10 most affordable SUVs on sale in India

    The range is quite diverse with different sizes, monocoque and ladder-frame underpinnings.

    Published On Apr 14, 2023 08:00:00 AM

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    Top 10 most affordable SUVs

    The ongoing rage for SUVs is certainly here to stay. In fact, car buyers are so lured by this body style, carmakers are finding new ways to make SUVs more desirable and accessible. The compact SUV segment in India has been the most lucrative for a few years now, but with cars like the Tata Punch that Tata Motors itself describes as a ‘micro SUV’, or even the Fronx coupe-crossover, with which Maruti has been incessantly beating the SUV drum, it's fair to say that this body style has been thrown open for a wide variety of interpretations. And people are buying into it too.

    So, if you, like many others, are in the market for an SUV, here are the 10 most affordable SUVs you can buy in India right now.

    1. Tata Punch

    Price: Rs 6.00 lakh - Rs 9.47 lakh 

    The smallest, most affordable ‘SUV’ that you can currently buy is the Tata Punch. Admittedly, the Punch is best described as a jacked-up hatchback, but even with such a compact footprint, it admirably packs in some of the traits you'd expect from an SUV, particularly a tall seating position, ample ground clearance, typical SUV styling and a relatively tough build. It's powered by the 86hp, 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine from the Tiago and Altroz, and is offered with 5-speed MT or AMT gearboxes. The Maruti Ignis would be a logical rival to the Punch, but for its price, which cuts significantly into compact SUV territory, it also sees competition from the Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger.

    2. Nissan Magnite

    Price: Rs 6.00 lakh - Rs 11.02 lakh 

    The Magnite is the entry point into the compact SUV segment, and, in fact, it undercuts the whole segment even with its top-spec variants. While build quality is not up to class standards, which is where the costs have been saved, the Magnite is still well-equipped and is stylish too. It’s offered with a 72hp, naturally aspirated 1.0-litre petrol engine or a 100hp, 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine – the former feels sluggish but the latter is quite smooth and punchy. As for gearbox options, a 5-speed manual is standard, while the turbo-petrol also gets a CVT automatic. The Magnite also does not have the most supple ride quality, but it's an easy car to drive and live with.

    3. Renault Kiger

    Price: Rs 6.50 lakh - Rs 11.23 lakh 

    The Kiger is a sibling to the Nissan Magnite, both models being based on the same CMF-A+ platform from the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Naturally, the Kiger’s strengths are similar to the Magnite – it's spacious, well-equipped and has a peppy turbo-petrol engine under the hood. Like the Magnite, the Kiger also undercuts the entire segment with its price, which means it's fantastic value for money. Where the Kiger does have a slight advantage is on the powertrain front – the Kiger’s naturally aspirated petrol engine additionally gets an AMT gearbox, while other powertrains are common between both models. However, here too, cost-cutting measures are evident in the build quality and cabin materials.

    4. Hyundai Venue

    Price: Rs 7.72 lakh - Rs 13.18 lakh

    The Venue is a jack of all trades. It’s offered across a wide price band and with multiple powertrain options – there’s an 83hp, 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol, a 120hp, 1.0-litre turbo-petrol and a 115hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine. Gearbox options include a 5-speed manual, 6-speed iMT and 7-speed DCT for the petrols and a 6-speed manual for the diesel. The Venue is a user-friendly compact SUV as its engines are smooth and refined, controls are light, it's generously equipped with features, and ergonomics are spot on. However, it’s not perfect – it's not the comfiest or most spacious of compact SUVs, neither is it the toughest, but it does reasonably well in most areas.

    5. Kia Sonet

    Price: Rs 7.79 lakh - Rs 14.89 lakh 

    The Sonet is a sibling to the Venue, which means both models share their underpinnings and powertrains. But where the Sonet has a distinct advantage is the fact that it offers the diesel engine with a 6-speed torque converter gearbox. Although pricey, the diesel-AT powertrain is, in fact, the pick of the range in the Sonet line-up. It offers a great mix of smoothness, fuel efficiency and torque, allowing the Sonet to drive like a larger, more premium car. And while it's equally well-equipped as the Venue, the cons are carried over too, which means the back seat isn't as spacious and the ride can feel a bit choppy.

    6. Tata Nexon

    Price: Rs 7.80 lakh - Rs 14.35 lakh 

    The Nexon was India's most sold SUV in 2022 and has quite a few reasons to be so likeable. Perhaps the most important aspect for a buyer is that it is one of only two cars in the sub-compact SUV space with a 5-star Global NCAP rating. It also looks stylish and is decently well-equipped in its higher-spec trims. As for powertrains, the 110hp, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol unit is refined but performance isn’t lively. The 110hp, 1.5-litre diesel has a wider spectrum of abilities. Both engines are offered with 5-speed MT or AMT gearboxes. One of the biggest highlights of the Nexon is its fantastic ride and handling balance which makes for a good long-distance vehicle.

    7. Maruti Suzuki Brezza

    Price: Rs 8.29 lakh - Rs 14.14 lakh

    Regularly trading top sales spot with the Nexon, the Brezza is a great all-rounder for those looking for a practical, family compact SUV. It's offered with a single 103hp, 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology that comes mated to either a 5-speed MT or a 6-speed torque convertor automatic gearbox. But while there’s a single-engine option to choose from, the Brezza is the only SUV in the segment to be offered with a factory-fitted CNG kit. It also remains one of the most spacious and comfortable SUVs in its class, and in its latest-gen guise, it's equipped to the brim, some of which are not even offered by rival. However, the weak engine performance will not satisfy those looking for a punchy SUV feel, and it’s also not the value-for-money offering that it once used to be.

    8. Mahindra XUV300

    Price: Rs 8.41 lakh - Rs 14.14 lakh 

    The XUV300 is one of the older SUVs on this list, and hasn’t received any update for quite a while now. That age shows in its interior design and equipment list, but seat comfort and cabin space are good and its width also makes it a better five-seater than most rivals. Along with the Nexon, the XUV300 is only the second compact SUV with a 5-star Global NCAP rating. It’s offered with a 117hp, 1.5-litre, diesel engine that is very likeable for its torque-ey nature. The 110hp, 1.2-litre turbocharged unit is quiet and refined but power delivery at low speeds isn’t the smoothest. Both engines get a 6-speed manual or AMT gearboxes. The pick of the range, however, would be the 130hp, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine with a 6-speed MT gearbox for its sporty and fun character. The XUV300 also has a good ride and handling balance, which makes it one of the more fun-to-drive SUVs in its class.

    9. Mahindra Bolero Neo

    Price: Rs 9.63 lakh - Rs 12.14 lakh 

    This here is a true-blue SUV at this price range, or as close as it gets without a 4x4 system. The Bolero Neo is underpinned by a ladder-frame chassis with a longitudinally mounted, 100hp, 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder turbo-diesel engine and rear-wheel drive, aimed at those who prefer a tough compact SUV that can handle bad roads easily. With a 5+2 seating layout in a sub-4m footprint, the Bolero Neo is in a segment of its own. It lacks the sophistication of most urban compact SUVs, but instead offers a toughness the rest simply can’t match. In essence, the Bolero Neo is a more upmarket alternative to the standard Bolero, adding some modern features, a nicer interior and greater comfort, although the third row with side-facing jump seats is cramped and unsafe.

    10. Mahindra Bolero

    Price: Rs 9.78 lakh - Rs 10.79 lakh  

    Reliable and rugged, the Mahindra Bolero is one of India’s bestselling utility vehicles, but it has been around for ages, so don’t expect much by way of sophistication or comfort. The lack of any modern creature comforts, flawed ergonomics and a utilitarian interior means there’s no hiding the Bolero’s vintage. It’s only available with the 76hp, 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel engine that comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Low-speed responses are decent and engine refinement is impressive for a utilitarian vehicle like this. But the Bolero is a workhorse through and through – it's meant to haul people and load, and that it does sufficiently well, while also justifying being categorised as an ‘SUV’.

    All prices ex-showroom, Delhi

    Also See:

    Top 10 EVs with the longest claimed range in India

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