Hyundai India is considering two all-new SUVs for the Indian market – a 7 seat version of the Creta that will directly challenge the Tata Hexa and the Mahindra XUV500, and a micro SUV that will take on the Mahindra KUV100. When launched, the micro SUV will sit under the sub-4 meter compact SUV that Hyundai plans to launch in 2018, to take on the Maruti Vitara Brezza and Ford EcoSport. For now, Hyundai has not confirmed a timeline for the launches of these two new SUVs. If greenlighted, they’ll be launched in 2019 or beyond.
The Creta 7 seater is expected to be a longer version of the 5 seat model. Like Mahindra has done with the TUV300 Plus, Hyundai may consider simply extending the body of the current Creta to accommodate an additional row of seats while keeping the wheelbase the same as the current model.
Alternatively, the South Korean automaker may take an extended wheelbase approach. The latter will be more preferable as it will allow Hyundai designers to build a more proportionate-looking 7 seat Creta. We’d prefer the latter too, and so will a lot of buyers. However, the second approach will increase costs by quite a bit due to the extensive redesign involved. The former will be cheaper.
There’s absolutely no clarity on the micro SUV that Hyundai is planning except for the fact that it’ll be cheaper, and smaller than the QXi codenamed sub-4 meter compact SUV the automaker will launch in 2019. Micro SUVs make sense in India, whose hatchback buyers will readily opt for something that looks more butch, and has more ground clearance. Mahindra has already taken the first step by launching the KUV100, which will soon get AMT variants and also an all-electric version. It’s now up to other leading automakers like Maruti, Hyundai and Tata to build something similar, and expand the market.