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Old 10th January 2012, 09:15   #46
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

I think its just the size and feeling of driving a big vehicle. I am pretty sure people who have a car and want to get one more will be buying a SUV. It happened in the U.S and will happen here too. Only the size will be a little smaller.
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Old 10th January 2012, 09:24   #47
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I have been used to jeep/ SUV/ go anywhere type vehicles since I was a kid.

Always preferred them, simply because they are more utilitarian and functional than the standard car type vehicle.

I really dont care about "imposing road presence" or "macho" image - these have no appeal for me personally.

Size as a criterion is more about available space for me, not the amount of metal you get.

The high ground clearance does certainly help on our "no road" scenarios - at least in Bangalore/ Karnataka state!

Now I am a total fan of the "Crossover" - the sort of vehicle which does its best to give you the best of both worlds.

For me at least, I guess the "Crossover" is the way into the future.

It is true as TSK says, that for a lot of people, the SUV is to an extent an "aspirational" vehicle - largely because of its relative un-common-ness. Many people, given a choice between a regular little hatch and an SUV type vehicle, would probably go for the SUV, on account of this "aspiration".

But things will change - the world over, the requirement is clearly there for less aggressive, softer, yet capable vehicles, hence the crossovers. As of now in our developing economy, it appears that "might is right" and hence this SUV madness that is upon us!

Cheers!
I have been a strict no-suv person, but our road conditions are tearing apart my will to stick to sedans. I am seriously looking at a cross-over as my next purchase. I agree with Shankar here, cross-overs have a great future in India - but currently they are neither executive like sedans nor macho like SUVs. Hopefully they will evolve from lifestyle vehicles to mainstream.

To answer why SUVs - clearly some people like +size. Most SUVs look imposing from outside and that alone is enough reason for lot of people.
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Old 10th January 2012, 09:26   #48
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Is the average speed on our roads almost the same between the two?
In a normal 2 lane road, a car averages more than a SUV(read:Indian SUV).

But in a terribly bad road, or roads with a pothole every four or five second, you can glide over effortlessly in an SUV without hitting the brakes or frenetic maneuvering, thus averaging more.
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Old 10th January 2012, 09:50   #49
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That is a good point @bblost. But I have also seen many folks saying outright to Innova and buy Scorp/Safari, even when they have the cash to buy an Innova.

I guess there is an emotional appeal in some part.
Actually when I went to buy Safari, I also considered Innova. And the Toyota dealer was quite professional and adopted high pressure salesmanship. He offered some variant of Innova at around 8.50 L while Tata dealer dithered on the deal. Finally I bought the Safari for around the same price 8.55 L on the road.

As far as I was concerned, it is something special about SUV. Nothing else comes close to it. True - it is a pain to find the parking space, it is a nightmare to go inside a shopping mall - worrying sick if your roof will scrape the concrete, never even consider making a U turn in any road unless the road width is 100 ft. Still I won't shed my mount for anything else.
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Old 10th January 2012, 10:05   #50
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

I have always liked the SUVs over the MPVs. Because the road presence of the SUV was unmatched by the MPVs. Also I don't to be flanked by taxi MPVs and made to seem like I am transporting people with my car. But I have to admit that I have always loved the Innova a lot. With the new segment of Mini SUVs, my love for sedans is now wavering too! Especially after seeing the EcoSport
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Old 10th January 2012, 10:27   #51
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
In a normal 2 lane road, a car averages more than a SUV(read:Indian SUV).
In the typical Indian undivided highway with typical Indian traffic conditions, an SUV maintains equivalent or better speed due to the 'no one messes with an SUV' factor and because of better visibility (which allows one to plan overtaking manoeuvres better and faster). A sedan becomes faster only when there is very little traffic.

That said, it is all up to the individual driver. One of my client's drivers used to beat all SUVs timings by a good margin while driving his boss's Corolla from Delhi to Roorkee while going to site.
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Old 10th January 2012, 10:47   #52
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
various reasons like Macho Image, more metal, high viewpoint, prestige, etc are totted out for the increasing popularity of SUVs.

In my view the primary reason is

Our really bad roads. These leave no real options to the average buyer. Our NHs will be put to shame by the Roman Chariot Tracks, and this is, I beleive, the 21st century.
yes, i agree, mostly the condition of roads is the basis of SUV popularity.
the city in which i live has roads where i fear to drive in a car, i only hope my car had 200mm of ground clearance.

plus, i guess the charm of long road trip or travel holidays is another reason for increasing popularity of SUVs.
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Old 10th January 2012, 11:02   #53
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
As far as I was concerned, it is something special about SUV. Nothing else comes close to it. True - it is a pain to find the parking space, it is a nightmare to go inside a shopping mall - worrying sick if your roof will scrape the concrete, never even consider making a U turn in any road unless the road width is 100 ft. Still I won't shed my mount for anything else.
@Prowler Thanks for penning your thoughts. So what was it that turned you away from Innova?
Given that they came down to similar price points?
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Old 10th January 2012, 11:05   #54
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

I have one small question to all members: How bad do you guys feel are the Indian roads today including both cities and highways? I am curious to know because I have not travelled on road much apart from Delhi, Bangalore, Calcutta for city driving and Delhi to Jaipur, Chandigarh, Interiors of Haryana via Rohtak. From Bangalore I have driven to ooty, Chennai, Pondicherry, Goa and a couple of drives to mysore. On all these stretches I don't think I have ever encountered a road bad enough to make it a strict NO-NO for a hatchback or a sedan. I am discounting some stretches here which were under construction.

I feel its more of a psychological thing for most people that the roads don't warrant anything less than an SUV. I agree for a small group of people who may need to travel to areas where mining is present, some really interior state highways may be, need an SUV to encounter the bad roads there. Ofcourse then there are some people who are into Off-roading and make proper use of there beasts.

For the rest majority of people an SUV is:
1. A feeling of having arrived/Macho image.
2. An ability to carry more people and luggage.
3. For some morons its a license to bulldoze and bully other cars on the road.
4. Some have the feeling (including me to some extent) that an SUV is more suited to highway cruising although the view may be false since the modern day sedans might prove more safer/comfortable/fun to drive.

With the ever rising incomes and money to spend, easy Loan options, increased number of options available in the SUV segment, there is no doubt that we are all getting more and more inclined to these big beasts.
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Old 10th January 2012, 11:08   #55
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

Having moved on to a Scorp from an Ikon, following are my observations :
  • In terms of cruising speed, i dont find much difference, as i usually limit myself below 120kmph.
  • Despite being bouncy, the Scorp makes small work of bad roads.
  • I dont feel vulnerable when car-breakers (ala speedbreakers) loom ahead.
  • FE of the diesel Scorp is comparable to that of the petrol Ikon, in numbers. Cheaper fuel helps here.
  • The Scorp occupies only that much space in terms of length, as a Civic.
  • Abilityo carry a greater number of people as a group for an outing.
  • Ability to go off the road, enabling greater chances of being with nature.
Would i go back to a sedan? Hmm.. debatable.
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Old 10th January 2012, 11:18   #56
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

@drmohitg; Try the NHs and some parts of the GQ in UP/MP and you will have your answer. For over 30 years I used to do Kanpur-Gwalior in around five hours, whether via Etawah (NH2+NH92) or Jhansi (NH-2NH25 + NH75). Today you are lucky if you can no it in less than seven. NH2 gets you to Etawah (260km) in under 2-1/2 hours (three earlier) but the 110k km of NH92 (now under NHAI) will take about four and a half hours. On the Jhansi route it is the GQ (EW corridor + NS Corridor) throughout. But 6-1/2 - 7-1/2 for 320km is too much. About four months ago the MP Govt requested the GoI to return eight roads taken under the NHAI back to them, since the state of the roads was strangulating the state. It seems after the NDA days (whether Baalu, or Kamal Nath or now) things have just gone downhill.
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Old 10th January 2012, 11:50   #57
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
@drmohitg; Try the NHs and some parts of the GQ in UP/MP and you will have your answer. For over 30 years I used to do Kanpur-Gwalior in around five hours, whether via Etawah (NH2+NH92) or Jhansi (NH-2NH25 + NH75). Today you are lucky if you can no it in less than seven. NH2 gets you to Etawah (260km) in under 2-1/2 hours (three earlier) but the 110k km of NH92 (now under NHAI) will take about four and a half hours. On the Jhansi route it is the GQ (EW corridor + NS Corridor) throughout. But 6-1/2 - 7-1/2 for 320km is too much. About four months ago the MP Govt requested the GoI to return eight roads taken under the NHAI back to them, since the state of the roads was strangulating the state. It seems after the NDA days (whether Baalu, or Kamal Nath or now) things have just gone downhill.
Agree.

On the bullying part, isn't that more on the driver rather than the car? I mean with my Wagon R, I do regularly "bully" SUVs and more -- it is all about gaps and angles in cities really.

So, to me, the main advantages of SUVs are:
1. Ground Clearance
2. Suspension and ability to handle bad roads

My next car might be an SUV / mini-SUV only because of the above 2 reasons.
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Old 10th January 2012, 11:58   #58
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Agree.

On the bullying part, isn't that more on the driver rather than the car? I mean with my Wagon R, I do regularly "bully" SUVs and more -- it is all about gaps and angles in cities really.
The Suv does help a lot in bullying and at the same time defending your turf. Its only natural since our reflexes have been conditioned to give way to those state buses since we were born. So you see an SUV in your mirror trying to squeeze through and you are much more likely to easily yield than to lets say an Alto. Ofcourse its all about the driver too and I am easily bullied/play safe whenever a guy in a battered old hatch/sedan is driving recklessly ( no relation with your wagonr).

Making proper use of Gaps and angles is ok even if its still irritating to see some people changing lanes more frequently then they blink. But still acceptable. Bullying with an SUV is making your own gap when there is none.
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Old 10th January 2012, 12:10   #59
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
The Suv does help a lot in bullying and at the same time defending your turf. Its only natural since our reflexes have been conditioned to give way to those state buses since we were born. So you see an SUV in your mirror trying to squeeze through and you are much more likely to easily yield than to lets say an Alto. Ofcourse its all about the driver too and I am easily bullied/play safe whenever a guy in a battered old hatch/sedan is driving recklessly ( no relation with your wagonr).

Making proper use of Gaps and angles is ok even if its still irritating to see some people changing lanes more frequently then they blink. But still acceptable. Bullying with an SUV is making your own gap when there is none.
While I understand the logic and have even seen it in action, my two-pence on this is:
Having driven the Safari, Innova, Scorpio and Endy, I always feel that with SUVs you need to brake a bit early (maybe it is psychological -- I feel a big car will have a larger braking distance). So while I can literally go bumper to bumper in my Wagon R, won't do so in an SUV. In fact, I have rarely seen SUVs go like that. The cars that I readily give way to are old battered Omnis and the postal vans (IMHO the most dangerous creatures on road).

It is good if people make way for you, but if they don't, there is not much you can do to wriggle ahead.
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Old 10th January 2012, 12:11   #60
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

My Wife uses our Bolero regularly to work. She is of average Indian height. 5 feet something.

Here are some of the reasons according to her.

I would also like to clarify that the points below come from our personal experience with our 2 Boleros only and may not apply to all SUVs

1. Visibility from driver seat. Very important for vertically challenged people. Have you noticed in almost all hatch backs and sedans most ladies seat on the edge of the seat (rest goes waste) and pull the neck outward almost touching the wind screen with their nose because they can't see anything nearby. How painful and tensed they are. Some of them actually end up with neck pain due to RSI

2. Size matters. Even city buses give respect. In other words they can see the vehicle and stop on time or give way. Most buses try to squeeze small cars. Not the drivers fault. He can't even see most of them in those tiny rear view mirrors. "Object in Rear view Mirror may appear closer" but never bigger.

3. Yes - there is a certain macho image linked to it. Like it or not. Her colleagues are at awe. "Oh! you drive such a big vehicle (Jeep)". They think you have to be strong and tough to drive a SUV. In fact its the opposite - for her its easier to drive, park, reverse it then a small hatchback. Bolero also has a very small turning radius compare to other SUVs

4. Last but not least. Go anywhere capability. I need not worry about potholes or flooded roads or just born speed breakers* (Bangalore has lots of them).

Some of my reasons.

1. Space. I am not of average Indian height. Am slightly above 6'. For me leg, elbow, head space is the main criteria for choosing a vehicle - specially during ingress & egress. In most good looking hatch and sedans my legs (knees) are pointing towards heaven which is very uncomfortable because the seat height is very low. Lets not even talk about rear seats. In some I hit my head during ingress & egress - Ouch! In some my elbow plays touchy feely all over the place. And in some I have to fold my leg like a circus artist and crawl in. In Bolero neither of these happens

2. Due to the ground clearance I save a lot of time & money in under body maintenance. My friends who have hatches and sedans keep complaining regularly about broken mud flaps, dangling parts (specially that plastic strip below the front bumper), scratches & scraps, wasted money on under body coatings. In fact a particular friend before visiting anyone asks - "Where do you stay? Are there any big 'humps' on that road". Oh come on man - can you beat that. Guess the car

3. Visibility from all the seats. It gives a roomy feeling. Most old people feel pukey in long drives and the new squeezed rear window design of most new cars are not helping the cause.


*just born speed breakers - in your everyday to work road morning this speed breaker was not there. Suddenly they appear on you way back in the evening and unmarked of course.
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