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Best SUV Cars under ₹15 lakhs in 2021

Mark Sanyal BUYING GUIDE 9 Comments

SUVs have taken India by storm with sales steadily being higher than hatchbacks and sedans. A Sports Utility Vehicle or SUV usually refers to any car that has a high ground clearance, soft off-roading capabilities, and spacious interiors. A quick look at the current cars offered by the manufacturers in India, there are three clear segments within the SUV car segment. This segmentation offers customers the opportunity of owning the best SUV car at their budget.

If you’re looking for SUVs in India, there are plenty of options to choose from. For the purpose of this buying guide, the SUVs will be segmented according to their price categories. These are the best SUVs under ₹15 lakhs you can buy in 2021.

Best Micro SUV

The micro SUV segment is a very recent introduction to the SUV car segment. These cars are not true SUVs but instead are small hatchbacks with high ground clearance and SUV-like styling. Considering these are technically hatchbacks, micro SUVs are also the most affordable in this segment.

Micro SUV Comparison

Car

Power

Ground Clearance

Price

(Ex-showroom)

Used Car Price

53-67 PS

184 mm

₹3.1-5.3 lakhs

₹2.6-3.5 lakhs

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso

67 PS

180 mm

₹3.7-5.18 lakhs

Renault Kwid

The Renault Kwid is the pioneer of this segment, providing a SUV-like experience at a fraction of the cost of an actual SUV. In many ways, the Kwid’s USP is that it’s a very different kind of entry level car that many find appealing.

Renault Kwid

With the Kwid you get a decently high ground clearance and a muscular exterior design that gives it an appearance of a small SUV. A choice of fuel efficient engines combined with manual and automatic transmission options make the Kwid ideal as a compact city car. The interior also offers plenty of space with essential features like dual front airbags and touchscreen infotainment system. All this at a price range starting from just ₹3.12 lakhs.

Renault Kwid interior

Renault Kwid Features

  • Engine options: 0.8-litre petrol engine | 1.0-litre petrol engine
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission | 5-speed AMT
  • Mileage: 20.71 kmpl (0.8-litre) | 21.74 kmpl (1.0-litre)
  • Boot space: 279 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 184 mm

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso

For once, it was Maruti that had to respond to competition and the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso is the answer to the Kwid. Like the Kwid, the S-Presso is a fresh take on what an entry level car should be and it has found its place in the Indian market.

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso

Unlike the Kwid, however, the S-Presso does not pair its high ground clearance with a muscular exterior body. Instead, Maruti has opted for a more conventional hatchback design, which makes it appear as a more sedate SUV. Nonetheless, this micro SUV offers a very fuel efficient engine along with a choice of a manual or AMT transmission. Even though it is an entry level SUV, there is quirky interior styling that features dual front airbags and a touchscreen infotainment system.

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso interior

Maruti Suzuki S-Presso Features

  • Engine options: 1.0-litre petrol engine
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission | 5-speed AMT
  • Mileage: 21.4 kmpl
  • Boot space: 270 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 180 mm
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Best Compact SUV

The compact SUV segment is rapidly growing and manufacturers are focusing on bringing value-focused cars to take the crown. These compact SUVs can be considered as smaller versions of mid-size SUVs, delivering a very capable SUV-like experience.

Compact SUV Comparison

Car

Power

Ground Clearance

Price

(Ex-showroom)

Used Car Price

Maruti Suzuki VItara Brezza

103 PS

198 mm

₹7.3-11.4 lakhs

₹6.4-7.4 lakhs

98-120 PS

200 mm

₹7.9-11.4 lakhs

₹4.2-6.7 lakhs

108-115 PS

180 mm

₹7.9-12.4 lakhs

81-118 PS

195 mm

₹6.8-11.6 lakhs

Kia Sonet

81-118 PS

205 mm

₹6.7-13.1 lakhs

108-118 PS

209 mm

₹7.1-12.7 lakhs

From ₹7 lakhs

Nissan Magnite

71-98 PS

205 mm

₹5.4-9.5 lakhs

Renault Kiger

71-98 PS

205 mm

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Maruti was late to the compact SUV party but the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza met all expectations at launch.

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

The Vitara Brezza ticks all the right boxes with good ground clearance, spacious interiors, and capable engine options. If you’re buying new, the Vitara Brezza is only available with a petrol engine while used Brezza cars will be found with diesel engines. Both these engines are paired with a manual or AMT transmission. In either case, the Vitara Brezza is a refined compact SUV to own. 

Also Read:  Transmission Compared: iMT vs AMT
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza interior

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Features

  • Engine options: 1.5-litre petrol engine (new) | 1.3-litre diesel engine (used)
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission | 4-speed AMT
  • Mileage: 18.76 kmpl (Petrol) | 24.3 kmpl (Diesel)
  • Boot space: 328 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 198 mm

Ford EcoSport

Ford introduced India to the compact SUV segment with the Ford EcoSport. As a pioneer, the EcoSport delivered a very SUV-like experience in a compact package.

Ford EcoSport

The muscular body and SUV styling elements of the EcoSport make it the most SUV-like car on this list. The option of powerful diesel and petrol engines paired with a manual or automatic provide a powerful driving experience. Combined with Ford’s famed handling, the EcoSport is a capable compact SUV that is suited for the city and the occasional soft off-roading.

Ford EcoSport interior

Ford EcoSport Features

  • Engine options: 1.5-litre petrol engine | 1.5-litre diesel engine
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission | 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 15.7 kmpl (Petrol) | 21.7 kmpl (Diesel)
  • Boot space: 352 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 200 mm

Mahindra XUV300

Stylish, aggressive and very compact, the Mahindra XUV300 introduces a very unique compact SUV experience. Drawing from Mahindra’s experience of building capable SUVs, the XUV300 is a powerhouse to contend with.

Mahindra XUV300

The XUV300 can be seen as a baby XUV500, exuding a muscular and confident road presence. Paired with the powerful Mahindra engines, the XUV300 is prepared to thrill on those long highway drives. This compact SUV is well-equipped with features like a sunroof and up to 7 airbags. An added advantage for the XUV300 is the 5-star Global NCAP rating, which adds more confidence in the safety capabilities of this compact SUV.

Mahindra XUV300 interior

Mahindra XUV300 Features

  • Engine options: 1.5-litre diesel engine | 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission | 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 20 kmpl (Diesel) | 17 kmpl (Petrol)
  • Boot space: 257 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 180 mm

Hyundai Venue

Hyundai’s focus on tech features finally made its way to the compact SUV segment with the Hyundai Venue. The Venue features similar styling to the larger Creta, which helps it stand out from the competition.

Hyundai Venue

A high ground clearance paired with a clean exterior design makes the Hyundai Venue perfectly suited for urban SUV duties. The Venue also offers smooth manual, automatic and semi-manual iMT transmissions paired with diesel, petrol or turbo petrol engines. The addition of a sunroof and up to 6 airbags, make the Venue an ideal compact SUV for the city.

Hyundai Venue Features

  • Engine options: 1.4-litre diesel engine | 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine | 1.2-litre petrol engine
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission | 6-speed iMT transmission | 6-speed DCT automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 23.7 kmpl (Diesel) | 18.27 kmpl (Turbo petrol) | 17.52 kmpl (Petrol)
  • Boot space: 350 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 195 mm

Kia Sonet

The Kia Sonet is a very close cousin to the Hyundai Venue. It’s meant for those looking for a more sporty compact SUV that is as loaded with tech as the Hyundai.

Kia Sonet

With a focus on a sporty aesthetic, the Kia Sonet features angular design elements and a sportier driving experience. With the same engine and transmission options as the Venue, the Sonet is geared towards providing a smooth city driving experience. The ventilated seats, sunroof, and 7-speaker Bose sound system provide a very premium passenger experience.

Kia Sonet interior

Kia Sonet Features

  • Engine options: 1.5-litre diesel engine | 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine | 1.2-litre petrol engine
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission | 6-speed iMT transmission | 6-speed DCT automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 24.1 kmpl (Diesel) | 18.2 kmpl (Turbo petrol) | 18.4 kmpl (Petrol)
  • Boot space: 392 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 205 mm

Tata Nexon

Tata took a different approach for their compact SUV. Instead of a conventional SUV design, the Tata Nexon employs a unique, quirky design that has proved immensely popular in India.

2021 Tata Nexon

The Tata Nexon has now received its first facelift, which gives it a more mature appearance while retaining the high ground clearance and SUV-like stance. There’s plenty of power on offer from the petrol and diesel engines as well, which lend themselves very well to spirited highway drives as well as casual city runs. The added 5-star Global NCAP safety rating along with a 8-speaker Harman sound system make it a safe and premium passenger experience.

Tata Nexon interior

Tata Nexon Features

  • Engine options: 1.5-litre diesel engine | 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission | 6-speed AMT
  • Mileage: 21.5 kmpl (Diesel) | 17 kmpl (Petrol)
  • Boot space: 350 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 209 mm
Also Read:  Best Compact Cars for City Driving in India

Nissan Magnite

Nissan’s latest efforts to improve its fortunes in India is to bring a very competitive compact SUV. That compact SUV is the Nissan Magnite, which launched at the end of 2020 and becomes one of the new compact SUVs to consider in 2021.

Nissan Magnite

The Nissan Magnite comes with a very aggressive design that manages to be minimalist at the same time. Since, the Magnite leans more towards the sportier end of compact SUVs with a turbo petrol engine and a CVT automatic transmission. To further complement the sporty driving experience, the Nissan Magnite features angular interior styling as well as some tech features like wireless charging.

Nissan Magnite interior

Nissan Magnite Features

  • Engine options: 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine | 1.0-litre petrol engine
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission | CVT automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 20 kmpl (Turbo petrol) | 18.75 kmpl (Petrol)
  • Boot space: 336 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 205 mm

Renault Kiger

Renault’s India formula is to provide compact cars that don’t skimp on features or practicality. We’ve seen it with the Renault Kwid and Triber, and now the Renault Kiger looks to offer the same practical value in the compact SUV segment.

Renault Kiger Exterior

The Renault Kiger looks like a more grown up and beefier version of the Kwid. It follows the same philosophy by offering a muscular body to cement itself as a capable compact SUV. The option of a turbo petrol engine and a CVT transmission further make the Kiger an attractive option for an enjoyable driving experience. With a focus on practicality rather than flair, the Kiger is equipped with a well-laid interior designed to offer a lot of usable space.

Renault Kiger interior

Renault Kiger Features

  • Engine options: 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine | 1.0-litre petrol engine
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission | CVT automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 20 kmpl (Turbo petrol) | 18.75 kmpl (Petrol)
  • Boot space: 407 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 205 mm

Best Mid-Size SUV

Mid-size SUVs have taken the place of sedans as the aspirational cars to own in India For many, these SUVs accomplish everything they want a car to do. Whether it’s performance, space or features, if you want a car that is perfectly suited for Indian conditions, mid-size SUVs will deliver. These cars, however, do tend to go above the ₹15 lakh budget on the higher variants, which means stretching your budget a little to get the fully specced version.

Mid-Size SUV Comparison

Car

Power

Ground Clearance

Price

(Ex-showroom)

Used Car Price

113-138 PS

190 mm

₹9.9-17.5 lakhs

₹8.1-9.9 lakhs

Tata Harrier

167 PS

205 mm

₹13.9-20.4 lakhs

152 PS

200 mm

₹13.8-19.5 lakhs

₹8.4-10.4 lakhs

Renault Duster

104-153 PS

205 mm

₹9.5-13.8 lakhs

₹5.2-8 lakhs

MG Hector

141-167 PS

180 mm

₹12.8-18.4 lakhs

Kia Seltos

113-138 PS

190 mm

₹9.8-17.4 lakhs

Hyundai Creta

In many ways, the Hyundai Creta has established itself as the benchmark mid-size SUV. From features to performance, there aren’t many areas where the Creta lacks in value.

2021 Hyundai Creta

Like the Venue, the Hyundai Creta features a unique and eye-catching design. With a striking yet minimalist design, the Creta is perfectly at home in the urban jungle of the city. Performance is also responsive with a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel engine paired with automatic and manual transmissions. In ture Hyundai fashion, the interior is loaded with comfort and tech that provide a premium urban SUV experience.

Hyundai Creta Interior

Hyundai Creta Features

  • Engine options: 1.5-litre diesel engine | 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine | 1.5-litre petrol engine
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission | 6-speed AMT transmission | 6-speed IVT automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 21.4 kmpl (Diesel) | 16.8 kmpl (Turbo petrol) | 16.8 kmpl (Petrol)
  • Boot space: 433 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 190 mm

Tata Harrier

Tata has always built good SUVs and the Tata Harrier is no different. The Harrier features European styling that gives it a commanding road presence on the road.

Tata Harrier Camo

Based on a Land Rover-derived platform, the Tata Harrier has been built as a capable soft off-roader. The muscular design gives it the road presence of a much larger SUV while still being easy to handle. The single diesel engine paired with a manual or automatic transmission provides a powerful driving experience befitting a SUV. The interiors are also premium with a panoramic sunroof and leatherette upholstery enhancing the passenger experience.

Also Read:  5 Best Hybrid Cars in India: Unlock Extreme Mileage
Tata Harrier interior

Tata Harrier Features

  • Engine options: 2.0-litre diesel engine
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission | 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 17 kmpl
  • Boot space: 425 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 205 mm

Mahindra XUV500

Mahindra has a history of making compelling utility vehicles for India. The Mahindra XUV500 is no different, offering a commanding road presence.

The Mahindra XUV500 features a very muscular and aggressive design that is a departure from the usual Mahindra designs. Mahindra’s expertise in off-roading is visible in the XUV500’s DNA as well with good ground clearance and tuned suspension. The diesel engine has plenty of power on offer to power through any rough terrain. The interiors are also premium and offer plenty of comfort features to provide a comfortable passenger experience.

Mahindra XUV300 Features

  • Engine options: 2.2-litre diesel engine
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission | 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 15.1 kmpl
  • Boot space: 405 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 200 mm

Renault Duster

Renault’s affordable practicality started with the Renault Duster, a SUV that delivered more than it cost. The Duster was built to be a durable SUV that can withstand Indian conditions.

Renault Duster

The Duster’s durability is thanks to the strong build quality Renault employed with this SUV. The high ground clearance and capable suspension means the Duster can tackle any terrain with ease. The powerful engines on the Renault Duster ensure this SUV is not sluggish to drive, whether you choose to drive off the road or on it. The interiors on the other hand are more utilitarian than other SUVs on this list.

Renault Duster interior

Renault Duster Features

  • Engine options: 1.3-litre petrol engine | 1.5-litre petrol engine
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual transmission | 7-speed automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 16.4 kmpl
  • Boot space: 475 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 205 mm

MG Hector

MG made a big impression by offering a very competitive SUV loaded with features. The MG Hector is a stylish SUV suited for the city.

Even though it is a SUV, style is the name of the game with the MG Hector. This large SUV is built for the Indian roads with a high ground clearance and a comfort-tuned suspension. The Hector’s unique powertrain is the petrol hybrid that makes it unique among the SUVs on this list. Comfort and space is the focus in the Hector which uses premium leatherette upholstery and connected car technology.

MG Hector Features

  • Engine options: 1.5-litre petrol engine | 2.0-litre diesel engine
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission | 8-speed CVT
  • Mileage: 14.2 kmpl (Petrol) | 15.8 kmpl (Petrol Hybrid) | 17.4 kmpl (Diesel)
  • Boot space: 587 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 180 mm

Kia Seltos

The Kia Seltos is the Creta’s more aggressive cousin that has been loaded to the brim with features. This is another SUV meant for the city with a focus on being sporty.

Kia Seltos

While other SUVs focus on being big, muscular cars, the Kia Seltos looks like a sporty and agile SUV. The high ground clearance and sporty aesthetic make it suited to tackling the rough Indian city roads. Backing the aesthetics are the powerful turbo petrol and diesel engines which have enough grunt to speed through the city streets. With leatherette seats, sunroof, and plenty of tech features, the Kia Seltos has enough comfort to pamper the passengers as well.

Kia Seltos Features

  • Engine options: 1.5-litre diesel engine | 1.5-litre petrol engine | 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission | 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Mileage: 20.8 kmpl (Diesel) | 16.8 kmpl (Petrol) | 16.1 kmpl (Turbo petrol)
  • Boot space: 433 litres
  • Ground Clearance: 190 mm

The SUVs we’ve listed here are designed with the primary aim of tackling India’s notoriously bad roads. Apart from high ground clearance, these SUVs provide a variety of designs that will appeal to every customer. It’s no wonder that SUVs have become as ubiquitous as hatchbacks in India. At under ₹15 lakhs, there are a wealth of SUVs on offer, and we’re sure there’s one built specifically for you.


Important Links

Used SUVs in Delhi-NCR | Used SUVs in Bangalore | Used SUVs in Hyderabad | Used SUVs in Pune | Used SUVs in Mumbai | Used SUVs in Ahmedabad | Used SUVs in Chennai | Used SUVs in Kolkata

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