India is fast becoming the turf war amid top global car makers for greater share in its rapidly growing automotive industry. Indians are known for their fascination with compact hatchbacks, but lately Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) have emerged as another big selling category of vehicles in the domestic passenger car market. Further, SUVs represent one of the most fiercely contested segments in the country at the moment. The SUVs are popular for their powerful on-road presence and style statement, along with their ability to tread any kind of uncertain and demanding off-road terrains. The typical features of this category of vehicles are bigger dimensions, All Wheel Drive (AWD) option, high ground clearance, water wading ability and greater occupant seating capacity than other passenger cars. At present, several models are battling it out for better share of the auto market. Therefore, CarTrade has compiled a list of top selling SUVs in India, comprising models like Renault Duster, Mahindra XUV500 and Tata Safari Storme, amongst others.
The compact SUV Renault Duster has changed the perception of utility vehicles among the domestic car buyers, since its launch in July 2012. The French auto maker is riding high on the incredible demand and popularity of its Duster and sells more than 5,000 units of the same every month in the Indian auto market. The astounding success of Renault Duster has baffled the top industry experts with its monthly sales. Indian buyers have warmed up to the stylish compact SUV due to its aggressive price tag, mean good looks and a powerful engine. The Duster range is available within a price bracket of Rs. 8 to 12 lakh in the Indian auto market. At present, Renault is getting ready for the incoming competition from Ford EcoSport, which has been pegged by the industry experts as the car that can displace Duster from its top position in the country.
The rivalry between Mahindra XUV500 and Tata Safari Storme models needs a mention, while speaking of the top selling SUVs available in the Indian auto market. Mahindra's flagship offering, the XUV500 or 'The Cheetah' had stunned the well established SUV leader Tata Safari by topping the sales charts month after month upon its launch. This led Tata Motors to introduce its more advanced Safari Storme, in order to counter the success and threat posed by the Mahindra model. The XUV500 range starts from Rs. 12.2 lakh, whereas the base version of Safari Stome is available with a starting price around Rs. 10 lakh.
Speaking of premium SUV category of vehicles, the Toyota Fortuner is the undisputed market champion. Under its hood, the Fortuner SUV comes fitted with a 3.0 litre oil burner that develops a top power output of 168 bhp along with a highest torque figure of 343 Nm. Toyota offers its Fortuner range within a price bracket of Rs. 22 to 24 lakh. This beast is offered in both 4x2 and 4x4 drive modes, along with options of manual and automatic gearboxes. At present, the top contenders of Toyota Fortuner are Ford Endeavour and SsangYong Rexton in the Indian auto market.
The premium SUV Ford Endeavour is offered with two engine options in the market, including a 2.5 litre diesel and a more powerful 3.0 litre diesel that develop maximum power outputs of 141 bhp and 154 bhp, respectively. However, the Endeavour range has a relatively competitive pricing than the Fortuner and carries retail values between Rs. 19 lakh and Rs. 23 lakh in the country. The SsangYong Rexton is the newest player in premium SUV segment and has been pronounced a success by the company. Two trim levels of Rexton are offered in the market, namely RX5 and RX7. Under its hood, the Rexton RX5 and Rexton RX7 models are powered by a 2.7 litre engine, however with different top power outputs of 162 bhp and 184 bhp, respectively. The Rexton RX5 is priced at Rs. 18.8 lakh, while the top-end RX7 can be purchased for a sum of Rs. 21 lakh in the Indian auto market.