Cars that changed the Indian automotive scene

There are a number of cars that have entered and left the Indian automobile sector, but a few of them have managed to stay back in our hearts forever. Listed below are the cars from various era`s, that made a dent in the industry!


Hindustan Ambassador

Hindustan Ambassador – Indian Icon

In production from 1958-2014, this car was the king of Indian roads. Even though the car was based on the Morris Oxford III, it is still considered an Indian make. The Ambassador was a choice of vehicle for most politicians and bureaucrats. A white chauffer driven Ambassador with a red beacon was a standard. Now the company has stopped the car`s production and it is only used as a taxi in a few cities in India.

Maruti Suzuki 800

Maruti 800 – Everyone`s first car

The car that made Maruti a household name, and brought countless joy to families all over the country. Launched in the mid-80s it created havoc and established itself as one of the icons of the automobile market in India. Almost all families back then had the Maruti 800 as their first car. It was cheaper and more fuel-efficient than its competitors.

Fiat Premier Padmini

Image Credit : MotorBeam

Fiat Premier Padmini – Italian engineering in India

Named after a 14-th century Rajput princess, this car can easily be recognized internationally as one of India’s automobile legends. Manufactured by Premier Automobiles Limited, run by the Walchand group, it sold the Fiat 1100Delight under license from Fiat. Mumbai`s iconic black and yellow taxis still use the Padmini’s.

Toyota Qualis

Image Credit : Topspeed

Toyota Qualis – First comfortable people mover

The car that changed road trips forever. No other (Indian) car at the time of its launch transported so many people so comfortably. Priced right, with enough power under the hood, this car was a big hit amongst the Indian travel agencies and car rental companies. Qualis`s production was stopped in 2004, to make way for the Toyota Innova.

2014 maruti Swift

Maruti Suzuki Swift – Every teenager’s first car

Everyone loves the Maruti Suzuki Swift. Priced right, bubbly design, punchy engine and no complaints! No wonder it came to become one of the country’s biggest hits.

Innova limited edition LE

Toyota Innova – MPV king

When the Toyota Innova was launched in India, it had big shoes to fill in. The production of the Qualis was shut down to make way for the Innova. The Innova set a new standard in the country. Probably the most comfortable “big car” to drive and be transported in. Three facelifts and after almost doubling the price, the MPV still rules the Indian roads.

Honda City

Honda City – Timeless

Honda city was one of the first luxury sedan to be launched in the country. One of the only cars (VTEC-spec) that did a 0-100 kmph in under 10 seconds. Still on the top of my list of to-have cars. After three facelifts and countless engine upgrades, the Honda City is still one of the best cars one can own.

Hyundai Santro

Hyundai Santro – Working man`s car

For anyone looking to buy a small affordable family car, Hyundai Santro was the perfect option. Small hatchback, fuel efficient, nice styling, basic features etc. This car had all the ticks on the checklists. Unfortunately Hyundai had to stop production to make way for newer models.

Mahindra Bolero

Mahindra Bolero – Country’s best selling SUV

The Bolero has been around for almost 14 years, still it is selling in thousands. With contracts from the Government and Police department, this car has immense respect in society. A face lifted version is expected to hit the market next year, with 4X4 capabilities!

Tata nano

Tata Nano – Car for every household

Tata Motors has always been very consumer centric. After the Indica, the Nano was made with the focus on being India`s most affordable consumer friendly car. With its price targeted to be under a lakh, Tata achieved this and managed to keep the Nano`s price around the Rs 1 lakh mark.