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Old 9th July 2012, 17:32   #1
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Default Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

Hi.

Have shifted to Mumbai for work 2 years ago and the heavy traffic is taking its toll on my left knee. Always had a problem but off late it's been really acting up. Since I reside in Pune and travel back and forth every weekend I end up racking close to 2500 km every month which means that I have to stick to the diesel option.

I have a Linea MJD and was looking at other options but essentially an auto diesel in that range. Surprisingly I found none (please enlighten me if I have missed any).

This made me wonder as why none of the manufacturers even offer an auto option in diesel. I am sure with growing traffic in our cities if an diesel auto is offered for C segment sedans there would be a number of takers.
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Old 9th July 2012, 17:42   #2
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Default re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

Hyundai offers the Verna in a diesel automatic in the C2 segment. Unfortunately that is your only diesel auto choice in the sub 15lakh bracket.
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Old 9th July 2012, 17:55   #3
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Default re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

C-segment sedans themselves are entering into almost D-segment category with all the gadgets and features. Diesel trims add to the price, And on top of it AT pushes it further.

Verna already looks at 13+ on AT diesel. Top end Diesel Fiesta is 12.5+ in Bangalore.

I guess the more logical step should be that manufacturers should introduce AT diesels for the lower level trims which also make them VFM.
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Old 9th July 2012, 18:04   #4
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Default re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

There are a couple of reasons why we aren't seeing diesel ATs in the C segment.

India & some countries from Europe are pretty much the only ones where diesel rules. The AT cars on sale in India were developed primarily for North America, Japan & Korea (predominantly petrol engine markets). A car manufacturer would need substantial volume to justify the development cost of an Automatic transmission. The volumes for an AT are simply not there in India (period). That's exactly why, whatever AT vehicles (diesel or petrol) we have in India were developed for other markets.

From the C segment:

Honda City : Doesn't have a diesel engine

VW Vento / Skoda Rapid : Aren't sold in the developed parts of Europe (which would give them substantial volume for a diesel AT)

Hyundai Verna : Available with an AT (as with most Hyundais). The only choice, really

Maruti SX4 : Only AT petrol (because of int'l markets its sold in). Main reason it has an AT in the first place is North America & Japan.

Ford Fiesta : Only AT petrol (North America = Petrol + AT)

Fiat Linea : No volumes with the manual, forget about Automatic (could be an opportunity though)

Do note that the Mahindra Scorpio is another Diesel AT you could buy for a million rupees. It was developed, however, for Mahindra's export market ambitions (and not for India). It's a different matter that the end result is pathetic. The gearbox & engine couldn't have been any more incompatible.

Last edited by GTO : 9th July 2012 at 18:06.
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Old 9th July 2012, 18:22   #5
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Default Re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

I had this dilemma (AT versus Diesel) a couple of years ago and ended up buying a Vento (petrol) AT. At that time the Fluidic Verna wan't even launched and the Verna "Transform" was too ugly and dated to consider. The closest to my budget range I was impressed by was the Laura CR 140 DSG but it had a 60% more outlay which I wasn't ready for.

@GTO- that's an interesting point about ATs being mostly for the petrol export markets- never quite thought of it that way. I assume there are some issues with the torque handling capacities of the conventional AT gearboxes (the Vento TDI generates 250 Nm to the MFI's 153) which makes it technically challenging to just plonk the slushbox in.
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Old 9th July 2012, 21:10   #6
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Default Re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

Not just C, even D seg is not exactly overflowing with options.

For you immediate requirement choose between a Verna or a pre-owned Laura DSG.

Verna at 265Nm makes even higher torque than Vento TDI.
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Old 9th July 2012, 21:14   #7
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Default Re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

Verna would be alright for the city driving but on the Highway you need something more planted and solid..You should check for a used Laura DSG and also a Jetta if can find one. There aren't a lot of choices sadly
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Old 9th July 2012, 21:20   #8
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Default Re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

It is distressing to know that Hyundai alone has an offering in this segment. I too get left knee pain sometimes in heavy city traffic while driving the Fiesta. In my case, age also might be a factor.

Leaving aside C segment, is there any diesel hatchback available? As far as I know, only petrol options like i-10, i-20 , Santro and WagonR exist in that segment, but I may be wrong. Any others?

I, among many others, would not mind an auto-tranny in a diesel hatchback, even if it gives a lower F.E. of 2 kms when compared to the manual tranny.
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Old 9th July 2012, 21:25   #9
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Default Re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

Not too many options here. The Verna as stated above is your best, well, only bet! With soaring petrol prices and ever more congested urban areas, the day of the diesel auto hatch/compact sedan is not too far. I am going to jot that down in my Christmas wishlist and pray that Uncle Santa drops in!
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Old 9th July 2012, 21:40   #10
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Default Re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

Is Scorpio AT that bad? Why no good opinion about Scorpio AT?
I was looking to buy an a AT suv or sedan and scorpio is the only option to fit in my budget.
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Old 9th July 2012, 21:49   #11
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Default Re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

It looks to me like you're a solo driver, and space is NOT a requirement ...

So, why not consider an i10 petrol auto at ~5.3L ex-showroom, and bank the difference (6.1L) between the Verna diesel auto priced at ~11.4L ex-showroom ?

The i10 will be great in the city, and will probably surprise you on the expressway.

And if you are insistent on something bigger than an i10, consider the new Swift DZire petrol auto at ~6.77L ex-showroom.

I think it will take you a LONG time to offset the higher initial acquisition cost of the Verna with it's lower fuel bills in comparison to the other 2 petrol auto options.
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Old 9th July 2012, 22:08   #12
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
India & some countries from Europe are pretty much the only ones where diesel rules. The AT cars on sale in India were developed primarily for North America, Japan & Korea (predominantly petrol engine markets). A car manufacturer would need substantial volume to justify the development cost of an Automatic transmission. The volumes for an AT are simply not there in India (period). That's exactly why, whatever AT vehicles (diesel or petrol) we have in India were developed for other markets.

From the C segment:

Honda City : Doesn't have a diesel engine

VW Vento / Skoda Rapid : Aren't sold in the developed parts of Europe (which would give them substantial volume for a diesel AT)



Maruti SX4 : Only AT petrol (because of int'l markets its sold in). Main reason it has an AT in the first place is North America & Japan.

.
I guess India specific dzire does get AT for the petrol model and its not meant for other markets either. Not that it will fetch them the volume but yes option leads to convenience.

Hyundai mightnot be getting the volumes from AT diesel either to justify the production. But when it comes to bringing on the technology they never shy away. That's why they are the second largest car maker in India

As mentioned above how C segment models have crossed 12 lakh barrier and adding AT will lead to further rise in price.
Well by having AT option with lower models it would be a practical choice
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Old 9th July 2012, 22:10   #13
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
Not just C, even D seg is not exactly overflowing with options.

For you immediate requirement choose between a Verna or a pre-owned Laura DSG.

Verna at 265Nm makes even higher torque than Vento TDI.
@palio2005: on that note, carwale has a 2010 navi Mumbai regd top of line Laura for about 13 lakh, approx 24000 kms on the odo. You might want to check it out. Far superior to a verna any day. There's also same year same kms chevy cruze for 11.xx lakh. Bbay regd
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Old 10th July 2012, 07:52   #14
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Default Re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

Interesting point there about the possible opportunity for Fiat to trump the market. Offer something that no other car maker is even going to match for sometime ( since they don't have an AT box ready for the concerned cars). A diesel Linea and Punto + AT box might just be the answer to Fiat's sagging fortunes in India.
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Old 10th July 2012, 10:32   #15
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Default Re: Dearth of C segment sedans with a diesel engine + Automatic transmission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Not just C, even D seg is not exactly overflowing with options.
I think the D segment has plentiful AT options. In Diesel, you have the Cruze, Laura & Jetta, while petrol has the Altis, Civic & Fluence. In the D2, you have the Superb & Passat, along with a whole host of SUVs (Fortuner, Endeavour, Captiva etc.).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbokick View Post
I guess India specific dzire does get AT for the petrol model
I believe the Dzire & A-Stars gearbox is the same (not confirmed, but based on hearsay). That's probably why a Dzire AT saw light of the day.
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