In the fast growing automobile market, new vehicles get launched every now and then while there are also a number of vehicles that get pulled off from the market due to various reasons. Some cars succeed in creating an impression in our minds and we never really forget them, while there are some vehicles that we’re happy to see pulled off from the market.
Here’s a list of 4 cars that we miss from the last decade –
1) Ford Ikon – While the Escort tanked in the Indian market, Ford launched the Ikon and Mondeo here and the former sedan turned out to be a decent seller. The Ford Ikon continued to sell for a decade and it packed in good engines, amazing handling and dynamics with great high speed stability. The Josh Machine really satisfied the driver in us and even though the Ikon lacked any sort of gadgets, it was still a wonderful car. Maintenance was surely high but Ford has been constantly working on this factor with other products like the Fiesta and Figo.
2) Fiat Palio – Fiat launched the Palio in the early 2000s after the Uno. The Palio was available in a number of variants and different engines were also offered. The Palio too lacked of any modern gadgetry and it was a nice, simple hatchback that provided loads of driving pleasure. Fiat also launched a limited edition variant of the Palio titled S10 and it was available in a bright shade of yellow with autographs of Sachin Tendulkar. The Palio S10 and 1.6 GTX (100 HP) turned out to be enthusiasts’ favourites.
3) Maruti Zen – While the Maruti 800 introduced Indians to the concept of a cheap and reliable hatchback, the Zen introduced us to a sporty little car which was fun to drive. Apart from driving pleasure, the Zen boasted of a jellybean design and the dashboard also looked cool at that time. In its early days, the Zen turned out to be a favourite of the youth who could afford it. The hatchback was also very reliable and easy to maintain.
4) Mitsubishi Lancer – The Mitsubishi Lancer was introduced in India in the early 2000s and the sedan competed with the first generation Honda City. The Lancer looked really amazing while the engine was surely a bit low on power. While Honda went on to introduce newer generations of the best-seller City, Hindustan Motors was busy sleeping and continued selling the outdated Lancer which eventually led to a very capable product’s failure.
Here we talked about the good cars that we really miss from the previous decade. There were a lot of cars that didn’t appeal to many and then there are some we’re glad got discontinued from the market.
1) Daewoo Cielo – Daewoo launched the Matiz and Cielo in India in the early years of the previous decade. While the Matiz did stir up the competition like the Hyundai Santro and Maruti Zen to a small extent, the Cielo failed to take off in the market. The Daewoo Cielo was the first luxury sedan to be offered in India and buyers were ready to pick up the vehicle from the showrooms. The Cielo was also a very thirsty gas-guzzler and provided poor fuel economy which was a major turn-off to buyers. It was replaced by the Nexia.
2) Maruti Baleno Altura – Maruti launched the Baleno sedan to compete with the Honda City and Mitsubishi Lancer and also introduced an estate version of the Baleno, i.e. Baleno Altura. At that time, and in fact even now, estates have never been in demand in India. The Altura hardly found any takers since it also seemed to be overpriced. Maruti was smart enough to pull back both the sedan and estate from the market. The Tata Indigo Marina and Skoda Octavia Combi are some other estates launched in India.
3) Chevrolet Aveo – The Chevrolet Aveo sedan was slotted below the Optra and it also had a hatchback version called Aveo U-VA. The Aveo was a pretty mediocre car with boring styling, basic interiors and a neutral engine. There was nothing special that the Aveo had to offer. Competitors like the Maruti DZire left the Aveo biting dust while GM’s after-sales network holds no candle against Maruti’s. This sealed the deal for the Aveo, though Chevrolet did replace it with the Sail and Sail U-VA.
4) Toyota Qualis – Toyota launched the Qualis MPV in India and it turned out to be a huge seller. The Toyota badge commanded some value while the Qualis provided an immense amount of practicality with the space on offer. The MPV lacked any safety features though and this is a major downside for a vehicle that is a 7-seater. The Qualis was very reliable and still commands a good resale value. Toyota replaced the Qualis with the Innova which is better in many, many ways.
5) Opel Corsa – The Opel Corsa was a decent vehicle overall, but what killed it was GM’s failure to keep the Opel company surviving in India. Opel cars turned out to be insanely expensive to maintain and spare parts have always been difficult to source. The Corsa was competing with the Maruti Esteem and Honda City and the rivals were clearly leading ahead. The Opel Corsa also spawned an estate version called Corsa Sail.