The name will now be used for a new compact SUV that’s looking to be a Hyundai Creta challenger
It is well-known that Maruti Suzuki’s newest compact SUV will be called the Grand Vitara and that it will break cover on July 20. To those that have followed Maruti’s long journey in India, the moniker would instantly remind them of an erstwhile premium SUV with the same name and that the nameplate has made a return after a nine-year-long hiatus.
The Grand Vitara’s First Innings
The Grand Vitara’s origins in India actually date all the way back to 2003, when the carmaker decided to have a crack in the premium mid-size SUV segment with the Grand Vitara XL7 which had a brawny V6 plonked in it. The name plate’s next iteration showed up in 2007, shedding the XL7 name as a completely built-up (CBU) unit like the XL7. Its last recorded price range started at Rs 23.71 lakh (ex-showroom) and the car was immediately recognisable as it boasted a sporty and tall-riding SUV stance and had an upright rear end.
The big talking point was under the skin, as the Grand Vitara was an SUV that adopted a monocoque body with built-in ladder-frame structure, powered by a 2.4-litre VVT petrol engine making over 160PS. Customers could choose either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed auto ‘box to send the engine’s power to all four wheels via a full-time four-wheel-drive (4WD) system.
Unfortunately, the SUV’s journey only lasted till 2013, as it was a pricey model being a CBU unit. That being said, it was quite a popular choice for rallies, with the SUV enjoying plenty of motorsport success at rallies around the globe.
This time, the Grand Vitara will be a twin of the recently revealed Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder. While it’ll have a different exterior look, the cabin looks set to be similar to the Hyryder, premium and loaded with features, which you can check out here.
Another big difference between the erstwhile Grand Vitara and the newer version will be under the hood. The upcoming car will have a fully monocoque body, powered by the Hyryder’s 1.5-litre engines with mild-hybrid and strong-hybrid options. The mild-hybrid engine will get an optional all-wheel-drive system as a first-in-segment feature.
Here are the detailed specifications:
|Parameters||1.5-litre Mild-hybrid||1.5-litre Strong-hybrid|
|Transmission Options||5-speed MT / 6-speed AT||e-CVT|
|Drivetrain||FWD / AWD||FWD|
Crucially, unlike the previous SUV which was a CBU import, this one will be produced alongside the Urban Cruiser Hyryder at Toyota’s plant in Bidadi, Karnataka. Over 90 per cent localisation of parts should help Maruti keep costs under control.
Speaking of costs, the 2022 Maruti Grand Vitara’s prices will likely start from the Rs 9.5 lakh (ex-showroom) mark, with bookings open for a token amount of Rs 11,000. It is set to take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq, VW Taigun, MG Astor, and of course, the upcoming Toyota Hyryder.