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MPVs: Has Utility taken over Looks?

Modified On Jul 04, 2015 03:51 PM By Akshit

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Our country has always had a “size for price” mindset when it comes to cars. We tend to equate money spent with the size of the vehicle. Small cars equal small money and vice versa but with the MPV segment, small is the new big. There are a lot of MPVs which have been present in India for quite a while now starting from the Tata Sumo and Maruti Suzuki Omni to the recently launched Datsun Go+. But the real game-changer in this segment was the Toyota Qualis that was launched in the early 2000. This bulky passenger carrier was pretty reliable and did not ask for frequent garage visits.

Some people might disagree with Qualis being credited for the success of this space, but the utility and reliability of this Japanese vehicle completely overhauled the image of MPVs in India. Then taking forward the legacy of Qualis, Innova entered the Indian market and till date it’s ruling the segment by quite a margin. Innova is the first name that comes to the mind when you think about an MPV. So, starting from Innova here are some others MPV’s currently present in our market-

Toyota Innova:

As compared to the competition, Innova is the best seven-seater offering in the market currently. Its almost car-like handling characteristics and ride quality makes it stand way ahead. Again, it’s the best people mover when it comes to controlling its weight with very lesser body roll and not too much of vertical pitch. Powering it is a 2.5-litre diesel engine, good for 101bhp and 200Nm that puts out power in a linear manner and controls the turbo lag well.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:

Carrying the successful Maruti DNA, the Ertiga is the next in list of successful MPVs. Though its not as big as the Innova, but this also manages to engulf seven occupants inside it. It may look like the Ritz’s distant cousin, but it's actually based on a stretched-out Swift platform. The Ertiga is sold with both petrol and diesel engine options. Petrol power comes from the K-series 1.4-litre engine that puts out 94bhp and 130Nm of torque. While the tried and tested 1.3-litre diesel engine is good for 89bhp and 200Nm of very usable torque.

Honda Mobilio:

Unlike most MPVs in the country, the Mobilio comes across as a less boxy design, which surely comes as plus point for it. It sits on the same platform as the company’s Brio and Amaze. Under the hood of the MPV are the tried-and-tested engine options from the stable. The petrol is a 1.5-litre unit with 117bhp and 145Nm of torque, and the only diesel is 100bhp-1.5-litre iDTEC engine.

Renault Lodgy:

The Lodgy is based on the Duster platform, which is a good place to start for mechanical advantage. The vehicle is shorter in length than Toyota Innova, but interestingly, boasts of a longer wheelbase than the Japanese best-seller. It only comes with a single engine option, which is Renault's tried-and-tested 1.5-litre diesel engine that also powers the Duster, and just like in the SUV, it is being offered in two states of tune - 84bhp and 108bhp.

Datsun Go Plus

Datsun Go Plus is India’s cheapest 7 seater MPV. The GO+ has created a segment of its own being the first sub-4 metre MPV. The Go+ borrows its engine from the Go Hatchback. The 1.2-litre petrol engine has been re-tuned to adapt for the increase in size and weight, and now churns out a maximum power of 68 bhp @ 5,000 rpm along with 104 nm of peak torque @ 4000 rpm. Datsun claims the best in class fuel economy 20.6km/l as well as the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) amongst its competitors for its new sub-compact MPV.

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