonalika Rhino was not able to take up pace anytime. This is due to the Innova, which already had a very good hold on the MPV market at that time. Also, the customers complained that the plastic quality at the interior of Rhino was a bit downmarket. ICML would have done a great job if the quality would have been better. The MPV had a powerful engine and a good amount of features to offer. It was just not the right time as Toyota Innova had become a trusted MPV in India. Rhino can still be seen in some parts of Punjab and some hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh.
[Featured Image: Overdrive.in]1