SUVs of all body-types have been the rage in India, in one way or another. Be it the compact SUV sphere, the mid-size SUVs or a full-size premium SUV – the last of which we are going to primarily focus on in our list. SUVs sell well even on a global scale. And while this segment demands a premium, you won’t be disappointed with the value these SUVs offer. All these models are proper 7-seaters – and serve the purpose for large Indian families. These SUVs have a good blend of various characteristics that are best suited to Indian road conditions. Lest we forget to mention, these models offer opulence that you’d only find on luxury-brand SUVs that are priced much higher. The Toyota Fortuner has ruled the roost for quite some time now, but we shortlist a few more to give you, the buyer, a better idea of what’s best.
1) MG Gloster
Morris Garages has been making waves in India, ever since the launch of the Hector in India. It seems to have established itself well at the moment, and they’ve come out with their third offering for our market: the Gloster. It’s the biggest SUV from the carmaker, and with its sheer girth, takes on rivals from Ford and Toyota. It is also bigger than both its contenders, and it has massive road presence. It gets a huge chrome grille, projector headlights and a high-set bonnet. The sides, however, slab-like and its 19-inch wheels still don’t quite full up the wheel wells. At the rear, the ‘Gloster’ badging is spread wide over the tail gate and those chrome quad tail pipes give one the impression it has a V8 under the bonnet.
The cabin is huge and offers acres of space, with room for six full-grown adults. The second row has captain seats, and there’s room in this row. It features a huge panoramic sunroof, while the last row can accommodate tall occupants too. Boot space, however, is very restricted.
Crank the engine to life, and you’ll be surprised at the refinement of the engine. And engine noise is well contained. Under the huge hood lies a 2-litre twin-turbo diesel engine which makes 215bhp and 480Nm of torque, paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission that works seamlessly. It also features a lockable mechanical differential and various driving modes.
2) Ford Endeavour
The updated 2020 Ford Endeavour looks more-or-less the same, which is no bad thing since the Ford cars facelift was introduced in our market in 2019. But if you’ve got a keen eye for detail, you’ll notice the revised Bi-LED powered headlights. It retains the massive wheel arches, the big wheels and the thick chrome bar at the back.
Step inside, and everything remains the same, except for the fact that it gets more features, like the FordPass connectivity system, through which the user can access many functions, like starting up the SUV, receiving updates about fuel level, locking and unlocking with a remote via the FordPass app, making convenience a point to be considered before buying one.
It has a 10-speed auto transmission, to start with, but it needs to be worked quite a bit to extract the best fuel efficiency possible. Drive it casually, and the gear kick down can feel a bit sloppy, which proves to be a little bothersome when you’re overtaking. It is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine develops 168bhp and 420Nm of torque. But you can feel there’s a drop in power when you try picking up speed, but this engine-downsizing had to be done in order to meet the new emission norms
3) Toyota Fortuner
The facelifted Toyota Fortuner gets a new look up-front, reshaped LED headlamps with LED daytime DRLs, a huge mesh-pattern grille, a restructured front bumper and new 18-inch alloy pattern wheels. At the rear, it’s just mostly the sleeker looking LED tail lamps.
On the inside, the cabin looks identical to the older one, but there’s a new, bigger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with connected car tech as well. The instrument cluster too, has been tweaked a little and it features front parking sensors and 8-way power-adjustable and ventilated driver and co-driver’s seats.
The updated 2.8-litre diesel engine now makes more power at 201bhp and 420Nm of torque for the 6-speed manual and 500Nm of torque on offer on the Toyota cars with its 6-speed torque-converter auto ‘box.