With growing interest in weekend travel and adventurous off-beat locations, there is an increased awareness and need for 4×4 or 4WD vehicles in India. Sadly, only a handful of affordable options are available in the market and this often makes the purchase decision for a 4×4 customer a tough job to do.
We filtered across all the available models under Rs 15 lakh and narrowed down our list to 5 such cars that ought to come with optional 4×4 versions.
Mahindra KUV100 4×4
Why : India’s most affordable 4×4 micro SUV
Mahindra has done well to market the KUV as a ‘SUV’ – however, we will refer to it as a micro SUV. The new face-lift looks good, has ample ground clearance and is wide enough to seat 6 in comfort – remember, it has a unique 3-seat configuration in the front. The KUV 4×4 could also be a hit in hilly terrains where locals prefer a small car due to parking constraints and narrow roads. Powering the KUV 4×4 could be the same 1.2-litre diesel engine putting out 77 bhp and 190 Nm of torque.
Ford EcoSport 4×4
Why : International versions already have the option
The Brazilian market recently got a new EcoSport model, the 4×4 Storm. Although this one comes with different engines all together, it gives us a hint big enough to consider this in the list. The Ford EcoSport already offers an excellent diesel engine that puts out almost 100 horses and will be suitable with a 4×4 set-up across terrains. Add to its the high ground clearance of 200mm and a 23 degree approach angle and you have a perfect compact SUV for adventurous outings.
Mahindra Bolero 4×4
Why : The LX already gets one, but only for government
As per Mahindra’s own website, the current Bolero 4×4 is not available in higher trim levels and is only for government usage. Now the Bolero is known for its dependable nature and ability to handle abuse on and off the road. It looks old school, is pretty comfortable over all kind of road surfaces and carries a value tag. Given that the new Scorpio is not available with 4×4 in the cheaper S2 version, the company should seriously consider offering the Bolero 4×4 for the masses in the SLX or ZLX versions with a sticker price of under Rs 10 lakh.
Hyundai Creta 4×4
Why : A comfortable alternative to the Scorpio 4×4
The Rs 12-15 lakh segment is devoid of compact 4×4 options and the Creta could fill this void. Both the Scorpio 4×4 and XUV AWD are expensive and large for everyday use. The Creta’s 1.6 diesel engine has best in class performance and the 4×4 could up the ante even further. As we said above, sensible and affordable 4x4s are missing in India and the Creta 4×4 could very well become the largest selling 4×4 in India, easily.
Toyota Innova Crysta 4×4
Why : Could become the most dependable 4×4 family MPV
The Innova Crysta has all the ingredients to be a perfect family MPV, apart from optional 4×4 ofcourse. I personally had to settle for the XUV 4×4 due to the same reason. Both the diesel engine options are well suited to a 4×4 set-up and the Crysta 4×4 would even find buyers in the taxi segment in regions like the lower Himalayas and deserts of Rajasthan. This could also be Toyota’s most affordable 4×4 in India.