India is a SUV-dominated market, without doubt. People love the presence and the high ground clearance that comes with the SUVs. Keeping that in mind, here are 10 SUVs that you can get for the price of a brand-new Wagon R Lxi (costs Rs 4.5 lakh on road in Delhi).
The Gypsy is the most basic and affordable SUV that is on offer in the Indian market. It has been on sale for a really long time, that too without many changes. The vehicle continues to have the same G13b engine which is a 1.3 litre unit making 80 Bhp and 103 Nm. It also comes with 4wd. The main advantage is that the Gypsy is very light and nimble, making it easy to drive on trails. You can find a lot of examples on sale ranging from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh, based on the model year being looked for.
The Pajero is the SUV most of us have grown up to admire. In the olden days, if you had a Pajero, it means you had arrived in life. The vehicle has a lot of heritage to the name, being used by a lot of movie stars and celebrities back in the day. The vehicle we found was the 2.8-litre SFX version, which produces 118 Bhp and 292 Nm. The best part about the Pajero is the comfort and the off-roading capability it offers. You can find them for say Rs 4 lakh upwards, but its going to be very tiring search!
Over a decade ago, Hyundai introduced the Tucson for the first time in the Indian market. The vehicle was a soft roader and took on the likes of the CR-V. Sadly, the company withdrew the model and we now have the all-new Tucson on sale. The older version was powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine making 122 Bhp and 245 Nm. It was available in manual gearbox only. You can find one for less than Rs 4 lakhs.
Maruti Grand Vitara
The Grand Vitara was Maruti’s first take on the premium SUV segment. While the vehicle was very capable, it didn’t set the sales charts on fire. It was on offer in both 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre petrol engines and also came with the option of a 4wd. The best part about the GV is the fact that there are a lot of aftermarket parts available for the vehicle to make it more rugged.
The CR-V started the compact SUV craze in the Indian market. When it was first introduced, the CR-V was so much in demand that waiting lists shot up and people even resorted to going to other states just to get one. The CR-V is now available for really low prices in the used car market. You can get one for as little as Rs 1.7 lakh. The CR-V was on offer in both 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre engine options and initially only came in automatic transmission. The only downside to the CR-V is the fuel economy figures.
Here is part-II of the story:
Chevrolet introduced the Captiva, their flagship SUV in the Indian market hoping for success. Sadly, while the product was good, sales dwindled and the company later discontinued the Captiva and replaced it with the Trailblazer, which didn’t do too well either. If you are on the look out for a full-size 7-seat SUV which is adequately loaded, you can opt for the Captiva. Power came from a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine that produced 150 Bhp and 320 Nm.
The Scorpio is the vehicle that set Mahindra in the passenger car segment. When it was first introduced, there was massive demand for the vehicle. Even now, the Scorpio still manages to outsell its competition by a large margin. The USP of the Scorpio is the technology on offer, coupled with the ruggedness and the butch looks. Also Mahindra is reputed in rural areas, which sees a lot of sales. You can get a used Scorpio for as low as Rs 1.7 lakh, however those are the M2Di units and not the CRDe ones.
The Tata Safari was the first Indian SUV to be on sale. When it was introduced, it had a monopoly till the Scorpio came along. The Safari has not changed much since its introduction, save for the improvement in technology and the engines. The vehicle continues to have the same USP, of being comfortable and capable off-road. You can find a lot of used examples on sale, as low as Rs 1 lakh.
The Nissan X-Trail is one forgotten SUV. When it was first introduced, the X-trail came with a massive sun roof and a 6-speed manual gearbox, features which were not common at that point in time. Power came from a 2.2-litre engine making 136 Bhp and 314 Nm. It was only on offer as a 5-seater version.
The Terracan was introduced in the Indian market in the early part of the previous decade. It was to establish Hyundai as a premium brand all around, rather than just as a small car manufacturer. The vehicle was powered by a 2.9-litre turbo diesel engine that produced 148 Bhp and 343 Nm, which was massive for that time. It was also equipped with a 4wd system.
What are the risks?
Nowadays, you have to keep local laws in mind. Old vehicles may not be allowed to run on the roads where you live – for example, Delhi NCR is very strict about the age of the vehicle. You should also keep in mind that some of these SUVs may have a high maintenance cost. The Gypsy, the Scorpio and the Safari will be easier to maintain as parts are easily available even now. The Pajero may also not be that tough to maintain, but spare parts will be on the expensive side, same as the CR-V. The Tucson and Terracan will be tough to maintain if the car isn’t in perfect condition. You will have to look for aftermarket parts as sourcing them from Hyundai will be tough. The Grand Vitara has a lot of after market parts available, which means service shouldn’t be an issue. The Captiva and the X-Trail too will be a little tough to maintain, given the small numbers the vehicle sold.