New cars for 2018: Upcoming SUVs

13th Apr 2018 12:28 pm

Premium SUVs from Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lamborghini and Porsche, will launch in 2018 with SUvs from Hyundai, Skoda, Toyota and more.

The new X3 promises to deliver more luxury and driving pleasure than its predecessors. Set to rival the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC, the new X3 is built on a chassis that is considerably stiffer and 55kg lighter than the one on the car it replaces. It isn’t much larger on the outsides and overall dimensions are similar to the outgoing car. Where BMW engineers and designers have made more space is between the wheels. The high-quality interior follows in the footsteps of the new 5-series, with its hexagonal form and bevelled edges.

There is a bit more space in the rear and knee room is marginally more than the earlier X3. Passengers in the rear get three-zone climate control and the rear seats can be split 40:20:40 to expand the boot space to a massive 1,600 litres. The new X3 also rides better and is nicer to drive than its predecessor. There’s also an M Performance version with a lower, stiffer suspension and 360hp on tap, making it both quick and fun to drive.
Coming: April 19, 2018
Expected Price: Rs 50-60 lakh
Also see: 2017 BMW X3 review, test drive

When launched in 2015, the Creta hit the spot mainly due to its looks, premium feel and refined performance. A best-seller ever since, Hyundai isn’t expected to make radical changes when it refreshes the model. Styling changes will be more in line to meet the brand’s current design philosophy, with a new grille and bumper design, modified headlamps and tail-lamps. Equipment levels are expected to get a boost and make the Creta a more enticing buy.
Coming: May 2018
Engines: 1.6P, 1.6D
Expected Price: Rs 9-15 lakh
Also see: Hyundai Creta facelift launch in May 2018

This SUV is the biggest Mini yet and it measures 4.4m in length. Based on the same UKL platform that underpins BMW’s X1 SUV, it will also rival the Audi’s Q3 and Mercedes’ GLA. It’s quite a practical car too, and comes with a spacious 470-litre boot. The rear seat can even slide 130mm forward and backward to liberate more legroom. All this will definitely make it much more appealing to the family-car buyer here in India. However, besides the practical bits, what sets it apart from the rest is oodles and oodles of Mini-ness – young, fun to drive and very British. Variants for India are likely to be in Cooper S guise and powered by 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines.

Coming: May 2018
Engines: 2.0P, 2.0D
Expected Price: Rs 36 lakh (estimated)
Also see: Mini Countryman video review

The third-generation Cayenne is yet another new SUV based on the VW Group’s MLB architecture. The exterior design of Porsche India’s best-selling vehicle may suggest that it is a mild revamp. However, it is, in fact, an all-new car using a body structure that is considerably lighter than before. To give it a sportier look, Porsche says that it has increased the length and width of the Cayenne, while lowering its height. At its rear, it gets a continuous light band – a signature styling cue detail seen across the German brand’s new-generation cars. On the inside, there’s a new-style dashboard that features a combo of analogue and digital instruments along with a large 12.3-inch touchscreen as in the Panamera. Expect a wide range of petrols and diesels to be a part of its model line-up, as well. Porsche has pushed the envelope further when it comes to ride and handling, with a sportier suspension, rear-wheel steering and a whole basket of technical trickery. This car will help you get from point A to point B faster, while having fun along the way.

Coming: Mid 2018
Engines:  4.0P, 3.0/4.0D
Expected Price: Rs 1.3-1.9 crore
Also see: New Porsche Cayenne review

The Q8 will be top dog in Audi’s SUV line-up when it launches in India. It is poised to take on BMW’s X7. Test mules suggest that it will retain the concept’s striking exterior design that combines the large footprint of an SUV with the sleek lines of a coupé. It shares its MLB platform with the Q7 but with a 5,020mm length, 2,040mm width and a 3,000mm wheelbase, making it even larger than a Range Rover. Audi says the Q8 will use a hybrid powertrain, combining a 3.0-litre turbo-petrol engine and an electric motor, with a total output of 450hp and 500Nm of torque.

Coming: Late 2018
Engines: 3.0P + electric
Expected Price: Rs 1.1 crore
Also see: SCOOP! 2018 Audi Q8 spied in India

The Bavaria-based carmaker is on a spree to fill every possible niche there is for SUVs. The X2 will be its sixth SUV and it shares the UKL platform with the X1. Designed to be sportier than the X1, it stands 49mm shorter and 69mm lower. Design-wise, the X2 is quite similar to the Concept X2 that was showcased at the 2016 Paris motor show. A BMW roundel adorns a thick C-pillar, while a taut surfacing treatment along the flanks and squared-off wheel arches lend it a rugged look. The X2’s cabin shares plenty of elements with the X1’s, including the black panel instruments and the multifunction steering wheel. Base variants will feature front-wheel drive while four-wheel drive will be available on the top variants. The X2 will lock horns with the likes of the Range Rover Evoque.

Coming: Mid 2018
Engines: 2.0P, 2.0D
Expected Price: Rs 40-50 lakh
Also see: India-bound BMW X2 unveiled

The X4 is to the X3 what the X6 is to the X5 – a sportier, coupé-roofed sibling. In the new X4, you’ll get all the features and space of the new X3, but with less of headroom at the rear. It sits on BMW’s CLAR (Cluster Architecture) structure and uses a mix of high-strength steel and aluminium. Power is most likely to come from a 360hp, 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine.

Engines: 3.0P
Expected Price: Rs 65 lakh

Honda CR-V
There’s a new CR-V on its way here and this one is going to feature an all-new diesel engine option – a first for India. In addition to its proven 2.4-litre petrol, there’s going to be a new 158hp, 1.6-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that is likely to be offered with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. This fifth-generation version of the CR-V is bigger than the car it replaces and will be launched in a seven-seater guise only. This should give the CR-V an immediate advantage over like-sized rivals such as the Hyundai Tucson and Jeep Compass. Honda has worked hard to up the premium quotient as well, there’s generous use of soft-touch materials all around and it features a dashboard similar to the Accord Hybrid’s. A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system offers a host of smartphone connectivity options. Fully loaded variants are likely to come with dual-zone climate control, heated wing mirrors, electrically adjustable front seats and remote engine start. Now, with seven seats and a diesel engine option, it’s likely that the CR-V will be more popular than ever before.

Engines: 2.0P, 2.4P, 1.6D
Expected Price: Rs 23-26 lakh
Also see: 2018 Honda CR-V review, test drive

With more and more buyers taking to petrol SUVs, this petrol soft-roader from Mitsubishi is also expected to make a comeback to India. The Minato-based carmaker has given its SUV a thorough revision, with fresh styling and engineering changes too. It will be brought to India as an import in a fully-loaded variant with seating for seven people. Powering it will be a 169hp, 2.4-litre petrol engine that will send power to all four wheels via a CVT automatic. 

Engines: 2.4P
Price: Rs 30 lakh

Hyundai will enter the hot-selling compact SUV segment with a new baby SUV based on its Carlino concept. When launched, it will rival the likes of the refreshed Ford EcoSport, Maruti Brezza and Tata Nexon. Keeping the Korean brand’s recent track record in mind, expect the SUV to feature high-quality interiors and long equipment list. While engine details are sketchy, we expect it to get a new 118hp, 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, along with Hyundai’s tried and tested 90hp, 1.4-litre turbo-diesel.

Engines: 1.0P, 1.4D
Expected Price: Rs 6-9 lakh

A mid-cycle refresh, the Range Rover’s styling changes include a refreshed grille with a gloss-black surround in the front bumper, and four options of headlamps, including a pixel-laser option. The Range Rover Sport line-up gets subtle changes to the grille and new LED headlamps. Interiors too are refreshed and more in line with the Velar. The engine line-up has been uprated for better performance and more fuel economy.

Coming: Early 2018
Engines: 5.0P, 3.0/4.0D
Expected Price: Rs 1.2-2 crore
Also see: Range Rover facelift unveiled with new P400e plug-in hybrid variant


The Wrangler is the quintessence of Jeep and, for India, more of a capability showcase rather than a bread-and-butter model. Jeep recently unveiled the latest generation of the Wrangler internationally, and it is expected to make it to Indian shores in the near future. The styling is a modern interpretation of the iconic SUV but still retains enough elements like the keystone-shaped grille, iconic round headlamps and square tail-lamps. According to the American company, the Wrangler’s tremendous 4x4 capability has been honed further and will now feature more fuel-efficient powertrains than before.

Coming: End 2018
Engines: 3.6P, 2.0D
Expected Price: Rs 70 lakh
Also see: India-bound 2018 Jeep Wrangler: A close look

Mahindra is synergising with its Korean subsidiary to develop two new crossovers to exploit the burgeoning small SUV space. The SUV will be based on SsangYong’s Tivoli, and for India it will get higher ground clearance and thicker tyres. Also, in a two-pronged attack, the Indian SUV-maker is readying two variants – a five-seater and a seven-seater – the smaller one of which will be less than four metres in length to benefit from the tax concessions; the Tata Nexon and the Maruti Brezza are in its crosshairs. The seven-seater variant will square up against the Hyundai Creta and the Renault Duster. Expect it to come packed with features like dual-zone auto climate control, seven airbags, a 7.0-inch touchscreen and ESP. Powering these SUVs will be an all-new 1.2-litre, direct-injection turbo-petrol or a 1.5-litre common-rail, turbo-diesel engine. 

Coming: Late 2018
Engines: 1.2P, 1.5D
Expected Price: Rs 7-12 lakh

The second-gen Rexton has already been spied on test in India post its Auto Expo 2018 unveiling. This Mahindra SUV is likely to hit showrooms sometime around Diwali this year. The second-gen Rexton for India will not be a mere ‘badge engineering’ job. The India-spec model will get Mahindra’s grille design, along with subtle styling tweaks. Additionally, the SUV will feature a slightly tweaked suspension, different ride height and handling package to suit Indian road conditions. The India-spec SUV gets a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel that generates 187hp and 420Nm of torque, and comes paired to a seven-speed auto gearbox; it will also get 2WD and AWD options. Mahindra will assemble the SUV in India and is likely to price it at a substantial Rs 3-4 lakh less than the segment-leading Toyota Fortuner.

Engines: 2.2D
Expected Price: Rs 28-30 lakh
Also see: New SsangYong Rexton review


Similar to Renault’s Captur, the Nissan Kicks is a no-holds-barred shot at SUVs ranging from the Hyundai Creta to the pricier Jeep Compass. The Kicks shares its robust mechanicals with the Nissan Terrano and is built with sharper styling, almost coupé-like profile and a floating-roof design, making it look a lot more attractive and modern. Like the Terrano, the Kicks’ interior is spacious and quite a modern affair. It comes with part-digital instrumentation, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with audio and phone controls, a 7.0-inch touchscreen bundled with smartphone connectivity and a reverse camera, and auto-climate control. Fully loaded variants are also likely to get a 360-degree camera, side curtain airbags, and traction control. Powering the Kicks will be the same 1.5-litre diesel and 1.5-litre petrol motors offered on the Terrano. Its pricing, though will be on the higher side.

Engines: 1.5P, 1.5D
Expected Price: Rs 10-15 lakh
Also see:  India-bound Nissan Kicks: 5 things to know

Manufacturers have found the Rs 15-25 lakh price bracket to be very alluring, especially after the success of the Jeep Compass. Skoda seems to have taken notice as well. To compete, the carmaker will bring the Kodiak’s smaller sibling – the Karoq – to India. A replacement for the capable, but slow-selling Yeti, the Karoq is a more conventional-looking SUV than the former. Also, like its main rivals, the Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tucson, it is a five-seater. The Karoq is the first Skoda to come with a digital instrument panel and you can expect build and interior quality to be top-notch. Karoq is built on the VW Group’s MQB platform, and will be offered in India with a 1.4 TSI petrol and a 2.0 TDI diesel engine.

Engines: 1.4P, 2.0D
Expected Price: Rs 18-22 lakh
Also see: Skoda Karoq spied in India

Tata took the wraps off the stunning H5X SUV at the Auto Expo 2018 earlier this year. Since then, prototypes of this new SUV have been seen multiple times. The SUV will feature a five-seat layout with wide rear seats that will comfortably accommodate three, abreast. There is a seven-seat version in the works, too. Compared to the concept, the production SUV is expected to be toned down, to an extent; but just like the Nexon compact SUV, the H5X should retain enough of the concept’s styling. Since it shares the Land Rover Discovery Sport’s platform (Codenamed L550), the H5X should be an able performer, in terms of ride and handling. The production-spec H5X will also feature a very similar floor pan, a near-identical all-independent suspension setup and similarly configured steering gear. The model’s wheelbase is expected to remain the same as the Discovery Sport’s 2,741mm. The production version of the H5X is expected to be powered by a Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre MultiJet II engine in two states of tune. A ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic transmission is on the cards, which will send power to all four wheels via Tata’s own 4x4 system. Tata is expected to launch the production version of the H5X in the first half of 2019.

Engines: 2.0D
Expected Price: Rs 13-20 lakh
Also read: Tata H5X prototype spied inside out

It is already being called a future global best-seller for the brand. The baby XC40 sits below the new XC60, is the third model in Volvo’s SUV line-up, and will take on the likes of the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA and Audi Q3.  Built on the Swedish manufacturer’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, it shares a strong resemblance with its larger siblings, the XC60 and XC90. Exterior design incorporates a clamshell bonnet and a distinctive upswept rear window, while avoiding a low-roofed crossover-coupé look, making it both practical as well as stylish. Inside, the XC40 is more radical – there’s 12.3-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) instrument display as standard, as well as a 9.0-inch touchscreen at the centre of the dashboard in a portrait configuration. As one would expect from something wearing a Volvo badge, safety equipment will be comprehensive and the company says that it has given the smaller SUV a similar level of protection as the larger XC90. 

Engines: 2.0D
Expected Price: Rs 27-30 lakh
Also see: Volvo XC40 review

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