My thoughts on Bajaj Qute quadricycle: Qute vs Nano vs Alto

Bajaj Qute is a four door vehicle. Visibly it looks like a car, so it would have been simpler if it had been called a car. But then Bajaj Qute is NOT a car.

I've not driven it, I have only seen it, so this post is not a review of Bajaj Qute but just shares my opinion based on publicly available information.
Bajaj Qute vs Tata Nano
First thing that hits my mind when I see Bajaj Qute is Tata Nano. Tatas launched world's cheapest car - dubbed to be 1 lakh car but on road price was close to 1.8-2.7 lakhs. After couple of upgrades (Nano Twist, GenX Nano etc) and trying to carve out a market for itself for over 9 years, Tata Nano production was finally suspended in 2019. A few lakh nanos are on the roads.

Here's a quick comparison with Bajaj Qute vs Tata Nano vs Maruti Alto 800

Factor

Tata Nano

Bajaj Qute

Maruti Alto 800

Engine

623 cc

216 cc

796 cc

Seating capacity

4

4

4

Power

37 BHP

10.8 BHP

47 BHP @6000 RPM

Torque

48 NM @ 3000 RPM

16.1 NM @ 4000 RPM

69 NM @3500 RPM

Approx on road Price

2 to 4 lakhs over time n variant

3 to 3.6 lakhs

3.6 to 5 lakhs depending on variant

 Top speed

 110 kmph

70 kmph

 140 kmph

 Fuel Economy

 22-24 kmpl

 35 kmpl

 24 kmpl

 

 

 

 

As you can see, Bajaj Qute's specs are dismal. It is poorer than some motorcycles in 200-300 cc category. Bajaj hasn't really built a car- they added car's outer shell on top auto chassis and motorcycle engine. Despite a weak engine and poor specs, Bajaj Qute's on road price is almost same as what Nano used to cost and it even touches base variant of Maruti Alto 800. So someone looking for a car has absolutely no motive to consider Bajaj Qute.

Bajaj Qute has been positioned as an upgrade over auto rickshaw. Qute costs about a lakh more than an auto rickshaw and you will get the comfort of 4 wheels, lockable doors and marginally more comfortable seats. Qute is being sold as taxi in several cities. I haven't seen a qute being used as personal vehicle (white board). I think in India Qute is permitted to be sold only as commercial vehicle. On Bajaj Auto's official website Qute is listed along with passenger auto and goods auto under intracity vehicles.
Qute gives slightly better fuel economy- 35kmpl vs Alto 800's 24 kmpl. This is the only advantage/value proposition Qute has over Alto, so makes some people consider it for taxi instead of alto/auto. Qute has shorter turning radius, lower maintenance cost and few such minor advantages over alto but these things do not influence first time car buyers, so not an advantage in car market.

Qute also has extreme cost cutting- even more severe than Nano. Its windows do NOT roll down- they are sliding type two piece units. Rest of the build quality, materials are also basic. No AC, not even a blower, no power steering, no air bags. So keep your expectations really really low. Bajaj Qute is technically called RE60 and was conceptualized in 2010, unveiled in 2012 and entered markets a few years later. Bajaj Qute is even exported to few countries like Srilanka.

It is not that Bajaj doesn't have a better engine. They have 400 cc engine used in Dominar, 790 cc engine used in KTM which could have been possibly considered to make qute better compete with Alto. Still Qute is made with dismal 216 cc engine. A more powerful engine will reduce fuel effeciency and destroy Qute's main value proposition. (Bajaj Dominar 400 when I rented gave me just 21.6 kmpl against a certified fuel economy of 35 kmpl-that engine on Qute will give even lower mileage) Qute is TVS XL 50 of two wheeler world. Top speed is probably limited to 50-55 kmph if loaded with 3-4 people, limited luggage space, bare minimum comfort and safety would make its owner a joke among his/her friends circle if they buy it as personal vehicle. Spending another lakh more to get an Alto 800 makes more sense for all practical purpose.
Bajaj qute green
Despite its shortfalls, let us give credit to Bajaj for trying a new segment. What do you think about Bajaj Qute?

2 comments:

  1. I like the taxi idea. Could it be competition for the good old autorickshaw, tho?

    It does look kinda Qute :D.
    I'm curious about what it looks like inside. Looking forward to when you get to get in one. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure. Will try to update. Interior is very basic. Photos available online if you need to check.

      Delete

Appreciate your efforts and interests to comment. Comments may be moderated due to increased spam. Will ideally respond to comments within few days.Use Anonymous option if you don't wish to leave your name/ID behind- Shrinidhi

Powered by Blogger.