The Indian car buyer has a special place for SUVs yet there is no shortage of models that have failed to tickle the taste buds of the buyers. In August 2018, we presented a list of 8 SUVs that disappeared from India without a trace. Here is a look at 7 other SUVs from the past that have been forgotten by most of us -
Maruti Grand Vitara XL7
The Maruti Grand Vitara XL7 came to us via CBU route and only in a petrol engine variant with a thirsty V6. Naturally, the premium SUV buyers decided against putting their money on an expensive product from the manufacturer of some of the least priced cars on sale in the country. This, despite the fact that the XL7 was a capable off-roader and offered a well-appointed cabin. A few years down the line, the company released the next-gen Grand Vitara, which was more affordable but couldn't find enough buyers owing to the lack of a diesel engine.
The Hyundai Terracan was an SUV that came to us well before its time. While it was the only full-size SUV in the market, the fact that it came from the makers of the low-priced Santro is said to have worked against it. The Hyundai Terracan featured a powerful 2.9-litre diesel engine that offered 148 bhp and 343 Nm. Its AWD system and ladder-frame architecture made it quite capable off the road, while its well-appointed cabin provided enough room for seven occupants.
Today, the Mahindra Thar is among the few lifestyle products to have found a good response from the market. Back in the day, however, the Legend hardly found any takers. Based on the MM-540/550 platform, which was a derivative of the Willys Jeep, the Legend was powered by a 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine that produced a mere 58 bhp.
Hyundai Tucson (first generation)
The first generation Hyundai Tucson was sold in India from 2005 to 2010. It was a direct rival to the Honda CR-V and was available with a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that produced 120 bhp/270 Nm. The motor came mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Four-wheel-drive was standard. Unfortunately, the car could never find enough buyers, and Hyundai decided against launching the second-gen model here before finally coming up with the third-gen version.
The Mahindra Invader was essentially a Mahindra Bolero that received the classic treatment. It featured three doors and came with a soft top. The Invader was powered by a 2.5-litre diesel engine that produced 63 bhp and 177 Nm. While an oil-burner gave it a clear advantage over the Maruti Gypsy, it never got going in India.
While the recently launched Mahindra Alturas G4 is a rebadged version of the G4 Ssangyong Rexton, in 2012 Mahindra introduced the last-gen Ssangyong Rexton to take on the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. It was powered by a 2.7-litre diesel engine that was available with two transmission options - 5-speed manual and 5-speed automatic. M&M had to discount the car to the tune of 9.5 lakh rupees in September 2018 to find buyers for the final batch sitting at the dealer yards.
The Skoda Yeti was launched in 2010 to rival the Honda CR-V. The small five-seater SUV offered a punchy 2.0-litre TDi oil-burner, capable 4wd hardware, and excellent driving dynamics. A rather exorbitant price tag and a small cabin, however, kept buyers away.