2020 is all set to be a big year for SUVs in India. Nearly all auto manufacturers are working towards launching an SUV of many shapes and sizes. From luxury brands like Audi and Mercedes-Benz to mass-market brands like Tata and Kia, nearly every automaker has an SUV or crossover to introduce to capitalise on India’s growing SUV market. We have listed 12 SUVs we believe are worth waiting for this year.
While it was rumoured to arrive a while back, the smallest SUV from Audi’s portfolio – the Q2 compact crossover is expected to be launched sometime later this year. The Q2 will sit below the Q3 and will share its underpinning with the recently introduced Volkswagen T-Roc. While the Q2 internationally is offered with a 1.0-litre or a 1.4-litre petrol engine, the Indian market is likely to be offered with the 1.4-litre unit. While the arrival of the Q3 is confirmed, the confirmed launch date is yet to be announced.
As the current-generation Audi Q3 is now sold out, an all-new generation model is expected to arrive soon. The second-generation Audi Q3 made its global debut in 2018. It is built on the MQB architecture and features an all-new design and features all the latest technology from Audi. The engine in the Q3 is likely to be the EA211 EVO engine form the VW stable. It is a 1.5-litre turbocharged motor that develops 147hp. The engine would come mated to the 7-speed S-Tronic twin-clutch automatic for the Indian market.
Audi Q7 Facelift
The Q7 has been given a mid-life cycle refresh, but it is so extensive, you could call it brand new. The Audi Q7 facelift is expected to arrive in India by the end of the year. It features new styling with an all-new grille that matches Audi’s current-generation SUV models. The headlamps and tail lamps have also been reworked making the Q7 look more butch. Inside the Q7 comes packed with features with Audi’s dual touchscreen system, virtual cockpit and more.
The sporty BMW X6 with its sloping roofline in an all-new avatar will arrive in India this year. The SUV is already advertised on the brand’s India website suggesting that the launch is around the corner. The rival to the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, and the Porsche Cayenne Coupe, will come powered with petrol and diesel engines borrowed from the X5. The X6 is expected to be priced around Rs 1 crore mark and will sit below the X7 flagship.
Based on the Hyundai Venue’s platform, Kia will be launching its version of a sub-compact SUV which is called the Kia Sonet. The Sonet made its debut at the 2020 Auto Expo and is expected to be launched sometime ahead of the festive season. The Sonet will come with a 1.0-litre turbo and 1.2-litre petrol engine options and a 1.5-litre diesel engine. Like all modern Kia, the Sonet will also be feature-loaded and is expected also come with an AMT offering for the 1.2-litre petrol.
The second-generation Mahindra Thar was expected at the 2020 Auto Expo, but the official unveiling was pushed back to a later date. The model will be all-new built from the ground up and is expected to be wider than its predecessor. It will continue to be a body on frame design and will offer 4-wheel-drive. Mahindra is also expected to make the Thar easier to live with by offering modern features like a touchscreen and an automatic option as well.
Called the S-Class of SUVs, the Mercedes-Benz GLS is the brand’s luxury full-size SUV that rivals the recently introduced BMW X7. Based on the new Modular High Architecture (MHA) platform, it gets an all-new design, in line with Mercedes’ current range. The interior will offer the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system with the virtual assistant and it will come loaded with a long list of features and equipment, ideal for the S-Class of SUVs. Engines for the GLS are likely to be borrowed from the S-Class.
MG Hector Plus
The MG Hector Plus is the three-row seating counterpart of the Hector SUV from the Chinese company. The Hector Plus is based on the Hector SUV and will come powered by the same engine options. However, the styling of the Hector Plus is slightly different that allows it to stand apart from its 5-seat sibling. The Hector Plus will be launched around the festive season in India and will take on the Tata Gravitas and the Mahindra XUV500.
The MG Gloster is essentially the MG Maxus D90 and in terms of proportions, it is longer and wider than a Land Cruiser Prado. MG showcased the Gloster a the 2020 Auto Expo and is expected to manufacture it in India. However, MG is expected to price it competitively to rival the likes of the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour by offering a full-size SUV at an affordable price and equipping it with a long list of features.
The Nissan Magnite is going to be Nissan’s all-new sub-compact SUV rival to the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, the upcoming Kia Sonet and other B-Segment SUVs. Nissan has been tight-lipped about the Magnite and what it will offer. The Magnite is slated to be launched before September 2020 and it could be based on a modified version of the Renault-Nissan CMF-A platform from the Renault Triber or CMF-B from the Nissan Juke international model.
Skoda Auto India announced that to rival the Jeep Compass, the VW owned brand will launch the new Skoda Karoq in India. The Karoq made its debut at the 2020 Auto Expo and the manufacturer has already started to accept bookings for the SUV. The Karoq will be a petrol-only model and will come with a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that is good for 147hp. The engine will come mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission and no manual options are expected to be offered.
Tata’s flagship SUV will be launched as the new Tata Gravitas. The Gravitas made its India debut at the 2020 Auto Expo and is a three-row seating version of the smaller Harrier, sharing the OMEGA-ARC platform. The Gravitas will share most of its components and interior with the Harrier but will come with an additional row of seats to accommodate two more passengers. The engine in the Gravitas will be the same 2.0-litre 168hp diesel that is offered with the Harrier and it would be offered with a manual and automatic transmission option. Whether it will also feature all-wheel-drive is not yet confirmed.
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