India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki is yet to have a presence in the compact SUV segments, a discrepancy that the automaker plans to correct over the next couple of years. Maruti Suzuki has a two pronged SUV strategy for the Indian car market, with its products designed to cover two ends of the compact SUV market.
The first product will be the upmarket S-Cross crossover that will be launched in early 2015. The S-Cross will square off against the likes of the Renault Duster, the Nissan Terrano and the upcoming Hyundai iX25, and the Maruti Suzuki crossover’s pricing is expected to reflect this positioning.
The S-Cross will be armed with a 1.6 liter petrol engine that also gets a CNG-Petrol dual fuel option while the diesel variant of the crossover will use a 1.6 liter turbo diesel motor. The S-Cross will be front wheel driven and top end variants of this five seat crossover are expected to rival 7 seat SUVs such as the Mahindra Scorpio and the XUV500, and the Tata Safari Storme in terms of pricing.
In 2016, Maruti Suzuki will debut the XA Alpha compact SUV that will sit in the sub-4 meter space. Like the S-Cross, the XA Alpha will offer petrol, turbo diesel and CNG power options. The sub-4 meter XA Alpha’s competition will include the likes of the Ford EcoSport, the upcoming Mahindra S102, the Tata Nexon and the Fiat Avventura.
By having two SUVs, one clocking a length of under 4 meters and the other measuring over 4 meters in length, Maruti Suzuki will offer the buyer more options under a single umbrella, and this kind of choice is currently offered only by SUV specialist Mahindra & Mahindra. Expect the XA Alpha to carry a starting price pegged well under 7 lakh rupees while the S-Cross is likely to carry a price starting at near about the 8 lakh rupees mark.