Maruti Suzuki recently introduced the all-new Grand Vitara in the Indian market. The mid-size SUV that will arrive on the market later this year is already gaining much popularity. According to HT Auto, Maruti Suzuki has already garnered over 33,000 bookings on the Grand Vitara with 48 percent choosing the strong-hybrid version of the car.
What’s making the Grand Vitara strong hybrid variants so popular? We have not driven the car yet but there are a few reasons behind the growing popularity of the strong hybrid variants.
Diesel-like fuel efficiency
Maruti Suzuki exited the diesel engine market a few years ago when the Indian government announced the BS6 emission norms. This disappointed a lot of buyers who needed the lower running costs of the diesel engines. Maruti promoted CNG variants aggressively and those found some takers – but still many diesel lovers were forced to look at other brands. Or hold back on their purchases. In the strong hybrid variants of Grand Vitara, those buyers have now found an ideal alternative to diesel engines.
The strong-hybrid option returns exceptional fuel efficiency and running cost-wise, it can offer diesel-like or even better economy. And while official prices have not been announced, the expectation is that they would be priced as diesel variants would have been priced if they were available.
According to ARAI figures, the all-new Grand Vitara with a strong-hybrid powertrain returns a solid 27.97 km/l. It will become the most fuel-efficient SUV in the Indian market, even though there is no diesel engine option.
The demand for the Grand Vitara strong hybrid variant is also reflected in the bookings of its sibling, the Toyota HyRyder. Even there, the strong hybrid variants are in high demand.
No risk of getting banned
Even though diesel cars of more than 10 years and petrol cars with more than 15 years of age are banned in Delhi-NCR and many other regions in the country, there will be no such risks to the hybrid. The strong hybrid Grand Vitara has a petrol engine and an electric motor. No diesel option means no risk of getting banned in the future. The National Green Tribunal is even planning to ban all kinds of BS4 diesel vehicles from Delhi-NCR to bring pollution under control. However, since the government is promoting environment-friendliness, we believe that no such bans will affect such vehicles.
Automatic is standard with strong-hybrid
While Maruti Suzuki will offer the strong-hybrid version of the Grand Vitara only with the automatic transmission. Just like all other hybrid vehicles around the world, the strong-hybrid system the Grand Vitara Intelligent Electric Hybrid or IEH will only offer an automatic transmission. The car will come with a CVT automatic as standard. With the rising popularity of automatics, a lot of customers are likely to be happy to get the automatic transmission as standard.
Pure electric mode
Like all strong hybrids, the all-new Grand Vitara will also offer a pure EV mode. This allows the car to utilise the charge stored in the batteries of the hybrid system to run short distances. Since Maruti Suzuki has not revealed the exact distance the Grand Vitara will be able to cover only on pure electric power, we cannot comment on the same. However, typically electric hybrid cars can cover a distance of 5 km to 20 km in pure electric mode. This will be particularly useful for those who do short runs often.
Grand Vitara strong hybrid is more powerful than mild hybrid variants
The mild hybrid variants of the Grand Vitara offers 114 bhp compared to the lower 101 bhp of the mild hybrid. So while you pay a bit extra over the mild hybrid, here you get extra power, extra fuel economy and an automatic. Put them all together, and the strong hybrid comes across as a more attractive buy than the mild hybrid Grand Vitara.