OEMs are all set to flood the Indian car market with SUVs of all shapes and sizes with established models getting massive upgrades and newer offerings promising even more.
SUVs of all shapes and sizes have been the force to reckon with in the Indian market, often even displacing compact cars from their pedestal on top of the sales charts. Even during the tumultuous months of 2019, SUVs continued to fight strong and new players like Kia and MG Motor expanded options in a field already littered with products galore. And the field now is all set to get even more populated with OEMs either updating their current products or bringing in absolutely fresh offerings.
The recently-concluded Auto Expo 2020 in this regard gave a comprehensive look into the compact and subcompact SUVs that will soon hit Indian roads. Power players from the stables of Maruti and Hyundai have been given refreshing updates and more capabilities while others too gave a glimpse into how they plan on fighting for a larger market share.
The new Brezza was quite the show stopper at India's mega motor event, four years after it was first launched in the country. The Vitara Brezza has enjoyed a massive following but a diesel heart alone won't have been good enough to carry it forward. Brezza 2020, therefore, brings with it quite a lot of promise as it comes with a 1.5-litre K Series petrol engine with the company's SHVS mild hybrid technology. The option of auto transmission is carried forward which would only enhance the capabilities of the car as a solid city commute. In the looks department, the car gets several visual updates including a new bull bar and LED lights at front. The cabin, Maruti claims, is more premium.
The other big unveiling at Auto Expo 2020 was that of the Creta. While Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was in attendance for the event, the compact SUV held its own to grab eyeballs. The new Creta will be powered by a 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engine options and is noticeably larger in dimensions than the outgoing model. It gets very visible design upgrades and now features Hyundai's cascading grille with sleeker head lights and DRLs. Expect the cabin to also be more plush than ever before.
MG Motor has a massive SUV offensive lineup as well and company officials told HT Auto that the plan is to bring in four SUVs of different shapes and sizes to India in the coming times. Hector Plus would be first off the block and will feature a six or seven-seat arrangement. The company says its interiors have also been upgraded over the Hector and that it will offer a more capable drive. Around the corner is also the Gloster which, however, is targeted at the luxury SUV segment.
Since on the topic of larger SUVs, Tata Motors also showcased Gravitas, the bigger version of Harrier SUV. Expect it to hit the Indian roads in the months to come although it is not yet clear if this car too, like Harrier, will only be offered with a diesel engine.
Over at Nissan, the buzz is gaining momentum and although the company gave Auto Expo 2020 a miss, times have been busy. The Japanese car maker has not had much luck in India as far as its SUV offerings are concerned. Kicks and Terrano have been fringe players but its new compact SUV - codenamed EM2 - could well turn fortunes. Nissan promises contemporary styling and a capable drive, and says the car has been developed keeping India in prime focus.
Volkswagen too has been keeping busy and recently showcased the Taigun compact SUV. Underpinned by the new MQB A0 IN platform, Taigun has been developed specifically for India and Volkswagen claims it is more spacious and more comfortable than the T-Cross- the company's other compact SUV for markets elsewhere. Taigun is just one of four SUVs from Volkswagen in what is a major product offensive. The car will be powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged TSI petrol engine that has peak power rating of 113 hp and peak torque figures of 200 Nm.
Skoda is expected to soon drive in the Vision IN compact SUV. Although not in production form currently, the car gets special emphasis on how it appears and the Czech maker says it would suit Indian sensibilities perfectly.
Clearly then, the compact and subcompact SUV segment is alive and truly kicking and prospective buyers are likely to have choices galore in the months to come.