With the launch of the Creta, Hyundai went on to create a mark in the compact SUV segment, taking on well-established rivals. It currently does a solid 7k units every month (although November and December saw a dip in sales), and the demand is equally huge as well. But what remains to be seen is how the Creta performs once its hugely awaited rivals enter the market. We look at the ones that are scheduled to make an appearance at the 2016 Auto Expo next month.
Renault Duster Facelift
It might have been one of the first compact SUVs in India, but the Duster is in dire need of a facelift. Obviously the competition has come a long way, and although the Duster remains a compelling product, it can do with some added fresh appeal. The facelift version is also likely to come with an automated manual transmission, while mechanically it will remain unchanged. The inclusion of an optional AWD system is still an advantage over the FWD Hyundai Creta.
Honda’s absence from the compact SUV segment will be ended with the arrival of the BR-V. It will share its engines with the City, will be available only in a FWD configuration, and as the pictures suggest, it’s a rather good looking vehicle. Add all that and you’ll understand that these are basically the same ingredients that made Creta such a successful proposition, other than the optional diesel automatic gearbox which the BR-V will lose out on.
While Mahindra has continued to stay mum on the topic, but if there’s one Ssangyong that must be added to the Indian line-up then it has to be the Tivoli. The vehicle comes in both FWD and AWD versions, in both manual and automatic gearbox options, and in both petrol and diesel forms – both engines are 1.6-litre units. The Tivoli has already received some good press abroad and it clearly has the potential to lock horns with the Creta.
The smallest, least expensive vehicle in Jeep’s global line-up also has a chance in the Indian market. A couple of units of the vehicle have been imported to the country (for R&D purposes) and if FCA gets the pricing right, it can easily be positioned close to the Creta if not directly against it. With Jeep re-entering the country following the showcase of its products at the Expo, it becomes very likely that the Renegade will be brought at some point. It shares its platform with the Fiat 500X, comes in both FWD and AWD versions, and can do a fair amount of off-roading, too. Engine options include both petrol and diesel choices.
The Vitara brand might not be new to India, and with the introduction of the Vitara Brezza, it’s bound to become a very popular one, too. The full-size Vitara on the other hand can be brought to the country as well. Given its international positioning, if MSIL finds enough demand for it, the vehicle can be placed above the S-Cross and maybe within the reach of someone who would have otherwise bought the Creta. Engine options include a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel unit – the latter is available in the S-Cross already – while optional AWD is also available.