- Here is a comprehensive list of affordable 4WD/AWD SUVs under Rs. 30 lakh
- Mahindra & Mahindra clearly dominated the list, while Maruti/Toyota are the most recent entrants
- The range for 4X4 SUVs in India starts from as low as Rs. 13.59 lakh.
The trend of 4WD/AWD vehicles has slowly and steadily gained traction in the Indian automotive industry, precisely enough to sustain the sales of these vehicles. The use case of such vehicles is not just limited to their natural habitat i.e. the off-road tracks but also extends to the urban jungles for daily city commutes. Call it the versatility of these rugged vehicles, or just the use case of the buyers, there are no two ways about the capabilities these 4WD/AWD vehicles bring on board. These 4WD/AWD vehicles can be your savior when the time arrives, especially during monsoons or even when you decide to cross a river on your weekend trip to the hills. Buying a 4WD/AWD vehicle can turn out to be a good decision, even if you use its true capabilities once in a while. In line with this, we have compiled a brief and effective list of affordable 4WD/AWD SUVs under Rs. 30 lakhs in India.
Mahindra Thar: Full Fledged 4X4 at a starting price of Rs. 13.59 lakh
The most popular model in the list and synonymous with 4X4 is the Mahindra Thar. Launched in the year 2020, the new-gen Thar is a rugged lifestyle vehicle that gets a proper 4X4 with a low-range transfer case. Although Mahindra recently removed the MLD (Mechanical Locking Differential), it can still be opted for as optional equipment. The BLD ( Brake Locking Differential) is still available in the top-rung LX trim. The range of Mahindra Thar starts from Rs. 13.59 lakh and goes all the way up to Rs. 16.29 lakh (both prices ex-showroom). It is available in both petrol and diesel powertrain options with the choice of manual as well as automatic transmission.
Force Gurkha: Indian G-Wagen at Rs. 14.75 lakh
Taking design inspiration from the Mercedes Benz G-Class, the Force Gurkha is only available in a single variant at a sticker price of Rs. 14.75 lakh (ex-showroom). Some of its off-road specific equipment includes a functional air intake snorkel, low-range gearbox and mechanically actuated differential locks on both axles. Water wading capacity of 700mm, and unmatched approach and departure angles make this SUV stand out. It is powered by a Mercedes-derived 2.6-litre diesel engine, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Despite being a BS6 motor, the Gurkha's engine does not require DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) to comply with the emission norms, which will save you from the hassle of refilling it at timely intervals as well as the unreliable DFP (Diesel Particulate Filter) technology.
Mahindra Scorpio N: 4WD Big Daddy of SUVs from Rs. 16.44 lakh
The 'Big Daddy of SUVs' is based on a rugged ladder frame chassis and comes with a proper 4X4 system. The range of Scorpio N 4WD starts from the Z4 4X4 trim which is priced at Rs. 16.44 lakh (ex-showroom). However this trim is devoid of MLD (Mechanical Locking Differential), and other variants to get the 4WD system are the Z8 and Z8L. Some of the important off-road hardware of the Scorpio N includes a low-range gearbox and the 4XPLOR terrain response system with Normal, Mud, Snow and Sand modes. The top-spec Scorpio N with 4X4 will set you back by Rs. 23.90 lakh (ex-showroom). Mahindra is only offering the 4X4 system with the diesel powertrain mated to both manual and automatic gearbox choices.
Also Read: Jeep Meridian Diesel Automatic 4x4 Review
Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder: The Soft Roaders with AWD, Priced at Rs. 16.89 lakh and Rs. 17.19 lakh respectively
The newest entrants in the affordable 4WD/AWD SUVs category are the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder. Clubbed together due to the fact that both the SUVs essentially use the same AWD technology i.e. Suzuki AllGrip AWD system. Apart from this, both vehicles share the same set of powertrain, chassis, equipment, etc. and are manufactured together at Toyota's Bidadi plant. Offered in a single trim, the Grand Vitara and Urban Cruiser Hyryder AWD will set you back by Rs. 16.89 and Rs. 17.19 lakh respectively. The all-wheel drive system in these SUVs gets four dedicated off-road modes namely Auto, Snow, Sport, and Lock. Underneath, both the four-wheelers are powered by a 1.5-litre K15C engine churning out 103 bhp and 135 Nm of peak torque, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
Mahindra XUV700: AWD Capability with Luxury from Rs. 22.24 lakh
Mahindra offers the AWD system with XUV700 in the top-spec AX7 and AX7 L variants. Limited to two variants i.e. AX7 and AX7 L, the all-wheel drive SUV will set you back by Rs. 22.24 lakh and Rs. 24.95 lakh (both prices ex-showroom) respectively. Much like its 7-seater sibling Scorpio N, the XUV700 AWD comes only in a diesel powertrain, mated to a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Although not that capable off the road, the AWD can let you play around in some mildly tricky situations.
Jeep Compass: The Most Sorted Handler with 4X4 from Rs. 29.09 lakh
The most expensive SUV on the list and almost touching the Rs. 30 lakh price bracket, the Jeep Compass 4X4 range starts from Rs. 29.09 lakh (ex-showroom). The more off-road focused oriented Compass TrailHawk will set you back by Rs. 32.67 lakh (ex-showroom). In terms of offroad equipment, the monocoque SUV is equipped with Jeep's Active Drive 4X4 system and Select Terrain Technology consisting of four dedicated modes i.e. Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud. Powering the 4X4 SUV is a 2.0-litre MultiJet diesel engine belting out 170 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque. Transmission options on offer include a 9-speed torque converter automatic and a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Despite the growing market share of the 4WD/AWD SUVs, the 4X4 variants contribute very little to the overall sales of the vehicles covered in this article. The Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha are the two exceptions as these are full-fledged 4X4 lifestyle vehicles. Something is better than nothing and having a 4X4 option in an SUV is a good idea, even if the takers are limited. Choosing 4WD/AWD depends on one's use case, however, having it on board takes the SUV's practicality to next level.