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Are Compact SUVs The Future?


Volkswagen Taigun Compact SUV

The Indian car market is going through a shift. A few years back, people were running behind big sized SUVs, but now the focus is on compact vehicles instead. The increase in fuel costs and traffic congestion has led to compact sized vehicles becoming the preferred choice for most. SUVs have always been a favorite, thanks to their go anywhere ability and muscular styling. So can you have the best of both worlds? Looks like compact SUV is the answer.

When Ford unveiled the EcoSport at the 2012 Auto Expo, everyone took notice, especially rival car makers. Renault had already decided to bring the Duster and is now reaping the benefits of launching it quickly. The high demand for compact SUVs has made almost all car makers develop one of their own. GM was quick to bring out the Trax in global markets, while Hyundai and Honda are already working on compact SUVs based on the existing platforms.

Toyota doesn’t want to be left behind and is contemplating a compact SUV on the Etios platform, while Nissan will bring out its own version of the Duster. Volkswagen unveiled the Taigun small SUV at the Sao Paulo Motor Show recently. The Taigun is based on the Up! platform and we can expect a Skoda compact SUV too. In Brazil, car makers are resorting to jacked up hatchbacks to fill the void before their compact SUVs arrive. Hyundai has done it with the HB20X, while Honda did it with the Jazz Twist.

Maruti Suzuki plans to enter the compact SUV segment in 2014 with the launch of XA Alpha’s production version. Tata Motors is meanwhile observing silently as they already have the old Safari in the similar price bracket. Mahindra has entered the compact SUV segment with the Quanto, while Premier updated the RiO with a Multijet diesel heart. Clearly every automaker wants to tap into the huge potential of the compact SUV!

Red Ford EcoSport

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  • Rohan

    Compact SUVs are practical upgrade from small hatchbacks. With deteriorating road conditions, people like me are looking for vehicles with high ground clearance, yet not deviating too much from hatchbacks when it comes to handling and ride quality.

    Personally, I don’t find sedans practical at all. When I am paying so much for it, I want the roof to be extended till the end, and rear washer and wiper. I want all available luggage space.

    A station wagon will give me that. But not the ground clearance.