As evident from the FY2018-19 penetration tally, the sales of petrol variants in the compact SUV segment have gradually been increasing
The compact SUV segment was all the rage in the last few years as customers are preferring to buy SUVs and crossovers in large number than ever before. Generally, diesel variants are purchased the most in SUV space courtesy of the advantages it has over petrol in terms of fuel economy and torque delivery to compensate for the added kerb weight over typical hatchback or sedan.
However, the anti-diesel vibe prevailing over consumers and the arrival of BS6 emission standards by April 2020 resulting in steep increase in pricing of the oil-burners have led to negative sentiments over purchasing them. While the sales of diesel variants across the sub-four-metre SUV segment have not overtaken petrol, we can really see the gradual shift in momentum.
The segment-leading Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is available only with a 1.3-litre diesel engine producing 90 PS and 200 Nm, mated to either a five-speed manual or a five-speed AMT. Since it contributed to the majority of the segment’s sales by about 1,57,880 units, it led to 81 per cent of the total sales last fiscal was for diesel variants.
However, when we look closer, the SUVs retailed in both engine options tell otherwise. The second-placed Tata Nexon had customers going for diesel variants more over petrol in the ratio of 51:49 only while Honda WR-V in fourth place had 45 per cent opting for petrol over 55 per cent of diesel in the total sales of 33,010 units.
Mahindra & Mahindra sells two sub-four-metre SUVs in India as the TUV300 has recently been accompanied by the XUV300. Having debuted in mid-February 2019, the latter made a huge impact in the market by garnering a total of over 18,000 units thus far.
The penetration levels could have changed a little bit right now but since February and March sales closing out the FY were considered, 71 per cent of buyers went for diesel in the tally of 9,532 units. The segment has received a new participant in the name of Hyundai Venue recently and thus far the top-spec turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine was said to have had more takers.