(Arun Kumar narrates his experience at the opening day of the Auto Expo that happened recently)
My new year can’t get any better than it already has as today I managed to get entry into the first day of the Auto Expo here in Delhi. I’ve been in this freezing city for the past two days and all dinner conversations have been about the Auto Expo. Today being my last day here as I fly home tomorrow evening, I decided to make a few calls and see if there was any way I could be sneaked into this highly exclusive preview day.
Well, as luck would have it, friends were able to pull strings. All they said was, just go there and walk past gate no. 7 and see if anyone stops you. If they do, just say press aadmi and you should sail through. My friends were right. I sailed through!
First impressions Pragati Maidan is huge! It takes approx. 15 minutes to walk from one place to another. But the Gods were kind to me as I got to witness almost all the launches in the first half of the day. The first launch that I caught [10:30 am] TATA Sumo Grande was kind of significant for me as my interest lies heavily in the utility vehicles segment. Unfortunately there weren’t too many on display today, unless I just couldn’t find all of them in that vast desert of a venue. But coming back to the Sumo Grande, I have to say that it’s a very impressive effort from TATA Motors. I missed the pre-launch hungama as that was for press aadmis only, but drama is not my cup of tea anyway. I got to see the car up close and take a few pictures and that was enough.
First impressions it reminded me of the Scorpio from a side angle, but that’s not such a bad thing as it’s a welcome change from the bread box looking Sumo Victa. It’s a good thing that the makers have finally paid some attention to styling and looks. The interior is very comfortable with beige interiors and a height adjustable driver’s seat. It’s also got a 2.2 DICOR engine that claims to give 16 kpl. Well that’s still left to be seen, but I will agree that the Grande is loaded with features.
Things I could take note of: Dual AC with separate louvers for the second and third row seats, Tilt adjustable steering Height adjustable driver’s seat, Electric ports for both front and rear passengers, Puddle lamps, and Comfortable 5-speed gear shift Speakers on doors. It comes fitted with Alpine CD/MP3 player with 6 speakers and a USB port, Large clear lens headlamps and a cutaway air dam in the front. Not bad, I thought the rear is very bus-like though. But, at least it’s got the spare wheel under the floor, which makes it a tad neater. It’s got the same sporty alloys as the Safari.
I know TATA Motors is in the spotlight for its One-Lakh so called miracle car, but honestly, my expectations aren’t too high about it. But with the Grande, I had no clue about its launch, which is supposed to happen sometime in Feb. I like the looks of it. The styling has definitely improved, the colours are more attractive and so is the price. Delhi Ex-Showroom is Rs 6.55 Lakh for the Sumo Grande LX [Base model] and Rs 7.49 Lakh for the Sumo Grande GX [top end].
Submitted by Arun Kumar