Tata Motors, India’s homegrown automaker recently introduced the all-new Safari in the country and made the SUV segment of India a bit more interesting. Indians have a special affinity towards SUVs largely due to road conditions and also practicality. With cars like MG Hector, Hyundai Creta and Kia Sonet, the sub-20 Lakh market is abuzz with new launched every now and then. We have compiled a list of top 5 key offerings in the SUV segment under INR 20 Lakh that you can opt for buying -
The mid-SUV from Korean carmaker happens to be the best-selling SUV in the country, even outpacing cars cheaper than the Creta. In its second generation now, the Creta has been a popular choice among SUV buyers ever since it was first introduced 5 years back and remains a top seller despite increase in competition.
Hyundai offers the new Creta with a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine, available with a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). The other powertrain options includes a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel engine that can be availed with either a 6-speed manual transmission, or an automatic transmission. The Hyundai Creta's prices start at INR 9.99 lakh* in the Indian market. It goes up against the likes of the Kia Seltos, Tata HarrierandMG Hector.
After its success story with the Seltos, Kia has stirred up a storm in the Indian sub-compact SUV segment with the introduction of the Sonet. The car borrows a good deal of features from the Seltos mid-SUV and packs it in a comprehensive package that is hard to overlook. In the hotly contested segment, the Kia Sonet locks horns with a few of the popular badges in the country like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon and Mahindra XUV300. Prices for the base variant with the petrol powertrain start at INR 6.71 lakh*, which goes up to INR 12.99 lakh* for the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol GTX+ version with the 7-speed DCT.
Sonet gets the segment's largest 10.25-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system, built-in eSIM for UVO car connectivity features, push-button start with keyless entry, automatic climate control, wireless charger, electric sunroof, rear AC vents, six airbags and much more. It gets multiple engine and gearbox options including a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit, two 1.5-litre diesel units with different state of tunes and a 1.2-litre petrol unit. The gearbox options includes a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 6-speed AT, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic and an iMT gearbox.
Tata Motors has reintroduced the Safari brand in India renaming the Gravitas SUV, which was an extended version of the Harrier and now gets a third row of seating. The Safari carries the same Harrier looks with considerable change in the roofline, increased height and enlarged rear overhang. In terms of length, the Safari is longer and taller than the Harrier by 63 mm and 80 mm, respectively.
While the new Safari's dashboard design is similar to the Harrier, it gets Oyster White upholstery that adds airiness to the cabin. It has 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 2,741mm, initially it is being offered only as 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 like Harrier. This engine can produce 170 bhp of power and 350 Nm of torque.
The MG Hector was introduced as India’s first Internet Car and recently got an update along side an additional 7-seater model under the Hector Plus moniker. It does not carry a lot of changes over its 5-seater sibling on the outside. The car comes with the same split headlight setup that sits on either side of the cascading grille. MG has slightly tweaked the bumper on both sides. Hector is the brand’s first offering in India and is priced reasonably, considering the amount of features it offers.
There are three seating options – a 5-seater, a 6-seater with captain seats and a 7-seater with bench type seat in the middle row. MG, however, calls the third row seating of the 6 and 7 seater variants apt only for kids and not adults, especially for longer travel periods. The Hector comes with automatic tailgate, panoramic sunroof, a Chit-Chat i-SMART Next Gen interface, 10.4-inch touchscreen infotainment and tyre pressure monitoring system. There’s a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 2.0-litre diesel engine and only a manual gearbox. The petrol engine also gets a mild hybrid variant.
Last on our list is the Mahindra XUV500, the first of the lot to offer a 7-seater SUV with a premium touch. Mahindra last updated the XUV500 in 2018 and the SUV has started to feel dated in the world of Safaris and Hectors. However, it still holds a charm among good looking proper 7-seater SUV car segment below INR 20 Lakh*. The car is available in seven variants: W5, W7, W7 AT, W9, W9 AT, W11, and W11(O) AT. It is now offered with a BS6-compliant 2.2-litre diesel engine that continues to put out 155PS and 360Nm. 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.