Snapshot – 3 years from now, the compact SUV market in India will be bigger than ever before, with a slew of options for the Indian car buyer to pick and choose from. Right from cut-price micro SUVs to models loaded to the gills with features, the compact SUV space in India will undergo a big revolution. coming to think of it, SUVs make a bunch of sense for India, with their high riding positions, tall ground clearances and good visibility. CarToq rounds up 13 all-new SUVs that are lined up for the Indian market over the next 3 years.
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
Maruti Suzuki will kick off the compact SUV blitz in India with the S-Cross crossover that will see a launch here early next year. The S-Cross is likely to pack in 1.6 liter petrol and turbo diesel engines, with a CNG option making it to the petrol model. The S-Cross is said to be Maruti Suzuki’s answers to the likes of the Renault Duster and the Nissan Terrano. The price tags of the S-Cross, which match those of the facelifted Mahindra Scorpio and the lower variants of the XUV500, are expected to give Maruti Suzuki plenty of flexibility. Expect to shell out between 9-12 lakh rupees, for the different variants of the S-Cross.
Hyundai will make its maiden foray into the compact SUV space in India with the iX25, which has already gone on sale in China. The iX25 is based on the Hyundai i20 Elite’s platform. However, the compact SUV sold in India is expected to borrow engines and transmissions from the Verna sedan. 1.6 liter petrol and turbo diesel engines, along with manual and automatic gearboxes are expected to be on offer in the iX25. Competition for the iX25 will come from the likes of the Renault Duster, the Nissan Terrano and the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross. The pricing level of the iX25 could be similar to that of the Duster.
The S101 will be a unique offering from Mahindra, in that the vehicle will be a micro SUV, a segment that is hitherto unexplored. With the S101 micro SUV, Mahindra will take aim at B-Segment hatchbacks. A bold experiment, the S101’s success could pave way for a new class of SUVs in India. The S101 micro SUV will use petrol and turbo diesel engines. An innovative 3+3 seating layout and a sub-5 lakh rupee starting price will give the sub-4 meter SUV offering a value proposition that B-Segment hatchbacks could find very hard to match.
Mahindra U301 Bolero
Mahindra has lined up a sub-4 meter Bolero that seems designed to appeal to younger SUV buyers. The U301 Bolero will slot in between the S101 and S102 SUVs that Mahindra has lined up for 2015 and 2016 launches respectively. The Bolero with the U301 nameplate is expected to carry a starting price close to the 6 lakh rupee mark. The U301 Bolero will be a five seater and is likely to use the 1.5 liter twin turbo diesel engine borrowed from the Quanto compact SUV. The SUV will use a ladder frame and a rear wheel drive layout. A four wheel drive mechanism may be offered on top-end variants.
Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha
The 2016 Auto Expo is said to be the venue where Maruti Suzuki will launch the XA Alpha compact SUV, a sub-4 meter product that is designed to be a big volume offering from India’s largest car maker. The XA Alpha could use K-Series petrol and Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engines. A front wheel drive layout with manual transmissions are expected to be standard fare on the XA Alpha. The compact SUV was shown as a concept at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo and the production version is expected to get a similar design treatment. The XA Alpha is expected to carry a starting price under 7 lakh rupees.
The Mahindra S102 compact SUV shares its underpinnings with the Ssangyong X100. In India, the S102 will be Mahindra’s answer to soft roaders such as the Ford EcoSport and the Hyundai iX25. To be slotted above the U301 Bolero, the monocoque bodied S102 will get petrol and diesel engine options. Both engines could be newly developed units that are developed jointly by Mahindra and Ssangyong. A launch in 2016, with a price tag starting near the 7 lakh rupees are likely for the S102 compact SUV.
The Tata Nexon crossover was shown as a concept at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. The production version of this crossover is due for a 2016 launch. Underpinned by the age-old X1 platform, the Nexon might seem like old wine as far as the platform is concerned. However, the crossover will come with a radical design, previewed at the Auto Expo. Turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines are expected to be on offer, along with a boat load of features. Expect the first test mules of the Nexon to hit Indian roads early next year.
Nissan Kick concept based SUV
Nissan showed the Kick concept SUV at the Sau Paulo Motor Show. The Kick’s production version is intended for developing markets such as India and Brazil. Nissan India has been indicating a 2016 launch for a sub-Terrano SUV and the Kick concept’s production version seems to be the SUV that the Japanese automaker has in mind for the Indian market. The Japanese automaker is yet to reveal the platform on which the Kick will be based. Our money is on the CMF platform, which will underpin most new Renault and Nissan vehicles.
Fiat is developing an all-new SUV based on the 326 platform. Code-named the X3U, the compact SUV from Fiat will be launched in India during 2016. As far as Fiat is concerned, the X3U will be the vehicle that can capitalize on the big demand from buyers looking for compact SUVs in India. A debut at the 2016 Auto Expo is likely for the X3U. A new 1.5 liter, downsized version of the 1.6 liter Multijet diesel motor is said to be the major engine option on the X3U. Other details remain sketchy for now. A price tag above that pf the Avventura is on the cards for the X3U.
Honda Brio based compact SUV
Honda is using the Brio platform to build a compact SUV for emerging markets. The new Honda SUV will be the fourth vehicle to use the Brio platform. Since the Brio platform is all about parts sharing, the new compact SUV from Honda is expected to dip into the part bins of cars such as the Brio, Amaze and Mobilio for its mechanicals. The 1.2 liter i-VTEC petrol and 1.5 liter i-DTEC diesel engines are likely to make it to the Brio based compact SUV’s engine bay. The Brio based SUV will sit under the Honda Vezel, at sub-10 lakh rupee price points.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara
The Suzuki Vitara SUV was unveiled at this year’s Paris Motor Show and Maruti Suzuki plans to bring this 5 seat SUV to India in 2017. The positioning of the Vitara in Maruti Suzuki’s portfolio, which by 2017 will play host to the XA Alpha and the S-Cross, remains unknown. However, the Vitara could be sold as a more butch alternate to the S-Cross, which happens to be a soft roader at best. The Vitara will use 1.6 liter petrol and turbo diesel engines. Manual and automatic gearboxes will be offered on the petrol model while the diesel model will make do with a manual transmission. The Vitara is also expected to get a new four wheel drive system.
Currently, General Motors is going slow on the Indian car market. 2017 is touted to be the year when the American automaker begins its aggressive comeback into India, with the Adra concept set to become production real in that year. The Adra was showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo and the compact SUV’s production version will be General Motors’ answer to the likes of the Ford EcoSport and the Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha. While a sub-4 meter length is likely for the Adra, details on its engine and gearbox haven’t been revealed.
Volkswagen PQ25 platform based SUV
Volkswagen will launch a sub-4 meter compact sedan next year. The German automaker will follow up the compact sedan with another sub-4 meter offering in the form of the PQ25 compact SUV. The PQ25 platform based compact SUV will be another big volume offering from Volkswagen, tailormade for the Indian car market. The recently unveiled 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel and the 1.2 liter TSI turbo petrol engines are expected to be deployed on the Volkswagen compact SUV. Expect pricing to be on the premium side, but under 10 lakh rupees.