Maruti Suzuki is planning to launch a Nissan Magnite/Renault Kiger rivaling SUV in the Indian market, which will be positioned below the Vitara Brezza and will be based on the Baleno platform
Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker, is planning to expand its product portfolio in our market. The company has plans to launch five new UVs by 2023, which will consist of one MPV and four new SUVs (all in different segments). Among these, there will be a new sub-4-metre SUV, which will be positioned below the Vitara Brezza.
Recently the details about this upcoming subcompact SUV have emerged now, courtesy a LiveMint report. Codenamed ‘YTB’, the vehicle will be based on the Baleno hatchback. As such, it will be more of a crossover hatchback than an SUV, and it is internally being referred to as a ‘sister car’ to the Baleno. It is expected that Maruti Suzuki will use the same strategy here as the Ertiga-XL6 pair.
Readers might be aware that the Maruti XL6, which retails through the manufacturer’s NEXA dealerships, is essentially a premium, restyled version of the Ertiga MPV, which is sold through Arena dealerships. The different market positioning of the two vehicles, along with different dealer network, has helped them both co-exist in harmony.
Of course, the upcoming Baleno-based SUV will be priced higher than the donor car. We also expect that it will be sold via the Arena dealerships, just like the Vitara Brezza and unlike the Baleno. The addition of a new SUV to the company’s lineup will also help rope in more buyers, who are now migrating towards other, more affordable options.
Currently, the Maruti Vitara Brezza is priced from Rs. 7.34 lakh to Rs. 11.40 lakh. Rivals like the Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon, and even the recently-launched Nissan Magnite undercut it by a fair margin. To rectify this, Maruti Suzuki has decided not to reduce the prices of the Vitara Brezza, instead, the brand will be targeting new buyers with a completely new offering.
Although the finer details about this upcoming SUV are still under wraps, we speculate that it will have the same 1.2-litre ‘Dualjet’ petrol engine as the Baleno, which generates 90 PS and 113 Nm. A 5-speed manual transmission will be standard, and a 5-speed AMT or a CVT will be offered as an option. We expect the price to range between Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh, when the vehicle launches in 2022.
*All prices mentioned are ex-showroom, New Delhi