The 7-seater space is probably one of the most silent ones in the Indian market. Apart from the Renault Triber, a few badges that compete in the segment, are not less than 5 years old. However, this time last year, the arrival of the Triber shed some positive light on the segment. Considering that a good chunk of our population lives in extended families, a 7-seater car becomes a no-brainer. In addition to this, the segment could spark a new wave of demand, considering that public transport is set to lose its credibility in times of Covid-19, we share a glimpse of the other badges in the market that you should have a look at.
The Datsun Go+ stands as the most affordable 7-seater in India. The car, which is essentially a stretched Go with an additional row of seats, is right suited for a family of seven or less. Its last facelift was back in 2018 when the car benefited from a few tweaks inside and out. However, the icing on the cake came recently on the form of an option for an automatic transmission.
Visually, the car resembles its five-seater sibling on the outside, inside as well as the sumptuous list of features for its price. This list includes elements like a 7.0-inch touchscreen system which offers all the functionality expected of a car in this segment like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity and light and dark mode, deep door pockets, covered glove box, a rear parcel shelf.
In terms of safety, the car gets a dual front airbags, rear side crash protection, pedestrian protection regulation, central locking as well ABS with EBD as standard across the range. At its heart, the Datsun Go+ is powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine that produces 75bhp and 104Nm of torque. The car gets two transmission options including a 5-speed manual and a CVT.
The Renault Triber is the latest addition in the seven-seater space having debuted this time last year. With prices starting at INR 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom). The Triber comes as a neat package that plenty of aspects that can woo an ideal Indian. First off, the platform. The Renault Triber sits on a wheelbase that is almost as long as the Duster, and in fact, longer than the Hyundai Creta. This spells out space. Its 5+2 iteration is more than just a passenger favourite, but fold the third row down and you have a boot that is big enough to shame the likes of a Range Rover.
The car also scores handsomely in terms of practicality. You get two glove-boxes, front door pockets and storage on the front centre console and there are cup holders for the front two occupants as well. The second row gets usable door pockets and also on offer are pillar-mounted AC vents and seats that adjust for both recline and reach. In terms of features, the car gets keyless entry and start, a touchscreen multimedia system, a driver information system, dual glove-boxes for additional storage, electric ORVMs without fold function, a cooled box in the centre, and a single-zone manual AC with rear vents that can be adjusted via a dial. On the safety front, the car gets ABS, EBD, and adjustable headrests for four occupants.
The car is powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that puts out 70bhp and a little under 100Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a manual transmission as well as an AMT.
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
The Ertiga stands as the mainstay of the 5-seater space with maximum sales while not being as affordable as the Datson Go+. This difference in price can be reasoned with various aspects. The car's latest update is a major step up over its previous iteration. The deal has also become sweeter with features like the touchscreen infotainment system, rear AC, automatic climate control, ABS with EBS, dual air-bags, and ISOFIX rear seats among others.
After the BS-VI update, the car now comes with just one engine options ie. the 1.5-litre unit that delivers 103bhp and 138Nm of torque. Transmission options for the car come in the form of a manual as well as a torque converter.
The Scorpio is the only SUV on this list. And it comes from the house that is known around the world for its expertise in high-hauling body types. The badge has seen immense popularity in India. On its way to the latest update that happened three years back, the Scorpio has managed to pick up a few elements that have helped it shed its affordable and price-sensitive appeal. The car now comes with features including all-four power windows, power-folding and adjustable mirrors, tilt-adjustable steering and height-adjustable driver seat.
Also on offer are automatic climate control with AC vents for the rear passengers, touch-screen infotainment system with steering mounted audio controls, start-stop Micro-Hybrid system and a cut-off system that switches off the engine while standing in neutral. The engine cranks up with a push of the clutch. The Scorpio also gets cruise control, electrically adjustable and folding wing mirrors, rear parking sensors with camera, dual front airbags and height-adjustable driver’s seat.
Powering the car is a 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine now develops 140bhp of power and 320Nm of torque. While the other players benefit from an automatic transmission, the Scorpio still ships with a manual unit.
Maruti Suzuki Eeco
After an unsuccessful run with the Versa, Maruti Suzuki launched the Eeco that was aimed to walk in the footsteps of the glorified Omni in India. The car does not take giant leaps in terms of looks from its predecessors but is acclaimed to be a perfect fit for Indian families and road conditions by the company.
The Eeco comes in five-seater as well as seven-seater options. The seven-seater model can be bought in just one basic variant, whereas the five-seater is available in four variants – basic five-seater, five-seater with A/C plus heater, five-seater with heater and CNG, five-seater with A/C plus heater and the CNG. The Eeco is sold in six different colours in India namely Superior White, Metallic Midnight Black, Metallic Silky Silver, Bright Red, Metallic Blue Blaze and Metallic Glistening Grey.
Powering the car is a 1.2-litre petrol engine which delivers 73bhp at 6,000rpm and a torque of 101Nm via a five-speed manual gearbox with Diagonal Shift Assistance (DSA) that powers the rear wheels.