In India, we love our SUVs, and we like them big. But steadily car makers are moving towards the more practical and value driven mini SUV segment, which is perhaps the fastest growing segment today. With only a few players in the category, Ford will be looking to launch its EcoSport with a bang. It was first unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi to a fairly decent response and is one of the most anticipated cars of 2013. The car has a muscular stance, with aggressive lines and an imposing front. It offers the best category mileage and has a 1.0 ltr turbo charged petrol engine that produces a respectable 120 PS of power. Expect the EcoSport to be packed with features that are bound to excite the Indian customer including Microsoft’s SYNC voice control. It will be built in India, and is expected to be priced in the Rs.7-9 lacs bracket. Scheduled to hit the market in January 2013.
New Honda CRV:
Maruti XA Alpha:
Yet another addition to the mini SUV segment is Maruti’s XA Alpha. It was one of their main attraction on display at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo and got a lot of positive feedback. The car is aggressive looking, and based on a completely new design platform. It combines ruggedness and ‘muscle’ – the traditional attributes of a Sports Utility Vehicle – with elegance, a certain finesse and compactness. It has a rally appeal, and will surely do well in the Indian market. If only the company remains true to its design origins it would attract the younger set of customers. The car will be launched in the first half of 2013, at an expected price bracket of Rs.8-10 lacs.
Ford has promised to launch 8 vehicles by 2015, and the B-Max will be one of them. The car is a MPV, and will compete with the Mahindra Xylo. Ford is pretty good at making small cars, as the Fiesta has been a huge success worldwide. Hopefully they will put their expertise in the B-Max as well. It looks understated, and might just get the 1.2 lt and 1.4 lt engine from the Figo. The B-Max will be similar to the Fiesta in terms of interiors, and will take a few design cues on the outside as well. Developed especially for the urban driver, it is compact in size, spacious and refined in its interior. It is expected to be launched in the first half of 2013, at a price point of about Rs.6-7 lacs.
The SUV market is nothing new to Chevrolet, as it’s Captiva has been a decent success. But it was always sidelined by the mighty Toyota Fortuner. But now Chevy wants a bigger stake of the SUV market, with their new Trailblazer. Personally I feel a big SUV is the last thing India needs at the moment, but this is one that should do well. It is powered by the 2.8 lt Duramax turbo diesel, and it is pretty aggressive in its styling. It has everything the SUV buyer wants, so perhaps it could replace the Fortuner as the king of SUVs. Expected to be launched in February, at a price of around Rs.17-22 lacs.
New Honda Accord:
The Accord was one of Honda’s biggest successes, till competition caught up with it and the badge started to age a bit. While the Accord was always a good looking car in a classical sense, the new version looks even better. Honda is not leaving anything to chance to make this a success and has packed in a set of industry leading standard features, apart from a complete redesign of the vehicle. Experts say that this car outperforms the more expensive luxury vehicles like BMW, Mercedes and Lexus, and provides the best value per dollar of any vehicle in the market. It is being launched with a diesel engine, and that itself could well catapult it back to be a segment leader. The car will be launched in the first half of 2013, at a price bracket of about Rs.20-24 lacs.
Fiat will be launching the Panda in India soon. It has been a huge worldwide success, and more so in Europe. British television presenter & journalist of Top Gear fame James May has got one, and it has become some kind of a personality statement to own one. It is small, economical, rather good looking and quite affordable as well. It has all the necessary features, but perhaps the Indian market may find it a bit too understated. Personally, I think it’s one of the best small cars available today. Likely to be launched in mid-2013.
January 8, 2013 at 11:18 am
I must say that all these vehicles are stylish and magnificent in looks but according to me, the next era will be of hybrid cars like ford fiesta and many more due to their fuel-efficient and environmental friendly features.
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