The term Sports Utility Vehicle or SUV has been misused a lot in the Indian market. While in a real sense, an SUV is defined as a high-raised vehicle that can do mild to hardcore off-roading and comes with AWD with a low-range transfer case. However, due to the low demand for such vehicles in India and high price, the market has accepted any 2WD car with high ground clearance and intimidating look as an SUV. Well, this group of travellers learned it the hard way.
The group was travelling in a Ford EcoSport, which is only available in the 4X2 variant in India. The video uploaded on the channel Radiant Clicks shows the vehicle royally stuck on a muddy trail. The video mentions that the route was suggested by Google Maps and they took the route since they were new in the area.
The vehicle is shown in the video is completely covered in mud all over. The occupants can be seen trying to put things like a wooden plank under the tyre of the EcoSport to get more traction. The vehicle, however, can be seen that is deeply stuck in the mud and it is not moving forward or going in reverse.
Off-roaders or soft-roaders?
Well, vehicles like Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon are Ford EcoSport are not off-roading vehicles. With their higher ground clearance and front-wheel-drive layout, they can at best cross rough roads without any problem. Such vehicles can go through a lot of difficult terrains than the regular hatchbacks and sedans. But can they do go slippery surfaces? Well, if the roads are mildly slippery and wet, these cars will act like any other regular cars. Only vehicles with drive modes like the Kia Seltos and the Tata Harrier will perform better than the others in such conditions.
Slippery surfaces like the one seen in the video above require a lot of traction, low-range power and good tyres. These are the attributes of only real SUVs. In India, the mass-segment SUVs available in the market include Mahindra Thar, Force Gurkha, Mahindra Scorpio, Tata Store and the likes. The AWD variant of the Renault Duster is a mild-off roader since it gets power in all the wheels.
Off-roading vehicles are expensive to buy and maintain, which is why most people do not buy them. Most people who buy cars in India do not face the challenging situations that require an off-roading vehicle. This is the reason why they are not much popular in India. It should be noted that popular cars in India including Maruti Suzuki Ignis, Ford EcoSport and many others.