Tata Punch EV review: Feels like a mini-Nexon

Nishant
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Tata Punch EV With the launch of the all-new Punch EV, which neatly falls between the entry-level Tiago. EV and the top-of-the-line Nexon.EV, Tata Motors is set to further establish its domination in the Indian passenger EV market. Importantly, the Punch EV has the potential to become India’s best-selling electric vehicle (EV) despite being Tata’s fourth electric model. Why? First of all, it’s an SUV, the body type that everyone adores. It’s built on the hugely famous Punch petrol engine, has an excellent specification, is priced aggressively (between Rs. 10.99 lakh and Rs. 15.49 lakh), and has no direct competitors. Although the Punch EV seems like a clear winner on paper, is it that good on the road?

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Tata Punch EV

Tata Punch EV platform 

With the Punch, Tata Motors has used the same Nexon electrification strategy, which involves taking the ICE model, giving it a fresh, unmistakably EV look, and adding more amenities and technology. One significant distinction exists, though: the Punch EV is the first Tata vehicle to be constructed using the Acti. EV architecture, which is a thorough re-engineering of the original ICE platform for use only in electric vehicles. The Punch EV’s ICE platform received a significantly more thorough overhaul than the Nexon EV’s, which saw fewer changes made to come to market sooner.

To accommodate the centrally positioned battery pack, Tata Motors reengineered the floor to make it flat and gave it a bigger recess. Although an underslung battery sometimes results in less ground clearance, the electric Punch has more. The floor has been elevated by 20 mm by Tata engineers, giving ground clearance a record-breaking 190 mm, or 3 mm more than the ICE Punch.

To make up for the increased weight—320 kg in the case of the long-range variant and 1,340 kg at the curb—the spring rates are somewhat stiffer than those of the ICE Punch. Around 100 kg less weight is carried by the ordinary variant, which has a smaller and lighter battery pack. With stronger duty calipers and drums at the back, the brakes have also been slightly enhanced, although as with other EVs, the regeneration modes significantly boost total braking performance.

Tata Punch EV range, battery, charging

Punch EV is available in two different battery capacities: the extended range model has a 35kWh pack, while the normal form has a 25kWh pack. For the basic and extended range variants, Tata Motors promises a range of 315 km and 421 km, respectively. You would have anticipated a larger battery pack given Punch EV’s Acti. EV design, which is optimized for economical packing. However, the ICE version’s short 2,445mm wheelbase, which directly affects battery capacity, is the restriction in this case. Additionally, the battery pack—the most costly part of an EV—is fairly economical since the Punch EV employs the same cylindrical LFP cells as the Nexon EV. These cells are not particularly space-efficient, but they are a tried-and-true shape and chemistry, and they are also locally available.

The industry standard CCS2 charging port is included with the Punch. By today’s EV standards, 56 minutes is a long time to top off a battery from 10% to 80% on a 50kW DC fast charger, according to the business. Additionally, you receive a 3.3kW portable charger that can be used anywhere a 15A plug is available for charging or a 7.2kW AC fast charger that can be placed in your house or any location of your choosing.

Tata Punch EV

Tata Punch EV design 

The Punch EV has an even more attractive appearance than the standard gasoline-powered Punch. The nose is the only part of the design that has changed, with the charging port flap located right in the middle and the grille blanked out. The headlamp cluster housings that protrude from the lower edges of the front bumper and the LED light strip that runs across the bonnet are the new characteristic features for all Tata EVs. They both have a very unique appearance. This very prominent face is finished off with a scuff plate and an air inlet located in the deep chin. Since the Nexon EV and this nose share comparable design elements, they are not that different.

The sculpted sides, high beltline, and pillar-mounted rear door handle remain unchanged when viewed from the side. The Punch EV’s 16-inch wheels (or 15-inch ones for lesser models) and large wheel arches make the tires similar in size to the gasoline-powered vehicle.

Another distinctive design aspect that sets the Punch apart is the taillights, which have arrow-like components and a strongly contoured back. To further emphasize its EV credentials, Tata Motors has the Punch EV brand prominently written across the tailgate, as if a green registration plate wasn’t enough.

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Tata Punch EV interior, features 

The two 10.2-inch displays in the cabin are the focal point and are jam-packed with features and technology. The Arcade. ev suite of 17 applications, which includes Amazon, music, games, podcasts, and over-the-top streaming, is housed on the main infotainment screen. Not to mention wireless phone charging, you also get wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The only issue with the digital instrument cluster is that some of the graphics, like the power flow animation, are much too small to see clearly. Other than that, it is very configurable and has plenty of information, including data from your connected phone, navigation, and driving information like a power flow histogram.

A sharp 360-degree camera, blindspot monitoring, cooled leatherette seats, an electronic parking brake with auto hold, an air purifier, automatic wipers, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror are among the features exclusive to the top-tier Empowered+ variety of automobiles. Along with Alexa, Siri, and Google, there’s also a voice assistant called “Hey Tata” that can understand more than 200 voice requests in six languages.

The Punch EV has almost the same features as the Nexon EV; the only things that aren’t there are customizable ambient lighting and V2V and V2L charging. Although the multilayer dashboard appears sturdy and the switches and buttons have a pleasing weight to them, a closer inspection reveals several questionable elements. Both the material and the heavily worn piano black finish exhibit poor quality and are prone to scratches over time.

Tata Punch EV interior

The lower console is completely black, and several of the touch-sensitive buttons need you to take your eyes from the road to activate them. But the rotary drive controller remains the biggest annoyance—it responds incredibly slowly and even refuses to engage if you place your foot firmly on the brake pedal.

Tata Punch EV interior space, comfort

In that it belongs to a lower sector than the Nexon, the Punch is a little, tiny SUV. The cabin is small—just 3,857 mm in length and 1,742 mm wide—but Tata Motors has done a fantastic job of making the seats cozy. Even for 6-footers, the front buckets are roomy, and the rear seat is especially well-shaped with excellent under-thigh support because of a roomy squab and a high seating position that make up for the higher floor. You don’t sit in the usual “knees-up” stance that you find in most EVs as a result.

Headroom has been compromised as a result of the raised seat height, and this problem is made worse in cars with sunroofs as their roof liners are lower. The back seat is only ideal for those who are short due to the lack of legroom as well.

The 366-liter boot is roomy and deep enough to fit two large bags inside, but it lacks a spare tire and the tools, puncture repair kit, and charging cord take up what little storage space underneath the boot floor. Additionally, there is a little frunk that you may use to store some other small objects, however, it could ideally have held the charging wire.

Tata Punch EV

Tata Punch EV Price

The Punch EV boasts an abundance of features, cutting-edge technology, and a wide range of customizable options, including battery packs, colors, and versions. Additionally, it is cozy for regular driving. However, there are several minor issues, including a gap in the panel, a problem with the charging flap, malfunctions with the infotainment system and driver’s display, and claustrophobic second-row seats. Pricing-wise, it also charges a significant premium, with prices ranging from Rs. 11 lakh to Rs. 14.49 lakh (ex-showroom), and that’s before you factor in the optional fast charger or sunroof, which both cost an additional Rs. 50,000.

Tata, meanwhile, is more optimistic that it will attract a fresh group of first-time customers and is not concerned that its sales figures will coincide with those of its brothers on either end of the range. In the end, Punch EV is just another Vidhu Vinod Chopra film; it’s excellent in its own right, but it doesn’t do anything particularly noteworthy.

Tata Punch EV

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