Jeep to Enter India Market in 2015-What To Expect

Iconic car maker Jeep will soon be making its official entry into the Indian market in the coming months. Although the Fiat owned manufacturer did announce it will hit Indian shores later this year, the brand has postponed its debut date to next year. The Indian audience eagerly awaits the arrival of the Jeep moniker primarily for two reasons. One being the on going SUV pandemic sweeping our nation and the other being the massive legacy of the Jeep brand. Although one might argue that the American car maker has been reduced to making luxury tarmac lovers and family oriented SUVs, Jeep still maintains cars such as the Wrangler in its purest form: a heavy duty off-roader.

red jeep grand cherokee front
The Jeep Brand Will Soon Be Arriving in India

Throughout the course of history Jeep has managed to garner a legacy for churning out rugged off roaders. With its range used in Word War II and Vietnam Wars, the American car maker’s reputation for making reliable 4 by 4’s hit super stardom. Sadly however, the Wrangler is the last of the thoroughbreds. The only SUV in the manufacturer’s range to offer sold front and rear axles and a chassis designed with a primary focus on hardcore off-roading.

We take a look at what Jeep has in store for the Indian market and its main competitors. Will the brand take off? We find out.

Jeep Grand Cherokee:

The big daddy of them all, the Grand Cherokee is the American automaker’s flagship SUV. While most manufacturers these days simply make a bulky car and slap an SUV tag onto it (read BMW X6), Jeep created an SUV with true off-road DNA. While cars such as the Q7, ML-Class offer a level of luxury rivaled by none, the high degree of opulence comes at a price. And that price for SUVs is its off-road capability. Jeep however has opted to keep the Grand Cherokee somewhere in the middle, the sweet spot. Offering a massive cabin, decked up in premium leather and wood, the Cherokee is no village barn on the inside.

black jeep grand cherokee
The Grand Cherokee May Not Offer The Same Level of Off Roading Prowess as the Wrangler But It Strikes The Perfect Balance Between On Road and Off Road Comfort

Under the hood you’ll find a 3.0 L V6 oil burner that churns out 237 HP and a massive 550 Nm of torque. Although the American car maker does offer a bigger 6.4 L V8, Jeep is unlikely to launch the Grand Cherokee with such an indulgent variant here in India. The car’s biggest rivals will be the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7.

 

Jeep Wrangler:

The next Jeep to soon enter the Indian car market will be the iconic Wrangler. Praised for its compelling and timeless industrial design, the Wrangler is one of the all time greats. Unchanged over the years since its inception, the Wrangler has spawned a cult following across the world. Without the unnecessary headlights, sleek roofline and fancy paintwork, the Wrangler is a no nonsense SUV capable of roaming any kind of terrain. Unlike its siblings, the Wrangler is no toned down, tarmac lover; built for the road less traveled by, the SUV is an off-roader’s favorite. However, its extreme off-road durability comes at a price. The Wrangler is extremely uncomfortable on city roads and with the poor state of infrastructure and road conditions our country has to offer, the Wrangler is reserved only for the true nature lovers.

jeep wrangler front
The Jeep Wrangler Is A Legacy Recognized By All

Powering this SUV is a 2.8 L four cylinder diesel mill that produces 197 HP and 460 Nm of torque. Although the performance numbers are not nearly as much as the Grand Cherokee, the Wrangler sports fewer creature comforts and is much lighter than the Cherokee.

black jeep wrangler rear
Rear View of the Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Renegade:

Officially not on the company’s release list, the baby Jeep is a highly likely candidate for an India launch. Unlike the new age crossover movement taking place all over, the Renegade is one of the handful of compact SUVs that can actually hold its own when off the road. Despite its short stature and rather meek engine, the Renegade has been designed with years of off road expertise and the results are quite impressive. For those of you who do not really intend on going for a bit of exploring in the woods, the Renegade is also offered in front wheel drive only format.

red jeep renegade rear
The Jeep Renegade Is One of the Latest Cars To Join The Jeep Range

For its India release, we may see both avatars of the Renegade. Powering the mini Jeep is a 1.4 L turbocharged engine that puts out 160 HP. The American car maker also offers a 2.4 L four cylinder engine that produces 184 HP. While the former is mated to a six speed manual, the latter is offered with a first ever nine speed automatic.

front jeep renegade
Don’t Be Fooled By Its Cutesy Exteriors; Inside, the Renegade is all Jeep

A synonym for all things rugged, Jeep represents a facet of culture that has long been abandoned thanks to gizmos and concrete jungles. While some may buy a Jeep for its snob value, the brand’s range is strictly for the adventurous. Hopefully the Jeep moniker will evoke the same feelings of breaking free as the original Safari did and take it to new heights.

India Serenades with Renegade Commando

Renegade Commando

India has only a few available cruiser bikes that fit into the budget / mid budget segment. After the launch of the Avenger 220 and if you are wondering that the Royal Enfield fits into the cruiser segment, then you’re probably wrong because they are your standard motorcycles that are used by plenty of riders to cruise. Most Bike manufacturers have not made their presence felt in this category yet. However, American United Motorcycles (UM) has found a potential on Indian roads that would provide Indian cruisers an offering (well 2 offerings) that they would find hard to resist. The two small cc cruiser bikes are going to fill in the gap between choosing an Avenger 220 or the Aquilla (Hyosung) 250. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbqDkTULc7I As a part of UM’s strategic joint venture with Lohia Auto (India) the 50:50 partnership agreement between both two wheeler giants has led into the formation of UML that is set to launch the popular 'Renegade' series of bikes’ to India, thereby increasing the number of cruiser enthusiasts and riders. Adding to this exciting news Mr Ayush Lohia, Director, Lohia Auto said, "The Products of UM blend with our strength of manufacturing will definitely enthrall to Indian bike lovers. We are committed to produce the world class quality Bikes at our Kashipur plant. We are also committed to delight Indian consumers with our sales, after sales services and products." The company has initial plans of entering the Indian market with various offerings such as the 100-200 cc offerings followed by the 350-500 cc offerings. There are soon going to be around 25 dealerships spread across 15 different cities in India. Let’s take a quick look at the looks and performance of the Renegade bikes. [caption id="attachment_3075" align="aligncenter" width="1100"]"renegade commando cruiser" Image Source: images.maxabout.com[/caption] Key Features: Indians are surely going to get a hint of the true American cruisers, the vintage looks shared by the Renegade Commando reminisce cruising down a smooth road. The sexy bike has the right curves and trims to get a grip on her and take her on a ride. The bike is equipped with a mighty 17-litre fuel tank along with an emblem above the fuel cap that reads ‘Conquer the World’ (If you are riding on a few rickety Indian roads, you might conquer everything but the world) Riding the Renegade gets more fun with its single cylinder 230 cc air-cooled engine that can generate a peak power of 18 hp @8000 rpm that performs like a charm(although this might seem “middle of the road” sounding power, its performance takes this beauty a class above the rest) [caption id="attachment_3076" align="aligncenter" width="1685"]"renegade commando 225 cc engine" Image Source: performancefactory.in[/caption] There is another sweet spot with this bike, the addition of technology is a must and the bike comes loaded with it. You will find a USB port, located just under its headlight, enabling riders to charge their electrical devices that make a neat addition, there is also a Blind Spot View (BSV) another extolling feature that helps riders see vehicles in the background that they wouldn’t normally see in regular rear-view mirrors and making it easier for the rider to avoid a possibly fatal accident especially while changing lanes (this is certainly a good feature considering the worsening traffic condition on the Indian streets where roads have no rules and lead to chaos) accompanied by 110 mm front disc and 130 mm rear brakes that constitute a good gripping power and come in handy most of the time. The bike also has Anti-Flat Sealant tires that are a great addition because while cruising, there are chances of facing the flat tire and in such situations, the tires mend themselves. This is a joyous addition for bike riders and they can try riding this bike on pot-holed roads without having to worry about the tire (at least) Design and Looks: The bike has low seats as well as the typical cruiser type handle bars that bring out quite a vintage appeal. According to UM Global, the “traditional headlights, dual silencers and a stealthy matte finish round up this bike for an unavoidably sexy figure that’s worthy of a double take” which is undeniably true. [caption id="attachment_3077" align="aligncenter" width="1920"]"classy renegade commando cruiser" Image Source: performancefactory.in[/caption] You might love this bike for its lack of “gewgaw” yet maintaining its modish appeal that comes in a vintage package. It does seem a little like the Royal Enfield bikes but then again, this bike has a separate class of its own. Price: You can own this American Styled cruiser beauty (Renegade Commando) at a very aggressive price of Rs1.25 lac* which sounds like a good deal for a classy cruiser. Verdict: The Renegade Commando offers a decent mileage of around 30 km/ltr which is quite good and the bike is designed with utmost comfort and a ravishing design that provides the rider a good handling ability. The cruiser bike performs really well on smooth roads (Yes, India has a few smooth roads, so cruise and find outJ) The Cruiser might get a little challenging to steer at sharp turns and changing gears on this ride can get a little difficult during challenging conditions. But, you cannot simply ignore this beauty on wheels that comes at a very strategic price. So, if you are booking one soon, let me know. We can go explore those smooth roads in India 😛 Happy Riding 🙂