The sub-four metre length regulation for cars is unique to the Indian market. While it did cause a lot of consternation when it was first introduced, the regulation did lead to some of the most distinctive and highly successful cars in the industry. However, SUV’s in India have traditionally have a strong run and auto-manufacturers soon began to think in terms of compact SUV’s, many of which would be around the four-metre mark.
This year should see a lot of new launches and we’ve put together a quick, compact SUV buyer’s guide that should help you in narrowing down on the car for you:
Sizing things up: Compact SUV’s are the rage & every manufacturer in India offers their version of it. No two compact SUV’s in India are similar in size however, and it is important to check them out in person, before deciding upon the one to bring home.
Cabin Space: On the inside too, some compact SUV’s in India are larger than the others. Things to check for here are the elbow & shoulder room, space between the knees & the front seat when it is fully pushed back, etc. There has to be adequate room for all passengers.
Ground Clearance: By and large, all the compact SUV’s offer better ground clearance than most equivalent sedans and regular hatchbacks. A ground clearance of 180mm for example, should help clear most of the mountainous speed-breakers in urban terrain & light dirt trails in the outdoors. So choose wisely here.
Seating Capacity: While the ability to seat five passengers is a given, some seat six, while others are designed to seat up-to seven passengers within their compact dimensions. Choose according to your requirements, as extra seats in the third row, mean reduced boot space and luggage carrying capacity.
Features: Automatic climate control, Automated Manual Transmission options, choice of petrol/diesel engines, curtain & side airbags, ABS, EBD, projector headlamp setups, auto-headlamps, cornering headlamps – are but a mere sampling of some of the features available on the models in this class. The point to note, is that there is no one car that will offer it all. So pick and choose, as per your needs.
That’s it then, these are five factors that according to this Compact SUV buyer’s guide, would be helpful to buyers in arriving at a decision.