Top 19 Car Launches Of The Last Decade: 2010 – 2019Posted on: December 27, 2019, by : Anindita Ghosh
n 2010, car manufacturers in India were just about getting ready for the decade to follow and there were some new entrants then as well. The outlook for India was certainly positive then and it showed in the kind of cars that were launched in the country in the decade that followed. There were supercars, powerful hatchbacks, sedans and even SUVs that made their way into the market. It was not about keeping things simple but a time of innovation too, to make sure that you were relevant in the market and also give the customers ample opportunity to understand your product. Now, as we close into the start of the new decade, let’s turn the clocks and step closer to the past and take a look at 19 of the most significant cars launched in the country from 2010 to 2019.
The Figo brought glory to Ford India. The diesel version launched later brought much acclaim
1. Ford Figo
Launched in March 2010, the Figo quickly captured the hearts of customers in India. In fact, internally at Ford India, Chennai, it came to be known as the Model T. Why? Because it sold in huge numbers, just like the Model T in its era. The Figo had undergone more than 1 lakh kilometres of testing for the suspension alone and it showed in the way it drove on the tarmac as also on broken roads. The Figo was available with both petrol and diesel engine options and came with features like radio, Bluetooth connectivity and who would forget the bright green colour it came in, which distinguished it from the rest of the pack. Ford in fact sold 25,000 units in just 5 months since the launch of the car, and the popularity of the car grew, just to be overshadowed by the new generation of the Maruti Suzuki Swift.
The Fiat Linea was a tank on wheels with the T-Jet motor being an absolute delight. The pre-facelift version looked better though
2. Fiat Linea T-Jet
Fiat did make an impression with the Linea sedan in India. After the Palio and the Uno, the Linea was the car that captured a lot of hearts in the country and when Fiat said, it was bringing out a more powerful version of it – the T-Jet – to be precise, hearts started racing. The Linea T-Jet came with a 1.4-litre Turbocharged petrol engine that produced a max power of 113bhp and with prices starting at just under ₹ 10 lakh, it was the most powerful compact sedan in the segment. Fiat didn’t just plonk a more powerful motor but also put on larger 16 inch wheels, wider 205 tyres and rear disc brakes were made standard. The ground clearance of the car was increased to 170mm, all of which made it an offer which one could not refuse.
One of the best cars to come from Skoda in India and the automaker’s first SUV too
3. Skoda Yeti
Yes, this was it, the Skoda Yeti, the company’s first SUV in the country and of course worldwide. It was manufactured at the company’s Aurangabad plant and was one of the most capable 4×4’s we’d ever seen in the country. The Skoda Yeti was launched at ₹ 15 lakh in the country and came with a 2.0 litre diesel motor with 140 bhp on offer. There was a 6-speed manual transmission with 4×4 on offer. The high-pressure direct injection technology system promises optimised performance, great mileage of 17.67 kmpl as per ARAI. While Skoda tried to bring in a facelift of the car to revive its sales, it was not an ideal match as it was too pricey but it was a product far ahead of its times.
The first gen Swift Dzire was an eyesore, the second gen model improved on that with a chopped boot and lower prices
4. Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire
The Dzire sedan from Maruti Suzuki has been in the country since 2008, but the subcompact sedan version of it came only in 2012. Now, Tata Motors was already present in this segment with the Indigo e-CS but with the Swift Dzire, Maruti Suzuki made sure it made a car that came packed with features and engine options. The Swift Dzire, as it was called then was available with a 1.2-litre K-series petrol engine and a 1.3-litre diesel. There was also an automatic gearbox that came in the top-spec trim. The Dzire soon multiplied in sales numbers and Maruti Suzuki managed to do an average of 15,000 – 20,000 units of the car from 2015 onwards. The third generation of the car was introduced in 2017 and it has added to the sales numbers making it the best-selling subcompact sedan in the country by a huge margin.
The Volkswagen Polo GT TSI is still the brilliant driver’s car it always was
5. Volkswagen Polo GT TSI
There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Volkswagen Polo was a brilliant hatchback and that’s one reason why it won so many accolades. However, the German carmaker took it to the next level when it introduced a go faster version of the hatch and one that put out more than 100 bhp. The company had tried its luck with the 1.6-litre petrol earlier, and though it was power packed, it wasn’t well received, so this was another shot at bringing in a hot hatch. Now, back in 2013, this was just the beginning of hot hatches. The 1.2-litre motor got a potent combination of direct injection and turbocharging, resulting in an impressive power output of 103bhp. Of course the 7-speed DSG was a great combination.
The Jaguar XK-R was the coupe to arrive from the British manufacturer in India before the F-Type happened
6. Jaguar XK-R
It was in 2012 that Jaguar India launched the XKR special edition models in both coupe and convertible forms and prices started from ₹ 1.27 crore. Available in 6 colours, the XK R Special edition was powered by a 5-litre direct-injection V8 petrol engine with 503bhp, variable adaptive damping, an electronically controlled active differential and a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifts. It came in packed with features and yes was quite the looker too. One of the most stunning Jaguar’s to land on Indian shores back then.
Honda’s most affordable sedan took off immediately after its launch. The new version is even better
7. Honda Amaze
Honda entered the subcompact sedan segment with the Amaze, a car that promised to bump up sales for the Japanese carmaker. But the problem for Honda back then was that it didn’t have a diesel in the line-up, well all that changed with the Amaze. The Amaze was the first car from Honda in India to receive a diesel engine. The subcompact sedan was manufactured in India with more than 90% local content making it an effective competitor for the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire. There were the 1.2-litre petrol and the 1.5-litre diesel on offer, both providing good fuel economy and power. It was in 2018 that Honda finally launched the second generation of the Amaze and it still is the bestseller for the company.
While the Premier Rio was India’s first subcompact SUV, it was the Ford EcoSport that kick-started the segment’s popularity
8. Ford EcoSport
The Ford EcoSport was first showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo as a concept and was subsequently launched in the country. It was a subcompact SUV which came with 3 engine options – a 1.5-litre petrol, 1-litre EcoBoost and the 1.5-litre Diesel. It was the EcoBoost that caught our attention. The use of cast-iron for the engine block instead of aluminium improved engine warm-up time by 50 per cent. The three cylinder engine design causes inherent vibrations, which are countered by a deliberately unbalanced flywheel, which added to less friction than balance shafts. It was clever, innovative and a technology that would help the company win Engine of The Year on multiple occasions. The EcoSport was also exported from India to other markets and clearly sold in huge numbers in the international markets. There’s a new generation coming very soon and we can’t wait to see it.
The previous-gen Audi RS5 was about raw power from the naturally aspirated V8 motor. The new version lives up to the reputation
9. Audi RS5
One of the sexiest cars to come to India in 2011 was the Audi RS5. It was a bit of a surprise really, because Audi India planned to launch only the A7 at that time, however, it announced the launch of this hot coupe simultaneously in India and the petrolheads in the country went absolutely nuts. Priced at ₹ 76 lakh, the RS5 was as hot a car as they come. It features a 4.2-litre V8 which punched out 450 horsepower and had 29 bhp more than a BMW M3. 0-100 kmph was done in just 4.6 seconds and top speed was rated at 250 kmph. This two-door coupe was a car that made you stand and stare at it and when we drove it back then, we really couldn’t get enough of it! ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads
The Renault Duster made its India debut at the 2012 Auto Expo
10. Renault Duster
Before Renault brought in the Duster to India, it had faced failures in the form of the Koleos, Fluence. The Duster was an SUV which marked the beginning of the SUV frenzy in the country and Renault couldn’t have found a better time to launch this compact SUV. Priced under ₹ 9 lakh, the Duster offered a powerful, economical diesel engine. The Duster also offered the best ride and handling and the light clutch made things easier for drivers. Of course, there was a 4×4 version offered as well which, though not a thorough off-roader, was quite good off the beaten path.
The BMW X1 made the luxury German brand more affordable paving way for the Audi Q3 & the Mercedes GLA
11. BMW X1
BMW had a successful run with the 3-Series in India but the car that cemented the company’s stand in the SUV segment is the X1. The SUV was assembled at the company’s Chennai factory which is why prices were kept in check. Prices of the X1 started at ₹ 22 lakh and the success of this one opened the floodgates for more smaller SUVs to hit the market. Audi brought in the Q3, Mercedes-Benz the GLA and finally Volvo jumped into the game with the XC40. The X1, then was a significant launch as far as the segment is concerned.
The Renault Kwid with its butch looks and clever features continues to be a good choice in the segment
12. Renault Kwid
It was in 2015 that Renault decided to go after the entry level hatchbacks in the country but it was not exactly a hatchback. Renault looked to the Duster for design inspiration and came up with a tall boy, SUV-inspired hatch and called it Kwid. It was a runaway success for the company and sold in huge numbers. Renault has already sold more than 3 lakh units of the Kwid in India and with the facelift it’s expecting the number to soar. The Kwid competed against the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Alto, which was the best selling car in the country and it did win a lot of hearts. The Kwid ran into trouble when its crash test results showed that it got just one star. Renault of course waited a while before reinforcing the structure of the car and adding airbags to it as standard as also ABS. It’s now available with 2 petrol engines and an AMT too. In fact the success of the Kwid prompted car makers like Tata Motors to bring in the Tiago and even Maruti Suzuki had to rethink its strategy in the segment which finally gave birth to the S-Presso.
The Vitara Brezza continues to one of the best-sellers in the segment despite its dated looks and a diesel-only powertrain
13. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
Maruti Suzuki ventured into the subcompact SUV segment with the Brezza. The only competitor then for the carmaker was the EcoSport. Maruti Suzuki introduced the Brezza only with the diesel engine with the promise of a petrol coming soon. However, till date, the Brezza does not get a petrol option. With the Brezza, though, Maruti Suzuki opened the space up for customization and personalization options. The Brezza came with two-toned colours and in fact boasted of a waiting period of more than 8 months at one point in time. The Maruti Suzuki Brezza continues to sell like hotcakes but now we think that the etrol version is just around the corner, but we’ll know more soon.
The Jeep Compass made the luxury brand and its legendary off-roading capability more attainable
14. Jeep Compass
Jeep India only had a few cars up for sale till it decided to enter the compact SUV segment with the Compass. Now, the Compass was the most affordable Jeep-branded product money could buy and with a price tag of ₹ 15 lakh, it became, the car to buy. Jeep packed the Compass in with both petrol and diesel engine options with automatic transmission as well. There was 4×2 and 4×4 on the car as well and yes it was a rugged and capable off-roader too given the short front and rear overhangs. Jeep managed to get in a ton of sales with the Compass and of course with it, also made sure that the Compass was a car that would be exported to other markets from India. The Compass, of course, was pricier than the other compact SUVs, but clearly, the badge and the car spoke for themselves.
The Tata Tiago changed the fortunes for its manufacturer and for good reason
15. Tata Tiago
Tata Motors was struggling in the hatchback space with the Indica ageing and the Vista not firing all cylinders. The company took a step back to assess what was going on and the car it came out with belonged to a segment lower than the Indica. It targeted a segment where Tata Moors was never present and filled the gap between the Nano and the Indica. It was called the Zica at first, but with the Zika virus spreading across the world, Tata Motors finalized on Tiago. The hatchback was available in both petrol and diesel engines and there was an AMT introduced on it later too. The Tiago brought in good amount of features, plush interiors and great ride and handling, something that had been missing on Tata cars for a long time.
The Tata Nexon with its aggressive pricing and 5-star Global NCAP safety rating makes for a smart buy
16. Tata Nexon
The subcompact SUV segment was bursting with a whole bunch of cars and the Nexon was Tata’s entrant. SUVs has been the company’s forte but building a subcompact car that will be appreciated globally; that was the crucial bit. Tata Motors managed to nail the brief and the Nexon was a car that was good on features and space but we’d like the ride and handling to be a bit sportier. It was available with both petrol and diesel engine options and the AMT variant too was launched soon after. However, the feather in the cap was the 5 star safety rating that the Nexon received from Global Ncap making it the first car in India to receive this honour. The EV counterpart of the Nexon will be launched very soon but we will be driving it before that, so stay tuned for our review.
The Mahindra Marazzo is one of the safest cars in India with a 4-star Global NCAP safety rating
17. Mahindra Marazzo
Mahindra had been eyeing the MPV space for a while now and with the Marazzo it got a replacement for the Xylo as also a 7-seater MPV which actually turned a new leaf for the company. The Marazzo rung in a new era for Mahindra cars in the country which great plastic quality and good space and drivability. The Marazzo was available with only the diesel engine option with a petrol as also an automatic scheduled to join the ranks very soon. The Marazzo was also the first MPV in the country to receive a 4 start safety rating from Global NCAP for which Mahindra deserved a pat on the back for this effort.
The Hyundai Venue is one of the best-sellers in its segment with the connected tech being a bonus
18. Hyundai Venue
Hyundai Motor India expressed their interest into the subcompact SUV segment in the country when it showcased the Carlino concept at the 2016 Auto Expo. The car was launched earlier this year and it’s already one of the hot-selling models in that segment. The Venue is the first connected car in the subcompact SUV segment thanks to the bluelink technology that the company brings to the table. Hyundai has made available 2 petrol and 1 diesel engine option in the Venue with manual and automatic transmission as well.
The Kia Seltos has already garnered over 85,000 bookings and an electric version is also in the works
19. Kia Seltos
Kia’s first car in India is the Seltos SUV and with huge investments made, Kia was desperate for a win. The customers reacted to the effort put in by the company by the ever-increasing sales numbers of the car. Kia till date has sold over 40,000 units of the Seltos ever since its launch in the country. In November itself, it sold more than 7000 units of the car. The Seltos is a connected car and offers the latest technology from the Kia stable. Kia has left no stone unturned with this car and offers it with a slew of petrol and diesel engines with manual and automatic transmissions available on all of them. With the Seltos, Kia Motors has found a strong footing in India and we wait to see how it does in the coming months