Snapshot – In the world of SUVs, a monocoque chassis simply translates into better on-road behaviour, in many cases car-like ride and handling if you will. The Indian car market, like most car markets around the globe has seen a steady shift from ladder frame SUVs to monocoque bodied SUVs. In fact the compact SUV market is completely made up of monocoque bodied vehicles. Adding an all wheel drive (AWD) option to a monocoque bodied SUV means that the “go” can finally match the “show”. CarToq rounds up 5, sub-25 lakh rupee monocoque SUVs sold in India that feature the AWD option.
Renault Duster AWD
Launched earlier today, the Renault Duster is the least priced all wheel drive SUV that money can buy in India. Available in two variants, RxL and RxZ, the Duster AWD starts at 11.89 lakh rupees. The SUV uses a 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel engine that makes 108 Bhp-248 Nm. A 6 speed manual gearbox handles torque transmission duties. The AWD unit on the Duster uses a Haldex clutch and comes in three modes, front wheel drive, all wheel drive and auto. The AWD version of the Duster also gets ESP, ASR, Cruise Control, hill start assist and independent rear suspension.
Mahindra’s flagship offering, the XUV500 crossover gets an AWD option on the top-end W8 variant. The XUV500 also happens to be the only Mahindra SUV to get a monocoque chassis and an all wheel drive layout. The crossover uses a 2.2 liter mHawk turbo diesel engine that outputs 140 Bhp and 330 Nm. A six speed manual gearbox is standard. The XUV500 W8 AWD is priced at 14.68 lakh rupees. For this kind of money, the 7 seat XUV500 remains one of the most loaded SUVs on sale in India, in terms of feature and creature comforts.
The Yeti recently got a facelift in India, along with new features to boot. The SUV is regarded highly for its off road prowess. A monocoque design that seats five, the Skoda Yeti gets a solitary turbo diesel engine option in India, in the form of the 2 liter TDI motor. This engine’s higher state of tune, 138 Bhp-320 Nm, gets a 6 speed manual gearbox and an all wheel drive layout. The Haldex clutch controlled all wheel drive system on the Yeti comes with hill hold and hill descent control functions. Anti-slip regulation and ESP are standard features on the Yeti 4X4, which is priced at 20.54 lakh rupees.
The only-petrol powered vehicle in this list, the CR-V initiated India into crossovers. Though Honda offers a turbo diesel engined CR-V in Europe, the Japanese automaker has studiously stuck to petrol power on the India-spec CR-V. The monocoque crossover is a five seater that is well acclaimed for its car-like drive. The CR-V is powered by a 2.4 liter i-VTEC petrol engine that pumps out 187 Bhp-226 Nm. The crossover uses a 6 speed automatic gearbox. An all wheel drive system is also offered. The CR-V is priced at 24.36 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.
The Renault Koleos is a slow seller due to its CBU import status, which pushes up its price by quite a bit. However, the five seat, monocoque bodied crossover packs in good quality levels, a fantastic ride, a well rounded set of features and more importantly, an all wheel drive system replete with a differential lock for tight situations. The Koleos AWD is powered by a 2 liter turbo diesel engine that gets uprated to 170 Bhp and 360 Nm. 6 speed manual and automatic transmission options are on offer. The SUV is priced at 25.16 lakh rupees for the manual geared AWD version.