The Indian automotive market that was once dominated by hatchbacks and compact sedans has now been flooded with SUVs. Buyers are drolling over crossovers and SUVs, thanks to their impressive road presence, durable fundamentals and soft offroading abilities. But with an array of options to choose from in various confusing segments, it becomes difficult to choose the one that suits your needs the best. Hence, we tell you the best SUV in India in every segment, depending on your needs and preferences.
Best SUV in India in every segment
A decade ago, SUV meant a butch body-on-frame vehicle with big tyres, a capable 4x4 drive train, a high seating position and very expensive maintenance. However, the definition is filtered down to an extent that the line between a crossover and an SUV has vanished. We have all the way from Micro-SUV to premium crossovers with very few true-blue SUVs. But maybe that’s what the market want, the looks of an SUV in a package of a nonsense vehicle. Let’s go into detail and explore the best SUV in India in every segment available.
Best sub-compact SUV in India
Tata Nexon is the best sub-compact SUV in the Indian market, ticking all the right boxes. The Nexon changed the fate of Tata Motors in the Indian market and gave it an identity of a tough car maker. The main highlight of the Nexon is its long list of features and assured safety. Backed by a 5-star crash test rating, the Nexon offers ABS, EBD, dual airbags, cornering stability control, rollover mitigation and more as standard across the range.
Powering the Nexon are two engine options - 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol and 1.5-litre diesel. The 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine produces 120Hp of power and 170 Nm of torque, mated with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed AMT. The 1.5-litre diesel engine produces 110Hp of power and 260 Nm of torque, mated to either a 6-speed manual or AMT. Tata Nexon also offers features like drive modes, iRA connected car tech, electric sunroof, auto headlights and wipers among others. Tata Nexon range starts from Rs 7.28 lakh and goes to Rs 13.23 lakh ex-showroom.
2: Kia Sonet
Kia Sonet is the most feature-packed sub-compact SUV in its segment. It is selling in great numbers and offers a myriad of features that are never seen before in this segment. Kia Sonet is the best diesel SUV in India if you are looking for an automatic. It uses a 1.5-litre diesel engine that produces 115Hp and 250 Nm of torque and comes mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Other engine options include 120Hp 1.0-litre T-GDI petrol with 6-speed iMT and 7-speed DCT and 83Hp 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with 5-speed manual gearbox. It is also one of the best SUV in mileage in India.
Features on the Kia Sonet include a 10.25-inch infotainment system, UVO connect, cruise control, LED headlights, electric sunroof, ventilated seats, BOSE sound with mood lighting and more. Kia Sonet range starts from Rs 6.89 lakh and goes to Rs 13.55 lakh ex-showroom.
Best compact SUV in India
1: Hyundai Creta
Hyundai Creta is undoubtedly the best compact SUV in India. In fact, it was the one that curated this very segment and has been leading the space since the first launch. The second-generation Creta features a very radical design that has surprisingly grown on us. It offers the perfect blend of comfort, looks, features and peace of mind. Hyundai Creta comes powered with 115Hp 1.5 diesel, 115Hp 1.5 petrol and 140Hp 1.4 T-GDI with 6-speed MT/AT, 6-speed MT/IVT and 7-speed DCT respectively. It is the best SUV in India with good mileage in its segment.
In terms of features, Hyundai Creta is offered with a 10.25-inch infotainment system, digital driver’s display, ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, six airbags, LED headlights, smart air purifier, electric driver seat and more. Hyundai Creta range starts from Rs 10.16 lakh and goes to Rs 17.87 lakh ex-showroom.
2: Skoda Kushaq
Skoda Kushaq is the first offering from the VW group to roll out from the India 2.0 plan. It is based on the localised MQB-AO IN platform that will also underpin the Taigun and other VW and Skoda products. Skoda Kushaq retains its design that was first showcased with the concept model. The Skoda grille takes on the front and the rear gets large Skoda lettering covering the width of the boot.
Talking about features, Skoda Kushaq comes with an infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play, wireless charging, electric sunroof, ventilated seats, twin-spoke steering wheel, six airbags and more. Powering the Kushaq are two petrol engine engines - 115Hp 1.0-litre TSI with 6-speed MT and AT and 150Hp 1.5 TSI with 6-speed MT and 7-speed DSG. The pricing of the Skoda Kushaq starts from Rs 10.49 lakh and goes to Rs 17.59 lakh ex-showroom.
Best mid-size SUV in India
1: Tata Harrier
Tata Harrier is the most competitive mid-size SUV in India. Its astounding looks, Land Rover derived chassis and powerful diesel engine are the main highlights. Tata is known to offer safe cars at competitive pricing and the Harrier is no exception. Even though GNCAP is yet to crash-test the Harrier, but its Land Rover derived chassis and myriad of safety features are convincing enough. Tata Harrier comes powered with a 2.0L diesel engine that churns out 170Hp and 350 Nm of torque. The engine can be specced with either a 6-speed manual or Hyundai-sourced 6-speed automatic.
Talking about the features, Tata Harrier comes with 8.8-inch infotainment with iRA connect, six airbags, rollover mitigation, ABS with EBD, semi-digital instrument cluster, cruise control, panoramic sunroof and more. Tata Harrier range starts from Rs 14.39 lakh and goes to Rs 21.09 lakh ex-showroom.
2: Jeep Compass
Jeep Compass is another premium mid-size SUV that is targeted at premium buyers. With the recent facelift, Jeep has added many luxury features to the package that includes a digital instrument cluster, bigger floating touchscreen infotainment with wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play, ventilated seats, a 360-degree parking camera and more. Other features of the Jeep Compass include a large panoramic sunroof, electric driver’s seat, terrain modes, cruise control, six airbags and more.
Powering the Jeep Compass is a 2.0-litre diesel engine with 172Hp of power and 350 Nm of torque. It comes mated to a 6-speed manual and 9-speed automatic along with 4x4 as an option. The Compass also gets a 1.4-litre Multiair petrol engine that churns out 162Hp and 250 Nm of torque and it comes mated to either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT. Jeep Compass range starts from Rs 17.19 lakh and goes to Rs 28.49 lakh ex-showroom.
Best SUV in India Seven Seater
1: Tata Safari
Tata launched the Safari last year and it has become the best seven-seater SUV in India. It offers loads of legroom, even for the third-row passengers and the large panoramic sunroof lets in natural light sneaking inside the cabin. Tata offers the Safari in both 6- and 7-seat configurations and the 6-seater variant is offered with captain seats.
Talking about the features, Tata Safari offers 8.8-inch infotainment with iRA connect, six airbags, boss mode, rollover mitigation, ABS with EBD, semi-digital instrument cluster, panoramic sunroof, electric driver’s seat and more. Powering the Safari is the same powertrain we also get with the Harrier. Tata Safari range starts from Rs 14.99 lakh and goes to Rs 22.01 lakh ex-showroom.
2: Mahindra XUV700
Mahindra stunned everyone in the Indian market with the launch of the XUV700. With the starting price of just 11.99 lakh, it has disrupted every SUV segment available in the market. It offers tons of features in a supreme value for money package. Talking of features, Mahindra XUV700 is offered with segment-largest sky roof, Level-1 ADAS, adaptive cruise control, 7 airbags, LED headlights, fully digital instrument cluster, drive modes and more.
Powering the Mahindra XUV700 are two engine options - 2.0L T-GDI with 200Hp of power and 380 Nm of torque and 2.2L diesel with 155Hp/185Hp and 350Nm/480Nm of torque. Both the engines can also be had with 6-speed AT whereas the diesel AT can also be picked with AWD. Mahindra is yet to announce the prices of the top trims of the XUV700. Current prices start from Rs 11.99 lakh and the AX5 trim is priced at Rs 14.99 lakh ex-showroom.