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15 SUVs that are setting Indian roads ablaze!

Last updated on: October 6, 2010 15:10 IST

15 SUVs that are setting Indian roads ablaze!

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SUVs, or Sport Utility Vehicles, are the latest craze as far as Indian automobile lovers and drivers are concerned.

The four-wheeler vehicle similar to station wagon and built on a light-truck chassis is just the perfect for Indian roads, hardy yet stylish.

The definition of SUVs is fast changing and today it is no more like a pickup truck or an off-road vehicle. Owning a SUV is often a status symbol and driving on road is like a royal stroll!

So, what do the Indians feel about driving an SUV? Which are the most popular SUVs on Indian roads? And what are those vehicles which, though alluring to the common people but not quite affordable?

Come, let's take a dip into the current trend of road.

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Image: Sport Utility Vehicles are a craze for Indian automobile lovers.
Photographs: Reuters
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1. Mahindra Bolero

On road price -- Rs 7.76 lakh (Rs 776,000)

This is what you call a rugged look! Mahindra Bolero may not be a treat for the eyes, but it is an easy drive on bumpy Indian roads. Where you can't drive your luxury sedans, Bolero would surely take you there!

Mahindra Bolero VLX is a C segment SUV with 2498cc diesel engine that generates a maximum power of 97 Bhp @ 3800 rpm and a maximum torque of 255Nm@1800-2200rpm. The 5-seater measures 4260mm (L) X 1815mm (W) X 1810mm (H) and weighs 1615kgs.

The regular features include power windows, power steering, central locking, MP3/CD player and AC. The body colour bumper, wheel covers, moulded trunk, curved tail lights and floor carpets give a stylish look while fog lamps, 3 rear seat belts, extra large steering wheel and dual brakes contribute to the safety concerns.

Interior style statement and convenience of the riders are kept in mind and hence the map pockets on the doors, the mobile charging socket, the bucket seats and the ergonomic styling altogether give a feel good ambience and an exotic drive feeling.

Don't compare it with the ones following next as it might not be competition looks-wise, but the spacious interiors and the extremely powerful engine are the true show stoppers in the SUV.

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Image: Mahindra Bolero.
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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2. Tata Safari DiCOR

On road price -- Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million)

Tata Safari is another king who has been reigning over Indian roads for almost a decade. Tata Safari has launched three models, namely Tata Safari MPFi, TDi and DiCOR; among which the latest version is the DiCOR which has most recently launched an upgraded model.

With an elegant look and spacious interiors, Safari DiCOR is one favourite among the middle class car owners since its launch.

Safai DiCOR (Diesel version) comes with a 2.2L 483 DL Turbo-Charged Inter Cooled engine, which offers a maximum power of 140 @ 4,000 (PS@rpm) and a maximum torque of 320 @ 1,700-2,700 (Nm@rpm). The size of the vehicle is 4650mm (L)X 1918mm (W) X 1925mm (H) and it weighs around 2,040 kg, approximately.

Safari DiCOR is one of the most successful vehicles on Indian road and has won many hearts with its powerful engine, sporty looks and impressive performance.

Keeping in mind that Indian roads are one of the toughest roads to drive, the engine is crafted remarkably well with anti lock braking system and Ultrasonic Reverse Guide System. However, the looks have not been ignored as well.

The latest Safari of the model year 2010 has been made BS IV compliant with little upgradation in the made.

With dual tone exteriors, leather interiors, alloy wheels, power steering, reverse guide system with camera in rear bumper, both the versions (4X2 and 4X4) are entirely amazing thing to own.

Car owners agree that Safari is a true value for money which comes along with all the required amenities keeping the price tag within budget.

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Image: Tata Safari DiCOR
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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3. Mahindra Scorpio M-Hawk

On road price -- Rs 10.5 lakh (Rs 1.05 million)

This is one car which has flooded Indian roads and though the 2.6 engine has been discontinued, the car is still one of the most popular ones among the Indian drivers.

Scorpio M-Hawk VLX is a C+ Segment car which uses 2nd generation Bosch common rail injection system with solenoid injectors.

It has a 2600cc, Turbo Diesel engine which gives a maximum power of 115 Bhp @ 3800 rpm and a maximum torque of 283 Nm @ 1700 rpm. The size of the car is 4495mm (L) X 1817mm (W) X 1975mm (H) and it weighs around 2510kgs.

The 8-seater vehicle is an eye-catcher among the SUV category and it has already bagged in quite a number of awards for its stylish looks completely by Mahindra in-house.

With comfortable seats, organic looking dashboard, body colour bumpers, 16inch alloy wheels, hunky-curvy glamorous features, Scorpio is a really spellbinding beast.

Comfort and convenience level is quite high with Intellipark system, reversing ultrasonic sensors, AC, power windows, remote central locking, remote boot, remote fuel filler, fog lights, buttons and controls on steering, tyre pressure monitoring system to name a few.

Though the lack of airbags and climate control system along with short headroom are drawbacks, people in India haven't really bothered much before spending Rs 10 lakh to own a Scorpio MHawk.

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Image: Mahindra Scorpio M-Hawk
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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4. Maruti Grand Vitara

On road price -- Rs 17-18 lakh (Rs 1.7-1.8 million)

This is another extraordinary four-wheeler from the world of Maruti. Perhaps they know the Indian roads like no one else does and hence launched this D+ segment SUV.

Grand Vitara 2.4 comes in two variant - manual (MT) and automatic (AT) transmissions. The 2397cc petrol engine has a maximum power of 163.5 Bhp @ 6000 rpm and maximum torque of 225 Nm @ 4000 rpm. The 5-seater SUV measures 4500mm (L) X 1810 (W) X 1695mm (H) and weighs 1,636 kg.

The vehicle has all the required features of a car of this segment that includes central locking, power windows, body colour bumpers, 17 inch alloy wheels, parking sensors, etc. along with main features like Multi Information Display, new front grille and front bumpers, rear disc brakes, multi-reflector, halogen projector headlamps to name a few.

However, the AC with climate controller, electric driver seat adjustment, dash integrated 6-CD changer, sliding centre-console armrests, electric door mirrors etc. show that Maruti has indeed improved its standard look-wise while and anti-lock braking system, front dual airbags, 3+3 seat belts, child-proof rear door locks and engine immobilizer prove that the company hasn't forgotten the safety factors as well.

The lower price tag and the Maruti brand name can be reasons enough for a buyer to go for the Grand Vitara, however, after sales services are expensive and so are the running costs.

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Image: Maruti Grand Vitara
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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5. Ford Endeavour (Automatic)

On road price -- Rs 21.34 lakh (Rs 2.134 million)

After two previous models of Endeavour in 2007 and 2008, Ford has launched its latest model in 2009.

The current model is not only more spacious and much more elegant to look at, but it also gives a heavy impact with its presence felt on Indian roads.

Endeavour Automatic is a D segment SUV with model name 3.0L 4x4. The 2953cc diesel engine provides a maximum power of 154 Bhp @ 3200 rpm and maximum torque of 380 Nm @ 2500 rpm.

The car is a little big in comparison to other SUVs of this segment which measures 5060mm (L) X 1788mm (W) X 1826mm (H). The car weighs 2014kgs and can carry 7 riders.

The most attractive features of the car are the touch screen DVD/MP3 player, sun roof and its larger than Mercedes M class size along with the general specifications like power windows, adjustable leather seats, remote central locking, dual brakes and alloy wheels.

Safety and comfort have been kept in mind and hence the features like body colour bumpers, 5-automatic gears, fog lamps, rear seat belts, 2 airbags (absent in base model), parking sensors etc have been added. Additional and improved features are the front grille, headlights, tail lights, bumpers, satellite navigation system and introduction of 5-speed auto transmission.

The vehicle is perfect to own with its spacious and luxurious look along with a powerful engine. Ignore the bulky size if you have a big garage and enjoy the Endeavour ride.

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Image: Ford Endeavour (Automatic)
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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6. Toyota Fortuner

On road price -- Rs 21.87 lakh (Rs 2.187 million)

Toyota Fortuner is a hunk on road with its bold and eye-catching looks. Available in five attractive colours including Super White, Silver Mica Metallic, Black Mica, LT Blue Metallic and Grey Mica Metallic, Fortuner offers a wide variety of choice.

This D segment 4WD model SUV has a 2982cc 4-cylinder diesel engine. The maximum power is 170 Bhp @ 3600 rpm and maximum torque is 343 Nm @ 1400 rpm. The size of the car is 4695mm (L) X 1880mm (W) X 1850mm (H) and it weighs 1,955 kg only.

The car has a seating capacity of 7 and is equipped with every amenity which a car of this segment must have. Power windows, remote central locking, electric driver seat adjustment, power steering with controller button, rear armrest with cup holder, dual brake and 17inch sporty alloy wheels to name a few.

Comfort and convenience wise too the vehicle scores good with climate control AC, leather seats, SRS airbags, anti lock braking system along with spacious, stylish and well-crafted interiors to complement the masculine yet sophisticated exterior design.

The price is okay, if not too perfect with the entire package. But the bold and stylish looks and the efficiently powerful engine certainly speak a lot for this superb SUV.

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Image: Toyota Fortuner
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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7. Mitsubishi Outlander

On road price -- Rs 23.16 lakh (Rs 2.316 million)

Talking about D+ segment SUVs, we surely cannot miss the Mitsubishi Outlander. Not only this SUV from Mitsubishi's powerhouse is more impressive than the Pajero, but perhaps the acceptance is also way more among the Indian users.

The 2.4 MiVEC SUV has a 2360cc 16valve petrol engine which generates a maximum power of 170bhp@6000rpm and maximum torque of 226Nm@ 4100rpm. The 5-seater D+ segment vehicle measures 4640mm (L) X 1800 (W) X 1600mm (H) and weighs 1,615 kg.

Needless to mention the regular features including power windows, central locking, electric driver seat adjustment, electric door mirror, folding rear seats, power steering with controller, fog lights, alloy wheels and body colour bumpers, the style statement is well preserved with dual zone climate control AC, sun roof, xenon headlamps, music system, rear AC vent, folding rear seats, etc.

Safety concern is kept in mind with parking sensors, 3 rear seat belts and traction control. However, airbags are missing and that can be a major concern for the prospective buyers whose mind can change missing out one of the main safety factors.

Good looks, sporty appearance and extremely comfortable interiors are the highlighted features of Outlander, and if you are ready to beat the price tag to buy a cool hunk home, Outlander is yours!

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Image: Mitsubishi Outlander
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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8. Mitsubishi Pajero

On road price -- Rs 23.65 lakh (Rs 2.365 million)

Mitsubishi Pajero is another popular SUV in this price segment and a more popular SUV than the former on Indian roads.

However, many would agree with the fact that the price could have been lower or else amenities and features must have been upgraded!

 The D+ segment SFX 4X4 model vehicle has a 2835cc 8-cylinder engine. The maximum power is 117 Bhp @ 4000 rpm and the maximum torque is 292 Nm @ 2000 rpm. The car measures 4755mm (L) X 1775mm (W) X 1900mm (H) and weighs 2,155 kg.

It has a seating capacity of 6 and has the usual power window, remote central locking, folding rear seats, AC, body colour bumpers, alloy wheels, fog lamps, electric door mirror for comfort and convenience. Additionally the rear armrest with cup holder, leather seats, music system, body colour bumpers perk up the look.

Pajero is not a very wise buy if you are not a die-hard Mitsubishi fan. Both its exterior as well as interior need to be upgraded to have better acceptability and response from the buyers!

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Image: Mitsubishi Pajero
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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9. Chevrolet Captiva

On road price -- Rs 24.9 lakh (Rs 2.49 million)

This one's really a hunk! With style, luxury and mesmerizing looks, Chevrolet's mid-range SUV is certain to pull up the level of SUVs in India.

It is a perfect blend of aggression and sophistication to match the mood of the young automobile geeks.

Chevrolet Captiva has a 1991 cc, 4-cylinder VCDi Diesel Engine having a maximum power of 148 Bhp @ 4000 rpm and maximum torque of 320 Nm @ 2000 rpm. It measures 4660mm (L) X 1870mm (W) X 1755mm (H) and weighs 1,820 kg.

A major ratio of Indian car owners is in love with Captiva for its excellent performance, eye-catching features, comfort level and ravishing looks. The body colour bumpers, 6-spoke alloy wheels, fog lamps, roof rails, plastic side moulding, cylindrical prism headlamp, chrome door handles, all complement each other to give the vehicle its ultra modern global look.

The interiors are as good as its exterior with neatly designed dashboard, 8-way electrically adjustable driver's seat, CD player, audio controller on steering wheel and easily accessible AC controller; all are too perfect to ignore the fact that it crosses the Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million) price range.

And though, it pinches the pocket of those who prefer it within Rs 10-15 lakh (Rs 1-1.5 million), the features and looks of Captiva are convincing enough to lure the buyers.

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Image: Chevrolet Captiva
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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10. Honda CR-V

On road price -- Rs 27.64 lakh (Rs 2.764 million)

Call it a heavenly experience when you ride a Honda CR-V! With refreshed exotic looks and luxurious features, CR-V is a wonderful phenomenon to dive in.

Honda CR-V has 1997cc 4-cylinder petrol engine with maximum power of 141 bhp @ 6000 rpm and maximum torque of 192 Nm @ 4200 rpm.

The 2.0 2WD MT vehicle is a D segment SUV which measures 4575 mm (L) X 1820 mm (W) X 1680 mm (H) and weighs 1,475 kg. The vehicle has a 5-seater capacity and is an extremely posh thing to drive as well as to ride!

Talking about the regular features, Honda CR-V has climate control AC, power windows, remote central locking, music system, electric door mirrors, rear AC vent, folding rear seats, dual brakes, alloy wheels and body colour bumpers.

However, the special features which CR-V has are steering mounted audio controls and the music system has a USB port in the upper glove compartment. The car has six airbags - dual SRS Airbags, side-curtain airbags and side airbags with Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS).

The interiors are super luxurious leather upholstery with leather wrapped shift knob and steering.Additional features include electric sun roof, cruise control and 5-speed automatic transmission.

While features, appearance and comfort would fetch perfect score for CR-V, many would agree that the price tag is too high for every middle class to go for it! Well, that certainly doesn't mean that you won't see many CR-Vs on Indian road!

And now check out the 5 SUVs that India dreams to drive but the price tag pins down most of the prospective buyers.

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Image: Honda CR-V
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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11. Audi Q7

On road price -- Rs 55.20 lakh (Rs 5.52 million)

Welcome to the world of luxury sedans! The latest model of Q7 is true eye-candy with improved and added features.

Looks, features, comfort, convenience and safety, everything has been taken into account before crafting this masterpiece.

With a 3597cc petrol/diesel engine, this D+ segment SUV is sure to make you feel the presence felt on road. The engine generates maximum power of 276 Bhp @ 6200 rpm and a maximum torque of 360 Nm @ 2500 rpm. It weighs 2,235 kg and measures 5089mm (L) X 2177mm (W) X 1737mm (H).

It has a seating capacity of 7 and has all the features which an SUV of this price segment must have. AC with climate control, power windows, power steering, remote central locking, music system, adjustable seats etc, are just a part of the power-packed car.

Alloy wheels, body colour bumpers, xenon headlamps and electric door mirrors add to the beautification of the vehicle.

Sun roof, leather seats, top quality interiors, beautifully crafted lamps, comfortable leg space and also the safety measures like 6 airbags, dual brakes, 6 automatic gears and parking sensors are enough to pull Q7 to the level of best luxury SUV in the nation.

Though the price is a bit high for the middle class buyers, looking at the comfort and style level, half a crore of rupees may even be said to be, er ,  reasonable. . .

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Image: Audi Q7
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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12. Volvo XC90

On road price -- Rs 55.26 lakh (Rs 5.526 million)

Wow! A single word would describe what Volvo XC90 is! The luxuriously designed mid-size SUV is a perfect blend of driving pleasure as well as a prized possession look-wise. Need not forget the comfort level and the royal experience!

The D+ segment 5-seater has a 2400cc, 5-cylinder diesel engine generating maximum torque of 400nm@2000rpm and maximum power of 185bhp@4000rpm. The dimension of the car is 4807mm (L) X 1909mm (W) X 1781mm (H) and the weight is 2,590 kg.

Though the price is more than half a crore rupees (Rs 5 million), many amenities like climate control AC, sun roof, steering with buttons/controls and parking sensors are missing which a car of this price segment should have.

However, power windows, remote central locking, electric driver seat adjustment, music system, leather seats, rear AC vent, body colour bumpers, alloy wheels, dual brakes, airbags and fog lamps are there to suit the mood and features of the 5-seater vehicle.

There is no doubt about the looks, comfort and style of the car and the brand name Volvo just sets the right tune!

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Image: Volvo XC90
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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13. BMW X5

On road price -- Rs 70 lakh (Rs 7 million)

BMW. The name itself speaks volumes of luxury, comfort, safety and a true value for money! And the SUV X5 is just the expected, be it performance wise or look wise!

BMW X5 comes with 3000cc 6 cylinder diesel engine which generates maximum power of 215 Bhp @ 4000 rpm and maximum torque of 480 Nm @ 1750 rpm. The D+ segment car measures 4667mm (L) X 1674mm (W) X 1872mm (H) and weighs 2,180 kg.

It is a 5-seater with every amenity a luxury sedan should have! The features include AC with dual zone climate control, power windows, remote central locking, electric driver seat adjustment, music system, folding rear seats and alloy wheels.

Comfort, style and safety are just the fine with leather seats, exotic interiors, body colour bumpers, rear AC vents, power steering, 6 automatic gears, anti-lock brakes fog lamps, parking sensors and 6 airbags! However, it would have been better if the car had a sun roof!

The car is sexy enough to keep the men drooling, but the price is high enough to bring under control the urge to buy!

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Image: BMW X5
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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14. Mercedes M

On road price -- Rs 81.43 lakh (Rs 8.143 million)

Call it 'owner's pride, neighbour's envy'! At a little higher than Rs 81 lakh (Rs 8.1 million), the D+ segment SUV by Mercedes is an absolute delight to possess looking at the features and amenities along with the oomph it has.

Mercedes M 320 CDi has a powerful 2987cc V6 diesel engine which generates maximum power of 234 Bhp @ 3800 rpm and a maximum torque of 545 Nm @ 1600 rpm. The vehicle measures 4780mm (L) X 1911mm (W) X 1815mm (H) and weighs 2,185 kg.

The 5-seater SUV is equipped with dual zone climate control AC, power windows, manual central locking, electric driver-seat adjustment, MP3 CD dash integrated music system, leather seats and rear AC vents. Also body colour bumpers, 7-automatic gears, alloy wheels, 8 airbags, dual brakes, power steering and fog lamps are few other specifications that contribute to the making of Mercedes M.

However, one would wonder why Mercedes hasn't included folding rear seats, steering with buttons/controls, well-crafted xenon headlamps and parking sensors. May be the cost would have gone up if these features were included!

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Image: Mercedes M
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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15. Toyota Land Cruiser LC200

Price (ex-showroom, Delhi) -- Rs 87.58 lakh (Rs 8.758 million)

The legend is here! Hats off to the design, style, comfort, convenience, safety and the price tag too which contribute in making Toyota Land Cruiser LC200 is one of the most luxurious drives on Indian roads.

Quick facts:

  • 4461cm3 (cc) V8 D-4D Diesel Engine, 285PS power & 650Nm Torque
  • 6 Speed Automatic Transmission with Sequential Shift
  • Fulltime 4WD with Torsen LSD
  • Multi Terrain ABS
  • Crawl Control System
  • TEMS (Toyota Electronic Modulated Suspension) with Ride Height Control
  • Hill-start Assist Control
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • EMV Screen, 6 DVD Changer, 14 Speaker JBL Audio, USB, Bluetooth
  • Smart Entry with Start/Stop Button
  • Steering Controls for Audio, Voice & Telephone
  • Front Power adjust seats with Memory for Driver Seat, Steering & ORVM position
  • 4 Zone Automatic Climate control with 28 A/C vents
  • 10 SRS Airbags
  • Parking Assist System with Back Camera and Front & Rear Sensors

Well, left you salivating for these beasts on road, didn't we? Go check your bank balance and choose the perfect SUV for you suiting your style, necessity and demand!


Image: Toyota Land Cruiser LC200
Photographs: Courtesy, Exhibit
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