Recently, we came up with a list of 6 'iconic' cars that we want back in the market. In our earlier post, we focussed on models that continue to enjoy a huge following even years after their discontinuation from the market. This time we'll focus on 6 cars that sold in low numbers but enjoy a dedicated following by a select group of car enthusiasts.
6 Iconic Cars we want back in the market
Fiat Palio 1.6
First launched in India in 1999, the Fiat Palio remained in production till 2010. It was available in several engine variants - 1.2-litre petrol, 1.6-litre petrol, 1.9-litre diesel, and 1.3-litre diesel. The favourite of the driving enthusiasts, however, is the 1.6-litre version that offered a maximum power of 100 bhp and a peak torque of 137 Nm. The small car had a sporty suspension setup.
Sadly, the low fuel efficiency, along with an unreliable after-sales service network, ensured that the Palio could never sell in huge numbers. While not many remember the Palio 1.6 today, the car aficionados would love to have this fun-to-drive small car back on sale in the country.
Mitsubishi Cedia Sports
The Mitsubishi Cedia (initially known as the Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia) carried on the legacy built by the Lancer in India. It was launched in 2006 and became a direct rival to the Honda Civic. Powering the Cedia was a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine that produced a maximum power of 115 bhp and a peak torque of 175 Nm. It was also quite sure-footed in the corners and was very involving to drive. The Sports model came with many exciting bits, including MOMO sports steering wheel, Sparco pedals, and O.Z. alloy wheels.
The low fuel efficiency and an erratic after-sales network kept the D1-segment sedan buyers away from putting their money on this Japanese sedan. The Mitsubishi Cedia Sports is the most driver-focused car in our list of 6 iconic cars that we want to return.
That said, the Mitsubishi Lancer continues living in China.
While the Baleno sedan impressed with its sportiness, it's actually the Baleno Altura, its station wagon version, that looks better proportioned. The Baleno twins sported a high-strung 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine that produced a maximum power of 94 bhp and a peak torque of 131 Nm. It offered a right balance between outright handling and a comfortable ride. The short ratio gearbox made it quite quick off the block.
The Altura never sold well, which is because of the general unacceptance for the station wagons by the Indian car buyers, who liken it to a hearse.
Ford India launched the Mondeo in 2001. The premium sedan came with many features and won the beauty contest. It was available in two engine variants - 2.0-litre petrol that produced 142 bhp and a 2.0-litre diesel that offered 128 bhp. The car handled pretty well and had a reasonably spacious cabin.
In spite of being an excellent product, the Mondeo never sold well owing to faulty electricals and expensive spare parts.
The Opel Vectra was launched in India in 2002. It was a direct rival of the Ford Mondeo but akin to its adversary, it had a pretty dismal sales performance. Less than a thousand units of this car were sold before it was pulled off the shelves in 2004. The Vectra was quite ahead of its time and offered a long list of features. Powering it was a 2.2-litre motor that produced 146 bhp. The D2-segment sedan provided the proverbial magic carpet ride.
The Vectra was another all-rounder that failed mainly due to to a high price tag and a high cost of maintenance.
The Chevrolet Forester was launched in India in 2003 and remained on sale till 2005. The India-spec Forester was essentially a rebadged Subaru. Akin to the Vectra, the Forester was ahead of its time. Powering the SUV was a 2.0-litre Boxer engine that produced 120 bhp and 178 Nm.
The Forester lacked the macho appeal and the diesel heart of models like the Mitsubishi Pajero SFX. No surprise, then, that it failed to find many buyers.