The subcompact SUV segment is regarded as the most lucrative one in the Indian market. Despite the general slowdown in the automobile industry, it has remained a hotly contested category. In fact, hatchback and sedan car buyers are now moving towards the subcompact SUV segment. Over the years, automakers are either trying to strengthen their position in this segment or take it by storm. More and more manufacturers now seem to be keenly interested in offering vehicles that have an SUV-ish proportion along with dimensions that can easily handle the country’s heavy traffic. Furthermore, they believe in offering segment-first features at an affordable price. Here is a list of some power players in the subcompact SUV segment that rule the Indian roads.
Nissan India recently launched its subcompact SUV, Magnite in India. The four-wheeler is the latest entry in the subcompact SUV segment. Falling in the price bracket of Rs 4.99 lakhs - Rs 9.35 lakhs (ex-showroom), Magnite becomes the most affordable among the subcompact SUV's available in the market today. Its powerful powertrain and segment-first features make the newly launched Magnite stand out in the crowd.
Kia Motors launched its third offering Sonet in the country in September this year. The subcompact SUV has created a lot of buzz in the market with its modern, dynamic, and bold look. Furthermore, it was locally developed at Kia's Anantapur facility. The four-wheeler is also the only SUV in its segment to offer a torque-converter automatic gearbox with a diesel engine.
The launch of Hyundai Venue last year took the market by storm. Within the first two months of its launch, Venue became the best-selling subcompact SUV in the domestic market, even beating Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. The company sold more than a lakh units of the SUV a little over a year. Furthermore, the vehicle was also honored with the title “Indian Car of the Year 2020”. All credits go to its biggest selling point which is its sporty look followed by a technologically advanced cabin. The model is also offered with both petrol and diesel powertrain options.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza was first launched in 2016. Since then it has emerged as the top-selling subcompact SUV in India. Over the course of the years, Brezza began to witness a dip in popularity due to its diesel-only powertrain option. However, earlier this year, the company ditched the diesel engine and introduced a 1.5-litre Smart Hybrid Vehicle petrol engine which has been borrowed from Ciaz. Despite being just 4 meters in length, the SUV offers an ample amount of space and seat support on the inside.
The launch of Tata Nexon has marked the entry of the homegrown automaker into the subcompact SUV space. Recently, the four-wheeler received a mid-life facelift with subtle cosmetic changes and engine upgrades. Tata Nexon is basically a perfect mix of design and safety. It has even scored a 5-star rating given by Global NCAP. When it comes to BS6 compliant subcompact SUV for both petrol and diesel variants, Nexon is regarded as the most fuel-efficient vehicle.
If safety is your primary concern, then Mahindra XUV300 is quite a capable vehicle in the subcompact SUV category. The model has been adorned with a 5-stars Global NCAP rating for adult occupant protection and 4-stars for child occupant protection in January this year. Along with the stylish design, it comes equipped with a host of segment-first features and powerful engine options. Furthermore, the four-wheeler also offers plenty of space inside the cabin thereby assuring a perfect balance between performance and daily usability.
Toyota Urban Cruiser is the latest addition to the hugely popular sub-4-meter SUV segment. It is also regarded as the most fuel-efficient automatic subcompact SUV due to the presence of mild-hybrid technology. Furthermore, the Urban Cruiser has the highest entry-level price with a variant that is better equipped than its rival’s base model.
Editor's Take: Overall the subcompact SUV segment is definitely a lucrative one for buyers in the country with a lot of options as mentioned above. Nissan Magnite's recent introduction has definitely broken the shackles in terms of a very competitive pricing. Moreover the subcompact SUV has hit even the hatchback segment with its under 5 lakh introductory starting price.That said, the Kia Sonet is not far behind with its attractive looks and features loaded interior. While the Hyundai Venue has been the star of the segment in the past with many first-in-segment features at the time of its launch. As for Vitara Brezza, we all know that it is a Maruti and now offers only a petrol powertrain. Toyota Urban Cruiser is also a new introduction to the category while Mahindra's XUV300 and Tata Nexon offer higher standards of safety. To answer the final question, how much value of money are subcompact SUVs? According to us a Droom each one has its own relevance given the preference of the end user. Our favourite out of the list would be the Kia Sonet and Hyundai Venue.