Tata Motors has revealed a new sub-four-metre SUV for India, which is currently open for bookings, with a full launch expected to take place later this month. Called the Punch, it will compete against rivals in its class like the Maruti Suzuki Ignis, Mahindra KUV100, Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger.

Built on the company’s Agile Light Flexible Advanced (ALFA) architecture as the Altroz, the Punch measures just 3,827 mm long, 1,742 mm wide and 1,615 mm tall. That’s a larger footprint compared to the competition, and the Punch also has the longest wheelbase (2,445 mm) as well as the highest ground clearance (187 mm).

In terms of design, the Punch draws influence from its larger siblings like the Safari and Harrier (not the Toyota one), particularly for its front lighting setup. Like those models, there’s a dual-tier arrangement where slim LED daytime running lights are positioned above the main projector headlamps, with the former seamlessly blending into the upper grille.

Other lighting elements are the fog lamps (with cornering function) in the lower apron, which sports tri-arrow motifs and is finished in black. Down the sides, bulging fenders give the Punch an athletic look, while the body cladding in black extends all the way to the rear bumper for that all-important ruggedness. Other standout cues are doors that open up to 90 degrees, a two-tone paintjob, roof rails and high-mounted handles for the rear doors.

Moving to the rear, the LED taillights are a little reminiscent of those on the Nexon, but they are made unique as they extend further into the rear fenders and feature a tri-arrow lighting graphic that continues the trend seen at the front. Prominent “pads” on the bumper add to the rugged look that Tata is aiming for, along with black trim elements in the apron.

Inside, the Punch features a simple dashboard layout with rectangular-shaped, coloured air vents and an infotainment screen in the middle. The latter comes in 3.5- or 7-inch sizes depending on the trim level, of which there are four to choose from: Pure, Adventure, Accomplished and Creative.

Going with the larger screen, which is standard on the Accomplished onwards, gets you a Harman-developed system with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It’s just basic functions with the 3.5-inch unit that comes with the Adventure, while the Pure gets no infotainment at all.

Elsewhere, the instrument cluster is made up of an analogue speedometer on the right and a 4- or 7-inch multi-info display on the left. Controls for the air-conditioning system (automatic on top-spec Creative and manual for the rest) are found on the centre stack along with a power socket and gear selector, while the centre console accommodates a handbrake and cupholders.

Available equipment for the Punch includes 15- or 16-inch wheels, fabric upholstery, keyless engine start, manual seats, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, dual airbags, ABS, EBD, a reverse camera, cruise control and a cooled glove box. The boot space quoted is 366 litres.

Tata also offers a range of optional packages (Rhythm, Dazzle and iRA) which allows customers who opted for a lower-spec variant to get some items found on variants higher up. For example, the Adventure variant with the Rhythm package will get the Harman infotainment system from the Accomplished. The iRA package adds connected serviced to said system, but is only offered for the top-spec Creative.

Under the bonnet, all variants are powered by a Revotron 1.2 litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine that serves up 86 PS (84 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 113 Nm of torque at 3,300 rpm. The mill is paired with either a five-speed manual or automated manual (AMT) transmission, and the drivers will have two drive modes to choose from: Eco and City.

The Indian carmaker also notes a large approach angle of 20.3 degrees, departure angle of 37.6 degrees, a rampover angle of 22.2 degrees and a water wading depth of up to 370 mm. Those figures are reassuring when dealing with challenging road conditions.