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2022 Tata Punch Review, Road Test

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The Tata Punch is the biggest and most ambitious task after the Nexon. Tata has an aggressive strategy ahead by bringing out new models to make sure they grab sales numbers and market. This SUV is going to do so for them as it has always done with other heavyweights in the portfolio such as the Nexon, Harrier and Safari. The mini SUV category just got a big lift despite excellent attempts by Mahindra and Maruti with their good products such as the KUV 100 and Ignis. While they lacked many wow factors, Tata seems to have it all. Be it on the inside and outside, it has what it takes to impress a set of consumers. Like always there are core strengths and weaknesses of any product that comes from the Tata stable. We find out what the Tata Punch offers and doesn’t to its prospective buyers.

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On the outside, the 3.8 meter SUV has the silhouette of a mini Nexon and the elements on the car make that quite clear such as the head and tail lamps. The front grille has an opening that houses the horn, which is very India-friendly. The raised bonnet and new alloy wheels make the Punch stand out and look very SUV in its class. The build quality on the outside seems good enough too. The overall design which includes cladding, higher ground clearance, our test cars being equipped with a dual-tone scheme makes it an ideal macho and almost quite a funky SUV at the same time to look at.

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On the inside, the build and quality are quite good. Texture plastic makes way for a very good feel-good ambiance. The stowage is good, charging points are in plenty, and overall a very practical cabin. The feature list, we have explained time and again in our launch reports. You get touchscreen with Android Auto, and Apple Car Play. The sound system is excellent considering the segment. The dials are lifted of the Altroz. The steering wheel is the best part of the interior and boxy A/C vents gel well with the SUV theme. Start-stop, steering mounted controls, a very good infotainment system, and enough features to make the SUV a great purchase in this segment at this price point.

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Space is quite good too. The shoulder, head, leg, and knee rooms are segment standard and better as always than all its rivals. The boot space is good by segment standards. Road and wind noise inside the cabin is also well controlled, but road noise can get intrusive and wind noise also does after 120 km/hr. The safety kit includes ABS and EBD with two airbags that come as standard. Punch has scored a full 5-star rating from Global NCAP.

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The only option is a petrol 1.2 litre engine making 90 PS and 113 Nm of torque is a free-revving and low on NVH unit. Be it in any part of the rev range. Be it automatic or manual either it is easy to drive. Also, the clutch is light and so is the gearbox to operate. Automatic is a revised AMT which is now very good and our pick of the lot. It shifts smoothly, almost seamlessly at all speeds making the best AMT after the Mahindra and Maruti units we experienced recently.

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It delivers spectacular fuel economy on the highway and city. We saw the claimed number on the Mumbai-Pune highway of 16 km/l. Really gunning it we saw 12 km/l and i think that is a great number to have in today’s time! Low and mid-range are good and the top-end is good enough as well, but not great. The Punch, it cruises at legal speeds easily. This makes good enough for city and highway duties. We prefer the AMT which masks the slightly weak low-end rather well when compared to the manual.

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Like most Tata cars, the low to medium ride quality is stiff which lends great body control at low speed. The high-speed ride is rock solid on any given highway. Body roll increases as speeds get higher while taking a corner or changing lanes at high speeds. Steering is light, precise and has great feedback on offer which makes the car fun and 100% confidence-inspiring to push harder. Brakes are good with well-done pedal bite. Overall, very easy to drive and quite fun to drive by far compared to most of its rivals.

Tata Punch Review, Verdict

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As expected, road test comes out a time where Punch has helped Tata Motors climb the sales chart and become the second-largest manufacturer. A lot of this is owed to the recent success of the entire range plus the big push coming from the Punch itself. Tata Punch feels overqualified to fight in this segment and it shows as people are flocking to showrooms and putting their amounts online to get this mini SUV. The Punch has the lineage, the DNA, and capability to be the best in the segment which it gets from its siblings. Tata also got the pricing, packaging, and variants right as it shouts value! Whatever shouts value in this country has always been sold out! The Punch clearly throws punches at its rivals and everyone now has to learn from ‘once an underdog’ to now what we can call an overachiever.

2022 Tata Punch Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Features
  • Space
  • Practicality
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Safety
  • Value
4.8
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