SUVs have caught the fancy of Indian consumers in the last few years. Every single manufacturer now has an SUV in his portfolio and yet is planning to roll out new models to cater to a wider audience. This also means a large chunk of upcoming new car models will be SUVs. In fact, India will witness the launch of over a dozen SUV models in the next 18 months. Here is a quick look at each new offering, sorted in terms of their launch time frames:
Price range: Rs. 25-30 lakh, Time frame: 9th October 2018
The first SUV to roll out will be the new, updated CR-V from Honda. This is an important re-launch for Honda as this time around, the CR-V will be offered with two important changes. First is the third row of seats that will make it a 7-seater, and hence will show up on the radar of those looking at a family SUV. And the second change will come in the form of the new 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine that will be mated to a segment-leading nine-speed automatic gearbox. These two changes will make the CR-V even more practical.
Price range: Rs. 20-25 lakh, Time frame: 9th October 2018
The second Ssangyong vehicle to be launched under the Mahindra brand will be the current generation Rexton, better known as the XUV700 now. This will be Mahindra’s ticket into the world of premium SUVs and will lock horns with the Toyota Fortuner. It will be priced in the Rs. 20-25 lakh bracket, thus offering unbeatable value for money. The XUV700 is currently being tweaked for Indian road conditions and will come with a 2.2-litre turbo diesel with over 180 bhp of power and mated to an auto ‘box.
Price range: Rs. 7-10 lakh, Time frame: End 2018
The second all-new product from Mahindra this year will be a sub-4-meter compact SUV, which is currently known as the S201. This is based on the Ssangyong Tivoli but is shorter in length in order to enjoy small car tax benefits. A rival to the segment leader Maruti Brezza, the S201 will come with a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol motor that currently does duty on the KUV100 (in turbo form) and a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel motor that powers the new Marazzo. Both manual and automatic transmissions are expected along with features like a sunroof.
Jeep Compass Trailhawk
Price range: Rs. 23-25 lakh, Time frame: End 2018
This has been long overdue but Jeep has finally confirmed that the Trailhawk edition of the Compass is right around the corner. It will be powered by the same 2.0-litre diesel unit but will get the much awaited nine-speed automatic transmission. Further, as the name suggests, this will be a more rugged version – one that will be better suited for off-road adventures. This will be possible due to an altered 4×4 set-up, higher ground clearance, better approach and departure angles among other features.
Price range: Rs. 12-15 lakh, Time frame: Dec 2018 / Jan 2019
Tata’s all-new SUV, after the Aria is this. To be sold in both 5- and 7-seat configurations, the Harrier (5 seater) will rival the Hyundai Creta and showcase Tata Motors’ prowess in the field of design and engineering. It will be powered by the same 2.0-litre diesel engine found in the Compass and will be offered with a choice of two transmission options along with optional 4×4. The Harrier will be path-breaking in terms of cabin design and features for the segment. Tata is betting hard on this new product to enhance their global footprint.
Ford Endeavour Facelift
Price range: Rs. 25-30 lakh, Time frame: Early 2019
Facing stiff competition from vehicles, such as the Skoda Kodiaq, the upcoming Honda CR-V and yet to be launched Isuzu mu-X facelift, Ford will be launching the new Endeavour with minor visual and interior updates. The feature list will be revised too, but the talking point here is the new engine. Downsizing is the new mantra and the big Endy will come with the new, smaller 2.0-litre turbo Diesel engine that is good for a (shocking) 200+ bhp output! This one also gets a segment first 10-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
Price range: Rs. 10-14 lakh, Time frame: Jan/Feb 2019
Nissan’s second entry into the world of compact 4m+ SUVs will come in the form of the Kicks. Truth be told, it isn’t really an SUV but more like a large cross-hatch, one that seems packed enough to give the Hyundai Creta a run for its money. This version has been developed specifically for the Indian market and makes use of the same power plants as the Terrano/Duster/Captur. Both a 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel will be on offer along with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. We are due to drive this model later this month.
Isuzu MU-X Facelift
Price range: Rs. 20-25 lakh, Time frame: Early 2019
Isuzu’s premium SUV, the mu-X has managed to sell decently well in India. It looks massive, is supremely comfortable and the latest 5-year ‘5ecure’ plan, which offers warranty and maintenance, has gone down well with new buyers. Isuzu now plans to introduce a facelift version, which brings in minor changes in and out. The engine/transmission set-up will remain unchanged but given that it undercuts rivals like the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour, the new mu-X will surely bring in better numbers than ever before.