The mid-size SUV segment will only become more competitive over the next two years courtesy of the possible debut of a host of new vehicles
The mid-size SUV segment has reached a high level of popularity that any new manufacturer wanting to enter the Indian market will consider it as a go-to option. The Hyundai Creta did the segment to newer heights with its consistent sales numbers of more than 10,000 units and it also played a significant role in the brand rolling out one million SUVs from India.
Over the last three years, the segment has seen increased competition and it resulted in a certain evolution in terms of what is being offered as technology and performance factors are pushed to bring in new customers. The segment does not seem to be slowing down as we have listed out the 10 upcoming rivals for Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos over the next two years here:
1. Skoda Kushaq
Skoda is raring to get-go with its new strategy based on the India 2.0 project as a slew of heavily localised models are in the pipeline. Kicking things off will be the Kushaq mid-size SUV and is the first model based on the MQB A0 IN platform. Debuted at the 2020 Auto Expo in its concept form, the Vision IN, the production model had already been showcased and it will go on sale in the coming months.
2. VW Taigun
In a similar fashion to the Kushaq, the Taigun’s importance for Volkswagen is on an all-time high as it marks the first brand new locally-made model in a very long period. Built on the same MQB A0 IN architecture, it will also be powered by a 115 hp 1.0-litre turbo petrol and a 150 hp 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine with manual and automatic transmission options. The Taigun will be priced competitively and it will be launched later this year as well.
3. MG Astor
MG Astor is essentially the petrol-powered version of the ZS mid-size SUV and it will be slotted below the Hector in the brand’s domestic lineup. Since the ZS EV is already on sale, the British manufacturer wants to give a new identity to its upcoming model and it will more likely be powered by a 1.0-litre turbo petrol, 1.3-litre petrol or a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine. It will be packed with features like an all-digital instrument cluster, 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 36-degree camera and much more.
4. New Mahindra XUV500
The Mahindra XUV700 will be a more premium alternative to the existing XUV500 and it will be offered in either six- or seven-seater configuration upon arrival around October 2021. So, what does the future holds for the XUV500 then? It will be discontinued only to come back as a five-seater directly rivalling Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Tata Harrier, Nissan Kicks, MG Hector and the likes. To be positioned between XUV300 and XUV700, it will likely be based on SsangYong Tivoli’s platform and will have a redesigned exterior and interior upon launch around 2023.
5. Maruti Suzuki SUV
The partnership between Maruti Suzuki and Toyota will only expand in the coming years and more new products are in the pipeline, besides the rebadged vehicles. A mid-size SUV developed in association with Toyota appears to be on the horizon and reports suggest that it could be based on the Vitara Brezza’s platform. Some speculations say Toyota’s DNGA architecture will be utilised to spawn a mid-size SUV and it could be introduced sometime in late 2022.
6. Toyota SUV
Unlike the rebadged Glanza and Urban Cruiser, the mid-size SUV developed by the Japanese giants will have differentiations and each brand will have its say on the respective vehicle. Expect Toyota’s version of the five-seater Creta rival to debut sometime in 2022 as well. It will be manufactured at Toyota’s production base in Bidadi, Karnataka and a 1.5-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine in a different state of tune compared to the Vitara Brezza could be offered.
7. Honda HR-V
The shocking discontinuation of CR-V and Civic meant that Honda definitely needs to strengthen its premium portfolio with new models sooner rather than later. The HR-V has long been speculated to be in the works for India and with the mid-size SUV segment booming, the HR-V/Vezel is a high possibility. It could be powered by a 1.5-litre petrol/hybrid engine and expect the launch to happen around next year.
8. New Ford SUV
Ford planned to launch at least three new SUVs in partnership with Mahindra but the JV did not receive the green signal. Instead, Ford is reportedly working on a C-segment SUV based on its Territory sold in the international markets. With Ford concentrating on widening its SUV and crossover footprint, the same strategy could be followed in India as a mid-size SUV is expected to launch sometime before the end of 2023.
9. Jeep SUV
Jeep started the calendar year 2021 with the launch of the facelifted Compass and it was followed by the localised Wrangler. Up next, the American SUV manufacturer has the locally assembled Grand Cherokee, seven-seater SUV based on the Compass and compact SUV waiting in the wings. The compact SUV will be positioned below the Renegade in the global lineup and with its off-roading DNA and premium nature, it may as well compete against the host of mid-size SUVs currently available in the market as early as H2 2022.
10. Citroen SUV
Citroen has stepped into India via C5 Aircross but its first SUV carrying high local content will be the CC21. Based on the CMP platform, the compact SUV is expected to debut early next year and it will likely be followed by the Berlingo. However, the French manufacturer will more likely anticipate high volumes from the mid-size SUV space as the C3 Aircross appears to be in the pipeline for debut sometime late next year or in 2023.
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