December 2023: Top Selling Compact SUVs in India

new Tata Nexon. New Car Facelifts Launched in 2023

Compact SUVs are some of the hottest-selling cars in India, thanks to their city-friendly character with a good dose of full-fledged SUV feel at relatively affordable prices. SUVs as a body type do have an unparalleled reputation. However, sitting at a more accessible price point, compact SUVs are the favourite alternatives to mid-size and full-size SUVs. Every month, most cars in the segment sell more than 5,000 units every month and so was the case with the closure of 2023. Here are the top selling compact SUVs in India of December 2023.

Also Read – Sedan Cars In India


December Sales - 2023

December Sales - 2022

Y-O-Y Growth

Tata Nexon




Tata Punch




Maruti Suzuki Brezza




Hyundai Venue




Maruti Suzuki Fronx


Hyundai Exter


Mahindra Thar




Mahindra XUV300




Nissan Magnite




Tata Nexon

new Tata Nexon. New Car Facelifts Launched in 2023

High on style, comfort, and most importantly, safety, the Tata Nexon has been an epic success in India. Taking the top spot on this list has never been a problem for the Nexon, however, this time around it went even further and became the best-selling car of the month. In December 2023, the Nexon with its petrol/diesel/EV variants collected sales of 15,284 units, acquiring a 27 percent year-on-year growth. A few months ago, the Indian compact SUV received a facelift to maintain its dominance and the new Nexon is comfortably serving this purpose.

Mechanically, the new Nexon is largely similar to the pre-facelift model and comes equipped with a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine and a 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine. Both engines come mated to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed AMT. Nonetheless, there is an option of a 7-speed DCT automatic with the petrol engine and this new automatic transmission has been well-received for its smoothness. Moreover, while the new Nexon is yet to be tested by the Global NCAP or Bharat NCAP, it is structurally like the earlier model that had scored a 5-star G-NCAP safety rating.

Tata Punch

Spinny Assured Tata Punch Kaziranga

The runaway success of the Tata Punch became the trailblazer for cars like the Exter and the Fronx. Nevertheless, the Indian compact SUV is still leading this relatively new and unique segment from the front, always emerging as the second best-selling Tata car. Along with this title, the Tata Punch grabbed the titles of the second best-selling compact SUV and the third best-selling car by selling 13,787 units in December 2023 and gaining 30 percent year-on-year growth.  What favours the Punch, is the unmatchable value it delivers. While it is the smallest car in the segment, its macho appeal, premium interiors, high-set seating, and high riding stance that simulate those of a larger SUV, make the Tata Punch an attractive package. When all this comes at a price which undercuts most of the rivals by a big margin, it takes Punch’s popularity to the next level.

In terms of mechanicals, the Tata Punch offers a 1.2-litre petrol engine that transmits power through either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 5-speed automatic transmission. Furthermore, the Punch also caters to CNG car buyers by being available in CNG-powered variants that deliver a mileage of 26.99 km/kg.

Maruti Suzuki Brezza

Spinny Assured 2022 Maruti Suzuki Brezza

While the Tata Punch beat the Brezza in December 2023, it is usually the Brezza that holds the position of second best-selling compact SUV. With premium interiors, a good wealth of features, and Maruti’s ace card – frugal and reliable drive, the Maruti Brezza meets most needs of urban car buyers and has established itself as one of the best-selling cars in India. Last month, the Brezza clocked sales of 12,844 units helping itself attain a 15 percent growth over the 11,200 units it sold in the corresponding month in 2022.

Powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed torque converter automatic, the Maruti Suzuki Brezza delivers a mileage of 17.38 from manual variants and 19.8 km/l from the automatic variants since the automatic variants benefit from the mild-hybrid technology. Moreover, Maruti also offers Brezza in CNG variants that deliver 25.51 km/kg of mileage.

Hyundai Venue

Spinny Assured Hyundai Venue

The Hyundai Venue is doing well for the oldest foreign carmaker in India. Last month, registering sales of 10,383 units, the Venue comfortably placed itself among the top five-selling compact SUVs and became the best-selling Hyundai Car, beating the Creta. With such sales, the Venue upped its year-on-year performance by 25 percent. Rigidly adhering to their tradition, Hyundai has laden Venue with upmarket features and equipped it with refined powertrains, making it deliver a premium experience as one expects of a Hyundai car. Moreover, Hyundai has recently added the Level-1 ADAS safety suite making it the first compact SUV to feature an advanced driver-assistance system.

The Hyundai Venue comes with three engine options: a 1.2-litre petrol engine paired with a 5-speed manual, a 1-litre turbo-petrol engine paired with either a 6-speed MT or a 7-speed DCT (dual-clutch automatic) and a 1.5-litre diesel engine mated only to a 6-speed manual transmission.

Maruti Suzuki Fronx

Maruti Fronx

‘Baleno in an SUV form’ would be the perfect way to describe the Maruti Fronx. Like its parent car, the Fronx has seen sublime success since day one in the market and is seemingly on the way to becoming one of the most successful Maruti cars. The previous month, the Fronx sold 9,692 units, grabbing the position of the fifth best-selling compact SUV. Sharing a lot with the Baleno, the Fronx carries similar interiors, features, and even most design elements. Moreover, its price does not differ much from that of the Baleno especially in lower variants, making it an extremely appealing Maruti compact SUV.

For engine offerings, Maruti has equipped Fronx with the 1.0-litre turbocharged Boosterjet petrol engine that debuted with the Baleno RS in 2017 and was enormously praised for its sprightly performance. What is also on offer is the familiar 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine from Baleno. Both engines come mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, while there is a 5-speed AMT for the NA engine and a 6-speed torque converter AT for the turbo engine. Like the Baleno, the Fronx delivers a lucrative mileage: up to 22 km/l from petrol and 28.51 km/kg from CNG.

Hyundai Exter

Hyundai Exter

Hyundai’s most affordable SUV, the Exter has been engineered with a similar approach as that of the Maruti Fronx i.e. a hatchback turned into a compact SUV. As the Fronx is based on the Baleno, the Exter is based on the Grand i10 Nios. Notably, the formula has worked well for the Korean carmaker as the Exter has been well-received as a capable Hyundai SUV. Month after month, the Exter is easily crossing 5,000 units and last month it sold 7,156 units, coming ahead of many veterans in the segment. While the tall-boy body makes the Exter an appealing car especially for tall adults, being a Hyundai car, the Exter packs a host of upmarket features and a couple of segment-first perks in the forms of a sunroof and a dashcam.

Sharing its underpinnings with the Grand i10 Nios and the Aura, the Exter is powered by the same 1.2-litre NA petrol engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 5-speed AMT. On the mileage front, the Exter delivers up to 19 km/l from petrol and 27.1 km/kg from CNG.

Mahindra Thar

Spinny Assured Mahindra Thar

Despite being a lifestyle car that attracts niche buyers, the cult classic Mahindra Thar is the most special car on this list. While the Thar is innately an off-roader and esteemed one at that, through the decades it has become a style statement especially due to its macho aura. Specially, for this reason, Mahindra rolled out the rear-wheel-drive variant of the Thar, catering to urban buyers who don’t need the 4×4 system for their urban commutes. All the same, the serious off-roading capabilities that the four-wheel-drive Mahindra Thar offers at affordable prices are still a worry for all off-roader manufacturers. With an illustrious legacy and unmatchable calibre, the Mahindra Thar is the best-selling off-roading car in India and never misses featuring on this list. In December 2023, the Thar sold 5,793 units, gaining a 72 percent growth over the 3,374 units sold during the same period in 2022.

The four-wheel-drive variants of the Thar come with a 2-litre turbo-petrol engine and a 2.2-litre diesel engine. Both engines come mated to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed torque converter automatic. Whereas, the RWD models come with a 1.5-litre petrol engine paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Mahindra XUV300

Spinny Assured Mahindra XUV300

Following the Thar is another Mahindra car, the XUV300 with sales of 3,550 units in December 2023. With such sales, the XUV300 saw a 27 percent decline in its year-on-year performance. The main reason behind this drop in sales is buyers waiting for the facelifted XUV300 that will hit the market in February 2024. All the same, with the segment’s most spacious cabin, an unparalleled premium aura, and a strong body rated 5-star by the Global NCAP, the Mahindra XUV300 has always remained one of the best-selling compact SUVs.

Currently, the Mahindra XUV300 is offered with three engines: a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine, a 1.5-litre diesel engine, and a TGDI 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine. All engines are mated to a 6-speed manual, while the diesel engine and the turbo-petrol also get a 6-speed AMT option.

Nissan Magnite

Spinny Assured Nissan Magnite

One of the most underrated cars in India, the Nissan Magnite rounds off this list, selling 2,150 units in December 2023 and seeing a 6 percent uptick in its year-on-year sales. With a 4-star G-NCAP-rated safety and a price tag that undercuts most cars in the segment, the Magnite presents itself as a sensible Japanese compact SUV.  Along with a long list of upmarket features that include JBL speakers and a 360-degree camera, the Magnite offers the option of a CVT automatic that adds a great deal of convenience in the city traffic and is a rare offering in the segment.

Powering the Magnite is a 1-litre naturally aspirated engine and a 1-litre turbo-petrol engine. Both engines come paired with a 5-speed manual transmission, while the turbo engine gets an optional CVT automatic, and the naturally aspirated petrol engine gets a 5-speed AMT.

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