The lifestyle pickup truck segment in India could grow in the next few years, with the expected arrival of the following five models
The lifestyle vehicle market in India is not a very crowded space, consisting of just Mahindra Thar and the recently-launched Isuzu D-Max BS6, both of which occupy different segments. However, the demand for lifestyle vehicles is quite strong in our country, and we believe there is potential for a lot of growth here, especially for pickup trucks.
Here, we have listed five pickup trucks that could launch in the Indian market in the next few years, ranging from Hyundai Santa Cruz to MG Extender.
1. Toyota Hilux
Toyota is reportedly considering the Hilux pickup truck for the Indian market. Toyota Hilux is built on the brand’s IMV platform, which also underpins the Fortuner and Innova Crysta. As such, the manufacturer could save costs through parts sharing, and we believe that the vehicle would be heavily localised to keep costs low.
According to speculations, the vehicle is expected to launch in India sometime this year, with a starting price of around Rs. 15 lakh (ex-showroom). The Toyota pickup will likely be offered with one or more of the following engine options – a 2.8L diesel engine (204 PS), a 2.4L diesel engine (150 PS), and a 2.7L petrol engine (166 PS).
2. Hyundai Santa Cruz
Hyundai Santa Cruz was officially unveiled globally last month, as the pickup truck version of the new-generation Hyundai Tucson. In India, we still get the older-generation Tucson, as Hyundai has been unable to generate significant volumes with the SUV. However, Santa Cruz has the potential to become extremely popular among lifestyle pickup truck buyers.
The crossover-based truck looks absolutely stunning, and if offered with an AWD system (at least as an option), it would surely be a hit among buyers! The manufacturer could offer the Santa Cruz as a CKD import in our market, with heavy localisation, which would keep the prices down.
3. MG Extender
Last month, MG revealed the 2021 Extender pickup truck, as a rebadged version of Maxus T70. The latest version of the Extender looks extremely sharp and futuristic, and it would be a great addition to MG India’s lineup as well! The brand could launch it as a CKD import, as local assembly would help keep the prices competitive.
Maxus T70/MG Extender is available with two engine options – a 2.0-litre petrol (213 PS) and a 2.0-litre diesel (163 PS). For the Indian market, the latter would be the better choice. Also, if MG launches the pickup truck in India, we expect it to be offered in both RWD and 4WD configurations.
4. Ford Ranger
Since last year, speculations about Ford Ranger’s India launch are making rounds on the internet. The Ranger, regular readers might know, is the pickup version of Ford Endeavour (or Everest, as it is known internationally), and the Ranger Raptor is its off-road variant.
Previously, the Ranger Raptor was expected to launch in India, as a CBU import in limited numbers. Now, with Ford currently evaluating its future strategy for India, we’re not sure when the vehicle would arrive in our market. However, whenever it does launch, off-road enthusiasts with deep pockets would appreciate it very much.
5. Next-generation Isuzu D-Max
Isuzu recently launched the BS6-compliant D-Max pickup truck in India in two variants – V-Cross and Hi-Lander. Sadly, this isn’t the latest-generation version, which debuted back in 2019. Instead, this is the previous-generation model, featuring just a few updates.
However, we believe that the next-generation model could make its way into the Indian market, depending on how well the current version performs. If Isuzu finds a suitable demand for the pickup, the new-generation model will likely arrive as a more premium version of the D-Max, with a significantly higher price tag.