11-17 September 2015 #775

Roughing it

Rough highways and even rougher city streets mean SUVs are not just a symbol of luxury in Nepal

GOPEN RAI

No one knows quite for sure what SUVs stand for. Some in the auto trade told us it meant ‘Sports Utility Vehicle’ and others said the initials stood for ‘Suburban Utility Vehicle’. Either way, these outsized gas-guzzling behemoths have come to represent the ultimate in what many vehicle owners aspire to have at some point. The SUV has become the symbol of success, affluence and luxury in North America, Europe or East Asia.

However, in Nepal with its rough highways and even rougher city streets, the SUV is not just a luxury -- it has become a necessity. Car owners who have experienced their brand new sedans scrape pot-holed roads because of low clearance, or being bogged down on a muddy stretch of road at night have always wanted to switch to something bigger.

Many of Kathmandu’s roads need not just Suburban Utility Vehicles but All-terrain Vehicles. Weak joke. What is true, however, is that you need some kind of a 4WD to negotiate our suburbs. SUVs with their high ground clearance are convenient cars for Kathmandu’s roads and serve you well when you make trips to the countryside as well. Some brands have compact SUVs that are suitable even for narrow inner-city Patan or Kathmandu.

“When Nepalis put money in a car, they want to be able to drive it everywhere they go,” says a car dealer in Kathmandu preparing for the annual NADA Auto Show next week in Kathmandu.

Most SUVs are robust, stylish and ruggedly handsome. SUVs are also symbols of prestige and status of the driver. Which must be why SUV sales have gone up in recent years despite the heavy duty taxes, overtaking the sales of luxury sedans.

Over the years manufacturers are also trying to erase the SUV’s gas-guzzling image with engines that are also eco-friendly. The trend is also that India-made SUVs are meeting European standards in comfort, aestheticism and reliability, with an excellent value for money.

Mazda

CX-5

To be launched in Nepal in December 2015

Capacity: 2.0L / 2.5L Diesel

2WD / 4WD

Ground clearance: 216mm

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Manufactured in Japan

Special attributes: An interior that punches well above its weight, and handles like a sporty car

Rs 8,600,000


Kia

Sportage

Capacity: 2.0L Petrol / 2.0L Diesel

All-wheel drive (AWD)

Ground clearance: 173mm

Transmission: 6-speed manual / 6-speed automatic

Manufactured in South Korea

Special attribute: Sporty and refined driving experience

Rs 6,750,000


Hyundai

Tucson

Capacity: 2.0L Diesel

All-wheel drive (AWD)

Ground clearance: 163mm

Transmission: 5-speed automatic / 5-speed manual / 6-speed automatic

Manufactured in South Korea

Special attributeS: A silhouette blending gentle slopes and precise contours to redefine sporting prowess and sleek aerodynamics

Rs 7,296,000

Santa Fe

Capacity: 2.2L Gasoline

2WD / 4WD

Ground clearance: 185mm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic / manual

Special attribute: Flex Steer enables drivers to choose among three driving modes (normal / sport / comfort)

Rs 9,996,000

Creta

Capacity: 1.6L Petrol / 1.6L Diesel 4WD

Ground clearance: 190mm

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Manufactured in India

Special attributeS: Advanced high strength steel (AHSS) and Ultra High Strength steel (UHSS) create body structure improved body endurance, lighter body for better mileage and enhanced collision durability

Rs 4,000,000


Ssangyong

Korando

Capacity: 2.0L Diesel

All-wheel drive (AWD)

Ground clearance: 210mm

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Manufactured in South Korea

Special attribute: Eco-friendly Diesel technology

Rs 7475,000

Tivoli

Capacity: 1.6L Petrol 2WD

Ground clearance: 190mm

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Manufactured in South Korea

Special attributes: Stylish, versatile and practical

Rs 5,250,000


Daihatsu

Terios

Capacity: 1.5L Petrol

2WD / 4WD

Ground clearance: 190mm

Transmission: 5-speed manual /

4-speed automatic

Manufactured in Japan

Special attribute: Small and compact

Rs 5,900,000


Mahindra

XUV500

Capacity: 2.2L Diesel

All-wheel drive (AWD)

Ground clearance: 200mm

Transmission: 6-speed synchromesh manual

Manufactured in India

Special attribute: Cheetah-inspired styling breaks the mould of the ordinary

Rs 4,950,000

Scorpio

Capacity: 2.2L / 2.5L Diesel

4WD

Ground clearance: 180mm

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Manufactured in India

Special attribute: Micro Hybrid Technology which enables the engine to intelligently switch into standby when not required

Rs 3,295,000


Tata

Safari Storme

Storme facelift with masculine power of 150ps to be launched at NADA Auto Show

Capacity: 2.2L Diesel

2WD /4 WD

Ground clearance: 200mm

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Manufactured in India

Special attributes: Land Rover DNA, 7 seats, largest network throughout the country, lowest service cost

Rs 4,225,000


Ford

EcoSport

Three different variants available: Ambient, Trend, Titanium

Capacity: 1.5L Petrol / 1.5L Diesel / 1.0 Eco-boost Petrol 2WD / 4WD

Ground clearance: 200mm

Transmission: 5-speed manual / automatic

Manufactured in India

Special attribute: Innovative audio controls in the steering column including Bluetooth

Rs 3,190,000


Toyota

Land Cruiser Prado

Capacity: 3.0L Diesel

4WD

Ground clearance: 220mm

Transmission: 6-speed manual / Automatic

Manufactured in Japan

Special attributes: 8 seats, Injection engine with intercooled turbocharger

Rs 16,000,000

Rav4

Capacity: 2.5L Petrol

4WD

Ground clearance: 176mm

Transmission: 6-speed manual / automatic

Manufactured in Japan

Special attribute: LED-type daytime running lamps help enhance visibility to oncoming traffic

Rs 9,100,000

Fortuner

Capacity: 3.0L Diesel

4WD

Ground clearance: 221mm

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Price: Rs 11,600,000

Manufactured in Japan

Special attribute: Comfort and advanced technology


Nissan

Patrol

Capacity: 3.0L Turbo Diesel

4WD

Ground clearance: 215mm

Transmission: 4-speed automatic / 5-speed manual

Manufactured in Japan

Special attributes: Attractive price, low maintenance cost and strong after sales service

Rs 11,500,000

X-Trail

3rd generation model (T32) with a capacity of 2.0L Gasoline is going to launch during NADA Auto Show

Capacity: 2.0L Gasoline

4WD

Ground clearance: 210mm

Transmission: Xtronic Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)

Manufactured in Japan

Special attributes: Hill Start Assist, Active Brake Limited Slip

Rs 9,200,000


Honda

CR-V

Capacity: 2.0L

4WD

Ground clearance: 173mm

Transmission: 5-speed automatic

Manufactured in Japan

Special attributes: Large cargo capacity, high fuel-efficiency

Rs 9,500,000


Tiguan

Capacity: 1.4L Petrol / 2.0L Petrol / 2.0L Diesel

2WD / 4WD

Ground clearance: 200mm

Transmission: 6-speed manual / 6-speed automatic / 7-speed automatic

Manufactured in Germany

Special attribute: Panoramic sliding roof

Rs 7,400,000

Touareg

Capacity: 3.0L Diesel

4WD

Ground clearance: 225mm

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Price: Starting from Rs 16,200,000

Manufactured in Germany

Special attribute: Comfort and convenience


Škoda

Yeti

The new facelift Yeti will be launched at the NADA Auto Show

Capacity: 2.0L Diesel

4WD

Ground clearance: 180mm

Transmission: 6-speed Manual

Price: Rs 8,499,000

Assembled in India

Special attributes: Safety features, strong body build, Euro Ncap tested with 5-star rating

Rs 8,499,000


Land Rover

Ranger Rover Sport

Capacity: 3.0L Diesel

4WD

Ground clearance: 213mm

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Manufactured in UK

Special attributes: Acoustic laminated windscreen, Rain sensing windscreen wipers

Rs 36,000,000

Ranger Rover Evoque

Capacity: 2.0L Diesel / 2.0L Petrol

2WD / 4WD

Ground clearance: 215mm

Transmission: 6-speed manual / 9-speed automatic

Manufactured in UK

Special attribute: Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS)

Rs 19,500,000

New Discovery Sport

Capacity: 2.0L Diesel / 2.0L Petrol

2WD / 4WD

Ground clearance: 212mm

Transmission: 6-speed manual / 9-speed automatic

Price: Rs 19,500,000

Manufactured in UK

Special attribute: Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)


Mitsubishi

Pajero

Capacity: 3.2L

4WD

Ground clearance: 235mm

Transmission: 5-speed automatic

Price: Starting from Rs 11,500,000

Manufactured in Japan

Special attribute: Electronically controlled Common Rail Direct-Injection fuel system for maximum output and higher fuel efficiency

Rs 9,500,000

Outlander

Capacity: 2.4L Petrol

4WD

Ground clearance: 190mm

Transmission: Continuous Variable Transmission Manufactured in Japan

Special attribute: Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control System (MIVEC) DOHC engine for higher engine performance and fuel efficiency

Pajero Sport

Launched in Nepal in 2008

Capacity: 2.5L Petrol

4WD

Ground clearance: 218mm

Transmission: Continuous Variable Transmission with Sports Model

Price: Starting from Rs 10,500,000

Manufactured in Thailand

Special attribute: Common Rail Direct-Injection fuel system for maximum output and higher fuel efficiency

Read also:

Car carnival

Nepal’s autonomy, Elvin Shrestha

Carried away by car, Pankaj Rayamajhi

Here comes the hybrid, Kunda Dixit

Yeti comes home

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