The Tata Punch mini-SUV has been launched in India, with introductory prices starting at Rs 5.49 lakh. Being offered in four main trims, the Punch's prices range from Rs 5.49 lakh to Rs 8.49 lakh for the manual versions, and Rs 6.99 lakh to Rs 9.09 lakh for the automated manual transmission (AMT) versions. The Punch Pure MT is priced at Rs 5.49 lakh, the Adventure MT costs Rs 6.39 lakh, the Accomplished MT costs Rs 7.29 lakh while the Creative MT is priced at Rs 8.49 lakh.
As for the AMTs, the Punch Adventure AMT costs Rs 6.99 lakh, the Accomplished AMT is priced at Rs 7.89 lakh and the range-topping Creative AMT costs Rs 9.09 lakh (all prices ex-showroom), and these prices are likely to witness an upward revision from January 2022 onwards. Option packs will be available with each variant, and will cost between Rs 30,000 to Rs 45,000, depending on the variant. Without disclosing a figure, Tata Motors has said the Punch has received "the highest bookings" of any Tata vehicle launched till date, hinting at the popularity of the small SUV.
The entry-level Punch undercuts the base Nexon by a full Rs 1.80 lakh. Image: Tata Motors
In terms of size, the Tata Punch measures in at 3,827 mm in length, 1,615 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,445 mm. Ground clearance is rated at 187 mm (unladen), and boot space is rated at 366 litres. The Punch has a 37-litre fuel tank, disc brakes at the front (drum brakes at the rear), and kerb weight for the mini-SUV ranges from 1,000 kg to 1,035 kg, depending on the variant. A total of seven colour options will be available for the Punch.
The Punch will be available in four main trim levels " Pure, Adventure, Accomplished and Creative. A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with voice command functionality, engine start-stop button, height-adjustable driver's seat, cruise control are available on the Accomplished trim. 16-inch alloy wheels, part-digital instrument cluster, projector headlights, automatic climate control, cooled glove box, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob and iRA connected car features are offered on the Creative version. The lower trims get 15-inch steel wheels, and the Adventure gets a smaller 4.0-inch infotainment screen.
The Punch is based on the ALFA architecture, and is the smallest SUV Tata Motors has made till date. Image: Tech2/Tushar Burman
On the safety front, the Tata Punch comes with dual airbags, ABS, ISOFIX child seat anchorages and the segment-first Brake Sway Control as standard. The Punch also recently became the third Tata vehicle to secure a full five stars in the Global NCAP crash tests, also recording the highest adult occupant protection score of any vehicle tested by GNCAP till date in the process.
Powering the Punch is a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, naturally-aspirated Revotron petrol engine making 86 hp and 113 Nm of torque. The engine is equipped with Tata's 'DynaPro' tech that incorporates a ram air function, and the Punch can do 0-60 kph in a claimed 6.5 seconds and 0-100 kph in a claimed 16.5 seconds. Gearbox options include a five-speed manual as well as a five-speed automated manual transmission (AMT). Additionally, the Tata Punch will come with an engine start-stop function to help improve fuel efficiency. Talking about economy, the fuel efficiency for the Tata Punch is rated at 18.97 kpl for the manual version and 18.82 kpl for the AMT version.
There won't be a diesel engine option for now, but Tata is understood to be developing an all-electric version of the Punch for the future.
Tata Motors has added a segment-first 'Traction Pro' mode to the AMT version of the Punch, which engages the brakes to help the mini-SUV move over low traction surfaces and avoid getting stuck in tricky soft-roading situations. To drive the point of the Punch being a true SUV home, Tata Motors even shared a clip of the Punch being driven to the mountain peak of Sandakphu.
Showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo as the close-to-production H2X Concept, the Punch is the second Tata model after the Altroz to be based on the company's new-age ALFA architecture. The Punch will be the most affordable SUV from Tata Motors and will slot in below the Nexon in the company's SUV range.
The Tata Punch carries over the H2X concept's upright stance, beefy front end and muscular wheel arches " elements that will surely attract the SUV-loving crowd. A few teasers shared online in the last few days also confirm the Punch will retain some of the styling cues seen on the H2X concept, including its funky tail-lights. Martin Uhlarik, Tata's design chief, said getting the stance, wheel positioning and ride height right was key to nailing the proportions of the Punch, unlike other high-riding hatchbacks that failed to find takers because of their oddball appearance.
Just like the outside, the Tata Punch mirrors the H2X concept on the inside, leaving out some of the concept car elements. The dashboard of the Punch has an upright, blocky look, sporting a two-tone grey and ivory theme. Many elements inside the Punch have been carried over from the Altroz, including its part-digital instrument cluster, steering wheel and climate control switches.
For now, the Tata Punch is unlikely to have any direct rivals, and the models that come closest to it are the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and the long-forgotten Mahindra KUV100. That said, Hyundai is developing a mini-SUV of its own (codename AX1), which is set to arrive in India next year.