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They say everyone deserves a second chance, and why not? After all, there is a huge risk of failing at the first attempt. The same logic can be applied to cars as well. Sometimes, cars  don’t quite get the recognition they deserve, or they simply don’t get accepted by customers. In some cases, however, certain cars have managed to make a strong comeback. Here’s a list of such cars.

Maruti Suzuki Eeco

The Versa was touted to be the Omni replacement

The Eeco once used to be known as the Versa — a premium MPV with the Esteem’s 1.3-litre engine under the front seats, similar to the legendary Omni. The Versa had a higher roof, and it came in 5-seater and 8-seater versions, equipped with a power steering, rear A/C vents, a tachometer, and an optional front partition. Some of you may remember the Bachchan father-son duo as the brand ambassadors for this car. As of April 2008, the Versa cost between Rs 4.62 lakh to Rs 5.06 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). However, it wasn’t well received by the public due to a large number of reasons, one of which is mainly because of how it looked.

Maruti Suzuki had to ultimately rebrand the Versa and strip it off of all the features it came with earlier. In fact, the Eeco does not even get power steering, and simply makes do with a digital cluster and ABS. However, there’s an interesting fact the Eeco holds on to; it is among the very few mass-market cars with a four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive setup.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno

The old Baleno’s design actually holds up

Yet another Maruti Suzuki car in this list, the Baleno that you know today is a vastly different car from what it used to be. Launched back in 1999, the Baleno sedan carried a price tag of Rs 6.75 lakh (ex-showroom), and came with a 1.6-litre nat-asp petrol, packing 94 bhp and 13.35 kgm of torque. While today the sedan’s design is appreciated by enthusiasts, back then it just couldn’t topple the Honda City or the Ford Ikon, since everyone seemed to gravitate towards the two. The Baleno sedan was also said to have rather pricey spare parts at the time, and while Maruti Suzuki did make some price cuts, it just wasn’t meant to be for the sedan.

The new Baleno is doing immensely well

However, the Baleno name is now doing immensely well for Maruti Suzuki as a premium hatchback, serving well as an option for those who want a hatchback, but certainly bigger than the Swift.

Mahindra TUV300

The TUV300 made its debut back in 2015, and it has been through a series of tweaks and facelifts, which didn’t really help it set the sales charts on fire. However, someone at Mahindra thought ‘Hey, let’s just align it with the Bolero.’ And thus came the Bolero Neo in 2021. The Bolero Neo retains the 1.5-litre turbo-diesel powertrain, with 100 bhp and 26.5 kgm of torque. It continues to be the only compact SUV with rear-wheel drive, a ladder-frame chassis, and an mechanically locking differential.

The rebranding seems to have paid off rather well; according to reports, Mahindra sold over 10000 units of the Bolero Neo in March 2024.

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara

Okay, this is beginning to look like a Maruti Suzuki list, but can we help it? The car maker has turned around the fortunes of some slow-selling names, and this one has to be on it. The Grand Vitara has featured 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre petrols, and even a V6 at some point! Brought in as a CBU, the Grand Vitara competed against the Honda CR-V and the Mitsubishi Outlander, to name a few. However, we used to be a diesel-crazy country back in those days, and nobody was ready to spend upwards of Rs 25 lakh on a thirsty petrol SUV; it’s sad how we didn’t take performance seriously in those days.

The new Grand Vitara has been a blockbuster for Maruti Suzuki, and the only genuine threat to the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. Maruti Suzuki realized it needed a midsize SUV to counter the Korean threat, and what better name was there to bring back? The new Grand Vitara, much like the older one, aimed to move Maruti Suzuki into a premium space, and this time things finally worked out. The new Grand Vitara is also the only SUV in its segment with all-wheel drive, which means while you can’t go hardcore off-roading in it, you know you’ll escape difficult situations with ease.