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Old 28th October 2013, 06:52   #31
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Originally Posted by altius View Post
The success is the result of car manufacturers exploiting the psychology - Sedan is better than Hatch irrespective of the merits of the engineering or features in the car. The compact sedans also fetch a better margin for the car companies. A 6 lac Hatchback is expensive, but a 8 lac compact sedan based on that hatchback is VFM. I used to think that the Indian market would lose out on Good Hatchbacks due to this mindset, but luckily there seem to be some hope with VW launching Polo GT's, Mercedes launching A and B class and BMW the 1 series. Hopefully the trend continues.

For the average family, the added space offered by the little boot is invaluable. It keeps the cabin separate and the car is able to accommodate 5 people, albeit slightly squashed in and the luggage, such as it is, gets packed as nicely as possible within the confines of the boot without intruding into the cabin space.

It is about VFM, utility, practicality, comfort, marginal 'snob-value', aspirations and the fact that for many families it is the first step 'up' from having owned or having been able to afford only a standard hatch back all their lives.

I actually quite like the Dzire Tour...it is absolutely ideal for airport trips and for my daily run of business in other cities like Bombay and Delhi because it is comfortable, well sprung, easy to get in and out of, maneuverable in the city traffic and has a reasonable sized boot to dump my suitcase till I get to the hotel. I think it is just perfect for that stated need.

The consumer for the 'hot hatch' is an enthusiast or a small, urban yuppy type family who places some value on style, safety, engineering etc. the consumer for the compact sedan is completely different. I am not sure the twain shall ever meet!
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Old 28th October 2013, 07:05   #32
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

It's quite simple.

In the head of the average Indian car buyer, a hatchback is merely a stepping stone to a sedan. And a sedan is a stepping stone to a SUV. It's all about size and snob value. Of course, there are those who have specific preferences that are somewhat skewed. There are exceptions everywhere. But by and large, the general car-buying psyche is to up-size.
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Old 28th October 2013, 09:27   #33
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

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Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
The Vento / City / Sunny have proper boots - which offer storage space comparable to ground up D segment sedans like the Corolla or Civic. So one can understand the logic for considering them - esp if one is buying the higher end car in one's family. The extra rear seat room (at least for the Vento and Sunny) and the larger / more powerful engine is another selling proposition. The Amaze and the Dzire have pseudo boots - which offer a bit more than their own hatch variants but less than hatchback cars like the Jazz (and barely more than even hatches with small boots like the Polo). So clearly it is our tendency to overvalue a boot shape, irrespective of practical utility that accounts for their success. (And let's recognise that the success of the Dzire, in particular, is not by a small margin - it is overwhelming)
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Originally Posted by Captain Slow View Post
Bang on my friend, lets say you are a family of 2 and even a small hatch like a Polo or swift is more than enough but just to satisfy your neighbour and to make yourself look and feel "Established and successful" (you already are but this is just to let everyone else know that you can afford a sedan) you go ahead and buy a sub 4M sedan.
+100.
When I bought Jazz, I compared it with compact sedans as well other than B+ hatchbacks and found it to offer more or equivalent interior space, boot space and better quality than so-called sedans.
People are happy to cough up 7+L for Amaze or Dzire (petrol) but finds the Jazz overpriced! It's just our pre-historic mindset of Sedan =Big car and hatcback=small car .
Hope the mindset will change soon..actually, I think the change is happening albeit slowly. There are many who are preferring B+ hatchbacks like I20 offering space, features, quality rather than so-called sub 4M sedans

Last edited by adimicra : 28th October 2013 at 09:30.
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Old 28th October 2013, 09:57   #34
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I would anyday prefer a premium hatchback to a compact sedan even if were to pay more for the hatch.

The cola can quality sheet metal used in most of the compact sedans is a big turn off apart from the looks, interiors and under powered engines.
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Old 28th October 2013, 10:05   #35
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

An Amaze top-end or not will have less maintenance cost than a city, read cost of spare parts, etc. This applies to all manufacturers. The higher segment you go, the cost of spares, fuel economy, servicing cost, insurance premiums, etc gets affected. Also I believe the resale value takes a hit of most premium/higher segment cars than the lower ones. There also the variant matters.

So in the long run, in my opinion, its better to go for a segment lower top end version rather than a base version of an higher segment.
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Old 28th October 2013, 10:07   #36
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

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Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
I would anyday prefer a premium hatchback to a compact sedan even if were to pay more for the hatch.
- If its only "sedan would make me feel big" requirement then what you say is apt
- But if one is making an informed buy (and ready to embrace the lower levels build quality) because of really needed boot requirements, then I think the buyer may have a point.
- By the way can some one quantify the the boot volume for boot across these cars in question? That should also add to some perspective.
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Old 28th October 2013, 10:42   #37
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

There are a certain few (although, a minority) who decide their car based on the parking space available. Especially in urban cities, where parking is a luxury.

For eg: I can afford a C/C+ segment right now (for replacing the Swift), but for the lack of a proper parking space, I am restricted to premium hatch's or compact sedans. I cant buy a car that's more than the length of, say, a Swift or an Amaze, unless I am ready to park it in the open.

This, for quite a few, could also be a decisive factor.

Last edited by Swanand Inamdar : 28th October 2013 at 11:01. Reason: Edited text
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Old 28th October 2013, 10:57   #38
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

I started this thread out of genuine shock. I never knew that City/Vento like cars cost just a tad more than top-end Dzire/Amaze, etc. Till a few days back, I have sort of imagined that compact sedans are much cheaper than City/Vento level cars.

I feel Vento and City are such fabulous looking cars inside/out. They are true global cars with a lot more budget and resources to design and manufacture. Yes, there will be certain buyers for whom Dzire is perfect - maybe due to parking space, budget, rural-buyer, etc. But majority of the buyers are just not well informed about cars. It is quite unfortunate that these are the best sellers and manufacturers are getting away with it.

Here is my take on some of the points made in defence of compact sedan:

1. Fuel efficiency: even if you have a whopping 20kmpl vs 15kmpl difference (diesel to diesel), that translates to around Rs 10K per year. Relative to 10L price of the car, this amount should not influence the decision making.

2. Sedan vs Hatch: As many members have said the cars like i20, Jazz are global proper cars with better space, quality, features, etc. If anyone thinks a Dzire will earn admiration/respect compared to i20/Jazz they are just not very bright. I kinda agree that a Sedan wins in our society, but at least buy a sedan that feels richer than a hatchback.

3. Must have sedan but on strict budget: This is the crux of my OP:
Amaze/Dzire: ~9.5L (not much scope for negotiations)
City SMT: 9.9L (before negotiation, but heard not much scope)
Vento TDI Highline: ~11.2L (after some hard negotiation with extra goodies)

How many amaze top-end buyers really cant make this stretch? I can understand Dzire buyers being strict on budget or from rural areas where support is not available. I see Amaze parked in pretty good neighbourhoods, they can easily afford the extra budget.

Just to repeat myself: It is not to say incremental increase in budget results in incremental value. In this case of Dzire/Amaze to Vento/City, the increase in value is "an offer one can't refuse"!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
The success of the sub 4 m sedans like the Dzire has always amazed me. These cars offer inferior boot space to versatile hatches like the Jazz, but far outsell them and command a higher price. The fact that all these products are made for India tells us something about the odd psychology of the mid end Indian car buyer.
This is the conclusion I have come to as well :-)
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Old 28th October 2013, 11:04   #39
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
In this case of Dzire/Amaze to Vento/City, the increase in value is "an offer one can't refuse"!
I know somebody on Team-BHP who applied similar logic across various segments and ended up with a Mercedes S Class!
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Old 28th October 2013, 11:31   #40
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

I think lot of people who buy entry level hatch backs or sedans are stretching everywhere in their lives. Stretching a bit after they have already stretched will just break it.

Its also about their needs and it doesnt make sense to go beyond what they need. When you consider this along with fuel savings, ease of parking, ease of maintenance, insurance cost etc, its understandable.
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Old 28th October 2013, 12:03   #41
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
I happen to involve myself in the car buying experience of someone with a budget of around 10L ....

..... No offence meant for people buying compact sedans, maybe entry level ones make sense, but those who are buying top-end compact sedans should either stick to basic variant, or get the next segment.
+1. What you are saying is absolutely perfect and i expressed the same thoughts in Amaze thread few months back. I was shocked to see top end prices for Amaze Diesel & Petrol as well. Diesel was costing around 9.5 L and Petrol around 8+ Lacs, both OTR. At the same time Honda city base model we get below 8.5 L after bargain & discounts with some freebies. Amaze is built to cost where as CIty is proper sedan with Airbags & ABS too. Then why to go for Amaze? Same with top end diesel DZire. It is 9+ OTR Pune.

If i am in market to buy car within 10 Lacs, then i will look for Fiat Linea Classic + or Linea diesel with large discounts or i will go for City, Fiesta, Verna etc. base models which are proper sedans. Even i can consider Ford Ecosport if i have time to wait
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Old 28th October 2013, 12:17   #42
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
I started this thread out of genuine shock. I never knew that City/Vento like cars cost just a tad more than top-end Dzire/Amaze, etc. Till a few days back, I have sort of imagined that compact sedans are much cheaper than City/Vento level cars.
I feel Vento and City are such fabulous looking cars inside/out. They are true global cars with a lot more budget and resources to design and manufacture.
In general, I agree with your thoughts on this topic. Absolutely not a fan of those sub-4m compact sedans. That said, all the models you mentioned are market specific compromises – Dzire, Amaze, Sunny, Vento, City etc.
Vento and City are not really global cars. The Vento’s primary habitat is India, along with a couple of other markets like Malaysia and Russia (marketed as Polo Sedan). City is a Southeast Asia, Australia and India specific model.
The key difference is, City, Vento, Sunny etc. have some thoughtful work done to make it look aesthetically more pleasing, and hence got an universal appeal.

Infact I like what VW has done now (finally) – to provide similar engine options for the Polo and Vento. Around 2 lakhs premium over the hatchback is a bit steep, but for that price you get a good looking sedan with spacious rear seats and a practical boot.
Honda should have done something similar by providing a 1.5L Jazz instead of withdrawing the product from Indian market.
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Old 28th October 2013, 12:22   #43
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

When I needed to buy a new car to replace the awesome Wagon R. I was so happy when I saw the Sail UVA.

This is a hatchback derived from a sedan. At almost 4 meters in length the i20 and the Sail UVA are as long as the Dzires and Amazes.

These hatches don't sacrifice the passenger space for a boot. So if you don't really need the boot and I did not need it, a compact sedan is a bad idea. You are sacrificing your comfort for those suitcases.

Also if you abandon hard suitcases and instead adopt simple soft bags, you can squeeze in a lot of luggage inside these hatches.
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Old 28th October 2013, 12:40   #44
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

I believe that a sedan is the most impractical shape for a car, since I cannot utilise the space above the boot and behind the rear windshield, even though it comes within the boundaries of the car. However, I will not argue about the aesthetics or prestige of a sedan (personally for me, practicality and utility matters more than looks).

Also, compact sedans are not offered with rear washer and wiper. The boot is so small that the aerodynamics will cause the wind to settle some dust on the rear windshield when the car is moving through dusty areas (which you get plenty in our country).


Coming to compact sedans, I would rather have a hatchback/crossover that is as long as the compact sedan, for these reasons:
1. hatchback will give me as much bootspace as sedan, plus more. If the luggage is too much, just remove the rear parcel tray. Fold the rear seats and you have a huge boot!
2. hatchback will have rear washer and wiper
3. easier to reverse (of course, this problem can be solved to some extent using electronics and/or practice)
4. easier access to boot (I once hit my head to the boot door of Indigo while trying to retrieve a heavy suitcase)

So I do not see any value addition of compact sedans over hatchbacks of same length, except prestige.

But with ever increasing number of compact sedans on the road, I really wonder for how long will average people consider compact sedan as a prestigeous posession.

Last edited by rohanjf : 28th October 2013 at 12:41.
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Old 28th October 2013, 12:43   #45
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Default Re: Compact sedan? No thank you!

Hi @androdev

Must than & congratulate you for starting this thread.

I feel following factors/ features are on favour (amongst the public) of these under 4 m sedans:
1. 50% more boot space - Except the current DZire, of course, all such sedans/ vehicles (Indigo, Amaze & Ecosport... I have not missed out any other) offer almost 350L boot space.
2. Slightly more leg room - More often, when a hatch is extended to a sedan, there is slight extension of the wheelbase, which liberates leg room for the rear seat occupants.
3. Hatchback ~ Small Car... Sedan ~ Big Car - For the middle class buyers, these is prestige involved in buying a sedan (even if <4m) over premium hatch. A hatch however, premium or loaded with safety & other features is still a CHHOTI GAADI. And, this also causes the resale of different cars to vary, which further magnifies this problem.
4. Difference in prices - The differences in prices of hatch & sedan carved out that hatch is generally around a lac (max IMO). However, a full size sedan is much more costlier (Rs.2-3 lacs, more so because of the taxes) which the middle class buyer may not be willing to pay.
5. Smaller Engines ~ Fuel Efficient - These sedans are run by smaller engines (at times very good engines), which are good enough for city speeds & occasional highway runs, without hampering the fuel economy. So these are as lighter on pocket for most buyers as a hatch.
6. Sedans for females - These days many female buyers who do not wish to buy bigger, for varied reasons, could be more comfortable with the dimensions of <4m sedan & more often these cars would sell more than bigger ones.
7. Smaller & Congested Cities - These sedans are good (though not perfect foil) for congested city.

For most these cars can do 80-90% of the work of a regular sedan at almost 75% price.

Obviously a person having the moolah will opt for the bigger version.
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