Check out our list of the top five vehicles that are available with AWD/4×4 options internationally, but not in the Indian market
All-wheel-drive vehicles are great for a lot of tasks, like racing, driving off-road, etc., thanks to the better grip provided (in comparison with RWD or FWD cars). However, in India, high fuel economy and affordable price tags are at the top of the priority list of a majority of car buyers, which is why front-wheel-drive cars constitute the largest portion of the passenger car market.
Here, we have listed five vehicles that are sold in the Indian market exclusively as front-wheel-drive vehicles, but are available in all-wheel-drive configurations in international markets.
1. Maruti Suzuki Ignis
Maruti Ignis was first introduced in India in 2017, as a replacement for the Ritz. In 2020, Maruti Suzuki gave the mini-crossover a minor facelift. Currently, the Ignis is available with a single engine option in the Indian market – a 1.2-litre petrol motor – which sends power only to the front wheels.
Interestingly, Suzuki Ignis sold in a few international markets can also be had with the company’s Allgrip AWD system. The vehicle is powered by a 1.25-litre petrol engine, assisted by a mild-hybrid system. Fans of Top Gear UK would remember the vehicle from the first episode of Series 26.
2. Ford EcoSport
The EcoSport is Ford’s bestselling model in the Indian market. The compact SUV was first launched here back in 2013, and in 2017, it received a midlife update in the form of a facelift. Currently, the India-spec EcoSport is available with two engine options – a 1.5-litre NA petrol and a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel.
In the Indian market, the EcoSport is only available in a front-wheel-drive format. However, in select international markets, the EcoSport is available with an AWD system as well. Ford Intelligent 4-wheel-drive is available on the 2.0-litre NA petrol and 1.5-litre turbo-diesel (EcoBlue) engines.
3. Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross is the current flagship model in the Indo-Japanese carmaker’s lineup. It was first launched in India back in 2015 with two engine options – a 1.3-litre turbo-diesel and a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel. The latter was discontinued in 2017, and last year, the former was removed from the range as well, resulting in temporary discontinuation of the SUV. Later in 2020, Maruti re-launched the vehicle with a 1.5-litre petrol engine.
Maruti S-Cross is only available in front-wheel-drive format in India. However, the international version (Suzuki S-Cross) gets an AWD option as well, which utilises Suzuki’s Allgrip system, along with a plethora of engine options. The AWD system is optional on all the engine options, including even the tiny 1.0L Boosterjet motor.
4. Kia Seltos
Kia Seltos is one of the most popular SUVs in the Indian market, thanks to its long list of features, handsome design, and plenty of engine/transmission choices. The India-spec Seltos (SP2i) has three engine options available – a 1.5L NA petrol, a 1.5L turbo-diesel, and a 1.4L turbo-petrol.
In a few international markets, like South Korea, North America, and Australia, Kia sells a different version of the Seltos (codenamed SP2). This international model is slightly larger in dimensions and gets different engine options – a 1.6-litre NA petrol, a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol, a 2.0-litre NA petrol, and a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel. The international-spec Seltos gets an AWD option as well, on different engine options, depending on the market.
5. Volkswagen T-Roc
Volkswagen first launched the T-Roc in the Indian market in March last year. The SUV was sold as a CBU import, limited to just 1,000 units, and it was sold out in just a few months. In September 2020, bookings for the T-Roc reopened, and deliveries have reportedly resumed once again.
The India-spec Volkswagen T-Roc is available with a 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine. It comes paired with a 7-speed DSG, which transfers power to the front wheels only. Internationally, the SUV is available with four petrol engine options, ranging from 1.2-litre to 2.0-litre in size, along with two diesel engine options (1.6L and 2.0L). VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is standard on the 2.0L TSI petrol engine and optional on a few other engines, depending on the market.