The newly introduced Tata Punch is definitely one of the most talked-about cars in the Indian automotive scene. With its micro-SUV design language, high ground clearance, impressive capabilities, and extremely sexy design, the Tata Punch will definitely grab a lot of attention and I won’t be surprised to see long waiting periods for this micro SUV. While the prices of the car are not yet out, we do expect it to undercut many of the rivals by a fair margin, hence making it a VFM deal. Having said this, here is our official detailed Tata Punch review which will help you know all the details about this car. Also, stay tuned as our video review goes live soon on AutoHunters India Youtube Channel.
Just like its larger siblings, the Tata Punch also offers us an attractive and appealing design. Starting from the front, the bold and the imposing character clearly makes it much better to look at when compared to the main rivals. The bumper-mounted headlamps and bright and prominent LED DRLs may remind you of its larger sibling but it definitely has a premium touch and looks more upmarket than other cars in this price range. Moreover, the humanity chrome line and the gloss black finish on the grille does complement this character. Move down and the tri-arrow design will be noticed. We see the same treatment on many other Tata cars. The use of black plastics at the front ensures that there will be no scratches on the paint while exploring the wild.
The side profile is largely dominated by the R-16 dual cut alloy wheels and prominent side cladding. The car retains its SUV-like stance here and the high ground clearance is also noticeable here. The long wheelbase and short overhangs not only help the Punch boast some incredible approach and departure angles but in addition to this, also helps it look funky and rugged. The driver side door gets a passive entry request sensor but as seen on many other rivals, the Punch too misses out on a request sensor on the passenger side. Those opting for the dual-tone variants will get contrast roof colour. The auto-folding ORVMs are nice and big and give you a good view of the rear.
The rear styling is a little subtle when compared to that of the front. The smaller LED taillights along with a bulky design may not be appreciated by many but in all, the overall rear profile remains good looking. The lower half of the bumper gets the same black plastics to prevent any scratches and folks living in crowded cities will definitely appreciate it in bumper to bumper traffic. The Punch badge in the centre looks subtle and the car gets rear wipers and defogger. The rearview camera protrudes out from the boot and has a good quality. We will however comment on quality later after using the car for a longer duration (low-light quality still remains a mystery).
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The cabin of the Tata Punch looks modern and the floating island infotainment system definitely adds a premium touch. The steering wheel is the same as what we see in the bigger and more expensive Altroz. The steering wrap feels nice and you will definitely appreciate the semi-digital instrument console with a 7-inch TFT screen. The seats at the front offer commendable comfort and the high seating help in making ingress and egress easy. The visibility from the driver’s seat is great and one of the best in the segment. The rear seat boasts good comfort but the rivals like the Ignis definitely offers better space. Comfort at the rear is average but sufficient. Unlike most of the rivals, the Punch does get a rear armrest but misses out on rear AC vents and split-folding rear seats.
On the features front, the car gets automatic climate control, push-button start, power-adjustable ORVM, day/night IRVM, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and cruise control. Other features include a cooled glovebox, steering mounted controls, one touchdown driver side power window, central locking, and rear defogger. The Punch definitely has an edge over its rivals when it comes to features and offers great value for money. On the safety front, the Tata Punch gets dual airbags, ABS, EBD, seat belt pre-tensioners, seat belt reminders, ISOFIX mounts, and more. The car also shares its platform with Altroz hence we do expect great safety crash test scores.
Engine, Gearbox, and Performance
The Tata Punch gets a 1.2-L Revotron engine. This engine boasts a maximum power output of 86 ps while the peak torque delivered by this motor stands at 113 Nm. The buyers will be able to choose from two gearbox combinations that include a 5-speed MT and a 5-speed AMT. While this engine gets decent power output on paper, real-life performance is slightly different. To start with, brisk acceleration is not the best when we compare the car to rivals like the Ignis. Also, being a three-cylinder motor, this car definitely lacks refinement when compared to a four-pot engine powered vehicle. Having said that, in day-to-day driving scenarios, you will not be complaining as the car effortlessly handles city driving and bumper to bumper traffic. Out on the highway, you will need to plan your overtakes carefully but apart from that, the engine offers a commendable response. Speaking of the manual gearbox first, the shifts are smooth and short while the clutch too is very light. The clutch travel however is slightly longer and you will need some time to get used to it. The AMT gearbox on the other hand is made for those with a relaxed driving style. The gearshifts are not very fast and you will notice quite a few jerks when hard on the throttle. Tata claims a 0-60 kmph timing of a little over six seconds while the 0-100 run will take somewhere over 16 secs.
The NVH levels from this motor are impressive but not the best. At highway speeds, there is a noticeable thrum inside the cabin. The gearing however complements the power delivery. At 100 kmph, the motor spins at around 3000 rpm and you will definitely feel some vibrations inside the cabin. Those opting for the AMT transmission will however be pleased to know that you get a manual mode with Tiptronic function. The Tata Punch boasts a Dyna Pro Technology (we will talk about that in a separate article) which does help in making the low-end more pronounced in difficult situations. The response to the throttle is decent but the engine does get a little too vocal once pushed hard. Tall gearing helps in improving the fuel efficiency and the car will easily deliver over 15 kmpl inside the city.
Ride and Handling
Despite having an SUV stance, the Punch does boast some incredible dynamics. To start with, the car gets a compliant suspension setup that boasts a great ride-handling balance. The suspension absorbs all the bad roads and the high ground clearance helps the car crawl over almost all the bad roads and off-road trails without any issues. Despite having an extremely comfortable suspension, the high-speed stability is impressive and the dynamics too are comparable to those of a premium hatch. Even at triple-digit speeds, the car stays composed and you won’t be nervous behind the wheel. I am happy to report that the steering wheel too offers a great feel and feedback. While it is light at slow speeds, the EPS does weigh up as the speeds rise, hence offering you a lot of confidence at higher speeds. The body roll too is well controlled and the hardcore driving enthusiasts would definitely like the way the Tata Punch drives. A special, off-road review will be live soon where we will talk about the capabilities of the car.
The brakes on the other hand lack the initial bite but the braking performance is impressive. The brake pedal too lacks some feel but the majority of the buyers will not have any issues with the vehicle.
Tata Punch Review Final Verdict
The Tata Punch offers an extremely practical and feature-loaded package that makes it one of the strongest products under INR 10 lakh in India. The car not only boasts a strong and attractive design language, but in addition to this, it also offers an extremely premium cabin that offers high, SUV like seating. Features like Traction Pro mode and the Dyna Pro technology makes it even better for those who are looking to buy an all-purpose car that not only keeps them safe and cocooned during usual everyday usage but also keeps them excited and carefree while exploring the trails in the wild. The exteriors of the car will appeal to almost everyone in your family and the extensive features list will keep you happy during your everyday commute. However, for those with an aggressive driving style, the car does lack that extra Punch and you may like the Ignis in that department. Having said this, I must say that I was definitely not expecting the Punch to be an all-rounder and I am definitely very impressed by the package. If Tata gets the launch price right, I must say that the Punch will be one of the market leaders in the coming few weeks.
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