While the SUV segments are the fastest growing sections of the Indian car market, today, there are some models that failed to attract many buyers. Today, we bring to you as many as 17 Forgotten SUVs of India.
Tata Safari Petrol
Surprised? Tata Motors actually sold a Safari with a petrol engine. The Safari Petrol was on sale in the early 2000s. It got its juice from a 2-litre, 135 Bhp petrol engine, which was much more powerful than the 2-litre, 90 bhp-turbocharged motor that powered the diesel variant. However, low fuel efficiency led to an early demise of this version.
Another Tata SUV that people have forgotten about is the Sierra, a rather radically styled SUV that was launched in the 90s. It offered only three doors and had huge glass panels instead of rear doors. It was powered by a 2.0-litre indirect injection diesel engine that produced a maximum power of 68 bhp and a peak torque of 110 Nm. The Sierra was a bit too early for its time and couldn’t find many takers.
The Hindustan Trekker was a people’s mover based on the Ambassador platform. In some regions, it was known as the Pushpak. The Trekker was quite rugged and shared the 1.5-litre diesel engine with the Ambassador. This motor offered only 39 bhp and 80 Nm. Hindustan Motors even launched a 2.0-litre diesel engine variant that offered 51 bhp and 106 Nm. However, the Trekker failed to become even half as popular as its Mahindra rivals.
The Chevrolet Captiva was a rather premium SUV that used to be one of the most expensive cars sold by Chevrolet India. It was powered by a 2.2-litre VCDi turbo engine from the Cruze. This engine produced 184 bhp of maximum power and 424 Nm of peak torque. It even offered AWD.
The Trailblazer was a full-size SUV that became the flagship product from Chevrolet India. It was powered by a grunty 2.8-litre diesel engine that generated 197 bhp of max. power and peak torque of 500 Nm.
Another forgotten SUV from Chevrolet is the Forester, which was basically a Subaru model underneath. The Forester was very capable and came with a powerful Boxer engine. It offered car-like handling and decent all-wheel drive capabilities. However, it couldn’t find many buyers in India. Also, GM lost the right to sell this SUV in India after selling off its stake in Subaru.
The Terracan used to be the flagship model in Hyundai’s portfolio for India. At that time, it used to be the torquiest full-size SUV on sale in the country. Powering the Terracan was a 2.9-litre engine that offered 148 bhp of max power and 343 Nm of peak torque. The Terracan had a ladder on frame chassis and an AWD system.
Hyundai Tucson (first generation)
The first-gen Tucson was sold in India for a brief period. It was powered by a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine that produced 120 bhp of maximum power and 270 Nm of peak torque. It also offered a four-wheel-drive transfer case.
Maruti Grand Vitara XL7
The Maruti Grand Vitara XL7 is probably the biggest flops from the country’s highest selling car manufacturer. The Grand Vitara XL7 was a 7-seater and was powered by a 2.8-litre V6 petrol engine that produced 168 bhp of maximum power and 236 Nm of peak torque. The SUV also offered a four-wheel drive system.
Maruti Grand Vitara
The XL-7 was replaced with the Grand Vitara, which was a smaller SUV that was powered by a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. The motor produced a maximum power of 164 bhp along with a peak torque of 225 Nm. It came with a full-time 4×4 with high and low-ratio options.
Basically, the Invader was a Bolero that was meant to take on the Maruti Gypsy. The biggest factor that worked in its favour was the diesel heart. The Invader was powered by a 2.5-litre oil-burner that produced 63 bhp and 177 Nm.
The Mahindra Legend was a lifestyle SUV that was based on the MM-540/550 platform, which, in turn, was based on the Willys Jeep. The Legend can be considered as the spiritual predecessor of the Thar. It was powered by a 2.5-litre, turbocharged diesel engine that produced only 58 bhp.
The Premier Rio became the first sub-4-meter compact SUV of India. Basically, the Rio was based on the Zoyte Nomad, a Chinese SUV, which was, in turn, based on the old Daihatsu Terios. Powering the Premier Rio were 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines. The SUV also got the Fiat Multijet 1.3-litre diesel engine at a later stage.
The Rexton became the first-ever Ssangyong product in India and was launched here by Mahindra & Mahindra. The Rexton offered 7 seats and was powered by a 2.7-litre engine. The Rexton could never find enough buyers and was discontinued owing to really low demand. Mahindra plans to replace it with the latest-gen Rexton, which is likely to be sold here as the Mahindra XUV700.
The Koleos was the first SUV that the renowned European carmaker launched in India. It was available in three variants – 4×2 manual, 4×2 auto and 4×4 auto. The Koleos was powered by a 2.0-litre engine that produced a maximum power of 170 bhp along with a peak torque of 360 Nm.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was the brand ambassador for the Force One. However, the One was based on an old-gen Endeavour and could hardly find any buyers. It was powered by a 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine that churned out 139 bhp and 321 Nm.
The X-Trail was the first SUV from Nissan India. Its boxy design made it look quite butch and it offered a long list of features. It was sufficiently capable off the road and came with a powerful 2-litre diesel engine that produced 150 bhp of maximum power and 320 Nm of peak torque.