Automobiles

#10yearchallenge: Best cars that survived a decade in India

A recent trend that took the internet by storm was the #10yearchallenge. The challenge basically required you to post a picture of yours that you clicked 10 years ago along with your current picture. The entire silly thing was basically to track the way you have evolved in the last 10 years and to see how things have changed over the years.

The challenge saw active participation of actors, cricketers, sportsperson, influencers, politicians and even some multinational organizations, and we thought why should cars feel left out. So, here’s our version of the #10yearchallenge. In this article, we’ve compiled a short list of cars in the Indian market that has survived for a decade.

First up, we have a car that is probably the most popular car in India, the latest generation Maruti Suzuki Swift. The Swift is a 5-door hatchback that was introduced back in May 2005. The Swift is undoubtedly a great car and ticks all the correct boxes on the Indian customer’s shopping list. It’s got decent space, offers great fuel economy numbers, and looks fairly decent, and also has good power. Since it comes from the house of Maruti, maintaining this one has never been hard on the pocket. All-in-all, the Swift was and still is a total ‘paisa wasool’ car. The way it has evolved is also quite great. The current generation Swift still retains the silhouette that the first gen had and that has really helped it to create a solid brand identity. Over 10 years, the Swift has become more handsome, has lost a few kilos, it also has some cool tech on offer and yes, it has become, well, ‘Swifter’.

The next car that gets into our #10yearchallenge is the iconic Honda City, which was refreshed in the year 2017. The City is arguably the most sought after and the most successful C-segment sedan in India. The City was introduced by the Japanese marquee in India back in 1998 and so technically it qualifies for a #20yearchallenge! This Honda sedan has always been the best-looking car in its category ever since its inception. The gorgeous snooping nose, the sleek lines across the body, the snob of the Honda badge and the reliable Japanese power unit all made and still make the City a very attractive buying proposition. The City is in its fourth generation now and is available in both petrol and diesel and automatic and manual. With the City, Honda has set up an example for the auto industry on how to evolve cars.

Any guesses on what the next car is? Well, here’s a clue. You’ve seen this car flying in the air, defying the laws of physics, gravity and motion in Rohit Shetty films. Got it now? Yes, it’s the legendary Mahindra Scorpio. With the Scorpio, Mahindra has stung the mind of the India buyer. It looks commanding and intimidating, it is huge and bulky in size, you can fit in as many people as you want to, it has a robust and reliable engine, and it can take on any roads that you take it to. The large wheel arches, the boxy shape, and the big front grille give the car an excellent street presence, Scorpio possessed all these characteristics since its birth back in 2002 and things have only got better ever since then. The Scorpio is the car that helped Mahindra create a solid ground in the passenger vehicle market. The Scorpio laid the foundation for Mahindra’s other SUVs like Xylo and XUV5OO that came in the following years.

The fourth car that goes into our #10yearchallenge is the Honda Accord. The 2019 Honda Accord is an all-out sexy and stylish sedan. And it has always been sexy and stylish. An entry level car in the American and the European market, the Accord however in India is placed amongst the entry-level luxury sedans and currently rivals against the likes of Skoda Superb, Toyota Camry, and even Audi A3 and Mercedes Benz CLA. The Accord hasn’t always enjoyed the sales numbers and market share in India that it has in some other markets. The Accord was introduced to the Indian shores back in 2001, in the month of July. India has seen fourth generations of the Accord with the latest generation being launched in 2014. The Accord is a car that you buy if like to keep a low profile and do not want to be noticed. Not that the Accord doesn’t grab eyeballs, but the Mercs and the Audis and the Beemers turn more heads than the Honda does. Again, evolution done right, #justhondathings.

You’re driving on the city road, you’re sitting high up the ground, all other things on the road look like tiny creatures and you honk at the driver ahead who’s driving a minuscule car in front of you, and order him to make way for the boss that you are. You’re driving in the jungle, taking on the undulations, you have the control of how much power to send to what wheels and you dive into marshes and you wade across the river and you look sexy doing all this. If all this is happening, you certainly are driving a Tata Safari. India’s first homegrown 4×4 SUV has come a long way since it was first introduced back in 1998. There have been four generations of the Safari so far and it has found its purpose as an off-roader, a daily driver, a taxi, a long hauler and has even served as the official vehicle of the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujrat. A truly versatile car, the Safari has left a mark on the minds and hearts of the Indian consumers. Bad roads, no problem! Good roads, no problem! No roads, even better!! That’s what life with the Tata Safari has always been like. Sadly, Tata may be retiring the Safari soon, but not after carving a special place in the hearts of Indian enthusiasts.