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It's raining SUV and MUVs in 2021

By Rajesh Karkera
January 20, 2021 10:06 IST
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If the small cars and sedans are here, can the big boys be far behind? Rajesh Karkera offers a checklist of the SUVs and MUvs coming to India this year. 

It's time for the big fellas to come out, specifically the SUVs and MUVs.

Part 1: Why 2021 is a very good year for the hatchback buyer

Part 2: Buying a sedan? 2021 must be just the year for it

A category that has become the favourite of Indians, understandably so thanks to the road and weather conditions we encounter.


2021 will see the maximum number of SUVs being launched, in completely new avatars as well as facelifts.

Just two weeks into the new year and already a lot has happened in the SUV segment in India, and it all started with a surprise from Tata Motors.

The All-New Tata Safari

The first surprise of the year in this segment was the announcement of a comeback of Brand Safari.

The New Tata Safari 2021

The legend - Reborn says Tata Motors as it rolled out its first all-new Tata Safari on January 14, 2021.

A 7-seater version of the Harrier originally named the Buzzard in its debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and then as Gravitas in the 2020 Auto Show in Noida, it has finally been rebranded as the Tata Safari.

This flagship SUV from Tata Motors will get a proper unveiling on January 26. Some dealers have already started taking bookings for it. 

Tata hopes to rekindle the nostalgia the Tata Safari has always had. Check out the first look video released by Tata Motors here

Toyota Fortuner facelift

Rs 29.98 lakhs-Rs 37.58 lakhs

Toyota Fortuner 2021

The new Fortuner displays a sculpted side pontoon shaped bumpers and a new headlight design with a distinctive LED line guide. Photograph: Toyota Kirloskar Motors.

The Toyota Fortuner, which last got an update in 2016, has finally arrived in a much needed updated version in the first week of the year itself.

This new Fortuner gets more muscle with its makeover, a new front grille and a more powerful 2.8L diesel engine which pumps 500 NM of torque and 204 PS of power.

The petrol engine however remains unchanged.

Toyota Fortuner Legender
Rs 37.58 lakhs
Toyota Legender

The Fortuner Legender gets a split 4 LED setup for the headlamps with a waterfall type guideline separating each of the four. Photograph: Toyota Kirloskar Motors.

Also launched is the Toyota Fortuner Legender which is a sportier, sleeker version of the Fortuner and has a host of new features inside. 

WATCH: Yoshiki Konishi, chief engineer of Toyota Motor Corporation, speaks about the design philosophy behind the Toyota Fortuner Legender. Video: Toyota India

Powered with the same powerplant under its hood as the new Fortuner, the Legender is focussed more to be a stylish urban SUV, packed with more tech features and creature comforts than the Fortuner. 

Citroën C5 Aircross
Rs 30 lakhs

Citroen C5 Aircross

IMAGE: The C5 Aircross, a 5-seater SUV from Citroën. Photograph: Citroën India.

The C5 Aircross, the flagship compact SUV from the French carmaker Citroën which was to be launched in 2020, will come to us this year.

To be built at the company's facility located in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, the C5 Aircross is expected to be available in a single fully loaded variant with a 2-litre turbo diesel engine giving out a powerful punch of 180 hp.

The French carmaker has already started making gearboxes and drivetrains in their Indian manufacturing units and exporting them internationally too. The Made in India badging just might help keep prices down in their future launches and spares.

Škoda Kushaq

Rs 10 lakhs-Rs 16 lakhs

SKoda Kushaq

IMAGE: Škoda introduced the newest member of its family as the Kushaq, a name which derives its roots from Sanskrit which implies 'King' or 'Emperor'. Photograph: Škoda Auto.

The newest entry in the mid-sized SUV segment from Škoda will be the Kushaq.

Seen earlier as the Vision IN Concept at the 2020 Auto Expo, this mid-sized SUV will be based on Škoda's MQB A0 IN platform and will be made entirely in India. 

On offer will be a 1.0 Litre and 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine under the hood with AT options.

Škoda Kodiaq Petrol

Rs 35 lakhs-Rs 37 lakhs

Skoda Kodiaq

The Škoda Kodiaq at its first debut in India. Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani/

Coming back to the Indian roads after BS6 norms kicked in is another hunker from Škoda, the Kodiaq.

The 2.0 litre TDI diesel engine will be replaced by a 2 litre petrol engine giving 190HP.

Maruti Suzuki Jimny

Rs 10 lakhs-Rs 12 lakhs


IMAGE: The Jimny 3-door too might make an entry in India looking at the success of the all-new Thar. Photograph: Global Suzuki.

Another true off-roader whose launch has been most awaited for a couple of years now is the Maruti Suzuki Jimny.

Expected this year is a new larger 5-door version of the Jimny for India.

Powering the Jimny will be a 1.5-litre petrol engine which will churn out 105 hp. Expect the Jimny to be on sale soon in Maruti’s premium Nexa outlets.

New Gurkha 2020

Rs 10 lakhs-Rs 12 lakhs


IMAGE: The updated Gurkha at the 2020 auto expo in Noida with minimalistic changes.

Another raw off-roader from India is the Gurkha from Force Motors.

A newer version of the Force Gurkha 4x4 which was showcased in the 2020 auto expo is soon to be launched this year.

It will retain its G-Wagon looks like its predecessor and will be introduced with minor cosmetic changes to its exteriors as well as the interiors.

Powering it will be the same 2.2 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine delivering a max torque of 321 NM and a max power of 140 hp.

The BS6 Isuzu D Max V-Cross

Rs 18 lakhs-Rs 21 lakhs

Isuzu V-Cross

The BS6 version of the Isuzu V-Cross will cost higher than its predecessor.

Another favourite among lifestyle vehicles and known for its off-roading capabilities is the Isuzu V-Cross.

The updated V-Cross was last seen in August 2019 when it was launched with an automatic transmission. But by the end of 2019, Isuzu had to stop production of this head-turner in its BS4 avatar, due to the stringent BS6 norms.

Isuzu had planned to launch the BS6 version of the V-Cross in 2020.

This year we will see the updated Isuzu V-Cross and MUX both with new BS6 engines and updated looks.

Toyota Hilux

Rs 15 lakhs-Rs 20 lakhs

Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux will come with the upgraded 2.8L diesel engine, smart safety, enhanced connectivity and an even tougher looks. Photograph: Toyota.

A favourite among pickup trucks and also known as the original pickup truck is The Toyota Hilux. 

Known for its workhorse abilities in the International markets, this beast will now enter India in its latest version.

This updated version will be based on the same IMV-2 (Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle) platform, which uses a ladder frame chassis construction as the Innova Crysta and the Fortuner.

This sharing of parts will keep the prices in check and will act as a direct rival for the Isuzu V-Cross.

Ford Ranger Raptor Pickup

Rs 40 lakhs

Ford Raptor

The Ranger Raptor, known for its on-road comforts to off-road performance, has both your weekday and weekend covered, says the automaker. Photograph: Ford Motor Company.

Expected to arrive in mid-2021 in India, the Ford Ranger Raptor is a mean performance truck which will be introduced in India only as a CBU import.

As this will be a completely imported unit, expect the prices to be on the higher side. But Ford also plans to import just a few units for sale in India to keep exclusivity.   

The Raptor will have the same 2-litre engine that drives the Ford Endeavor, pumping out 500 Nm of torque and a power output of 231 hp. 

New XUV500

Rs 13 lakhs-Rs 19 lakhs

XUV 500

The 2021 XUV300 will be bigger and have a wider wheelbase. 

A completely new XUV500 is in the lineup from Mahindra and Mahindra, which is on a roll after the big bang launch of the nation's favourite off-roader, the all-new Thar.

Spied under heavy camouflage many times and spread on social media, this new XUV500 promises to be bigger and more powerful than the current one. And, of course, packed with features which we haven't heard of yet.

The engine options will be the 2.2 litre diesel which and the 2.0l petrol which are also used in the all-new Thar. But on the XUV500 they will be tuned to give out more power and punch.

New Scorpio

Rs 12 lakhs-Rs 16 lakhs

Mahindra Scorpio

The top-selling vehicle from the homegrown automaker is up for a big update. 

Next from the M&M stables is the 2021 BS6 Scorpio. There is a lot of expectation from the 2021 Scorpio, which has had the internet in a frenzy with every website screaming the specs. But one thing is for sure, expect this to be bigger and wider compared to the current one.

The engine options are expected to be the same 2.2 litre mhawk diesel and a 2.0l mStallion petrol which also powers the all-new Thar.

Mahindra and Mahindra also plan to launch a facelifted version of the Mahindra TUV300 which was taken off the shelf due to the BS6 norms and the new pedestrian safety rules.

Also in the lineup are a New Mahindra Bolero which will have a plusher interior and a turbo petrol version of the very capable XUV300 Compact SUV. 

In the MPV segment, Mahindra will come out with a petrol version of the Marazzo.

Jeep Compass Facelift

Rs 14 lakhs-Rs 26 lakhs

Jeep Compass 2021

The new Compass will come with a dual-pane panoramic sunroof in addition to a host of new features. Photograph: Jeep India/FCA India Automobiles Private Limited.

Another facelift already unveiled is the updated Jeep Compass 2021.

The compass now gets a facelift which makes it look slimmer and sleeker in the front, with the front bumper housing a bigger air dam and new fog lamp housings.

What is completely new though is the interior with a host of advanced features.

Engine options will remain the same as the current 1.4L multiair turbo petrol and the 2.0 litre diesel.

VW Taigun

Rs 10 lakhs-Rs 16 lakhs

SEE: The Volkswagen Taigun. Video: Volkswagen India.

Based on the MQB A0 IN platform shared by Skoda vehicles, the Taigun will be a mid-sized SUV which will come in a 1.0 litre and a 1.5 litre TSI petrol engine.

Bold, sporty and energetic is what the company is telling us with the teaser video above. 

VW Tiguan Facelift

Rs 26 lakhs-Rs 29 lakhs

VW Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan will also make a comeback in its 3rd generation in 2021. Photograph: Volkswagen.

The  Volkswagen Tiguan was earlier replaced by the 7-seater Allspace version. In 2021, the 5-seater SUV will make a comeback with a facelift and maybe more aggressive pricing.

Powered by the same 1.5 litre petrol engine that powers the Volkswagen T-Roc it will be available only in the Front Wheel Drive option.

Vitara Brezza
Rs 8 lakhs-Rs 12 lakhs

Vitara Brezza 

The 2021 Maruti Suzuki Brezza is expected to keep the chunky box looks which have made it a popular choice in Indian markets.

The New Brezza will come soon in its petrol avatar and will be based on the Swift’s HEARTECT platform which is already used for the WagonR, Swift, Dzire, Ignis, Baleno, Ertiga and the newly launched XL6.

There is talk of a BS6 diesel engine on the way. So let's keep our fingers crossed for now.

Honda HRV

Rs 12 lakhs-Rs 16 lakhs

Honda HRV

The stunning Honda HR-V is built to stand out with its sleek crossover personality. Photograph: American Honda Motor Co.

After a buzz since 2018-2019, Honda is finally slated to launch the HR-V in India by late 2021.

A much needed mid-sized SUV from Honda, the HR-V will be positioned between the Honda WR-V the Honda CR-V.

MG Hector Facelift

Rs 13 lakhs-Rs 18.5 lakhs

MG Hector 2021

The new 2021 MG Hector can now understand voice commands in Hinglish too. Photograph: MG Motor India.

Another launch that happened in the first week of 2021 was the facelifted version of the Internet car, the MG Hector, from the Chinese owned British automotive brand Morris Garages.

The changes are not much to the newer version. But the ones that are, are the ones that were needed at the launch itself.

The biggest change is that the New MG Hector will get 18" alloy wheels.

Along with the MG Hector, the Hector Plus 6- and 7-seaters were also launched.

MG ZS Petrol

Rs 10 lakhs-Rs 16 lakhs

MG ZS Petrol

The ZS Petrol from Morris Garages. Photograph: Aston Martin.

Unveiled first at the 2020 Auto Expo in Noida, the facelifted MG ZS Petrol looked similar to the current EV with sharper features.

Internationally the MG ZS is available in two petrol engine options, a 1.3-litre turbocharged engine and a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated one. Bur in India, MG is most likely to keep only the 1.3-litre turbocharged engine that will produce 160PS of power and 230Nm of torque.  

New Mercedes GLA

Rs 38 lakhs-Rs 45 lakhs

Mercedes GLA

The new GLA will get be taller and wider than its predecessor. Photograph: Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz India is on a roll this year. The company has just announced it has lined up 15 launches this year.

The new GLSA, a compact SUV from Mercedes Benz, the second generation GLA, will have a more muscular look on the exterior, will offer more space than the current version and is expected to be packed with features, including Mercedes’s MBUX infotainment system.

The GLA which has true off-road genes according to the company, is expected to be offered in two engine options -- the 2.0 litre diesel as well as the 2.0 litre petrol.

A more powerful AMG 35 version which packs a powerful 302 hp engine under its hood too might be on the cards.

Audi Q5 Facelift

Rs 55 lakhs-Rs 65 lakhs

Audi Q5 2021

The Audi Q5, the most successful SUV from the carmaker, gets a new face. 

The Q5 SUV from Audi which was phased out after BS6 norms were introduced, is all set to come back in a fresh new look. The Q5 will now be more aggressive and sporty.

The front and the rear both get styling changes and the major change will be the tech features it will come with.

The engine option will be a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol mild-hybrid powertrain, which will give an output of 245 hp.  Check out the OLED lighting technology used in the Q5 here

Audi will also launch a New Q7 with a few minor tweaks this year, equipped with a 3-litre V6 petrol engine. 

Jaguar F-Pace update
Rs 68 lakhs-Rs 75 lakhs

WATCH: The new and the original, side by side. Video courtesy, Jaguar Land Rover Ltd.

The F-Pace, Jaguar's most practical performance SUV, was revealed with an update in mid-2020, but only in the international market.

Expect the F-Pace to get a 2-litre turbo petrol engine along with a 2-litre diesel engine. And a hybrid version as well.

Keeping our fingers crossed for seeing this wonderful machine on Indian roads soon.

The New Land Rover Discovery

Rs 78 lakhs-Rs 90 lakhs

SEE: The updated version of the ultimate family SUV from the British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover. Video courtesy, Jaguar Land Rover Ltd.

One of the most capable and versatile SUVs from JLR, now owned by our very own Tata Motors, will also be launched this year.

The new Discovery in its 5th generation was revealed at the end of 2020. It features a refreshed design from Land Rover's latest design language on which the new Defender 110 is also based.

Expect a highly updated 2021 version with petrol, diesel and hybrid variants in 2021.

Aston Martin DBX

Rs 4 crores

Aston Martin DBX

The stunning Aston Martin DBX will get a V8 Mercedes AMG sourced heart under its hood. Photograph: Aston Martin.

Talking about a luxurious 2021 for cars, here's one which will cost a whopping Rs 4 crore onwards!

This first SUV from Aston Martin was launched in India on January 16, allotting 11 units for sale in India for 2021. 

The DBX will come powered by a Mercedes AMG sourced 4 litre, twin turbo V8 engine which will give a power output of a whopping 550hp with 750NM of torque, that will take from 0-100 in 4.5 seconds. 

Along with the above vehicles, we will see the BMW 220i sport which is already introduced in India, and the BMW X3 and X4 Facelift will be in by the end of 2021.

A new variant of the Ford Ecosport with a turbo petrol engine sourced from Mahindra and Mahindra will make its debut.

A 7-seater Hyundai Creta with a new name, and the Renault Triber MPV in a turbo petrol avatar, will also be seen in 2021.

Another big news to come in is Tesla, which is readying its operations in India. Tesla has registered an office in Bengaluru, Karnataka, with the name Tesla Motors India & Energy Pvt Ltd,

But more on EVs in our next feature!

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