The sub-4 meter cars India contributes to 74% of total car sales in India. The tax benefits associated with these cars and the ease of maneuvering and parking makes these cars the hot favorite among the Indian car buying public. Mix this with the customers’ recent interest for SUVs, brings you the latest range of sub-4 meter compact SUVs.
Car Comparison: Vitara Brezza Vs Ecosport Vs TUV300
IBB’s definition of a compact SUV
A 'genetically' modified hatchback (there are exceptions as well) which has identical footprints of a hatchback and has an unmistakable SUV stance. You enjoy the advantages of a sub-4 meter hatchback and the status of an SUV, in short you can have the cake and it too.
We present you a quick analysis of the cars that falls under the sub-4 meter Compact SUVs available for sale in India.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
It is really surprising that India’s top car selling company took so much time to launch a car in the SUV segment. However, the Vitara Brezza more than compensated it with the kind of sales figures it is clocking since its launch. A milestone car for the Maruti which was conceptualized, designed, developed and validated in India.
Read about Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Launch
- The Maruti Suzuki brand.
- Balanced styling.
- Authentic SUV stance from the front.
- Good interior space and boot space.
- Safety features offered as a part of standard equipment. Driver side Airbags and ABS+EBD are standard features right from the base LDi variant. Dual airbags are offered as an option across the variants.
- Good ride quality.
- Widest service network in the country.
- Massively popular 1.3 Liter MJD, generating ample power and torque (89 bhp and 200 Nm torque)
Check Vitara Brezza TCO
- Interior quality is not up to the mark. In comparison, Maruti Suzuki’s S-Cross gets a better-finished interior.
- Single diesel engine option. No petrol or automatic transmission available. Maruti could have easily offered the petrol engine of the Baleno and the diesel Auto Gear Shift (AGS) on the Swift AGS for the Brezza.
- The car looks pretty ordinary from the sides and rear. Looks very much like a genetically modified hatch from the sides.
- The absence of a spare wheel on the boot. The signature mark of an SUV is missing. This would have accentuated the SUV feel for the rear, which right now looks more of a cross over rather than of an SUV.
- Comparatively smaller boot (328 Liters)
- Evident turbo-lag till 1800 rpm mark.
- Lack of features in the LDi and VDi variants.
- Long waiting period.
One of the most successful models for the American car manufacturer in India. Ford Ecosport gave birth to the sub 4 meter Compact SUV segment in India. The Ecosport is based on Ford’s global B platform (seen on the Fiesta). When Vitara Brezza was launched in March 2016, Ford didn’t take much time to realize what Maruti Suzuki was gunning for with the Brezza. Since its launch in 2013, Ecosport was ruling the roost in the compact SUV segment with hardly any competition. The TUV 300, which was launched in the second half of 2015 couldn’t really pose any threat to the Ecosport as both serve a different set of clientele. When launched in 2013, the car came with a striking contemporary design, capable petrol and diesel engines and opened up a new segment, the sub-4 meter Compact SUV segment in the country. With the recent price cuts (the Vitara Brezza effect) Ford is still a worthy contender for the compact SUV crown in India.
- Edgy and futuristic design. Still the 2013 design looks contemporary.
- Fantastic interior packaging. Adequate space for 4 passengers and their luggage.
- Great driver ergonomics.
- Lots of features on offer: Key less entry, cooled glove box, leather seats, Ford Sync etc.
- Ford has improved their after sales service. Service costs and spares have come down drastically.
- Good build quality.
- Good dynamics.
Check Ford Ecosport TCO
- The narrow cabin makes the fifth passenger a real squeeze.
- Have some ‘like it or hate it’ design-elements.
- Surprisingly light steering for a Ford. Feels vague at high speeds and doesn’t weigh up with speed.
- Stiff ride quality, stiffer than the Vitara Brezza.
- Thick A-pillars creates blind spots for the driver.
While all other car manufacturers tried to make an SUV out of a hatchback, Mahindra actually made a smaller SUV from their mighty Mahindra Scorpio. Mahindra shares the platform and underpinnings of its big brother, Scorpio which gives the toughness and versatility for the TUV 300. This endeared the rural folks, which explains the popularity of TUV 300 in the rural parts of India. Coupled with that, Mahindra offers the most spacious interiors of the trio.
- Strong underpinnings and a typical ladder on frame chassis.
- Has 7-seats.
- Well-finished and roomy cabin. The interior quality is better than the much costlier XUV 500.
- Safety features offered as standard across the variants. All the variants get dual airbags and ABS.
- Two engine options: 1.5 Liter Diesel with an 81 bhp (mHAWK80) and a 100 bhp (mHAWK100) engines.
- Mahindra is a strong brand and has a huge fan following, especially in the rural parts of the country.
- The AMT gearbox option.
- Polarizing design, not very popular in the urban markets.
- The 81 bhp- 3 cylinder unit lacks the outright punch for the high-speed highway jaunts.
- Heavy steering, especially during parking and driving at low speeds.
- Vibrations and engine thrum seep inside the cabin.
- Mahindra’s service is not up to the mark compared to the competition.
- Brand image in the urban landscapes.
Mahindra TUV 300 is a capable car, especially considering its strong underpinnings of the bigger Scorpio. The car has a traditional ladder-frame chassis, which is very much abuse friendly compared to other cars in the sub 4-meter segment. However, the polarizing design coupled with the lineage to the more utilitarian cars from the Mahindra family like the Bolero, the car doesn’t really appeal to the urban dwellers. However, TUV 300 is a more sophisticated choice for a rural customer and ticks all the right boxes when you place the car in a rural back-ground.
Maruti Suzuki really shook the Ecosport when it offered the Vitara Brezza as a real value for money offering. Maruti could really build that most important SUV stance on a small hatchback foot print. The car comes with the massively popular Multijet Diesel Engine which powers the largest number of cars in the country. However, the lack of equipment in the base LDi and the VDi is a real downer. Also, Maruti offers only one diesel engine option for the Vitara Brezza. The car doesn’t get a petrol nor an Auto-transmission in the range.