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Old 29th September 2014, 09:31   #46
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Default Re: Petrol SUVs: Can they make a comeback?

Suhaas, well said. My reasons would remain similar. I also draw parallel from the UK - where diesel actually sells at a premium to petrol, and is perceived to be a better fuel among many common UK folk. Diesels, specially with CRDI and other refinements have almost similar NVH as petrols, but inherently seem to be much more powerful and torquey. Taking this argument a bit further - do we think Trucks will start running on Petrol? A similar logic would hold for SUVs as well, IMHO.
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Old 29th September 2014, 13:45   #47
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Default Re: Petrol SUVs: Can they make a comeback?

I totally agree with this. The argument that we are buying diesel SUVs because of the torque is totally wrong. We never use that much torque here anyway. In the US the petrol SUVs are fairly established in low, mid, and mid-high end of powerful SUVs where they do anything from hauling trailers to hauling boats. Only at the far end of SUVs/Trucks used in construction do you find diesel engines. Most top end luxury SUVs are petrol there too.

The only reason we buy diesel SUVs is price of diesel and fuel economy. If diesel in India cost the same or slightly higher as in the US, we would all be driving petrol SUVs. A big V8 hell yeah. Checkout the base Chevy Silverado. 5.3l v8 and almost 6tons of towing capacity. All else being the same, if you want to move a mountain or maybe cruise all day without fueling up regularly, maybe then diesel is the right fuel for you.



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Originally Posted by blacksport View Post
Aren't all the SUVs in the USA running on petrol? Does it mean that they are missing all the diesel fun?

Hardly anybody who buys SUVs take it off-road. We buy our soft-roaders for our potholed roads, for which petrols are good enough.
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Old 30th September 2014, 14:42   #48
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Default Re: Petrol SUVs: Can they make a comeback?

First of all, I do not consider the likes of Duster/Terrano, EcoSport etc as SUVs, not even 'soft roaders', 'crossovers' or whatever new names one may invent. They do not have 4WD, and engines and frames strong enough to tow -- a trailer or another vehicle. In an earlier age they would simply be called 'station wagons', cars where the 'dicky' is inside the passenger-cabin. They are simply SUV-pretenders, Like an INDIGO MARINA with slightly taller body and higher ground clearance.

Real SUVs have powerful engines (high displacement 4-cyl, or 6- 8-cyl or even more), 4WD, strong tow hooks and bumpers strong enough to take winches or at least one in the front, and some other features. Whether one needs all that, or whether the owners will ever step off-road, are different matters.

I have been an 4WD driver all my life (except motorcycle) starting with the Willys Jeep, Nissan Jonga, and now Maruti Gypsy. I do not use them as weekend fun vehicles, but ALL THE TIME. So I am also a 'petrol-head' ! I am a reluctant Gypsy driver, as the vehicle is an underpowered toy with almost no torque, but it is the only budget petrol 4WD available in India. I only wish that Maruti-Suzuki would upgrade some features and instruments ( it does not have a trip- meter !)

Having said all that much (phew!) by way of introduction, I agree with most that petrol SUVs may make a comeback only in the TOY segment. For low end torque, AND fuel economy (even if petrol and diesel cost the same), diesel is the winner. For similar grunt, we need a big petrol engine, which our "KITNA DETI HAI" mentality will not accept, or our budget will not allow. My friend uses a FORD EXPLORER as a daily drive in Kuala Lumpur and sympathises that I cannot use a Jonga for shorter daily commute in Calcutta.
Actually I would prefer a NISSAN ONE-TONNER, such a lovely petrol "UTE" it was, with big wheels and four gears !

But the narrowing of the petrol-diesel price gap will have some positive effects : I will be able to take my Jonga or even the Gypsy, to a fuel station without being directed to the diesel pump -- "nehi nehi, udhar nehi" as I head to the petrol filler ! I will not have to stop and explain to everyone why I do not fit a diesel engine to the Silky smooth monster, turning it into a cement vibrator or a tractor ! I have had to explain to so many filling-station attendants that "Gypsies come in petrol only" that now I go to familiar pumps only ! Hope that will stop, and petrol will be accepted as a "grown-up's fuel", and not only for mobikes.

If the government retains the high taxes for plus-4m AND diesel engines, petrol SUVs may find a bigger toe-hold in the market. We need more choices in REAL SUVs, we have so few in the market, and more than half are too costly, loaded with high-tech gimmicks.
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Old 30th September 2014, 15:05   #49
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Default Re: Petrol SUVs: Can they make a comeback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakemanJohny View Post
First of all, I do not consider the likes of Duster/Terrano, EcoSport etc as SUVs, not even 'soft roaders', 'crossovers' or whatever new names one may invent.
Finally somebody said it.

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Originally Posted by SnakemanJohny View Post
I will be able to take my Jonga or even the Gypsy, to a fuel station without being directed to the diesel pump -- "nehi nehi, udhar nehi" as I head to the petrol filler ! I will not have to stop and explain to everyone why I do not fit a diesel engine to the Silky smooth monster, turning it into a cement vibrator or a tractor ! I have had to explain to so many filling-station attendants that "Gypsies come in petrol only" that now I go to familiar pumps only ! Hope that will stop, and petrol will be accepted as a "grown-up's fuel", and not only for mobikes.
So you know what happens to me every time I enter a fuel station with my Grand Vitara, a vehicle rarer than snow leopard.
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Old 30th September 2014, 15:23   #50
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Default Re: Petrol SUVs: Can they make a comeback?

First of all the term SUV should not be qualified for

Engine CC < 2000 CC
Torque < 200 nM
Power < 90 Bhp


In India we are so obsessed with mileage is, companies plonking 1.2/1.3 liter engines in SUV like structures and terming it SUV. Grand Vitara is one of nice SUV available in petrol version but we do not have many choices. There are some options available in ultra high price segments, which is out of reach from common man. Someone clearly said that the factors Mileage from Petrol & Available Torque in petrol engine are major setbacks for petrol SUVs.

Also, maintenance of Diesel and Petrol vehicle are now at par. Still, some petrol heads says that maintenance in Diesel is more than petrol. IMHO maintenance in Diesel is less than Petrol as per my live experience. In Diesel engine we service at 15K Kms and in Petrol we service at 5K or 10K Kms.

So, considering all these factors, why should I go for Petrol SUV?
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Old 30th September 2014, 16:08   #51
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Default Re: Petrol SUVs: Can they make a comeback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Finally somebody said it.

So you know what happens to me every time I enter a fuel station with my Grand Vitara, a vehicle rarer than snow leopard.
Yes, Samurai-Saan ! Unfortunately I joined this forum late and did not know anything about the GeeVee. And It being so rare, I was worried about spares. Now that I have read your, and some others' posts/threads on the "Snow Leopard+", I really wish I had stretched my budget and got the perfect vehicle available in India for me !

Hopefully, with the changing trends in fuel pricing, others like it will make appearances in India ? The BJP govt started it during Ataljee's tenure, decontrolling petrol, but it became an irritant only, with petrol prices going up every fortnight while diesel stood solid and subsidised during the UPA-! and UPA-2 terms. It was disastrous to read about all manufacturers desperately bringing in diesel engines even for micro-cars/hatchbacks, and even autorickshaws coming in diesels !
Now that the playing field is being levelled (to be fair, the last govt started it), SUV and 4WD lovers will have more choices, I feel, IF the Rupee does not start another nosedive, and crude prices remain fairly stable.
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Old 30th September 2014, 20:56   #52
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Default Re: Petrol SUVs: Can they make a comeback?

Talking about comeback of petrol suv's, the new mercedes GLA has been launched with a 2.0 turbocharged petrol engine putting out 180 bhp and 300 torques.
Its fast, getting to a 100 from zero in 8 seconds. But the best bit is the sound that it makes. At full throttle it sounds like a rally car on a rampage.

This is one petrol "SUV" (yeah I know, not really an SUV) I would definitely buy. A bit pricey at 36lakhs ex showroom though.

Also it is rumoured that audi is going to launch the stripped out , manual version of the Q3 2.0 TSI too. This should be interesting.
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Old 1st October 2014, 01:21   #53
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Default Re: Petrol SUVs: Can they make a comeback?

^^

Yup. The GLA will sure be a treat! I haven't driven too many cars with outright power. Our recent acquisition puts out a healthy 180 horsepower and the more I drive it, the more I'm starting to believe that 180 is plenty enough for the sort of road and traffic conditions we usually subject cars to.

Now imagine having 180 horsepower, and the luxury of not having to baby your precious car through bad roads all the time. I can't even begin to imagine how phenomenal the GLA45 AMG would be like. Having nearly twice the horsepower than the standard petrol GLA, AND having the ground clearance to tackle the rough stuff that the city has this habit of throwing, makes the GLA AMG THE ultimate daily driver.

AMG aside, compact crossovers in general have caught on not only in India, but around the globe. It has made these cars wearing desirable badges more accessible.

Earlier, you wouldn't even dream of driving your Mercedes or Audi to Coorg or Chikkmanglur and navigate them through broken, narrow roads. But now, with this new breed of little SUVs, you could consider it at the least.
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Old 1st October 2014, 06:59   #54
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Default Re: Petrol SUVs: Can they make a comeback?

Most certainly the Petrol SUV will come back!

It is only a matter of time, that our market matures the way the International ones have.
Already with the narrowing of the price differential between Petrol and Diesel, the signs are there - a clear slow down in the earlier created artificial demand for Diesel variants of cars.

If one wanted to move to Diesel then one ought to have done so, 10-12 years ago and then driven a lot of Kms. Only then would one have consistently reaped the price benefits and recovered the additional costs of the Diesel variant.

The clincher really for Petrol to make a strong come back is increased Fuel Efficiency of the newer engines. Case in point, the little gem called the Ford EcoBoost engine and other similar ones.

Considering the Maruti guys took so long to think about introducing a Diesel variant of a mini SUV, now with the narrowing price differential, they may just launch the XA Alpha in Petrol and have a Diesel variant because the market just expects it to be there. Chances are that both variants will see good sales because of the reasons stated above.
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