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Best SUVs Under Rs 10 Lakh

Published On May 12, 2020 5:43:16 PM

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There was a time when buying an SUV meant shelling out the big bucks for a boxy car that thrived in the wilderness. Today, you can get one of the new breed of SUVs equipped for the urban jungle for under Rs 10 lakh (we are talking of ex-showroom prices here). That said, not all SUV buyers want the same thing. So to make things simple, we have chosen the five main factors that you are likely to consider when buying an SUV and picked the best one in each category.

Looks

Looks are subjective and we get it. So we polled the entire office on the most stylish SUV and the popular choice turned out to be the Tata Nexon. The Nexon doesn’t mirror a traditional SUV or the boxy styling of, say, something like a Vitara Brezza and that doesn’t seem to matter. Its sharper, slightly aggressive-looking front-end post facelift seems to have earned a nod of approval from our colleagues. Agree/disagree with our choice? Do let us know in the comments which sub-4-metre SUV looks the best in your opinion.

Features

For a split second, you might pick the Mahindra XUV300 over the Hyundai Venue owing to the sheer number of features it offers. But you wouldn’t use all of these fancy features on an everyday basis. The connected-car tech in the Hyundai may come in handier than say the dual-zone climate control or steering modes on the XUV300. Keeping that in mind, we’d have to go with the Hyundai Venue.

Fuel efficiency

We’ve put our testing data to use to make a decision on this one. Petrol-first, our pick of the lot is the Tata Nexon. While the Hyundai Venue does offer better efficiency on the highway, in this case, a petrol SUV will mostly be driven in the city and that is where the Nexon shines. It betters the Venue by over 1.5kmpl. Whereas out on the highway, the difference between the two is less than 1kmpl.

Among diesels, it is a tougher call. The Venue has an almost 2kmpl advantage over the Nexon in the city but the Nexon strikes back with an over 4kmpl difference on the highway. Despite that huge advantage, we’d pick the Venue. That’s because while diesel cars are bought by frequent highway drivers, you are going to be driving it in the city as well. And unless you are spending say 75 per cent of your driving time on the highway, you will appreciate the extra bang for buck that the Venue gives you in the city. But if you are going to spend more drive time on the highway, we’d suggest you buy the Nexon.

Max Power

There are two choices here: petrol or diesel. If we had to pick a petrol SUV in this budget, the Ford EcoSport wins it on paper with its 122PS. But frankly, our experience with the 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine in the EcoSport is that it doesn’t like to be revved hard, so it kind of becomes difficult to extract all that power. So, we will make an exception here and forego the brochure speak by giving this one to the Hyundai Venue’s 1.0-litre turbo-petrol motor, which makes 120PS. Be it the manual transmission or the dual clutch transmission (DCT) variant, this motor likes to rev all the way to its redline and that makes it easy to extract all that performance.

Picking a winner when it comes to diesel is way more easier. The XUV300 with its 116PS and 300Nm is not only the best on paper, but in real life as well. Its acceleration times are better than any other car we have tested in the segment. The cherry on top is that it can be had with a manual, as well as automatic transmission.

Comfort

Comfort is again subjective. That said, we pooled in the collective opinions of every member of our review team -- short and tall, thin and well-proportioned (you know what we mean). The conclusion: The Tata Nexon offers the best overall experience inside the cabin. This decision has been factored in by judging the cars on how they tackle small or big potholes, change in road surfaces, highway ride quality, and how well the movement is damped inside the cabin.

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