The compact mid-size SUV segment is where all the action is in the Indian market. The competition among rivals of this segment has been ‘neck and neck’ and there are plenty of reasons why it has managed to attract so many consumers. Since all of them offer great features and almost everything desired from an SUV, the race is now on to offer an extra row of seating and almost every player in this segment is about to become bigger.
Tata Harrier (Gravitas)
Tata had been developing a three-row version of the Harrier for quite some time now and was first revealed as the ‘Buzzard’ at the Geneva Autoshow in 2019. It was officially revealed at the AutoExpo at Greater Noida in February 2020 as the ‘Gravitas’. It is basically a 7-seater version of the Tata Harrier and has been built on the same OMEGA ARC platform as the Harrier. The Gravitas SUV employs Tata Motors’ new Impact Design 2.0 philosophy similar to the Harrier.
While the front section of the profile is identical to the Harrier, the rear section comes with a proper D-pillar with a black extension and a larger quarter glass. In terms of dimensions, the Tata Gravitas is similar to the Buzzard concept, which measures 4661 mm in length, 1894 mm in width, and 1786 mm in height. Compared to the Harrier, the Gravitas will be 63 mm longer, and 80 mm taller, although the wheelbase will remain the same 2741 mm.
In terms of mechanicals, the upcoming Tata Gravitas will be powered by the same Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that powers the Harrier. It is expected to generate the same output as in the BS6 Harrier, which is 170 PS of maximum power and 350 Nm of peak torque. Like the Harrier, transmission duties on the Gravitas will be handled by a 6-speed manual gearbox and a 6-speed automatic option as well.
MG Hector Plus
MG Motors’ entry into the Indian market has been quite successful , thanks to its first product, the Hector. The SUV has gained immense popularity due to its extensive feature list, incredible amount of space and aggressive pricing. Now, the Chinese owned British car maker wants to use this popularity and success and use the Hector’s 2750 mm wheelbase to spawn a three-row version of the SUV.
The Hector Plus will be offered in both 6 and 7-seater cabin layout, with the former featuring captain seats in the second row. The 6-seater version of the SUV was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020 and the company said that the 7-seater version will be shown only at the time of launch. MG Motor India will launch the Hector Plus in the second half of 2020. Despite two additional seats squeezed in the last row, the wheelbase of the MG Hector Plus remains similar to the existing model.
In terms of powertrains, the Hector Plus comes with the same Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre diesel and 1.5-litre mild-hybrid motors from the Hector mated to a six-speed manual gearbox while DCT could be given as an option on the 1.5-litre mild-hybrid engine. The Hector Plus is slated to be launched later this year.
Jeep Compass 7-seater
The Jeep Compass has been quite a popular product even though it is pricier than the rest of the lot in this segment. This is because of its classy looks and excellent rideability. With the added AWD system, the package becomes a whole lot more worth of money. In the international market, there is also a seven-seat version of the SUV named as the Jeep Grand Compass and now the makers are planning to launch it somewhere around 2021.
The regular Compass measures 4.41 metre in overall length and has a wheelbase of 2.63 metre. The upcoming model, however, will be slightly longer due to stretched dimensions. The wheelbase will likely be increased to 2.80 metre, which will lead to creation of enough room for the third row.
The engine of this vehicle will be the same as the regular jeep compass. This means that the petrol will have the 1.4L Turbo petrol engine and the diesel will make use of the 2.0L MultiJet II diesel engine. Both these engines are BS6 compliant now. The petrol engine is expected to make a power of 180 bhp and 250 Nm of torque whereas the diesel engine will churn out similar numbers at 170 bhp of power and 350 NM of torque. The SUV will get a 6-speed manual gearbox and the automatic will be a 9 speed CVT transmission.
2020 Hyundai Creta
The all-new Hyundai Creta was launched in March and has already crossed over 7,000 bookings. The Hyundai Creta had been the leader in the mid-size SUV segment until the Seltos was launched last year. Now cashing on this popularity, Hyundai is planning to launch a seven-seater version of one India’s most beloved SUVs.
A first spy shot that surfaced recently confirmed that the model will get minor styling tweaks. The 7-seat Creta will share quite a few body panels with its 5-seat sibling. However, there are multiple structural differences as well, with the major one being the 7-seat version getting a completely new tailgate design, as seen in this spy picture. For the 7-seat Creta, Hyundai seems to have ditched the outlandish rear styling of the 5-seat version for a more conventional-looking design, replete with two much simpler-looking and large tail lamps that extend into the tailgate, making the SUV look wider than it actually is.
While the engine details are yet unknown, one can expect the seven-seater version to come powered with the same petrol (1.4-litre turbocharged and 1.5-litre naturally aspirated) and 1.5-litre diesel powertrain options as the 5-seat version in India. Although the international version is likely to be powered by a 1.6-litre turbo petrol or a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that is also offered on the Kia Seltos overseas.
Now there has been no such report as to whether Kia is planning to develop a 7-seater version of their most popular product in India. But since Hyundai has confirmed that they are developing a seven-seater Creta, that might contemplate Kia to develop the 7-seat version of the Seltos since both the cars are underpinned by the same platform. The powertrains shall be shared with the one on the full-sized Creta.