Top 5 MUVs with best performance in India

Buyers prefer multi-utility vehicles (MUVs) for the practicality that they offer. These vehicles are flexible enough to seat at least seven passengers and carry luggage when needed. Power is never the primary parameter when buying an MUV, but there are buyers who want the most powerful MUV in the market for long highway drives.

Cartoq sorts through the list of MUVs available in India, to see which of these offers you the most power based on their power-to-weight ratio and handling characteristics. From the results, one can see, that if you want performance from an MUV, clearly the petrol variants are better, while the diesels are tuned more for fuel efficiency rather than power.  (See table)

Top 5 best performance MUVs in India

Toyota Innova 2.0 (Petrol)

Maruti Ertiga 1.4 (Petrol)

Maruti Ertiga 1.3 (Diesel)

Tata Aria 4×4 Pride (Diesel)

Mahindra Xylo E8 (Diesel)


[table id=989 /]


Toyota Innova 2.0 (Petrol)


The Toyota Innova is the most refined of all the MUVs in this list, providing a good balance between space, power and handling. The Innova has good enough space for seven people and can carry a fair bit of luggage. No wonder it’s the most popular among fleet operators. However, that tag goes to the diesel Innova, which is not the most powerful. If you want power as well, then pick the petrol Innova which has 2-litre petrol engine generating 131 bhp of power with a kerb weight of 1,565 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of close to 84 bhp per ton.  The Innova petrol range is priced between Rs. 9.2 lakh and Rs. 11.3 lakh.


Maruti Ertiga 1.4 (Petrol)

ertiga front right low angle

The Maruti Ertiga is the most car-like of all the MUVs in this list, being developed from a car platform (Ritz platform). It can seat five comfortably and seven at a pinch. However, it has no luggage space. It has excellent handling for an MUV. It is equipped with a 1.4 litre petrol engine that puts out 94 bhp of power with a fairly light kerb weight of 1160 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 81 bhp per ton. The Ertiga is one of the most nimble MUVs especially for cities. The petrol Ertiga is priced between Rs. 5.9 lakh and Rs. 7.3 lakh ex-showroom.


Maruti Ertiga 1.3 (Diesel)

maruti suzuki ertiga photo 1

The diesel Maruti Ertiga is by far one of the most practical MUVs for those on a tight budget and who want a vehicle mainly for the city. The diesel Ertiga is powered by the tried and tested Fiat derived 1.3 multijet diesel engine that puts out 89 bhp of power. It has a slightly heavier kerb weight of 1240 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of close to 72 bhp per ton, which is decent enough. This makes the diesel Ertiga better than the Toyota Innova diesel or even the Mahindra Xylo diesel in terms of power-to-weight ratio. Those of you who were wondering if the Ertiga was underpowered can rest easy – it isn’t. The Ertiga diesel priced between Rs. 7.3 lakh and Rs. 8.5 lakh ex-showroom. Also see: Hatchbacks with best performance


Tata Aria

The Tata Aria is a very well-engineered MUV / Crossover that somehow is a bit overpriced and has not really caught the fancy of buyers. The Aria is the heaviest of all the MUVs and also the one with the most powerful engine, but it’s penalized because of the weight. The Aria is powered by a 2.2 litre diesel engine that puts out 138 bhp of power, but with a kerb weight of 2220 Kg, it gets a power-to-weight ratio of only 62.2 bhp per ton. This results in lower fuel economy compared to the rest. The Aria is the only one also available with a 4×4 system giving it multi-terrain ability. It is priced between Rs. 12 lakh and Rs. 16.5 lakh ex-showroom.


Mahindra Xylo

mahindra xylo road test photo

The Mahindra Xylo is the last in the top-five list of best performance MUVs. The E9 variant would be number four, but we’re taking the larger selling variants into consideration here. The Xylo can seat seven in relative comfort, with good legroom in all three rows. However, the ride quality and handling is not that great. It is powered by a 2.5 litre diesel engine that puts out 112 bhp of power. It has a fairly heavy kerb weight of 1830 Kg giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 61.2 bhp per ton. The E9 variant that has a 2.2-litre diesel engine with 120 bhp of power, would get a power-to-weight ratio of 66 bhp per ton, which would put it ahead of the Aria. The Xylo is priced between Rs. 7.6 lakh and Rs. 10.6 lakh ex-showroom.


The MUV with the least power among all the nine MUVs in the list is the Nissan Evalia that was launched recently. It has a power-to-weight of 59.6 bhp per ton, which would seem a bit underpowered. Mahindra’s 100 bhp Quanto is also penalized by its high kerb weight, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 61 bhp per ton – as much as the regular Xylo.

Share your thoughts on the MUVs with the best performance in India. Also read: Best performing SUVs under Rs. 15 lakh