India’s five most fuel efficient SUVs priced under 15 lakh rupees

Snapshot: SUVs and Fuel Efficiency? Well, these terms might not get along too well in Uncle Sam country but then, we’re in India, a land of Kitna-Deti-Hain?. With the advent of crossovers such as the Renault Duster, Ford EcoSport and the Nissan Terrano, fuel efficiency of SUVs are now spoken in the same breath as they are of sedans, and in some case of hatchbacks too. CarToq profiles India’s five most fuel efficient SUVs cutting across variants in the sub-15 lakh rupee category. And no, we aren’t considering MUVs such as the Mahindra Bolero and the Quanto, which is neither here nor there.

Mahindra Scorpio EX

Aimed at the people mover market, the Scorpio EX is a cut price product that comes with a less powerful engine than other Scorpio variants which either get the 2.2 liter mHawk motor (120 Bhp-290 Nm) 2.6 CRDe motor (115 Bhp-280 Nm) on the Getaway. However, the EX is also a body-on-ladder SUV that seats 8 adults and that features a 2.5 liter M2DICR turbo diesel motor that churns out 75 Bhp-220 Nm. The motor powers the rear wheels of the SUV and manages to return an ARAI certified 14 Kmpl to a liter of diesel. The Scorpio EX sells at 7.83 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.

Tata Safari Storme


Number 5 in this list, the Tata Safari Storme is the only true-blue body-on-ladder SUV to make the cut when it comes to the top 5 fuel efficient SUVs of India. While body-on-ladder SUVs are heavier than their monocoque siblings, they are also more hardy and come with better performance under harsh road conditions. The weight and larger turbo diesel engines however, take a toll on fuel efficiency. Powered by a 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine that outputs 138 Bhp-320 Nm, the Storme’s LX 4X2 variant manages an ARAI certified fuel efficiency figure of  14 Kmpl. However, since the Safari Storme can transport 7 adults instead of five, as is the case on the EcoSport and Duster, adding two more adults into the equation makes the 14 Kmpl figure of the Safari Storme look better. The Safari Storme starts at 10.3 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.

Mahindra XUV500

Mahindra’s first homegrown monocoque product, the XUV500 crossover is also a 7 seater, albeit with a front wheel drive layout in most variants. The front wheel driven variants of the XUV500 get the same 2.2 liter mHawk turbo diesel engine (138 Bhp-330 Nm) as does the all wheel drive version. However, the front wheel driven XUV500 manages a higher fuel efficiency of 15.1 Kmpl, as certified by ARAI. Like the Storme, the XUV500 can transport 7 adults and this makes the crossover’s 15.1 Kmpl fuel efficiency rather respectable. The XUV500 prices start from 11.86 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.

Renault Duster/Nissan Terrano 85 PS Diesel

The Renault Duster and the Nissan Terrano are two brothers from a single mother, the mother in this case being the Renault-Nissan automaking alliance. The Duster and Terrano share engines, gearboxes and various other aggregates. But for the styling and slightly different dynamics, the Duster and the Terrano are very similar.

So, we’ve decided to club them together in the fuel efficiency stakes. The 1.5 K9K turbo diesel engine in the 84 Bhp-200 Nm state of tune manages an ARAI certified 20.45 Kmpl on the Duster and the Terrano, enough to give this front wheel driven crossover duo the second place among the most fuel efficient SUVs in the country.

The Duster Diesel starts at 8.62 lakh rupees while the Terrano Diesel starts at 10.84 lakh rupees.

Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCI Diesel

The Ford EcoSport’s 1.5 liter TDCI turbo diesel engined variant outputs 89 Bhp-205 Nm. The front wheel driven crossover with a five speed manual gearbox manages a fuel efficiency of 22.7 Kmpl, making it the most fuel efficient SUV sold in India. The EcoSport is also one of the least priced SUVs sold in India. Featuring a monocoque design, the EcoSport is under 4 meters long, making it nice and compact for tight parking spaces but not really a spacious car when you want to squeeze in five well built adults. The boot space is limited too. All in all, the EcoSport is more of an urban warrior than a long distance tourer. The EcoSport Diesel begins from 7.39 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi.