Maruti Fronx tops new-model UV sales in FY2024, plenty of new SUV launches in FY2025

Utility vehicle buyers in India are spoilt for choice with over 110 models and a mind-boggling 800-plus variants. While a number of OEMs rolled out a number of model updates and variants, seven all-new models were launched in FY2024. Here’s knowing how they fared in the competitive marketplace, even as FY2025 will see new launches aplenty.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 28 Apr 2024 Views icon3114 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Maruti Fronx tops new-model UV sales in FY2024, plenty of new SUV launches in FY2025

FY2024’s record sales of 4.21 million passenger vehicles comprising hatchbacks, sedans, utility vehicles and vans in India were powered by the utility vehicle (UV) segment, particularly SUVs which had a 50 percent share of the overall PV market.

Utility vehicles accounted for 25,20,691 units (up 26% YoY) and 60% of entire PV sales in FY2024v. Not only is this a big jump over the 51.50% share that UVs had in FY2023 but it is the first time that UV dispatches have surpassed the 2.5-million-units mark. That’s not all – UV sales have helped buffer the sharp 11% decline in passenger car and sedan sales – from 1.74 million units to 1.54 million units – in FY2024. That’s just the reason why all the vehicle manufacturers with SUV-laden portfolios have registered handsome gains in FY2024.

While the Fronx compact SUV was the second best-selling Nexa model for Maruti Suzuki, the Exter was Hyundai's third best-selling model. And the Elevate midsize SUV has given a new charge to Honda in India. 

While there were a number of launches of refreshed SUVs and MPVs as also variants, FY2024 saw the launch of seven all-new products – three from Maruti Suzuki (Fronx, Jimny and Invicto), and one each from Hyundai (Exter), Honda (Elevate), Toyota Kirloskar Motor (Rumion) and Citroen India (C3 Aircross). Let’s see how each model fared in India’s competitive UV marketplace.

MARUTI FRONX: 134,735 units
Launched on: April 24, 2023
The Fronx, the youngest member of Maruti Suzuki India’s premium Nexa models, was launched on April 24, 2023. From launch through to end-March 2024, the Fronx registered wholesales of 134,735 units. This makes for handsome average monthly sales of 11,227 units. The Fronx holds the record of being the fastest Indian passenger vehicle to surpass 100,000 sales in the domestic market, achieving the milestone in end-January 2024 and barely 10 months after launch. In the process, the Fronx contributed 21% to Maruti Suzuki’s best-ever UV sales of 642,296 units in FY2024.

What is creditable is that not only is the Fronx the best-selling Nexa SUV model in FY2024 and the second-best Nexa seller after the Baleno hatchback (195,607 units) but its performance should be viewed in the contest of the highly competitive compact SUV market it is part of. This segment includes popular models like the Tata Nexon, Maruti Brezza, Tata Punch, Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300 and the Kia Sonet.

The Maruti Fronx is powered by an efficient 1.2 petrol which produces 90hp and 113 Nm torque, and a 1.0 turbo-petrol. The Boosterjet turbo-petrol engine, which develops 100hp and 147Nm, is paired to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed torque converter automatic. 

Three months after the launch of the petrol-engined Fronx, Maruti Suzuki launched the CNG avatar of the Fronx, which helped accelerate sales. The Fronx CNG, with 77.5hp and 98.5 Nm, is claimed to deliver fuel efficiency of 28.51 km/kg.


HYUNDAI EXTER: 71,299 units
Launched on July 10, 2023

Hyundai Motor India’s second compact SUV after the Venue, launched on July 10, 2023 at an aggressive pricing of Rs 599,000, has till end-March 2024 registered cumulative wholesales of 71,299 units.

The sustained demand for the Exter means that the compact SUV has, in a little less than 9 months, become Hyundai Motor India’s third best-selling SUV in FY2024 after the market-leading Creta midsize SUV (162,773 units) and the Venue compact SUV (128,897 units). With this strong showing, the Exter has contributed 18.34% to Hyundai’s cumulative UV sales of 388,725 units, up 29% YoY.

Hyundai has ramped up production for the Exter, given the strong demand – the company is understood to have received over 100,000 bookings, which is creditable given that this new model is part of an ultra-competitive sub-segment. In fact, in the Top 20 UVs in India in FY2024, the Exter is ranked 15th, and is also among the 10 compact SUVs. The entry-SUV category within the sub-four-metre-SUV segment is witnessing strong demand and the Exter’s pricing strategy has paid off. It is estimated that between 20,000-22,000 entry SUVs are sold each month and Hyundai aims to tap the potential here.


HONDA ELEVATE: 33,642 units
Launched on: September 4, 2023

Nothing like a new product giving a vehicle manufacturer a new charge and the Honda Elevate midsize SUV has helped ‘elevate’ both the domestic market performance as well as exports for Honda Cars India in just seven months since launch.
Launched on September 4, 2023, at a starting price of Rs 11 lakh through to Rs 15.99 lakh for the top-end variant, the Honda Elevate has turned out to be the Japanese carmaker’s second-best-selling model in FY2024 in India and accounted for 39% of Honda Cars India’s total passenger vehicle sales of 86,584 units, which includes the Amaze (36,017 units) and the City (16,925 units) sedans.

Built on Honda’s Global Small Car platform, the Elevate is benefiting from the rising demand in India for midsize SUVs and has been instrumental in bringing Honda Cars India 'back in the game', particularly in the booming SUV segment where it was missing on the action big time.

The Indian utility vehicle industry hit record sales of over half-a-million units – 25,20,691 units – and the Elevate has already given Honda a 1.33% market share compared to FY2023’s 0.24 percent.

The Honda Elevate is part of a hotly contested segment where it rivals India’s best-selling midsize SUV, the Hyundai Creta, Maruti Grand Vitara, Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, Kia Seltos, MG Astor, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq and the Citroen C3 Aircross.

MARUTI JIMNY: 17,009 units
Launched on: June 7, 2023
The Maruti Jimny five-door SUV was billed as one of the biggest launches of FY2024. Launched on June 7, 2023 and priced between Rs 12.74 lakh and Rs 15.05 lakh, the Maruti Jimny has sold a total of 17,009 units in the domestic market till March 31, 2024, considerably below that what was it expected to achieve.

The Jimny for India, which is produced at the Gurugram plant, was revealed at the Auto Expo in January 2023 with bookings opening soon after. It was understood that the SUV had drawn over 30,000 bookings, which makes the final FY2024 sales of 17,009 units just a little over 50% of that figure.

Aimed at drawing buyers of lifestyle off-roaders, the Jimny is powered by a sole 105hp, 134Nm, 1.5-litre, four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed torque converter automatic. However, unlike Maruti’s remaining line-up in India, which has moved on to the newer K15C engine, the Jimny uses the older-spec K15B engine. Maruti claims a fuel efficiency of 16.94kpl for the manual variant, while the automatic variant returns a mileage of 16.39kpl. 

As far as off-road gear is concerned, the Jimny gets Suzuki’s AllGrip Pro 4WD system with a manual transfer case and low range gearbox with ‘2WD-high’, ‘4WD-high’ and ‘4WD-low’. This is underpinned by a rugged, ladder-frame chassis, gets 3-link rigid axle suspension and an electronic traction control system. The Jimny 5-door has a ground clearance of 210mm.

TOYOTA RUMION: 5,973 units
Launched on: August 10, 2023

The Toyota Rumion is the fourth badge-engineered model Toyota Kirloskar Motor shares with Maruti Suzuki India. Like the Baleno-based Glanza, the Ertiga-based Rumion is built and supplied by Maruti Suzuki to TKM.

From launch on August 10, 2023 through to March 31, 2024, the Rumion has sold a total of 5,973 units and expands TKM’s MPV portfolio to four – the Rumion at the entry level, followed by the Innova Crysta, Innova Hycross and the luxurious Vellfire at the top end.

Compared to the Ertiga, the Rumion sees very few styling changes to its plastic parts. It gets an all-new bumper with revised fog lamp surrounds, an Innova Crysta-like grille and new dual-tone alloy wheels. On the inside, it gets a blacked-out dashboard with wood-like inserts, and the upholstery, similar to the Ertiga, is finished in beige. The equipment list and 7-seat configuration, too, has been carried over from the Ertiga.

The Rumion is powered by Maruti’s 103hp, 137Nm, 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, and mated to a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. The Rumion is also offered with a factory-fitted CNG kit that produces 88hp and 121.5Nm in CNG mode. Toyota claims the petrol version has a fuel efficiency of 20.51kpl, while the CNG version returns 26.11km/kg. And the CNG variant has been a strong contributor to sales.

Like its other badge-engineered models, TKM’s brand experience is the key differentiator and from the looks of it, that’s what working for the Rumion.


MARUTI SUZUKI INVICTO: 4,599 units
Launched on: July 5, 2023
The Toyota Innova Hycross-based Maruti Invicto MPV has sold a total of 4,599 units since its launch on July 5, 2023. Priced between Rs 24.79 lakh to Rs 28.42 lakh, ex-showroom, at launch, the Invicto is part of Maruti Suzuki’s premium Nexa portfolio and is aimed at tapping the potential of the over-Rs 20 lakh price segment, one which has witnessed strong growth in recent years.

The Invicto is powered by a strong-hybrid powertrain. The 2.0-litre, Atkinson cycle petrol engine is coupled with an electric drivetrain, and an e-CVT, making it an efficient full-size MPV with a certified fuel efficiency of 23.24kpl.

In terms of visual appeal, the Invicto gets marginal differences over the Toyota Innova Hycross in front and on the inside. While it gets a newly-designed grille and 17-inch alloy wheels, the MPV gets Champagne gold accents on the instrument panel combined with an all-black interior. The MPV has 690 litres of boot space along with creature comforts like a panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, 10.1-inch touchscreen and a 7-inch TFT instrument display.


CITROEN C3 AIRCROSS: 1,784 units
Launched on: April 27, 2023
On April 27, 2023, a little over four months after it revealed its locally-developed C3 Aircross midsize SUV with 90% localisation, Citroen India launched the C3 Aircross midsize SUV.

The SUV has been built on the carmaker's modular platform which also spawns the C3 hatchback. The C3 Aircross gets a unique 5+2 seating configuration, with the company claiming that the last row will offer adequate space for children or short adults over shorter distances. The SUV offers a 511-litre boot space with the third row folded flat.

TOYOTA TAISOR KICKS OFF NEW SUV LAUNCHES APLENTY IN FY2025

The first of the new launches in FY2025 began with the Toyota Taisor compact SUV on April 3, 2024. The Maruti Fronx-based Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor, which rolls out of Suzuki Motor Gujarat’s plant, features some cosmetic changes compared to the Fronx. At prices starting from Rs 774,000, it is the most affordable Toyota SUV in India.

On April 29, Mahindra & Mahindra will take the covers off the mid-life update for its XUV300 compact SUV, called the XUV3XO. At 54,726 units sold in FY2024, down 10%, the XUV300’s sales have slowed down even as the model has surpassed cumulative sales of 250,000 units since launch . While the current powertrain options – a 1.5L diesel, 1.2L turbo-petrol and 1.2L direct injection turbo-petrol (TGDi) – will remain, the 1.2L TGDi will get an Aisin-sourced six-speed automatic transmission. Notably, the XUV3XO will also get an EV powertrain later this year.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor India is expected to launch the facelifted Alcazar flagship SUV sometime in May or June 2024. While the styling updates are expected to mirror the recently launched new Creta, the refreshed Alcazar is likely to feature a new dashboard with two digital displays, ADAS, dual-zone climate control and a panoramic sunroof, among other creature comforts. 

The Tata Nexon, which has held onto its title as the best-selling SUV in India in FY2024, is set to be seen in a CNG avatar, which will help sales rev up once again. The Tata Nexon CNG will be equipped with the same dual-cylinder technology as deployed in the Punch CNG, Tiago CNG and Tigor CNG albeit the Nexon CNG will become the first CNG model in India to be powered by a turbo-petrol engine.

The big launch of FY2025 will be the Tata Curvv EV. Likely to be rolled out in the July-September 2024 quarter, the Curvv EV will be built on the same platform as the Nexon and is expected to have a 450-500km range on a single charge.

There are two five-door SUVs in the offing too. While Force Motors is slated to launched the expanded Force Gurkha five-door SUV in Q1 FY2025, Mahindra & Mahindra could be looking to launch the Thar five-door model in the middle of this year.

The UV customer in India is spoilt for choice – along with 16 SIAM member companies and luxury carmakers, there are over 110 UVs and a mind-boggling 800-plus variants currently on offer, all fighting for a slice and more of the action. The new models in FY2025 will only add to the ultra-competitiveness of the marketplace and make it even more exciting for the value-conscious UV buyer.

ALSO READ: Utility vehicle share of PV sales jumps to 60% in FY2024, cars and sedans hit new low of 37%

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