While there has been a crowd of compact SUVs out in the market, most of these offerings are merely hatchbacks on stilts and offer little in terms of off-road performance
The SUV market of India has witnessed a huge growth in the last few years. The entry-level segment now features some well-rounded contenders, including the Hyundai Venue and the Mahindra XUV300. Up next, we have really upmarket models like the Kia Seltos and the Hyundai Creta.
However, in spite of an influx of many new SUVs in the recent past, the off-roading enthusiasts aren’t exactly spoilt for choice. Soon, however, we’ll have at least four new 4×4 models that will launch in the near future.
1. Mahindra Thar
Easily among the most iconic SUVs in the recent times, the Mahindra Thar was discontinued last year. However, the homegrown carmaker will soon launch a new generation of its lifestyle SUV that will be underpinned by the company’s modern ZEN3 ladder-frame architecture. The new model will be bigger than the earlier version and will be sold with a company-fitted hard-top variant. Powering the new model will be new-age 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel and 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engines. Of course, 4×4 will be on offer.
2. 2020 Maruti Gypsy/Jimny
Maruti Suzuki showcased the fourth-generation Jimny in India at the Auto Expo 2020. It’s now said to be preparing a 5-door version of its mini SUV that will launch in India by the end of this year. The upcoming model will share its 1.5-litre petrol engine with the Ciaz and will be available with 5-speed manual and 4-speed torque-converter automatic transmission options. 4×4 should be offered as an optional extra.
3. Jeep Compact SUV
Jeep India was earlier expected to bring the Renegade to India. However, the same won’t happen anytime soon. Instead, the company will come up with another compact SUV that will be based on Fiat Panda’s 4×4 platform. The new model will rival models like the Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV300 and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. However, the new model will be more capable off the road and it will try to create a niche for itself by offering an all-wheel-drive system. The new model will be sold in both petrol and diesel engine options with manual and automatic gearbox choices.
4. New Force Gurkha
The new-age Force Gurkha was displayed at the Auto Expo 2020 and will go on sale in the coming months. The new model will be pitted against the Mahindra Thar and will feature an all-new design. The BS6 Force Gurkha looks more rugged and will be powered by a BSVI-compliant 2.6-litre diesel engine that will offer a maximum power of 90bhp. The new Gurkha will be sold with a 4WD system with lockable differentials.
5. 2020 Isuzu V-cross
Unlike most car manufacturers, Isuzu is yet to launch the BSVI-compliant versions of its vehicles. In fact, the brand could suspend the sales operations for a while as the won’t be able of sell more than 10 per cent of the BSIV-compliant stock beyond the 10-day grace period after the nationwide lockout comes to an end.
The BSVI-compliant version will cost significantly more than the BSIV version, with the prices increasing by more than Rs 3 lakh. Even the D-Max Regular cab and D-Max S-Cab could see prices hiking by Rs 1-1.5 lakh. A reason for hike in prices is the significant re-engineering required to meet the strict emission norms.