Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest automobile manufacturer, has been the leader of many segment that it has had a presence in. However, the SUV arena is has been a hard nut to crack for Maruti Suzuki, with the Gypsy now being the lone ranger in that segment, alongside the now discontinued Grand Vitara. Maruti Suzuki is now ready to get back in the SUV segment in early 2015 with the launch of the SX4 crossover, which has just begun testing in India.
The SX4 Crossover has been caught testing in India for the first time and the crossover will mark Maruti Suzuki’s entry in the Rs 10-15 lakh SUV segment for the first time in India. It will be positioned as a XUV 500 rival by the company instead of a EcoSport/Duster rival given its length of about 4.3 meters, and 2.6 meter wheelbase. Maruti Suzuki is not really seen as a premium manufacturer in India. Therefore, the SX4 Crossover is also meant to give the brand an upmarket push.
Propelling the crossover will either be a 1.6 liter Fiat Multijet diesel motor or a 1.6 liter HDi diesel motor from Peugeot. While the international-spec SX4 Crossover uses the 1.6 liter Multijet motor, reports in India suggest that the Peugeot 1.6 liter HDI diesel is earmarked for the Indian version. Talking engines, the 1.6 liter Fiat Multijet diesel engine has a power output of 118 Bhp and a peak torque output of 320 Nm.
On the other hand, the 1.6 liter HDi diesel with a variable geometry turbocharger unit from Peugeot pumps out 112 Bhp and 270 Nm. No matter which engine Maruti decides to go in for the India-spec SX4, the crossover will come mated to a 6 speed manual transmission with an automatic not being an option for the time being. Although the SX4 Crossover is available with a petrol engine and 6 speed manual/CVT automatic gearbox combinations internationally, a petrol engine may not make it to Indian shores given the low demand for such a product.
Also, the India-spec SX4 crossover is likely to be front wheel driven rather than featuring an all wheel drive layout. Since the SX4 crossover measures 4.3 metres in length, it won’t qualify as a small car under Indian taxation laws. Premium pricing in the vicinity of the XUV500 crossover will be the result.
Spyshots courtesy AutoCarIndia