Top 5 Expensive And Luxurious SUVs That Are Fuel-Efficient

SUVs are always confined of gas-guzzling attitude when mated to automatic transmission and loads of features. Here, in the haystack, there are some who are outstandingly efficient. Listed out, are the five best examples that are packed with pocket-friendly fuel-economy. Read on to find more…

Audi Q7

First in the filtered list is Audi’s flagship SUV Q7. Available with a bulgy engine and loads of premium features, the beasty Ring of Ingolstadt too have a Quattro based all-wheel drive.

Audi Q7

2014 Volkswagen Touareg – MPG City 20 | Hwy 29

Volkswagen Touareg has defined class of a conventional SUV by outstanding capabilities from its powerful engine. It’s no exception that VW is a parent company of Audi, Porsche and many more; their added tranquilities are obvious.

2014 Volkswagen Touareg

2014 Porsche Cayenne – MPG City 20 | Hwy 29

Nothing can match to the driving experience of a Porsche; and here with the Cayenne it was made sure the Stuttgart manufactured SUV sips-in liters of fuel. But it remains a lesser known fact – with regards to size – the fuel-consumption is quite low. Hence, driving Cayenne on a daily basis isn’t a costly affair.

2014 Porsche Cayenne

2015 BMW X5 – MPG City 23 | Hwy 31

Not a V or W, the BMW X5 sits as admiration for those who looking to have a taste of Munich at every drive. The 18-inch alloys, loads of features on-board, it doesn’t disappoint owners at the fuel-stations either.

2015 BMW X5

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander – MPG City 25 | Hwy 31

Japanese couldn’t stand isolated when talked about efficiency. And with the Outlander, Mitsubishi lacks on the number-count that marks it for bigger displacement, but succeeds on fuel-efficiency comparatively to the performance outputs of others.

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander

2012 Mercedes Benz ML350 CDI launched in India for Rs 66 lakh

Mercedes fans in India will be thrilled to know that Mercedes has launched the new 2012 ML350 in India for a price of Rs 66 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). The German luxury carmaker will bring the first 100 units, with AMG styling, via the CBU route. The 2012 ML350 SUV will be locally assembled later this year and a cheaper variant will be launched for Rs 56.90 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), without the AMG-bodykit. Mercedes had showcased the ML350 SUV at the 2012 Auto Expo held in January and had planned to launch it in April. However, the hike in customs duty prescribed by the Union Budget had delayed its plans.

The new 2012 ML350 SUV will replace the model currently sold in India and comes with some upgrades. It is powered by a 3.0-litre diesel engine like its predecessor with some performance upgrades and improvements in efficiency and lower emissions. The 5-seaterproduces maximum power of 231hp at 3800rpm and an awesome 620Nm of torque at 1600-2400rpm, enough to take the 2175 kg SUV from 0 to 100 kmh in 7.4 seconds flat! Mercedes will offer a 7-speed 7G-tronic gearbox with the SUV, along with permanent four-wheel drive, brake energy recuperation functions and automatic start/stop.

2012 Mercedes Benz ML350 CDI

 

The new ML350 SUV looks not only more aggressive, but also more appealing than the previous version, with cool cut-wheel arches, AMG style vents on the bonnet and a large front grille sporting the big Mercedes logo at the centre middle.

Mercedes has not neglected the interiors and given them some attention too, with some upgrades that give a spacious and refreshed look. The dashboard looks awesome with an instrument panel resembling that of a fighter jet, central console features and AC vents. The seats are extremely comfortable. Since the vehicle is meant for rough-terrain, safety features have been beefed up with NECK-PRO crash responsive head restraints, two stage front airbags, sidebags in the front and windowbags, optional rear sidebags, energy absorbing rear and front structures, self-supporting body, belt tensioner, PRE-SAFE system, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and acceleration skid control (ASR), ESP/4ETS dynamic handling control system and several more are expected.

The Mercedes ML350 SUV will compete against other majors of the luxury SUV segment, like the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7.

The new 2012 ML350 SUV will replace the model currently sold in India and comes with some upgrades. It is powered by a 3.0-litre diesel engine like its predecessor with some performance upgrades and improvements in efficiency and lower emissions. The 5-seaterproduces maximum power of 231hp at 3800rpm and an awesome 620Nm of torque at 1600-2400rpm, enough to take the 2175 kg SUV from 0 to 100 kmh in 7.4 seconds flat! Mercedes will offer a 7-speed 7G-tronic gearbox with the SUV, along with permanent four-wheel drive, brake energy recuperation functions and automatic start/stop.

More details surface about the Lamborghini Urus production

After several teasers and renderings, Lamborghini finally unveiled its much anticipated SUV, the Urus at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show last month. The Urus marked the Italian automaker’s debut in the SUV segment and received tremendous response from media and automotive experts. Now, as the company’s R&D Director, Maurizio Reggiani speaks to Automotive News, details of the production variant start to take surface.

In a statement made to Automotive News, Reggiani said “We envisage a start of production no sooner than early 2017.” It is a long way to 2017, and for now we have only few details on the spectacular maching.

Lamborghini Urus

Reggiani further revealed that the Urus will be platformed on Volkswagen’s uni-body PL73 platform. The next-generation Audi Q7 will be the first model to roll out from this platform, while upcoming Bentley EXP 9F SUV, third-generation Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg SUV will follow next. He went on to elaborate that the Urus SUV will set standards, not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of body weight. Targeting a curb-weight of just 1,996 kg, the crossover will make extensive use of carbon fiber for the interiors, while employing aluminum-magnesium for structures including hood, tailgate and doors.

Apart from the heavy diet on the outside, Reggiani suggested that the Urus will opt for a smaller capacity power plant to keep the weight low. It will dump the bigger V10 for a more efficient twin-turbo V8. There is no official word, but Automotive News suggests that the power plant could be borrowed from Audi. The 4.2-liter V8 found in Audi and Bentley churns out as much as 600 bhp.

When sent into production, Lamborghini targets annual 3,000 units of SUV alone, which is more than its total sales volume currently. The Italian carmaker’s Sant’ Agata Bolognese plant will be employed for final assembly of the product. The Lamborghini SUV’s major markets include China, the Middle East, Russia and the U.S.

Audi India 3rd showroom in the NCR and launches 2012 Audi TT Coupe

Audi, the German luxury automobile manufacturing company, today announced the opening of its 3rd showroom in National Capital Region, Audi Delhi West at Naraina Vihar and is planning to open a world-class service plant at Shivaji Marg this May. This world-class showroom’s opening was marked with the introduction of the design icon, 2012 Audi TT. Mr. Tarun Kapoor, Managing Director at Audi Delhi West (Sterling Vehicle & General Sales Private Limited) and Mr. Michael Perschke, Head at Audi India were the one who inaugurated the Audi Delhi West showroom.

The introduction of Audi Delhi West showroom offers them with an opportunity for exploiting on the rising demand for luxury vehicles in the region and intensifies their presence in one of the key markets for luxury vehicles. The new workshop and showroom’s opening in Delhi West restates their commitment for providing their customers a matchless luxury experience of world class services and class defining products, which truly reflect their core marque values of sophistication, sportiness and progressiveness. Mr. Michael Perschke, Head at Audi India stated that they are quite happy to be associated with Sterling Vehicles for their wide portfolio and deep automotive market understanding.

Audi India 3rd showroom in the NCR and launches 2012 Audi TT Coupe

The company’s brand pull in this year is supported by 22 rewards for class defining products like the A7, A6 and A8 and this portfolio produces an attractive franchise for retail entrepreneurs. The newly introduced Audi TT will be a part of array of cars lined up at this opulent showroom. Motivation for the TT will come from an extremely efficient and powerful 2.0 TFSI petrol powerplant. It will be available for the price of Rs. 49,48,000 and will be offered from June 2012 at Audi dealerships.

Audi India is planning to expand its network to 25 dealerships by the end of this year from its existing 17 centres. The company opened its showroom in Nagpur this March. In 2011, Audi opened new showrooms in Chennai, Delhi, Surat, Indore and Ludhiana and recorded a strong 1st quarter with 2269 vehicles marketed in India between January to March this year, an impressive growth of 41% unlike last year. The model range of Audi in India includes Audi A6, Audi A4, Audi A8L, Audi A7 Sportback, Audi Q7, Audi Q5, Audi TT, Audi RS5 Coupe, the Audi R8 Spyder and the super sports car Audi R8, all of which are offered across India: in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Chandigarh, Delhi West, Delhi South, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Indore, Kolkata, Kochi, Mumbai West, Ludhiana, Pune, Surat and Nagpur. Further enhancements include Lucknow, Mumbai South and Coimbatore.

2012 Audi TT Coupe

The Audi Group delivered 1,302,659 vehicles of Audi marque to customers last year and posted revenue of €44.1 billion with the operating profit of €5.3 billion. Audi is active in over 100 markets across the world. The completely owned subsidiaries of Audi AG include Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in Sant’Agata Bolognese (Italy), AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft., Quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm and AUDI BRUSSELS S.A./N.V. in Brussels (Belgium). At present, the company employs approximately 64,000 people all over the world, including around 48,000 in Germany.

Authorized Dealer Showrooms:

  • Audi Bengaluru –Survey No 6/1, Beratana Agrahara, 15 KM Road, Hosur Road, Electronic city P.O
  • Audi Ahmedabad –Rudra-Path, S.G. Road
  • Audi Chennai –535, Anna Salai, Nandaman
  • Audi Chandigarh –Plot No. 171, Industrial Area, Phase I
  • Audi Delhi West –A 21, Naraina Vihar
  • Audi Delhi South –B -1/H 1, Mohan Co-operative Industrial Estate, Mathura Road
  • Audi Hyderabad –8-2-684/A, Road No.12, Banjara Hills
  • Audi Gurgaon –Orchid Centre, Sector – 54, Golf Course Road
  • Audi Jaipur –Kamal & Co. Premises, Opp GPO, M.I. Road
  • Audi Indore –NRK Business Park, Plot B1, Vijay Nagar
  • Audi Kolkata –9 AJC Bose Road
  • Audi Kochi –NH. 47, Vytilla Aroor, Bye Pass Road, Marudu P.O.
  • Audi Mumbai West –New Link Road, Andheri West
  • Audi Ludhiana –GT Road
  • Audi Pune –Pro1 Business Centre, Plot No. 395+396, Senapati Bapat Road, Shivajinagar
  • Audi Nagpur –1902, H-Tower, Ujjwal Nagar, Wardha Road
  • Audi Surat – Nr. Rundhnath Mahadev Mandir, Surat Dumas Road

Why small cars sell more than the big ones

The passenger car segment in India have never had it so good with the car sales touching the 2.4 million mark and all this courtesy small cars. India’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki themselves accounted for more than 1.3 million cars and come to think of it, Maruti is known as the master of making small cars in India. Maruti Suzuki cleared the doubts among car lovers – whether they would still be the market leaders in India or not. The Indian car market is touted to be one up on the Brazilian one and this means that we would grab the 6th spot in the world of automobiles. A 30 percent growth from the small car segment was witnessed and at the same time, India’s luxury car market touched new heights. Affordable (in the term of luxury car makers) cars like the BMW 5 series and X1 made their way into many Indian homes. The Audi Q7 also reported decent numbers and its smaller variant, the Audi Q5 also posted healthy sales figures for the German manufacturers. An economy which is growing at a rate of 10 percent coupled with higher incomes and easier loans ensured that the luxury car market sold about an estimated 18k units in 2010-2011 which translates to an all time high of 80 percent increase from 2009-2011.

The best performer of 2010 was however the small car, the Ford Figo. That the Figo managed to outmatch its competition even without having any discounts on its speaks volumes for itself. Launched last summer, the Figo registered bookings of over 8k cars in a month. At the end of the year, the Figo had raked in 78116 units. In the overall sales ranking, Ford India came to a respectable number 6 from the pathetic number 8 that they were earlier. For boosting the sales of Figo and ensuring that the customers need not suffer a waiting period, Ford India started a second shift. Earlier on, the cheapest car in the world, the Tata Nano got a boost in its sales with waiting periods being reduced and the Sanand plant running in full steam. Sales touched an all time high of 9000 units in July however a few reliability issues and some fire incidents ensured that the sales of this car slowed down. There was a pathetic stage in the sales of the Nano when it touched an all time low of only 509 units in November 2010. However Tata Motors quickly swung into action with the 4 year warranty deal and also offering the remedial action that no further damage would be done with the fire catching incidents.

This small segment as a whole continues to remain the largest part of the market by smashing the million mark and above, which is up by about 35 percent from the figure shown in 2009-2010. Key launches like the ones of the small cars like Figo, Polo, Wagon R, Micra and the Alto K10 made way for the growth of car sales and especially small cars. The best selling car was the Alto K10 with over 3.4 lakh units, which is a 48 percent increase over its previous year’s figures. Next up is another Maruti which has taken the second spot from the Hyundai I10 and that is the Maruti Wagon R, which witnessed sales over 12 percent more than the previous year. The Hyundai i10 in the meanwhile witnessed a sales rise by over 10 percent while its bigger and fatter cousin, the i20 witnessed a boost of 100 percent to about 86 k units. This good show by both its models helped the Korean company to retain its number 2 position in the Indian car market. Tata Nano sales spurts always ensured that Tata Motors were a close third as far as the sales figures go. For the American General i.e. General Motors, sales of its small but ultra funky car, the Beat ensured that the numbers were boosted in multiples however the cheeky little Spark’s sales toppled down by 20 percent. Fiat showed a lackluster display with the sales of their Punto hatchback dropping by 5 percent indicating that manufacturers need to keep the pot burning for their cars.

The new midsize entries like the Volkswagen Vento and the Toyota Etios received a warm welcome from the car buying public and this enabled them to get off to a good start. In only 6 months, the Vento has clocked in more than 18k units in the domestic market. The Etios which was launched at around the year end managed to garner over 30k bookings however with production facilities in a sort of tizzy, managed to sell off only 8k units. Strong performance by the Vento meant that the Honda City sales could rise only 3 percent of what was sold last year. However in March 2011, the Vento managed to go one up on the City. Honda finally realized that it needs a diesel engine in its Indian car lineup as India is predominantly a diesel driven country. Due to a huge price cut and also nifty ad campaigns, the Mahindra Logan has seen its sales being doubled. Recently the car has been renamed as Verito with a lower asking price and added benefits of more goodies. Moreover, Mahindra is latching onto the idea of reducing the boot size of the Logan and ducking it under the 4 meters mark to gain excise benefits and further lower the price of this car to gain a good market share. Due to the introduction of a much needed diesel under the hood of the Toyota Corolla Altis, Toyota Motors managed to get a 10 percent increase in their sales. However due to the capacity constraints in its manufacturing facility, Toyota could only manage to grab 10 percent increase in sales. The Chevrolet Cruze, saw a 100 percent bump up in its sales figures compared to the year 2009, with sales of about 9,040 cars.

Well, if you thought that only compact cars were the stars of the day, then take a look at the luxury car market also. The Mercedes C class finally managed to steal one from the BMW 3 series by clocking in 2614 cars in the entire year. However BMW fought back with the much more expensive 5 series contributing to 3k units plus. The BMW X1 which is one of the lowest priced BMWs in India made a solid start to its innings in India with 525 units being already sold for an SUV which made its debut in December 2010. The silent player in this game, Audi managed to sell well over 1000 units of the Q5 and also the Q7. This was the highest amongst the SUVs in this segment. The market is showing no signs of slacking over however trade pundits say that there are chances that the market would chill a bit after all this show. However money spinning models from Maruti, Tata and Hyundai are expected to hit this year and who knows if the pace would be maintained or get to the next level.

Audi cars at the 2011 Surat Auto Expo covered by IndianDrives team

The first manufacturer that we see, the moment we enter the arena is Vorsprung Durch Technik or rather Audi and man what a display they had on. Except for the Audi A6 and Audi Q5, each and every car in their lineup was on display. However as expected, the general public weren’t allowed to check the cars up close and personal. However being from the press has its own merits with the fact that we were allowed to check out each and every car out there on display. Parthiv Barot, the Sales Manager at Audi Ahmedabad was courteous enough to let us inside the barricade and was also quite cool in giving us all his gyaan about the different Audi cars on display.

Starting with the Audi TT, the cute roadster was the connoisseur of all the eyes and grabbed the maximum eyeballs. Its sleek form plus the traditional roadster silhouette was pleasing to look at. Inside, the car reeked of traditional Audi qualities like good build quality and use of high quality materials. The head space on offer for a 6 footer like me was commendable. Not that we haven’t seen the TT in flesh earlier but this time around it was something special, something which I couldn’t place exactly but it still was there.


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Next up was the Audi A4. Now, it would be surprising if I say that the Audi A4 in India cabin is not that luxurious and it feels somewhat Spartan compared to the TT. But the truth is that I wasn’t impressed at all by its cabin. There was that multitronic transmission on offer. Leg space ain’t that bad even for a 6 footer at the back but would be a touch too cramped on shoulder room if one were to seat three along.. If leg space is what one is bargaining in an Audi, then they have to go right in for the Audi A6 and the A8. Unfortunately even the A6 was something which wasn’t there on display.

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The A8L, the 2011 edition however was present and it had a black roof whereas the rest of the body was in white trim. If at all, one wants to experience luxury, I would say that don’t look further away from the Audi A8L. In a recent comparison we had deemed the Audi as the new luxury king and it stands. The ambient mood lighting is sure to lift up the moods of any tycoon or business conglomerate for that matter. The only thing which, according to me, sticks out like a sore thumb is the gear lever. It is more like that of a luxury yacht and not seemingly fit on this car. However it does make it look unique though. Rear seat space and the controls are very good and futuristic looking.


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Last but not the least is the Audi Q7 with its XXL size dimensions. If you want space and a more intimidating car than the Audi A8L, then the Q7 is the one for you. Not only does it boast of similar space but more seats in the bargain as well. Not to mention that the owner ends up with saving some cash for a tankful. The dash looks highly functional however it is the middle row that takes the cake away with its very good sense of space all around. The third row is something which am not sure of, regarding the space and this I am purely talking from my point of view. Interesting is the fact that the ARAI certified mileage of the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI is 9.78 kmpl.


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