Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) made it clear in its annual report of 2014-2015 that it will launch a compact SUV soon. The report also stated that the compact SUV will be launched after the S-Cross. Since S-Cross has already been launched, the auto industry is waiting for the arrival of the company's compact SUV.
Maruti's new offering in the compact SUV segment garnered attention when the manufacturer unveiled the XA Alpha concept at the Auto Expo 2012 in New Delhi. Maruti claimed the new SUV concept is for the younger generation in India as the car would be 4m in length and its wheelbase would be 2.5m.
However, there was no follow up for the compact SUV until the iV-4 SUV concept model previewed at the 65th Frankfurt Motor Show in 2013. Suzuki termed the new concept as a lifestyle compact SUV. The 'i' in the name stands for individuality, 'V' for vehicle, and '4' for 4 wheel-drive.
The compact SUV was caught testing in India with the codename YBA. YBA is expected to be designed in line with the iV-4 concept. The final product will look a lot like the new Suzuki Vitara, with the new compact SUV adopting a family design. Some reports also suggest that the compact SUV would be called Vitara Brezza. Although the iV-4 concept was not introduced as a sub-4m vehicle at Frankfurt, the production version will most probably scale less than 4m, inviting excise duty cut.
The compact SUV is expected to use monocoque construction. Like other four wheelers in the market, including the brand's iconic Gypsy, the compact SUV will feature five apex front grill. The new SUV will also use the popular Swift platform, which is known for space and comfort inside.
When launched, the compact SUV will be pitted against Ford EcoSport and the newly-launched Hyundai Creta. Maruti Suzuki is likely to load the SUV with features such as AC with climate control, power windows, electric door mirror, rear armrest, leather seats, foldable rear seats and steering mounting controls. As a lifestyle product, a sunroof will also be part of the vehicle.
The four-wheel drive system will be on offer and additionally, two airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) is also expected.
Under the hood, it is safe to assume the 1.3 litre diesel engine used in many Maruti Suzuki cars. The 1.2 litre K-Series engine will be the petrol counterpart if the manufacturer has plans to introduce petrol variants.
Going with the trend of pricing and considering the rivals, Maruti Suzuki is likely to price the compact SUV in the range of Rs 7 lakh - Rs 10 lakh. A competitive pricing is possible as the compact SUV will receive excise duty exemption in India for being a sub-4m vehicle.