The success of the Renault Duster and Mahindra Quanto in 2012 proves again that we are an SUV-crazy people. This comes on top of the success of BMW X1 and Audi Q3—the entry-luxury SUVs. Here are a few SUVs that will come your way in 2013. But, mind you, all are not true sport utility vehicles
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo-petrol, 1.5-litre diesel
Price: Rs.7-9 lakh
Expected: June 2013
Sharing a lot of its underpinnings with the new Ford Fiesta, the EcoSport, like most Fords before it, promises fantastic driver appeal and an accomplished ride. Powered by the 1.5-litre 89bhp diesel engine from the Fiesta and a new 123bhp, 1.0-litre turbo-petrol that offers the performance of a 1.6-litre engine with the efficiency of a smaller motor, there’s a lot to look forward to when the new Ford is launched. And, despite its sub-four-metre length, there’s decent space on the inside. The best part? It qualifies as a small car in the eyes of the Indian government and therefore will be priced very competitively.
VW Polo variants
Engine: 1.2-litre petrol, 1.6-litre diesel
Price: Rs.6-8 lakh Expected: March-December 2013
Volkswagen is keen to cash in on Indians’ craze for SUVs with a rugged version of its Polo hatchback. To be called the Cross Polo, the car will come with restyled bumpers, a matte plastic band along the lower portion of the body and roof rails. An SUV-like tailgate-mounted spare wheel is a possibility too. The Cross Polo won’t, however, come with any off-road hardware, though it will receive a new 1.5-litre diesel engine. A CNG version for the Cross Polo’s new turbocharged 1.2 petrol engine is on the cards as well. This TSI engine will debut on the regular Polo in March and will be offered with a sophisticated twin-clutch automatic gearbox. Volkswagen will also launch the Polo with the 1.6-litre diesel engine from the Vento. It will be considerably more expensive than the smaller 1.2 diesel version, but could set a new benchmark for performance among hatchbacks.
Jeep Wrangler & Grand Cherokee
Engine: 2.8-litre and 3.0-litre diesel
Price: Rs.35 lakh and R40 lakh Expected: End-2013
You don’t really need an introduction to Jeep thanks to Mahindra, but now the original Jeep is coming in. Initial offerings will be the Grand Cherokee, a luxury SUV with dimensions somewhat similar to the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and the go-anywhere, hardy Wrangler. Under the hood of the Grand Cherokee is a 3.0-litre V6 diesel designed by Fiat that