There are a host of new SUVs that will launch in India in the next 12 months. The list of upcoming SUVs in India includes the Mahindra Y400, the Nissan Kicks, the Tata Harrier and host of mid-cycle refreshes. These models have been seen testing on numerous occasions on Indian soil. That said, it’s worth a mention that not all SUVs spotted testing in India are going to launch here. This list focuses on 10 SUVs that never made it to India -
10 SUVs that never made it to India
There have been many speculations about the second-generation Toyota Rush being India-bound. Internationally, the latest iteration of the SUV is available in 5- and 7-seat configurations. It’s available only with a 1.5-litre VVT-I petrol engine that comes mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 103 hp and 136 Nm. In spite of the strong rumours, the Rush isn’t on TKM's business plans. Toyota Kirloskar Motors will be focussing on rolling out a Toyota-badged version of the Maruti Vitara Brezza to fill out the space between the Etios and the Yaris.
A Toyota C-HR test mule was spied testing on Indian roads in July this year. In spite of the several speculations on its imminent India-launch, the C-HR won’t be available in the Indian car market. Toyota Kirloskar Motors could use the C-HR to test its hybrid powertrain in the Indian road conditions, or it could be independents tests by a component manufacturer. Bringing the C-HR to India makes little sense as its TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) scalable platform and the differentiating hybrid powerplant make it very expensive for our market. Powering the C-HR is the 125 PS THS II powertrain that features a 98 PS 1.8-litre petrol engine and a 72 PS electric motor.
Another SUV that never made it to the Indian car market is the Nissan Juke. Nissan is believed to have studied the vehicle in 2010 and rendered it expensive for India. This unconventionally designed SUV is eight years old now. The current-generation Juke was discontinued in the USA earlier this year and will soon receive a replacement. In Europe, this crossover-SUV is still on sale and is powered by Renault’s 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine and a turbo-petrol motor.
The third-generation Nissan X-Trail made its India debut at the Auto Expo 2016. Nissan India planned to launch the hybrid variant in India, but engineers’ concern about the performance of the hybrid powertrain in the extreme climate conditions of India is reported to have led to an inordinate delay in the launch. Another reason is the lack of subsidy by the government to hybrid vehicles, as the X-Trail does not get a diesel engine. Powering this SUV is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that works in tandem with the RM31 electric motor.
In spite of some strong speculations, the Honda HR-V doesn't look likely to make it to India. This SUV comes with expensive features, like an electric parking brake, which would make it a tad too costly in India, and re-engineering it is a complex affair. The Sport Hybrid i-DCD system would further add to the cost. Bringing this SUV to India doesn't look like a feasible option at the moment.
The earlier generation Mazda CX-5 crossover-SUV was spotted testing in India in 2012. The prototype was a part of the company's global testing program. The second generation of this globally-acclaimed SUV made its international debut in 2016. Internationally, the latest CX-5 is available with three engine options - SKYACTIV-G 2.0 petrol, SKYACTIV-G 2.5 petrol and SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel. All the engines come mated to a 6-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission. The 2.2-litre diesel and 2.5-litre petrol options get an all-wheel-drive system. The CX-5 won't launch here anytime soon as Mazda is yet to officially enter India.
Back in 2013, a Haval H3 SUV was spied testing in India. There were strong speculations that the ICML group would launch the Great Wall SUV in India. Powering the H3 is a 2.5-litre diesel engine. It comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission
In January 2013, Tata Motors showcased the Vista D90 Xtreme crossover-ish hatchback concept at the Vista D90's launch at the Buddh International Circuit. The concept model came with a raised suspension and retuned rear dampers. It also featured several SUV-like styling elements for a more rugged look than the regular Vista. The project was dropped after the feasibility studies conducted by Tata showed a low demand for pseudo-crossovers.
The Suzuki Vitara has been spied in India on numerous occasions this year, but Maruti Suzuki won’t launch the SUV in the local market. The test mules were here merely for component testing purposes. The Vitara is slightly smaller than Hyundai Creta and is already a four-year-old design. Launching it here to compete with next-gen vehicles like the T-Cross and new Creta (due in 2020) would be a poor strategy.
The Indian debut of the Nissan Patrol took place in 2015. The SUV was here only as a part of company’s tenth-anniversary celebrations. The company has no intentions of launching it here. The reason behind this is that the Patrol is a petrol-only SUV that gets its juice from a 5.5-litre V8 engine. The frame SUV is on sale in the Middle East, North America, and Russia.