Compact SUV vs Mid-Size SUV. Whats the Better Buy?
Should you Buy a Compact SUV or Entry-Level Midsize SUV?
This is a dilemma that is faced by all buyers of SUVs. With sales of SUVs increasing day by day, the overlapping of different segments of SUV is something which was bound to happen.
Let's start with the three letters, "SUV". It is an acronym for sport-utility vehicle. But today any vehicle with elevated ride height and extended roofline is a SUV.
Today, compact SUVs are the most popular vehicles among millennials and are offered by almost all major automaker. The top selling compact SUVs in India are Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300, Ford Ecosport & Honda WR-V.
So if you have a budget of around Rs 10 to 12 lakhs and have set on a mid-spec or top-variant of a compact SUV, there is also an option of going for the base spec of a much bigger midsize SUV at the same price.Which one should you buy? That's what we're here to help you figure out.
SUV Size & Space
The biggest factor in deciding to buy either a compact SUV or a midsize SUV is the size plus space factor. Simply put if you want a bigger SUV and that presence then a midsize SUV will only do. Some want an SUV to be of a certain size and think compact SUVs are too small. The other argument is that for those who want space, the bigger mid-size SUV is without doubt a better buy. Even if both the compact SUV and the midsize SUV are 5 seater, many compact SUVs can really only seat two adults comfortably in the rear seat. A Creta for example is vastly more spacious over a Venue with more legroom at the back. So if you are chauffeur driven,want to regularly ferry 5 adults in comfort or frequently go on trips with your family, then the midsize SUV is the best bet.
SUV Features Checklist
There is one big factor that might swing the favour towards a compact SUV. For the price of a base spec midsize SUV you get the top-end variant of a compact SUV. For those who want all the comfort, safety and infotainment features like in case of the Hyundai Venue, a touch-screen, BlueLink connected technology, 6 airbags, Rear parking camera and more, a top variant of compact SUV makes more sense.
SUV Engine & Transmission Option
Between compact SUVs and midsize SUVs, the big difference is that compact SUVs have more preference towards petrol and have less choice in terms of gearbox options (Manual/AMT/CVT/DSG/Torque Convertor). A Hyundai Venue for example does not have a diesel automatic while a Hyundai Creta has. So if you want a diesel automatic or more engine options then buying a midsize SUV is a better choice though you have to pay more.
If you want performance then selecting the top-end compact SUV will give you a more performance oriented engine over the entry-level variant of a midsize SUV. The Creta base petrol has a 1.5l engine while the Venue top-end has a 1.0 turbo which offers more performance along with having a DCT automatic gearbox. Thus if you want performance and use the highways more for cruising abilities then the compact SUV top-end version is the better buy with a torque rich turbo petrol.
SUV Fuel Economy
Another factor to consider is of course the mileage factor as with rising fuel prices, you might be interested in a car that takes care of your wallet the most. Now if you are buying a petrol, a compact SUV would be a lot more efficient. Thus a compact SUV will save you more money at the fuel station. However if you are buying a diesel, then the bigger diesel engined Creta gives better efficiency and a better range.
SUV Use & Parking Situation
These days parking in our cities plus traffic has become an issue. Trying to find a parking spot or even squeezing into a mall parking slot or a market is something we all do and here a compact SUV like the Venue would make sense over a bigger Creta. The Venue is compact and easier to drive plus park. If your commute is city based and parking is an issue then no doubt get the compact SUV as your life would be much easier. Compact SUVs have a smaller turning circle too so they are much better suited for our city habitat. The compact SUVs usually have front wheel drive and can handle pot holes and bad roads but only a mid-size SUV equipped with all- or four-wheel drive can do off-road driving or venture into rougher terrain.
SUV Discounts, Running Cost & Waiting Period
With the success of the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos for example, finding a discount on these mid-size SUVs might be impossible. While the compact SUVs like Venue or other compact SUVs, on selling less, would have some discounts on offer. Moreover, compact SUVs are less expensive to maintain as compared to a mid-size four-wheel drive diesel SUV considering the cost of servicing, maintainence, wear and tear parts. Another factor could be availability since due to the high demand you may have to wait a few weeks or more to get a popular midsize SUV but a compact SUV might be available much quicker.
We have tried to explain all points and hope your confusion is cleared now. It is important to determine your basic needs e.g number of passengers you'll usually have, cargo you will carry to help you make the right choice.
As it stands both have their pros and cons but a better equipped compact SUV seems a better deal over a base variant midsize SUV to us unless you really want the space.
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