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Looking to make your first ‘big’ purchase’ this year? These are the best compact SUVs and entry-level rides to consider.

India’s SUV segment is currently at the center of its automotive industry. Hence, it’s expected that this Sports-Utility-Vehicle space in India will bear some serious competition simply because every automotive giant from across the globe, have their chips set on this table. But, the real question is, why is there such a tilt towards this breed of SUV? Well, buyers here desire the interior space that a larger vehicle promises, yet it needs to compact enough on the outside to fit the ecosystem of Indian commute. Jumbo cars can be difficult to manoeuvre around with, especially in traffic and tight parking spots.

To help you choose the best, we’ve put together a list of 7 best compact SUVs in India.

These are the best compact SUVs and entry-level rides in India in 2020

Nissan Magnite

best compact suvs

As a portmanteau of the words “magnetic” and “ignite”, this B-SUV concept is said to mark a new era of Japanese motoring in the country. ‘Magnetic’ highlights Nissan’s global design appeal and ‘Ignite’ emphasizes on the spark of a new era. The car will be an entry-level variant for the brand, it certainly hits the right mark, both in philosophy and design. The Japs did state that the Magnite is built upon the ‘Made in India’ philosophy, prompting a production cue there. If the inside is as impressive as the exterior, we can certainly look at a feature-rich cabin for the Nissan Magnite, which could give it a serious edge over its competition. The Nissan Magnite will be arriving in India in the second half of FY 2020-21 as an entry-level SUV.

Price: Yet to be announced.

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Hyundai Venue

best compact suvs

What’s cool about the Venue is that it isn’t just compact, but connected too. It comes jacked in with the brand’s BlueLink tech that boasts more than 33 connected features. Under the hood, we see a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine that pushes 6000-rpm. The Venue aims to be sporty while retaining its smart, city look. The grille design and the interior are simply testimony to that, there’s even a special Sport Trim, if you want to take it a step further. The inside comes with every millennial essential in the book – Large infotainment screen, air purifier and wireless charging. And oh, the glove box doubles up as a cooler.

Price: Rs 6.7 lakh onwards.

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Kia Sonet

best compact suvs

Taking architectural inspiration from two quintessential members of the Indian animal kingdom, the bold tiger, and the strong elephant, the Kia Sonet is ‘India’s gift to the world’.  Kia has made it clear that the Sonet’s driving experience has been crafted having kept in mind, the needs of the country’s dynamic youth. It packs a serious punch of premium with its visuals and has also kept up to the digital-age verve of ‘connected cars’. It gets a 26-cm touchscreen and infotainment panel, and a digital cluster as well. The Sonet also understands that India’s tropical climate can be harsh, which is why they’ve added in a climate control feature. To keep options open, Kia have multiple transition options too.

Price: Rs 6.7 lakh onwards.

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Ford Eco-Sport

best compact suvs

The Eco Sport is one of the coolest compact cars on the street. It boasts just enough of space and specs that make for a great millennial’s car. It’s a perfect package of style, tech and safety, all perfectly fitted in brilliantly. It comes with a range of petrol as well as diesel variants to choose from. In terms of style, it boasts a cool two-bar grille and alloy wheels. They also have a focus on safety while being sporty, proven by its improved aerodynamics. You also get FordPass, which makes the car connected as well.

Price: Rs 8.1 lakh onwards.

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Tata Nexon

best compact suvs

The focus here, is on safety. They’ve enforced the chassis with high quality steel which absorbs force. It uses 120PS Turbocharged engines, 6 speed transmission and three drive modes – ECO, CITY & SPORT, the NEXON provides a drive experience like no other. You also get two airbags for better safety. It also uses tech to enhance safety. It provides Electronic Traction Control, Roll- over Mitigation, Emergency Brake assist, Hill Hold Control, Electronic Brake Pre-fill and more, all purely electric.

Price: Rs 6.9 lakhs onwards.

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Honda WR-V

best compact suvs

You may be thinking why this SUV looks smaller than most. That’s because it’s more of a sub-compact crossover rather than a full-sized SUV. Keeping up with new BS-VI coes, the Honda WR-V also got a facelift for 2020. Available in two variants – SV and VX, the car is available in both, petrol and diesel engine options.

If you’re looking for something compact for Indian streets, yet spacious enough to fit 5, this is the one to own. As far as the facelift is concerned, the car gets a bold winged chrome grille and rides on new R16 dual tone diamond cut alloy wheels. More so, if you opt for the VX variant, you even get a better trim of headlamps, a rear washer and a chrome shark fin.

Price: Rs 8.4 lakh onwards.

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Mahindra Thar

best compact suvs

This right here, is a perfect silhouette of retro and cool. It made a bold comeback recently and definitely stands tall as one of the best compact SUVs in India. It brings back the iconic vintage safari and adventure back with a modern twist. We see heavy focus on tech and safety, in addition to that. You get both engine options, diesel and petrol. In terms of transmission, you get to choose from Manual, Automatic, mHawk130 and an all new mStallion 150 TGDI. Using tech to create a better driving experience, it uses something called ‘Tyretronics’.

Price: Rs 12 lakh onwards.

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Mikhail Gomes
Senior Features Writer
A watch aficionado, Gomes also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.