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Old 16th April 2015, 15:42   #31
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Its not just the CS which are Frankenstein hybrids, the newly evolving and super ugly compact muv or LUV or some other UV kind of segment is one more such.
India I think looks for some kind of all-rounders in cars, a car which can carry 7 people, a week load of luggage, looks good, expensive to neighbors, sips fuel like a motorbike, costs as least as possible, high ground clearance to clear speed breakers and the occasional trip to the gaon.
At the same time we don't seem to care if the car has any safety features available, after all we don't fasten seatbelts too, because it creases our shirts!! Hence we have this compact SUV, MUV and sedan segment available, built with the flimsiest sheet metal available, and in case of Maruti I believe with origami paper.
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Old 16th April 2015, 16:05   #32
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JD1 View Post
Great points. I personally was planning for a City/Ciaz but looking at Bangalore traffic, decided to instead go for the under-4 m segment (Xcent). Enthusiasts can loathe as much as they can on the 4-m rule resulting in not-so-fascinating looking cars (subjective), but unless our road network is improved, any additional space saved by compact sedans is space earned to squeeze in additional 2 bikes (especially Bangalore bikers who can put auto-rickshaws to shame in how they can squeeze in).
Thanks for your comment.

This happened for our family as well, where mom wanted a sedan but father was just not confident of handling a big car like the Ciaz or the City and the parking hazzles they would bring (including reversing into our garage). Xcent was the perfect answer to all those and much more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JD1 View Post
Interestingly, Swift and Dzire sell almost the same; Amaze is way better than Brio (plus diesel engine) and sells way more than Brio, Xcent is better than Grand i10 but below i20 and both i10/i20 sell more than Xcent.
Xcent needs a bigger diesel powerplant against the 1.5 and 1.3 engined competition, and Hyundai seems to have understood this already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acidkill View Post
Wow thats a lot of effort. Did you get a compact sedan recently?
Thanks.

We have one in the family. The Xcent SX(o). Bought for parents and I really was not in favour of the segment back then - but it has really grown on me. My personal car is a Punto and the Xcent does almost everything better than it other than being fun to drive.

More space, more boot space, automatic option, so many gadgets - yet the same price tag. Should say that it has changed my thought process a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acidkill View Post
Car status once upon a time belonged to the sedan in India. Now, i think that has changed. Anything south of the luxury brands is passe. And there is stratification even within the products of Audi BMW Merc and JLR.

Even among the non luxe brands Anything south of Rs 20 lakh today is not really considered a car of any status. So lets not talk status at all.
As I mentioned in an earlier comment - this depends on where you stand. In a country where only 5% households own cars and more than 50% dont have the privilege of owning any form of transport - your statement only holds true for the very cream of our society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acidkill View Post
CS is a mass product. And it is here to stay because
1. It comes down to the tax advantage that CS has.
2. The CS is based on a model that exists in other parts of the world (except for the Zest). The making of the CS is probably India specific strategy
3. The reducing purchasing power of the ruppee thanks to inflation and rupee depreciation, has brought otherwise budget C - segment buyers to this CS product. Let us not forget that CS evolved as competitive option against cars like Fiesta Classic, iKon, Accent and Etios. It was never intended to compete with City, Vento or Ciaz.
4. Relative acceptance of the shape: Just as in the US where the Camry is the staple car, the Corolla is called a compact and still smaller sedans are called a compromise; So as in India, the staple is the City/Ciaz/Vento and the compact is the various CS i guess
Very valid points all! And true about the US market. Infact, I do get to see a lot of foreign nationals as part of wife's previous employment - and I can assure you that they frown upon cars like the City or the Ciaz. Surprisingly - majority of them drive a Scorpio or the Innova.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouraC View Post
Great compilation of all the facts and figures, now it’s up to the people to decide what they want to go for.
Commendable job done by you CrAzY dRiVeR.

Its a fact that the sub 4 meter started as disproportionate, made in need kind of a design but the segment has evolved quite a lot. Previously people were sceptical about going for them but as the segment started to mature and people found purpose, it seems there is nothing to stop it now.

If we concentrate on the MOM numbers it seems that more and more people are getting inclined to this segment. The segment was created to escape a tax implication but now so many followers of the same and I hope no mature person can think all of those people are foolish enough to be misled.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnabchak View Post
Status is how you and your immediate vicinity sees you.
A 20 lac SUV in a posh Worli is equivalent to probably a Dzire in Kalyan!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by chncar View Post
But our country big enough to have all types, and you would be surprised how many first time car buyers go for compact sedans over a hatchback for 50k less or a proper sedan for 1L more.
Well said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine_Roars View Post
I own an Xcent. I bought a car even before I own a home. For me, buying a car was not about my status, it was more about my needs, my priorities. I started off with test driving various Hatchbacks and ended up buying a CS. Why? Simply because it ticked almost all of my requirements. I did not care about what enthusiasts think about it, I did not care if its a hatchback or a Compact Sedan. The car was supposed to suit my requirements and Xcent did. Period.
Our Xcent SX(o) AT ticket all 10 /10 of our requirements for replacing the car for parents.

1. Had to be an automatic transmission.
2. Should be a newer model in the market.
3. Should feel like an upgrade from our old WagonR VXi.
4. Wait, not just an upgrade, but a sedan this time - Mom only had this one requirement.
5. Sedan? But it should be a small car with a good turning radius, otherwise U_turn into our garage could becoming a tricky affair on a daily basis - Father's only requirement.
6. Reversing sensor / Camera - This U_turn into our garage is going to be a very tight one, and any electronic assistance would be great.
7. ABS and airbags.
8. Quality & Feel good factor - Wife only had this one requirement!
9. Good looks - And I had this one additional requirement over and above the feel good factor.
10 Good service network.

Last edited by GTO : 19th April 2015 at 13:08. Reason: Quoted post edited
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Old 16th April 2015, 16:07   #33
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Appreciate the effort and detailed posts Crazy Driver. But I think the reasoning has to be viewed in a completely different manner - as follows:
- Maruti made Swift, which was a smash-hit
- Maruti added a boot to Swift and +50K to price, calling it Dzire. Smash-hitness continues
- Other Companies want a share of the pie and launch their similar pieces after watching Dzire bring in windfall profits for Maruti, and voila - the new CS segment is born.

So basically this segment basically refers to Dzire and its wannabees.

As for profiles:
Swift: Common Small family. Kids sit in the rear
Dzire: Family like of swift but want a boot too for luggage or CNG Kit

Note that City etc cars aren't just a little bigger as compared to Amaze etc ones, they are a whole new quality standard higher in terms of component tolerances and build quality. In fact Amaze has same width internally as City or mobilio, only length is few centimeters more.

If I were to extend your logic, then why a 'special' looking car such as WagonR is rocking sales will lead to over a dozen questions too.
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Old 16th April 2015, 16:22   #34
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

I appreciate your effort CD for compiling this long thread and it was needed indeed. You rightly said that cs are here to stay.

But the thing I hate the most is these days the compact sedans are not only disproportionate in looks (specially dzire) but they feel like as if the manufacturer was in a hurry to design them. When Zest was launched I liked the car in picture but when I first saw it in person, it looked ugly to me specially the side profile. Although it comes with LED tail lamps which looks great. I think we hate CS for their design or lack of it. We all know that they are VFM, offer space and comfort better than their hatch brothers, offer good amount of goodies compared to last gen sedans as well but its the silhouette which is ugly.

I believe with time their design will get better. Amaze and xcent are some good examples of that. But I also think this segment has to evolve. I always wonder why form factors like notchback, fastback/aeroback were not considered here in India. See for example these clean designs:

Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!-proton_wira_aeroback_special_edition_first_generation_second_facelift_rear_serdang.jpg
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1964 VW Type 3 notchback
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From the looks of it, it seems a sedan can be designed within 4m and yet without making it ugly and disproportionate. It's just that the manufacturers are not brave enough to experiment with their designs and they are happy to build cars which sell well eventhough they (cars) are ugly. Otherwise who wouldn't have loved something like this:

Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!-vw.jpg

Last edited by Carpainter : 16th April 2015 at 16:23.
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Old 16th April 2015, 16:46   #35
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

That's some effort you have taken CD. Nice article.
There are no points that I could disagree with. But nothing in this changed my feeling of dislike for this class.

All these days I was wondering if I could call myself an enthusiast.
After reading through the whole article, I see that among the 14, I give around 7 reasons to anyone who seeks my opinion.
So I can now easily say "I'm an Enthusiast"

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
the hated compact sedan class.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Lets analyze the sales for the month of March 2015 -

Swift (16722) + Grand i10 (8856) + Brio (1642) + Bolt (1118) = 28,338 cars.
DZire (17971) + Xcent (4500) + Amaze (8128) + Zest (2653) = 33,252 cars.
How is this class "The hated class" when it sells more than the hatchbacks? It is IMO "hated by enthusiasts" class.

The 'C' in CS or CUV may stand for Compact for the world but for me 'C' always stood for "Copying a" and I don't see any chances of it changing in the near future.

Students don't listen to teachers
Children don't listen to their parents
Employees don't listen to their bosses
Finally, no one is listening to an enthusiast.
If anyone would have, we would have seen many cars which are now hardly selling anything and many others which have not yet made it to the market.

If you like a CS and wat to buy one, buy it. Don't listen to 14/15/1000 how many ever reasons others give.
And if anybody questions your choice; In a Deepika Padukone style, say "Buying a Compact sedan... #mychoice"
If you don't like a CS, "Hey, you are an Enthusiast"

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 16th April 2015 at 16:48.
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Old 16th April 2015, 17:24   #36
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Whatever, Crazydriver! I don't like these cut-paste job sedans. Would rather buy a hatch if I can't afford a sedan. They look too me-too. Almost like a hatch sticking a tail and screaming," look, look... I am a sedan now." Sorry CD. BTW, I think you own an Xcent. Tryin' to convince other, yeah...?
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Old 16th April 2015, 17:28   #37
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
BTW, I think you own an Xcent. Tryin' to convince other, yeah...?
That was hitting below the.. timing belt !
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Old 16th April 2015, 17:33   #38
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Great effort CD.

I personally am not a fan of the CS segment and do not understand the 'status' part of this segment either. Having said that, like Carpainter has mentioned, if these had been made into notchbacks, the practicality bar would raise so much higher !

I was a big fan of the Accent Viva and almost bought one (used) when I was searching for my first car.
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Image courtesy - google, olx.

The only reason I can think of, as to why manufacturers aren't doing notchbacks is cost. Or maybe a notchback under 4m would make it too similar to it's hatch sibling ??!

I think of all these hatch to CS, Sedan to hatch / CS designs the worst design award has to go to Mahindra.
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Seriously, what were the designers thinking when they designed the boot to open like this
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpainter View Post
. I always wonder why form factors like notchback, fastback/aeroback were not considered here in India...

Attachment 1361476

Last edited by fiat_tarun : 16th April 2015 at 17:34.
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Old 16th April 2015, 17:39   #39
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

“Design is body language for inanimate objects.” -Jarod Kintz

I think the question here is of balance between form and function. Hating compact sedans is obviously naive but then, for some of us, cars have personalities and we aspire to hook up with the attractive ones!
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Old 16th April 2015, 17:49   #40
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Thanks.

We have one in the family. The Xcent SX(o). Bought for parents and I really was not in favour of the segment back then - but it has really grown on me. My personal car is a Punto and the Xcent does almost everything better than it other than being fun to drive.

More space, more boot space, automatic option, so many gadgets - yet the same price tag. Should say that it has changed my thought process a bit.
Well congrats man. I can't say that i have never owned a CS. At 4095mm (95mm extra) the Maruti 1000 was the first CS In India. It probably is the cool uncle of the Dzire i guess. It was my college car and I had a blast in that.

I am sure any of the "CS" cars today are much better than it . So Full power to anyone who owns one.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by acidkill : 16th April 2015 at 17:57. Reason: errors
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Old 16th April 2015, 18:21   #41
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Would like to add a few points:

1. I wonder at people who say a CS makes more sense than a C segment Sedan as it is more practical in urban conditions. Does a 100 mm reduction in size offer that much practicality to make it the quintessential automobile in urban conditions? Nah.. i dont buy it. ( esp. considering you don't buy the fact that a few mm increase in leg room in the rear doesn't make that big a difference)

2. I think a compact sedan would do what the A3, X1 and the A and B class have done to the entry level luxury sedan- they would gradually push the pricing of the C segment sedan higher up. The manufacturers have indeed observed the strategy of their luxurious counterparts

a) introduce a few vehicles of slightly lesser aspirational value, a little below the price point of the entry levels (A3 vs A4, A and B class vs C class etc)
b) Tempt the customers with something ( eg - brand value ; now you can own a BMW at just 23 lacs ex showroom etc. )
c) If it clicks, push the pricing of the entry level sedans gradually upwards and replace them with the A3's and the B class etc and voila! you have created a new segemt.

To directly compare - we now have the ecosport,i20 cross, xcent, dzire, etc all in the 8.5 to 9.5 lac bracket, where the C segment sedans had a fleet of good top end options available not long ago. In contrast, most top end sedans are priced at above 12 lacs OTR now. Even adjusting for inflation and taxes, i think it is a great news for the manufacturer that we are buying what they are throwing at us, and thereby helping them to eventually create a new segement at around 10 lacs in a few years' time consisting of cars with botched up rears and plastic cladded skirts! We Indians are a crazy lot.
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Old 16th April 2015, 19:03   #42
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

A very nice compilation CD, especially Point 12 . Thank you.

Most, I repeat "Most" of the people buying a CS go for it for two reasons:

1. "Big Car"
2. "Better Status"

A case in point is a colleague of mine who bought the entry level Xcent as his wife wanted a big car which befits their status of having arrived into the 4 wheeler scene. They didn't want a hatchback and couldn't afford a proper C segment car. Why base model - because that was the best he could afford after taking a loan.

There are a lot of people who would opt for the CS as they want to graduate from a hatchback to a bigger car similar to my colleague and so this segment would continue to live and grow.
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Old 16th April 2015, 19:41   #43
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

The compact sedans offer a "feel good" factor of owning a sedan for people who do not want to spend more for a Sedan, that is the only reason people prefer a compact sedan over a premium hatchback, IMO.

My brother recently bought a Grand i10 after considering all compact sedans. His budget was a max of 7 Lacs and after considering the value for money, he decided to buy a hatchback instead of a compact sedan. As rightly pointed out in this thread, most of compact sedans got out of his list because of its design, and the rest didn't offer value for money.

The XCent is about 1.5 to 2 Lac expensive than a similar Grand i10 and the difference is something like a boot! I am glad he made the right choice to buy a hatchback with ABS and Airbags instead of buying a compact sedan without the safety features.
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Old 16th April 2015, 21:17   #44
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Enough of this BS about status symbol/ego/being arrived etc etc.

For me, the compact sedan Xcent ticked all boxes when I went for car shopping an year back.

For me the only and only thing that mattered was *practicality*. And with 407 litres of boot space, a refined engine with light controls, reasonably spacious and comparatively cheaper maintenance were the key factors I went for the Xcent petrol.

If a tom dick harry thinks that I am image and status conscious or have a big ego, its *his* problem and not mine.

And boy did I find the car's practicality helpful during my 1 year ownership? Defintly yes!

Would I recommend CS over the corresponding hatchback to a person who can afford it? Of course yes.

Last edited by DCEite : 16th April 2015 at 21:21.
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Old 16th April 2015, 22:24   #45
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Ten years down the line, how will India's two decades of Automotive History look like? A sea of disproportionate 4M contraptions (Minimum of 2 from every Mass Manufacturer). What a pleasant history.

However logical or practical the offerings of the manufacturers be or the choices the customers make, the 4M rule killed DECENT performance petrol engines (Sub 10L) in this country and gave birth to ridiculous looking cars which only capitalized on people's aspiration and nothing else.
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