Car in 2021 comes in various shapes and sizes, some are small while others are compact whereas there are big-guys too. The sub-4 metre category for SUV is something that came into existence due to India’s demand for SUV and Renault answered that in form of Duster in 2005. It can be said that the entire category was created for the Indian market and now it is the most competitive category. As the name suggests all the cars in this segment are under 4 metres and they all offer SUVs that can seat 5 people and luggage. Back in 2016 Maruti Suzuki launched the Vitara Breeza the brand’s first sub4M SUV.
Only a year later Tata introduced Nexon in 2017. But Ford already had an answer for Maruti Suzuki as EcoSport three years prior to the introduction of Breeza. Even Mahindra & Mahindra launched TUV-300 in September 2015. Hence it becomes clear for automobile manufacturers that there is still some scope for a new category and thus they pushed their concepts from drawing boards to showroom floors.
It certainly became clear that the car manufacturers are playing the same game, but Maruti Suzuki had a few tricks. First is the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) where the car was showcased and was presented to the man of the match as a prize. As the IPL provides exclusive coverage for the car, Maruti Suzuki also made the car available in dual-tone options with various customization options.
This is what gave them an upper hand over the competitors as a dual paint scheme is something new in the country. But at present most of the car brands offer the Dual-tone colour scheme on their sub4M SUV’s and those who don’t are in the process. This single category has the most number of cars due to the reason that the same manufacturer of a car is offering multiple car models. Like the Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Breeza and S-Cross are both similar 5 seaters but due to the different body styling, it tends to appeal to different people. Similarly, Toyota’s Urban Cruise is completely based on Vitara Breeza but is being offered from another brand.
The sub4M is the new hot trend in India as this segment is seeing more than 10 vehicles and there will be more options as multiple foreign auto-manufacturers are seizing the new opportunities. Automobile brands like MG and KIA are few such names that have already become familiar faces. As a new brand is offering new cars, it also increases the confusion, that is which brand to go for? But the game only has begun, as the real deciding factor for many will be the choice of fuel type and what is being offered in the package.
For people who wants to own medium-sized SUV’s the option for brands is very huge as well as the options for variants. But the primary deciding factor is the price, as the price range for the vehicles starts from ₹5.49Lakh (ex-showroom) thanks to Nissan for their basic variant which was nearly two lakh cheaper than any other rivals. But the top end of this category actually offers cars with the Turbo boost. But this option comes with increased price, but the Diesel variants of the similar vehicle might offer less horse-power but the Torque is nearly double than their base petrol counterpart.
The price bracket between ₹10lakh-₹20+lakh is where all the top features and extra engine power is offered. But for Indian manufacturers, the price range is on the lower spectrum of the price bracket, whereas other brands offer the higher side. Mentioning every car model with will be impossible, but automobile brands like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata, Mahindra, Renault, Ford, Kia, Nissan, Honda, and Toyota all offer sub4M SUV’s.
Text by: Sanjay Saha, IBTN9