As the demand for high-hauling vehicles soars in India, the action in the SUV segment is getting interesting with each launch. If you notice the trend in the past year or so, SUVs have taken a high seat among launches that took place in India. In fact, such is the charm of SUVs that new carmakers entering India are also relying heavily on their success by launching an SUV as their first product. Hence if you are among the buyers who are looking to buy a new SUV this year, these are the monikers that you should wait to check out.
The Skoda Kushaq will be a very important product for the Czech carmaker in India. It will be first product that will be based on VW Group's localized MQB-A0-IN platform, with which the company is aiming for up to 95% localization. The company will, however, not be cutting corners and it has been made to look and feel like a genuine Skoda car. Styling along with well-appointed interiors are going to be one of the biggest highlights of the Skoda Kushaq.
Meant to rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos, the Kushaq will be powered by VW Groups' 1.0L and 1.5L TSI engines. Like most other VW and Skoda cars, we expect good performance and handling from the Kushaq, something that could give it an edge over its rivals. Going against the likes of the Seltos and Creta is certainly not an easy task, but the carmaker is confident that the Kushaq has all that it needs to be a successful product. Skoda will be taking the wraps off the Kushaq on March 18, 2021.
The Scorpio comes from the house that is known around the world for its expertise in high-hauling body types. Like Safari, the Mahindra Scorpio has been a posterboy of butch affordable SUVs of India. Spy pictures of the next-gen SUV suggests that it will feature a 5-slot grille, new headlamps with LED DRLs, a longer bonnet and revised bumper with wide air intakes. The new-generation model will have a longer wheelbase, with extended C-pillar. The rear section might be revised with LED taillights and a larger tailgate with easy ingress and egress.
One of the biggest changes will be in terms of mechanicals. The new Scorpio will come with both petrol and diesel engines. The petrol model will use an all-new 2.0-litre mStallion turbocharged motor, while the diesel version will get an updated, more powerful 2.2-litre mHawk unit. The petrol engine will be rated at 150 bhp and 320 Nm of torque. The power and torque figures of the updated oil burner could be higher than the existing unit that makes 130 bhp and 320 Nm. The model lineup will come with a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic torque converter gearbox options.
Citroen C5 Aircross
2021 will again see the debut of a new manufacturer in India after Kia and MG Motors debuted in 2019. Citroen will mark its India entry with the C5 Aircross, which will come to the country as a CKD. It will surely be expensive on account of being a CKD (about INR 25-30 lakh, ex-showroom),but it has a very unique interior and exterior styling in its favor to try and grab the attention of the Indian audience. The Citroen C5 Aircross will also be very generously kitted out but will have a sole powertrain option - a 174hp 2.0L diesel engine mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
In terms of features, the C5 Aircross comes with a panoramic sunroof, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a kick-to-open powered tailgate. Citroen has also equipped it with dual-zone climate control and a 6-speaker sound system. In terms of safety, the SUV gets an electronic stability program and a blind-spot monitoring system. In India, it will rival the 2021 VW Tiguan, Skoda Kodiaq, and the 2021 Jeep Compass.
Maruti Suzuki Jimny
Yet another highly anticipated vehicle for the Indian market is the Maruti Suzuki Jimny. Speculations and rumors about the Jimny coming to India have been doing rounds for a long time, but it was only very recently when Maruti Suzuki confirmed that the Jimny is being evaluated for India. Although Maruti already manufacturers the Jimny here in India for export purposes, Maruti Suzuki has always been non-committal about launching it in the domestic market.
When launched, the Jimny will be introduced in India as a five-door model. It is even speculated that the Jimny could revive the 'Gypsy' nameplate in India. It will be a proper off-roader, underpinned by a ladder frame chassis and employing four-wheel drive with a low-range transfer case. It will be powered by the same 105hp 1.5L K15B petrol engine that you find in a lot of other Maruti Suzuki cars like the Vitara Brezza and the Ciaz. The Mahindra Thar will finally see a rival in the Jimny in India.
Last on our list is once again a Mahindra, but a more premium product this time. Mahindra will be debuting a brand new generation of the XUV500 this year and it has been completely redesigned from grounds up, just as the new-gen Thar. It will be loaded with tons of fancy new tech, some highlights including a Mercedes-like twin instrument console and even Level 1 autonomous driver assistance features.
Under the hood, the next-gen Mahindra XUV500 will be powered by the new crop of petrol and diesel engines that Mahindra debuted with the Thar, possibly in a higher state of tune. This means there will be a 2.0-litre petrol and diesel units with an option of either a manual or automatic gearbox. That said, the global shortage of semi-conductors could delay the debut of the next-gen Mahindra XUV500 as well as the upcoming new Scorpio.