The year of 2019 has seen some big launches and has also seen us review some of the most popular cars and SUVs arriving in the market. Here we take a look at the five most popular car and SUV reviews to go up on our YouTube page this year. It must be noted that the figures taken into consideration are based on the total view count for a video till December 10, 2019.
5. Mahindra XUV300 – 9,36,286 views
Mahindra’s latest in a line of compact SUVs, the XUV300 is based on sister company SsangYong’s Tivoli but with length and styling revised to fall under the sub-four-meter mark. Launched early this year, the XUV300 is offered with the choice of a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol or a 1.5-litre diesel engine, with the former recently upgraded to meet BS6 emission norms. Compared to the company’s other compact SUVs (like the TUV300, Bolero Power Plus and NuvoSport), the XUV300 offered a completely different take – a more city friendly car (thanks to its monocoque construction) as compared to its ladder-frame-based siblings. The new diesel unit offers quite substantial performance to boot, though there did seem to be a few niggles.
4. Hyundai Venue – 10,40,903 views
Hyundai finally entered the rapidly expanding sub-four-meter SUV segment in April this year with the all-new Venue. As with its other products, Hyundai packed the Venue with plenty of tech, including making it the brand’s first car to feature its BlueLink connected-car tech. The Venue can be had with either of the three engine options – a 1.2-litre petrol, a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol and a 1.4-litre diesel engine. We had a go in the turbo-petrol-DCT and diesel-manual iterations of the compact SUV, which impressed with the levels of kit, though the petrol-automatic did miss out on some goodies due to it not being a top-spec model. The petrol-DCT made for a very smooth driving experience, and even ride and handling was quite well sorted. Although, the diesel did seem more attuned to deliver fuel economy than performance.
3. Honda Civic – 11,43,427 views
The Civic was our third most popular video this year, in terms of views, and is the only non-SUV to feature in this list. The Civic made its long-awaited return to India in 2019, and this time around it came with a 1.6-litre diesel engine and an updated iteration of the 1.8-litre iVTEC petrol motor. Gearbox options are down to a CVT as standard for the petrol and a 6-speed manual for the diesel. Our drive in the car brought out some interesting facts, including the raised ground clearance for India that now allows for easier manoeuvring over speed breakers. That aside, the ride and handling package was very well sorted, though both engines could do with a bit more poke.
2. MG Hector – 13,81,867 views
The Hector created a big buzz as MG geared to bring its first product to the Indian market. Sitting in the midsize SUV segment against the Tata Harrier, Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta, and others, the Hector is sizeable for the segment and loaded with kit, including the brand’s own connected-car technology. MG launched the Hector with a choice of three engine options, including a segment-first petrol mild-hybrid, a turbo-petrol and a Fiat-sourced diesel engine. The SUV took off to a flying start, with MG having to temporarily close bookings for a few months and continuously ramp-up production to meet with the demand. Subjective looks and cavernous cabin apart, we found the SUV to be more attuned to relaxed driving, with light controls, softer suspension setup and linear power delivery from the diesel. The petrol, too, felt quite easygoing, though it lacked the oomph for quick overtakes.
1. Kia Seltos – 17,70,563 views
Kia entered the India market in August 2019 with the Seltos, and it is already one of the top selling SUVs in the market. This is the popularity of the Seltos in India. Kia’s debut model has figuratively flown of the shelf, with sales having outpaced the Creta. Kia introduced the model with a choice of 18 variants across two styling packs – GT Line and Tech Line – and a choice of three engines – two petrols and one diesel – each with its own automatic gearbox option. We have driven the turbo-petrol and diesel variants of the Seltos, and from our stint we found the SUV to be very European in the way it drove – with decent feel in the steering and a well-sorted ride. The diesel was impressive in terms of both refinement and performance, while the turbo-petrol will appear attractive to those looking for a sportier drive. The cabin too was impressive, in terms of both tech and quality, with little to complain about.