Check out the top five diesel-powered SUVs that have discontinued the use of their oil-burners, in favour of a petrol engine for the BS6 era.
With BSVI emission norms in effect, many carmakers in India found it difficult to continue making diesel-powered cars. The cost of upgrading a diesel engine from BSIV to BSVI compliance was considerably more expensive than a similar transition for petrol ones. Considering how price sensitive the Indian market is, many companies decided to drop diesel models from their line-up.
Here, we have a few SUVs that used to primarily be available with a diesel engine, but no longer are.
Maruti Vitara Brezza
Maruti Suzuki’s sub-4-metre SUV was the bestseller in its segment, and that too by a huge margin. With the popularity of diesel-powered SUVs was quite high during 2016, back when the Brezza was first introduced. Thus, Maruti decided to offer its tried-and-tested, Fiat-sourced, 1.3-litre ‘DDiS’ engine as the only engine option.
In 2019, we slowly saw the Indian consumers shying away from diesel passenger cars. Small car sales were now primarily dependent on petrol models. Maruti saw the declining demand and decided to switch to a petrol engine instead, with an additional smart-hybrid system for added fuel-efficiency.
Renault India had introduced the Duster back in 2012, when the diesel craze was at its peak. The market share for diesel-powered vehicles was nearly 50 per cent. It, therefore, made sense for the car to be launched with diesel models as the main focus, and petrol variants being offered as an alternative choice.
Now, though, things are different, and Renault is smart to adapt quickly to the market’s needs. There is a Mercedes-sourced, turbocharged, 1.3-litre petrol engine in the pipeline, which will serve as the top-spec version. Entry-level versions will continue to use the current, naturally aspirated, 1.5-litre petrol engine.
Nissan Kicks is based on the Renault Captur, which in turn shares aplenty with the Duster. As such, any change that happens to the Duster will eventually make its way to Kicks, right? Absolutely right! The Nissan Kicks has discontinued the older 1.5-litre diesel and currently only offers the 1.5-litre petrol engine. The 1.3 turbo-petrol will also make its way here, although the timeline for that is little unclear.
Volkswagen Tiguan/Tiguan AllSpace
Volkswagen has always enjoyed its niche in the Indian market. Its products have always been considered premium, and the brand usually attracts the people who aren’t looking for mass-market vehicles. The Tiguan was a brilliant example of the same. Launched in 2017, the car had a 2.0-litre diesel engine. Then the model was discontinued and replaced the Tiguan Allspace, which was a 7-seater version of the same SUV. The new version, however, ditched the 2.0-litre diesel for a 2.0-litre petrol.
The S-Cross is Maruti’s black sheep in its current line-up. The Creta-rival was never as popular as the brand had hoped. There were two diesel engines on offer when the car was first introduced in 2014- a 1.3-litre and a 1.6-litre. The latter was brilliantly powerful, but also expensive, so it was discontinued in 2017.
At the 2020 Auto Expo, Maruti unveiled the petrol-powered S-Cross, with news that the 1.3 diesel will end production soon. The 1.5-litre petrol engine is the same as on the new Brezza, and will be offered with an optional smart-hybrid system as well.