SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) is usually equipped with four-wheel drive for on- or off-road ability, and with some posturing or ability to be used as an off-road vehicle. A SUV takes into consideration acceleration, top speed, mileage, displacement, head and leg room, comfort, build, fit and finish, reliability, image, cost of service and repair to woo the customers. In India, SUV’s are grdually becoming a rage with people wanting to combine comfort, luxury and performance - all in one! Read on to know about the new SUV models that are all set to be launched in India, in the year 2010.
2010 SUV models in India
Indian market has always been short of small sized SUVs and Skoda Yeti fits the bill perfectly. Skoda's Yeti, as the name suggests, is a large 1.8 liter, mid-size crossover of MPV and SUV, having the best of both worlds. It is smaller than the bulkier SUVs, but still gives the power suspension that the general MPV lacks. It has a sporty exterior and a comfortable and roomy interior. Yeti sports a rugged look without being abominable and falls in line between Skoda Fabia and the Skoda Octavia, at the same time reflecting the beauty and power of both. Stylish headlamps, robust look, draped around windscreen, roof rails, long suspense, and high ground clearance makes it a car desirable in every sense. It is reported to deliver as much as 120 bhp of power and is expected to cost around 10 to 12 lakhs. The Yeti will also be the first MPV from the Czech manufacturer to grace Indian roads. It is reported to be launched in the Indian market somewhere around mid 2010. It is likely to be launched with two models that is, 1.2-litre petrol engine, and a 2.0-litre diesel engine. To sum it all, Skoda Yeti is one of the most promising crossovers to be launched on Indian roads.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Athough Hyundai is doing well in sedans and small cars in India, so far it has failed miserably in the area of SUV’s. After its highly ambitious Terracan and Tucson, the new bet from the Hyundai line would be Santa Fe SUV. The Santa Fe is doing well internationally and promises to make many customers in India. The SUV offers 2.2-litre diesel engine, which give an output of 148bhp. Hyundai is bidding to get the share of the pie in the booming Indian SUV market and is gambling well by bringing the Santa Fe, which has fared very well in European market, especially in North America. Hyundai is not leaving any stones unturned to make the car a success in Indian market. The exterior of the crossover is striking, with slanting headlamps and stunning tail lamps. It also has a very roomy interior and a flowing waistline. The car is loaded with the finest technologies and comes out as a trendy everyday wear, which would gel in any kind of environment. Santa Fe is expected to be priced anywhere between 22 to 26 lakhs and would lock horns with Honda CR-V.
Tata Range Rover
A face-lifted model of one of the most ambitious SUV’s from the TATA group, after it paid a hefty sum to own the beast, Range Rover is a blend of luxury and power, wherein the luxurious interiors spell elegance with real wood veneers, and finest leather natural grain. Tata Range Rover is packed with a new and powerful 5.0-liter LR-V8 engine. It comes out with some outstanding technologies, like the first split-screen centre console, which lets the driver watch the sat-nav, while giving the passengers the liberty to watch a DVD from the same screen. With the augmented driving dynamics, new headlamps, LED rear lamps, large grilles, and 3-stripped LED theme, with reduced wind and power train, Range Rover comes out as a ‘consummate luxury SUV’.
Volvo, which is reputed to produce safe automobiles, has introduced a new SUV model, the Volvo XC60. The car has fresh looks, is quite reasonably priced and has some crucial safety features; though it cannot be categorized as one of the most fuel efficient or powerful SUV in the market. The SUV is large and muscular in appearance, adorned with a steep grill and a broad shoulder line. The big LED lights blend beautifully with the curves of the stylish SUV. However, the new and bolder design has retained some of the trademark design aspects of Volvo, staying in course with the family line. The inside of the car flaunts wood inlays, silky materials, soft-touch plastics and brushed metal for the many panels and accessories that are spread throughout the interiors. Volvo XC60 features velvety beige floor mats and seats, which are pretty comfortable. The crossover SUV is available in two variants, the 3.2 quoted at a starting price around 15 lacs, and the T6 AWD beginning roughly at around Rs.17 lacs.
Fiat Bravo is a smarter and more elegant replacement to the lumpy Stilo, by Fiat. The front and end of the car are similar to Grande Punto. Short bonnet, rounded corners and wedges waistline give it a very contemporary look and there is more padding inside than the usual. The mid-range Fiat boasts of plush materials on the inside. Bravo has turned out to be a hefty car, partly due to the similarly class-beating overall length. A development of the Stilo platform lies under the shapely skin, which has been described as a kind of modular, semi-spaceframe construction. Engines now available are a 90bhp, 1.4 16v, two turbocharged 1.4 16v T-Jets (120bhp and 150bhp) and a series of diesels: the 1.9 16v MultiJet 150 and 1.6 16v Multijet 120 and 105 models. The Multijet 105 can be availed with an optional Eco pack to reduce consumption and bring emissions into the Band B tax category. The car range will soon be joined by a Bravo Estate car.
With hybrid cars being look upon as a cost-effective option over fuel-based cars, Japaneseauto major Toyota is all set to launch its hybrid car, named Prius, in India. Hybrid cars are those cars that use both petrol and an electric motor to run. They are environment-friendly and more fuel efficient than the ones which run on conventional fuel, i.e. petrol or diesel. This car has been very successful for Toyota, both from technical and marketing standpoint. It is a four-door hatchback that can seat five people. The hybrid powertrain of the car consists of a 1.8-liter gasoline engine that produces 98 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Both power sources work together to provide maximum oomph, when fully accelerated. However, the Prius alternates between the two, mostly running on battery power alone in lighter road conditions. A regenerative braking system converts energy, normally lost as heat, into electricity, which charges the car's battery pack. The car is expected to be priced somewhere between 18-22 lacs.
Nissan Murano is soon to compete with the latest SUV brands in India such as Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Toyota Prado, BMW X3 and Mitsubishi Montero. The stylish car combines the lustrous appearance of a coupe with the powerful engine of a sports car. Nissan Motor will supervise the sales of Murano in India. The car will be available in three levels - the base S, the mid-grade SL and the top of the line LE. LE Nissan Murano will be an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle, powered by a 3.5-liter petrol V6 engine, at 265 horsepower. It is capable of zooming from stationary position, 0 mph, to the speed of 60mph, in less than 9 seconds. Aluminum interior accents, leather seats, rain sensing wipers, memory seats and mood lighting, besides an 11-speaker Bose unit, with 9.3 GB hard-disk storage and head-rest mounted LCD screens for passengers in the rear are the other attractive features of the car. The launch price of the car will be 40 lacs.
Produced by the German automaker Auto 5000, Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover vehicle (CUV), based on the A5 (PQ35) platform of the Mk5 Golf. The Tiguan is available in two body styles and three specification levels, such as Tiguan Trend & Fun, Tiguan Sport & Style and Tiguan Track & Field. Six airbags, ESP, Trailer Stability Program integrated with the ESP, Isofix child seat anchorages on the rear bench and electronic parking brake with auto-hold function, RCD 210 radio with integrated CD player, “Climatic” semi-automatic climate control system, four electric window lifts, electrically-adjustable and heated outside mirror are some features of the Trend & Fun model. 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome roof rail, chrome strips on front bumper and surrounding side window lining, tinted windows, sport seats have been included in the Sport & Style version. The Track & Field design has a front module, with a 28-degree approach angle, hill descent assistant, modified driving pedal characteristic, EDS adaptation and ABS adaptation.