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 launch time frame:
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 in the radar of those looking at a family SUV. And 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 based 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 break new paths in terms of cabin design and features for the segment and Tata is betting hard on this new product for their global footprint.
Ford Endeavour Facelift
Price range: Rs 25-30 lakh, Time frame: Early 2019
Facing stiff competition from the likes of the Skoda Kodiaq, 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. 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.
Price range: Rs 5-7 lakh, Time frame: Early-Mid 2019
Datsun launched the Cross this year in the international market and given our love for large cars, it is likely that the company will launch it here in the next 4-6 months. It does look like the regular Go+ on steroids but this is an all-new vehicle. That said, this 5+2 will continue to use the 1.2-litre petrol motor, but will be offered in a higher state of tune. We also believe the AMT ‘box seen on the redi-GO will filter into the Cross as well. In all likelihood, the Cross will be the most affordable car of its type (read: Cross hatch or Pseudo SUV) in the segment.
Price range: Rs 19-23 lakh, Time frame: Mid 2019
With the success of the Kodiaq in India, Skoda for sure is looking at bringing in its smaller cousin, the 5-seater Karoq. A rival to the Hyundai Tucson, the Karoq will offer the same fresh design language of the Kodiaq. It will also get design cues from its elder sibling into the interiors, for example, the climate control knobs and buttons. For the Indian market, the Karoq might be offered with a choice of 1.4-litre turbo-petrol and 2.0-litre turbo-diesel units, both mated to DSG automatic transmissions. AWD will be offered as well.
Hyundai Tucson Facelift
Price range: Rs 19-23 lakh, Time frame: Mid 2019
The current generation Tucson is selling in good numbers and Hyundai will look at bringing in the facelift next year. While it will not get drastic changes, the company will add new features to up the ante. The new Tucson will continue to be offered with the same engine options as before. We do not expect a price hike, making it a good proposittion in front of larger 7-seate SUVs.
New Hyundai Santa Fe
Price range: Rs 26-32 lakh, Time frame: Mid 2019
Hyundai will re-launch the Santa Fe in India next year and this one will get a complete revision in terms of styling. The new version looks bold and futuristic and will definitely go down well with those looking at an ego massaging SUV in this price segment. Hyundai will continue with the 7-seat configuration on the new Santa Fe and while it will still be powered by the same 2.2-litre turbo Diesel engine, a new 8-speed automatic transmission will be introduce. The Santa Fe has grown in size as well but we reckon Hyundai will not demand a premium in terms of pricing
Price range: Rs 8-11 lakh, Time frame: Mid 2019
Hyundai’s first ever compact sub 4 meter SUV offering will be the Carlino. Showcased first at the 2016 Auto Expo, the Carlino is now in its final stages of testing and will be launched by mid 2019. This Maruti Breeza rival will come with an all-new 1000cc turbo-petrol engine with a power output of around 90 bhp. Hyundai is known to make it cars feature rich and this one will not be different – this includes both manual and automatic options.
Price range: Rs 10-14 lakh, Time frame: Mid/End 2019
Volkswagen has not been able to taste success in the Indian car market. The 10th largest selling car manufacturer is betting heavily on the all-new T-Cross compact SUV that will be positioned in the Rs 10-14 lakh category. With a 100 bhp+ 1000cc motor under the hood, this next gen SUV will compete with both the Brezza and the Creta. VW will launch this in the next the 12-18 months and the T-Cross will hold the key to the brand’s successful innings here.