Soon, you’ll be able to choose from no less than 10 SUVs from Maruti and Hyundai. Yes, the country’s two top car makers, who have been slow to the SUV party, will dramatically boost their product ranges. You, the buyer will have more choice than ever before.
This one’s been around for 3 decades and still manages to turn heads like it was launched just yesterday. A staple among armed forces, the paramilitary and the police forces, the Gypsy is an off roader’s delight and the first SUV that Maruti Suzuki ever built in India. It’s quite inexpensive, with prices starting from about 6 lakh rupees. You get a 1.3 liter petrol engine that’s very reliable and a four wheel drive layout. You can have your Gypsy in hard and soft top options, while a 5 speed manual gearbox comes standard.
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
The S-Cross represents Maruti’s renewed bid to go premium. The crossover hasn’t really caught on though. If you’re an enthusiast with an eye for detail, you won’t miss this one, especially with the kind of discounts it’s going at. Just yesterday, word came around that the S-Cross 320 was selling at a 5.5 lakh rupee discount in Mumbai. Well, a 320 Nm diesel car for under 10 lakh rupees. What more would you want? Wait, then there is ABS, 2 airbags, a 6 speed gearbox, a killer mid range, a good build, nice interiors, a hefty ground clearance and of course beautiful handling.
Hyundai i20 Active
The i20 Active is a pseudo-crossover but one that makes a lot of sense, especially for city slickers whose idea of S-U-V is a vehicle to tackle speed breakers and ill-designed parking ramps. The i20 Active does all this easy. It has a nice 1.4 liter turbo diesel engine and plenty of ground clearance. For those who want a petrol, there’s the 1.2 liter Kappa motor at hand. The car’s punchy in diesel, and quite refined in petrol. Well built, spacious and with premium features, the i20 Active is the best selling hatchback based crossover in the country.
The Creta is a phenomenon. In a lackluster market, the latest Hyundai in town went on to sell by the truck load and even the rain gods could only slow the Creta down, not stop it. Yes, December shipments of the Creta don’t look outstanding but the SUV is still the best seller in India. A baby Santa Fe if you will, the Creta’s hit the proverbial sweet spot. It’s powerful and efficient. It looks good, and has plenty of ground clearance. It’s a Hyundai. Clearly, compact SUV buyers approve.
Hyundai Santa Fe
The Santa Fe is a luxury SUV that’s a class leader in many respects. A monocoque SUV that seats 7, the vehicle is properly premium, and powerful. The most expensive Hyundai that money can buy in India, the Santa Fe has a niche se of buyers. While it’ll be threatened by incoming competition, a facelift should keep the ship sailing strong for some more time.
Maruti Vitara Brezza
Maruti just put out a teaser of its next big thing for the Indian car market, the Vitara Brezza sub-4 meter compact SUV. A challenger of the Ford Ecosport and the Mahindra TUV300, the Vitara Brezza will share its engines and transmissions with the Swift. Read that as reliability and dependability. The compact SUV is likely to feature a sharp price tag. An unveil at the 2016 Auto Expo is in order. This Maruti has a best seller written all over it. Why? It’s a Maruti.
The Vitara, also known as the Suzuki Escudo, was spotted at Maruti’s factory a few weeks ago. The SUV, which could be a rival to the likes of the Creta and the XUV500 is likely to be showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo. A launch in 2017 could be on the cards. The Vitara will be priced and positioned above the Vitara Brezza and the S-Cross. 1.6 liter petrol and turbo diesel engines are standard, while an all wheel drive layout is optional.
In a weeks time, Mahindra will give India her first micro SUV. How can market leader Maruti be far behind? Well, the Ignis is Maruti’s version of the micro SUV, one that’s likely to be shown at the Auto Expo. The Ignis will sit under the Vitara Brezza, as Maruti’s cheapest SUV option. For now, engine options remain unclear. Petrol and diesel motors should be in the mix though. A launch in 2017 is likely.
Hyundai will soon bring the Tucson to India. We did have a Tucson before, but that nearly a half a decade ago. The latest-generation version of the Tucson is not just larger, but is also more powerful. Hyundai could CKD assemble this SUV in India, and price it between the Creta and the Santa Fe.
Hyundai Sub-4 meter SUV
Hyundai plans to spring a surprise at the Auto Expo, with a sub-4 meter compact SUV that’ll sit beneath the Creta. The idea is to have no less than 5 SUVs in its portfolio by the end of next year, and that explains the vigour with which Hyundai’s working. Not much is known about the secret SUV at this moment apart from the fact that it’ll sit under the Creta. The Auto Expo could hold some answers.