Car Buying Guide: Best SUV in India Under 15 lakhs


Indians love SUVs. That’s one statement you can’t possibly disagree with and it is not hard to see why. The sheer practicality offered by SUVs is hard to match. With time these vehicles have caught up with sedans in terms of refinement, comfort and features offered. Traditionally meant for off-roading, SUVs today rarely get any off road action and are confined to pothole-ridden city roads. This means that customers now expect sedan like levels of comfort, refinement and features which, to a great extent, manufacturers have managed to do. If you’ve got around 10-15 lakhs to spend on an SUV then making a choice might not be that easy since there are quite a few options to choose from. Have a look at our list here to find out the best SUV in India under 15 lakhs!

best suv in india under 15 lakhs price, specs, images creta, safari, scorpio, duster, xuv500

Also See – Best Diesel Sedans in India | Upcoming SUVs Under 15 lakhs

Renault Duster – Best SUV in India Under 15 lakhs

The Renault Duster is not the biggest SUV in this list, nor is it based on a rugged ladder frame chassis; it did not even come with an all-wheel drive option initially. But keeping in mind all that is expected of it, it is easily one of the best SUV in India under 15 lakhs. Renault launched the facelifted version recently, which comes with a whole host of improvements. The styling is smart with chunky and muscular wheel arches giving it enough SUV appeal. There’s ample space for five people inside, the interiors are well appointed and the engines offered do the job very well. The ride & handling is fantastic and arguably the best amongst its rivals. It now comes with a 6-speed AMT unit. The lack of a third row means that there is ample boot space to carry all your luggage.

best suv in india under 15 lakhs price, specs, images 2016-renault-duster

 Specification Renault Duster
Type 1.6 L Petrol 1.5 L Diesel
Displacement 1598 cc 1461 cc
Power 102 bhp 84/108 bhp
Torque 145 Nm 200/248 Nm
Transmission 5-speed MT 5-speed MT/6-speed MT
Mileage 13.05 kpl 19.87 kpl/19.64 kpl
Price INR 8.47-9.27 lacs INR 9.27-13.57 lacs

Also See – Most Fuel Efficient Cars in India

Hyundai Creta

Hyundai‘s small SUV has taken the India market by storm. It is one of the best-selling SUVs on sale currently. And it’s not hard to see why. The Creta looks great, comes loaded with features and gets a spacious, high-quality cabin. It boasts multiple engine and transmission options to suit everyone’s needs. Hyundai has also introduced an automatic variant of the petrol powered Creta. That makes the Creta the only SUV here to get both Diesel and Petrol automatic variants. It misses out on the title of the Best SUV in India under 15 lakhs because of a lack of optional four-wheel drive and slightly expensive top-end variants.

best suv in india under 15 lakhs price, specs, hyundai-creta

  Specification Hyundia Creta
Type 1.6 L Petrol 1.4 L Diesel 1.6 L Diesel
Displacement 1,591 cc 1,396 cc 1,582cc
Power 122 bhp 89 bhp 126 bhp
Torque 154 Nm 224 Nm 259 Nm
Transmission 6-speed MT/6-Speed AT 6-speed MT 6-speed MT/ 6-speed AT
Mileage 15.29 kpl 21.38 kpl 19.67/17.01 kpl
Price INR 9.16-12.86 lacs INR 10.07-12.11 lacs INR 12.36-14.43 lacs

Mahindra XUV500

Mahindra‘s first entry on the list of best SUV in India under 15 lakhs is also one of the most popular SUVs on sale in India. The XUV500 is the first monocoque SUV developed by the company. It has been very well received by the public as well as critics. The exteriors work and give the car a very distinctive look, which is aggressive and muscular enough by SUV standards. The interiors are well designed and offer great space, especially for the second-row passengers.

best suv in india under 15 lakhs price, specs, images mahindra-xuv500

The dials look fantastic and the car comes loaded with  features. Some of them are – touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamps and tyre pressure sensors. The monocoque chassis improves driving dynamics and handling but its still not up to the mark. Quality is also a bit of an issue with the interiors. The exteriors are a bit overstyled, especially the elements such as the front bumper and tail lamps. Mahindra recently introduced a 6-speed automatic transmission as well enhancing the XUV’s practicality.

 Specification  Mahindra XUV500
Type 2.2 L Diesel
Displacement 2179 cc
Power 140 bhp
Torque 330 Nm
Transmission 6-speed MT/6-speed AT
Mileage 16 kpl/13.85 kpl
Price INR 12.09-18.03 lacs

Tata Safari Storme

The Safari used to be one of the most popular SUVs around, but with time, lost out to competition which was newer and better. The latest generation of the Safari christened the Safari Storme, managed to set things right and iron out the wrinkles. The old school ladder-frame chassis has been thoroughly reworked to give better control and driving dynamics. The interiors have been spruced up offering better quality and the engine is much smoother now. The commanding driving position, a bit awkward at first, feels really good in the long run providing a great view of the road in front.


There’s an optional on-the-go four wheel drive system on offer as well, making life easier off the road. However, the Safari Storme is let down by its exterior. It looks almost exactly the same as the previous generation car and doesn’t make it stand out from the crowd. In terms of features, it loses out comprehensively to its chief rival, the Scorpio, with glaring omissions such as the lack of front facing third-row seats. Tata has recently added a powerful Varicor 400 engine to the line-up. It puts out 156 PS of peak power and 400 Nm of peak torque.

  Specification Tata Safari Storme
Type 2.2 L Diesel 2.2 L Varicor 400 Diesel
Displacement 1,591 cc 2197 cc
Power 148 bhp 154 bhp
Torque 320 Nm 400 Nm
Transmission 5-speed Manual 6-speed manual
Mileage 14 kpl 13.9 kpl
Price INR 10.37-12.25 lacs INR 13.84-15.21 lacs

Mahindra Scorpio

The final entry to our list of the best SUV in India under 15 lakhs is the Mahindra Scorpio. The new Scorpio is a huge improvement over the predecessor in terms of ride, handling, interior quality and features. The old Scorpio’s ladder frame chassis has been extensively reworked. However, improved dynamics still can’t get rid of common ladder-frame chassis issues such as body roll, diving under braking and the car still rocks a bit from side to side.

best suv in india under 15 lakhs price, specs, images Mahindra Scorpio

The interiors have been improved massively both, in terms of quality and equipment level. However, a few quality issues still remain. The list of features offered on the top spec trims is never ending. Some features on offer are tyre pressure sensors, cruise control, engine start/stop. You also get a touchscreen infotainment system with integrated navigation. The basic profile of the SUV remains the same as the old car, but Mahindra has made a fair bit of changes to keep things fresh. Elements such as the LED tail lamps and redesigned headlamps with black inserts look good.

  Specification Mahindra Scorpio
Type 2.5 L Diesel 2.2 L mHawk Diesel
Displacement 2523 cc 2179 cc
Power 75 bhp 120 bhp
Torque 200 Nm 280 Nm
Transmission 5-speed Manual 5-speed MT/6-speed AT
Mileage 15.4 kpl 15.4 kpl
Price INR 9.40 lacs INR 10.03-15.14 lacs

best suv in india under 15 lakhs price, specs, images creta, safari, scorpio, duster, xuv500

So, which of these Vehicles in the list here do think is the best SUV in India under 15 lakhs? Do let us know by penning down your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  1. I personally believe that XUV500 here should be the top contender considering full-sized SUVs (7/8 seater) below 15 Lacs price range. Renault Duster, as mentioned in the article itself that it is a compact SUV and should be matched with similar category vehicles like Terrano and Ecosport. Soon, there will be more new launches in this category to compare with Duster but at present, this comparison is not right.

    Also, Renault has drawn major cost-cutting to keep prices down of Duster. The sheet metal is not of good quality and over the time complaints have been heard regarding quality of the vehicle. I am not saying that XUV here is a perfect SUV, even worst, XUV had most problems ever in an SUV when it was launched. But now, those defects have been ironed out and the vehicle now drives well. Plastic quality is not that good but that is not a deal-breaker. Overall, XUV is the best package you can get at such a price. 140hp-330nm engine, 13-14kmpl FE (overall).. Electrical equipment quality is also improved now.. I think as of now, XUV is ruling the top spot..!!! 🙂
    M&M guys should lay down more efforts to make this Cheetah niggle-free..!!! :p

  2. Hey Anuj,

    What you said makes perfect sense and I agree that the XUV is a great product. Honestly, it was a very close fight between the two and in would put them both on the top spot if I could but the Duster edges ahead marginally since it rides better and is slightly more accessible. Also, like I said most of these cars will be driven in the city with barely any off road action and the Duster is more suited to that I feel.
    There’s a facelift of the XUV500 on its way soon and I’m hoping M&M would’ve addressed some of the quality issues. 😀

    Thanks for your input. We appreciate it. 🙂

  3. Hello all the Auto Enthusiasts and Experts,

    I am planning to buy a SUV 7-8 seater and stuck in the comparison between Safari Storme and XUV500. It seems that XUV is better performing in the segment.

    In 2016, are there any updates or upgrades by the respective companies which makes it more merrier to buy anyone of them. Please help me and recommend a better value for money, for years.

  4. I own a XUV500 2015 model since last one year…….I zeroed on this suv after doing some research work…..apart from a 2.2 l engine churning out 140 bhp and 320 nm of torque, its presence on the road is quite noticeable…..XUV500 gives me flexibility of being a 7 seater and well can be used as a 5 seater with last row seats down providing an ample amount of boot space…..the ride is comfortable in the city as well as highways……sufficient leg room for middle row……2015 Mahindra did some upgrade with the interior….buttons gives nice feeling…..I have used it mostly for long distance travels….I feel that ground clearance should have been a bit more…..XUV never lets me feel out of power..provides nice handling..perfectly suited for indian roads…….To Rajeev…..Go for XUV 500…its the best value for money….even if you compare vis a vis Safari storme…..

  5. The Safari and Scorpio are the only true SUV in this. Even Mahinda calls the XUV 500 a cross over and not and SUV. Duster and Crete are basically cars in a tiny SUV body and not really tough. Creta is basically an
    I 20. So the only true SUVs are Scorpio and Safari.

  6. My bro in law is planning to buy a 7 seater suv type disel car. He is confused between Renault lodgy, duster and hyndai create. his budget is 12L on road. please suggest. It’s urgent


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