The target was set for manufacturers with customer and public surveys by you the driving public, that a small or compact SUV’s would be worth considering as a next car purchase for the family needs.
The larger 4×4 or SUV is seen by many to be too big, too expensive and gas guzzlers, this group of drivers want the benefits but not the size or costs. Today people want more than just a people transporter in a car and versatility is the key, well suited on a school run, packing up for family weekend camping breaks but quickly changeable to take a trip to the DIY store for flat-pack boxes, and bags of garden materials.
A 4×4 has to be an option, not just for those winter storms and freezing mornings, but for the SUV user who does venture off the black top even if it’s just up a muddy farm track or wet camping field.
Hence, a large chunk of the automotive manufacturers have taken up the challenge and decided to chase this market niche with new compact sports utility vehicles.
Skoda and Dacia have already tackled this segment of the market, and with great success, the models being the Yeti and Duster respectively. Mercedes have thrown the GLA into the mixing pot, but our thoughts on the GLA is it’s really a hot hatch. At the super compact end of the market we already have the Suzuki Jimny and Fiat Cross.
Audi are reported to be near to releasing further details of their Q1 compact suv due for release in 2016. Available in a variety of petrol engines although the 1.4l is the only one being advertised at the moment. Diesel engine options will be a 1.2l TDI and a 1.6l. Fitted with a six speed gear-box, excellent ground clearance, good cabin space and 5 doors this is being described as an ‘all roads’ car.
VW already have the Tiguan and Ford will be in the offering with the Eco Sport and Kuga.
What about Land Rover I hear you ask, are they missing the plot here?? Well … no. Land Rover have recently been dropping snippets that they have a new baby in the making, and that will slip quite nicely under the Discovery Sport in their line up. Recent comments from the LR camp have stated that in their view some manufactures are not getting it right and missing the point. No more information or details have been given although they have not ruled out a collaboration with another manufacturer to share a platform to build on. However, this got us thinking is this “baby” going to be the “DC100” … as we all now know the DC100 will not be the replacement for the mighty Defender.
The battle lines are drawn, the prize is there for the taking, some have a head start, so it will be left to the build quality, value for money and reliability to prove the winners in this tournament for top spot of a new emerging sector in the SUV motoring market.