The new 2022 Tata Punch which Tata calls a sub-compact SUV is a front-wheel-drive model. It’s got the agility of a hatchback with the DNA of an SUV. 2022 Tata Punch is built on Tata’s new age Alpha architecture that also forms the base for the Tata Altroz hatchback. Within the Tata family, the Punch sits between the Tiago NRG cross hatchback and the Nexon compact SUV.
Read Also: Top 10 Best Luxury SUVs in the world
The Punch is midway between the two models in its 3.8m length, 1.7m width, and 2445mm wheelbase and it weighs 1035kgs. It’s actually a few millimeters taller than Tata Nexon. In terms of rivals, you could club the Punch with the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and Mahindra KUV100.
2022 Tata Punch – Design
The punch is a chunky little car with plenty of road presence. It’s got the high-set bonnet, the upright pillars, the accentuated wheel arches, and the cladding you’d associate with an SUV notably. There’s a handy 187mm of ground clearance too. The punch is the smallest of Tata’s SUV tribe and there’s a clear link to the larger Harrier and Safari.
Up front with the split headlamp setup that’s LED DRLs on top and the main headlights positions lower down. Top versions get projector lights and the cool detail is the functional vents alongside the main lights. The LED DRLs on top and the grille are underlined by chrome. Interestingly the grille is closed off with a try arrow-shaped opening for the horn behind. The actual air inlet is lower down on the bumper that itself comes embellished with more dry arrow details.
The urban SUV Punch looks purposeful in profile. The generous cladding on the doors does help to this end. Larger wheels and fatter rubber would have helped fill out the arches better but the 16-inch machined alloys on the top-spec version are attractive.
The Tata Punch’s glass house is accentuated by the blacked-out a & c pillars. There’s a contrasting roof and mirrors for added effect. Like the Tata Altroz, the Punch’s rear door handles are positioned behind the windows rather than at the doors which is something you get used to. Also as on the Altroz the Punch’s doors open to 90 degrees. Easing access to the cabinet. The rear styling is attractive. You like how the black of the c pillar flows into the rear windscreen? The tailgate has its prominent cuts and the taillights with their tri-arrow LEDs also stand out. There’s cladding on the rear bumper too. But maybe they could have gone easy on the tri-arrow details and that cut-out at the base makes the bumper seem incomplete.
On the whole, the all-new 2022 Tata Punch is really eye-catching.
On to the interior, with doors that swing open to 90 degrees and relatively high set seats. Getting into a Tata Punch is very easy and convenient. Once you’re settled in, you like what you see. The dashboard sports a layered look and what’s really nice is the different plastics that have been used inside the cabin. There’re textured plastics on the dash top. Around the center console, there’s Tata’s try-arrow pattern which you’ll find if you look closely at the panel.
In general, the level of quality is quite nice. There are some places where panel gaps are not quite as tight as they could have been but then again for a car of this price, is more than acceptable. Build quality is also commendable. The Punch’s chunky AC vents look nice. The center console is neat but you won’t need to look all too hard to find the common elements shared with other Tata models. Such as the 7-inch touchscreen, the steering wheel, and even the part digital instruments that come from the Tata Altroz.
The touchscreen isn’t superslick but it works well enough for a car of this class. It packs in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are even games to keep you occupied in traffic jams. The sound quality is decent from the four-speaker and two-tweeter setup. The rear view camera with guidelines also comes in handy. Top-spec versions also get the option of Tata’s IRA-connected features allowing you to keep an eye on your car remotely. The leather wrap flat-bottom steering wheel is nice to hold. It’s impressive that part digital instruments are included too.
The 7-inch screen is informative and includes turn-by-turn navigation and also gives the position of the front tyres. Just in case you want to be sure which way they’re pointing when starting out. However, the squared-out dials look a bit unusual and because the needle for the digital tachometer is triangulated, it shows an rpm range rather than a specific reading.
In terms of practicality, the Punch goes well with a large and cool glove box. All four doors get usable door pockets with bottle holders and there’s a spacious recess at the base of the dashboard as well. Of the other things, drivers will like the view out and even the seating position is very relaxed and lets you really spread out and sit. Now the seats themselves are quite large but taller people will find that under-thigh support is a bit lacking. You’ll also miss a center armrest.
The top-spec variant Tata Punch Creative gets keyless entry, push-button start, auto climate control, auto headlamps and wipers, and cruise control. What’s nice is buyers have the option to upgrade each of the four trim levels with certain features of a higher variant. However, there’s no sunroof for the moment at least and rear aircon vents have been left out too. Switching focus to the back, the Tata Punch is reasonably roomy for rear-seat passengers.
Seating and luggage space
The second row is best suited for two passengers but when required, three persons will not have much trouble thanks to the flat floor like the Tata Altroz. However, this is still a place best suited to two passengers fold the armrest down, use the adjustable headrest, and you can sit in relatively good comfort. There are a few negatives also. The rear-seat passengers will also have to reach out to use the cup holders between the front seats. It’s important to bring in that the Tata Nexon is significantly roomier in both legroom and shoulder room.
In terms of space for luggage, the little Punch is actually quite accommodating. The loading lip is a touch high but with 319litres or 366liters if measured to the roof, there’s enough room for suitcases and some soft bags. You can also fold the single-piece rear seatback to create more space. A spare tire is standard and you also get a puncture repair kit.
2022 Tata Punch – Specifications
Engine and Transmission
The Punch is solely available with Tata’s 1.2-liter three-cylinder Revotron petrol engine. It’s the same engine that powers the Tiago and Tigor but with enhancements to the air intake. It helps to deliver better low-speed performance. The engine makes 86hp and 113Nm of torque. Gearbox options include a 5-speed manual and a 5-speed AMT. A diesel engine is unlikely to join the lineup but Tata hasn’t ruled out a turbo petrol engine for the Punch. An all-electric version is also understood to be in development.
2022 Tata Punch – Driving modes and performance
You do get two driving modes that alter the engine’s characteristics. There isn’t a world of a difference between the two driving modes. The city should be your default mode. When you do want to take out the maximum fuel economy which is the need of the hour today, you can switch to Eco drive mode. In Eco mode, you’ll find that power delivery becomes a bit more leisurely but performance is actually usable for everyday city life. If you want even more economy from your Tata Punch, there’s also the option of activating auto start/stop. The feature switches the engine off at long hauls once the gear is moved to neutral and turns it back on as you depress the clutch. Trouble is, it also switches off the air conditioning leaving only the blower on which is not ideal on a hot day.
Engine refinement is good but not great. The Tata Punch’s engine sounds a bit grainy. You can hear that three-cylinder thumb in the background and when you do extend it say about 4000 rpm or so you’ll also hear a vine from the engine bay.
As for the clutch and gearbox, the Punch’s clutch is light but the gearbox is not the slickest in the business. Gearshifts will require a bit of effort from you. Again it’s not to the point of being a deal-breaker. But if you don’t want the job of changing gears altogether, The Punch AMT is worth a look.
2022 Tata Punch safety features
On the safety front, it must be worth mentioning that the 2022 Tata Punch has been crash-tested by Global Ncap and it has achieved maximum safety ratings of 5-stars for adult occupancy and a 4-star rating for child occupancies like Altroz and Nexon. The sub-compact SUV has dual airbags as standard. As you go up in the variants, the Punch gets loaded with a variety of safety features. The Punch gets ABS with EBD, corner brake control, and brake sway control to ensure the car doesn’t wear about under hard braking. The safety suite also includes Isofix child seat mounts. Other safety features include a Reverse parking camera, Front fog lamps with a cornering effect, Auto headlamps, Rain sensing wipers, and a Rear defogger.
The Punch has a robust suspension and what that means is that you don’t have to really shy away from bad or even non-existent roads, it softens the blow of potholes. There’s also confidence in knowing that there’s ample ground clearance at your disposal.
It’s got more personality than your average hatchback offers. The build and elevated seating that you’d associate with a compact SUV seem well suited to tough Indian conditions.
2022 Tata Punch variants, colors, and price
Tata Punch is currently available in a total of 22 variants with automatic and manual transmission. Punch Pure being a base model starts at a price range of Rs. 5,82,900 while the top-spec variant Tata Punch Kaziranga IRA is priced at Rs. 8,88,900. The automatic Transmission option starts with the variant Punch Adventure. For the AT, the customer has to pay Rs. 60,000 extra which means the top-spec variant 2022 Tata Punch Kaziranga IRA will cost Rs. 9,48,900.
2022 Tata Punch is available in a total of 8 colors.
2022 Tata Punch will be an alternative to the naturally aspirated versions of the Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger that are larger in size but lower on par. The Punch will also go up against the base petrol versions of the Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet. The Tata punch isn’t perfect. Performance could have been better and the AMT still isn’t slick but these factors will unlikely be all that bigger bother for the majority of buyers. Many of whom will be upgrading from smaller, less powerful models in other areas. There’s a whole lot going in favor of the punch.