As the market for SUVs in India looks to grow with an onslaught of new and more compact SUVs set to hit our roads, the question arises why go compact? Aren’t SUVs supposed to be massive and have bucket loads of road presence and bling value attached to them?
The SUV craze has been around for a few decades now, although one can say SUVs have been there since the Second World War in the form of jeeps which more or less became a leisure vehicle in the aftermath of the war. But modern day SUVs have only been around for a few decades and have got a huge potential in terms of replacing an average car. The SUVs are now much more user friendly and comfortable than they ever were.
The first SUV’s to see the light of day were somewhat like modified minitrucks, with a body on frame kind of construction, but the modern day SUV’s are a great example of mating of two different worlds that of the plush comfortable car and a rugged off-roader. Modern SUV’s are more like Cars in terms of creature comfort and features endowed with a go-anywhere attitude.
Today SUVs in the Indian market are present from as low as a few lacs to upwards of a few Crores. Now coming back to the question of why a compact SUV????
The answer for the same lies in the hearts of many youngsters who want everything offered by an SUV but at a bargain and at the same time with ease of city driving. One wants to buy a vehicle which is not only good for city driving but can take you places on the weekends. With the aspirational value for a SUV going through the roof with classics like Land Rover, Land cruiser, M-Class, G-Class, Hummer and similars making their presence felt on the roads; Every other company wants to cash in on the same and the trend can easily been observed with the overwhelming response received by the Toyota Fortuner, Renault Duster and Mahindra XUV5OO.
So it seems that the year ahead is going to be like a rollercoaster for the ones willing to own a SUV. With the line-up that looks to confuse one with the offerings coming your way from around the world with the likes of Ford EcoSport, Nissan Terrano and other international brands coming your way; the Indian brigade is also not far behind with the Force preparing a couple of variants of Force One SUV and Tata planning for a Vista based compact SUV. But the talk of the town, for now, has been Mahindra’s S101.
But when we look at the current breed of compact SUV’s the basic question to come to one’s mind is whether these are as capable as a fully blown SUV. Now that’s a debatable question, a bigger size does provide the manufacturer with an opportunity, to put in a lot of additional gadgets and gizmos into the SUV.
But does one really need all that and that is where these compact SUV’s kick in; it provides you with the basic features of an SUV like high seating, more space, road presence etc. minus the features which one might never use. Let’s talk about on-demand 4WD, I am pretty sure many of us would never use the feature even if it is there because we would not go to a place where such capabilities would come in handy, thus a few companies provide their SUVs with real-time 4WD, which is much more user friendly.
Similarly most of the so called off-roading needs that one would encounter on a weekend trip can easily be handled by a higher ground clearance.
So the basic point here is whatever a youngster craving for a SUV would want in it, can be easily supplied in a smaller form factor which is lighter on the pocket to buy, maintain and run as well.
Stay tuned for more info on the SUVs that are to touch down on the Indian roads in the coming days, its all getting hotter out there!
So let the battle begin and see which SUVs make it to the top…!
Here is a comprehensive list of all the upcoming SUVs – compact or not(!) scheduled or expected to come to India
UPCOMING SUVs in India
All the names are linked to either the spyshots of the corresponding SUV or some of its details which have been known till now.
- Mahindra’s Compact SUV S101 (2014)
- Nissan Terrano (Sept-Dec 2013)
- 2013 Tata Aria Facelift Manual (Sometime in 2013)
- Tata Aria Automatic (2014)
- Hyundai’s Compact SUV
- Price Cut Force One EX (June-July)
- Force One 4×4 (July-August)
- 2013 Ssangyong Rodius(End 2013)
- Great Wall Haval H3 (2014-2015)
- Honda’s Compact SUV (2014)
- Mercedes GLA Compact SUV (2014)
- Ford EcoSport (June 2013)
- Price Cut Audi Q3 (July-September 2013)
- Tata’s Vista Based Compact SUV (2014)
- Mahindra Quanto 4×4
- Mahindra Ssangyong Korando (2014)
- Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha
- 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe (End 2013- early 2014)
- Mazda CX-5
- Toyota’s Compact SUV
- Force Gurkha BS4
- Jeep Wrangler (Second Half of 2013)
- Jeep Grand Cherokee (Second Half of 2013)
- Jeep B-Segment compact SUV (mid 2015)
- Fiat B-segment compact crossover (Second Half of 2014)
- Volkswagen Taigun (2015)
So, which one are you waiting for?
Guest Author MotorBash