SUV maintenance cost comparison – Part 1: Premium and Executive SUVs

    A detailed study on the overall cost of maintenance of cars over 60,000km starting with Premium and Executive SUVs.

    Published On Sep 25, 2020 04:30:00 PM


    SUV maintenance cost comparison – Part 1: Premium and Executive SUVs

    ‘Kitna deta hai?’ – that’s something everyone wants to know, but how much do you spend on the maintenance of your car? Service bills may only come every few months, but they can be big and they all add up.

    • Premium and Executive SUV maintenance costs compared
    • Factors in service parts & life, labour rates and service intervals

    So, to give you an idea of just how much you’d spend maintaining your car, we’ve designed our first ever ‘Maintenance Cost Study’. And it’s not just the cost of spares or one service alone that we’ve analysed, but the total cost of service parts, their service life, the labour rates as well as the service intervals of each car, extrapolated over 60,000km.

    For most owners this would come up at around the 5-year mark, and so this study will give you a very good insight of the cost you’d incur over a typical ownership period.

    Over the years, our ‘Spare Parts Study’ has compared the cost of typically consumed parts across three baskets of service, mechanical and accident repair, thus giving you a very good insight into the likely expenses you would incur. But this Maintenance Cost study will give you an even better picture.

    Maintenance cost study methodology

    Arriving at a model that is fair and can be uniformly applied across vehicles is quite tricky though. Some vehicles may have a longer service interval (in kilometres) but you may be called in for a service periodically, irrespective of the mileage you’ve covered. And even then, some brands will allow you to extend the service life of certain parts if the condition is found to be ok.

    Thus, in a bid to keep things uniform and reduce complexity, the study takes into account the cost of the service parts, the frequency of their change and the cost of associated labour for services undertaken up to the 60,000km mark, as per the manufacturers’ recommendations.

    Let’s get started:

    Premium SUVs

    This segment is sub-divided into two classes of vehicles – monocoque SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace and Hyundai Tucson; and body-on-frame SUVs like the Mahindra Alturas G4, Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour.

    Monocoque Premium SUVs

    • The Hyundai Tucson offer petrol and diesel engines, as did the Honda CR-V before BS6 (it is petrol only now), whereas the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is a petrol-only offering.
    • Besides being an import, what makes the Tiguan Allspace the costliest is the costs for transmission fluid, transfer case oil and spark plugs, all of which need replacement at 60,000km; even the total labour charges will set you back by Rs 27,893 over the second, third and fourth paid services.
    • The Honda CR-V is the only one that requires a coolant change that happens every five years.
    • Hyundai charges for labour from the 40,000km service and the Tucson proves to be the most pocket-friendly, with the fewest parts requiring replacement, as well as affordable rates.

    Body-on-frame Premium SUVs

    • The Ford Endeavour is the most economical to run, with the lowest cost of replacement parts, and a flat labour rate of Rs 3,240 for the paid periodical services.
    • Mahindra boasts of the cheapest replacement parts and labour rates, but it requires additional replacement parts such as a fuel filter, transmission/transaxle oil, rear differential oil, transfer case oil and clutch fluid, thus it comes in a bit higher than the Ford.
    • The Fortuner diesel is a bit more expensive to run than the Endeavour as, among other things, Toyota replaces the rear differential oil every 40,000km.

    Premium SUVs maintenance costs (in Rupees)
    ManufacturerMahindra Alturas G4Toyota FortunerFord EndeavourHonda CR-VVolkswagen Tiguan AllspaceHyundai Tucson
    Engine2.2 D2.8 D2.7 P2.0 D2.0 P1.6 D2.0 P2.0 P2.0 D
    Air Filter80017481748138575011321103858759
    Oil Filter3994124124181753951244203463
    Fuel Filter1400NANA1161NA1250NA5702208
    Washer Drain Plug355959NA3636279NANA
    Spark Plug (for entire set)NANANANANANA6332NANA
    Fan Belt/ DrivebeltNANANANANANA446NANA
    Engine Oil210635633563254311691978547215201881
    Transmission/Transaxle Oil5400NANANANANA4094NANA
    Rear differential oil92816071607NANANANANANA
    Transfer case oil780NANANANANA2691NANA
    Brake fluid563345345489330330518NANA
    Clutch fluid563NANANANANANANANA
    Power steering fluidNANANANANANANANANA
    Pollen / HVAC filter11001840184014621400140098914681468
    SERVICE INTERVALS1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km
    1st Service Cost (parts+labour)3799403431312961278038091094817233697
    2nd Service Cost (parts+labour)45995874497176639147101442162230766491
    3rd Service Cost (parts+labour)7143892062707851589571482582025813697
    4th Service Cost (parts+labour)9921116531189890489147115634428064059661
    5th Service Cost (parts+labour)602971726270620155658517NA51575777
    6th Service Cost (parts+labour)135701076081108824947710474NA77889661
    Total Cost (up to 60,000km)4506148413406504254842011516551026702672938984
    Maintenance cost per km0.750.810.680.710.700.861.710.450.65

    Executive SUVs

    The petrol competitors include the MG Hector, Jeep Compass, VW T-Roc and the Skoda Karoq, all of which use turbo-petrol engines. In the diesel camp, three out of the four competitors, namely the Compass, Hector and Tata Harrier, are powered by the same 2.0-litre FCA diesel engine, while the fourth rival, the Mahindra XUV500, uses an in-house 2.2-litre powerplant.


    • The petrol MG Hector has a service interval of one year/ 10,000km, while Jeep and Skoda have a 15,000km annual service. However, the MG is the most economical to run due to considerably lower-priced spares and more pocket-friendly labour rates.
    • The Jeep’s parts costs are much higher than the Hector’s and what further drives up costs is the 1.4 turbo-petrol engine’s spark plug set, which costs Rs 3,960.
    • The fully imported Skoda Karoq’s running costs are higher than those of the Hector and the Compass, and a significant cost is its fanbelt/drive belt replacement at the fourth year or 60,000km service, which costs Rs 6,108, excluding labour.
    • But the most expensive petrol offering is the also-imported Volkswagen T-Roc, and despite the first service being free of labour charges, the second, third and fourth service labour charges alone are over Rs 28,000, thus contributing to a significantly higher running cost.
    • All the SUVs powered by the FCA-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine have a service interval of one year/15,000km, whereas the Mahindra XUV500 needs a service every 10,000km.
    • What comes as a surprise is that the homegrown Tata Harrier is the most expensive to run. This isn’t down to higher spare costs alone, but because of labour-intensive jobs like the fan belt/drive belt and belt tensioner replacement every four years.
    • Also, in addition to regular service intervals, the Harrier also requires a basic check-up at 22,500, 37,500 and 52,500km, each of which costs Rs 1,416 (which we have added to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th service costs).

    Did you find this maintenance cost comparison helpful? Tell us what you think in the comments section, and stay tuned for more maintenance cost comparison surveys of other segments that are coming soon.

    Executive SUVs maintenance costs (in Rupees)
    ManufacturerTata HarrierMG HectorJeep CompassSkoda KaroqVolkswagen T-RocMahindra XUV500
    Air Filter9433953957677671312822925
    Oil Filter8672416065076499999171
    Fuel Filter29624131306NA2990NANA595
    Washer Drain Plug3739586195326161559
    Spark Plug (for entire set)NA784NA3960NA44164416NA
    Timing Belt/ ChainNANANANANA382NANA
    Fan Belt/ Drivebelt3052NANANANA61083821449
    Belt tensioner3348NANANANANANANA
    Engine Oil47501332436328843389412841282106
    Transmission/Transaxle OilNA6552230NANANA1089NA
    Rear differential oilNANANANANANANANA
    Transfer case oilNANANANANANA2691NA
    Brake fluid305476476377377518518375
    Clutch fluidNANANA377377NANA375
    Power steering fluid492NANANANANANANA
    Pollen / HVAC filter53722522551451455617871170
    SERVICE INTERVALS1 year or 15,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 10,000km
    1st Service Cost (parts+labour)103551920701351839087498684873456
    2nd Service Cost (parts+labour)1731627287013134141288612549159223456
    3rd Service Cost (parts+labour)167093180748978971180110719126767897
    4th Service Cost (parts+labour)18800497011485134141288618203229998932
    5th Service Cost (parts+labour)NA4162NANANANANA6288
    6th Service Cost (parts+labour)NA6885NANANANANA8489
    Total Cost (up to 60,000km)6318023845330003990846660464576008438518
    Maintenance cost per km1.050.400.550.670.780.771.000.64

    Also see:

    Car maintenance cost comparison – Part 2: Premium and Executive Sedans

    Car maintenance cost comparison Part 3: Mid-size SUVs

    Car maintenance cost comparison Part 4: Compact SUVs

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