The SUV market has been growing at a significant pace in India for a while now and the trend has only continued in 2020. That too despite the pandemic, which delayed many a plan. We have seen new SUVs launches across segments and while some may be a subtle update or facelift, there have been fair number of fresh launches as well, especially by the Korean and Japanese carmakers. Here is a list of the top 7 SUVs that were launched in 2020.
The Kia Sonet has also been a blockbuster hit in India just like its bigger sibling- the Seltos. The new model is dominating the subcompact SUV segment in the market with the Korean carmaker selling 11,417 units which is almost half of the company's overall volumes. The Kia Sonet was launched in India in September this year and has become the bestselling SUV within just three months. The Kia Sonet is offered in three powertrain options. 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 convertor. All versions send power only to the front wheels.
The Nissan Magnite was launched just this month and it is latest entrant in the subcompact SUV space and it is the most affordable one. It bagged over 5000 bookings in just five days from its launch while the Japanese carmaker has received over 50,000 enquiries for the same. More than 60 per cent of the bookings have come for the top two trims- XV and XV Premium and more than 30 per cent of the bookings are for the CVT automatic variant. Interestingly, Nissan has received more than 40 per cent of the overall bookings through digital channels. The Nissan Magnite is offered in four trim levels- XE, XL, XV and XV Premium and with two engine options. First up is the 1.0-litre naturally aspirated motor and then there is the 1.0-litre turbo petrol unit. While the former is tuned to make around 71 bhp and 96 Nm of torque, the turbo-petrol unit makes 99 bhp and 160 Nm of torque. Transmission duties are handled by a five-speed manual gearbox as standard on both powertrains, however, the turbo petrol unit also comes with an optional CVT automatic unit which offers slightly less torque at 152 Nm.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Facelift / Toyota Urban Cruiser
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza has been a runaway success for the Indian carmaker. It's been leading the subcompact SUV segment since its launch and it also became the fastest subcompact SUV to reach the 5.5 lakh sales milestone. Maruti gave the Vitara Brezza a minor facelift in February this year but the major change was its shift to a petrol powertrain which is the only engine on offer now. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza was also updated with features like LED headlamp with daytime running lamps (DRLs), a torque convertor automatic transmission that replaces the AMT unit and offers hill hold assist.
Then there's the 1.5-litre, four-cylinder K-Series engine which is coupled with an electric motor featuring the Smart Hybrid technology. It is the only hybrid vehicle in its class and the dual battery system helps delivering an impressive fuel economy of 18.76 kmpl for automatic and 17.03kmpl for the manual. It also features idle stop-start and torque assist functions with regenerative brake energy. Maruti is also supplying the same powertrain to Toyota in the Urban Cruiser which is essentially a rebadged version of the Vitara Brezza.
The Hyundai Creta has been the most loved and bestselling compact SUV in India. The new 2020 Hyundai Creta that was launched in March this year has built-up on its popularity and its bookings crossed the 1.15 lakh mark in October this year. In fact, Hyundai's market share in the compact SUV segment was 26 per cent in the January-September period thanks to the Creta and the Korean carmaker said that the diesel version of the Creta has contributed 60 per cent to the sales. The connected car tech has also been well received as 25000 customers have opted for a Creta powered by the Blue Link technology. The new Creta is offered in three engine options - a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol, 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol, and a 1.5-litre diesel engine. The former petrol engine gets the option of either a 6-speed manual or an IVT (Intelligent Variable Transmission) automatic unit, while the turbo petrol version comes with a 7-speed DCT automatic as standard.
Mahindra hit it out of the park with the new Thar. The new SUV has evolved and how over its predecessor. The new Mahindra Thar was launched in October this year and it bagged over 20,000 bookings just in over a months. In fact, it has a waiting period 5-7 months now and Mahindra is only accepting bookings for the range-topping LX trims as they are quite in demand. The 2020 Mahindra Thar is offered in two key options - the off-road-focused AX series, and the more lifestyle-oriented LX series and you get some new features on the inside like power windows and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The powertrain options on the Thar include a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and a 2.2-litre diesel motor. Both are mated either with a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed torque converter automatic unit. Thar has also scored an impressive 4-star rating in Global NCAP crash test.
2020 Ford Endeavour
Ford also gave a major overhaul to the Endeavour in February this year. Both previous engines, the 3.2-litre, Five-Cylinder unit and the 2.2-litre, four-cylinder engine were replace with a single 2.0-litre, four-cylinder mill. The new powertrain promises to be more frugal and punchier than the previous units, being mated to a brand new and world's first 10-speed automatic gearbox. The same drivetrain also made its way under the hood of the Ford Endeavour Sport which is a sportier looking variant of the Endeavour. Other updates on the SUV include, a new pair of LED headlights and the Ford Pass connected car tech.
2020 Tata Harrier
The Tata Harrier too got a significant update in March this year. Updates in the features department include a new panoramic sunroof while Tata made subtle changes in its cabin to improve its ergonomics, for instance, the positioning of the USB ports were tweaked to improve reachability. Then the Harrier also got new slimmer wing mirrors improve corner visibility and a set of new dual-tone 17-inch alloy wheels along with new body colour options. That said, the major update was made to the Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre powertrain that was tuned to churn out better output and now comes with an option of a six-speed automatic transmission sourced from Hyundai.