The 2016 Indian Auto Expo is fast approaching and so are affordable SUVs. Not one, not two, but 15 hot SUVs will be showcased at the upcoming Auto Expo, a biennial event. Of these SUVs, many will be launched at the Expo, while the others will be previewed, building up anticipation for future launches. Most will be affordable, while some will be super premium. Here’s the wrap.
Maruti Suzuki YBA
Maruti Suzuki’s entry into the sub-4 meter segment, the YBA codenamed compact SUV will gun for the Ford Ecosport and the Mahindra TUV300. Based on the XA-Alpha concept, the YBA is likely to be launched at the Expo, and could feature 1.2 liter petrol and 1.3 liter turbo diesel engines. A competitive starting price of under 7 lakh rupees is likely.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara
The Vitara, known as the Escudo, was recently spotted at the Maruti Suzuki factory in India. This SUV is likely to be shown at the Auto Expo, ahead of a possible India debut sometime in 2017. If launched here, the Vitara is expected to sit above the S-Cross in terms of price and positioning. 1.6 liter petrol and turbo diesel engines could be offered, along with an all wheel drive mechanism.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis
The Ignis is a Micro SUV, and is touted to be launched in India during the festive season of 2016. While Maruti Suzuki hasn’t officially confirmed the Ignis for India yet, a launch seems highly likely given the fact that Mahindra will spawn the Micro SUV segment early next year with the S101. The Ignis, as and when launched in India, will be Maruti’s least priced SUV, being served up as a high ground clearance equipped alternate to hatchbacks.
The sub-4 meter Nexon will mark Tata Motors’ foray into the hugely competitive compact SUV space. The crossover, styled like the Evoque, will feature 1.2 liter turbo-petrol and 1.3 liter turbo diesel engines. A front wheel drive layout is likely to be standard. A very competitive price tag is likely, with some sources even speculating a sub-5 lakh rupee starting price figure. An Auto Expo unveil, followed by a launch later in the year is envisaged for the Nexon.
The 7 seat BR-V from Honda is based on the Brio platform. The SUV in itself, looks like a jacked up Mobilio. The 7 seat layout is the most interesting aspect about this SUV, which allows Honda plenty of flexibility in terms of positioning. The BR-V could either square off against the Duster-Creta, or move a segment higher to take on the Mahindra XUV500. A launch in the first half of 2016 is on the cards, with 1.5 liter petrol and turbo diesel engine options confirmed.
The X-Trail from Nissan will make a comeback into India. The luxury SUV will take the 7 seat route, and will sit on the CMF platform. A 2.0 liter DCi turbo diesel engine is likely. A bummer though is the fact that the X-Trail will be a CBU import, which means a hefty price tag between 30-35 lakh rupees. That leaves the X-Trail playing the part of a brand builder for its Japanese maker.
Mahindra Quanto Facelift
The Quanto will soon receive a massive makeover, and the refreshed compact SUV is expected to be shown at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo. Apart from a major stylistic revamp, the vehicle is expected to gain more features on the inside. The 1.5 liter, twin scroll turbocharger equipped 3 cylinder diesel will continue powering the vehicle. An AMT option will be a major mechanical change on the Quanto Facelift, which could also get a new name.
The Hexa will be the most ambitious SUV attempt ever from Tata Motors. Essentially, a restyled and heavily tweaked Tata Aria, the Hexa will seat 7 adults in luxurious settings. The 2.2 liter Varicor turbo diesel engine will make 154.8 Bhp-400 Nm, and will be paired with either a 6 speed manual or automatic transmissions. A terrain sensing four wheel drive system will also be offered. An Auto Expo launch is likely.
The S101 code-named vehicle from Mahindra will spawn the Micro SUV segment in India. An ambitious offering from the Indian automaker, the S101 is expected to offer 6 seats, tall ground clearance and an SUV form factor for Maruti WagonR money. The S101 will also use a monocoque form, with a front wheel drive layout as standard. An Auto Expo launch is likely.
The Go-Cross concept, which was recently unveiled at Indonesia, is expected to be showcased at the Auto Expo, giving showgoers a sign of things to come from the Datsun brand. While this SUV is expected to make an India entry in 2016, the preview will aim to gather showgoer feedback. The Go-Cross could represent an attempt to make the Datsun brand more aspirational, following market duds such as the Go and Go+.
Renault Duster Facelift
Renault is expected to showcase a facelifted Duster SUV. Apart from cosmetic tweaks and feature additions, a 6 speed automated manual transmission will be the big addition to the Duster. The Duster Diesel AMT will be a unique offering in its segment, batting the Hyundai Creta Diesel Automatic.
The Ford Endeavour is expected to be unveiled later this year. The Auto Expo could be the big ticket event where this luxury SUV is launched. The new Endeavour replaces a decade old model and is much more contemporary, in terms of design, mechanicals and the features offered. To be assembled through the CKD kit route, the 7 seat Endeavour is likely to be priced under 30 lakh rupees.
The all-new Audi Q7’s import has already begun. The second generation flagship Audi luxury SUV has undergone a major revamp in terms of the platform. It’s lighter than ever before and this is expected to translate into major gains in terms of performance and fuel efficiency. A launch at the Auto Expo is likely even as Audi is currently saddled with the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal, which also involves the 3.0 liter TDI V6 turbo diesel engine. Notably, this engine will power the Q7 as a staple, and this is perhaps a reason for Audi going slow on the launch, which was to happen this year.
The iconic Jeep Wrangler will finally be available for sale in India from early next year, after it is officially unveiled/launched at the Expo. The Wrangler sold here will be a CBU. So, a high price tag of over 30 lakh rupees is likely. A 2.8 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel engine, with a 5 speed automatic gearbox is likely. A 4X4 transfer case with high and low ratios will be standard.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Like the Wrangler, the Grand Cherokee will be another brand builder for the Jeep brand. This 5 seat luxury SUV could be priced at about the 60 lakh rupee mark, challenging the likes of the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes Benz GLE. The Grand Cherokee could be sold with 3.0 liter V6 turbo diesel and 3.6 liter V6 petrol engine options. Automatic gearboxes could be standard.