SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

There are several new SUVs slated to launch in 2012. Here is a comprehensive list of upcoming SUVs in India and what we can expect from these vehicles. Most of these vehicles will make an appearance at the 2012 Auto Expo in New Delhi and some of the SUVs will see an immediate launch.

Ford Ecosport

Expected unveiling: January 4

SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Looks: The Ecosport is a good looking SUV and will likely borrow heavily from the Fiesta sedan. We can now confirm that the Ford EcoSport mini- SUV will also come to India in 2012. This will be a five-seater SUV, and there is a possibility that the mini-SUV will be less than four meters in length to avail excise duty concessions in India. Based on currently available pictures, the EcoSport seems to be designed on the same lines as the Ford Fiesta.

Performance: The Eco Sport is expected to get engines from the Figo and the new Fiesta sedan. The Eco Sport petrol version may be powered by a 1.2-litre engine that powers the Figo petrol. This engine makes 71 bhp of power and 102 Nm of torque. The Eco Sport diesel version may be powered by a 1.5-litre engine that powers the Fiesta sedan. This 1.5-litre motor is turbocharged, inter-cooled and puts out 89.7 bhp of maximum power and 204 Nm of maximum torque. This engine too is mated to a 5-speed transmission and gives a mileage of 23.5 km/litre as per ARAI ratings

Mileage: The Ecosport has ARAI-certified mileage of 15.6 kmpl which is pretty decent. However more can be said only once real world figures are seen.

Comfort features: The Eco Sport may have interiors similar to those of the Fiesta but will likely be stripped of gizmos like voice activated controls etc that are offered in the sedan. We expect decent headroom, legroom and shoulder room from the Ecosport. The boot space will likely be more than what is offered in most premium hatchbacks.

Variants and price details: In India, the Ford EcoSport will be priced around Rs. 8 lakhs, making it a competitor to many mid-size sedans as well as the Renault Duster (also a five-seat SUV priced between Rs. 7 lakh to Rs 10 lakh).

Skoda Yeti Petrol

Expected unveiling: January 5

SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Looks: The upcoming Yeti petrol will likely have no external changes and will identical to the present Yeti diesel.

Performance: Skoda Yeti petrol will likely be powered by 1.2 TSI petrol motor producing 104 bhp of power that can accelerate the SUV from 0 to 100 kmph in 11.8 seconds and can reach a top speed of 175 kmph. The engine will be mated to a 5-speed transmission.

Mileage: The mileage of the Yeti petrol is not yet known but is expected to be around 15 kmpl.

Variants and Price details: The Yeti petrol could be offered in a single variant with front wheel drive layout. The Yeti petrol could be priced anywhere between Rs. 12 – 14 lakh.

Ssangyong Korando

Expected unveiling: January 5

SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Looks: The Korando boasts stylish swept back headlamps, a large mesh front grille and diamond shaped fog lamps and 17-inch wheels. The Korando features a monocoque chassis with sub-frames. The large 17-inch alloy wheels add to the muscular looks, while the wide track improves handling.

Performance: The Korando is a soft-roader powered by a 2.0L turbo diesel engine that produces 173 bhp of max power. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The top-end variant will feature all-wheel-drive while the entry level variants will have only front-wheel-drive.

Mileage: The Korando could offer a good fuel economy of around 16 kmpl.

Variants and prices: Expect the Korando to come in front wheel drive and four wheel drive variants. The Korando could be priced at around Rs. 15 lakh.

Toyota Fortuner

Expected launch: January 5

SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Looks: The upcoming Toyota Fortuner will have a redesigned front with thick horizontal chrome slats on the grille which now resembles the front of the formidable Land Cruiser. The front bumper will also be revamped to give the car a more muscular look. At the rear, the tail lamp cluster will get a clear lens treatment. The chrome slat on the boot lid will be carried forward in the new model as well. The rear bumpers too have been mildly tweaked and have more muscular lines.

Performance: There will be no changes under the hood and the face-lifted Fortuner will retain the present models 3.0 litre diesel engine.

Mileage: The mileage will be same as the present model: 12.55 kmpl. There are chances for Toyota launching an automatic transmission for the Fortuner.

Variants and prices: The Fortuner will likely be available in a single variant or in two variants (including automatic) with a price tag of around Rs. 22 lakh.

Tata Safari Merlin

Expected unveiling: January 5

SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Looks: The Tata Safari Merlin will likely have a new front grille, redesigned headlamps and an all new rear taking cues from Range Rover models. The side profile will likely remain unchanged. There may be lavish use of chrome, especially on the top-end variant.

Performance: The new Safari will be powered by Tata’s 2.2 litre Dicor engine that is expected to generate around 140 bhp of maximum power. The upcoming Safari will likely perform better than the present model with improvement in engine refinement and NVH levels and will be at par with its competition such as the Mahindra Scorpio.

Mileage: Expect the new Safari to have fuel economy slightly higher than that of the present Safari which has an ARAI-certified mileage of 13.93 kmpl.

Variants and price details: Expect the Safari Merlin to be offered in five trim levels similar to the present model.  The top-end VX variant will likely come loaded with all bells and whistles besides the 4×4 system for off road adventure. The new Safari could be priced slightly higher than the current model with a price range of Rs. 9.33 lakh to 14.51 lakh (on-road, Delhi).

Chevrolet Captiva

Expected launch: January 6

SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Looks: Chevrolet’s bow-tie large split grille has gotten an encouraging response from the Indian car buyers. Both the Chevrolet Beat and the Chevrolet Cruze which bear the company’s new global signature grille are selling in good numbers. This will be seen in the design of the new Captiva as well. The new Captiva has a dual cockpit and has a design is similar to what was featured in the Beat and Cruze.

Performance: With regard to engine options, there are chances that the 2012 Chevrolet Captiva will get a spruced up, better performing 2.2 litre CRDI diesel motor that produces 184 bhp of maximum power which is up from the 2.0-litre 148 bhp motor that powers the current model. The performance of the 2012 Captiva will be significantly better than the outgoing model.

Mileage: Expect the 2012 Captiva to have a fuel economy of around 13 kmpl.

Variants and prices: The 2012 Captiva will likely be priced roughly Rs. 1 lakh above the present model which has a price range of 17.9 – 19.7 lakh.

Renault Duster

Expected unveiling: January 6

SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Looks: The Duster has rugged road stance with its horizontal chrome grille, dominant Renault logo and a chrome strip at the rear with its name embossed on it. The Duster has high ground clearance and body claddings at the front and rear to protect the under-body during off road adventures. The Duster is a 5-seater and its small dimensions make it a compact SUV.

Performance: The diesel version of the Duster will likely be powered by 1.5-litre motor that puts out 85 bhp of power. The Duster will also likely come with a 2.0 litre petrol motor that makes 135 bhp of maximum power.

Mileage: As per Renault, the Duster will return a mileage of 13.3 kmpl (4×2) and 12.6 kmpl (4×4) for the petrol version while the diesel versions will return a mileage of 19.6 kmpl (4×2) and 18.8 kmpl (4×4).

Safety features: The Duster will be equipped with safety features such as ABS, EBD and EBA (emergency brake assist), two front airbags (depending on market) and three-point seat belts with load limiters for the front seats. The top-end variants could get two lateral head/thorax airbags in addition to the driver and passenger front airbags.

Variant and price details: We expect the Duster to be made available in four variants, two 4×2 variants and two 4×4 variants with petrol and diesel engines. Localized production will help Renault India price the Duster between Rs.7 lakh -Rs. 10 lakh.

Force One 4×4

Expected launch: January 7

SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Looks: The Force One 4×4 will likely have 4×4 badges at the rear while the rest of the exteriors will be same as the regular model.

Performance: The Force One 4×4 can be expected to offer better acceleration and performance than the 4×2 version. The Force One 4×4 will be powered by the same by 2.2 litre common rail diesel engine that puts out 139 bhp of power and 321 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to 5-speed manual transmission.

Mileage: The ARAI certified mileage for the Force One 4×4 could be 11 kmpl. The mileage is assumed to be slightly less than the 4×2 version (12 kmpl).

Safety features: The Force One 4×4 will have ABS along with other safety features such as remote key entry, driver Seatbelt warning, door open warning and display, rear windscreen wiper with washer, front demister, central locking and over speed warning.

Variants and prices: The Force One 4×4 will be offered in only one variant and is expected to be priced at Rs. 12.5 lakh.

Honda CR-V

Expected unveiling: January 7

SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Looks: The new Honda CR-V gets all new bold front radiator grille featuring three horizontal chrome slats with a sculpted large Honda logo at the centre. The upswept head lamps give a sporty look to the new CR-V. The upcoming CR-V will have a rear styling and tail lamps that slightly resemble that of the Volvo XC60. For more images of the new Honda Cr-v click here

Performance: Honda may launch the new CR-V with a diesel engine. Honda has a 2.2 litre i-DTEC diesel motor that powers the Europe-specific Honda Accord. If this engine comes in the India-bound CR-V, the Toyota Fortuner and the likes will likely be in trouble.

Variants and Prices: Honda may launch the CR-V in 4×2, 4×4 and automatic trim levels. The new CR-V could be priced in the range of Rs. 22 – 26 lakh.

Premier Rio

Expected launch: January

SUVs to be unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo

Looks: The new Rio will likely sport a redesigned front grille, slightly tweaked bumpers and other contemporary styling elements. The interiors will likely get better plastics and improved fit and finish to appeal more buyers.

Performance: The new Rio is expected to get the 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine from the Fiat. This engine makes 90 bhp of power, which will likely be sufficient to push the 5-seater Rio with ease. It has to be noted that the same engine is used in sedans such as the Fiat Linea, Tata Manza and the Maruti Suzuki SX4. The engine is known for its strong midrange and refined performance.

Mileage: The fuel economy of the Rio diesel is expected to be in the range of 13 – 17 kmpl.

Variants and prices: The Rio diesel will likely be offered in two trim levels as the Rio petrol and could be priced at around Rs. 6 lakh.