Snapshot – 2014 has been a rather quiet year for the sub-30 lakh rupee luxury SUV segment of India, which is dominated by the Toyota Fortuner. 2015 and 2016 will bring along with it more competition and essentially more choice for the luxury SUV buyer in the country. From the all-new Ford Endeavour that looks very promising, to the diesel powered Honda CR-V that will add a brand new dimension to the crossover, 2015 and 2016 will have something for everyone. Cartoq profiles five upcoming luxury SUVs for India that will be launched over the next couple of years.
New Toyota Fortuner variants
Toyota plans to usher in two new variants of its best selling Fortuner SUV. While one variant will feature a smaller, 2.5 liter turbo diesel engine (143 Bhp-343 Nm), a rear wheel drive layout and a 5 speed manual gearbox to keep costs low, the other variant will load up the Fortuner with an automatic gearbox, a 3 liter turbo diesel motor (171 Bhp-343 Nm) and a four wheel drive system. Both variants of the Fortuner are meant to help the SUV retain its formidable lead over its rivals, even as Mitsubishi has come up with a lower priced, automatic variant of the Pajero Sport.
Mitsubishi Montero Facelift
Mitsubishi is taking baby steps to re-establish its presence in India. The Japanese automaker will continue to persist with SUVs for the next couple of years. The facelifted Montero is among the two new SUVs that Mitsubishi has lined up for the Indian car market. The facelifted Montero will sit above the Pajero Sport in terms of pricing and will be Mitsubishi’s flagship SUV offering. The Montero sold in India will arrive with a facelift and a turbo diesel engine mated to an automatic transmission. A four wheel drive system will be standard and the SUV will arrive through the completely built unit (CBU) route.
2015 Ford Endeavour
The 2015 Ford Endeavour made its global debut at China. The SUV will arrive into India by the end of next year as a replacement to the current-generation model. The 2015 Endeavour gets a brand new design, one that gives it a contemporary appeal. In terms of equipment, the 2015 Endeavour gains substantial features on the inside, which also receives well appointed interiors. Coil spring suspension at the rear, new turbo diesel engines and a brand new four wheel drive system with a terrain sensing feature are other revised bits on the 2015 Endeavour. Ford will assemble this SUV in India through the CKD kit route.
Mitsubishi Outlander Diesel
The 3rd generation Outlander will arrive into India with two major changes. 1 – Mitsubishi will add a turbo diesel engine to the crossover. 2 – The 5 seat layout of the older model will make for 7 seats on the new Outlander. The crossover will be Mitsubishi’s least priced model in India, sitting below the Pajero Sport in terms of positioning. The Outlander Diesel will be Mitsubishi’s answer to the Honda CR-V Diesel, which is also in the works for an Indian launch. The Outlander crossover is likely to see local assembly through the CKD kit route.
Hyundai Santa Fe Facelift
Hyundai will give the Santa Fe a facelift in the next year or so as competition in the luxury SUV segment is about to increase sharply. Launched in India earlier this year, the latest generation Santa Fe has been a decent seller for Hyundai, and is now the second best selling luxury SUV in India. The facelift will bring along minor upgrades in terms of styling with additional equipment on the innards. While the mechanicals will remain unchanged, a minor price revision downwards could do a lot to spur demand for this global hot seller.
Honda CR-V Diesel
The Honda CR-V, available in India through multiple generations, will finally shed its petrol-only positioning, and adopt diesel power. The diesel powered CR-V could put a real sting in the crossover’s sales as diesel engined SUVs are eagerly lapped up in India with petrol engined models being given a step motherly treatment. The 1.6 liter all-aluminium turbo diesel engine that powers the UK-spec CR-V is likely to find its way into the India spec model. In terms of pricing, expect the diesel powered CR-V to be pricier than the petrol powered model by a lakh or more.
Next Generation Toyota Fortuner
The next-generation Toyota Fortuner has already been spotted testing on Indian roads. The current-generation Fortuner has been an ultra successful vehicle for Toyota in India and there are a lot of expectations from the next-generation model. The new Fortuner is likely to improve in terms of space offered on the inside and also in terms of interior quality. The engines and transmissions could be retained given their bomb proof nature. With the luxury SUV buyer being exposed to new vehicles that feature advanced gadgetry, Toyota could take cue and offer more equipment with the new Fortuner. A launch in early 2016 is envisaged for the all-new Fortuner.