Hot cars to watch for in 2015
These cars will set the roads on fire in 2015; we take a look
Every year, there are a few cars that buyers and enthusiasts keenly look forward to. And when these cars are launched, they set the sales charts on fire. We’ve had quite a few examples in the past few years, such as the Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV500 and the Renault Duster. This year too, there are at least half a dozen vehicles that people are eagerly looking forward to. Here’s the list.
Maruti has not had much success with SUVs so far with neither the Grand Vitara nor the Gypsy faring well. But now it is lining up the S-Cross for launch, a compact SUV based on the Maruti SX4 platform. The S-Cross will compete with the Nissan Terrano and Renault Duster and is likely to feature a 1.6 litre diesel engine it might source either from Fiat or Peugeot, and mated with a six-speed gearbox. The S-Cross was showcased at Auto Expo 2014 in New Delhi and promises to be quite spacious. It will be a good alternative to an Rs.10 lakh sedan.
Mahindra is stepping into the compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) space with a product that promises to be fantastic value for money. The Mahindra S101 (codename) compact SUV is expected to come in the second half of the year. This vehicle will be under 4 metres in length and hence qualify for smallcar excise duty benefits. It will be based on the XUV500’s platform and will likely use the 1.5 litre diesel engine from the Mahindra Quanto and possibly a 1.2 litre petrol engine that Mahindra is developing along with Ssangyong. It is likely to be a six seater and may see entry pricing of just over Rs.5 lakh, giving premium hatchbacks a run for their money.
A hot premium hatchback to look forward to in 2015 is the Honda Jazz. This, too, was showcased at the Auto Expo in 2014. It will come with Honda’s 1.5-litre diesel engine, promising to be the most fuel efficient premium hatchback around, as well as its tried and tested 1.2 litre petrol engines (which it had earlier as well). The new Jazz shares its platform with Honda City. Its unique proposition is the flexibility of space it offers, giving buyers even better space utilisation than a sedan. It will compete with the Volkswagen Polo and the Hyundai Elite i20, with pricing between Rs.5 lakh and Rs.8 lakh.
Ford Figo sedan
Ford showcased the new Figo compact sedan last year, which will be a replacement for the Ford Classic and is set for launch in a few months. The Figo sedan will be followed by the Figo hatchback. Both cars have radical styling and will come with a 1.5 litre diesel engine (from the Ford Fiesta) and a 1.2 litre petrol engine, respectively. Both the Figo sedan and the Figo hatchback will be under 4 metres in length. The car will be made at Ford’s new plant in Gujarat and will compete with Tata Zest, Maruti Dzire and the Honda Amaze.
Compact SUVs are the flavour of the year, primarily because they have good road presence, higher ground clearance and, offer distinct advantages over hatchbacks and sedans, combining the virtues of both. The Hyundai ix25 is one of the hottest compact SUVs to look forward to this year. It looks like a miniature version of the Hyundai Santa Fe. It is expected to be priced between Rs.7 lakh and Rs.11 lakh, when launched in the second half of the year. It will likely feature 1.4 and 1.6 litre petrol and diesel choices similar to the Hyundai Verna. Being a Hyundai offering, you can expect the Hyundai ix25 to be packed with features as well.
Maruti YRA hatchback
Maruti Suzuki is also planning another premium hatchback to be slotted in just above the Swift. It has been codenamed the YRA. Spy shots of the car (without the camouflage) on the Internet show that the YRA is much larger than the Swift and has some very distinct European styling cues. It is likely to compete with the Volkswagen Polo and the Honda Jazz. It will come with a new 1.2 litre petrol engine (an improvement over the current one) and likely a 1.5 litre diesel engine that Suzuki is developing, although India may still get the 1.3 litre multi-jet diesel unit from Fiat. The car has been spotted testing and will likely come in at the end of the year.
The author is an automotive journalist.The views expressed are his own.
This article was first published in Outlook Money March 2015 issue