According to recent reports, Toyota Kirloskar Motors is planning to launch a compact SUV in the Indian market to compete with the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos.
With subcompact and compact SUVs overshadowing all other car segments in India, it comes as no surprise that every car manufacturer wants to offer one offering in these segments as well. Toyota has previously ignored this segment but is now working towards launching one offering in each of these two segments. The Toyota Urban Cruiser has been confirmed for the sub-4-metre segment, expected to be launched towards the end of the year. Plenty of media reports also suggest that Toyota will also be introducing a new compact SUV (above 4-metres) to the Indian market.
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While details about the new C-SUV are still under wraps, there is plenty of speculation about what the new vehicle could be. Some reports suggest that Toyota might bring the C-HR and RAV4, two of the company’s international models, via CBU route. While it would certainly be interesting to see Toyota bring its best to India, it might be extremely counterintuitive as well. In a price-sensitive market like ours, passenger cars with high price tags tend to become niche products with limited sales volume. The C-HR was recently launched in China at an equivalent price of Rs. 24.22 lakh, which would make it a direct competitor to VW T-Roc and Skoda Karoq.
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What we could see enter our market could be the new Yaris Cross, which was supposed to be showcased at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, but the plan was shelved when the pandemic caused the show to be cancelled. The Yaris Cross is powered by a 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated, inline-3 petrol engine, which can generate 120 PS and 145 Nm. The same engine can also be paired with an electric battery/motor combo. This hybrid powerplant can generate 171 PS and 261 Nm. This could be the perfect choice to compete against Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Jeep Compass, Nissan Kicks, and Renault Duster.
Also, Toyota Corolla Cross was also spied during road testing in Thailand. Considering how close Indian cars are to their Thai counterparts, there is a good chance that the Corolla Cross might make its way to India as well. It will be slightly larger than the Yaris Cross though, being closer to Tata Harrier and MG Hector.