SUVs world over have been rebuked for depleting the Earth’s natural resources due to their gas guzzling habits however has anyone wondered why people still are crazy about buying SUVs? The very reason why people buy SUVs is because on a road, when you are trailing behind a car and if that person sees a SUV in his rearview mirror then he automatically gives way to it. I totally believe in SUVs and would rather go off track by saying that SUVs are the need of the hour. Don’t believe me? Just imagine how much fuel one would save by avoiding braking and waiting for others to give road? In this article, I have put through a SUV Buyers Guide in India within the Rs 25 lakhs budget.
Within Rs 7 lakhs budget –
No one would have thought of it, but there is a SUV available in India within the Rs 7 lakhs budget and if you do go in for the base version of this SUV, then within Rs 7 lakhs, you would have this SUV on-road. Well, it is the Premier Rio. Not a true blue SUV but it has all the essential elements that give it a SUV stance. The bad thing is that the Premier brand name has been blasphemized enough due to the Premier-Fiat debacle early on. There are three variants of this small SUV and LX variant which is available for Rs 6,33,979 (ex-show room, Mumbai) makes sense. If it’s a true blue off-roader SUV that you are looking out for, then it would be the Mahindra Thar CRDE top end variant which can be yours for this budget.
Within the Rs 10 lakhs budget –
There are two SUVs slotted into this segment and those are the Tata Safari and the Mahindra Scorpio. Of the two, in a recent comparison, I had picked up the latter over the Tata Safari. The very reason for this was that the Scorpio scored over the dynamics front a wee bit more than that of the Safari. Going for the top end Vlx model which is available for Rs 9.5 lakhs (ex-show room, Thane) is one of the safer bets. However suggestions are that one should rather wait as Mahindra are out to bring in more modifications and an entirely new look into the Scorpio in a few months time.
Within the Rs 10-15 lakhs budget –
In this price bracket comes the Skoda Yeti and the Mahindra Scorpio Vlx AT. I would heartily recommend the Mahindra Scorpio over the Yeti since it has an automatic transmission to boast of plus all the bells and whistles that come with the top end manual variant. The 4 wheel drive variant with airbags and auto transmission is available for Rs 1188400, ex-show room, Thane. The Yeti would come in as the second choice but then it doesn’t have an auto transmission. But it has all the necessary features that one can ask for plus seat 4 comfortably. It has got a bigger and more flexible boot than the Scorpio though.
Within the Rs 15-20 lakhs budget –
Soft roader category this is and here comes the first choice the Ford Endeavour. The Endeavour is a butch SUV which is available at a starting price of Rs 16.25 lakhs. It has got an auto transmission option and many more features compared to the others of its ilk. The Mitsubishi Pajero, a hardcore off-roader SUV is available in this budget as well. Buy it only if you can live with its dated interiors and you need to wade rivers everyday.
Within the Rs 20-25 lakhs budget -
Hell lot of options here and moreso most of them evenly matched. The pick of this lot, if it were to be for manual SUVs would be the Hyundai Santa Fe. The top end variant boasts of many luxurious features in its cabin plus excellent diesel fuel economy. Next up is the Toyota Fortuner, a towering SUV which has both decent on-road and off-road manners. Amongst the automatics, first up would be the Chevrolet Captiva TDCi . It is a diesel SUV with an automatic gearbox and nice interiors. Amongst the manual soft roaders, another name that crops up is the BMW X1, Imagine owning a BMW within the Rs 25 lakhs budget. The Honda CR-V also makes its presence felt as also the worthy Mitsubishi Outlander. You would be literally spoilt for choices in here. The very worthy Nissan X-Trail base variant makes a compelling case for itself here.