Home / Reviews / Tata Punch Road Test Review — The Punching Continues

 

The Tata Punch is one of the most popular models in the manufacturer’s line-up after being in the market for just over a year. We spent some time with it to identify what makes it so popular.

Tata Punch

Story: Joshua Varghese
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Tata have delivered more than one lakh Punches since the model was launched in 2021. To ascertain the reasons for this popularity, we decided to revisit this small car and spend some more time with it.
Well below four metres in length, the Punch immediately places itself in a position where it will gain the most attention from consumers looking for a city car, so that has been our main environment for testing as well.

The designers at Tata deserve kudos because the Punch continues to look off-beat and radical even after spending a year on Indian roads. That is a considerable achievement. Having scaled down the characteristics of large SUVs into a dimensionally appropriate package for congested cities, Tata have done well to set this one up for victory. Other notable styling elements include the aggressive shoulder-line, stylish wheels, and contemporary light-work all around.

Tata Punch

The doors that open at 90 degrees to the body of the car are particularly useful in the real world, especially for senior citizens. After driving it frequently, one will be hard pressed to believe that this is actually a sub-four-metre car. Clever use of space allows the Punch ample room in the front and at the rear; seating four adults in reasonable comfort and up to five for short drives. Furthermore, the 366 litres of storage in the boot swallows up to four large bags and should be enough to support a small family’s travel plans.

Tata Punch

Tata have left no stone unturned when it comes to entertainment either. The touchscreen infotainment system is equipped with the latest in wired smartphone integration and also offers hands-free navigation through the menus. However, the real test of such a system is how easy it is to use when driving. So, I am happy to report that the steering wheel-mounted controls were more than enough to manage the mobile phone and music functions while on the move.

Under the bonnet is a 1.2-litre three-cylinder Revotron engine that develops 86 hp and 113 Nm of peak torque. In this car, the engine was mated to a five-speed automated manual transmision (AMT) but there is a manual on offer as well. Personally, the AMT felt like the right choice for an urban runabout. Neither twitchy nor dull. I would say just enough to keep things interesting. By the way, when revved hard, some engine noise does creep into the cabin but not to an upsetting extent.

The best part of the Tata Punch is the sense of ease it offers when being driven in an urban environment. The steering is light and the car reacts well to quick changes in direction which, in tandem with the size of the car, makes for easy and carefree driving through busy areas in town. Furthermore, it is also effortless to park in tight spots. Tata’s familiarity with our road conditions is evident in the way the suspension has been set up. The Punch takes poor stretches of tarmac in its stride, consistently returning a comfortable ride.

It looks good, is roomy, and drives well, too, but there is more. When evaluated by Global NCAP, the Tata Punch received five stars for adult passenger safety and four for children. That is, perhaps, the brightest feather in this car’s cap.

All of these characteristics come in a package that is priced at Rs 9.37 lakh (ex-showroom) and it seems to have found favour with the consumers because the sales numbers keep climbing by the day.

Also Read: All-new Toyota Innova HyCross First Drive Review

 

About the author: Joshua Varghese

 

Would gape at fast cars. Still does but now has a chance to drive some of them. Hates driving in traffic but makes up for with a spot of off-roading or the occasional track outing. Insta: @motoknight

 

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