SUVs You Can Expect To See At The Auto Expo 2023
Continuing the trend of high-riding SUVs, we’re expecting manufacturers to showcase a good number of them at the Auto Expo 2023. Here are 16 SUVs we expect to see at the 2023 Auto Expo.
1. Maruti Suzuki Electric SUV Concept
Maruti Suzuki have a tradition of showcasing a concept at every auto expo. In 2018, we had the Concept FutureS, which later became the S-Presso. At the last auto show, we had the Futuro-E electric coupe SUV concept.
Keeping up with the electric and SUV trend, this time, we can expect another electric car concept but one that’s much closer to production than what we saw at the 2018 and 2020 Auto Expo. EV adoption is seeing new heights and if we still get an early stage concept, then it’ll convey that Maruti Suzuki are too far behind in the EV race. But a late stage concept or a pre-production model could add a good dose of excitement to the fair.
The biggest feature of the Maruti Suzuki electric car concept is likely to be its design. This is one area where Maruti Suzuki have a good grip. The Baleno, Swift, new Brezza and the Grand Vitara all have a strong stance and road presence in their respective segments.
While it may not have any big talking points, we can expect Maruti Suzuki to get the basics spot on. So, the range, battery capacity and efficiency details are likely to hit the bull’s eye and satisfy the needs of most EV buyers.
If the Futuro-E is a hint, then this electric SUV concept is likely to compete in the C-segment SUV space. We expect to see a Maruti Suzuki electric SUV on sale in 2024. In terms of pricing, we can once again count on Maruti Suzuki to make a value proposition without diluting the brand.
2. Maruti Nexa Baleno-Based Crossover
We’ve seen the Maruti Suzuki’s Baleno-based crossover multiple times on public roads as well as in online spy shots. The test car is wearing a heavy camouflage but it’s not thick enough to hide its resemblance with the Baleno. A slightly higher bonnet along with a taller roofline conveys Maruti Suzuki’s intentions of making an SUV based on the Baleno’s platform.
We expect it to share its powertrains with the Baleno and therefore, it can enter production much sooner. We can expect Maruti Suzuki to finally showcase the crossover’s design without any camouflage at the expo.
In terms of features, this B2-segment crossover is likely to offer some notable features like:
- Front and rear armrests
- Cruise control
- Head-up display
- 360-degree camera
- 6 airbags
The new-generation Brezza has become a bit expensive. This creates some room for Maruti Suzuki to offer one more SUV/crossover to compete with the more affordable Nissan Magnite normal petrol, Renault Kiger normal petrol, Citroen C3, Tata Punch and Tata Tiago NRG.
The new Maruti SUV could go on sale sometime in the first half of 2023. It’ll naturally cost a bit more than the Baleno for offering a better ground clearance and a couple of extra features. It could cost between Rs. 7.0 and Rs. 11.0 lakh (ex-showroom).
3. Maruti Innova Hycross-Based SUV Concept
About a year ago, a plan sheet from Maruti Suzuki leaked online suggesting that Maruti had plans of launching a 3-row SUV to compete with D-segment SUVs. Maruti Suzuki have also established previously that their intention is to move up the food chain and start entering premium segments by offering more expensive vehicles. Pricing the new-generation Brezza a fair bit higher than before, then entering the C-segment SUV space with the Grand Vitara are indications that Maruti Suzuki are indeed walking the talk. A 7-seat SUV seems like the natural step forward.
Now that Toyota have revealed the Hycross, we expect Maruti Suzuki to offer their version of the Hycross. The Hycross has the style, silhouette and the road presence of an SUV. With no Innova in its name, Maruti Suzuki are better positioned to establish their version of the Hycross as an SUV from the start. We can also safely assume that it’ll borrow the same 2.0L normal petrol and 2.0L hybrid petrol engines from the Innova Hycross.
The Maruti Suzuki’s 3-row SUV will compete with D-segment 3-row cars like the Toyota Hycross, Mahindra Scorpio N, XUV700, Mahindra Marazzo, Kia Carens, MG Hector Plus and Tata Safari. We expect it to go on sale a month or two before the festive 2023 season and cost between Rs. 18.0 and Rs. 30.0 lakh (ex-showroom).
4. Hyundai Creta Facelift
Hyundai unveiled the Creta facelift for the global market earlier in 2022 and it’s set to hit our shores soon. We expect Hyundai to showcase the Creta facelift at the 2023 Auto Expo and launch it by mid 2023.
The Creta facelift is already on sale in Thailand and the same model is likely to go on sale in India. The updated Creta facelift comes with a Tucson-inspired front end with a large trapezoidal grille with integrated LED DRLs. A few notable features of the Creta facelift could be a digital instrument cluster, 360-degree parking camera, adaptive cruise control and ADAS features. The Creta facelift is likely to continue with the same set of powertrain options as the current model. It’ll compete with C-segment SUVs like the Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, MG Astor, Kia Seltos, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder.
5. Hyundai Nios-based SUV
Recently, the spy shots of the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios-based crossover SUV emerged out of South Korea wearing heavy camouflage. However, the silhouette of the B1-segment SUV suggests it could be a size bigger than the Hyundai Casper. The upcoming small SUV from Hyundai is likely to sit below the Venue and rival the Tata Punch, Maruti’s upcoming Baleno-based crossover, Renault Kiger normal petrol, Nissan Magnite normal petrol and the Citroen C3. In terms of design, the small SUV from Hyundai is likely to offer features like:
- Split LED headlights
- Machined alloy wheels
- Squared-off wheel arches
- Shark fin antenna
We expect Hyundai to showcase the Grand i10 Nios-based small SUV at the 2023 Auto Expo either in the form of a concept or a pre-production model. Hyundai India are likely to launch the B1-segment SUV by the 2023 festive season.
6. Tata Curvv
Tata revealed the Curvv electric SUV concept earlier this year and we are very confident that they will also showcase it to the public at the 2023 Auto Expo. The Curvv EV borrows heavily from the Nexon and looks like a bigger version of the Nexon with a coupe roofline. If the production version retains its sloping roofline, then it’ll become the most affordable coupe SUV in India, electric or otherwise.
The Curvv EV will compete with other C-segment electric SUVs like the Mahindra XUV400, Hyundai Kona EV, MG ZS EV and BYD Atto3.
The list of features, specifications and launch timeline are unclear at the moment. We’ll have to first see how ambitious the vehicle’s other details are before we can estimate a launch timeline.
7. Kia Sonet Facelift
The Sonet went on sale in 2020, about a year after the Venue, which recently got its mid-life update. So, it’s natural to expect the Sonet to also get its mild refresh in 2023. This makes it a good candidate for making a presence at the 2023 Auto Expo.
If Kia are done refining the 1.5L diesel with the auto-clutch manual transmission, then we can expect the Sonet facelift to get this powertrain option. It can eliminate the need for a diesel-automatic to a great extent. Other than that, we only expect small improvements in features and design. With the update, the Sonet may also get a minor price hike of about Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 25,000. We expect the 2023 Sonet facelift to go on sale sometime in the first half of 2023.
The Sonet will continue to rival other B2-segment SUVs like the Hyundai Venue, Maruti Suzuki Brezza, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300, Nissan Magnite turbo and Renault Kiger turbo. Because of the price overlap, the normal petrol variants of the Kia Sonet also face competition from cars like the Citroen C3, Tata Punch, Magnite normal petrol and Renault Kiger normal petrol.
8. Maruti Nexa Jimny
Maruti Suzuki showcased the 3-door version of the Jimny at the 2020 Auto Expo. It attracted respectable attention at the fair. When I visited the expo during public days, I saw several visitors asking Maruti representatives if it came with 2 extra doors for rear passengers. This interest for a 5-door Jimny among the visitors sparked the idea that it could work in India.
We’ve seen the 5-door Jimny testing on public roads in India and we are very confident of seeing it in person at the 2023 Auto Expo.
The most notable feature of the Jimny is the combination of its cute looks and its off-road capabilities. The Jimny in the 3-door format has gained massive popularity among extreme off-roaders. We expect the 5-door version to retain most of its capabilities and add a dose of everyday practicality. The Thar is currently only available with a 3-door layout, which limits its reach to buyers who have another vehicle for daily duties. However, it’s also likely to get a 5-door version in 2023.
When the Jimny goes on sale, we expect it to offer the 1.5L mild hybrid petrol engine with a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. The 4-wheel drivetrain could come with both the transmission options.
The Jimny has only 2 main rivals — Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha. None of these vehicles offer a petrol engine with a reasonable fuel efficiency figure. This is likely to become another strong point in favour of the Jimny. It could cost Rs. 12.50 - Rs. 15.50 lakh (ex-showroom) if it goes on sale in India.
9. Toyota BZ4X Electric SUV
Toyota have confirmed that they will showcase the BZ4X electric SUV at the 2023 Auto Expo. While they didn’t explicitly specify the name, they mentioned in the official statement that we’ll get to see an electric vehicle at their stall. Currently, the BZ4X is the only EV they have in their international portfolio.
The most notable feature of the BZ4X is its dedicated EV platform called the e-TNGA. Toyota developed the e-TNGA platform in collaboration with Subaru. Toyota claim the e-TNGA is capable of delivering impressive performance along with off-road capabilities.
Here are the most notable features of the Toyota BZ4X:
- Auto LED headlights
- Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)
- Electronic release for tailgate with gesture recognition
- 12.3-inch infotainment system
- 20-inch alloy wheels
The Toyota BZ4X EV comes with a 71.4kWh battery pack and a choice of either a single motor or twin electric motors. The BZ4X twin motor offers a claimed range of up to 460km on a single charge.
The Toyota BZ4X is a D1-segment SUV and it goes up against the likes of the Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq iV. If Toyota launch the BZ4X in India, it will go up against the Volvo XC40 Recharge, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.
Toyota are unlikely to launch the BZ4X in India anytime soon. However, the Japanese carmaker will bring their global range of electric, hydrogen and plug-in-hybrid vehicles to the fair to showcase their wide-ranging expertise in various technologies to the Indian audience.
10. Tata Safari Facelift
While the Harrier went on sale before the Safari, the Safari test cars with mild changes and a camouflage suggests that Tata are looking to give the Safari a midlife makeover before the Harrier. Usually the car that came first gets first priority but in this case, switching places will help Tata Motors, Harrier and Safari.
If the Safari gets the facelift first, then anyone interested in the new design will have to spend a little more for the bigger car, bringing in more revenue. Once the design details spill over to the Harrier, they will once again invigorate interest in Harrier buyers. A win-win in our books.
Besides some design changes, we can expect advanced driver assistance (ADAS) features as the XUV700 and Innova Hycross also offer these features in the D-segment. An update to the 3-row D-segment SUV will also help the Safari maintain consistent sales numbers. We expect the Safari facelift to go on sale sometime by mid 2023 and get a small price hike.
11. Hyundai Ioniq 5
Our sources confirm that Hyundai will launch the Ioniq 5 at the 2023 Auto Expo. The bookings for the electric crossover opened on December 20, 2022. The India-spec Ioniq 5 will come with a 72.6kWh battery pack, offering a range of 631km on a single charge. The car will have a power and torque output of 217PS and 350Nm, respectively.
The Ioniq 5 comes with a unique design and it shares its e-GMP platform with the Kia EV6. A few notable features of the Ioniq 5 include:
- 20-inch alloy wheels
- Fixed glass roof
- Connected screens
- Magnetic surface dashboard
It’s unclear if Hyundai will locally assemble the Ioniq 5 or import it directly. Based on those decisions, we can expect it to cost between Rs. 45.0 lakh to Rs. 50.0 lakh ex-showroom, thus undercutting the Kia EV6 by about Rs. 10.0 to Rs. 20.0 lakh.
12. Toyota Taisor
Toyota recently removed the Urban Cruiser from their India website and it looks like a rebadged Brezza is not likely to replace the older Urban Cruiser. If this rebadging were to happen, it would’ve happened by now because the interval between Toyota and Maruti showcasing their respective cars has so far remained short. The launch timeline for the Baleno and Glanza and the Grand Vitara and Hyryder confirms this hypothesis.
Now that we are fairly confident that Maruti Suzuki aren’t sharing their Brezza with Toyota, we have to assume that the Taisor is a completely different vehicle to somewhat fill the Urban Cruiser’s space. And we believe that the Baleno-based crossover could become the sub-4m crossover to take on the Taisor name and fill that gap. Since Maruti Suzuki are already sharing their Baleno platform and powertrain with Toyota, we can expect the two carmakers to also share the Baleno-based crossover.
The Toyota Taisor will serve as an alternative to buyers interested in the Glanza or the now-discontinued Urban Cruiser with a price point somewhere in between the two. With this car, Toyota could compete with the more affordable B2-segment and B1-segment SUVs/crossovers like the Tata Punch, Tiago NRG, Renault Kiger normal petrol, Nissan Magnite normal petrol and possibly the upcoming Nios-based SUV from Hyundai.
We expect the Toyota Taisor to share its powertrains with the Glanza and go on sale sometime in the first half of 2023.
13. MG Hector Facelift
MG will reveal the Hector facelift ahead of the Auto Expo and also showcase it at the fair for the general visitors. They may also hold the prices of the car for the big event. The Hector went on sale several months before the Hector Plus. Hence, we expect the Hector to receive the mid-life update before its 3-row sibling.
The 2023 version of the MG Hector will get a 14-inch portrait-oriented centre display, which is the biggest in the segment and price range. On the feature front, we can also expect the MG Hector to offer ADAS features, which the Astor offered from day 1 despite being a smaller car. Besides these, it’ll get the usual design changes for exterior as well as interior.
It currently starts at Rs. 14.42 lakh (ex-showroom). With the update, we expect it to get a price revision but the prices of the lower variants will only get a small bump. The higher variants could see a much higher price increase because of the addition of ADAS.
Being a D-segment SUV with 2-row seating, the Hector will continue to go up against the Mahindra XUV700 5-seat and Tata Harrier. Because of the price overlap, it will also compete with the higher variants of C-segment SUVs like the Creta, Seltos, Grand Vitara, Hyryder and some 3-row cars like Alcazar, Carens, Innova Hycross, XUV700 7-seat and Scorpio N.
14. Tata Punch EV
At the 2022 Auto Expo, Tata demonstrated their interest in making the Altroz EV. Since the Punch also shares its platform with the Altroz and is a more popular car than the Altroz, we can expect Tata to give it a higher priority in EV development. We believe that Tata would want to cash in on the fandom and launch the Punch EV before the Altroz EV. If they indeed choose this path, then the Punch EV could grab a spot at Tata’s Auto Expo 2023 stall.
We expect it to get a 28kWh battery pack for a range of a shade over 300km. In terms of pricing, it could cost between Rs. 13.0 lakh and Rs. 15.0 lakh (ex-showroom).
15. Toyota Innova Hycross
Toyota recently launched the Innova Hycross and it has big shoes to fill without a ladder frame chassis and a diesel engine. It’ll have to prove that it deserves to wear the Innova badge and to help it out, we can expect Toyota to do everything they can, including presenting it to the public at the Auto Expo 2023.
The biggest feature of the Innova Hycross is its hybrid powertrain, which promises 21.1kmpl, which is unheard of from a 3-row D-segment petrol car.
It also has features like:
- Captain chairs in the 2nd row with power reclining and folding ottoman
- Power driver seat with memory and welcome function
- ADAS features
- 2nd and 3rd row AC vents
- Front and rear parking sensors
- 360-degree camera
- 2-zone auto AC
- JBL sound system with 8 speakers and 1 subwoofer
- Ventilated front seats
- Panoramic sunroof
According to the spec sheet, both engines of the Hycross offer about the same power and torque output. However, the hybrid engine’s electric motor has much better drivability, especially in city traffic.
The Hycross competes with D-segment 3-row cars like the Mahindra XUV700 7-seat, Scorpio N, Marazzo, Hyuncai Alcazar, MG Hector Plus, Kia Carens, Carnival and Tata Safari. The Innova Hycross costs between Rs. 18.30 lakh and Rs. 28.97 lakh (ex-showroom).
16. MG EHS Plug-In Electric SUV
MG recently confirmed that they will showcase their EHS plug-in hybrid electric vehicle at the Auto Expo 2023. The most notable feature of the MG EHS is its plug-in hybrid powertrain. It gets a 1.5L turbo petrol engine along with a 16.6kWh battery pack to drive the electric motor. On the electric drivetrain alone, it can cover 52km. However, considering our lenient ARAI test cycle, we can expect a claimed range around 100km from the EHS.
Some of the most notable features of the EHS SUV are:
- LED headlights
- 360-degree parking camera
- Digital instrument cluster
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- 2-zone climate control
- Rear AC vents
MG EHS is a D1-segment SUV and it rivals the likes of the Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson, Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan in various global markets. Currently in India, no SUV in the segment offers a plug-in-hybrid powertrain option.
MG are not likely to launch the EHS in India anytime soon. MG already offer the ZS EV fully-electric SUV and it will soon drive their electrification efforts with the Air EV hatchback. Instead, the EHS will showcase MG’s plug-in hybrid powertrain to the Indian masses.
MG Motor India could consider new plug-in-hybrid models in the future if the EHS receives a positive response from visitors at the auto show.