CNG version could further boost sales of Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara that has already raced to third spot in the list of bestselling compact SUVs
For long, the compact SUV segment has been dominated by Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. Other compact SUVs like Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun and MG Astor register consistent sales, but are nowhere close to that of Creta and Seltos.
Maruti Grand Vitara seems a more capable rival, as it has already garnered market share of more than 20%. In October, Grand Vitara was placed at third place with sales of 8,052 units. If this momentum can be maintained, Grand Vitara could well be looking at dislodging Seltos and even Creta from their dominant position.
Maruti Grand Vitara CNG
Grand Vitara can become the first Maruti SUV to get CNG option. Brezza CNG is also expected soon, but it is likely to be launched after Grand Vitara CNG. Vitara CNG will follow Toyota Hyryder CNG, which has already been unveiled along with Glanza CNG. Grand Vitara CNG could be launched after Toyota reveals prices for Hyryder CNG.
While Toyota Hyryder CNG is being offered with only mid-spec S and G trims, Grand Vitara could have a broader range of CNG variants. For example, CNG option could be made available with base-spec trim of Grand Vitara. This variant is equipped with a mild-hybrid powertrain and is available at a starting price of Rs 10.45 lakh. The CNG variant is expected to be around Rs 75k to Rs 95k costlier.
Grand Vitara CNG will be powered by the 1.5-litre K15C, four-cylinder motor. This is the same, as used with Ertiga CNG and XL6 CNG. Performance numbers are expected to be same as XL6 CNG that makes 88 hp and 121.5 Nm. Fuel efficiency will be close to Toyota Hyryder CNG that offers 26.10 km/kg. This is higher than the mild-hybrid petrol motor and slightly lower than 27.97 kmpl of strong hybrid variant. CNG variants of both Hyryder and Grand Vitara will be offered with 5-speed manual transmission.
At the time of launch, Grand Vitara CNG will have only its sibling Hyryder CNG as the rival. Other SUVs in compact SUV segment are unlikely to get CNG option anytime soon. If Grand Vitara CNG and Hyryder CNG can register strong sales, it could prompt other carmakers to launch CNG variants for their respective compact SUVs.
CNG version to boost sales
Taken together, Grand Vitara and Toyota Hyryder sales have already raced past Seltos, while trailing Creta by a small margin. With CNG option expected to be launched soon for both Grand Vitara and Hyryder, it could work as the final push to reach the top spot in compact SUV segment.
Surprisingly, October sales numbers indicate that entry of Grand Vitara and Hyryder hasn’t impacted Creta in any way. On the contrary, Creta YoY sales have improved by an impressive 84.04%. Grand Vitara and Hyryder appear to have impacted other SUVs such as Seltos, Taigun and Kushaq, which have registered negative YoY growth in October.