Here Are The Best Three-Row SUVs You Can Buy In Every Budget
There's a seven-seater family car for every price range - from under Rs 10 lakh to Rs 40 lakh!
A few years ago, compact hatchbacks were the quintessential family car in India. But that’s no longer true now that most family car buyers aspire to buy SUVs.
Your favourite people carriers, such as Innova and Ertiga, have gotten pricier over the years. But what if we told you that you can get a three-row SUV, the car you’ve always wanted, for less than Rs 10 lakh! Check out our list of the top three-row SUVs and some noteworthy MPVs (pretending to be SUVs) for every budget (arranged by ex-showroom price).
Under Rs 10 lakh
1) Mahindra Bolero Neo (Rs 8.48 lakh to Rs 9.99 lakh)
The recently launched Mahindra Bolero Neo is the most affordable three-row SUV you can buy in India. It comes with a powerful 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine rated at 100PS and 260Nm, paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. Its manually locking rear differential tries to compensate for all-wheel drive, and the ladder frame chassis absorbs road bumps and cracks with aplomb.
The only issue is the last row that comes with a pair of bench seats, which are not safe or comfortable for two passengers. If you love the Bolero for its toughness, this feature-packed SUV offers the same ruggedness in a more comfortable and sophisticated package.
2) Maruti Suzuki XL6 (Rs 9.94 lakh to Rs 11.74 lakh)
The XL6 blurs the lines between MPV and SUV, but its Ertiga platform makes for a practical three-row people carrier. A distinct but sober front fascia and raised stance lend it an SUV-like road presence, even if the rear end gives away its Ertiga roots. This is the most affordable car with captain seats in the second row, and the third row is decently usable, too.
The XL6 is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine rated for a peak output of 105PS and 138Nm. It gets you a claimed fuel economy of 19kmpl and adds automatic headlamps to the long list of Ertiga-inherited features.
Rs 10 Lakh to Rs 15 Lakh
1) Hyundai Alcazar (Rs 16.30 lakh to Rs 20.15 lakh)
This is the car that got us thinking about this topic in the first place. It’s essentially an elongated Hyundai Creta (with third-row seating) drawing power from the same 2.0-litre petrol engine (159PS/191Nm) that powers the Tucson. It also gets the Creta’s 1.5-litre diesel engine (115PS/250Nm), and either engine can be paired with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The features list is similar to the Creta, with highlights such as front parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, and ventilated front seats. While the premium for this extra length and an extra row of seats is quite hefty, the comfier and more powerful Alcazar serves the family well right from its base-spec Prestige trim.
For anyone well-heeled enough to afford it, the Alcazar makes for a secure buy with the reliability of the Hyundai brand behind it.
2) MG Hector Plus (Rs 13.62 lakh to Rs 19.60 lakh)
The MG Hector Plus is available in both 6- and 7-seater configurations and the latter doesn’t command an exorbitant premium over the standard 5-seater Hector SUV. It is available with a 143PS 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine and a 170PS 2.0-litre diesel engine, with the option of a 6-speed manual or two different automatic transmissions.
The Hector Plus offers large, spacious seats and a comfortable ride over bad roads. It even gets a proper 48-volt mild-hybrid system with the petrol engine. The features list puts the MG Hector Plus shoulder to shoulder with the Korean car in this segment. Highlights include a panoramic sunroof, 10.4-inch infotainment screen, and a powered tailgate.
3) Mahindra Scorpio (Rs 12.52 lakh to Rs 17.39 lakh)
Even Mahindra knows that the Scorpio is getting long in the tooth, but the SUV still soldiers on with solid sales figures. We probably love it for its burly looks and strong turbo-diesel powertrain, and even the ride quality is decent if you’re not prone to getting seasick from all the body roll.
Similar to the Bolero, you only get a pair of side-facing jump seats in the Scorpio’s last row -- not comfortable or safe. We expect that to change when Mahindra replaces it with an all-new Scorpio early next year.
4) Kia 7-seater (upcoming, expected price Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh)
We know from this spy shot that Kia’s next vehicle for India will be a Mahindra Marazzo-rivalling SUV when it arrives in early 2022. We expect it to borrow some of its infotainment features from the Kia Seltos mid-range SUV. Fingers crossed, it could even feature the new Hyundai Alcazar’s 2.0-litre petrol engine!
Expect 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions and segment-leading features such as a sunroof (panoramic, hopefully), a 10-inch infotainment screen paired with a premium sound system, cruise control, and ventilated seats. Incidentally, a Kia Sonet-based three-row SUV is currently on sale in Indonesia, but it is not expected to arrive in India.
Rs 15 Lakh To Rs 20 Lakh
1) Tata Safari (Rs 14.99 lakh to Rs 21.81 lakh)
Getting the third row in the Harrier and a few more centimetres of overall length requires you to spend more than Rs 1 lakh over the mid-sizer. The new Tata Safari has nothing in common with its majorly missed namesake, but instead, is underpinned by the Harrier’s Land Rover-derived platform. Petrolheads might miss the older Safari’s all-wheel-drive option, but the SUV makes up for it with excellent highway manners and bad-road-handling capability.
It offers premium features such as an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen and 9-speaker JBL audio system, a digital instrument cluster, and an electrically adjustable driver’s seat. It’s fully loaded with safety equipment such as six airbags, stability control, hill descent control, all-around disc brakes, and terrain modes.
The new Safari gets the same engine as the Harrier, a 170PS/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel paired with a 6-speed manual or torque converter automatic.
2) Mahindra XUV700 (upcoming, expected price Rs 16 lakh to Rs 22 lakh)
In August, Mahindra is expected to reveal the XUV500’s spiritual successor, the XUV700, and it will be packed with multiple modern features. The carmaker has already teased an advanced air filtration system, high-beam assist, and a driver drowsiness detection system. It will also have Level 1 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which may include lane keep assist, auto emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.
3) Toyota Innova Crysta (Rs 16.52 lakh to Rs 24.59 lakh)
Its imposing looks and rugged ladder frame chassis often make us forget that the Toyota Innova Crysta is an MPV and not an SUV. Add to that a tall stance and an imposing front fascia, and the overall package transcends the definition of a people carrier. Available in 6- and 7-seater configurations, the Innova offers decent third-row legroom and excellent second and first-row comfort. Its ladder frame chassis remains tough in the face of highway potholes and road undulations.
Power comes from either a 2.7-litre petrol engine (166PS/245Nm) or a 2.4-litre turbo diesel (150PS/up to 360Nm). Either can be paired with a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
Rs 20 Lakh And Above
1) Mahindra Alturas G4 (Rs 28.77 lakh to Rs 31.77 lakh)
Based on the Ssangyong Rexton, the Alturas G4 seems as tough and luxurious as the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour. It offers everything you want from an SUV -- a sunroof, ventilated seats, dual-zone climate control, formidable proportions, and pleasant ride quality.
It draws power from a 2.2-litre diesel engine (paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission) that churns out 180PS and 420Nm. The only place where the Alturas G4 lacks is last row seating comfort. The seat is set low, so you sit in an awkward knees-up position that barely works for short trips and could become uncomfortable on long journeys.
2) Jeep 7-seater SUV (upcoming, expected price Rs 35 lakh to Rs 40 lakh)
We expect Jeep’s new three-row SUV to arrive next year in India, and it could be called the Meridian. It will likely get a 2.0-litre diesel engine and a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine from the Wrangler. The features are expected to be on par with the current Jeep Compass, so expect a suite of premium equipment such as a panoramic sunroof, a 10-inch infotainment system, fully digital driver display, wireless phone charging, and a 360-degree camera.
3) Ford Endeavour (Rs 33.80 lakh to Rs 36.25 lakh)
With a standard 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission, even the base-spec Ford Endeavour is a powerful, sophisticated, and well-equipped SUV. Although it gets a two-wheel drive in the base variant, higher-priced variants are equipped with an all-wheel drive (AWD).
Compared with the previously offered 3.2-litre engine, the smaller unit is smoother and well-refined, helping its fuel efficiency. Not to forget, along with the mechanical update in early 2020, Ford has also made the suspension softer to make it more pliant on our roads.
4) Toyota Fortuner (Rs 30.34 lakh to Rs 38.30 lakh)
A facelift has made the fully loaded Fortuner diesel AWD AT the most expensive car in its segment, but it still holds its ground in terms of sales figures. It comes with a 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine that makes 204PS and 500Nm, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It misses out on a sunroof, but it makes up for that with other premium features such as an 11-speaker JBL sound system, powered tailgate, and ventilated seats.
A sportier ‘Legender’ variant is available in two-wheel drive, adding wireless mobile charging, ambient lighting, and kick-to-open tailgate to the Fortuner’s features list. It, too, misses the crucial sunroof and doesn’t even get the 11-speaker JBL sound system that diesel-powered 4x4 variants of the Fortuner get. It costs almost Rs 3 lakh more than the standard Fortuner, making it a tough deal to swallow next to the already exorbitant full-size SUV.
5) MG Gloster (Rs 29.98 lakh to Rs 36.88 lakh)
Size-wise, the MG Gloster is the largest car in its segment. Its 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine is also the most powerful in the segment. But those aren’t the reasons why you should buy this car. The real deal is the suite of active safety features such as auto emergency braking and blind-spot detection.
While the SUV goes off well over good surfaces, it’s on potholes that you will notice the suspension doing its duty. But when the Gloster’s driven in a sophisticated manner, it is easy to drive and feels safe.
All prices, ex-showroom
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