2019 will be pivotal in India’s automotive history as the automotive sector will begin phase shifting into a new dimension guided by safety and clean emissions. With ABS, airbags and parking sensors made mandatory from April 2019, many car makers will also be shifting to BS-VI. This means a slew of new launches and we bring to you the list of cars who will also get a new shape or fascia in that process.
1. Maruti Suzuki Wagon R
The Wagon R has been Maruti’s longest running brand in the Indian car market, spanning over two decades of consistent sales. The new Wagon R will continue to offer the same mix of tall-boy design, space and a peppy little engine which we think might be BS-VI compliant. Maruti Suzuki is also testing the electric version, which we think should come in by next year at least.
2. Tata 45X hatchback
Tata’s product expansion spree will charter a completely new territory in 2019 as the Indian conglomerate enters the premium hatchback segment with its all-new 45X hatchback. Competing with the likes of the Baleno and the Elite i20, the 45X will allow Tata to grab a slice of the largest pie of the Indian car market.
3. Kia hatchback
Kia Motors, Hyundai’s premium cousin, will be out on the shelves this year and while we know that they will start with the SP-based SUV, there is a fair chance that Kia might also want to enter the fastest growing segment of premium hatchbacks. While we aren’t sure of what it would be called, we think it might be based on the Elite i20.
4. Maruti Suzuki Baleno facelift
The Baleno has been around for about three years now and it is due for a facelift as a mid-life refresh in the product lifecycle. So, while the body shell and most of the headlamps and tail lamps remain same, the bumpers, alloys and the grille will be a little different. There might be additions to the features list but the engine options will remain the same.
Hyundai had announced that it is moving from a three-year lifecycle to a biennial one which means, the Grand i10 which was launched back in 2017, is due for a change. Now, we think Hyundai might be readying a new-gen Grand i10 as it has been over five years since it was first launched. The new car will certainly continue in the same thread as the existing car, similar in size and will have similar powertrains.
Ford has begun revamping its India line-up and after the Ecosport, the Aspire and the Freestyle, it is the turn of the Endeavour and Figo. The Figo facelift will look exactly like the Freestyle, the design style that has received quite a positive response and should be positioned below the Freestyle in the budget hatchback segment.
7. Renault Kwid facelift
Renault had introduced a blink-and-miss facelift of their entry-level hatchback, the Kwid, some time ago. We think that Renault is working on the new Kwid, which we think will take design cues from the upcoming sub-4 metre MPV. Renault is also working on the electric Kwid, making sure it also has a quality competitor in the electric segment as well.
8. All-new Maruti Suzuki Alto
The ethereal Alto, Maruti’s long-time bestseller, is due for a generation change and based on known product lifecycles, it is due for 2019. Like always, the Alto is expected to be offered in both the 800cc and the 1.0-litre sub-segments in the sub-compact hatchback segment. We haven’t spotted any test-mules yet which indicates at a late-2019 timeline.
Not all hatchbacks are budget, especially the ones that are badged with the three-pointed star. The all-new A-Class hatchback has made its debut globally, ushering the new Mercedes styling. Being a CBU, it should make its debut in India soon enough and should be offered with the new set of engines as well.
10. Volkswagen GTI
This VW hatchback is the ultimate hot-hatch you could buy here in India if you do not want to spend as much as the Minis. With its 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine pumping close to 200bhp of power, the GTI is capable of scorching even a few biggies around the racetrack with its nimble ways.