Intro: In the market for an SUV and one that offers an automatic? Don’t skip the list below at any cost!
The demand for SUVs is on its peak right now in the Indian car market and why not? Priced affordably, these ‘big’ vehicles offer far better road presence, a commanding view from the drivers seat and also drive over bad roads with much ease. At the same time, we Indians are fast accepting automatic transmission options as they bring in the ease of driving factor.
This is what brings us to the topic of discussion here - which are India’s most affordable automatic SUVs? Without further ado, lets look at the list!
1. Model: Tata Nexon
Fuel: Petrol / Diesel
Price: Starts from Rs 7.72 lakh
India’s most affordable automatic SUV comes from Tata Motors. The Nexon has been a runaway success and why not? It looks good, has spacious and feature loaded interiors and comes with an unbeatable combination of engine and transmission options. It is the only compact SUV to offer an automatic with both the fuel types and this further widens its customer base.
We like the butch looks, high ground clearance and multiple trims on offer with the automatic. The engines, both petrol and diesel, also offer high levels of performance and are able to satisfy those looking at fuel economy as a priority. Pricing is the key here and in terms of value for money, the Nexon remains tough to beat. Do note, it is also the safest SUV among the options listed here.
2. Model: Maruti Brezza
Price: Rs 8.69 lakh onwards
India’s highest selling compact SUV is also offered with an optional automatic. Maruti’s AGS (or AMT) works well with the 90PS version of the 1.3 DDiS unit and offers acceptable levels of performance and fuel economy. We Indians love Maruti offerings for the peace of mind factor and the Breeza further adds in the bling factor with its design. This is a no-nonsense practical compact SUV and is preferred by both urban and small town buyers alike.
Although the Breeza is not offered with a petrol unit, the diesel seems to deliver the goods just fine. This is a tried and tested unit that also powers cars like the Ciaz and the Ertiga. Ride and handling remain a top selling point and its a common sight for owners to customise their Vitaras for better aesthetics. If you are looking for a reliable automatic SUV with high resale value, pick this one up!
3. Model: Ford EcoSport
Price: Rs 9.76 lakh onwards
This premium compact SUV is offered with a best in segment 6-speed automatic gearbox. Unlike the Nexon and Brezza’s low cost automated manual transmission options, this one delivers a far better driving experience. There are no shift lags and performance remains excellent. Do note that the automatic EcoSport also gets the most powerful petrol engine here. The 1.5-litre unit puts out 123 PS of power and the EcoSport is the only SUV in the list to offer paddle shifters.
The automatic EcoSport continues to offer other positive traits like solid build quality, comfortable ride and feature loaded interiors. Audio interface with best touch reception, SYNC3, leather seats et al complete the package. If you want a premium experience, spending that lakh extra on the EcoSport is worth every penny!
4. Model: Renault Duster
Fuel: Petrol / Diesel
Price: Rs 10 lakh onwards
The only non sub 4m compact SUV here is the Duster. We admit it : this one is getting too old now and desperately needs an update in terms of styling and interiors. This aside, the Duster offers great value for money, offering an automatic with both petrol and diesel engine options. We like the former here as it offers a CVT transmission and not a low cost AGS / AMT. A CVT of a continuously variable transmission is able to get the best out of an engine in terms of city usage and yet remains efficient.
The Duster also offers more space than compact SUVs - for both passengers and luggage. And then there is the ride quality that is tuned for typical Indian roads. If you can live with a dated product and poor resale value but want a larger vehicle with more space, pick this up!
5. Model: Mahindra TUV300
Price: Rs 10.3 lakh onwards
India’s most muscular and butch looking compact SUV is the TUV300. It looks like a mini tank on wheels and also apes a particularly American SUV marker in terms of the frontal design. All said and done, the TUV300 does turn heads and yet is easy to drive, thanks to an optional automatic. It is a heavy vehicle but the 100bhp 1.5-litre diesel motor offers more than ample torque and performance.
The price seems high but remember, the AMT model is only sold in the top spec T8 and T10 variants that come fully loaded. We are also particularly impressed with the cabin quality and the TUV is only SUV here to offer 7 seats. This has been made possible from fitting 2 jump seats in the 3rd row.