The festive season is right around the corner and carmakers are reading a slew of new launches in the SUV and crossover space. Major mainstream models include the much awaited Tata Nexon, the Ford EcoSport facelift, the Skoda Kodiaq SUV, the Maruti S-Cross facelift, the Renault Captur and the stylish Range Rover Velar.
The stylish Tata Nexon is all set to launch on September 21, 2017. Set to take on rivals like the Vitara Brezza and the Ford EcoSport by the horns, the Nexon’s USP is its stylish exterior and feature-laden upmarket interior. Not to forget, top-spec variants will come with a 6.5-inch infotainment system and a superb-sounding eight-speaker Harman sound package. What’s more, it will also get multiple drive modes, something which is not seen in any of its rivals.
Space has always been a USP of Tata cars, with the Nexon being no different. Despite the sloping roof, the cleverly engineered rear seats ensure that even tall passengers have sufficient headroom. The Nexon comes with a brand-new 1.5-litre turbo-diesel and a turbocharged version of the Tiago’s 1.2-litre petrol on the Nexon – both producing 110hp. The engines will send power to the front wheels via new six-speed manual gearboxes. AMT-equipped variants will join in a bit later.
Ford EcoSport facelift
Ford’s popular compact SUV, the EcoSport, is now facing stiff competition from the Vitara Brezza and has another rival hitting the market soon in the form of the Tata Nexon. The EcoSport will get a major facelift to its exteriors, with all-new front styling to bring it in-line with the latest Ford SUVs sold globally. It also gets a heavily updated interior, replete with high-quality plastics, and a touchscreen infotainment system laden with Ford’s latest SYNC3 software. The big news lies under the hood where the EcoSport will ditch the 1.5-litre four-cylinder Sigma petrol for an all-new, state-of-the-art, 1.5-litre, three-cylinder Dragon petrol engine. The diesel engine, however, is likely to continue as is.
Also read: Refreshed EcoSport to come with Dragon petrol engine
The Renault Captur is all set to take on the Hyundai Creta when it launches in the coming months. Built on the robust M0 platform that also underpins the Duster, the Captur gets stylish exteriors and a spacious cabin. Under the hood, the familiar 110hp, 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine is likely to be the sole powerplant on offer at launch. The Captur will face not just the Creta, but also the Mahindra XUV500 and the lower trims of the Jeep Compass. Renault is likely to offer multiple customisation options on the Captur which will include unique interior bits and accessories and an option of contrast shade for the roof. An all-wheel drive (AWD) and an automatic variant are likely to join a bit later.
Also read:India-spec Renault Captur details
Maruti S-Cross facelift
The refreshed S-Cross, showcased earlier at the Paris motor show, will come to our market around the festive season this year. Suzuki has updated the nose of the car heavily to give it a more SUV-like look. The grille is more upright, larger and comes with chrome inlays. The headlamps are restyled and feature black inserts. The ‘toothy’ chin is now much more aggressive as well. To complete the look, the car gets a new bonnet. On the inside, the cabin gets new upholstery and minor equipment upgrades. Maruti will continue to sell the S-Cross in India with the same 1.3- and 1.6-litre diesel engines. There is no news on the petrol-powered model as of now.
Also read: S-Cross facleift launch around Diwali
Skoda Kodiaq (October 4, 2017)
Skoda’s all-new Kodiaq is a three-row SUV that is based on the Superb's underpinnings. With a length of 4,697mm, a width of 1,882mm and a wheelbase of 2,700m, it’s relatively compact, and that’s something Skoda is proud of because that would make the SUV easy to live with especially in the city. It gets 190mm of ground clearance and can wade through 300mm of water; these aren't true off-roader credentials, but it will suffice for most buyers. Powering the Kodiaq will be a 2.0-litre diesel motor good for 143hp. The Kodiaq SUV will launch on October 4, 2017.
Also read: India-bound Skoda Kodiaq: 10 things to know
Range Rover Velar
The stylish Range Rover Velar SUV made its global debut at the Geneva motor show earlier this year. Underpinned by the same technology as the similarly sized Jaguar F-Pace, the Velar will slot in between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. For India, the Velar will get a 250hp, 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol and a 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel in 180hp or 240hp states of tune. A standard ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic is paired with each engine and delivers power to all four wheels. The Velar will hit Indian showrooms in the coming months.
Also read: Range Rover Velar expected price in India