A segment apart from the SUVs which has seen tremendous growth in recent times is MPVs. The people carriers are now being widely accepted as family vehicles akin to station wagons in North America. The Ertiga was the first one in 2012 to bring about the change in perception, with the Innova following it up in a bigger way and Honda with the Mobilio in 2014. With these MPVs ruling the roost in the market as of now, more and more automakers are tempted to enter this segment. Here is a list of all the seven-seater personal passenger vehicles coming your way in the New Year.
This will be the first MPV to be launched in 2015. We reviewed this car recently and found that it is a Datsun Go with a bigger boot. Yes, that is what it precisely is. The last row of seats, even the company says so, is good for only children or if you don't have one, extra luggage. There is one petrol engine on offer as of now, the same 68PS 1.2-litre motor with a 5-speed manual transmission. Expect this MPV to be priced very competitively.
The Ertiga has survived the market since 2012 with nary a facelift and 2015 will be the time when the refreshed version will go on sale. There are spy shots on the internet which suggest that the launch is imminent. The new Ertiga is expected to cost a tad more than the outgoing version and will continue with the same set of engines. There will be an AMT on offer on the transmissions side though.
Renault's bread and butter model in the country is the Duster. The company has realised the potential of this car and is now introducing an MPV on the same platform. The Lodgy should be out in the market by February and will be the roomiest of the current crop of compact MPVs. Renault is said to have achieved more than 90 per cent localisation so expect the prices to similar to the Ertiga.
Toyota has tasted great success with the Innova MPV however the Japanese company is not resting on its laurels. An all-new Innova on a new platform is being readied and TKM has already started testing the MPV in India. The new Innova is expected to be even more roomier and feature rich. Toyota will also be making airbags standard across all the variants. Expect the engine to be also more fuel efficient and powerful.
We are kidding you not. There is a Wagon R-based seven seater in the works and from the looks of it, it could be a success story for Maruti again. The interiors have been spruced up from the current Wagon R and the third row of seats have a tumble function. Expect the 1.0-litre K-Next engine to be under the hood and the option of a CNG/LPG alternative but details are still sketchy - all we can do is speculate. It could also be powered by Maruti's own diesel engine as well.