Snapshot – Big brawny SUVs with ample ground clearances make a lot of sense for Indian roads, whose irregularities sometimes makes the moonscape look better. Over the last couple of years, compact SUVs have captured the market in a big way, on account of their lower price tags and higher fuel efficiencies, vis-a-vis the bigger SUVs. CarToq lists out India’s 5 top selling SUVs for the first half of 2014 and what the future over the next 12 months holds for them in terms of new models/facelifts/refreshes.
The Mahindra Scorpio isn’t a new SUV by any stretch of imagination. Its second generation version has been on the market from April 2006, making it over 8 years old, Yet, the Scorpio rules the roost in the Indian SUV market by registering sales of 26,464 units in the first half of 2014. Mahindra plans to give the Scorpio a major facelift come this festive season and that effort is expected to further boost volumes. The Scorpio Facelift will get major visual changes while interiors will get a spruce up with the addition of new features. The 2.2 liter mHawk turbo diesel engine will still be at the forefront with manual and automatic gearboxes. Mahindra will continue selling the new Scorpio in rear wheel drive and four wheel drive variants.
The Ford EcoSport is a compact crossover that is in most demand in the SUV segment. In other words, Ford can definitely capture the numero uno place if they boost production accordingly. That is yet to happen though as Ford is diverting a good chunk of Ecosport production towards exports. The result is a 24,500 units strong sales figure for the first six months of the year. Available in petrol, turbo petrol and turbo diesel engine options, the Ford EcoSport is one of the better priced and better equipped SUVs sold in the sub-10 lakh rupee category. The crossover was first launched in 2012. Therefore a refresh doesn’t seem likely in the next one year or so, although Ford could add a sunroof as a part of its option pack.
Renault Duster 21,128
The Duster is Renault India’s only blockbuster product and the SUV has also been delivering the big numbers for the French automaker globally. With 21,128 Dusters sold in the first half of 2014, Renault has not been immune to Ford and its EcoSport. To keep the Duster relevant as more compact SUVs threaten to invade the Indian car market, Renault will begin offering a 4X4 option of the SUV from the end of this year. A facelift is also on the cards, although the exact timing of the facelift remains unknown for now.
The XUV500, which is Mahindra’s first monocoque SUV, is also its flagship product. The luxury crossover has single handed-ly made the D-Segment sedan car market lose its bottom, with sales of the XUV500 outdoing the combined sales of all D-Segment sedans put together. While this signals a major shift in buying patterns in the 10-20 lakh rupee car segments, it also reinforces Mahindra’s product, which screams value all-around. The XUV500 will get a facelift next year, along with an automatic gearbox option. For the record, Mahindra sold 18,783 units of the XUV500 crossover in the first six months of the year.
Nissan sold 12,605 units of the Terrano in the first half of 2014. The SUV is essentially a Duster in Nissan clothes. Taking this and the Terrano’s sales into account, the Duster would actually be the top selling SUV in India. But then again, Renault and Nissan are separate brands with separate dealerships. Therefore, we’re not combining the sales numbers of the two SUVs. The Terrano comes with engine and transmission options borrowed from the Duster, albeit with better interiors. Also, the SUV is priced higher than the Duster, which accounts for the lower sales numbers. In the foreseeable future, we don’t expect the Terrano to receive a facelift.