This month we’re looking at the hottest, most family-friendly new releases in the Indian automotive space. So, get driving and make your upcoming road trip the most memorable yet!
By RIAAN JACOB GEORGE
A LUXURY CLASSIC
Whether navigating through Mumbai and Pune’s crowded streets or gliding along the expressway on a test drive, the Mercedes-Benz ‘new’ C-Class sedan had us raving. Referred to as the ‘Baby S-Class’, we caught many design and tech elements that are common between the S-Class and the new C-Class. The latter, for instance, features the MBUX infotainment system, a gorgeous 11.9-inch touchscreen display (our favourite part in the cabin), and visible sporty lines on the exterior. The cabin’s massive upgrade notwithstanding, this flagship product is both a driver’s and a backseat passenger’s car. The new engines enhance the drive quality, while its on-road appearance will appeal to families looking for a plush ride.
Price: ₹55 to 61 lakhs; mercedes-benz.co.in
THE HOME-GROWN PICK
This entirely home-grown SUV has captured hearts across the country with its good looks and best-in-class creature comforts. For starters, the exteriors of the Tata Punch are striking with defined lines, roof rails, and the unmistakable LED daylight running lamps (DRLs) and
LED tail lamps that give it an amazing road presence. What catches
our eye, however, is the spacious cabin, with just the right accents
of dark hues and bright colours. The infotainment system is well-designed, with smooth smartphone integration and a Harman touchscreen. The 5-speed AMT, with an enhanced traction mode,
will take you from city roads to difficult terrains effortlessly. We also love the automatic climate control, keyless start-stop, and spacious back seats, which lend themselves well to a family.
Price: ₹5.83 to 9.49 lakhs; tatamotors.com
THE ULTIMATE SPLURGE
The sheer good looks of the Q7—Audi’s flagship, uber-luxury SUV—need no introduction. The latest version of this amazing car boasts a top speed of 250 kmph and is powered by 340 horsepower, promising a 0 to 100 kmph sprint in just under 6 seconds. We are huge fans of Audi’s stylised cabins and the new Q7 is a breeze for those family drives thanks to its multi-zone air conditioner, ambient lighting, plush leather upholstery, and more. Signature features like the Audi Virtual Cockpit and the Audi Drive Select are our favourites in this SUV, which comes with the quattro all-wheel drive. We tested the Q7 through Mumbai’s crowded streets and on rough countryside roads, and the Audi’s suspension never fails to impress.
Price: ₹82.48 to 89.89 lakhs; audi.in
AN AFFORDABLE CHOICE
Très chic! That’s how we’d describe the C3. With its focus on design and affordable customisation, the French manufacturer’s latest release is expected to make quite the splash in its segment. We test drove the C3’s turbo version in Goa and it scored well on many fronts: a stylised exterior, on-point suspension, and excellent high-ground clearance. The car is a breeze to handle, and while the interiors are basic and fuss-free, the C3 boasts a competent infotainment system, an extremely well-designed cabin, and an awesome ride quality. Available in a host of pop colour combinations: polar white, zesty orange, and platinum grey. Perfect for a small urban family, we’d say!
Price: ₹5.50 to 7.50 lakhs; citroen.in
A SLICK SEDAN
The latest release from Volkswagen, the Virtus is possibly the most talked about mid-size sedan in India this year. Considered to be the longest car in its segment, it stands out with its stylised exteriors and, of course, a highly effective performance-driven engine, which is a Volkswagen signature, thanks to the carmaker’s award-winning TSI technology. We envision this as an immensely popular sedan for city families given that it is packed with several technology and entertainment features, including a massive digital cockpit, a responsive and friendly user interface on the 25.65-cm touchscreen infotainment system, and more. The car also comes with keyless entry and start, six airbags, and more than 40 safety features! What more can one ask for when travelling with family?
Price: ₹11.22 to 17.92 lakhs; volkswagen.co.in