SUV maintenance cost comparison – Part 1: Premium and Executive SUVs

‘Kitna deta hai?’ – that’s something everyone wants to know, but how much do you spend on the maintenance of your car? Service bills may only come every few months, but they can be big and they all add up.

  • Premium and Executive SUV maintenance costs compared
  • Factors in service parts & life, labour rates and service intervals

So, to give you an idea of just how much you’d spend maintaining your car, we’ve designed our first ever ‘Maintenance Cost Study’. And it’s not just the cost of spares or one service alone that we’ve analysed, but the total cost of service parts, their service life, the labour rates as well as the service intervals of each car, extrapolated over 60,000km.

For most owners this would come up at around the 5-year mark, and so this study will give you a very good insight of the cost you’d incur over a typical ownership period.

Over the years, our ‘Spare Parts Study’ has compared the cost of typically consumed parts across three baskets of service, mechanical and accident repair, thus giving you a very good insight into the likely expenses you would incur. But this Maintenance Cost study will give you an even better picture.

Maintenance cost study methodology

Arriving at a model that is fair and can be uniformly applied across vehicles is quite tricky though. Some vehicles may have a longer service interval (in kilometres) but you may be called in for a service periodically, irrespective of the mileage you’ve covered. And even then, some brands will allow you to extend the service life of certain parts if the condition is found to be ok.

Thus, in a bid to keep things uniform and reduce complexity, the study takes into account the cost of the service parts, the frequency of their change and the cost of associated labour for services undertaken up to the 60,000km mark, as per the manufacturers’ recommendations.

Let’s get started:

Premium SUVs

This segment is sub-divided into two classes of vehicles – monocoque SUVs like the Honda CR-VVolkswagen Tiguan Allspace and Hyundai Tucson; and body-on-frame SUVs like the Mahindra Alturas G4Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour.

Monocoque Premium SUVs

  • The Hyundai Tucson offer petrol and diesel engines, as did the Honda CR-V before BS6 (it is petrol only now), whereas the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is a petrol-only offering.
  • Besides being an import, what makes the Tiguan Allspace the costliest is the costs for transmission fluid, transfer case oil and spark plugs, all of which need replacement at 60,000km; even the total labour charges will set you back by Rs 27,893 over the second, third and fourth paid services.
  • The Honda CR-V is the only one that requires a coolant change that happens every five years.
  • Hyundai charges for labour from the 40,000km service at a flat Rs 2,910 per service. The Tucson proves to be the most pocket-friendly, with the fewest parts requiring replacement, as well as affordable rates.

Body-on-frame Premium SUVs

  • The Ford Endeavour is the most economical to run, with the lowest cost of replacement parts, and a flat labour rate of Rs 3,240 for the paid periodical services.
  • Mahindra boasts of the cheapest replacement parts and labour rates, but it requires additional replacement parts such as a fuel filter, transmission/transaxle oil, rear differential oil, transfer case oil and clutch fluid, thus it comes in a bit higher than the Ford.
  • The Fortuner diesel is a bit more expensive to run than the Endeavour as, among other things, Toyota replaces the rear differential oil every 40,000km.
Premium SUVs maintenance costs (in Rupees)
ManufacturerMahindra Alturas G4Toyota FortunerFord EndeavourHonda CR-VVolkswagen Tiguan AllspaceHyundai Tucson
Engine2.2 D2.8 D2.7 P2.0 D2.0 P1.6 D2.0 P2.0 P2.0 D
Air Filter80017481748138575011321103727643
Oil Filter3994124124181753951244172392
Fuel Filter1400NANA1161NA1250NA4451725
Washer Drain Plug355959NA3636279NANA
Spark Plug (for entire set)NANANANANANA6332NANA
Fan Belt/ DrivebeltNANANANANANA446NANA
Engine Oil210635633563254311691978547212881594
Transmission/Transaxle Oil5400NANANANANA4094NANA
Rear differential oil92816071607NANANANANANA
Transfer case oil780NANANANANA2691NANA
Brake fluid563345345489330330518NANA
Power steering fluidNANANANANANANANANA
Pollen / HVAC filter11001840184014621400140098911471147
SERVICE INTERVALS1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 10,000km
1st Service Cost (parts+labour)3799403431312961278038091094814603133
2nd Service Cost (parts+labour)45995874497176639147101442162226075501
3rd Service Cost (parts+labour)7143892062707851589571482582021873133
4th Service Cost (parts+labour)9921116531189890489147115634428054288187
5th Service Cost (parts+labour)602971726270620155658517NA43704896
6th Service Cost (parts+labour)135701076081108824947710474NA66008187
Total Cost (up to 60,000km)4506148413406504254842011516551026702265233037
Maintenance cost per km0.750.810.680.710.700.861.710.380.55

Executive SUVs

The petrol competitors include the MG HectorJeep CompassVW T-Roc and the Skoda Karoq, all of which use turbo-petrol engines. In the diesel camp, three out of the four competitors, namely the Compass, Hector and Tata Harrier, are powered by the same 2.0-litre FCA diesel engine, while the fourth rival, the Mahindra XUV500, uses an in-house 2.2-litre powerplant.

  • The petrol MG Hector has a service interval of one year/ 10,000km, while Jeep and Skoda have a 15,000km annual service. However, the MG is the most economical to run due to considerably lower-priced spares and more pocket-friendly labour rates.
  • The Jeep’s parts costs are much higher than the Hector’s and what further drives up costs is the 1.4 turbo-petrol engine’s spark plug set, which costs Rs 3,960.
  • The fully imported Skoda Karoq’s running costs are higher than those of the Hector and the Compass, and a significant cost is its fanbelt/drive belt replacement at the fourth year or 60,000km service, which costs Rs 6,108, excluding labour.
  • But the most expensive petrol offering is the also-imported Volkswagen T-Roc, and despite the first service being free of labour charges, the second, third and fourth service labour charges alone are over Rs 28,000, thus contributing to a significantly higher running cost.
  • All the SUVs powered by the FCA-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine have a service interval of one year/15,000km, whereas the Mahindra XUV500 needs a service every 10,000km.
  • What comes as a surprise is that the homegrown Tata Harrier is the most expensive to run. This isn’t down to higher spare costs alone, but because of labour-intensive jobs like the fan belt/drive belt and belt tensioner replacement every four years.
  • Also, in addition to regular service intervals, the Harrier also requires a basic check-up at 22,500, 37,500 and 52,500km, each of which costs Rs 1,416 (which we have added to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th service costs).

Did you find this maintenance cost comparison helpful? Tell us what you think in the comments section, and stay tuned for more maintenance cost comparison surveys of other segments that are coming soon.

Executive SUVs maintenance costs (in Rupees)
ManufacturerTata HarrierMG HectorJeep CompassSkoda KaroqVolkswagen T-RocMahindra XUV500
Air Filter9433953957677671312822925
Oil Filter8672416065076499999171
Fuel Filter29624131306NA2990NANA595
Washer Drain Plug3739586195326161559
Spark Plug (for entire set)NA784NA3960NA44164416NA
Timing Belt/ ChainNANANANANA382NANA
Fan Belt/ Drivebelt3052NANANANA61083821449
Belt tensioner3348NANANANANANANA
Engine Oil47501332436328843389412841282106
Transmission/Transaxle OilNA6552230NANANA1089NA
Rear differential oilNANANANANANANANA
Transfer case oilNANANANANANA2691NA
Brake fluid305476476377377518518375
Clutch fluidNANANA377377NANA375
Power steering fluid492NANANANANANANA
Pollen / HVAC filter53722522551451455617871170
SERVICE INTERVALS1 year or 15,000km1 year or 10,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 15,000km1 year or 10,000km
1st Service Cost (parts+labour)103551920701351839087498684873456
2nd Service Cost (parts+labour)1731627287013134141288612549197363456
3rd Service Cost (parts+labour)167093180748978971180110719157117897
4th Service Cost (parts+labour)18800497011485134141288618203279168932
5th Service Cost (parts+labour)NA4162NANANANANA6288
6th Service Cost (parts+labour)NA6885NANANANANA8489
Total Cost (up to 60,000km)6318023845330003990846660464577185038518
Maintenance cost per km1.050.400.550.670.780.771.200.64