The 2020 Auto Expo gave us a glimpse of a host of new SUVs that are set to be launched in India this year. However, with the coronavirus outbreak, the auto industry, along with the entire nation, had to slow down its activities for a few months. Now, with Lockdown 4.0 easing restrictions and a considerable decline in COVID-19 cases in select parts of India, several automakers have resumed their production and retail activities. Of course, they have done so in accordance with the local guidelines. The auto industry is gradually moving towards normalcy, and soon, we will be seeing several new launches in the market. And here are the top 4 SUVs that will be launched in India this year, under ₹ 20 lakh.
First showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo in its near-production guise, the Kia Sonet is one of the much-anticipated launches for this year. The Sonet will be a sub-4-metre SUV and Kia's answer to the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300 and Tata Nexon. Expected to be launched in India towards to end of 2020, the upcoming Sonet will borrow its styling cues from its bigger sibling, the Kia Seltos, while the powertrains will be borrowed from its cousin, the Hyundai Venue.
So, the engine options will include an 82 bhp 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, a 99 bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine, which is incidentally borrowed from the Seltos, and a 118 bhp 1.0-litre GDi turbo petrol engine. Transmission options will include a 5-speed manual, a 6-speed manual and a DCT automatic. The SUV is also expected to come with Kia UVO connected car technology and it will be priced in the range of ₹ 7 lakh to ₹ 12 lakh rupees (ex-showroom).
Skoda too is gearing up to launch a new SUV in India, and it is none other than the long-anticipated Karoq. The spiritual successor to the Skoda Yeti, the Karoq is part of Skoda-led Volkswagen Group's SUV offensive for the Indian market, which was kickstarted with the launch of the Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace and T-Roc. Built on the versatile MQB platform, the India-spec Skoda Karoq will only come with a 1.5-litre, TSI turbo petrol engine, which comes mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission as standard. The engine is tuned to make 148 bhp and 250 Nm of peak torque.
Also Read: Skoda Karoq First Drive Review
The Skoda Karoq will come to India as a completely built unit (CBU) model as part of the 2500 units that carmakers are allowed to import without homologation. Thus, it will be offered in only one variant, with all the bells and whistles, and will be sold in limited numbers. However, this also means that the carmaker will be able to price its competitively, and we expect the price tab to be just under ₹ 20 lakh mark. The SUV is slated to be launched on May 26.
MG Hector Plus
Next up is the much-awaited MG Hector Plus, the six-seater version of the popular compact SUV. Unveiled at the 2020 Auto Expo, it is set to become the first three-row SUV to be launched by the Chinese-owned British car brand in India and the MG Hector Plus' biggest highlight will be the addition of two captain seats in the second row. MG Motor India says that the Hector Plus is just an extension of the existing models, and in addition to some minor cosmetic changes like an updated grille and front bumper, and revised taillamps, the SUV will also get new interior and updated features.
Initially slated to be launched in April, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the company had to postpone the launch of the Hector Plus, as of now the SUV is expected to go on sale in June 2020. The Hector Plus will get the same 2.0-litre diesel and the 1.5-litre petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology. The SUV will come with a six-speed manual gearbox and possibly an automatic option for the latter. In terms of pricing, we expect the SUV to be priced between ₹ 16.50 lakh to ₹ 20 lakh (ex-showroom).
Tata Motors too is bringing in a three-row SUV this year, and the company has christened it the Tata Gravitas. Based on the Tata Harrier, the new SUV will be a seven-seater model, powered by the same 2.0-litre diesel engine tuned to make 168 bhp and 320 Nm of peak torque, while mated to a 6-speed manual and an automatic torque converter transmission.
Visually, the Tata Gravitas looks similar to the Tata Buzzard concept, which was showcased at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Initially, the SUV was slated to be launched in the first half of 2020, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown, the launch has now been postponed, and we would expect Tata to launch it around the festive season. The SUV is expected to be priced in India from ₹ 17 lakh to ₹ 20 lakh (ex-showroom).