New Age Compact SUVs Under ₹10 Lakhs: Who Offers The Best Overall Package?

New Age Compact SUVs Under ₹10 Lakhs: Who Offers The Best Overall Package?

Modern compact SUVs cram in loads of features to sport youthful style and, when priced under Rs. 10 lakhs, pose strong value, too.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, March 08, 2024, 01:26 PM IST
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The compact SUV segment in India is booming as customers seek out the increased road presence and versatility offered by these models over hatchbacks, along with frugal running costs that max out appeal. Modern compact SUVs cram in loads of features to sport youthful style and, when priced under Rs. 10 lakhs, pose strong value, too. We survey this rapidly growing segment to see which new-age compact SUV offers the best overall package for that budget.

One of Tata's greatest success stories recently is the Tata Nexon, their capable sub-4 meter SUV that combines head-turning coupe-esque style with the ruggedness and improved visibility expected from an SUV. The interior design and quality are really impressive for the class, with premium trims and a touchscreen infotainment system.

Available with petrol and diesel engines, both tuned for optimal power and efficiency, the Nexon impresses with its dynamics, feeling planted and nimble around corners. Prices start from Rs. 9.17 lakhs, going up to Rs. 18.36 lakhs for the top models.

French automaker Citroen enters the budget end of the compact SUV space with the quirky C3 priced from Rs. 7.30 lakhs. Step inside, though, and the C3 surprises with its roomy and airy cabin featuring stylish trim accents. 

The seats with integrated headrests liberate more room, while under-seat storage adds convenience. The touchscreen system offers wireless connectivity options. Under the hood, Citroen employs its efficient petrol engine good for 108.62 bhp and 19.3 kmpl economy. 

Add feather touch drivability, a 180mm ground clearance for tackling Indian roads, and generous 300 Litre boot space, the C3 poses an interesting European option to ponder.

As India's highest-selling compact SUV currently, the Hyundai Venue's popularity stems from attractive fluidic sculpture-based styling coupled with Hyundai's extensive feature list exceeding what rivals offer. 

Available from Rs. 8.90 lakhs, the Venue hits a sweet spot for buyers with its modern cabin, extensive connectivity options, sunroof, and loads of practical storage spaces inside the neatly laid-out cabin.

Available with transmission options across petrol and diesel engines tuned for drivability, the Venue impresses with its refined manners and suspension, absorbing just enough bumps without feeling overly firm.

The newest sub-compact SUV entrant is Tata's modern urban scrambler take dubbed the Punch. Starting at just Rs. 6.63 lakhs, the Punch introduces SUV flavour to the budget end without compromising on build quality or equipment. 

The Punch looks butch with its tall height, coupled with a chunky bumper and skid plate elements. The R16 diamond cut alloy wheels look cool, adding to the rugged demeanour. 

The interior again showcases Tata's new focus on quality with textured surfaces and appealing design. Storage spaces abound while the cabin feels airy, helped by the large windows. 

Feature highlights include a 7-inch touchscreen, a fully digital instrument cluster, automatic climate control, push-button start, auto headlamps, and more. Available solely as petrol for now, the 1.2-litre unit puts 86 bhp through a 5-speed manual claimed to deliver 18.97 km/l.

Kia has tasted great success in India with its SUV offerings, and the sub-4 meter Sonet has proved to be another winner. The Sonet carries typical Kia traits of sharp design lines and a loaded equipment list catering to youthful buyers. Prices now start from Rs. 8.98 lakhs, spanning a range of powertrain options.

The Sonet proudly flaunts the signature tiger nose grille flanked by LED headlamps with integrated DRLs adding flair. 16-inch crystal cut alloys amping up the style quotient. Step inside the dual-tone cabin boasting the largest touchscreen in class besides remote start and sound mood lighting, increasing the cool factor.

Performance comes from frugal petrol and diesel units, both available with manual and automatic options for added flexibility. Factor Kia's extensive features list on offer with the Sonet, including a Bose sound system and an efficient powertrain range, it emerges as a strong, compact SUV contender if seeking a thrilling package.

Each compact SUV profiled brings something unique to the table at attractive sub-Rs. 10 lakh price points. The Tata Nexon perhaps offers the best balance as an aspirational package with its head-turning style, well-equipped modern cabin, sorted dynamics, and frugal, as well as peppy petrol and diesel engine options.

Runners up for offering the best overall package, the Hyundai Venue, which edges ahead with its extensive connectivity and segment-first fully digital features. Between these contenders, customers have access to highly compelling packages in the thriving compact SUV space if shopping on a modest budget.

Customers are flocking to compact SUVs as they present better road visibility and versatility versus hatchbacks, along with the style and imagery associated with SUVs. As newer disruptive models enter this rapidly growing segment while existing ones up their game, those shopping with a budget of under Rs. 10 lakhs are spoiled for choice.

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