The launch of the Hyundai Alcazar is likely to make the story in the 7-seater SUV segment a bit more interesting. Alcazar, a bigger derivative of the Creta SUV essentially gets a three-row seating with a 6- and 7- seater cabin option and a new 2.0-litre engine to entice the buyers looking to buy an SUV that is also practical. Right now, there are hardly any products below INR 15 Lakh in this segment. As the competition is set to get stiffer, here is a refresher on all the key offerings that operate in the same segment.
Hyundai is expected to launch the Alcazar in May. The three-row SUV could be priced between INR 12 lakh to INR 18 lakh depending on the variant. It will be available in both 6- and 7-seater configurations. At its heart, the Alzacar will come with two engines: 2.0-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel units. The petrol engine is the same one that powers the Elantra and Tucson but in a slightly higher state of tune to produce 159 PS and 191 Nm while the diesel engine is the same as the Creta’s with 115 PS and 250 Nm. Both engines will be available with the option of 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions. It also comes with three drive modes: Eco, City And Sport.
The Alcazar will be equipped with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, ventilated front seats, a semi-digital instrument cluster, and wireless charging. Hyundai’s three-row SUV will also get a larger digital instrument cluster. In terms of safety, the car could feature multiple airbags, a rear parking camera as well as front and rear parking sensors. In the domestic market, the car will go up against the MG Hector Plus, Mahindra XUV500, Tata Safari, and the Mahindra XUV700.
MG Hector Plus
The MG Hector Plus does not carry a lot of changes than its 5-seater sibling Hector. The Hector Plus is aimed at being a more premium version of the Hector. Hence, a few elements that work for the same include tan coloured leather upholstery. While the rest of the features are carried over from the Hector, the Plus version gets an additional seat. Ditching the conventional bench seat for the second row, the Hector Plus ships with captain seats for the second row and a bench for the third. MG clarifies that the third seat might not be apt for accommodating an adult, which is solely meant for kids.
The Hector Plus come with one additional feature than the standard Hector, which is the automatic tailgate. Some of the other key features of the Hector Plus include a Panoramic Sunroof, a Chit-Chat i-SMART Next Gen interface, captain seats with recline and slide function, LED lighting, 10.4-inch touchscreen infotainment and tyre pressure monitoring system. Like its 5-seater sibling, the Hector Plus comes with a 1.5-litre petrol engine rated 143 PS, a 1.5-litre hybrid engine that will output 143 PS and a 2.0-litre diesel engine that will deliver 170 PS. While the hybrid and diesel variants will be mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, the petrol-only version will be offered with a DCT only.
The 2021 Tata Safari is an extended version of the Harrier. At the front, it carries the same looks, the only exception being a slightly redesigned bumper in the rear. However, there is a considerable change in the roofline and space inside the SUV — the height has been raised and the rear has a more upright position, creating more space. The new Safari's dashboard design and interiors are similar to the Harrier. It gets an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, 8.8-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system, keyless entry, panoramic sunroof and push-button start. It also has an electronic handbrake.
While the Safari shares the same wheelbase as the Harrier at 2,741 mm, it also shares the drivetrain, which means it is available only as a two-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive and electric versions are in the offing in future. When it comes to the engine, the Safari will be powered by the same 2.0-litre Kryotec diesel engine as Harrier. This engine can produce 170 bhp of power and 350 Nm of torque. The Tata Safari competes with MG Hector Plus and has a starting price of INR 14.70 lakh*.
The Mahindra XUV500 is the sole premium 7-seater SUV from the brand and has been a successful product, with the last update introduced in 2018. Prices for the Mahindra XUV500 starts from INR 13.16 lakh* and goes up to INR 18.88 lakh*. The car is available in seven variants: W5, W7, W7 AT, W9, W9 AT, W11(O), and W11(O) AT. It is now offered with a BS6-compliant 2.2-litre diesel engine that continues to put out 155 PS and 360 Nm. The SUV gets the option of a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed torque converter gearbox.
Mahindra XUV500 is offered with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 6-way adjustable driver seat, a sunroof, and cruise control. In terms of safety, the car gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, and rear parking sensors. In the domestic market, the car takes on the likes of the Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson, Toyota Innova Crysta, and MG Hector. Mahindra has announced to launch the all-new XUV500 and will rename it as the XUV700. Possibilities are Mahindra will retain the XUV500 as it is.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
Last on our list is a bit expensive, a bit unconventional, yet an exciting product, especially for those looking for a premium product for the daily urban commute. The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace can be bought in a single fully-loaded variant priced at INR 33.24 lakh*. The car offers a 7-seater layout and comes with a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that develops 190 PS and 320 Nm. This unit comes paired with a 7-speed DSG transmission option. Volkswagen offers the Tiguan Allspace with an all-wheel-drive (AWD).
In terms of features, the car gets a digital driver’s display, connected car tech, a panoramic sunroof, three-zone climate control, and powered front seats. Its safety features come with gets seven airbags, electronic stability control (ESC), and hill descent control. In the domestic market, the Tiguan Allspace goes up against the likes of the Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner, Mahindra Alturas G4 and Isuzu MU-X.