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carandbike Awards 2021: Subcompact SUV Of The Year

The 2021 carandbike Awards are just around the corner. And one of the most exciting categories for cars is the subcompact SUV of the year. The cars nominated in this category are the Kia Sonet, Nissan Magnite and the Toyota Urban Cruiser.

The subcompact SUV category is one of the most hotly contested categories at this year's awards expand View Photos
The subcompact SUV category is one of the most hotly contested categories at this year's awards


  • Kia Sonet has been one of the best-selling subcompact SUVs in India
  • Nissan Magnite is one of the more affordable models in its segment
  • The Toyota Urban Cruiser is based on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

The subcompact SUV segment in India is perhaps the best example of perfect competition in the Indian automotive space. 2020 saw the launch of three such cars, in the Kia Sonet, Nissan Magnite and the Toyota Urban Cruiser. The Kia Sonet set the benchmark in terms of design and features offered, the Nissan Magnite is one of the most affordable cars in the space and the Toyota Urban Cruiser may be a rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza but the car itself is quite capable. The task for the jurors is cut out and we believe this round will go right down to the wire.

Also Read: Kia Sonet Review

Kia Sonet


(The Kia Sonet gets three engine options and multiple gearbox options to choose from)

The Kia Sonet was launched in September 2020 amidst much fanfare. It brought in a bunch of segment first features, bold and aggressive design and the company offered a lot of engine and trim options to choose from. Depending on the trim option, the Sonet will either come with a dual-tone cabin on the Tech Line or an all-black one on the GT-Line. The car also gets a large 10.25-inch HD infotainment display with UVO connected tech, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, wireless charger, electric sunroof, climate control, cruise control, smart key, push-button start, traction control and more. The Kia Sonet subcompact SUV is offered in three powertrain choices. There's the 1.2 naturally-aspirated Smartstream along with the 1.0-litre turbocharged T-GDI petrol and the 1.5-litre diesel offered with WGT on the manual and VGT on the automatic. The diesel automatic with VGT actually makes more power and is in the same spec as the one offered on the Kia Seltos. Transmission options include the 5-speed manual on the Smartstream, while the turbo petrol gets the 7-speed DCT and the 6-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (IMT). The 1.5 diesel is paired with the 6-speed manual and the new 6-speed torque converter. Prices for the Kia Sonet range from ₹ 6.79 lakh and go up to over ₹ 12 lakh.

Also Read: Nissan Magnite Review

Nissan Magnite


(The Nissan Magnite is one of the more affordable subcompact SUVs in India)

The other big launch in the subcompact SUV space last year was that of the Nissan Magnite. Prices for the Nissan Magnite start at ₹ 5.49 lakh and goes up to over ₹ 10 lakh, making it one of the more affordable models in the segment. The Magnite too gets a bold, edgy design along with a bunch of segment first features that include wireless smartphone connectivity by way of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Optional features include wireless charger, air purifier, ambient mood lighting, puddle lamps and high-end speakers from JBL. The Magnite gets two petrol engine options - a 1.0 litre naturally aspirated motor and a 1.0-litre turbo petrol unit. While the naturally aspirated unit is capable of making around 71 bhp and 96 Nm of torque, the turbocharged petrol mill develops 99 bhp and 160 Nm of torque. The CVT variant offers slightly less torque at 152 Nm. The naturally aspirated petrol manual variant returns a fuel efficiency of 18.75 kmpl. However, the turbo-petrol unit offers mileage of 20 kmpl and 17.7 kmpl for manual and CVT variants respectively.

Also Read: Toyota Urban Cruiser Review

Toyota Urban Cruiser


(The Toyota Urban Cruiser is based on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza)


The Toyota Urban Cruiser was the third subcompact SUV to be launched in 2020 and yes it is based on Maruti Suzuki's Vitara Brezza but it looks a tad different than the Brezza. The front end is different, thanks to a bolder grille and a tweaked bumper. On the inside, the difference is merely limited to just the Toyota logo. The interior of the Urban Cruiser remains identical to the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and has similar features. The Urban Cruiser also gets the same 1.5-litre, four-cylinder K-Series BS6 petrol engine from the Vitara Brezza in the same state of tune, belting out 103 bhp and 138 Nm of peak torque. Just like the Vitara Brezza, the five-speed manual transmission will be standard while the four-speed torque converter unit will be optional. Prices for Toyota Urban Cruiser start at ₹ 8.50 lakh and go up to ₹ 11.35 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

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