5 modifications to make any SUV look mean and menacing

These days, most SUVs that arrive straight out of showrooms look almost car-like. While this is certainly true of the compact SUV pack, crossovers such as the Mahindra XUV500 and the Tata Aria could also do with more butch looks. So, how do you make your SUV more badass, and more SUV-like. Enter CarToq’s list of 5 modifications that can make any SUV look, well like how an SUV should look like.

Steel bumpers

Mahindra Scorpio LX 4X4 Custom 1

[Image courtesy Team-BHP]

Fiber bumpers that most SUVs wear are designed to look pleasing, not menacing. Also, the fiber bumpers are in place due to regulations that prioritize pedestrian safety. Steel bumpers on the other hand aren’t as safe as far as pedestrians go but when it comes to enhancing the SUV’s appeal single handed-ly, they’re unparalleled. The reason is easy to see. Steel bumpers are narrower, and raise the front and rear profiles of the SUVs. You get a taller looking steed that will look menacing in rear view mirrors.

Mahindra Scorpio 4X4 Custom 3

Taller wheels and a lift kit

Toyota Fortuner with 33 inch tyres
A Toyota Fortuner with 33 inch tyres

[Image courtesy Team-BHP]

This is the route that off roaders frequently take to conquer difficult terrain on off road trails. A lift kit and taller wheels makes an SUV tower over other traffic, in the process making it look more imposing. A Toyota Fortuner already has big street presence.

Mahindra XUV500 Intrepid 1


Adding taller wheels and a lift kit to the luxury SUV only makes it look larger than life. Adding taller wheels often requires a suspension or a body lift kit. Lift kits are available for most Indian SUVs that feature ladder frame chassis’.

A hood scoop and a snorkel

Tata Xenon Tuff Truck


A hood scoop and a snorkel is a combination that would suit SUVs that off road rather than those that spend most time on well paved surfaces. Yet, these changes have the potential to infuse an element of masculinity in any SUV.

Tata Safari Storme Mountain Rescue Concept 3

The snorkel can prove to be very useful on flooded roads, which sometimes have waist deep water. A well designed hood scoop can channel enough cool air to the engine to manage temperatures better. All in all, these additions, if designed well, can do their bit to enhance looks as well as performance.

Auxiliary lamps and LEDs

Tata Xenon Tuff Truck 1

Auxiliary lamps make an SUV’s front end look more purposeful but that’s not what these accessories are meant for. Auxiliary lamps help greatly during night drives on the highway, where they illuminate the road effectively.

Mahindra Thar with LEDs

LED light bars are meant for off road equipment, although some interesting designs with projectors in tow are now making their way onto regular road going versions of SUVs as well.

Head to DC Design

DC Design Renault Duster 1

There are bunch of DC Design kits for popular SUVs such as the Ford Ecosport, the Renault Duster and the Mahindra XUV500. These bolt on body kits enhance these SUVs’ looks, making them look more butch in the process.

DC Design Ford EcoSport Custom Front

For instance, the matte grey paint finish on the DC Designed Ford Ecosport and Renault Duster gives both compact SUV a mean stance. Similarly, the front grille and bumper job by DC Design on the XUV500 makes the crossover look more SUV-like than before.

DC Design Mahindra XUV500 4