Most of us these days live lives where the struggle to steal a little adventure from our busy schedules is real. And for this precious personal time, we need a reliable and capable ally which can allow us to indulge in our experiences without worries. But at the same time, this ally must also be a practical companion which helps us navigate through everyday life.
In the aforementioned yarn, if it’s a vehicle which must be that ally, and mobility is a big part of your adventures, compact SUVs fit that bill to the T. It’s a body form which borrows some capabilities from full-size SUVs, yet, with their compact footprint, can tame the urban jungle with ease. Besides these likeable qualities, there are some major highlights which make Sub-4 metre SUVs best suited for a lifestyle which is full of everyday chores and the adventures in between. Here are a few:
Easy On The Pocket
Why don’t we see as many hatchbacks or sedans on our roads these days? The answer is simple. To the traditional, aforementioned body forms, sub-4 metre SUVs offer an equally-priced alternative which offers more capabilities in terms of usage. For the same money one might spend on a premium hatchback or a B-sedan, which are road-focused vehicles and are bolted accordingly, compact SUVs present themselves as a tougher, more spacious, feature-packed and competent choice.
Sub 4-metre SUVs aren’t dynamically lacking either when it comes to driving on the road. But when it’s time to turn off the tarmac and follow a trail which leads to a great picnic spot, getting there will be a stress-free experience and will require almost zero or very little effort, compared to a sedan or a hatchback which would have to tip-toe with care or stay parked under a tree, far away from your favourite spot.
Big Boot Space
While exploring the outdoors or even otherwise, who wouldn’t want more space in the boot of a vehicle whose footprint is similar to that of a hatchback? In the sub 4-metre SUV space, the Kia Sonet offers 392-litres of segment-leading luggage space which is far better than any other equally-priced hatchback. The best part is that this increased luggage carrying capacity doesn’t come at the expense of a missing spare wheel or poor space for the rear passengers.
High Ground Clearance
Anyone who’s driven in India knows how much ground clearance matters. Speed breakers which are like mountains, potholes deep enough to swallow an entire wheel, streets which turn into rivulets when it rains, and that huge rock lying in the middle of the road like it’s street ornament. These and many other hazards are easy to tackle when you know your vehicle can take all this in its stride and carry on. It helps the driver’s confidence in tricky conditions and most importantly, takes away a lot of stress.
Sub 4-metre SUVs are usually within kissing distance of the 200mm mark when it comes to ground clearance. Some like the Kia Sonet (205mm) breach that number and are ready to take on most challenges which the typical Indian road has to throw at them.
What’s an SUV which can’t take the rough in its stride. But here’s the thing. For reasons related to cost for the carmaker and running efficiency for the owner, sub 4-metre SUVs can’t really be fitted with components which transfer the engine’s power to all four wheels. The result? Most compact SUVs have to be front wheel driven and don’t really stay true to the SUV tag. However, the Kia Sonet has found an intelligent solution where its traction control system offers three modes – Snow, Mud and Sand. These can be selected by the driver according to the condition which the vehicle has to tackle. The system ensures that power is delivered according to the surface where the vehicle is being operated and optimum traction is achieved by the front two wheels.
For all the aforementioned strong points, most sub 4-metre SUV will in all probability be powered by engines which suit their characteristics. But since these are versatile vehicles which must be ready for most playgrounds and multiple games, the motor has to be carefully tuned to perform ideally in most conditions. With as many as three engine choices and multiple gearbox options on offer, in the sub 4-metre category, the Kia Sonet offer the most comprehensive choice when it comes to engine-gearbox options. In fact, it’s the only vehicle in its class to offer a torque converter automatic gearbox, paired with its punchy diesel engine.
Sub 4-metre SUVs are built for an adventurous life and if you really wish to live it, you will need an engine which generates oodles of torque to make your journeys effortless. Pair this with a proper automatic gearbox and you will only add refined convenience to that effortlessness. If petrol sails your boat, the Sonet also offers a turbo petrol engine which is paired with a quick-shifting, dual-clutch automatic gearbox.