Snapshot – The affordable SUV market is booming like never before and a slew of new offerings will come your way in the next one year or so. While there are a bunch of SUVs that are confirmed for India, many remain confined to the rumour mill. Stirring the pot further, we’ll take a look at 5 rumoured SUVs that are said to have India on their radars, and the possibility of each of these vehicles actually making it to the car market here.
Nissan Kicks concept based Compact SUV
Nissan India needs a big volume product, and quickly. The Micra and Sunny are floundering while the Terrano isn’t great shakes either. A new sub-4 meter SUV based on the Nissan Kicks concept could be unveiled as early as the 2016 Indian Auto Expo, due to happen early next year. This vehicle’s production could begin by the end of next year as further delays would only push Nissan deeper into the morass hosting other underperformers. The Kicks concept based compact SUV is therefore, a highly likely offering for the Indian market.
Volkswagen Taigun based Compact SUV
Volkswagen is re-charting its India plans. Though 2015 will be a quiet year, a barrage of German artillery is India bound next year, beginning with the all-new Passat, which will be followed by the big-volume compact sedan based on the Polo/Vento PQ25 platform. The Taigun compact SUV’s platform is also under consideration for India. A compact SUV with the Volkswagen badge would resonate well with the German brand’s ambitions for a greater market share in India, one of the few economies in the world that continues to thrive. A Volkswagen Compact SUV is more or less a given for India, with only the timing being suspect.
The Tivoli SUV, which at 4.2 meters is compact enough for the rest of the world. For India though, the SUV falls out of the sub-4 meter category, and will hence be a premium product as far as pricing is concerned. All this, if Mahindra decides to bring the Tivoli to India. Unveiled at Geneva this year, the Tivoli uses 1.6 liter petrol and turbo diesel engines. In fact, the SUV could be a good foil to the likes of the Renault Duster and the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross. Even if the Tivoli doesn’t make it here, the S102 code-named SUV, which is said to be based on the Ssangyong X100 platform, is a strong possibility for the Indian market. The timeline for launch would be 2016 and beyond.
Honda’s 7 Seat Duster Challenger
Honda may give the Brio platform yet another twist, what with rumours suggesting that a 7 seat SUV is under the works on this platform, which already hosts the Brio hatchback, the Amaze compact sedan and the Mobilio MPV. The 7 seat SUV from Honda is said to train its guns on the Renault Duster and the Mahindra XUV500. Our best is that the new vehicle from Honda would be a crossover built for emerging markets around the world as the Vezel/HR-V is purely intended for developed markets. This vehicle could be shown as a concept at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo.
Hyundai iX35/Tucson based SUV
By the end of this year, Hyundai will have three SUVs/Crossovers aiming for varied sets of buyers in the Indian car market. The only missing puzzle in the jigsaw for Hyundai will be in the 14-20 lakh rupee segment, and this can be easily fulfilled by the iX35/Tucson, an SUV that is sandwiched between the iX25 and the Santa Fe, globally. Rumours to this effect have already begun gaining steam, what with a 2018 launch projected. The advent of the iX35 based premium SUV in petrol and diesel guises could do to this space what the Ford EcoSport did for the sub-4 meter segment. Launch possibility? Moderate for now.