(Updated February 2013)
We in India have always loved out SUVs and recent launches in the newly formed compact SUV segment have left us yearning for more. Car manufacturers have identified this hunger for Mini-SUVs and are going to oblige the market’s desire with a slew of compact SUV launches.
Here we take a look at three upcoming compact SUVs which will be launched in the coming year. If you are planning to buy a compact SUV or would consider a compact SUV if you got more options, take a look at this list, before you buy!
Nissan’s rebadged Duster
The Renault Duster SUV gained popularity rather quickly in the Indian car market. Now in traditional Renault-Nissan fashion; Nissan is going to launch a rebadged version of the Duster. That is a positive thing for buyers as Nissan vehicles are priced below their Renault siblings.
The “Nissan Duster” will be launched by the end of 2013; this will allow Renault to capitalize on the buzz that the Duster has created for them, before Nissan’s more affordable version comes in. Codenamed NH79 the rebadged Duster from Nissan will the first product the brand will borrow from Renault.
The NH79 will have the same motor and interiors as the Renault Duster with changes to the exterior as we have seen with the Nissan Sunny-Renault Scala and the Nissan Micra-Renault Pulse vehicles. Also read: Nissan to launch rebadged Duster SUV in 2013
Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha
One of THE most exciting launches in 2013 is going to be that of the Maruti XA Alpha’s production version. What makes it exciting is the tag that it comes with; Maruti Suzuki’s first compact SUV in India. Not only could this mini-SUV put its own sibling the Ertiga in quick sand, but it could cannibalize the market of all other compact SUVs.
The XA Alpha concept car was showcased the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo which was a rugged-yet modern looking SUV with a distinctive front grille, eagle-eyed headlamps, rising shoulder line and unique L-shaped tail lamps. The XA Alpha is slightly shorter than the Skoda Yeti but has higher ground clearance. The styling is bold and should appeal to those that prefer the squarish/rectangular lines that come with the traditional SUVs. It should seat 5 adults though it looks a bit smaller than the EcoSport. Also read: Maruti unveils XA Alpha
The Ford EcoSport has been in the news ever since we first saw its concept model! The production model of the EcoSport looks almost exactly like the concept barring the LED head lamp and tail lamp clusters. It is an aggressive and dynamic looking compact SUV which if priced aggressively could threaten the Renault Duster and even the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. It will be launched in 2013 and will be available in both petrol and diesel variants. Also see: Ford Ecosport likely features and variants
It will also be launched in both automatic and manual variants, which suggests that Ford is leaving no stone unturned with the EcoSport. The EcoSport petrol will be powered by a 1-liter motor that makes 119 bhp of power. This is the much talked about EcoBoost engine which has great mileage and performance. The diesel version will likely get the 1.5-litre TCDi motor that powers the Fiesta diesel. This engine puts out just 90 bhp of power and 204 Nm of torque.
Inside it will be similar to the Ford Fiesta Sedan and will come with features like hill launch assist, a smart start button (engine start button), steering mounted controls, ABS, ESP, Traction control, Bluetooth connectivity and voice activated controls. The EcoSport has two rows of seats that can accommodate five passengers and also has a 346 litre boot. The rear seats of the EcoSport can be folded to increase the boot space to 560 litres. See our Ford EcoSport Photo Gallery here