2023 In Cars: Top SUV Launches Of The Year

There were some big-ticket launches in the Indian market in 2023 in the SUV space.

By Jaiveer Mehra


6 mins read


Published on December 26, 2023

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  • 2023 saw several important SUVs launch in the Indian market
  • Honda and Citroen entered the highly competitive compact SUV space
  • Tata upgraded its core SUV models during the year

There was a lot of action from carmakers throughout calendar year 2023. From big-ticket launches to major announcements and unveiling upcoming models, the list of important events was long. Here we take a look at some of the important SUVs that arrived on Indian shores this year.


Also read: 2023 In Cars: Top EV Launches Of The Year

Honda Elevate

Elevate front

Honda’s biggest launch of the year saw the brand return to the compact SUV segment following the discontinuation of the BR-V some years back. Unlike the model it replaces, the Elevate is based on the Honda City platform with the SUV sharing many of the sedan’s strengths and using the same petrol powertrains. The Elevate features a traditional SUV design with boxy and upright proportions while the cabin is spacious and comfortable and offers good levels of kit. Buyers however can only have the SUV with the 1.5-litre petrol engine paired with either a 6-speed manual or CVT gearbox. The SUV has had a strong start to its India innings too with over 20,000 units sold in the first few months.


Also Read: Honda Elevate Review


Hyundai Exter

Hyundai Exter 3

One of Hyundai’s biggest launches of 2023 was the Exter. The carmaker’s small SUV took the fight to the Tata Punch in a very new and till now uncontested segment. Hyundai’s mini-SUV features a contemporary design along with a practical cabin with Hyundai not skimping out on features either in the price bracket. It’s offered with a 1.2-litre petrol engine as standard though buyers do have the option to opt for a factory CNG variant. Gearbox options include a 5-speed manual or 5-speed AMT. 


Also Read: Hyundai Exter Review


Citroen C3 Aircross

Citroen C3 Aircross 1

The C3 Aircross marked Citroen’s push to enter the crowded compact SUV segment. Based on the same platform as the C3 hatchback, the Aircross shares much in common with its hatchback sibling though Citroen has tried hard to make the SUV stand out. While stylistic similarities remain, the Aircross gets a more muscular and boxier look typical of SUVs. The cabin too shares many similarities with its stablemate though uniquely it is the only SUV in the segment to offer the option for a third row of seats. The three-row models to get some differences over the 5-seater model including slightly more forward set middle-row seats and a roof-mounted blower unit for more effective cabin cooling. Coming to the engine line-up, buyers currently can only get the SUV with a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine paired with a manual gearbox. An automatic variant is still in the works.


Kia Seltos Facelift

Kia Seltos Facelift 1

Kia’s best-selling SUV received a notable refresh in 2023 with updated looks, revised powertrains and notable upgrades to the tech. The biggest updates come in the form of the new 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine that replaces the older 1.4-litre unit and the addition of ADAS functions. The new 1.5-litre turbo mill pushes out a stronger 158 bhp and 253 Nm – best in segment numbers – and is offered with either an iMT or DCT gearbox. In terms of styling, the SUV gets a revised fascia with redesigned headlamps, wider grille and new bumper. At the rear there’s a new taillamps with a lightbar and there are new alloy wheels too. Inside, the dashboard has been redesigned and now features a twin-screen layout for the instrument cluster and central touchscreen on the top models. There’s a long list of features on offer too especially on the top variants. Turbo-petrol aside buyers also get the option of either a naturally aspirated petrol or 1.5-litre diesel engine each with manual and automatic gearbox options.


Also read: 2023 Kia Seltos Facelift Review


Maruti Suzuki Fronx


The Fronx is Maruti’s first subcompact SUV to be offered via the brand’s premium NEXA dealer chain. Based on the familiar Heartect platform, the Fronx shares much with models such as the Baleno with a lot of carry-over elements especially within the cabin. Compared to the more staid Brezza, the Fronx features a more contemporary design with an almost SUV-Coupe-like profile and a split headlamp design up front. The cabin is typical new Maruti with a freestanding central touchscreen and shared switchgear with a bevy of other models. There’s plenty by way of powertrain options too with buyers offered a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol, 1.2-litre petrol and 1.2-litre bi-fuel CNG engine options.


Also Read: 2023 Maruti Suzuki Fronx Review

Maruti Suzuki Jimny

Maruti Suzuki Jimny 5 Door Launched At Rs 12 74 Lakh

One of the keenly awaited launches of 2023, the Jimny marked the return of an off-road focused SUV to Maruti’s stable following the end of the much-loved Gypsy. The Jimny arrived in India in a unique 5-door bodystyle with the carmaker engineering the vehicle to extend its wheelbase and adding a pair of rear doors. The Indian market was the first to receive the 5-Door Jimny though since then the model is being exported to some markets across the world. True to its off-road heritage, the Jimny 5-Door gets all the off-road hardware including 4x4 running gear replete with low range. Power comes from the tried and tested 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with gearbox options including a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.


Also Read: Maruti Suzuki Jimny Review

Tata Nexon

Tata Nexon facelift 1

Also read: 2023 Tata Nexon EV Facelift Review: More Charged Up Now!

Tata rolled out substantial overhauls for both the internal combustion Nexon and the Nexon EV. Both SUVs received a substantial cosmetic overhaul with design elements borrowed from Tata’s recent spate of concepts such as the Curvv. Both SUVs now feature a new split-headlamp design with the Nexon EV additionally featuring a full-width lightbar. The cabin too received upgraded tech with new touchscreens, digital instrument clusters and a heavily updated dashboard design. There are also new upholstery colours and a lot of new tech on board.


Also Read: Tata Nexon Facelift Review

Tata Harrier and Safari Facelift

Tata Safari And Nexon Facelift Launch LIVE Updates Price Features Specifications Images

Also read: Tata Safari Facelift Review: New Avatar Of The Flagship SUV

Another pair to receive a substantial overhaul in 2023 was the Harrier and Safari. Both SUVs received a comprehensive cosmetic makeover with designs that now feature greater differentiation as well as notable updates to the cabin and tech. Both SUVs retain the split headlamp designs of the outgoing model though receive unique finishes to the grille and different bumpers to stand apart. The cabins, like in the Nezons, feature an updated design and new tech including a larger touchscreen and new 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. As with the outgoing models there are ADAS functions available on top variants and the popular Dark Editions too have been carried over. As before buyers are only offered a 2.0-litre diesel engine paired with either a 6-speed manual or automatic gearbox.


Also read: Tata Harrier Facelift Review: More Style, More Features, More Tech

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Mercedes Benz GLC 4 Matic 11

On the luxury side of the market, one of the biggest launches of the year was the second-gen GLC. The old GLC was one of Mercedes’ best-selling SUVs in the market with this new model looking to up the ante with even more upmarket features. Engine options include the 2.0-litre petrol that pumps out 254 bhp and a peak torque of 400 Nm and a 2.0-litre diesel engine makes 194 bhp and 400 Nm peak torque. A 9-speed automatic gearbox is standard.

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