India’s auto sector is currently facing the worst slump in decades. The slowdown has lead to an adverse effect on jobs as well as the country’s economy among other things. Automakers including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Renault and others are facing huge losses. Due to the losses, the automakers have also slashed the output. In the meantime, the carmakers are constantly trying to boost the sales and beat slowdown by offering discounts and other schemes on their offerings. Several cars which used to be the top sellers of their segment are now lagging far behind in sales numbers. However, there are a few cars including Hyundai Venue, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Kia Seltos and MG Hector which have not been affected much by the economic slowdown and are witnessing tremendous customer demands.
Launched in India on May 21, 2019, Hyundai Venue has been one of the most successful launches of the year. The new compact SUV has already garnered more than 50,000 bookings. Due to the high demand, the waiting period for the Venue has gone up to 4 months in some of the cities.
Hyundai Venue comes in both petrol and diesel engines with the petrol being offered with the dual clutch transmission. The 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol motor generates 118 bhp and 172 Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a dual-clutch transmission while a six-speed manual is also on offer. It comes in four trims - E, S, SX and SX(O).
The 1.4-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel produces 89 bhp and 220 Nm of peak torque and is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. However, automatic version in diesel variant is not on offer. On the other hand, the Venue is also available in the 1.2-litre, four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol (gasoline motor). It churns out 82 bhp and 114 Nm of peak torque, which is paired with only a 5-speed manual transmission.
Talking about the dimensions, the length and width of Hyundai Venue is 3,995 mm and 1,770 mm respectively. Other features include dark chrome front grille, projector headlamps with LED DRLs, projector fog lamps, LED tail lamps and diamond cut alloy wheels. As far as the safety features are concerned, the Venue offers six airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors with reverse camera, ESC, Hill Launch Assist and more. The prices of Hyundai Venue start at Rs 6.50 lakh for the base petrol version, going up to Rs 11.10 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom India) for the range-topping automatic variant.
Maruti Suzuki Eeco
Maruti Suzuki Eeco is a modest people’s carrier. Eeco is the most affordable car to move 7 people in India. The base model of the Eeco is priced at just Rs. 3.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). One of the major reasons behind its sales is the discontinuation of the Omni, which has left the Eeco as the only option in this price range. The availability of a CNG option is definitely a plus point for the Eeco.
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga was among the most affordable MPVs one can buy in India until now. While the exact sales figures of the Ertiga are not out yet, Maruti did release a statement saying that its utility vehicle segment has shown the least amount degrowth and has been doing pretty well relatively. The Ertiga offers immense practicality along with a reasonably powerful engine which makes it a high seller. Importantly, Maruti also offers a CNG and a fleet-operator special version of the MPV, which further help its sales.
Kia Motor India has recently unveiled Seltos in the country and since its launch, the car has become talk of the town. With the launch of Seltos, Kia Motors entered the Indian market on a positive note. Kia Motors sold 6,200 units of Seltos in August 2019.
Kia Seltos is available in Tech Line and GT Line trims, each of which are offered in five variants - E, K, K+, X and X+. Kia Seltos is available in 16 variants. The Tech Line gets more premium appearance with a beige and black cabin with leather upholstery. On the other hand, the GT Line gives sportier look to the Seltos with an all-black cabin, black leather seats with red contrast stitching. The GT Line also gets sporty looking bumper.
Kia Seltos comes with BS VI compliant powertrain. The SUV comes with an option of 1.4 litre Turbo GDI petrol engine that produces 138 bhp and 242 Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed automatic transmission. The SUV comes a 1.5-litre diesel engine which churns out 113 bhp and 144 Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a 6-speed manual and an IVT (Intelligent continuously variable transmission) automatic transmission.
Also, Kia Seltos comes with a 1.5-litre VGT diesel that belts out 113 bhp and 250 Nm of torque. It is paired to a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. The compact SUV is available in normal, eco and sports drive modes. It also gets different traction modes like Snow and Mud.
The mid-size SUV have the iconic tiger-nose grille with full LED headlamps on the front and vertically housed LED fog lamps. On the rear, the car will be equipped with LED taillights and dual exhaust pipes.
Along with 17-inch five-spoke dual-tone alloy wheels, the compact SUV comes equipped with roof rails and shark fin antenna. Inside the cabin, the new Kia Seltos features a 10.25-inch touchscreen audio video navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The compact SUV also gets features like 8-inch HUD (Heads Up Display), blind-spot view monitor, EPS (Electronic Power Steering), eco coating, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and push-button start/stop. The compact SUV is available in eight monotone and five dual-tone colour options.
On the safety features front, the car carry multiple airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and BA (Brake Assist), reverse parking sensors and camera, the compact SUV also gets VSM (Vehicle Stability Management), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), TCS (Traction Control System) and HAC (Hill-start Assist Control). There is a 360-degree camera as well.
The GTX Plus DCT is the most popular variant of Seltos at present. Recently, it was reported that Kia Seltos GT Line will soon have a diesel engine option.
Importantly, the waiting period for the Kia Seltos has gone up to eight weeks. Kia Seltos has a base price of Rs 9.69 lakhs which is among the reasons behind its success.
In July this year, Morris Garages (MG Motor) marked its debut in the Indian market with the launch of Hector SUV. MG Hector is one of the first connected SUVs to be launched in India. Recently, the 5,000th MG Hector was rolled of the MG Motor India production facility in Halol, Gujarat. MG Motor had bagged over 28,000 bookings for the Hector and had to stop accepting bookings, owing to an inability to cater to a high initial demand. However, the automaker is planning to resume bookings in October.
The prices of the Hector SUV starts at Rs 12.18 lakh (ex-showroom, India) going all the way up to Rs 16.88 lakh (ex-showroom, India). It comes in five colours - glaze red, burgundy red, starry black, aurora silver and candy white. The length and width of MG Hector is 4,655 mm and 1,835 mm respectively. The height and wheelbase of MG Hector are 1,760 mm and 2,750 mm respectively.
In terms of the engine, MG Hector comes with the option of both, petrol and diesel powertrains. There is a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine good for 141 bhp and 250 Nm of peak torque, with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox. You can have it with a 6-speed DCT (Double Clutch Transmission) also. Then there is a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel motor producing 168 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
The Hector SUV also gets a segment first 48V Hybrid System with the petrol trim. Boasting of better fuel efficiency and lower emissions, this variant also gets a 6-speed manual gearbox. On the features front, MG Hector SUV comes with the front and rear fog lamps, LED DRLs and tail lamps, dual tone machined alloys and floating light turn indicators.
There is a 7-inch coloured MID and a 10.4-inch HD touchscreen AVN system. It also features the next-gen iSMART connectivity technology. The SUV further offers a premium cabin equipped with power adjustable seats, electronic parking brake, 360-degree camera and cruise control.