In India, cars are considered a status symbol. Many car buyers want their car to have a good road presence. This is where a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) comes into the picture. Let’s rewind a bit! If you were to talk about SUVs in the early 2000s there were only a handful of SUVs for the masses. Remember the Sierras and the Safaris from Tata and Armada (now Bolero) from Mahindra? In 2020, it is a different story altogether. The SUV segment has grown exponentially. It now even has sub-segments such as Compact SUVs, Midsize SUVs, Full-size SUVs, Premium SUVs and Electric SUVs. Let’s give you an example. The latest entrant to the Indian automobile market KIA Motor India sold a whopping 15,000 units of the Seltos in January 2020 alone! Hyundai has sold more than 5 lakh units of the Creta since its launch. Given the traction for SUVs, car manufacturers have started adding more SUVs to their product portfolio. So what is the secret sauce that makes these SUVs tick? Let find out:
- SUVs are Aspirational
SUVs are aspirational to many car buyers in India. Owning an SUV gives a sense of achievement. Given the high prices, only the elites were able to buy them. Now, with the introduction of compact SUVs like Ford EcoSport, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, etc… The prices have come below Rs. 10 lakh, making them more affordable. This has created a new segment and has grown multifold over the last few years.
SUVs are known for their tall, rugged and menacing looks. They have a distinct road presence. For Indian car buyers, looks matter. Many SUV owners say small cars will move aside when they see an SUV from the rearview mirror. Add some body kits and the road is all yours!
- Space & Comfort
SUVs like Scorpio, XUV 500, Endeavour, Fortuner offer you three rows of seats that can fit 7 to 8 individuals comfortably. SUVs also offer generous legroom making them comfortable for long journeys. Well suited for large Indian families.
- Off-road Capabilities:
SUVs are equipped with a four-wheel-drive (4x4) system. This allows the car to navigate broken roads and rough terrains. It is important to note that not all the SUVs sold in India have a 4x4 drive system as standard. People in high altitude areas prefer owning an SUV over a hatch or sedan.
- Driving Dynamics
Modern SUVs drive better compared to traditional SUVs. The ride and handling, comfort and plushness are on par with a hatchback or sedan that is similarly priced. Why settle for a hatch or sedan when you can get an SUV for the same price.
- Ground Clearance
SUVs have good ground clearance that allows them to tackle bad roads with ease. Be it a huge speed breaker or potholes or waterlogged roads, SUVs can get you out from difficult situations. Given our road conditions, this becomes extremely important.
- Commanding View
SUVs have a high seating position, allowing the driver to get a commanding view of the road with good visibility. This helps in making better judgement while maneuvering traffic or while overtaking. Driving an SUV makes you feel like the king/queen of the road.
- Loaded With Features:
Apart from the 4x4 drive system, SUVs also offer features like terrain response system, hill start assist, hill descent control, dynamic stability control, etc… that make life easier.
Given their looks and stance, car buyers consider SUVs as better-built cars than sedans and hatches. But, that’s not true. Hatchbacks and sedans are equally as safe as SUVs.
No doubt that SUVs will continue to dominate the Indian car market. If you have already made up your mind about your next car is an SUV, we at Cholamandalam car insurance will be more than happy to secure your prized possession.