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- Nov 13, 2019
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While the auto industry may have been lamenting the slump in sales, both in India and globally, one vehicle type seems to have defied this trend - sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Whether it’s due to a sense of security, their go-anywhere ability, or purely for the aspiration they represent, car buyers love SUVs. Led by the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, a quarter of total passenger car sales in India are now SUVs. The segment is reliable enough for carmakers to now try and make SUVs more affordable even as they penetrate every market niche and price segment (eg. Hyundai Venue and Kia QYI). Kia Motors and Morris Garages (MG) made their debut in India with the Seltos and Hector mid-sizers, respectively. From tiny cross-hatchbacks pretending to be Utes (eg. Maruti Suzuki S-Presso and Renault Kwid) to out and out off-roaders like the Jeep Wrangler and Mahindra Thar, as well as luxo-barges on stilts -- there is a size, shape, feature set and price tag for every SUV buyer in India. Here’s a list of all the SUVs you can buy here:
The Stratosphere: Rs 1.5 Crore Onward
Bentley’s Bentayga and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan have raised the bar for luxury SUVs. Many wealthy buyers will consider them over Mulsannes and Phantoms. If you’re after something sporty, you can’t do better than the Lamborghini Urus. For lovers of retro utility, Mercedes offers the G63 AMG. If you aren’t unhinged, you might fancy the G 350d. Either way, you will be shelling out several crores of rupees. If you can hold your breath, the Mercedes Maybach GLS and Audi Q8 will be here next year.
The Top Tier: Rs 70 Lakh To 2 Crore
This segment offers some of the most capable sport utility cars in the world. Whether it's the 532PS Range Rover Sport, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, or the Audi Q7, full-size luxury SUVs offer everything you’ve ever wanted from a vehicle. Prices start from as high as Rs 68.99 lakh for the Q7 and go all the way up to Rs 2.14 crore for the long-wheelbase Range Rover SV Autobiography. On the lower end of the segment, there are the Volvo XC90 and the BMW X5.
Mid-Size Brutes: Rs 50 To 80 Lakh
If you’re looking for something in the Rs 50 lakh to Rs 80 lakh segment, we have cars such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, and the Volvo XC60. For the off-roading enthusiast, Jeep offers the Wrangler Unlimited and the next-generation Land Rover Defender is on the horizon. These cars offer all the latest automotive tech and luxury in a less expensive package. If utility is what you’re after, the Land Rover Discovery Sport has 754 litres of it with the third row down.
Space-Efficient Luxury: Rs 35 To 50 Lakh
In the crowded roads of Indian cities, most full-size cars will be bogged down. But cars such as the Audi Q3, Volvo XC40, and BMW X1 can easily wiggle their way past slower traffic, offering manoeuvrability and power in a luxurious package. Prices in this segment start from Rs 35 lakh.
The Greener Options: Rs 23 To 30 Lakh
The Hyundai Kona is currently the only electric SUV you can buy in India, but things are set to change. Come December, it will be joined by the MG ZS electric vehicle (EV), followed by the Tata Nexon EV and the Mahindra XUV300 electric. If the Indian automotive industry responds well to electric cars, various international models are likely to make their way to our country.
Full Size, Half The Price: Rs 25 to 20 Lakh
If you want a full-size SUV for the price of compact luxury, we have a domestic market contender for you — the Mahindra Alturas G4. The Skoda Kodiaq is the ideal family SUV for both in-city driving and highway cruising, while the Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner are capable off-roaders as well. Prices start in excess of Rs 25 lakh.
Utility Full-Sizers: Rs 15 to 20 Lakh
The Tata Hexa offers all the space you’ll ever need, in a package that’s less expensive than the likes of the Fortuner. The XUV500, Tata Harrier and Jeep Compass are other contenders in this segment. Newcomers such as the MG Hector also offer connected car technologies and are sure to change our expectations from the Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh SUV segment.
Mid-Size SUVs: Rs 9 to 17 Lakh
These cars balance utility and tractability. With enough room for the family and boot space for every road trip, mid-sizers such as the Hyundai Creta offer more than their size will lead you to believe. The Kia Seltos is the latest entrant to this segment. With its dimensions, powerful engines, and features, it sets the tone for all mid-sizers to come. On the other side of the spectrum stands the kitted off-roader, the Mahindra Thar. It will be updated soon with a redesign and a BS6-compliant engine. Various new cars will be introduced next year in the Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh segment, such as the upcoming Hyundai Creta and the Mahindra Scorpio.
Compact SUVs: Rs 7 to 13 Lakh
Currently the fastest-growing segment, compact SUVs have seen significant sales numbers. Recent launches such as the Hyundai Venue have given carmakers the boost they needed in the automotive slump. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is the hottest seller here, while the Renault Duster, Nissan Kicks, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300, Ford Ecosport and others offer a myriad of choices to the Indian car buyer. We’ll soon see more cars in this segment such as the Kia QYI SUV, as well as updated cars such as the 2020 Nexon.
The Entrypoint: Rs 3.7 to 6 Lakh
How can we forget the S-Presso and the Kwid? While these may not strictly be SUVs, they are marketed as such and customers aren’t shying away. Quite the opposite in fact, with the S-Presso recording sales of nearly 16,000 units since its launch on September 30 and the Kwid becoming the most successful model for Renault, lapping up total sales of more than 3 lakh cars. It even has a modern facelift now, which is doing just as well.
So these are the SUVs we see furthering the trend for the country in their respective segments. Which size, price, or model is your favourite?
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