2021 Tata Punch micro-SUV review: Should you buy it?
After the immense success of Nexon and its EV iteration, Tata Motors now wants to expand its reach further into the micro-SUV segment with the all-new Punch. While the Punch is being positioned below the Nexon, it also claims to be a bonafide SUV with a high ground clearance and impressive off-road capability. So, how good is it? Here's our review.
With a length of 3,827mm, the Tata Punch is marginally shorter than the Nexon but still looks quite proportionate and attractive. The front section is arguably the best angle with a split headlamp setup and a healthy amount of cladding. You also get roof rails, 16-inch alloy wheels, and an integrated roof spoiler. The dual-tone exterior color option further increases its style quotient.
Step inside and the Punch has a straightforward yet rugged cabin with some nice touches like the colored AC vents and white inserts. The 3-spoke steering wheel is also comfortable to hold while the "floating" touchscreen console is seamlessly integrated into the dashboard. The overall quality is quite decent with some hard plastic in the bottom half of the cabin.
The Punch has excellent egress and ingress thanks to 90-degree opening doors and the cabin space is surprisingly impressive. Despite its compact exteriors, it is arguably more spacious than other sub-compact SUVs in the market. The Punch has plenty of headroom and generous legroom. It also scores well in terms of practicality with over 25 utility spaces and a 366-liter boot capacity.
In terms of equipment, the Tata Punch nearly matches the Nexon with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment console, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, smartphone connectivity, automatic climate control, and a 6-speaker audio system. The micro-SUV also gets a cooled glovebox, height-adjustable driver seat, connected car technology, cruise control, and a rear-view camera. However, it misses out on rear AC vents and wireless charging.
The sole powertrain option available with the Tata Punch is a 1.2-liter petrol motor with 86hp/113Nm. You get an option of either a 5-speed manual gearbox or an AMT automatic. We tested the manual version and the performance on offer was adequate along with a satisfactory gearshift quality. Power delivery under hard acceleration feels labored but city driving is actually quite decent.
Thanks to its ground clearance of 190mm, the Punch can easily tackle broken road surfaces with ease while the tough suspension impressed us a lot. The ride quality is on the pliant side. With its nimble handling and compact dimensions, the car is easy to park and fun to drive in the city. The fuel efficiency is also quite good at around 13-14km/l.
Tata Motors will position the Punch as a micro-SUV and we expect it to be priced at around Rs. 5 lakh (ex-showroom) for the base petrol manual variant. We feel it will appeal to a wide customer base, including hatchback buyers, considering it is an impressive budget SUV with no serious corners being cut. Overall, the Tata Punch looks to be an impressive offering.