SUVs aren’t known for their fuel economy, or their ability to drive around town, for that matter. And sadly the popular ones like the Mahindra Scorpio (15.4 Kmpl), the Tata Safari Storme (14 Kmpl), and even the XUV (16 Kmpl) suffer from the above mentioned flaws. Keeping the on-road usage and fuel economy in mind, we take a look at how some of the premium SUVs can be better than the popular choices, albeit at a higher price.
Skoda Yeti isn’t branded as an SUV as such, but it comes with enough talents to put a full size one to shame. Almost. Available in both 4×2 and 4×4 versions, the Yeti offers the on-road manners of a car with the ability to go off-road like an SUV.
Powered by a 2-litre diesel engine, the Yeti comes with a claimed fuel economy of 17+ kmpl (17.67 for the 4WD variant and 17.7 for the 2WD version).
Mercedes Benz GLA
Based on the same platform that underpins various front-wheel drive Mercs (A, B, and CLA Class), the GLA is the more rugged alternative to the road-hugging cars. Since we are talking about fuel economy here, we aren’t including the AMG versions, which means we’re looking at only the front-wheel drive, diesel powered variants.
While nowhere as close to Scorpio or Safari in terms of off-roading, the GLA is more suited for on-road duties. It can of course handle less than perfect terrain, but it is limited by the lack of an all-wheel drive system.
In terms of fuel economy, the GLA 200 CDI (2.2-litre diesel engine) returns 17.9 km on a litre of diesel, claims the company.
The first BMW X1 is also the last to have a rear-wheel drive configuration. The upcoming version is front-wheel drive (and optional all-wheel drive), but it has not made it to India yet. The X1 sold currently brings the goodness of RWD in a package that can handle bad roads well.
Available in just one trim, the X1 is powered by a 2-litre diesel engine that makes 184hp and 350Nm. The company claimed fuel economy figure of 17.05kmpl is better than what’s claimed for the Safari (14kmpl), the Scorpio (15.4kmpl) or the XUV500 (16kmpl).
Audi Q3 S
In comparison to the regular version, the entry-level Q3 S feels a bit stripped, especially in the lack of an all-wheel drive system and an automatic gearbox. But that’s not to say the Q3 S is no fun. With a manual gearbox and an eager 2-litre diesel engine, the Q3 S is a lot of fun. And with a claimed fuel economy of 17.3kmpl, it goes on to show that you don’t have to give up on fuel economy to enjoy the vehicle.
Moving up the range and we have the BMW X3. Available in two engine options – a 2-litre diesel and a more powerful 3-litre diesel – the X3 also makes it to the list, thanks to its claimed fuel economy figure. The smaller engine version manages to outdo the other entrants here with its 18.56kmpl figure, while the 3-litre unit returns 16.55kmpl (company claimed).
The vehicle comes with an all-wheel drive system, so it should not feel short-changed when taken off the tarmac. On the other side, it can manage to do 0-100kmph in just 5.9 seconds, in case you’re in the mood to give fuel economy the back seat.