Good design and style, followed up with robust, reliable engineering are the trappings of a good, mass market car. India, being the one of the fastest growing automotive markets in the world has seen its share of good cars, and the occasional great one. However, some cars just don’t have their own way when it comes to the way they look. So here’s a list of the top five cars that had been beaten with the ugly stick, to be ever sold in India
Maruti Suzuki Zen Classic
Originally sold as the Suzuki Cervo Classic in Japan, the Zen Classic was laughed at since the day it reached dealerships in India sometime during the late-90s. Maruti must have lost a nut of two and decided that Indians might warm up to something retro-futuristic that reminded them of Ambys and Padminis. Sorry guys- its was horrendously ugly, and probably even the Japanese folks silently cursed at it. Maybe just 10 people bought it. Mind you, the Zen was a cute, lovable and perky little car, but the Classic bought to the table something quite harrowing that we Indians couldn’t digest.
2004 Hyundai Elantra:
The last-generation Hyundai Elantra came to India in 2004 with a face that probably even its mother didn’t love too much. The rest of the car’s decency tried to fight back, including those Porsche inspired wheels, but the front was so overpoweringly ugly that it brought the whole car down. Those oddly shaped double barrel headlamps pleased nobody, and so did that narrow water-fall grille. That said, the car performed rather well, especially the diesel one, which borrowed the 2.0 liter turbo-charged mill from the bigger Tucson. The new Elantra, however changed all that by offering us one of the sweetest looking sedans in the Indian market.
Tata Sumo Grande:
With the Sumo Grande, Tata thought of keeping the name but changing the game. With lumpy, terribly proportioned looks like those, we doubt if the Grande did anything well apart from receive flak from purveyors of good design. Those wheel arches look grotesque and unusually large, and there’s something gravely wrong with the shape of the Grande, even when seen from the most flattering of angles. The insides are roomy and comfy though, and a good place to be in for long jaunts.
Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo (Gelusil pink):
I had a nightmare once, which involved me driving off a cliff in the Estilo donning the shocking shade of Gelusil Pink that Maruti used to offer. Lets face it, the pre-facelifted Estilo is one uncharacteristic box on wheels, which makes it a pretty forgettable car. Surprisingly, it sold in good numbers. Thankfully, it has been discontinued now, but that paint still continues to haunt. Unless you’re of the fairer sex, and own the car in pink, you should do the sighted world a favor and drive off the nearest cliff right now.
The large Xylo might have room for a conference on the inside, but from the outside, its one ugly bugger, especially from the front. To worsen things further and hastily grab a share of the sub 4 meter pie, Mahindra went ahead and introduced the Quanto, a chopped Xylo that made us cry. What’s more, Mahindra had even downsized the wheel/tire size for the Quanto, which made it look like a jewel laden Bappi Lahiri on roller skates. And the less said about that hideous spare wheel cover, the better.
Had fun reading? Do check our list of the ugliest motorcycles to have ever been sold in India HERE
Do chime in with your opinions and suggestions on this topic. If you think that the Indian market has seen uglier metal, we’d like you to let us know of it. Let us know your picks via comments.