From the stands to the showrooms, these are the biggest hits since the last expo

The Auto Expo is one of the landmark events in the Indian automotive space. It is held every two years and it previews some of the most important upcoming models. With the Auto Expo 2020 coming up in February, we take a look back at some of the most significant mass market cars that made their India debut at the previous edition.

1 Kia Seltos

The Kia Seltos is based on the SP Concept that made its world premiere at the 2018 expo as part of Kia’s grand entry into India. The compact SUV was aimed at the Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks, Renault Captur and Maruti Suzuki S-Cross. It was unveiled in its global, production-spec avatar as the Seltos in India and launched here on 22 August 2019. In the short time since its launch, the Kia Seltos is already topping the monthly sales charts in its segment. It is currently priced between Rs 9.69 lakh to Rs 16.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

2 Tata Harrier

Tata’s H5X concept was a big deal at the 2018 Auto Expo. It was Tata’s first new SUV built on the brand’s new OMEGA ARC platform, which is a derivation of the Land Rover D8 platform that underpinned the Discovery Sport. The car’s official name was revealed to be the Harrier in July 2018. However, it wasn’t launched until 23 January 2019.

The Harrier SUV looks a lot like the H5X concept and is offered as a 5-seater with aggressive pricing. Even though prices have increased since launch, it still costs between Rs 13 lakh and Rs 16.96 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). As a mid-size SUV, it is priced closer to the likes of the Hyundai Creta than the Jeep Compass. However, to the Harrier’s disadvantage, it is only available with a diesel-manual powertrain with no automatic option as of yet.

3 Tata Altroz

This one is a bit of an unfair listing as it still hasn’t been launched at the time of writing this article. The 45X concept was Tata’s other big reveal at the 2018 Auto Expo built on the second new platform – ALFA ARC. Its official name was announced in February 2019 and it made its global-spec reveal at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The Altroz has been teased and spied numerous times and its India-spec unveil will happen in December 2019 followed by its expected launch in January 2019.

4 Maruti S-Presso

One of the key attractions at Maruti Suzuki’s section of the 2018 Auto Expo was a micro-SUV called the Future S concept. It featured an exciting new design, just like Renault had done with the Kwid concept. So we knew the production model would not look anywhere near as impressive. Its production spec name was revealed to be the S-Presso and was launched on 30 September 2019. It looked very different from the Future S concept and is powered by a BS6-compliant 1.0-litre petrol engine. The S-Presso is priced between Rs 3.69 lakh to Rs 4.81 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

5 Mahindra Alturas G4

Mahindra made its presence felt at the 2018 Auto Expo with various cars on display, some electric. The only new model launched was Mahindra’s version of the 2018 Ssangyong Rexton, which is sold in India as the Alturas G4. It is Mahindra’s flagship SUV and rivals the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour with prices starting at Rs 27.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Alturas G4 gets premium features like nine airbags, ventilated seats, a sunroof and leather upholstery.

6 Honda Amaze

The second-generation of Honda’s sub-compact sedan made its India debut at the 2018 Auto Expo. It featured a refreshed design that made it look sleeker than before while the powertrain options stayed the same – a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel unit. The new Amaze was launched in May 2018 and has been the second-most popular sub-4m sedan after the Maruti Dzire. It is priced between Rs 5.93 lakh and Rs 9.79 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

7 Honda Civic

Honda brought the tenth-generation Civic sedan to India at the 2018 Auto Expo. Motoring enthusiasts had to wait until March 2019 to get their hands on it as Honda launched the facelifted version in India. In terms of powertrains, it is offered with an updated 1.8-litre petrol along with the CR-V’s 1.6-litre diesel engine. The performance oriented 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine was given a miss while the 1.8-litre petrol engine is only offered with an automatic and the 1.6-litre diesel with only a manual.

The prices for the 2019 Civic start at Rs 17.93 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It is currently the best-selling sedan in its segment and continues to compete against the Skoda Octavia, Toyota Corolla Altis and Hyundai Elantra.

8 Tata Tigor EV

Even though various carmakers showcased potential EV offerings for India at the 2018 Auto Expo, the Tigor EV is the only one that has made its way from the stands to the dealers. It was first offered for commercial and fleet buyers only and then to individuals as well. The Tigor EV looks just like the regular model, but its prices start much higher at Rs 12.59 lakh (ex-showroom). Its EV powertrain offers 41PS/105Nm and a claimed range of 213km.

9 Tata JTP – Tiago and Tigor

While the TAMO sportscar was scrapped, Tata did manage to launch some fun-to-drive models that debuted at the 2018 Auto Expo. The Jayem Tata Performance(JTP) team tinkered with a Tiago and Tigor, both built on the same chassis, and made them sportier. For power, the team borrowed the 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine from the Nexon and tuned it to produce 114PS and 150Nm, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Both the Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP are pricier than their respective top-spec, non-sporty variants by more than Rs 50,000. They are sold in limited numbers, making them quite rare on our roads.

10 Toyota Yaris

The Yaris is Toyota’s small hatchback for global markets. For India, the Japanese carmaker saw it fit to offer it as a compact sedan to rival the Maruti Ciaz, Honda City and Hyundai Elantra. The Yaris wasn’t off to a flying start with polarising looks and then Toyota announced it would be a petrol-only model. It was priced relatively high as well since it offered plenty of comfort and safety features as standard when launched in May 2018.

11 Hyundai Kona

Hyundai did bring the Kona SUV at the 2018 Auto Expo but even back then, the Korean carmaker had mentioned the plan was to bring the electric version to India. The Kona EV was launched here in July 2019 and is the first long range EV to be offered in India. Only one trim level is offered with the smaller 39.2kWh battery option that offers a claimed range of over 450km on a full charge.

It gets upmarket features like ventilated front seats, a sunroof, auto AC and cruise control. The Kona EV was launched with a price tag of over Rs 25 lakh but it has dropped by over Rs 1 lakh thanks to new GST cuts for electric cars.

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