The Indian automobile market has lately tipped towards the SUV segment. Now, more SUVs are being sold when compared to both the hatchbacks and sedans. Compact SUVs are sub 4-metre SUVs that are positioned a little lower than SUVs like Tata Harrier or Mahindra XUV700 but positioned above the microSUVs like Tata Punch or Mahindra KUV100.
This compact SUV gives the best of both worlds. It provides SUV-like style and comfort in a hatchback-like price. Since these cars are generally around 3990 mm long, these models don’t attract higher tax percentage and registration fees that are there for 4+ metre vehicles. At the same time, the almost 4 metre length makes it spacious. The usage of powerful engines provides you the sheer muscle power of the full scale SUV.
Top Selling Compact SUVs of 2021
Maruti Suzuki has been one of the largest automobile companies of the country for many years now and it is no wonder that the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is a popular compact SUV in the country. Other than Suzuki, Tata has grown to be a global brand after the Nano fiasco and Tata Nexon is another favourite choice of the people in the country.
While Korean sister companies Hyundai & Kia are some of the best performers in this segment with their Venue and Sonet respectively, the relatively longer waiting period for these models could be an issue in the coming year. It is also most likely that the delay would stretch well into the mid-2022. In fact Hyundai buyers are going for the premium Alcazar as the waiting period for Hyundai Creta is longer.
Similarly, Mahindra is coming strong with the Mahindra XUV 300, the little brother of the XUV500 or XUV 700. Although the numbers are not in favour of the XUV 300, it is still a very good model to buy. At the same time, Renault Kiger is an effective contender in this segment. As a matter of fact, Renault Kiger packs quite a package of features and instruments that are available only in the top end models of other competitors.
We have selected 2 compact SUVs with diesel drive trains and 2 with petrol engines. This will help you to choose the best compact SUV to buy in 2022. If you are looking for BS6 compliant diesel engines, then the choices are to choose in between Tata Nexon & Mahindra XUV300. However, if you are looking for lower priced petrol engines, then Suzuki Vitara Brezza & Renault Kiger are the best options for you.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza – The Most Popular Compact SUV in India
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is powered by a 1.5 Litre 4 cylinder petrol engine that produces 103 bhp of power and 138 Nm of torque. With a length of 3995 mm, 1790 mm width, and a height of 1640mm, it is one of the tallest compact SUVs in India. Vitara Brezza has a breezy engine that is best at the cruising speeds of 80-100 kmph. The engine wouldn’t mind revving upwards of 4000 rpm which takes you to the 3 digit speed.
Brezza also has a decent 4 stars in the global NCAP ratings. It comes with 2 airbags on the front. With ABS, EBD & Hill Hold Control, you need not worry about braking and traction control. The electrically adjustable ORVM, body coloured bumpers, LED projector headlamps, well-equipped instrument cluster, a featureful infotainment control system, all makes Brezza a top contender for the best compact SUVs in 2022. The spacious second row seats will be comfortable for those long journeys. However, the meagre boot space of just 328 litres is one big flaw of the car. It is slightly higher than hatchbacks but the space won’t be enough for the Indian packing standards.
Vitara Brezza starts from 7.6 Lakhs and the top end goes all the way up to 11.20 Lakhs. The relatively high seated driving position provides the sense of power and comfort on the highway. While the engine is peppy at high speeds, the slow speed performance and lag of the engine is a dampener on the deal. With as many as 6 colour options and a couple of other dual tone options, you can get a Vitara Brezza of your liking.
Renault Kiger – Most Affordable Compact SUV
Renault Kiger is another great contender in the compact SUVs with petrol engines. The 1.Litre turbo petrol engine of the Kiger is the same one that powers Kwid & Triber. In fact, the 5 seater Kiger has almost the same dimensions as of the 7 seater Triber. At 3991 mm length, 1750mm width and 1605 mm height, Kiger is a powerful yet elegant compact SUV. Kiger achieves a ground clearance of 205mm, only a few mm lower than the Tata Nexon.
The petrol engine could feel a little on the lower end as the maximum power of the engine is at 99 bhp and a torque of 152Nm. Kiger also houses the smallest wheel in the segment with a 195 / 60 R16. However, what Kiger lacks in power compensates with rich features and a premium interior. Moreover, the CVT transmission in the car is one of the smoothest in the industry.
On the safety front, Kiger has a good 4 stars in the ASEAN NCAP rating. Incidentally, it is the only car that comes with 4 airbags. Other than this, Mahindra XUV 300 comes with 6 airbags in the top end model. Kiger doesn’t have brake assistance, hill hold control or Traction Control System. It comes with the ABS & EBD alone.
On the inside, Renault Kiger is fully equipped with automatic climate control, rear blower vents, 6+ speakers, an 8 Inch touch screen infotainment control system with both Android Auto & Apple Carplay compatibility.
Renault Kiger starts 5.6 Lakhs and goes all the way up to 10.8 Lakhs. The models have additional offers currently but the French carmaker is increasing the price by at least 2% in the new year.
Mahindra XUV300 – Compact SUV with Best Features
Mahindra has revamped its lineup of vehicles and the XUV 300 is a strong contender even in 2022. It is one of the underdogs at the moment due to the massive popularity of Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet and Tata Nexon. However, Mahindra XUV 300 has a refined diesel engine that
Mahindra XUV300 starts at a price tag of 7.9 Lakhs and goes up to almost 12 Lakhs. The 1.5 turbo diesel that produces 115 bhp of power and 300 Nm of torque. The sheer power of the engine could outpower the competitors. If you are looking for a powerful compact SUV, then the XUV 300 is the way to go.
At 3995 mm long and 1821 mm wide, this is one of the widest compact SUVs in the country. It also has a surprisingly long wheelbase of 2600mm. XUV300 has a decent ground clearance of 180mm.
Mahindra XUV300 comes with a number of features that are not seen in any of the competitors. It has dual zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring system and tyre position monitoring system that shows the direction of the wheels. The new edition also comes with smart steering systems that gives additional ease of driving in different situations. It is perhaps the only compact SUV with a large electric sunroof. Steering mounted controls makes it easy to control the calls, infotainment systems etc, at your fingertips.
On the safety front XUV300 comes with 6 airbags, disc brakes for all wheels, ESP, EBD and 3 point seat belts for all seats. The comfortable ride quality and AMT ensures a good overall experience in the car. The looks on the outside are powerful and stylish. The interior could have had a refined look, which at the moment, it lacks. Other than that XUV 300 is one of the top 5 compact SUVs in India.
Tata Nexon – Safest Compact SUV in India
Tata Nexon is a one of the best selling cars in the segment and the launch of the Nexon EV has made it as the most desirable compact SUV of the country. Tata Nexon is one of the safest cars in the country and it provides an overall premium look and finish.
With a strong 1.5 Litre Revotorq diesel engine, Nexon provides a maximum power of 108 bhp and 260 Nm of torque. It can be mated with both automatic and manual gearboxes. At 3993mm length and 1811 width, Nexon is spacious in both front and rear rows. It has a very good ground clearance of 209 mm and a small wheelbase of 2498 mm which ensures quicker acceleration and braking.
Interestingly the boot space of Tata Nexon is also 350 litres which is only lower than Renault Kiger. However, it has to be remembered that Nexon packs a substantially much bigger and powerful engine on the front. With a 5 Star rating at Global NCAP, Nexon offers a safe and comfortable drive. Other than head-on collisions with large trucks, Nexon could protect the passengers in most accidents. It comes with 2 airbags on the front and 2 on the side.
Tata Nexon also comes with ABS, EBD, ESP, TCS, HHC, TPMS, etc. So, when it comes to features, there is hardly any competition in the segment. A lavish interior, good safety features, well equipped instrument cluster and a sleek infotainment screen, Tata Nexon will leave you amazed on all quarters.
The presence of many options in fuel from Petrol, Diesel and even an electric powertrain, Nexon is one of the most versatile compact SUV in the country. The new Black Edition provides a premium look and feel to the car. From a price of 7.5 Lakhs to 13.8 Lakhs for the top end models, Nexon provides you the best value for the bucks.
This is one vehicle that you can buy without a second thought in 2022. In fact, even in 2023, Tata Nexon would be a strong contender for the best compact SUV in the country.
So, which compact SUV would you buy in 2022?