Top 5 SUVs in India

Here are our top 5 picks from the mass market SUVs, right from sub-compact to full-fledged models.

By Seshan Vijayraghvan


1 mins read


Published on September 24, 2016

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  • Maruti Vitara Brezza & Ford EcoSport compete in the sub-compact SUV space
  • Renault Duster and Hyundai Creta are the quintessential compact SUVs
  • The Mahindra XUV500 is the only full-fledged 7-seater SUV in the list

Over the past couple of years, the SUV segment has received a major boost in the Indian car market. Right from sub-compact models like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza to full-fledged premium 4x4s like the Mahindra XUV500, there is a wide array of options for car buyers today. While choosing from all the SUVs offered in India could be a tough job, for today's list we have selected our top 5 picks from the mass market SUVs.

Renault Duster

Our top pick for this list is the new Renault Duster facelift. Apart from the refreshed design, new styling and a host of new exterior and interior features the new Duster also comes with Renault's new EasyR AMT system. We drove the car a few months back and we have to say the AMT version did not disappoint us in any way. Further, the car is loaded with features like new touchscreen infotainment system with media navigation, better-looking centre console, automatic climate control, auto-up/down power windows with anti-pinch feature and rearview camera with guidelines. The safety package now comprises of the essentials including ABS, EBD with Brake Assist, dual front airbags, ESP and Hill start assist.

Renault Duster SUV
Renault Duster

The powertrain options remain unchanged as the new Duster continues to be powered by the same petrol and diesel engines. While the petrol trim comes with the 1.6-litre K4M motor and the diesel models gets the 1.5-litre engine. Both the engines come mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard along with the newly introduced EasyR AMT units as an option. The Duster also comes with an AWD system in the in the top-of-the-line RXZ variant.

Ford EcoSport

One of the earliest players in the sub-compact SUV space, the Ford EcoSport continues to be a strong contender to the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Mahindra NuvoSport and TUV300. While the car does lack few features offered in its more recent rivals, but as we told you in our review, the EcoSport is, in fact, a capable machine. A few months back, right around the time when the Vitara Brezza launched, Ford slashed the price of the car by a considerable margin to better compete with its rivals.

The car continues to come with its bulky front end, compact dimensions and a decently spaced cabin that is equipped with a considerable number of features like a multimedia system with a TFT screen, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic climate control, key-less entry, steering mounted controls, new fog lamps, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel and vehicle start-stop button. On the safety front, the vehicle gets 6 airbags on top-spec variants, Anti-lock braking system (ABS) and rear parking sensors.

Ford EcoSport SUV
Ford EcoSport

The Ford EcoSport offers a number of powertrain options that includes a 1.5-litre Ti-VCT and 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engines along with a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel motor as well. The 1.5 litre Ti-VCT unit churns out 110bhp of power and develops 140 Nm or torque, whereas the 1.0 litre Eco boost unit produces 123bhp of power and develops 170 Nm of torque. The sole 1.5-litre oil burner churns out a class-leading 100bhp and 205 Nm of torque. Transmission options include a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Hyundai Creta

The Hyundai Creta is the quintessential compact crossover-SUV for the Indian market. Its compact nature makes the Creta both easy to drive and easy to park, yet it manages to give you the feel of an SUV making it an ideal product for this list, which we have spoken about in our review. The Creta comes with a host of premium features projector headlamps, LED DRLs, SUV-style under-body on the outside and a smart cabin with touchscreen infotainment system, steering mounted controls and premium quality seats, which make it an attractive product.

Hyundai Creta SUV
Hyundai Creta

Hyundai has made the Creta available in three engine options - 1.6 Gamma Dual VTVT, 1.6 U2 CRDi VGT, 1.4 U2 CRDi. The engines come mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard and a 6-speed automatic gearbox as an option in both petrol and diesel trims. and there is also an Automatic variant on offer.

Mahindra XUV500

The Mahindra XUV500 is the only full-fledged mass market SUV in this list and a worthy one as well. The updated XUV500, which was launched last year, comes equipped with a host of cosmetic updates and smart equipment like new projector headlamps, LED daytime running lights, puddle lights, sunroof, and more. Similarly, the inside of the car also comes with features like touchscreen infotainment system, comfortable sports seats, engine start-stop system and more. There are also safety features like ABS with EBD as standard across variants and the dual airbags as an option right from the base variant. We drove the car last year and we have to say, the updated model brings a lot of premiumness to the table.

Mahindra XUV500 SUV
Mahindra XUV500

Under the hood, the Mahindra XUV500 features the carmaker's tried and tested 2.2-litre mHawk engine that makes a maximum of 140bhp and develops a peak torque of 330Nm. Mahindra also launched the 1.99-litre version of the mHawk engine for the Delhi and NCR markets during the diesel ban, which also churns out 140bhp and develops slightly less torque of 320Nm. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox along with a 6-speed automatic transmission as an option for the mid and higher variants.

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

The Vitara Brezza, Maruti Suzuki's entrant in the sub-compact SUV space came late to the party but it did come out with a bang. Sharing its design and styling cues with its older sibling, the Suzuki Vitara SUV, the baby brother Vitara Brezza is currently one the best-selling SUVs in the Indian car market and commands months of waiting period. While the Brezza might not have the bulky profile and 4x4 system of a conventional SUV like the Mahindra XUV500 or Tata Safari, the car does offer the perfect SUV-like styling and features suited for your daily commute. We drove the car early this year and we have to say it is in no way a compromise either as the car does its part perfectly as a sub-compact SUV that can handle both the traffic and the minor undulation of a city road, and at the same time keep the passengers in comfortable.

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza SUV
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza shares most of its feature list with the company's popular premium hatchback - the Baleno. So you get features like - a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, all black interior, tilt adjustable steering wheel with audio and telephony controls, reverse parking camera, push-button start, cruise control, cooled upper glove box, and sliding front armrest. Under the hood, it comes powered by Maruti's tried and tested 1.3-litre four-cylinder DDiS 200 that develops 89bhp along with 200Nm of maximum torque. The motor is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and offers an ARAI-certified fuel-efficiency of 24.3Km/l.

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