8 Most Under-Rated Cars Ever
Some cars are inherently better than their rivals but are still overlooked by most customers. Here are 8 cars which deserve your attention.
When it comes to car sales, it’s usually 20% of the models which account for 80% of sales. Which means a lot of good cars don’t end up selling as much as they deserve to and thus they are heavily under-rated. While some rivals offer more features, others offer more performance as compared to their segment-leaders. In spite of being the better alternative, some consumers still choose one of the segment-leaders either because of herd mentality or brand loyalty. In today’s listicle, we will discuss 8 cars which were way better than their competition but couldn’t leave a dent in their segments.
Jeremy Clarkson called it the best car in the world as it’s hugely practical, offers good performance and it’s a big car in a small package, exactly the reason why it didn’t sell well in India because size matters and Skoda didn’t take the effort of putting an automatic in it either. The Yeti does ride and handle well while also being capable off the road but Skoda’s sales and service reputation didn’t help the brilliant car.
Built like a tank, the Linea is beauty in motion with its good looks and solid performance from its T-Jet motor. The diesel wasn’t bad either but the hefty weight did slow the car. This Fiat, like all others, offers the best balance between ride and handling while the steering is super feel-some too, it’s a hydraulic unit after all. Fiat’s poor sales and service didn’t help the Linea’s cause while poor ergonomics, low fuel economy and lack of modern updates made it very unpopular.
Still the best compact sedan available today with the most powerful diesel engine in the segment that plants a massive grin on your face, the Aspire never managed the numbers it really deserves largely because of people not finding it as Dzirable (yes, there is a pun there). Lacking features at launch, Ford addressed the lack of equipment in the facelift but that didn’t make much of a difference and this brilliant car which has good ride and handling, stellar performance and is a value-for-money proposition just did not sell well enough.
Better than the Skoda Superb in some ways, the Volkswagen Passat looks pure class and is spacious too with a ton of features. It has a great ride and handling balance but doesn’t offer the VFM proposition of its Czech based cousin which is one of the reasons why it never sold well in India. The other is, of course, VW’s sales and service network and the fact that at that price, people prefer to buy SUVs and not sedans, no matter how good they may be.
This is a very under-rated car, more so because it’s a million times better than the over-hyped Mahindra XUV500. The Tata Hexa is a body on frame SUV which drives with a lot of feel and that body-roll is what people actually dig, no, I am not kidding, some people enjoy the body roll that is why the body roll king, sells so well, I am talking about the Mahindra Scorpio. The Hexa has good space, decent features and a lot of road presence too but just never caught the public’s fancy.
Currently all the SUVs under Rs. 20 lakhs are pseudo ones because they are front-wheel driven but the Renault Duster came with the option of AWD making it a real SUV that is quite capable off the road yet very easy to drive and live with on the road. If someone wants an SUV today to go off-roading on the weekend and regular commute during the week, there is no better car than the Duster AWD. Yes, it lacks features and has aged as well considering a new gen is out globally since quite some time but the Duster AWD never received the love it so deserved.
It’s the most spacious hatchback available in India, period. The Honda Jazz is the most practical car in its segment with good and easy handling while the diesel engine is both spirited and frugal. The petrol engine though doesn’t have the VTEC charm and Honda being Honda, charges a premium on the Jazz as well which is one of the reasons why it doesn’t sell well. The other of course is the lack of features like a sunroof and the removal of Magic Seats, not to forget the massive cannibalisation by its more masculine twin, the WR-V.
The desi Land Rover, the Tata Harrier is leaps and bounds better in many ways when compared to similarly priced cars as it offers great performance, excellent driving feel and robust underpinnings, it now also gets plenty of features but the reason why it never sold as well as it should have was the lack of equipment like a sunroof and automatic gearbox option at launch while Tata Motors’ overall image in the market didn’t really bode well when it came to selling a car that costs upwards of Rs. 20 lakhs.
I would have also added the Safari to this list as it’s a million times better than the Scorpio but since there are too many Tata cars in this list, I decided against doing so.