Upcoming SUV launches in 2012

Updated 23 Nov 2011: The year 2012 will be a special year for Indian SUV buyers. There are several new SUVs slated for launch. Here is a comprehensive list of upcoming SUVs in India and what we can expect from these vehicles. Most of these will make their appearance at the 2012 Auto Expo in New Delhi.

Ford EcoSport: Early 2012

Looks: The Ecosport is a good looking SUV and will likely borrow heavily from the Fiesta sedan. We can now confirm that the Ford EcoSport mini- SUV will also come to India in 2012. This will be a five-seater SUV, and there is a possibility that the mini-SUV will be less than four meters in length to avail of excise duty concessions in India. From currently available pictures, the EcoSport seems to be designed on the same lines as the Ford Fiesta.

ford ecosport photo india launch
Photo: Ford EcoSport mini-SUV, to be priced around Rs. 8 lakhs.

Performance: The Eco Sport is expected to get engines from the Figo and the new Fiesta sedan. The Eco Sport petrol version may be powered by a 1.2-litre engine that powers the Figo petrol. This engine makes 71 bhp of power and 102 Nm of torque. The Eco Sport diesel version may be powered by a 1.5-litre engine that powers the Fiesta sedan. This 1.5-litre motor is turbocharged and inter-cooled and puts out 89.7 bhp of maximum power and 204 Nm of maximum torque. This engine too is mated to a 5-speed transmission and gives a mileage of 23.5 km/litre as per ARAI ratings

Mileage: The Ecosport has ARAI-certified mileage of 15.6 kmpl which is pretty decent. However more can be said only once real world figures are seen.

Comfort features: The Eco Sport may have interiors similar to those of the Fiesta but may be stripped off of gizmos like voice activated controls etc that are offered in the sedan. We expect decent headroom, legroom and shoulder room from the Ecosport. The boot space will likely be more than what is offered in most premium hatchbacks.

Variants and price details: In India, the Ford EcoSport will be priced around Rs. 8 lakhs, making it a competitor to many mid-size sedans as well as the Renault Duster (also a five-seat SUV priced between Rs. 7 lakh to Rs 10 lakh). Read more about the Ford EcoSport

Ssangyong Korando: September 2012

ssangyong korando photo
Photo: Ssangyong Korando

Looks: The Korando will be the first Ssangyong SUV (5-seater) to hit Indian shores. The SUV sports stylish swept back headlamps, sporty diamond shaped fog lamps, a large mesh front grille and 17-inch wheels. The Korando looks like a soft roader from all angles and may put off buyers expecting aggressive and rugged looks.

Performance: The Korando is powered by a 2.0L turbo diesel engine that produces 173 bhp of max power. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Korando has ample power and torque and performance will likely be at par with its rivals such as the Nissan X-Trail and the Renault Koleos. See our Korando photo gallery here

Mileage: The Korando will offer good fuel economy of around 16 kmpl and this is slightly better than the mileage of its competition, the Nissan X-Trail (14.4 kmpl) and the Renault Koleos (13.7 kmpl).

Comfort features: Some features that will come in the Korando are electrically adjustable and folding outside mirrors, power door locks with auto-locking, steering-mounted audio controls, a multi-information display, traction control, cruise control, a CD changer with USB, aux-in and climate control.

Variants and price details: We expect the Ssangyong’s Korando to be offered in at least two variants. The top-end variant will likely feature all-wheel-drive while the entry level variant will likely have only front-wheel-drive. The expected price range for the Korando is Rs. 15 – 18 lakh.

Tata Safari Merlin: January 2012

tata safari photo
Photo: Present Tata Safari

Looks: The Tata Safari Merlin will likely have a new front grille, redesigned headlamps and an all new rear taking cues from Range Rover models. The side profile will likely remain unchanged. There may be lavish use of chrome, especially on the top-end variant.

Performance: The new Safari will be powered by Tata’s 2.2 litre Dicor engine that is expected to generate around 140 bhp of maximum power. The upcoming Safari will likely perform better than the present model with improvement in engine refinement and NVH levels, taking  and in par with its competition such as the Mahindra Scorpio.

Mileage: The mileage of the Safari Merlin is yet to be known. At present, the Safari has an ARAI-certified mileage of 13.93 kmpl. We can safely assume the new model to return a mileage of around 15 kmpl. For more about the Safari Merlin click here

Safety features: Tata Safari Merlin is expected to come with safety features including dual airbags, ABS, EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and disc brakes on all four wheels.

Variants and price details: Expect the Safari Merlin to be offered in five trim levels similar to the present model.  The top-end VX variant will likely come loaded with all bells and whistles besides the 4×4 system for off road adventure. The new Safari could be priced slightly higher than the current model with a price range of Rs. 9.33 lakh to 14.51 lakh (on-road, Delhi).

Renault Duster: May 2012

new renault duster photo
Photo: New Renault Duster

Looks: The Duster has rugged road stance with its horizontal chrome grilles, a dominant Renault logo and a chrome strip at the rear with the SUV’s name embossed on it. The Duster has high ground clearance and body claddings at the front and rear to protect the underbody during off road performance. The Duster is a 5-seater and its smaller dimension makes it a compact SUV.

Performance: The diesel version of the Duster will likely be powered by 1.5-litre motor that puts out 85 bhp of power. The Duster will also likely come with a 2.0 litre petrol motor that makes 135 bhp of maximum power.

Mileage: As per Renault, the Duster will return a mileage of 13.3 kmpl (4×2) and 12.6 kmpl (4×4) for the petrol version while the diesel versions will return a mileage of 19.6 kmpl (4×2) and 18.8 kmpl (4×4).

Safety features: Renault Duster will be equipped with safety features such as ABS, EBD and EBA (emergency brake assist), two front airbags (depending on market) and three-point seat belts with load limiters for the front seats. The top-end variants could get two lateral head/thorax airbags in addition to the driver and passenger front airbags.

Variant and price details: We expect the Duster to be made available in four variants, two 4×2 variants and two 4×4 variants with petrol and diesel engines. Localized production of Duster will help Renault price this entry level SUV in the range of Rs. 7 – 10 lakh.

New Honda CR-V: January 2012

2012 crv teaser side profile
Photo: The 2012 Honda Cr-v is longer and more contemporary in terms of design

Looks: The new Honda CR-V gets all new bold front radiator grille featuring three horizontal chrome slats with a sculpted large Honda logo at the centre. The upswept head lamps give a sporty look to the new CR-V. The upcoming CR-V will have a rear styling and tail lamps that slightly resemble that of the Volvo XC60. For more images of the new Honda Cr-v click here

Performance: Honda may launch the new CR-V with a diesel engine. Honda has a 2.2 litre i-DTEC diesel motor that powers the Europe-specific Honda Accord. If this engine comes in the India-bound CR-V, the Toyota Fortuner and the likes will likely be in trouble.

Variants and Prices: Honda may launch the CR-V in 4×2, 4×4 and automatic trim levels. The new CR-V could be priced in the range of Rs. 22 – 26 lakh.

Skoda Yeti Petrol – March 2012

skoda yeti road test
Photo: The Yeti petrol could be priced anywhere between Rs. 12 – 14 lakh

Looks: The upcoming Yeti petrol will likely have no external changes and will identical to the present Yeti diesel.

Performance: Skoda Yeti petrol will likely be powered by 1.2 TSI petrol motor producing 104 bhp of power that can accelerate the SUV from 0 to 100 kmph in 11.8 seconds and can reach a top speed of 175 kmph. The engine will be mated to a 5-speed transmission.

Mileage: The mileage of the Yeti petrol is not yet known but is expected to be around 15 kmpl.

Variants and Price details: The Yeti petrol could be offered in a single variant with front wheel drive layout. The Yeti petrol could be priced anywhere between Rs. 12 – 14 lakh.

Skoda Yeti diesel – March 2012

Looks: The upcoming Yeti diesel will likely have no external changes and will identical to the present Yeti diesel.

Performance: Skoda Yeti diesel will likely be powered by 1.6 TDI diesel motor producing 104 bhp of power that can accelerate the SUV from 0 to 100 kmph in about 12 seconds and can reach a top speed of 176 kmph. The engine will be mated to a 5-speed transmission.

Mileage: The mileage of the Yeti petrol is not yet known but is expected to be around 18 kmpl.

Variants and Price details: The Yeti diesel could be offered in a single variant with front wheel drive layout. The Yeti petrol could be priced anywhere between Rs. 12 – 15 lakh. 

Force One ABS – December 2011

force one side profile photo
Photo: The Force One will be available with a 4WD option in March

Looks: The Force One ABS will likely have ABS badge at the rear while the rest of the exteriors will be same as the regular model.

Performance: There will be no change in performance of the Force One ABS. The Force One ABS will be powered by the same by 2.2 litre common rail diesel engine that puts out 139 bhp of power and 321 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to 5-speed manual transmission.

Mileage: The ARAI certified mileage for the Force One is 12 kmpl. The mileage is less than the rivals such as Mahindra XUV 500 (15.1 kmpl).

Safety features: The Force One ABS will have ABS along with other safety features such as remote key entry, driver Seatbelt warning, door open warning and display, rear windscreen wiper with washer, front demister, central locking and over speed warning.

Variants and prices: The Force One ABS will be offered in only one variant and is expected to be priced at Rs. 11.5 lakh.

 

Force One 4×4 – March 2012

Looks: The Force One 4×4 will likely have 4×4 badges at the rear while the rest of the exteriors will be same as the regular model.

Performance: The Force One 4×4 can be expected to offer better acceleration and performance than the 4×2 version. The Force One 4×4 will be powered by the same by 2.2 litre common rail diesel engine that puts out 139 bhp of power and 321 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to 5-speed manual transmission.

Mileage: The ARAI certified mileage for the Force One 4×4 could be 11 kmpl. The mileage is assumed to be slightly less than the 4×2 version (12 kmpl).

Safety features: The Force One 4×4 will have ABS along with other safety features such as remote key entry, driver Seatbelt warning, door open warning and display, rear windscreen wiper with washer, front demister, central locking and over speed warning.

Variants and prices: The Force One 4×4 will be offered in only one variant and is expected to be priced at Rs. 12.5 lakh.