The Supreme Court of India has just ordered that SUVs and luxury cars with diesel engines displacing 2,000 cc and above be registered in Delhi. 55 cars and SUVs have been hit by this ban, which will stay until the 31st of March, 2016, after which the court will take a relook at it. From the Mahindra Scorpio to the just launched Audi Q7, lots of SUVs have been hit by this ban, which may even become permanent if the court feel it’s leading to improved air quality. So, what are your choices if you want an SUV that’s ban-proof, at least for now.
The Premier Rio matches hatchbacks in terms of pricing, and has a small and efficient Multijet turbo diesel engine that displaces 1,248cc and puts out 72 Bhp-183 Nm. The engine is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox and drives the rear wheels of the vehicle. At 5.64 lakh rupees, the Rio is the lowest priced SUV in India.
The TUV300 is the only SUV that Mahindra can sell in Delhi, for the sub-4 meter vehicle has a 1.5 liter-3 cylinder twin scroll turbocharger equipped diesel engine (80 Bhp-230 Nm). The TUV has been a big success for Mahindra, and the ban on big engined SUVs should push sales of this compact further up.
The Ecosport from Ford is another affordable SUV with a 1.5 liter turbo diesel engine, but in a 4 cylinder layout. The Ecosport is a top selling car for Ford, and offers a good mix of features, looks, ride quality and ground clearance. Expect more buyers to opt for this SUV in the next few months.
The Duster established the French automaker’s name in India. A big success in the first two years of its launch, the Duster’s sales have come under pressure lately. Things may improve for Renault as the ban would send some buyers towards the Duster. The Duster features the 1.5 liter-4 cylinder K9K turbo diesel engine, in 84 Bhp-200 Nm, and 108 Bhp-248 Nm states of tune.
The Terrano is a badge engineered sibling of the Duster, and apart from looks, the mechanical specifications of the compact SUV remain the same. Ban or no ban, the Terrano will continue to sell across the country.
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
The S-Cross is available for discounts of up to 2.9 lakh rupees. Yes, you’re reading right. And the best part is that both the engines on this crossover measure 1.3 liters and 1.6 liters respectively. The 1.6 S-Cross is the one to opt for, for it has 320 Nm of torque powering the front wheels.
India’s best selling SUV won’t be touched by the diesel vehicle ban in Delhi, for it has many engines but all of them well under 2 liters. The Creta is sold with 1.4 liter and 1.6 liter turbo diesel engines, both known for their refinement and powerful natures.
The Skoda Yeti barely makes it, as its engine measures 1,968 cc, 32 cc below the 2 liter limit. But nevertheless, Skoda won’t be forced to stop selling its only SUV in the NCR. The Yeti’s 2 liter TDI turbo diesel engine is available in 108 Bhp-250 Nm and 138 Bhp-320 Nm states of tune.
The Koleos is another SUV that scrapes through, with its turbo engine displacing 1995 cc, 5 cc lower than the 2 liter limit. The Koleos is quite luxurious and is a good 5 seat alternate to the likes of the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and the Toyota Fortuner. The engine on the Koleos is available in 147 Bhp-320 Nm, and 170 Bhp-360 Nm states of tune.
The Audi Q3, like the Skoda Yeti, uses the 2 liter TDI turbo diesel engine, which displaces 1,968 cc. This means that the Q3 is Kosher for sale in Delhi.
Some variants of the Q5 use the 2 liter TDI turbo diesel engine, making it fit for sale in Delhi. The top end variant of this SUV is banned though, since it uses the 3 liter V6 turbo diesel engine, which is clearly out of the 2 liter cap.
The BMW X1 also makes it, by 5 cc. Yes, the entry-level luxury crossover from BMW features a diesel engine with a 1,995 cc displacement, enough to give it pass mark, and keep it from a ban.
The X3’s lower variants share their 2 liter turbo diesel engines with the X1. Like the X1, the lower variants of the X3 aren’t banned from Delhi roads. However, the X3’s higher variants, with the straight six 3 liter turbo diesel engine, are banned.
The Volvo XC60 is another luxury SUV that has multiple diesel engines on offer, of which one is a sub-2 liter motor. This means Volvo can sell the XC60 in the National Capital. The 1,984 cc, D3 turbo diesel engine is legit, while the 2.4 liter turbo diesel engine isn’t. So, only one variant of the XC60 is banned.
The XC90 is the only 7 seat luxury SUV that you can buy in Delhi, for this gigantic vehicle features a small, but powerful sub-2 liter engine. Yes, it’s true, the big Volvo’s engine displaces just 1,969cc but has twin turbochargers to keep power and torque levels at 225 Bhp-470 Nm.