The Supreme Court's decision to ban sales of 2-litre plus diesel cars in Delhi has left several buyers agitated. With a big chunk of popular cars like the Toyota Innova, Mahindra Scorpio and as a matter of fact, the entire Mercedes diesel range under the ban, things are a bit haywire for those who have been looking to get their hands on either of these vehicles.
It really begs the question: are there any alternatives for such prospective buyers? Alternatives that are worth investing more or less and subsequently are just as good, if not better.
The ban has been levied on cars with diesel engines above 2-litre of displacement, which means there are hardly any fuel-sipping small cars or compact crossovers under the affected lot. However, what this also means is that even the most elite of Delhiites are now exempted from buying many a large SUVs and luxury sedans.
Delhi banned: Chevrolet Trailblazer – Price: Rs 26.40 lakh
Alternative: Renault Koleos – Price: Rs 23.48 lakh to Rs 27.75 lakh
The Chevrolet Trailblazer is usually welcomed home for its butch appearance, strong road presence, 7 seats and the highly desirable diesel-automatic drivetrain. Now there aren’t many alternatives for the 2WD Chevy though all things considered, the smaller Renault Koleos makes for a decent alternative with its punchy 170bhp 2-litre diesel motor and comfortable interiors.
Delhi banned: Mitsubishi Pajero Sport – Price: Rs 25.35 lakh to Rs 26.34 lakh
Alternative: Skoda Yeti 4x4 – Price: Rs 21.97 lakh
As for buyers of the Pajero Sport which is quite capable at dealing with the rough stuff, the Skoda Yeti 4x4 comes across as a sensible buy. Yes, the Yeti only seats five and is more like a tiny speck in the mirror next to the Pajero Sport but for those looking to fulfil their weekend off-road excursions; it’s more than up for the job.
Delhi banned: Hyundai Santa Fe – Price: Rs 27.09 lakh to Rs 30.40 lakh
Alternative: Audi Q3 – Price: Rs 28.99 lakh to Rs 37.50 lakh
The Hyundai Santa Fe isn’t really an off-roader in the traditional sense of the word. That being said, it is among the morepopular premium Hyundai models, thanks to its contemporary looks and luxurious interiors. While there are seven seats in here, the third row is best reserved for kids – the sloping roofline is to blame here. The miniscule third row, then, can be traded off for a bag full of snob value that can be had with something like an Audi Q3. Sure, this German alternative is nowhere as imposing as the Santa Fe and neither is it as spacious but it is undoubtedly well put together and with Quattro all-wheel drive, there is room for sheer bragging rights as well.
Delhi banned: Mahindra Scorpio – Price: Rs 8.97 lakh to Rs 14.48 lakh
Alternative: Nissan Terrano – Price: Rs 9.99 lakh to Rs 12.92 lakh
Moving on to the more affordable end of the list, there is Mahindra – one of the biggest casualties here and as one would expect, the brand is in a state of anguish and is trying everything to compensate for the ban on the Scorpio and the XUV500. Funnily enough, Mahindra has even resorted to pitching the much smaller TUV300 to those who have booked the Scorpio. Both these vehicles are rear-wheel drive, seven seaters and based on the same ladder frame architecture, after all. But if you don’t fancy another Mahindra at all, there’s the Nissan Terrano which also carries an imposing stance and a powerful yet efficient diesel engine.
Delhi banned: Mahindra XUV500 – Price: Rs 11.47 lakh to Rs 17.37 lakh
Alternative: Hyundai Creta – Price: Rs 8.69 lakh to Rs 13.80 lakh
It would be daft to recommend the forthcoming KUV100 in place of the XUV500, despite the similarities (moncoque architecture, car-like dynamics and streamlined looks) between both these models. A more apt alternative, then, could be the Hyundai Creta which is just as feature-rich and drives nicely, too.
Delhi banned: Toyota Innova – Price: Rs 12.49 lakh to Rs 16.02 lakh
Alternative: Renault Lodgy – Price: Rs 8.29 lakh to Rs 12.29 lakh
The Toyota Innova, which accounts for most of the MPV sales in the country, is also under this list and its worthy alternative is somewhat of an underdog. It is the Renault Lodgy. Albeit quirky looking, the Lodgy has set the bar high when it comes to ride and handling balance and is even more car-like to drive compared to the Innova.