Low budget SUV cars in India have set the compact SUV segment on fire with some of the best options available to the car buyer. Old players in the game include the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza while newbies are the Kia Sonet and Tata Punch, adding more competition, setting new benchmarks and offering the most modern technology in the way of state-of-the-art features.
The SUV market does not consist of manufacturers building heavy duty vehicles that cost a lot. Instead, they are making light, compact and feature filled, functional SUVs that excite buyers and provide an exhilarating driving experience for city use and long-distance travel.
Best Low Budget SUV Cars in India
Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have been rising on the sales graph and show no signs of slowing down. It is the comfort and the muscular styling they offer that is pleasing to car owners who enjoy their durable build quality and high ground clearance to tackle Indian roads.
Automakers have a number of affordable SUVs in their stable because they know the Indian car buyer is skewed towards the budget friendly models.
Read on as we list the best SUV cars on a low budget. Check out these compact SUVs and see which one suits you best.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
Maruti Suzuki was one of the first manufacturers that released a compact SUV with a budget friendly price and introduced us all to a reliable, and practical compact SUV. Car buyers were able to get a premium SUV at a competitive price and what they got was an excellent drivers’ car that was loaded with functionality.
Buyers rarely go wrong with the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, because they get to enjoy all the features of a modern-day SUV. It is powered by a K15, 1.5 litre petrol engine that produces a maximum power output of 103 bhp @ 6000 rpm and peak torque of 138 Nm @ 4400 rpm. It can be had in both manual and automatic transmissions and comes loaded with the latest features such as idle-start-stop, ABS with EBD braking system, Hill Hold Assist, smart play studio, and much more equipment and tech.
Some of the good things you can expect from the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza are a true SUV like appearance. It is appealing because of straight lines on the exterior and a tall stance that provides good road presence. The compact SUV gets a high seating affording a commanding driving position with plenty of interior space, headroom and an airy cabin.
The car is easy to drive, and due to its compact dimensions, is nimble, having light controls, and excellent all-round visibility. There is ample storage space which makes the interior very practical. Being a Maruti Suzuki it has superior ownership experience, good build quality and a wide service network.
Some things that could be better on the Brezza include an unresponsive engine in the lower rpms, which lack enough grunt. The ride and handling at slow speeds is a bit stiff and when roads get a bit rougher, it doesn’t handle the bumps as it should. Interior styling is also quite conservative and although premium looking, it will not get your pulse racing.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza prices start from Rs.7.61 lakhs – 11.19 lakhs ex-showroom.
The Magnite has carved a niche for itself in the compact SUV market, coming from a Japanese automaker that offers a lot of features and a unique driving experience that sets it apart from the rest of its competitors.
There are two engine options for the Nissan Magnite, a 1.0 litre turbo petrol, and 1 litre naturally aspirated petrol unit. Maximum power for the turbo engine is 100 bhp @ 5000 rpm and a peak torque of 152 Nm @ 2200 -4400 rpm. The NA engine gets a power output of 72 bhp @ 6250 rpm and a peak torque of 96 Nm @ 3500 rpm.
Ground clearance on the Nissan Magnite stands at 205 mm which makes it conquer all sorts of roads, rough trails and broken tarmac sections. This crossover SUV is equipped with LED- dual projector headlamps, DRLs and fog lamps below the J-shaped DRLs. It gets black cladding on the lower part of the body to protect it from any scuffs and scratches. The wheels are 16-inch alloys, the rear window gets a defogger, and there is a rear-view camera with parking sensors for safety.
Some of the advantages of the Magnite include a modern design that is quite striking and sporty, a spacious cabin which equates to comfortable rides for passengers, and potent powertrain options. There is a CVT transmission on offer which provides for stress free drives without gear changing.
The Magnite does have some cons as well such as a slow steering that is unresponsive at times. IT would do better with some more feedback and weight. Controls are somewhat heavy, as the driver may find operating the SUV in traffic a bit cumbersome. The ride and handling at high speeds is not optimum and the suspension seems to have been tuned to cater to city driving. Also, the after sales network is not wide enough and you may have to search for a service centre if you are not living in a big city.
One of the standout features of the Tata Nexon is an impeccable safety standard of 5-stars received from Global NCAP. It served as the benchmark compact SUV in terms of safety that other manufactures were poised to emulate. Safety is a big priority for the car buyer in India and Tata has identified this requirement and delivered with the Tata Nexon. Its strong build quality, long list of safety features and inclusion of modern technology are all plus points that have led to its popularity in the compact SUV segment.
The Tata Nexon is available in two engine options, which is a 1.2 litre, petrol engine (Revotron) that delivers a maximum power output of 120 bhp, and a peak torque figure of 170 Nm. There is also a diesel engine on offer, a 1.5 litre (Revotorq) which is turbocharged and produces a maximum power output of 110 bhp and deliver a peak torque of 260 Nm. Both are performance happy and are robust out in the city and for highway driving.
There is a 6-speed automatic transmission on offer that provides clutch free driving and a smooth experience. The Nexon makes use of plenty of electronic aids like electron traction control, roll-over mitigation, and hydraulic brake assist, which helps you enjoy safe driving. For comfort and convenience features, the Nexon has iRA technology for connected car safety and infotainment options.
Pros of the Nexon include upmarket looks that lean towards a modern design, at the brink of cutting-edge technology and a 5-star Global NCAP safety standard rating. The cabin is truly spacious compared to its rivals in the compact SUV segment. It is also easy to live with and driving is light and enjoyable.
The quality of interior on the Tata Nexon has been said to suffer from issues and these could just be a cost cutting initiative for the car to remain competitive. The engine and drivetrain options are powerful enough, although they do suffer from unresponsiveness in the low end of the rpm range. Tata could also have done better with the infotainment options because rivals in the segment are featuring high end systems that are user friendly and cater to the technologically conscious crowd.
The compact SUV from Kia has been soaring in sales with over 1 lakh Sonets sold in the first year of its launch. Majority of the sales are for its top end trims, the Tech line and Sport line GT. There are three engine options on offer, a powerful SmartStream 1.4 litre, turbocharged petrol engine (140 bhp @ 6000 rpm / 242 Nm @ 1,500 rpm – 3,200 rpm), Advanced SmartStream 1.5 litre, naturally aspirated petrol unit (115 bhp @ 6,300 rpm / 144 Nm @ 4,500 rpm) and a 1.5 litre CRDI (Common Rail Diesel Injection) diesel engine (115 bhp @ 4000 rpm / 250 Nm @ 1,500 – 2,750 rpm).
Kia has launched some first in segment (in fact, first in India) features such as a voice command control for phone, car and infotainment options that results in a stress-free driving experience where you rarely have to take your hands off the wheel, or eyes off the road (safety first!).
One of the plus points for the Kia Sonet include a new age design that stands out from the crowd of old-fashioned compact SUVs. It gets diamond cut alloy wheels, crown jewel LED headlamps, DRLs, LED tail lights, and a dual muffler exhaust design to add to its modern appeal and sporty demeanour.
The exterior styling of the Sonet is youthful, yet it has a modern stance that is appealing to the younger generation. The engine options are smooth and refined, offering peppy performance while being frugal. The SUV is easy to drive due to its compact dimensions and light steering that provides reasonable feedback. Interior quality is good and on par with the segment's expectations, while rear luggage space is excellent for long drives with the family.
Some things that could have been better are the ride quality which is on the firmer side, and gets a bit bouncy when fully loaded and at high speeds. The rear seats are a tad cramped and are perfect for only 2 adults. Three passengers at the rear are a real squeeze. Finally, the rear visibility is hampered by thick C-pillars and a small rear windscreen.
The Kia Sonet is priced at Rs.6.89 lakhs – 13.55 lakhs ex-showroom.
SUVs are always popular now and every automaker has released an affordable compact SUV to get a piece of the pie, with SUVs being a sure winner no matter what way you look at it.
Most car buyers use SUVs in urban settings, driving in city traffic and small streets. An automatic gearbox is usually preferred for ease of driving and a stress-free journey.
Budget, compact SUV cars have always been the optimum requirement for small families in India. Manufacturers have been keeping a close eye on this, identified the growing demand and replied by tapping into this segment by producing the right vehicle that car buyers are looking for.
Spacious cars that have the right dimensions for city use have spawned the compact SUV to rule the roads in India. Compact SUVs are good looking, have enough space for 5 adults and are easy to live with.
The advantage of a compact SUV is that it has the looks of a premium vehicle, and comes to us at a budget friendly price. They are also packed with enough features to make every driving experience an awesome one. Rapid advancements in technology have made these modern, hi-tech features a standard part of their options list.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1. Which SUV cars have low maintenance?
Ans. Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are considered big cars with high maintenance. But there are also compact SUVs that are affordable and inexpensive to maintain. This is one of the reasons why they are so popular in this segment. Some low maintenance SUVs in India are Maruti S-Presso, Mahindra KUV 100 NXT, Hyundai Venue, Maruti Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Renault Duster, Mahindra Bolero, Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Mahindra Thar.
Q2. Which SUV has the cheapest parts?
Ans. Maruti SUVs have inexpensive parts and won’t burn a hole in your pocket every time you need to replace a part. Maintenance cost can be a big concern for an SUV owner. Mahindra, Toyota and Hyundai all have SUVs that have cheap spare parts.
Q3. What is the best inexpensive SUV to buy?
Ans. The top SUVs to buy on a budget include the Renault Kiger, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Hyundai Venue. All are priced below Rs.10 lakhs from a starting price of Rs. 6 lakhs.