The most well-known fact in the Indian automobile industry at the moment is that the compact SUV is the fastest growing the most popular car segment. It is not a 15 minutes-of-fame situation as this has seen continuous growth since the past few years and the demand right now is just outrageous. in fact, this segment has single-handedly torn down the sedan segment in India, which has been seeing a constant decline in sales after the inception of the compact SUV segment. This can also be witnessed by the number of carmakers deciding to enter this segment. At the moment, all the major car manufacturers are present in this market. As a matter of fact, the newcomers to the Indian market start by entering directly into this segment. But still, we have only a handful of diesel powertrains with automatic transmission options.
This is primarily due to the fact that some of the car manufacturers have completely done away with the diesel powertrains altogether. The other brands that have updated their diesel engines to meet the BS6 emission regulations are having to sell them at higher prices. Thereafter, if we were to add the convenience of an automatic transmission to a BS6 compliant diesel powertrain, the end price is extremely high and almost gets out of the segment pricing completely. So, it doesn’t make sense to have a diesel automatic in the lineup. Also, the substitute for the diesel, turbo petrol engines are becoming quite popular and somewhat compensate for the torque rush required at lower end RPM. Let us take at how many compact SUVs in India have diesel automatics.
The main reason for Tata Nexon becoming so popular among the buyers is the fact that it offers all sorts of engine-transmission options and focuses fully on the safety aspect of the car. Safety is something that more and more customers are getting aware of. Tata scores high on both these fronts. Adding to this, the build quality with a robust body and a ton of features are some of the strong points of the Nexon. It comes with a 1.5-litre diesel engine making 110PS and 260Nm mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The prices of the Nexon range between Rs 7.09 lakh and Rs 12.79 lakh, ex-showroom.
Another homegrown carmaker, Mahindra has a very popular product in XUV300 and it has made sure that it remains very flexible to suit the needs of the customers. Hence, the XUV300 comes with a turbo-petrol and diesel engine and manual and automatic transmissions. The one relevant to this post is the 1.5-litre diesel making 118PS and 300Nm, mated to a 6-speed automatic. Its prices range from Rs 7.95 lakh to Rs 12.45 lakh, ex-showroom.
The compact SUV that took the segment by storm, the Sonet is also offering a diesel automatic option to the customers. Joining the party very late, Kia made sure that it comes with the possible variants for the Sonet, in order to make it successful. As a result, Sonet comes with naturally aspirated petrol, turbo petrol and diesel powertrains with manual, DCT and Automatic transmissions. The Sonet comes with a 1.5-litre diesel powertrain with 115PS and 250Nm mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox option. The Kia Sonet costs between Rs 6.79 lakh and Rs 13.19 lakh, ex-showroom.