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If you are looking for a premium SUV with the best overall performance, here’s CarToq’s list of the SUVs between Rs. 15 lakh and Rs. 25 lakh with the best performance, rated in terms of power to weight ratio, handling, ease of driving and off-road prowess. This list covers all SUVs between Rs. 15 lakh and Rs. 25 lakh rated on a scale of 1-5.

So how do these SUVs stack up against each other? Here’s the winner under each of the following categories:

Best overall: Skoda Yeti

Most powerful (power to weight): Mitsubishi Outlander

Best handling: Skoda Yeti and Renault Koleos

Ease of driving: Skoda Yeti

Best off-road prowess: Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

Now let’s take a look at how each of the SUVs in this list fared on the various parameters. Also read: Best performance SUVs below Rs. 15 lakh 

Maruti Grand Vitara

Overall rating: 4.00

maruti grand vitara

The Maruti Grand Vitara is a petrol-powered SUV that would have been great if it was just that bit more fuel-efficient. Unfortunately, it sells just a couple of units every month! The vehicle comes with a full-time four-wheel drive system with a center-differential and low-ratio gear box. It is priced between Rs. 17 lakh and Rs. 18.3 lakh (manual and automatic variants).

Power to weight: 5/5

The Maruti Vitara is powered by a 2.4 litre petrol engine that puts out 164 bhp of power and 225 Nm of torque. It has a fairly lightweight body, which makes it a favorite with rally drivers. It has a kerb weight of 1614 Kg, which translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 102 bhp per ton, which gives it excellent pulling power.

Handling: 4/5

The Grand Vitara is also a treat to drive in terms of its handling. The steering feel is precise. The suspension is fairly stiff, but as the vehicle is not too tall and is quite wide it offers excellent levels of grip that are almost car-like.

Ease of driving: 3/5

The Vitara is quite a compact five-seater SUV that has good visibility and is nimble enough to park in tight spaces. It has a very refined petrol engine, with good NVH levels, making it comfortable for the passengers travelling in it. For the driver too, all the controls fall easily to hand and the gear shift is quite smooth.

Off-road prowess: 4/5

The Vitara is fairly capable off-road. It has large 16-inch wheels, good ground clearance of 200 mm and no overhangs. It’s light weight means it can tackle desert sands with ease, while the low-ratio gearbox on its 4×4 system helps it crawl over tough rocky, slushy terrain as well. However, it’s petrol engine needs to be revved hard to extract maximum torque from it.

Skoda Yeti (4×4)

Overall rating: 4.25

The Skoda Yeti is a versatile, compact SUV, that’s great for all-round use – in the city, on the highway, or a fast mountain drive. It drives like a car with the capability of an SUV. The 4×4 system on the Yeti requires no driver intervention and steps in when needed, making it quite easy to drive anywhere.

Power to weight: 4/5

The Yeti has a monocoque body that’s very light weight. It is powered by a 2-litre diesel engine that puts out 140 bhp of power and 320 Nm of torque with a six-speed manual transmission powering all four wheels when needed or only the front wheels for normal use. It has a kerb weight of 1,543 Kg translating to a power-to-weight ratio of 91 bhp per ton.

Handling: 5/5

The Yeti is equipped with ESP, traction control and ABS that aid in sporty handling. The steering feel is direct and sporty. The vehicle can easily be thrown around corners with no hint of body roll or the fear of a rollover.

Ease of driving: 5/5

The Yeti is fairly easy to drive. It has a slightly low seating position that is very car-like and visibility out of the rear window is slightly restricted. But the controls fall easily to hand, the gear shift is precise, and the clutch is light. Overall, a very easy SUV to drive.

Off-road prowess: 3/5

The Skoda Yeti has a mind of its own off-road. The on-demand system is independent of driver inputs except for things like hill-descent control which can be switched on by the driver. It does not have a low-ratio gearbox, so rock-climbing and such would require some slipping of the clutch. But sandy terrain, snow and slush are tackled easily. Ground clearance at 180 mm is on the lower side, but underbody protection helps.

Chevrolet Captiva

Overall rating: 3.25

chevrolet captiva front

The Chevrolet Captiva is a soft-roader that can seat seven and is quite a versatile vehicle. The top-end Captiva is an all-wheel drive variant, while the base is a front-wheel drive only.

Power to weight: 4/5

The Chevrolet Captiva is powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine that puts out 186 bhp of power and 400 Nm of torque, with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system. The Captiva has a monocoque chassis with a kerb weight of 1910 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 97 bhp per ton.

Handling: 3/5

The Chevrolet Captiva is just average in terms of handling, as the steering feel is not that precise. It is comfortable, but not really sporty. The clutch is slightly heavy on the 2-litre manual variant, but the automatic feels peppier. There is some degree of body roll in corners.

Ease of driving: 4/5

The high-seating position and the rounded off design make the Captiva look smaller than it is. All-round visibility is good and the vehicle (especially the automatic) is fairly easy to drive.

Off-road prowess: 2/5

The automatic Captiva gets an all-wheel drive system that is more of a soft-roader. It can be used in mild snow or sandy conditions, but the suspension is soft and tuned for ride comfort rather than off-road use. At a pinch it can do some mild off-roading. It has 197 mm of ground clearance.

Ford Endeavour

Overall rating: 2.75

The Ford Endeavour is what SUVs are meant to look like – big and burly. It is the longest among all the SUVs here at over 5 meters in length. The Endeavour is based on a pick-up truck chassis and feels very truck-like overall.

Power to weight: 3/5

The Ford Endeavour is powered by a 3-litre diesel engine that puts out 155 bhp of power and 380 Nm of torque with a five-speed automatic transmission and a part-time 4×4 system. The Endeavour is quite heavy with a kerb weight of 2,014 Kg, translating to a power-to-weight ratio of 77 bhp per ton.

Handling: 2/5

The Ford Endeavour is quite unlike other Ford vehicles which are known for their good handling. The Endeavour is quite vague in its handling. There is body roll the long chassis with rigid rear leaf springs gets the vehicle swinging all over the road if driven hard.

Ease of driving: 3/5

The automatic transmission is the Endeavour’s redeeming factor, as it allows for a stress-free driving experience. However, braking needs getting used to and the long bonnet restricts visibility, and parking is quite cumbersome in tight spaces. Overall, it’s just about average.

Off-road prowess: 3/5

The Ford Endeavour comes with an electric-shift part-time 4×4 system with a low-ratio gearbox. It has 210 mm of ground clearance and a stiff suspension that can tackle any kind of off-road terrain. However, its weight is a bit of a disadvantage in sand or slush, as it tends to bog down easily.

 

Toyota Fortuner

Overall rating: 3.50

toyota fortuner 4x4 road test photo

The Toyota Fortuner is one of the most popular SUVs in its segment, selling over 1000 units each month, nearly 5 times more than what any of the other premium SUVs sell each month. The Fortuner is a seven-seater and is quite an all-rounder. Check out our latest Toyota Fortuner Video Review!

Power to weight: 3/5

The Toyota Fortuner is powered by a 3-litre diesel engine that puts out 169 bhp of power and 343 Nm of torque with a five-speed manual transmission on the 4×4 variant, while a two-wheel drive variant with manual and automatic transmission also exists. It has a kerb weight of 1,955 Kg, which translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 86 bhp per ton.

Handling: 3/5

The Fortuner exhibits some degree of body roll and the steering is quite clinical. The vehicle has a suspension setup that is tuned toward comfort and that does result in a bit of a bouncy ride for the last-row passengers.

Ease of driving: 3/5

The Fortuner has a fairly long throw to its gear lever that’s a bit truck like. The high-bonnet also restricts visibility a little especially in city traffic. Parking is made easy by means of a camera, but visibility is restricted otherwise.

Off-road prowess: 5/5

The Fortuner has a full-time 4×4 system with a low-ratio gearbox and lockable center differential. It has massive 17-inch wheels and 221 mm of ground clearance that can clear just about any kind of terrain. The vehicle feels relatively easy to drive off-road with more than enough power on tap for any kind of terrain.

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

Overall rating: 3.75

pajero sport front right

The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is the company’s latest offering in India. It is quite a capable vehicle although it is not very feature rich. It is a seven-seater SUV with good off-road capability.

Power to weight: 3/5

The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport comes with a 2.5 litre engine that puts out 176 bhp of power and 400 Nm of torque with a five-speed manual transmission and part-time 4×4 system that uses a “super-select” system. It has a kerb weight of 2,065 Kg which translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 85 bhp per ton, just like the Fortuner, but with more torque.

Handling: 4/5

The Pajero Sport is known to offer sporty handling with controlled body roll. The steering is more direct and gives a feeling of control in the vehicle.

Ease of driving: 3/5

The Pajero Sport is a fairly long SUV, but it is narrow and that allows for easy maneuvering in city traffic. It has a high driving position and good all-round visibility. The gear throws are fairly long.

Off-road prowess: 5/5

The Pajero Sport has 215 mm of ground clearance and short overhangs making it quite capable off-road. The massive 400 Nm of torque gets multiplied 2.5 times when low-ratio is used, allowing for great pulling power for any kind of terrain.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Overall rating: 4.00

Mitsubishi Outlander

The Mitsubishi Outlander is a fairly capable all-round soft-roader that is more at home in the city than in the jungle. It is a petrol powered SUV.

Power to weight: 5/5

The Outlander is powered by a 2.4 litre petrol engine that puts out 168 bhp of power and 226 Nm of torque, with a six-speed automatic transmission. It has a relatively light kerb weight of 1615 Kg, which translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 104 bhp per ton!

Handling: 4/5

The Outlander has a race-spec suspension system and handles very well. There is only a hint of body-roll and the SUV can be thrown around corners quite fast. Steering feel is direct and the automatic transmission adapts to your driving style.

Ease of driving: 4/5

Being an automatic, the Outlander is a fairly easy vehicle to drive. It has a large glass area and good all-round visibility. It is fairly compact and easy to park in the city.

Off-road prowess: 3/5

The Outlander has a selectable 4×4 system with an automatic on-demand mode. This takes the stress out of off-road driving, although it can’t really handle hard-core offroad use.

Honda CR-V

Overall rating: 3.00

honda crv

The Honda CR-V is at best a soft-roader and not meant for real off-road use. It has all the traits of an SUV and can handle slightly adverse terrain, but with car-like comfort. It’s a five-seater.

Power to weight: 4/5

The Honda CR-V top-end version is powered by a 2.4 litre petrol engine (the base is a 2-litre petrol engine), that puts out 159 bhp of power and 218 Nm of torque with both automatic and manual transmission options. It has a kerb weight of 1595 Kg that translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 99 bhp per ton.

Handling: 3/5

The CR-V has very car-like handling with hardly any body-roll. It is not as sporty to drive as its sedan siblings, but it does have a good, direct feel of the road and inspires confidence. The rear tends to bounce a bit when driven at speed.

Ease of driving: 3/5

The driving position in the CR-V is quite car-like with the driver sitting slightly lower than other SUVs. It has decent all-round visibility although reversing is a bit of a chore as visibility is restricted.

Off-road prowess: 2/5

The on-demand 4×4 system in the CR-V is meant for mild off-road duties only such as traversing snow covered roads or sandy tracks. It can’t be used for hard-core off-road use and comes with road-biased tyres.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Overall rating: 3.75

hyundai santa fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the best all-round SUVs in the premium SUV segment, with good power, good comfort and space. It isn’t very popular because buyers look for brand at this price point, and the Santa Fe is relatively pricey at over Rs. 24.5 lakh. Also read about the upcoming Fluidic Santa Fe for India

Power to weight: 5/5

The Hyundai Santa Fe is powered by a 2.2 litre diesel engine that puts out 195 bhp of power and 420 Nm of torque with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. It has a kerb weight of 1,916 Kg which translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 101 bhp per ton.

Handling: 3/5

Like most Hyundai’s the Santa Fe feels a bit too light to handle, with the steering being a little too easy. The vehicle is a bit bouncy and gets out of line when it corners hard, although it is equipped with plenty of safety features.

Ease of driving: 4/5

For city driving, the Santa Fe is fairly easy to drive. Out on the highway as well, it feels quite light and easy, though not very precise. The automatic is effortless, while the manual too has a very short-throw to the gearbox making it quite easy to drive.

Off-road prowess: 3/5

The Santa Fe has an on-demand 4×4 system on its top two variants. It also has the most torque among all the SUVs in this segment, but this isn’t of much use for hard core off-road use. It can handle desert tracks and snow fairly easily.

Renault Koleos

Overall rating: 4.00

renault koleos action shot

The Renault Koleos is a rather understated SUV which has one of the best ride qualities in its segment. It feels very comfortable to drive and travel in. It is a versatile five-seater slightly bigger than the Yeti. Also see our Renault Koleos Video Review

Power to weight: 3/5

The Renault Koleos is powered by a 2 litre diesel engine that puts out 147 bhp of power and 320 Nm of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission. It has a kerb weight of 1709 kg translating to a power-to-weight ratio of 86 bhp per ton.

Handling: 5/5

The Koleos has one of the best handling capabilities among SUVs, at a par with the Yeti. It has almost no body roll and can be thrown around corners quite sportily. The steering weighs up nicely and gives a direct feel of the road.

Ease of driving: 4/5

The automatic transmission on the Koleos takes the stress out of driving. It has a tiptronic mode in case you want to drive it like a manual. The driving position is quite good and overall visibility is good.

Off-road prowess: 4/5

The Koleos has a selectable 4×4 system that can be locked in 4×4 or left in automatic mode or in 4×2 mode as desired. This gives it some versatility off-road along with its generous 206 mm of ground clearance. It can handle sandy tracks and snow with ease.

This is how these 10 SUVs between Rs. 15 lakh and Rs. 25 lakh stack up against each other, based on our collective assessment of these vehicles. However, we would like you, the CarToq community to share your feedback and ratings for these 10 SUVs as well. Do share your ratings and reasons for them with us the rest of the community.

 

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