The SUV market is booming in India, lead of course by compact SUVs like the Renault Duster and Mahindra Quanto. This segment has just started, there is a lot to come like the Ford EcoSport, Maruti XA Alpha, Jeep B segment SUV, Fiat 500X, etc. The crucial question though is, why do you want to buy an SUV? Now I can't answer for others, but some reasons I feel people run behind SUVs are -
1) Easy to get in and out - one has to crawl into a sedan or hatchback but one can simply walk into an SUV. Thus its easy on the knees.
2) Ground clearance - increase ground clearance means you don't have to worry about speed breakers and bad roads. Recently on the expressway I saw a half kms traffic jam at the toll booth. A Renault Duster get quickly turned left, went off the road and easily bypassed 300-metres of traffic.
3) 4-wheel drive - while most SUVs don't have 4-wheel drive and 90% owners of 4-wheel drive SUVs never go off-road, there is an advantage of having 4-wheel drive. One has more confidence in going over bad roads, although it is mostly psychological that having 4-wheel drive will ensure you are not stuck.
4) Bigger boot - a 5-seater SUV has comparably more boot space than a similarly priced sedan or hatchback!
5) Sense of pride - an SUV is a slightly bigger vehicle than say a sedan or hatchback, thereby offering a more commanding driving position and a sense of pride in traffic. Easier to scare taxis and rickshaws.
So what would be your reason to buy an SUV?