Till a few years ago, the idea of owning a compact SUV was not very common in India. Prospective buyers had very few options like the Tata Safari and Mahindra Scorpio, which were not the compact ones. The huge dimensions of the SUVs made people stay away from these vehicles till such time when compact SUVs were introduced.
In 2012, Ford, Renault and Nissan came out with their own compact SUVs – the EcoSport, the Duster, and the Terrano, respectively. Though, India’s largest car maker, was to come out with their own compact SUV Maruti XA Alpha, the launch is yet to happen.
Right now the Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano are the most popular mid size SUVs in India. Let’s find out why?
The Ford EcoSport with its good looks and intelligent gizmos became a runaway success overnight. Both the petrol 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine and 1.5 litre diesel engine are powerful. On the safety arena, the EcoSport scores with six airbags. But where it really will go down well with the Indian consumer is the fuel efficiency. The diesel sets a good benchmark with 22.7 kmpl on the highway while in the city it manages to return 12.2 kmpl. The EcoSport has much more on offer with a voice activated SYNC to a stylishly laid out dashboard. The driver position is also better.
When compared to the EcoSport, the Terrano and Duster have a better riding and can handle the potholes with smoothness. The posture of the Duster makes it look much bigger with the wide stance and the flared up wheel arches. Additionally, it offers the best ground clearance, something that is of great use on the unpredictable Indian roads. Though the interiors of the Duster are not that appealing as that of the EcoSport, the ride and handling are better which makes the vehicle a dream to drive on the highway. Keeping all the good characteristics of the Duster intact, Nissan has effectively managed to give the Terrano its own individuality by enhancing on its styling.
Though the Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano are the bigger cars here, offering more interior room, better driving dynamics and fantastic ride quality, the EcoSport comes with more features and with better engines. Even after the recent price hike, Ford EcoSport is the best value for money vehicle in this segment.
The Duster, the Terrano and the EcoSport are here to stay. Their strong sales numbers is a pointer towards the changing preferences of the Indian car buyer. The Indian customer is now happy to experiment with new looks and may prefer a SUV to a traditional hatchback or sedan.
For more information on cars & bikes log on to Autoportal.com & Bikeportal.in