SUVs and compact SUVs are the flavour of the season. And not surprisingly, they should be, given that these vehicles offer a good mix of comfort and ruggedness, to tackle Indian road conditions. Looking at the success of the Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano and XUV500, and the ongoing demand for other SUVs, there are more being lined up, which will be game-changers for their respective makers.
We take a look at some of the SUVs and compact SUVs expected this year.
Maruti YBA Compact SUV
Maruti, being the volume player that it is, will likely have another winner on its hands with the upcoming YBA compact SUV. This vehicle is what the XA-Alpha prototype showcased in 2012 has now evolved into. Spyshots show that the vehicle is now production ready and is testing. The YBA Compact SUV will likely compete with the Ford EcoSport and Fiat Avventura, in the price band of Rs. 7 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh. Although power-trains have not been revealed, it is likely to use a 1.2 litre petrol engine and 1.3 litre diesel, as it is within 4 metres in length. It should see a launch by the end of the year.
The Maruti S-Cross would mark Maruti’s re-entry after the Vitara into the Rs. 10 lakh plus SUV space. The S-Cross was showcased at Auto Expo 2014 and will compete with the likes of the Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano. Being larger than these vehicles, the S-Cross’s unique selling proposition will be the added space and comfort it offers. It is rumoured to be powered by a 1.6 litre diesel engine (sourced from Fiat) and a 1.6 litre petrol engine. The vehicle is based on the SX4 platform and therefore would be one that is familiar to a lot of people, in terms of the suspension and ride quality it is likely to offer. Styling, though, is not one of its strong points, being rather old school.
The Hyundai iX25 will compete head-to-head with the Maruti YBA compact SUV. This is likely to be launched before the Maruti compact SUV and hence would get a headstart. It looks like a miniature version of the Hyundai Santa Fe. It is expected to be priced between Rs. 7 lakh and Rs. 11 lakh, when launched in the second half of the year. It will likely feature 1.4 and 1.6 litre petrol and diesel choices similar to the Hyundai Verna. Being a Hyundai offering, you can expect the Hyundai ix25 to be packed with features as well.
New Ford Endeavour
Ford has a fighting chance of standing up to the Toyota Fortuner with the new Endeavour (known as the Everest in Australia and Thailand), primarily because it is rumoured that this mighty SUV will be priced under Rs. 20 lakh. The new Endeavour is loaded with features, unlike the model it replaces. Internationally, the Everest gets three engine options – a 2.2 litre diesel, a 3.2 litre diesel and a 2 litre EcoBoost petrol. For India, though the first option of a 2.2 litre diesel is what one would expect, but import details (the vehicle is here for testing) reveal that the 3.2 litre diesel is what is likely to come in. It will come with an electronic four-wheel drive as well with high and low ratio, and an automatic transmission option.
Mahindra is also stepping into the compact SUV space with a product that promises to be fantastic value for money. The Mahindra S101 (codename) compact SUV is expected to come in in the second half of the year. This vehicle will be under 4 metres in length and hence qualify for small-car excise duty benefits. It will be based on the XUV500’s platform and will likely use the 1.5 litre diesel engine from the Mahindra Quanto and possibly a 1.2 litre petrol engine that Mahindra is developing along with Ssangyong. It is likely to be a six seater and may see entry pricing of just over Rs. 5 lakh, giving premium hatchbacks a run for their money.
So which ones are you looking forward to?
Also read: All-new India bound compact SUVs