The BS6 emission norms are finally a reality! Yeah, you read it right, after the wait of three years, our cars in India are identical to American and European cars in terms of CO2 emission. With the more stringent norms coming into effect from the midnight of March 31, the sale and registration of BS4 certified vehicles was completely banned. This measure was essential as the pollution was at peaking levels in the major metropolitan cities. However, due to this step, several automakers had to discontinue their older vehicles which also includes some of the 'classics' that the Indian market has ever seen. So, let's have a look at the top 10 BS4 cars which will be phased out post the BS6 emission norms implementation:
1. Maruti Diesel Range:
Maruti Suzuki has already made it clear that it will not update the Fiat-sourced 1.3L DDiS diesel engine to BS6 emission levels and hence it will have no option but to discontinue the diesel derivatives of Ciaz, Vitara Brezza, Ertiga, Baleno, Swift and DZire. The company is working on upgrading the 1.5L DDiS 225 diesel engine to BS6 emission levels and if reports are to be believed, it may start rolling out the diesel variants by mid 2020. The diesel units will feature a Lean NOx Trap (LNT) exhaust gas treatment system and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) as standard. Though, Maruti BS6 diesel cars will be nearly Rs 85,000-1.20 Lakhs more expensive than their BS4 counterparts which have been discontinued for now.
2. Nissan Portfolio:
Nissan India has not yet launched any BS6 compliant vehicle from its current portfolio which includes the likes of Micra, Sunny, Terrano and Kicks. Though BS6 certified versions of Sunny and Kicks have been spotted testing but they have not been launched yet and since the sale of BS4 vehicles is totally banned from April 1, the company doesn't have any product to sale for the time being. It is believed that Nissan might not update the Micra and Terrano with BS6 engines as they have been absymal perfomers anyway and we might see only Kicks and Sunny in BS6 avatar. Though, the company is working on an all-new electric SUV for the Indian market which might launch in the next 6-8 months.
3. Mitsubishi Pajero Sport:
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport has been one of the iconic SUVs available in the Indian market. Being launched nearly eight years back in 2012, it has not seen much of updates in all these years except for a few subtle cosmetic updates. Although, the new-gen Mitsubishi Pajero Sport has been on sale in several global markets from the past two years but it was not introduced in India for the reasons best known to the company. The company recently requested the Union Government to provide an extension in the BS6 deadline but to no avail. In fact, the official Mitsubishi website in India shows no dealerships or service outlets while the social media channels have been defunct for over a year or so. So, in all, if you intend to own a brand new Pajero Sport in India, you cannot. It seems highly unlikely if Mitsubishi will launch the BS6 Pajero Sport anytime soon.
4. Tata Safari
It would not be an exaggeration to call Tata Safari the 'cult' SUV in India and probably the oldest premium SUV. It has been on sale for over 20 years in the Indian market with several iterations of the SUV on sale. Tata Safari has always been regarded as one of the most loved SUVs in the country. However, the company has finally decided to pull the plug on the SUV. Yes, the era of Safari comes to an end as Tata Motors is not keen on equipping it with a BS6 certified engine. The company has already launched the Harrier in the premium SUV segment with a BS6 engine while it will also introduce the 7-seater Gravitas in the upcoming months. It has already cleared the BS4 stock of Safari by selling 1105 units in FY20.
5. Honda BR-V
Honda BR-V was introduced in May 2016 in the Indian market as a replacement to the Mobilio MPV which was not having a good time. The sales of Mobilio had declined drastically and hence, the Japanese automaker decided to discontinue it in favour of the 7-seater BR-V which seemed a more SUVish choice, except for the similar platform and silhouette. However, Honda BR-V was not as feature rich as its rivals and therefore it didn't manage to impress the buyers. The company struggled to market and brand the BR-V and the sales figures failed to take off. Honda even introduced a mid-cycle facelift of the SUV with several new features which were missing in the previous model, yet it failed to make any mark and hence, the company decided to not update it with BS6 engine.
6. Renault Lodgy
Renault Lodgy was the French automaker's first offering in the MPV segment which consisted of the likes of Maruti Ertiga, Honda Mobilio and Toyota Innova in 2015. The Lodgy was quite bigger and spacious but it failed to make any impact in the Indian market due to several factors. One of the many reasons for Renault Lodgy not doing well in India was its unavailability with a petrol engine as it was only offered with the 1.5L K9K diesel engine. In addition, it missed on advanced features while the pricing was also a bit wayward. As everyone is aware, Renault is not updating the 1.5L diesel engine to BS6 emission norms, Hence it had to discontinue the Lodgy in India with no petrol variants on offer.
7. Skoda Octavia
First things first, Skoda forayed in the Indian market with Octavia, so that itself speaks volumes about the significance of 'Octavia' nameplate. Though, after a brief stint it had to be replaced by the Laura but such was the charm of Octavia that the company had to bring it back to life in 2013 in India. The executive sedan was a fine package overall with special emphasis given to driving dynamics. The company even introduced a facelifted version in 2017 but for the time being, it is not in a mood to update the sedan with a BS6 engine. Though, the new-gen model has gone on sale abroad but it seems unlikely to debut in the country at least till 2021, so the Skoda Octavia will not be sold in India for the next year or so.
8. Tata Zest
Tata Zest was one of the all-new products from the company to led its revival strategy in the Indian market. The company, in what seemed to be an attempt to cover the lost ground in the compact sedan segment, introduced the Zest sedan at the 2014 Auto Expo as a replacement to the Indigo CS. It had all the ingredients to be a successful model in the sub 4-meter sedan segment with decent interior, multiple powertrain-transmission options and improved exterior styling. However, it didn't give much of a competition to the segment leader Maruti Dzire, and after the launch of Tata Tigor, it saw a steep decline in sales. Hence, the company didn't consider it a sensible decision to continue with two sub-compact sedans and decided to phase it out from the Indian market.
9. Toyota Etios family
Toyota Etios family comprises of three models: Etios sedan (launched in December 2010), Etios Liva hatchback (launched in June 2011) and Etios Cross (launched in May 2014). The company had been giving reasonable updates to the Etios family in all these years to keep it fresh and competitive but all the three products failed to make any impact in the country. Toyota Etios, Toyota Etios Liva and Toyota Etios Cross were engineered and developed to qualify for the crash test norms but the introduction of pedestrian protection norms by the Indian Government made the life difficult for all three models as the company didn't seem it as a wise decision to update them to these norms due to the high cost involved. Hence, Toyota had no choice but to quietly discontinue the Etios range in India.
10. Toyota Corolla Altis
Last but certainly not the least on our list of Top 10 BS4 cars discontinued in India is the Toyota Corolla Altis. Unfortunately, it has also fell victim to the BS6 emission norms despite being a household name in the executive sedan segment. The current-gen model of the sedan has been in the market for over six years and Toyota even gave it a makeover around three years back. However, with a couple of new competitors in the form of Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra, the sales of the Toyota Corolla Altis started dwindling. While the Honda and Hyundai sedans were having sales figures in four digits, the Corolla Altis only had three digit sales figures. So, the company decided to phase it out and instead focus on the new models with its Maruti Suzuki partnership.