Like in most major markets, the popularity of SUVs in India is undoubtedly at an all-time high. Even though most of the numbers are garnered by pseudo-SUVs, or monocoque crossovers to be precise, there is no denying the fact that India has a thing for tough ladder-frame SUVs.
Here is a list of top 5 body-on-frame SUVs which are highly revered by Indian enthusiasts, models we'd love to see hit our market.
India's undying love for the second-gen Suzuki Jimny, which was launched locally as the first-gen Maruti Gypsy, is no news. The fourth-gen Suzuki Jimny is taking the international markets by storm and it's eagerly awaited in our market as the successor to the discontinued first-gen model.
The design in and out of the Suzuki Jimny might have been vastly evolved, however, the boxy body, compact dimensions, the spare wheel mounted at the back and such other traditional design bits that have been retained keep its identity intact. Like the design, the mechanicals under the skin reflect simplicity. The mini-SUV is powered by a simple 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine (105 PS/130 Nm). This engine comes linked to a 5-speed MT or a 4-speed AT. A part-time 4x4 system is standard.
Maruti Suzuki has ruled out the fourth-gen Suzuki Jimny deeming it a too low-volume product.
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
Yes, we do have the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport here on sale in the Indian market, but that's the previous generation model. Meanwhile, internationally, the latest generation model is already at the middle of its lifecycle and has received a facelift. This model has been long-rumoured to arrive in India, and maybe it will finally be launched directly in the facelifted avatar in 2020.
Sporting an all-new design which is a huge departure from the one on sale in India right now, the new Mitsubishi Pajero Sport looks flashy and contemporary, with the new design language and front fascia shared with other new generation Mitsubishi SUVs. The interior too is way more modern and feature-rich compared to the currently available Mitsubishi Pajero Sport in India.
India will likely get the facelifted fifth-gen model with a 2.4-litre inline-four diesel engine (181 PS/430 Nm), an 8-speed AT and a 4WD system all as standard. This model would compete with the likes of Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour.
Kia has already created huge ripples in the Indian automobile market with its very first offering for the country, the Seltos sub-compact SUV. But the well-informed people do know about the fact that the Seltos is only extensive global SUV lineup of Kia, at the top of which sits the Mohave. The Mohave is the largest and most powerful SUV from the Korean automaker, which received a makeover only recently, making it even more desirable. It was given a facelift recently.
The new Kia Mohave has a flashier appearance on the outside and a comprehensively revamped interior. This new facelifted model certainly looks much more intimidating than ever before, thanks to the generous use of LED lighting elements, a wider front fascia and a refreshed rear-end.
The new Kia Mohave sold in the South Korean market is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine (258 PS/560 Nm). It won't be launched in India as it's a left-hand drive-only model, and even if not so, it would be a very low-volume offering here.
One of the most highly revered nameplates in the SUV circuit, the Ford Bronco is soon going to make a comeback. The fifth-gen model departed way back in 1996. After a long 24 years, the Ford Bronco is all set to be unveiled in its sixth-gen avatar. Continuing the legacy, it will utilise a ladder-on-frame chassis.
Originally available as a 2-door SUV, the Ford Bronco was replaced by a more practical and robust looking 4-door Ford Expedition, which was built on the platform of F150 pickup, considering the declining demand of 2-door SUVs. Come 2020, and the Ford Bronco will be launched in an all-new avatar.
The sixth-gen Ford Bronco won't be a single SUV but a range of three different SUVs. One of these will likely be a monocoque sub-compact model rivaling the second-gen Jeep Renegade. The model bigger than that will sit on the ladder-frame chassis of the Ford Ranger and compete with the Jeep Wrangler. The flagship model could be North America's Ford Endeavour.
Ford's Jeep Wrangler rival might be powered by a 2.3-litre Ecoboost petrol engine. It won't be launched in India. Here, there'll be B-and C-SUVs co-developed with Mahindra and the next-gen Ford Endeavour in the future.
Couple of years ago, the Nissan Patrol was strongly rumoured to be launched in the Indian car market as a halo product, just like the GT-R supercar. However, Nissan didn’t launched it here, which is plain sad, considering how popular this brute of an SUV is here in India. On a global level though, after a lot of time, the Nissan Patrol has finally got a comprehensive makeover.
With the facelift, this flagship seven-seater SUV from Nissan has got a more angular front fascia and a refreshed rear design, complete with the modern essentials of LED lighting elements. On the inside too, the 2-screen infotainment system itself makes the Patrol much newer in feel.
Under the hood, this mammoth of an SUV continues to be powered by a 5.6-litre V8 petrol engine (405 PS/560 Nm). The Nissan Patrol might not be a fortune changer for Nissan here in India, considering its niche market. But given its rich heritage and off-road prowess, it would be an excellent brand-building model.