Best of 2017: Top ten SUVs launched in India
Indian car buyers' love for all things SUV continued unabated in 2017. The result? Just like the previous years, manufacturers continued pouring in new models to spoil SUV buyers for choice even more. While the full list of SUVs launched in the country this year is a lot longer, we've whittled it down to the top ten for you. Take a look.
The Compass has helped FCA make the Jeep brand accessible to a far wider audience than it was previously
The Compass may be Jeep's smallest SUV in India yet but is the biggest in the larger scheme of things. When FCA brought the Jeep brand to India a year ago, it launched the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee at prices that put them out of most buyers' reach. But Jeep also promised to bring in the made in India, for India Compass at far more affordable prices and it has kept its promise as the Compass' prices begin from Rs 15 lakh. That's a fraction of what the Jeep Wrangler retails at. Its design is certainly one of the Compass' biggest draws it looks like a scaled down Grand Cherokee. The seven slat grille and squared off wheel arches remind of the Cherokee particularly and make for a very appealing stance.
The Compass is powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine (162PS/250Nm) and a 2.0-litre diesel engine (173PS/350Nm). Performance is enough to suit the palates of buyers with varying demands and the SUV is on offer with manual and automatic gearboxes both. It comes loaded with features and equipment, offers ample space for passengers and luggage. On the whole the Compass is packaged well, while bringing the legendary Jeep name to a fairly large chunk of SUV buyers. Of course, once the Jeep Renegade gets launched this year all that will change, as the Renegade sits a rung below the Compass and will be even more affordable. Read more about the Jeep Compass here.
Ford is right back into the compact SUV game with the 2017 EcoSport
The EcoSport created quite a buzz and was a huge success when launched originally in 2013. It wasn't the first but indeed the one that spawned the compact, sub 4-metre SUV segment. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is the best seller in the segment currently and Ford has given the EcoSport a comprehensive makeover to take it head on. For 2017 the EcoSport got a revised front end that looks a lot more modern and appealing than the outgoing version. The interiors have been redesigned as well and look a lot more contemporary, especially with the stand-up touchscreen display that integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. For 2017 the EcoSport also gets Ford's new, three-cylinder, 1.5-litre Dragon series petrol engine (123PS/150Nm) apart from the 1.0-litre EcoBoost and the tried and tested 1.5-litre diesel engine. It also gets the option of an automatic gearbox now, rounding up the package well. Quality levels are better and the EcoSport is clearly back in contention for the compact SUV crown. Here's our detailed review of the 2017 Ford EcoSport.
The Tata's design is one of its biggest highlights as it looks very fresh and appealing, closely resembling the original concept showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo
The Nexon isn't just one of the most important products from Tata Motors yet, it is also the best looking Tata car yet. Positioned as a compact, sub 4-metre SUV the Nexon faces off against the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Ford EcoSport, as also crossover hatchbacks like the Hyundai i20 Active and Honda WR-V. The Nexon is one of the few cars that resemble the original concept very closely even in production form. The design is head turning, particularly in the dual tone blue-silver combination and with the clear lens tail lamps. It comes powered by all-new engines a triple cylinder, 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine (110PS/170Nm) and an inline four cylinder 1.5-litre diesel engine (110PS/260Nm). Inside, the Nexon is on par with the competition in terms of features and equipment and boasts a sporty vibe thanks to the all-black finish. Tata Motors is keen on raising the bar across segments and with its radical design the Nexon is certainly taking things forward, especially after the appealing looking Tiago and Tigor. Read more about the Tata Nexon here.
The Captur is a more premium take from Renault on the uber-popular compact SUV segment
The Duster's success has been instrumental in making Renault a household name. The Hyundai Creta has overshadowed it of late though and to challenge the Creta Renault now has a new weapon in its India arsenal, the Captur. The Captur is different from the Kaptur Renault sells abroad, and for the Indian market the Captur is positioned one rung above the Duster as a more premium compact SUV. Its appealing design is one of the Captur's biggest highlights, not to mention its tried and tested powertrains, particularly the 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine (110PS/240Nm). It is also on offer with the same 1.5-litre petrol engine that powers the Duster (106PS/142Nm). The interiors boast a more upmarket feel than the Duster's and equipment levels are higher too. The Captur also gets a unique looking instrument cluster that integrates a large, centrally mounted digital speedometer. Renault also claims the Captur is the largest SUV in its class, and is hoping it will repeat the success of the Duster for it in India, and has thus priced it interestingly at Rs 9.99 lakh ex-showroom.
Jaguar has been able to price the F-Pace lower this year thanks to local assembly of the SUV
Jaguar started assembling the F-Pace in India this year which has helped it price the sporty crossover lower. This makes it an even more interesting proposition in the luxury SUV/crossover space especially since the F-Pace has always felt as engaging as Jaguar's sportscars to drive. It looks smashing and is by far one of the best looking luxury SUVs, drawing inspiration from cars like the Jaguar F-Type. It feels plush and luxurious the way a Jaguar should from inside and is immensely appealing on the whole for someone wanting a sporty, fun to drive and hot looking luxury SUV. Well, with prices beginning from just Rs 60 lakh, the F-Pace is certainly more affordable now (relatively!) while costing as much as luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. Here's what we think of the Jaguar F-Pace Prestige 2.0.
The Skoda is a full-sized, seven seater premium SUV that promises the space and luxury of a premium sedan
Skoda re-entered the SUV space in India with its new flagship, the Kodiaq and boy, are we impressed! The Kodiaq is a premium seven seater SUV that rubs shoulders with the Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner though is very different in intent. It is positioned as a spacious, comfortable crossover that aims to offer the luxury and comfort of a premium sedan while having the appeal of a full-sized SUV. In fact quality, fit-finish and equipment levels in the Kodiaq are comparable to SUVs belonging to a segment above it, which adds to its appeal immensely. Its elaborate feature list will not let you complain at all and pamper you in great comfort. Under its long hood is the Volkswagen group's tried and tested 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 150PS and 340Nm, mated to the popular 7-speed DSG. Priced at Rs 34.5 lakh the Kodiaq does feel expensive but is a great choice for someone wanting a polished, premium SUV capable of covering distances rapidly, while ensconcing occupants in great comfort. You can read our detailed review of the Skoda Kodiaq here.
The Tiguan brings Volkswagen into the popular premium SUV segment and is an SUV that's more car-like in terms of performance, dynamics and comfort
The Tiguan marked Volkswagen's return to the SUV space after a significant gap, while also being the German brand's first ever premium SUV for the Indian market. Just like its cousin the Kodiaq, the Tiguan promises sedan like comfort and handling though the difference is that the Tiguan is a five seater only. The design is understated, typical of Volkswagens, with an air of elegance that makes it look very appealing. The Tiguan boasts top notch fit-finish and quality levels and also comes packed with all the features and equipment you would need, including heated seats (oddly, seats aren't cooled though!). It is powered by the same 2.0-litre diesel engine (143PS/340Nm) mated to the 7-speed DSG, and refinement levels are excellent. The Tiguan's biggest highlight is its car-like feel be it in terms of the space, comfort or dynamics. It commands a premium, with prices beginning from Rs 27.49 lakh ex-showroom, but there's no doubting how appealing the Tiguan is as an urban, premium SUV. Read more about the Volkswagen Tiguan here.
The new generation Land is the next level in terms of off-road ability while offering mind numbing on-road performance
Land Rover Discovery
The last generation Discovery was among the best off-road tools in the world and the new one only gets better. The all-new design is smashing to say the least, while its dynamics and off-road abilities have us in awe of this Land Rover. On offer with a 3.0-litre turbocharged, V6 petrol (340PS/450Nm) or a 3.0-litre V6 diesel (258PS/600Nm) the Discovery is no less than a powerhouse in itself. There's more technology on offer than the average enthusiast can think of, while the feature and equipment levels in the new Discovery will have you scratch your head in disbelief! Most buyers in India will rarely tread off-tarmac, but that cannot take away the fact that the Discovery possesses the abilities of a mountain goat when it comes to going off-road, despite its massive dimensions. Pricing begins from Rs 72.92 lakh going up to over a crore. Here's our full road test of the Land Rover Discovery.
The Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 boasts some seriously ridiculous performance levels!
Mercedes-AMG GLS 63
There was a time when AMG, Mercedes-Benz's tuning arm was known only for turning Merc's luxury cars into some of the most mental performance cars. Today though, AMG tuned SUVs are more popular than the cars and why not who does not like the idea of a butch-looking German SUV that can run like stink. And Mercedes-AMG certainly made jaws of enthusiasts' across the nation drop to the floor when it launched the ridiculously powerful GLS63 in India. Powered by a 5.5-litre V8 the GLS 63 offers a stomach churning 585PS and 760Nm that's probably enough to pull a battle tank and also put sportscars to shame in a quarter-mile run! Despite weighing 2.5 tonnes the GLS 63 will sprint to 100kmph in a mere 4.6 seconds which is nothing short of astounding. Equipment levels will have you spell bound and so will the SUV's car-like dynamics, despite its heft. Pricing is well, expectedly stratospheric at Rs 1.92 crore ex-showroom.
The Lexus RX450h's highlights are is radical design and hybrid powertrain
The RX450h was one of the three luxury SUVs Lexus entered the Indian market with this September and is one of the only hybrid cars in its segment. Its radical, futuristic design is what makes the RX450h stand out in the sea of luxury SUVs and crossovers on sale in the country, particularly the styling of the headlights and tail lights. The tall stance, high ground clearance and wide wheels add to its design, making for a very unique appearance on the road. The interiors are equally swanky if not more and the RX450h's boasts a sense of classiness and panache unheard of from Japanese manufacturers. The RX450h's biggest highlight though is its hybrid powertrain. It is powered by 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine which along with an electric motor offers 312PS and 335Nm, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. With pricing beginning from Rs 1.25 crore, the Lexus RX450h is expensive no doubt, but will help you make a statement like few other SUVs at its price point do. You can read our impressions of the Lexus RX450h here.
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