The front view of a white Toyota Harrier SUV inside a showroom

The Rise of SUVs in India: What’s Driving the Trend?

Have you noticed that more and more people are opting for SUVs in India? Whether it is compact SUVs like Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos or full-size SUVs like Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour, SUVs are dominating the Indian roads. But what is behind this trend? Why are Indians choosing SUVs over sedans and hatchbacks? In this blog, our team at CarzSpa Detailing Studios will try to answer these questions and also give you some tips on how to take care of your SUV with car detailing services.

Table of Contents

The Appeal of SUVs

SUVs or sport utility vehicles, are vehicles that combine the features of a passenger car and an off-road vehicle. They are typically larger, taller and more spacious than other types of cars and offer better performance, comfort and safety. SUVs also have a distinct style and personality that appeal to many consumers.

A white coloured SUV parked on a dusty trail
There’s a different charm for the SUVs in India

Some of the reasons why people prefer SUVs are:

Space

SUVs offer more room for passengers and cargo, making them ideal for families, travellers and adventure seekers. SUVs can also accommodate more accessories and equipment, such as roof racks, bike carriers and camping gear.

Performance

SUVs are designed to handle different terrains and weather conditions, such as rough roads, hills, mud, snow and rain. They have higher ground clearance, better suspension and more powerful engines than other cars, giving them an edge in terms of speed, stability and durability.

Comfort

SUVs provide a smooth and comfortable ride, thanks to their spacious interiors, ergonomic seats and advanced features. SUVs also offer better visibility and ventilation, as well as more entertainment and convenience options, such as infotainment systems, sunroofs and climate control.

Safety

SUVs are built to withstand impacts and collisions, thanks to their sturdy frames, airbags and anti-lock braking systems. SUVs also have more safety features, such as rear-view cameras, parking sensors and blind-spot monitors, that help prevent accidents and injuries.

Style

SUVs have a unique and attractive appearance that reflects the personality and lifestyle of the owner. SUVs come in various shapes, sizes, colours and models, giving consumers a wide range of choices to suit their preferences and needs.

The Factors Driving the SUV Demand

The popularity of SUVs in India is not a coincidence, but a result of various factors that influence consumer behaviour and the market dynamics. Some of these factors are:

Economic Growth

India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with a GDP growth rate of 8.3% in 2021. This has led to an increase in the disposable income and purchasing power of the middle class, who can now afford to buy more expensive and luxurious cars, such as SUVs.

Infrastructure Development

India is also investing heavily in improving its infrastructure, such as roads, highways, bridges and tunnels. This has improved the connectivity and accessibility of different regions and cities, making it easier and safer for people to travel by car. This has also increased the demand for cars that can handle different road conditions, such as SUVs.

Lifestyle Changes

India is undergoing a social and cultural transformation, as more people are adopting a modern and urban lifestyle. This has changed the preferences and expectations of consumers, who are looking for cars that can match their aspirations and values. SUVs are seen as a symbol of status, success and adventure and hence, more desirable than other cars.

Market Competition

India is one of the largest and most competitive car markets in the world, with more than 40 car manufacturers and over 300 car models. This has created fierce competition among car makers, who are constantly innovating and launching new and improved SUV models to attract and retain customers. This has increased the supply and variety of SUVs in the market, making them more affordable and accessible to consumers.

A young man sitting on the bonnet of a white coloured SUV
Car lovers are willing to spend good money to ensure the SUV looks brand new every day

DID YOU KNOW?

SUVs are breaking sales records in India. In September 2023, more than half of the passenger vehicles sold were SUVs, a 20% increase from last year. SUVs also made up almost half of the total vehicle sales in the first half of this fiscal year.

The Challenges of Owning an SUV

While SUVs have many advantages, they also come with some challenges and drawbacks that the owners need to be aware of and prepared for. Some of these challenges are:

Fuel Consumption

SUVs consume more fuel than other cars, due to their larger size, heavier weight and higher power. This means that the owners need to spend more money on fuel and also contribute more to environmental pollution and carbon emissions.

Maintenance Cost

SUVs have complex and sophisticated systems and components that need more maintenance and care than other cars. This means that the owners have to shell out more money for servicing, repairs and replacements, and also look for trustworthy and skilled mechanics and service centres. Moreover, SUVs also need paint protection with PPFs or ceramic coatings to prevent scratches, fading, and corrosion.

Parking Space

SUVs occupy more space than other cars, making it difficult to find and fit into parking spots, especially in crowded and congested areas. This means that the owners need to spend more time and effort on finding and manoeuvring their SUVs into suitable parking spaces and also pay more for parking fees and fines.

Driving Skills

SUVs are more challenging to drive than other cars, due to their larger dimensions, higher centre of gravity and lower manoeuvrability. This means that the owners need to have more driving skills and experience and also be more careful and attentive on the road, to avoid accidents and damage.

How to Maintain Your SUV?

SUVs are great vehicles that offer many benefits, such as space, performance, comfort, safety and style. However, they also require more maintenance and care than other cars, due to their complex and sophisticated systems and components. Here are some tips on how to maintain your SUV and keep it in top condition:

Paint Protection Film

One of the best ways to protect your SUV’s paint from scratches, stains and fading is to apply a paint protection film (PPF) to your SUV. PPF is a thin and transparent film that covers the exterior of your SUV and acts as a shield against various external factors, such as dust, dirt, mud, rain, sun and spills.

Car Detailing

Another way to maintain your SUV’s appearance and performance is to get it detailed by a professional car detailer. Car detailing is the process of cleaning, restoring and enhancing your SUV, using various techniques and products, such as washing, waxing, polishing, buffing, vacuuming, shampooing, deodorising and sanitising. Car detailing can remove the imperfections and flaws that can affect your SUV, such as swirl marks, oxidation, dullness and corrosion and restore and improve its shine, colour and texture.

Intensive Interior Cleaning

Your SUV’s interior also needs regular and thorough cleaning, as it can accumulate dust, dirt, crumbs, spills and odours over time. You can use a vacuum cleaner, a steam cleaner, a shampooer and a deodoriser to clean and sanitise your SUV’s seats, carpets, mats, dashboard, console and windows. Intensive interior cleaning can make your SUV’s interior more comfortable, fresh and hygienic.

Regular Servicing and Maintenance

Lastly, your SUV’s mechanical and electrical systems and components also need regular servicing and maintenance, as they can wear out and malfunction over time. You should check and change the oil, coolant, brake fluid and other fluids regularly, check and replace the air filter, oil filter, fuel filter and other filters regularly, check and inflate the tyres and rotate and align them periodically, check and clean the battery, spark plugs and other electrical components regularly and check and adjust the brakes, suspension, steering and other mechanical components regularly. Regular servicing and maintenance can extend the lifespan and efficiency of your SUV and prevent and resolve the issues and problems that can affect it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about SUVs in India and their answers:

1. Which is the best SUV in India?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as different SUVs have different features, specifications and prices and the best SUV for one person may not be the best for another. However, some of the most popular and highly rated SUVs in India are the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, MG Hector, Tata Harrier, Mahindra Thar, Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and Mercedes-Benz GLE.

2. Is it worth buying an SUV in India?
The answer to this question depends on various factors, such as the budget, preference and purpose of the buyer. SUVs are generally more expensive to own and operate than other cars, but they also offer more benefits and advantages, such as space, performance, comfort, safety and style. Therefore, buying an SUV in India can be worth it, if the buyer can afford it and appreciate it.

3. How to take care of an SUV in India?
To keep your SUV in good condition, you need to perform regular and proper maintenance and care. This includes changing the fluids, replacing the filters, inflating and rotating the tyres, cleaning the battery and spark plugs, adjusting the brakes, suspension and steering and washing and waxing the exterior.

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Deepam Sama

Deepam Sama

Deepam Sama is the Vice President of Business Strategy and Development at CarzSpa Detailing Studios, a leading car care company in India. He is a second-generation entrepreneur who has a passion for scaling up businesses and creating innovative marketing strategies. Deepam holds an MBA in Marketing from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune and a BBA from the Institute of Management, Nirma University. He previously worked in the Sales Strategy team at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, where he gained experience in developing and executing growth plans.

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