Seven hot cars to watch for in 2015

January 2015 is almost out and it’s not been that great for the auto industry, what with a hike in excise duties putting a spanner in the works. Still, there’s plenty to look forward to in the rest of the year, as there are some pretty interesting cars that have been lined up for launch. Sifting through the long list, here are seven cars we think will be quite a sell out with buyers.

Hyundai ix25

2015 Hyundai iX25 Compact SUV 1

A hot compact SUV to watch out for in 2015 is the Hyundai ix25. This compact SUV looks like a baby Santa Fe (as it features the same fluidic styling) and will rival the Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. Expect it to be priced between Rs. 7 lakh and Rs. 11 lakh, giving Hyundai a leg up into the growing SUV segment. The iX25 is expected to come with 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre petrol and diesel engines – the same engines that power the Hyundai Verna in India. It will, true to Hyundai tradition, be packed with features – outdoing all its rivals. The sharp styling and great ground clearance is expected to be a sell-out with buyers looking at compact SUVs and could also wean away some from sedans and hatchbacks as well.  See: Hyundai ix25 gets 5-star safety rating

Maruti SX4 Cross

SX4_S-CROSS - 3

Since compact SUVs and crossovers are the flavour of the season, don’t expect Maruti to be far behind. The company has the SX4 Cross lined up for launch. The SX4 Cross is again expected to compete with the Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano, being over 4 metres in length. It is built on the SX4 platform and therefore has the inherent advantages of high ground clearance and a robust suspension, while the SUV-like cabin offers far more space and flexibility. The SX4 Cross is supposed to come with a 1.6 litre diesel engine – either from Fiat or Peugeot. It will get a six speed gearbox and likely to only come in diesel. However, engine specs may change closer to launch date as the car is still testing. See: Maruti SX4 Cross begins testing in India

Maruti YBA Compact SUV (XA Alpha)

Maruti Suzuki YBA XA-Alpha Compact SUV Render 4

Maruti seems set to make a comeback in the SUV space with a splash. The XA Alpha that it showcased back in 2012, may finally see the light of day as the Maruti YBA Compact SUV (this is still a codename) at the tail end of the year. The YBA compact SUV is expected to directly compete with the likes of the Ford EcoSport and crossovers such as the Fiat Avventura, Toyota Etios Cross and Volkswagen Cross Polo. Recent documents reveal that the YBA Compact SUV that has been sent to Japan for further tests will come with the tried and tested 1.3 litre multijet diesel engine, and could be priced in the region of Rs. 10 lakh for the top-end variants (ZDI+ trim). The YBA is a sub-4 metre vehicle and hence will get some small car excise benefits, hence the lower engine specs. See: CarToq’s render of the YBA Compact SUV

Mahindra S101

Mahindra S101 Compact SUV Render 2

Another hot compact SUV that would come in the second half of the year is the Mahindra S101. This vehicle has the underpinnings of the larger XUV500, but is sub 4-metres in length and has been spotted testing extensively over the past year. The S101 is likely to use the 3-cylinder, 1.5 litre diesel engine from the Quanto, putting out 100PS of power. The vehicle will also come with the option of a 1.2 litre petrol engine that Mahindra is developing. It will have a range of seating options – and knowing Mahindra – it may even come with seven seats, although a tight squeeze. As a five-seater it promises to be a spacious vehicle and would give the likes of the Ford EcoSport a run for its money. High ground clearance and radical styling are a given with the S101. See: CarToq’s render of the S101 compact SUV

Honda Jazz

2015 Honda Jazz Hatchback 5

The Honda Jazz is a hot hatchback to look forward to in 2015. The Jazz will come with both petrol and diesel engine options, with Honda’s 1.5 litre 100PS diesel engine finding its way into the Jazz’s engine bay as well. The Jazz offers plenty of space and flexibility, and if priced right, would easily be a car in hot demand. The petrol variant will come with a 1.2 litre engine – the same one found on the Amaze and the Brio. The Jazz shares its platform with the new Honda City that has been doing fairly well in the market. Given the driving dynamics of the earlier Jazz, the new one promises to be even better. See: New 2015 Honda Jazz spotted

Ford Figo sedan

2015 Ford Ka+ (Figo based) sedan

Ford has at least three big launches lined up for the year including the Figo sedan, followed by the Figo hatchback and the Ford Endeavour. However, the Ford Figo sedan is the car to watch out for. This was showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi and is likely to replace the aging Ford Classic in India. Production of the car is about to commence in the first quarter of 2015 at Sanand in Gujarat. The Figo compact sedan has sharp styling and will come with a 1.5 litre diesel engine and 1.2 litre petrol engine. It will compete directly with the Honda Amaze, Maruti Dzire and Tata Zest. Ford is likely to keep pricing really attractive on this one. Also see: Ford Figo compact sedan production

Tata Kite

Tata Kite Compact Sedan Render 2

After the Bolt and the Zest, Tata is ready to go even lower in the price segment with two new offerings – a compact sedan and a hatchback codenamed the Tata Kite. This would slot in just under the Tata Bolt and Tata Zest in terms of price. It will have radically new styling, although Tata’s smiley face or humanity line will continue in the Kite as well. The petrol variant is likely to feature the 1.2 litre Revotron engine that powers the Zest and Bolt, while the diesel may see a new 1.05 litre, three-cylinder diesel engine as well. The Kite hatchback and compact sedan will go after value-seeking buyers, and could also probably be lapped up by the commercial segment as replacements for the Indica and Indigo eCS. Expect pricing to begin at just below Rs. 4 lakh for this car. See: CarToq exclusive Tata Kite sedan spotted

Which of these excites you the most? Tell us in the comments below.