Indian roads are relatively known for its bigger high-speed breakers, potholes and narrow lanes. Automakers develop and design vehicles exclusively for the Indian market and one of the priority is the ground clearance of the car.
In the list below, a particular segment could feature two models with similar ground clearance dimension and when comparing these two, the wheelbase and suspension system is taken as an additional factor before concluding the better model.
Here are the best ground clearance cars and SUVs in India in 2016:
Datsun redi-GO - The small car from Datsun might be the lower in pricing, but it is the highest in the ground clearance in the segment. The redi-GO measures 185mm and the closest competitors are Renault Kwid and Tata Nano both at 180mm.
On the ride quality, the Renault Kwid scores better than the other two cars and the 5mm difference makes hardly any difference. The Datsun redi-GO scores mainly on paper with 185mm.
Ford Figo - The Ford Figo with 174mm is the highest in the segment; however, the suspension is much softer than some of its competitors. With the solid built Ford Figo, the mid hatchback is a good buy in this segment if you are looking at a car with good ground clearance.
Maruti Swift and Toyota Etios Liva with the dimension of 170mm are a good mention in our list. Both the mid hatchbacks are best in the segment and better selling than the Ford Figo. If you are ready to let go off the 4mm of ground clearance, the Swift and Etios Liva are the best in the list.
Fiat Punto EVO - The premium hatchback is seen as a performance-oriented segment and built more for the urban market. However, the Fiat Punto is featured with the best-in-segment ground clearance of 185mm.
While it's rival such as the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and the Hyundai Elite i20 comes with 170mm clearing the ground level. Having said that, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno are selling like hot cakes and the Hyundai Elite i20 is a sort after premium hatchback.
Tata Zest - On of the biggest and competitive segment in India is the sub-compact sedans and Tata Motors known for its bigger heart on space do not disappoint with the Zest. The Tata Zest features 175mm in ground clearance and making it to the top of the list only on the paper.
With just 1mm difference is the Ford Figo Aspire might be second; however, there is hardly any difference. The Maruti Suzuki DZire with the 170mm ground clearance does not seem to be hampered by the lower ground clearance compared to some of its rivals as it is the best-selling sub-compact sedan in the Indian market currently.
Fiat Avventura - The Fiat Avventura based on the Punto features 205mm as the ground clearance measurement. The Punto on the hand comes with the ground clearance of 185mm, Fiat has increased the ground clearance of the Avventura keeping its crossover image.
The second best in this segment is the Hyundai i20 Active with 190mm of ground clearance, while the standard i20 is featured with 170mm. The Hyundai i20 Active is 10mm more than that of Maruti Suzuki S-Cross which is measured at 180mm.
Fiat Linea - Fiat again has another vehicle in this list with the Linea sedan in the mid-sedan segment. The Fiat Linea comes with 185mm in ground clearance. The Linea might not be among the top-selling cars in India, though many enthusiasts vouch for the car on its performance.
The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz with 170mm is the second best in this segment and it is the current best-selling sedan in the market. Honda City comes a distant third with 165mm of ground clearance, though it is the best sedan in the market with the best quality.
Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV):
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga - Maruti Suzuki developed the Ertiga for the Indian market keeping in mind space of the cabin and the road conditions. With 185mm ground clearance of the Ertiga, the small MPV from Maruti beats its competition.
The Honda Mobilio with the ground clearance of 185mm holds the spot with the Maruti Ertiga, though the MPV from Maruti beats it with sheer sales and Maruti's brand. Interestingly, the Toyota Innova Crysta and Lodgy was expected to be on the top is off the mark when compared in ground clearance aspect alone. The Innova Crysta and the Lodgy ground clearance is 176mm and 174mm respectively.
Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV):
Chevrolet Trailblazer: The Chevy Trailblazer blazes itself to the top spot with 241mm of ground clearance, followed by Ford Endeavor of 225mm. Interestingly, Toyota Fortuner lags behind with 220mm of ground clearance, though it commands a demand in the Indian market in terms of sales.
Both the Endeavour and the Trailblazer are from American manufacturers and the reason for bigger ground clearance compared to some its competitors.
While the list above is the actual dimensions of the vehicle on paper, most of the vehicles are not the best-selling models in the country. The combination of value for money, branding, after sales service and most of importantly the ground clearance, reflects an average of 170mm in ground clearance is a minimum in Indian driving conditions.