The ongoing Tokyo Motor Show has a bunch of exciting SUV concept and production versions that could be India-bound. Out of the five SUVs we’ve rounded up, three are “definitely” coming to India and two could be actively considered by their maker, given the furious pace at which the compact SUV market here is evolving. Let’s look at each of the 5 SUVs and see what they’re all about.
Not so long ago, the Suzuki Ignis was called the iM-4. This 3.7 meter long vehicle is one of Suzuki’s smallest SUVs, and that makes it Japan-ready. While the Ignis will go on sale in Japan shortly, it could also arrive into India. Mahindra will make a bold move in a few months’ time, when it launches the S101 code-named Micro SUV here. The Ignis could be Maruti Suzuki’s answer to the S101. Notably, Indian motoring scribes covering the Tokyo Motor Show have reported that the Ignis will be here as early as 2016. With not even a single test mule on the streets, that seems far fetched. However, Maruti may showcase the Ignis at the upcoming Auto Expo, to see how showgoers react to this micro SUV, which has front and four wheel drive options.
The Tiguan is an SUV that Volkswagen will bring to India, but only in 2017. While the Tiguan shown at Tokyo is a five seater, VW is developing a 7 seat version of this SUV. Having 7 seats in the Tiguan will allow VW to position this SUV against the Toyota Fortuner. CKD assembly in India is expected to give the German automaker enough leeway to price the Tiguan under 30 lakh rupees. At that kind of money, this luxury SUV will have a good chance of taking on the Fortuners and the Pajeros of this world. The Tiguan uses the MQB platform, and comes with front and all wheel drive layouts. Turbocharged petrol and diesel engines are on offer.
The BR-V is longer than the Duster and Creta brigade, and also features 7 seats. Honda has confirmed that production of the BR-V will commence in the first half of 2016. An unveil at the Auto Expo is certain, and bookings of the new SUV should start soon after. Given the 4.46 meter length, and the 7 seat layout, Honda may look at a premium pricing strategy for the BR-V, pitting it against the Mahindra XUV500 instead of the Duster or Creta. 1.5 liter i-VTEC petrol and i-DTEC turbo diesel engines have been confirmed. 5 speed manual and CVT automatic gearboxes will be available on the petrol engine, and a 6 speed manual will be standard on the diesel.
The Suzuki Escudo, which started life as the iV4 concept is known as the Vitara in Europe. In Japan, this compact SUV that slots in between the S-Cross and the Grand Vitara, will be known as the Escudo. The Escudo features 1.6 liter petrol and turbo diesel engines, with front and all wheel drive layouts. With the S-Cross being more of a large hatchback than an SUV, the Escudo does have some potential for the Indian car market, especially as a Hyundai Creta rival. While there have been rumours suggesting an India future for the Escudo/Vitara sometime in 2017, Maruti Suzuki has been tight lipped about its plans. If this SUV is shown at the Auto Expo, an India launch in the future can’t be ruled out.
Nissan pulled off a surprise yesterday, by unveiling the Go-Cross, a compact SUV that’s based on the Go+ platform. Said to support sub-4 meter and 4+ meter lengths, the compact SUV’s production version is tipped to hit Indian shores in 2017. Next year, Datsun will be busy with an entry level hatchback,the RediGo. Apart from a rash of images, Nissan hasn’t revealed much about the Go-Cross. Given the demand for affordable SUVs in India, a sub-4 meter footprint, 1.2 liter petrol and 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel engines are likely for the Go-Cross. The SUV is likely to get a 5 or 7 seat configuration, and could be sold as the flagship variant in the Datsun range.