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Old 14th January 2012, 16:32   #106
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

That ad per se is a good one I think - atleast it shows a little justice getting done. However, I still feel, making a big noise about "Force hi chalta hai" etc, can create the wrong impression amongst the dunderheaded road users. This is because they will tend to justify to themselves an everyone else that "my need is greater than yours" or "my time is more important than yours".
That might be a fallout of this ad.

Unfortunately it is true of us - "Might certainly seems to be Right" - at least on the roads!

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Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
On a lighter (maybe illogical) note, maybe because "India mein sirf FORCE hi chalta hai!!"... lolz (at least, true for the North)
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Old 15th January 2013, 08:42   #107
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Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
If I ever buy one, it would be for one reason only - To avoid getting bullied by all and sundry (viz Auto's, company buses, cabbies, trucks et al.).

I would make sure that I buy one in White, get some dark tints and preferably have the number plate in Devanagari script. Oh, and some party stickers on it too .
Reading your post I could easily make out that you are from Pune
I have similar things in mind once I buy one.

My next car would be a compact SUV. Reason being its more practical vehicle and I can buy one at the price of Sedan!

Only thing which will keep me away from SUV's is its safety ratings. Despite of having loads of airbags Duster could score only 3 stars in EuroNCAP crash test.

Last edited by HammerHead : 15th January 2013 at 08:44.
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Old 15th January 2013, 09:46   #108
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

Most important it is sad state of our roads whch is also responsible for their popularity. This has reached a point where NHAI concessionaires are pulling out, and the NHAI has had to sue the MoEF for delays.
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Old 15th January 2013, 10:02   #109
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Originally Posted by HammerHead View Post
My next car would be a compact SUV. Reason being its more practical vehicle and I can buy one at the price of Sedan!

Only thing which will keep me away from SUV's is its safety ratings. Despite of having loads of airbags Duster could score only 3 stars in EuroNCAP crash test.
Yes you can get a compact SUV at the price of a sedan.

I do not understand the second part of your post - "loads of airbags".
The Duster Top end 110BHP Diesel variant comes with 2 airbags and ABS.
The Option Pack in the 85BHP Diesel Duster also comes with ABS and 2 Airbags.

Yes it scored 3 stars in Euro NCAP, which is probably more than what the Scorpio, Safari, Sumo, Thar, Force One and so on are able to do.

For comparison purposes it will be worth doing a similar check on the other vehicles Hatchbacks and Sedans being sold in India and their safety ratings.

I think the Skoda Yeti and Hyundai I 20 are amongst the few that score a 5 star Euro NCAP rating.

It is also very important to know which particular variant of the vehicle was tested and which got awarded the rating.

It is not only the number of airbags the vehicle has, but a combination of other safety aids like ABS, EBD, Disc Brakes all around, how it is designed overall for passenger safety, crumple zones, lack of sharp edges and hard surfaces inside and a host of other things that contribute to the NCAP rating.
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Old 15th January 2013, 11:19   #110
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

By the way Duster is just an example since none of the other's in similar price range have crash test info associated with them!

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Yes you can get a compact SUV at the price of a sedan.

I do not understand the second part of your post - "loads of airbags".
The Duster Top end 110BHP Diesel variant comes with 2 airbags and ABS.
The Option Pack in the 85BHP Diesel Duster also comes with ABS and 2 Airbags.
Check out Dacia Duster's crash test performance and specifications of vehicle used for this test. You will get the answer!

Quote:
Yes it scored 3 stars in Euro NCAP, which is probably more than what the Scorpio, Safari, Sumo, Thar, Force One and so on are able to do.
No assumptions as there is no credible info on these vehicles ability to withstand crash.

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For comparison purposes it will be worth doing a similar check on the other vehicles Hatchbacks and Sedans being sold in India and their safety ratings.
Considered Fiat Punto & Honda Jazz which scored 4 stars in EuroNCAP.

[/quote]I think the Skoda Yeti and Hyundai I 20 are amongst the few that score a 5 star Euro NCAP rating. [/quote]

Yeah that's correct. There would be more in upper segments. i20 is the only hatch which came in with a variant having 6 airbags, same as tested under EuroNCAP and scored 5 starts.

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It is also very important to know which particular variant of the vehicle was tested and which got awarded the rating.
Absolutely!

Quote:
It is not only the number of airbags the vehicle has, but a combination of other safety aids like ABS, EBD, Disc Brakes all around, how it is designed overall for passenger safety, crumple zones, lack of sharp edges and hard surfaces inside and a host of other things that contribute to the NCAP rating.
Agreed and that's the very reason I refer EuroNCAP while judging on safety.

Last edited by HammerHead : 15th January 2013 at 11:21.
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Old 15th January 2013, 12:30   #111
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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The places i goto for trust me i would be much happier with the Fortuner than an Yeti ,the confidence a vehicle gives you while taking it over intermediate rocky terrains is much much higher in Fortuner compared to an Yeti, and for me at least size and width would not be a problem while offroading in a wide space/open lands for W.photography. Size and width was not a problem for anyone in my family who drove the vehicle even in narrow roads and traffic so i guess it should be ok. Talking about the Yeti, Skoda dint even get a TD vehicle and after sales experiences just leave you with a bad taste.I am sure lot of others will have had excellent experiences and nothing wrong with that and am really happy for them but for me i really comfortable with the Toyota guys and considering all round features its a better choice. The Third row is a must have for me.

The Yeti wouldn't just make me comfortable to the places i take it for sure. Climbing a few rocks here and there just wouldn't give that kind of confidence a Fortuner gives you. Maybe it can be done more cautiously on an Yeti. The positives of the Fortuner outweighs its negatives for me at least.
The Fortuner can take very and many hard knocks and keep going. Those knocks will come if you do certain kind of trips. I am not sure how many vehicles apart from Fortuner, Pajero + Sports, Endeavour and perhaps the Vitara can take those knocks and keep going. The Boleros etc. can - that is why they sell so much - but they would have to be driven much more slowly.

Drive on NH7 beyond Nagpur after the rains - say in the night, or on some rural roads in MP or UP. FYI, truckers did a strike this year because too many trucks were breaking their axles on the Allahabad - Nagpur stretch. And you need to cover lots of distance so can't crawl along at 10kmph. How many vehicles can travel hundreds of kms in the night over those kind of roads maintaining a decent speed?

Crossovers have their use. But they would struggle or throw prima donna tantrums in certain conditions.

And as some folks have mentioned, butch SUVs help in traveling through the badlands. Bring a nice looking sedan or cross-over, you will attract the wrong type of attention in certain parts of the country because people will perceive you as a city-slicker yuppie.
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Old 15th January 2013, 13:04   #112
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

Nice thread, and I guess all the points driving people to go in for SUVs over sedans/ premium hatchbacks have been adequately covered.

As for me, I am a diehard sedan fan and love the handling and braking that they offer. I hate body roll that most SUVs suffer from.

I do know that we are much better of in an SUV when roads are pathetic, but an analysis of my past miles covered in the past 2 decades indicated that it was only in 2% that I'd traversed on bad roads. Of course, I'd have driven more on bad roads had I owned an SUV, but I'd like to limit myself to good surfaces, even if that means sacrificing some places to visit.

On the Yeti vs Fortuner debate, if I ever went in for an SUV, the Yeti would win hands down owing to its far superior ride and handling combo. The middle row seats in the Fortuner (and even Endy) are quite bouncy, which I detest. I'd go for a Fortuner only if space was my primary need.
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Old 15th January 2013, 13:56   #113
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

Yes, it's the roads that demand a vehicle with high GC and robust contruction.
And just like telecom, with road infrastructure as well, we have an issue with last mile connectivity :-) For example, the roads are excellent from here (Pune) all the way to Ratnagiri (in Konkan) and then just a kilometer before the actual house that I need to visit, the road vanishes!!! Then of course, there are places worth visiting, and most of them have no roads (Leh, etc). It's sad that we have (relatively) super highways that cover 90% of the distance and then we have to go off-road.

Also, SUVs are roomier, everyone in the family just love the airy cabin, leg space to stretch, reclining seats (in the back), commanding view (you are not afraid that the Volvo will run you over), easy and run-time access to boot (and having the rear windshield way behind your head makes you feel good) etc...

Ideal vehicle would be an SUV style body with height adjustable suspension. We can sprint fast from Pune to Delhi hugging the road and then "mount" ourselves for the onwards journey to Leh...

Cheers!
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Old 15th January 2013, 14:38   #114
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
The Fortuner can take very and many hard knocks and keep going. Those knocks will come if you do certain kind of trips. I am not sure how many vehicles apart from Fortuner, Pajero + Sports, Endeavour and perhaps the Vitara can take those knocks and keep going. The Boleros etc. can - that is why they sell so much - but they would have to be driven much more slowly.

Drive on NH7 beyond Nagpur after the rains - say in the night, or on some rural roads in MP or UP. FYI, truckers did a strike this year because too many trucks were breaking their axles on the Allahabad - Nagpur stretch. And you need to cover lots of distance so can't crawl along at 10kmph. How many vehicles can travel hundreds of kms in the night over those kind of roads maintaining a decent speed?

Crossovers have their use. But they would struggle or throw prima donna tantrums in certain conditions.

And as some folks have mentioned, butch SUVs help in traveling through the badlands. Bring a nice looking sedan or cross-over, you will attract the wrong type of attention in certain parts of the country because people will perceive you as a city-slicker yuppie.
Agree with you,

Almost close to year after purchase of my Fortuner, we dont regret one bit, its one of the best decisions made. We recently had 7 guests + luggage and the vehicle did loaded trips without a sweat , 3rd gear puttering and all. Had some relatives from the US sitting in the 3rd row comfortably for close 120+ kms still didnt throw around that much as perceived and they said its was like normal.

First half of last year the ride was quite bumpy but after a specialist session at Madhus with hunters alignment&balancing most of the bumpiness is gone and there is no "jerkiness or recoil feeling" when driving on potholed stretches or bad roads.

Its a comfortable mile cruncher which dosent throw the chaos around into the cabin leading to stress free travel.
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Old 15th January 2013, 18:36   #115
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

For me, the main reasons for preferring a SUV are:
1. Helps me get close to nature/go anywhere/adventure.
2. Can handle whatever the Indian roads can throw at me. Especially when on roadtrips, and while night driving on unknown roads.
3. Space

While I don't care for the image, I do appreciate the respect that I get e.g. less folks taking panga or big buses/trucks giving way more easily.

I have been on the other side and experienced life with a problematic hatchback (Indica - whose alignment and/or tyres would go for a toss at the mere whiff of bad roads) and a sedan (SX4, the most capable among sedans, but still not capable enough). A SUV is perfect for my use cases.

X-Posting a photo from a travelogue that reflects my thinking. Why do such trips or go on such 'roads'? Because. Because you can - with a SUV - and enjoy experiences that you might not get to experience otherwise.

Jungle drive, Sitabani Reserve Forest, near Corbett National park. Out to buy chicken and some veggies from a village outside the forest (we were staying at a FRH).
Why are SUVs becoming so popular?-dsc_8600.jpg

Regarding why SUVs are becoming so popular? I think it is part of a psychographic as well as a demographic shift.

I believe there are many many folks who are adventurous at heart, but earlier those desires were latent due to a number of forced compromises. Now suitable vehicles exist (Duster, say), tourism has become more developed, disposable income has increased and it is easier for younger/young at heart folks to afford a good vehicle. So more people are opting for a SUV that can handle bad roads/Indian roads and have space to carry people + luggage.

Not to mention the Diesel and road presence factors.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 15th January 2013 at 18:47.
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Old 15th January 2013, 20:05   #116
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

This thread is indeed a good read for anyone stuck with the "SUV or something else" question

For me, the sedan/ hatch makes perfect sense as an daily drive. Like many have pointed out, I feel that the cars are much more fun & comfortable to drive on regular roads. Besides, I don't think that our roads are as bad/ broken as they are made to be. Most (if not all) of the roads we take everyday are decently paved and quite often the bad patches are due to ongoing construction/ development work - price we pay (besides high taxes, fuel prices etc. etc.) for being the part of a "developing" nation . For the odd outstation trips that 'may' call for mild off-roading (soft-roading) I'd rather rent/ borrow an SUV.

Coming to the thread topic, IMHO the main reasons why SUV's are gaining more popularity in India are:
1. The "perceived" bad state of roads
2. The "myth" that vehicle safety is a function of vehicle size
3. The "perceived" VFM offered by modern SUVs (since in India bigger is almost always considered better)
4. Aspirational value
5. Ego/ the urge to bully the other guy
6. New breed of crossovers which are more practical than true blue SUVs (relatively more space/ better affordability/ low maintenance/ better fuel efficiency)

Though the above factors apply for the general rise in popularity, I do admit that there is a sizable population out there who buy their UV's purely based on genuine needs (lifestyle/ occupational).
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Old 15th January 2013, 22:42   #117
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

I bought an SUV primarily for the 2 reasons.

1. High seating position and good visibility- I'm 5'8" but I hate sitting inside a low slung sedan and driving through city traffic. It's okay on a highway drive, but inside the city, it's a different story. I felt like sitting inside a pit when surrounded by buses and trucks in bumper to bumper traffic.

2. Driving without the fear of hitting the underbelly - I think this is self explanatory.
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Old 16th January 2013, 11:14   #118
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I think this can be traced back to our great - great forefathers, pre-Neanderthical man. In those days we human-kind had to hunt for food to feed the brood and live life.

MAN used to climb trees,the higher & taller the tree, the better it was, so that he could scan the horizon to "see" the animals he could prey upon, plan his attack strategy and then go for the jugular!

Cue to 2013 and it seems that this DNA still percolates through the veins of us homo sapiens.
Only now, the tree moves!!
it has been given a set of humongous wheels, loud-loud diesel engine to scare the heebie-jeebies out of all and sundry, a five door metal armour of a bodywork, "5 or 7" branches (that's seats) on which HE can sit and then charge through the urban jungle!

Woe betide the minions who dare to cross this MAN's path! Auto's, bikes, cycles are shredded with ease while the bigger meat, i.e., hatchbacks (they give up after a very brief struggle), and sedans (just about survives) are bruised and battered (ego-wise). The best is when this MAN meets his fellow MEN. Then i guess the real battle for supremacy starts !!

And that my friend is the real reason why WE prefer SUV's !
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Old 16th January 2013, 13:00   #119
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

taking a cue from arjab, in automobile consumer evolution, we are emulating our western counterparts.

Primarily due to 2 reasons - 1. diesel technology that s keeping the running cost on part with sedans 2. Space that has become a craving
since this si not just for office commute, but it has started to take the person to places which earlier were only done through series of interchanged public transports.

All this offers a better value; and with increase in disposable income, this leads to explosion on that sector.
The other small percentage is with politicians and push-overs who want to assert
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Old 16th January 2013, 13:52   #120
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

Just for 2 reasons:
1) SUV can seat more than 5, just in case when required.
2) With SUV, stop worrying about road.
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