Petrol power is gaining rapidly in the SUV segment, which has traditionally been dominated by diesel engined vehicles. India’s best selling compact SUV – the Hyundai Creta, gets 40 % of its sales from the petrol powered model. In other words, two out of five Hyundai Cretas that are sold in India are petrol powered. The petrol version of the Hyundai Creta uses a 1.6 .liter-4 cylinder naturally aspirated engine with 121 Bhp of peak power and 151 Nm of peak torque. This engine gets two gearbox options: a 6 speed manual and a 6 speed torque converter automatic.
As tighter Bharat Stage 6 emission norms kick into effect from April 2020, the shift from diesel to petrol SUVs in most segments under Rs. 20 lakhs is likely to happen in a big way. Why, even the country’s best selling SUV – the Maruti Brezza, which is currently available only with a diesel engine, will soon get a 1.5 liter petrol mild hybrid option. Many other automakers are also scrambling to introduce petrol engine options on SUVs that have been available only with a diesel engine in the past.
Meanwhile, RC Bhargava, the chairman of Maruti Suzuki had this to say about the impending boom in petrol powered SUVs in India,
A SUV does not have to be diesel to give the kind of performance you want. In US, SUVs, even trucks run mostly on gasoline. If we extrapolate from what has happened in Europe (fall in sale of diesel cars) post implementation of Euro VI and from the fact that India is a price sensitive market, we feel petrol is likely to be the more popular choice…
Expressing similar sentiments, Vikas Jain, the National Sales head of Hyundai India, had this to say,
The ban on larger diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region (NCR) three years back triggered sales of petrol powered SUVs. That coupled with the fact that the price differential between the two fuels have been closing in, the ban on use of diesel vehicles for more than 10 years have made consumers reconsider the value of diesel vehicles.
All in all, diesel powered SUVs could become limited to only the larger ones that weigh a couple of tons or more. All other SUVs sold in India could predominantly go petrol from 2020 although some automakers will continue to offer BS6 compliant diesel engines to offer more choice to the buyer.
Apart from the Maruti Brezza, which will go petrol soon, other SUVs that will get a petrol engine option are the Tata Harrier, the Maruti S-Cross, the all-new 2020 Mahindra Thar and the Skoda Kodiaq. Most other new SUVs to be launched in India are also likely to offer a petrol engine option as standard.