With a price tag under *P400k, the Tata Punch might be one steal of a mini SUV

*In India, anyway
by Drei Laurel | Jan 28, 2022
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PHOTO: Tata Motors
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Remember the Hyundai Casper? You guys fell in love with the thing on account of its quirky design and fashionable interior. Let’s face it, though: The main draw there was its ridiculously affordable 13,850,000 Korean won (P590,000) starting price.

Well, if you thought that mini SUV was a steal, wait until you find out how much the Tata Punch is going for over in its home market of India.

The Punch, a newly launched offering claiming to be the country’s first-ever subcompact SUV, has a base variant that costs a measly 564,000 Indian rupees. Converted to Philippine pesos, that’s just a bit over P384,000. The top-spec unit? It costs 868,900 rupees (a smidge under P600,000). Wow.

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All units come equipped with a humble 1.2-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine that does 85hp at 6,000rpm and up to 113Nm of torque at 3,300rpm. Shifting duties are handled by a five-speed manual or a five-speed automated manual transmission.

Now, you’re probably thinking that at that price, this thing must not be very safe. Well, Tata begs to disagree and is in fact claiming on its website that the Punch is India’s safest car. The company isn’t just blowing hot air here, by the way, as the mini SUV has a five-star Global New Car Assessment Program (Global NCAP) crash rating for adult occupant protection.

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The Punch isn’t the first Indian-made vehicle to impress in Global NCAP crash testing. In 2018, the Tata Nexon managed to drive away with an impressive five-star AOP rating, too.

Depending on what variant you go for, you can spec your Punch with daytime running lights, 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, automatic climate control, and a push-to-start ignition. Tata has found some clever ways to maximize space in this thing as well, as it supposedly boasts more than 25 storage compartments in its interior. Tata also claims a wading depth of 370mm, though we’ll believe that when we see it.

It’s been a while since Tata was relevant in the local passenger car market, but an introduction like the Punch could help the brand gain a foothold here once more—at least if it remains this affordable. What do you think?

2022 Tata Punch photos

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PHOTO: Tata Motors
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