Despite the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the car manufacturers struggling to clock decent sales figures, there have been quite a few notable car launches in this gloomy year. SUVs seem to be the trend these days and the car-makers have spoilt the Indian buyers with a host of choices in 2020. We have curated a list of 10 such SUVs launched in this year.
The popular Hyundai Creta is an ace in the mid-size SUV segment which underwent a generation update earlier in March this year to keep up with its cousin, the Kia Seltos. The feature highlights of the new Creta includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with connected car features, panoramic sunroof, Bose sound system, cooled front seats, and an integrated air purifier to name a few. It is offered with two petrol and one diesel engine option with a combination of gearboxes to choose from. Prices for the SUV start from Rs 9.82 lakh (ex-showroom) and it faces cut-throat competition from the Kia Seltos, Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass and MG Hector. You can read our first drive review of the 1.4-litre DCT and 1.5-litre diesel manual here.
This compact SUV was launched a few months back and it instantly gained popularity amongst the car buyers given the complete package offered by Kia. With its striking looks, feature-loaded cabin, an engaging drive experience, and three engine options to choose from, the Sonet ticks all the right boxes. However, it disappoints with its cramped rear seat space which is often a deal-breaker for Indian consumers. It tries to make up with some segment-first features like the biggest 10.25-inch infotainment system with wireless connectivity options, ventilated seats, sound mood lighting, and traction modes. The starting price of the Sonet is Rs 6.72 lakh (ex-showroom) and you can read our first drive review here.
The all-new Mahindra Thar finally broke covers in October, 2020 after years of waiting and anticipation. It took us all by surprise with its daily driving convenience and pragmatic cabin while retaining its off-road capabilities. Launched in two avatars with new petrol and diesel options; both getting automatic and manual gearbox and a manual shifting 4x4 case as standard, the Thar has become more desirable and practical than before. Not facing much competition except the Force Gurkha, the new Thar is in a league of its own. The current waiting period for the SUV is somewhere between seven to eight months with prices starting at Rs 9.80 lakh (ex-showroom). We have had great fun driving the Thar around and you can read all about it here.
MG launched the Gloster in the full-size SUV segment dominated by the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour offering a 2.0-litre diesel engine in two states of tune. Its macho design, spacious cabin, on-demand four-wheel-drive system, dedicated drive modes, first-in-class level one Advanced Driver Assistant System (ADAS) and a revised starting price of Rs 29.96 lakh (ex-showroom) make it a value proposition in its category. However, with 2,000 bookings in its kitty, the Gloster is sold out for the year and a fresh lot is slated to arrive next year. Have a read at our first-drive review of the MG Gloster.
The Urban Cruiser is essentially the second rebadged model under the brands’ joint venture with Maruti Suzuki. With few cosmetic changes inside out, the compact SUV also borrows the 1.5-litre K15B petrol engine from the Vitara Brezza with a five-speed manual and automatic transmission. The Urban Cruiser makes for a promising car in the populous compact SUV segment with Toyota’s strong after-sales and service reliability and the prices start at Rs 8.41 lakh (ex-showroom)
The Magnite is Nissan’s make or break product for the Indian market. Launched earlier this month, the Magnite is the brand’s offering for the B-segment SUV class aggressively priced at Rs 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom). Undercutting its rivals like the Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport and even some of the prominent hatchbacks like the new Hyundai i20 and Maruti Suzuki Swift, the Magnite is surely a value for money deal for the price conscious Indian buyer. Offered in only two petrol engines and transmission options, the Magnite packs in features like a 360-degree camera, all-digital driver’s display, wireless charging and LED bi-projector headlamps. We have driven the Magnite and you can read all about it here.
MG Hector Plus
Riding on the success of the Hector, MG introduced the seven-seater Hector Plus with three powertrain options across four trims. With the base Style variant discontinued recently, the price of the Hector now begins at Rs 15.69 lakh (ex-showroom). It gets the same fancy features carried over from the Hector with an inclusion of a three-row layout which makes this SUV a much more practical. On the down side, the diesel variant misses out on an automatic gearbox. Do check our first drive review of the Hector Plus here.
To expand its SUV presence in India, Volkswagen introduced the T-Roc via the CBU route with prices at Rs 20 lakh (ex-showroom). The five-seater SUV is offered only in a single 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine packing in the German car manufacturer’s solid build quality, quick DSG gearbox, and latest safety tech. It misses out on a diesel engine offered by its competitors like the Hyundai Tucson, and the Jeep Compass. The T-Roc was brought to India in limited numbers and is at the moment sold out in the country. For an in-depth knowledge, tap here to read our first drive review.
The Karoq is essentially the DNA cousin of the T-Roc sharing the same VW modular MQB platform, 1.5-litre TSI engine, and taking the import route to India with just 1,000 retail units. What sets them apart is the distinct styling, bigger dimensions with increased length and wheelbase, premium interiors and added safety features on the Karoq. That being said, the Karoq is also Rs 5 lakh costlier than the T-Roc at Rs 25 lakh (ex-showroom).
Hyundai Tucson Facelift
After its showcasing at the 2020 Auto Expo, Hyundai launched the updated Tucson in July this year with subtle updates both inside and out. It gets restyled LED headlamps, updated multimedia system, BlueLink connected car tech and BS6 compliant petrol and diesel options with only an automatic transmission owing to low demands for the manual. It has also gotten expensive by Rs 4 lakh and can be bought at Rs 22.30 lakh (ex-showroom). Other alternatives for the same price include Jeep Compass, Volkswagen T-Roc, Honda CR-V and Skoda Karoq. We have had a go in the updated Tucson diesel 4WD AT and you can view it here.