The all-new Hyundai Santro will make its debut in the Indian market in the next few weeks. The nameplate 'Santro', the car that Hyundai debuted its India operations with in 1998 has been absent for a few years now with its position taken over by the likes of the Hyundai Eon. As one of the most anticipated cars of 2018, the new Santro will be instrumental in upgrading that whole supermini segment with safety features, infotainment and interior space. And that got us thinking. What sare some of the other cars that have been absent in the Indian market for a few years and deserve to make a comeback? Here is our top 5 list! Read on...
Maruti Suzuki Zen
The Zen is a legend! One of the best driving cars India has ever seen and with one of the nicest little engines too. What was supposed to be a simple family hatchback also turned out to be absolutely perfect platform for the enthusiasts with its engine swap abilities, fantastic neutral handling and of course, that super rare and super desirable zen carbon. Considering the fact that Maruti Suzuki is working on a new car to take on the Hyundai Santro at it's own game, it would be perfect timing for the much loved Zen brand to make its comeback.
The Tata Sierra is a usually forgotten gem of Indian automobile history. Its two door design might not have been super popular back in the day and yes, it did have its share of niggles but it just looked oh-so-cool! In typical 90s SUV style, it was butch, upright and oozed road presence. Later versions with the turbocharged engine were a big improvement but now demand and even rarer spares meant most were sent to a scrap heap instead of being saved. Considering the fact that Tata Motors is working on a range of new products - especially SUVs, the return of the Sierra would be perfect - maybe to take on the Hyundai Creta segment.
While Tata Motors was putting out sexy SUVs like the Sierra, Mahindra was doing what it does best - utility! The Armada was the first real SUV from the automaker with a proper hard top that appealed to the Urban lot as much as the rural buyer who by then had options like the Commander. With its plastic clad front end that disguised the Jeep grille underneath to its phenomenal air conditioning and of course, that oh so cool Armada decal on the side (which incidentally was ridiculously expensive), the SUV had a thorough fan following. And of course, the Armada then became the Armada Grand which eventually became the Mahindra Bolero. While it is unlikely that Mahindra will ever use the 'Armada' name again as it doesn't end with an O, there are exceptions to every rule (Thar) and we personally would love to see a new 7 seater SUV with that badge on it.
Maruti Suzuki Esteem
Another Maruti Suzuki in our list - and for good reason. The Maruti Suzuki Esteem was the first Indian 'Badi Gaadi' for most people and if you could afford one back in 1995 when it was launched, you were probably someone rich and important. The Esteem was eventually phased out in 2007 with almost no sales being raked in to be replaced by the now hot selling Dzire. With the Baleno name making a comeback, we wonder where something with the Esteem badge would make any sense. Maybe the Suzuki badged Corolla? We will have to wait and watch.
And we leave the best to last. Everyone in India knows what the Hindustan Ambassador is. As a symbol of India's automotive history, there is little else that defines motoring in the country like it. From a mode of mass transport as the most popular Taxi in India at one point of time, to the de facto 'politician's preferred car', to a symbol of status in some parts of the country, the Ambassador has seen it all. Of course, most of us will remember the Ambassador fondly through a childhood memory in the spacious rear seat or as a car someone in the neighbourhood had. That said, the Ambassador brand was bought by Peugeot a few years ago for a sum of just Rs 80 Crore and with the brand due to make its India debut in 2020, it could very well be used once again.