Indulge 14th Anniversary Special: Here are some exciting new and upcoming SUV car options that could elevate your road travel experience
SUVs are in great demand as borders are all open and road travel becomes more accessible, as well as preferred. In tandem, automobile players have come up with bigger, better beasts in this segment
As a sense of normalcy returns, vehicle purchases have increased with customers opting to have their own set of wheels instead of relying on public transport. Having said that, the one big trend that has emerged is the dominance of the SUV space. From what the sales figures across manufacturers state, Indians now prefer SUVs over all other body types and this trend is only set to grow. On that note, we look at some exciting new launches and a few upcoming launches that you could opt for if you are in the market for a new set of wheels and are looking at getting back on the road to enjoy the freedom that comes with road travel.
The made-for-India mid-size SUV engineered with German precision is what the Volkswagen Taigun is all about. Offered with a choice of two TSI engines, namely the 1.0 TSI and the more powerful 1.5 TSI unit, the Taigun has set the pace for Volkswagen India as it clocked over 13,000 bookings at the time of its launch. It has been priced well with a range of variants that start from `10.50 lakh and go all the way up to INR 17.50 lakh. Having said that, the Taigun comes with all the creature comforts you want and is an extremely fun machine to drive, especially the hot GT variants!
The XUV700 is an immaculate machine that illustrates how well Mahindra has grown as a manufacturer. It is a feature-rich machine that comes with Advance Driver Assistance Systems that use both radars and cameras to offer a heightened level of safety on board and it comes with a choice of both petrol and diesel engines that are touted to be powerful units that allow you up to three-digit speeds without breaking a sweat. Mahindra has also kitted out the XUV700 with state-of-the-art features that include a massive touchscreen interface, digital instrument cluster, multiple drive modes as well as automatic and manual transmission options. The icing on the cake is the pricing as the XUV700 starts from INR 11.99 lakh.
Hyundai India has been dominating the SUV space with their recent offerings and while the Venue and Creta continue to bring in the big numbers, their next offering, namely the Tucson, is touted to set the standard in the premium entry level luxury SUV market. Boasting of a cutting-edge futuristic design, the Tucson is touted to be equipped with a powerful petrol engine and will be offered with a choice of transmission options. Like all Hyundai products, we expect this SUV to set the gold standard in terms of creature comforts on board and it goes without saying that it will benefit from Hyundai’s Bluelink assist as well. The Hyundai Tucson is expected in the INR 23-26 lakh price range.
Morris Garages India has taken the stand to be the most tech-savvy brand amongst mass market offerings and their latest entrant, namely the Astor, doesn’t disappoint on this front at all. While it does come with advanced driver aids and boasts of an amazing build quality that can put a few premium cars to shame, it is the AI Assistant on board that truly wins you over. You can talk to the AI Assistant, get news updates, give it commands to control various car features like the sunroof and if you are getting bored, you can ask it to tell you a joke too! For a car that you can talk to and is extremely rich on creature comforts, the starting price tag of INR 9.78 lakh almost feels surreal.
Ford Mustang Mach E
Ford India might have shut down local production in the country, however they have promised to keep their doors open by offering a slew of imports. Number one on their list is the Mustang Mach E, which does share its name with their pony car, however this model is an all-electric SUV! The design does borrow heavily from the iconic Mustang, and you can see that the styling carries over nicely to this e-SUV. There are numerous variants available internationally, however for the Indian market we do expect Ford to bring in the top-of-the-line GT version that delivers 480 hp and boasts of all-wheel-drive and can do the 0-100km/h dash in just 3.8 seconds! Price TBA.
Tata Motors has taken the SUV design language and given it a nice new twist in creating the all-new Punch. This bite-sized SUV sure looks the part and can handle a bit of the rough stuff too. Powering the Tata Punch is a 1.2 litre petrol engine that delivers enough grunt to get you up to three-digit speeds on the highway and enough pep to make it the ideal city run-a-bout. Starting at INR 5.54 lakh, the Punch offers you ample room on board for five adults, a decent boot for a weekend getaway, high ground clearance to take on a beaten trail and a neat infotainment system that has What3Words integrated for that added touch to your navigation needs.
Jeep India is expected to launch the Renegade by early 2022 and it is an SUV that is definitely worth waiting for. Despite its compact dimensions, it has the DNA that comes with every Jeep product and lives up to the standard of being a machine that you can take through a nice off-road course without having to worry about being bogged down. The quirky styling is reflective of Jeep’s heritage models and the telltale 7 slat front grille and trapezoidal wheel arches have been carried over as well. Under the hood we expect the Renegade to get the same 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine that also does duty in the Compass. As far as the price is concerned, the Renegade is expected to be offered in the INR 12-16 lakh range.
Built on Citroen’s Common Modular Platform, the C3 will be manufactured at the company’s facility in India and is expected to be exported to global markets from here too. As far as the styling goes, the C3 borrows heavily from its larger sibling, namely the C5 Aircross, however, thanks to its compact dimensions, it carries a far cuter look! Powering the C3 will be a 1.2 litre turbo-charged engine that is touted to put out around 100 hp of power and it will initially be available only with a manual transmission. The cabin boasts of a young upmarket appeal, with some bright colours on the dash to spice things up and we do expect it to come with a nice infotainment system as well. The Citroen C3 will be priced in the INR 6-8 lakh range when it goes on sale in 2022.
(A pitstop for modern-day car and bike enthusiasts, this column features the latest machines, reviews, roadtrips and more. By a team of automotive insiders who call themselves MotorScribes)