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Old 19th April 2015, 01:06   #106
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First, have to say Crazy Driver, you have done an Xce(lle)nt job! I am 'Amaze'd!! I personally agreed on most of your points as I read, but still felt like something was missing in the (overall brilliant) post.

Firsts first. I am not saying the compact sedans are bad cars at all. Certainly not the recent ones. In fact they offer great package value. But it is equally true that they aren't that best out there for the money, and not as good as their supporters try to show them, and don't deserve to be a sales phenomenon and a future trend for the market. There simply isn't enough substance in them.

Actually, the CS makers and supporters try to convince people that they are the perfect sweet spot between proper sedans and hatchbacks. Which they are simply not. They are just not as good as their C segment counterparts, and just not convincingly better than the B segment ones. They only seem to offer a lot - and I do agree they have become seriously good recently - but still they are not quite what meets the eye. Also, they only appeal to the head, and not at all the heart, and also carry a tag of being indigenous products.

They are somewhat like the all-rounders (R Jadeja or S Binny for instance) in a cricket team. On paper, the all-rounders can bat, bowl, and field, but in reality they can manage only one well most of the times, and at times neither. Thus they end up being just bits-and-pieces players in the team, much like the compact sedans in the company portfolios.

Against C segment sedans, as someone had rightly said before, when you ask how much of a difference in interior space a few millimeters are going to make, just remember the same few millimeters don't give any advantage in terms of size or driveability either. The C segment cars also justify the 'status' factor far better. And yes, the price difference might be huge, but the difference in overall product standards is even bigger. Evidently, the City has the far better interior, the Verna the far better engine, the Ciaz far more overall space, and all three far better looks, than their compact counterparts.

Then, car per car the B segment hatchbacks are still as good, if not better than the compact cars. And aesthetically they are miles better. If the CS supporters have to say looks are subjective, then so is status. So if the hatchbacks cant be clearly called better looking, then the compact sedans don't necessarily have to be associated with status either, and hence the status factor of the compact sedans goes right into the bin here. And then the hatchbacks are all better quality, more driveable, and safer than the compact sedans. And it's not just about ABS and the standard couple of airbags, or the list of safety features. Build quality, body design and construction also play a huge role. And invariably the B segment hatchbacks are world class, and hence have better overall standards too. In this case, the buyer has to decide whether he wants the better car, or a decent car just because it's a sedan, and because 'it's not bad either'.

The cut price full size sedans are just another alternative, and naturally can't be expected to be better in value. But they do offer a good mechanical package most of the times. And basically, they are just there because the companies can still make them, and aren't meant be serious buying options now.

Actually, the compact sedans sell so much not because they are sedans; but because they tick most of the boxes on potential buyers' lists and hence make very good overall packages. They also tend to get the price factor right. And actually, they do make really good buys, but just not the best for the money. But they are selling simply due to the lack of good alternatives which are premium and practical enough.

There is the Hyundai elite i20, which looks cutting edge, has fantastic overall quality, lots of kit and also a certain Euro appeal to it. For me personally, the i20 is better than the Xcent in all departments. I don't see why someone going to a Hyundai showroom for an Xcent wouldn't change his mind and buy an i20 instead. And thus the i20 is already a blockbuster, and I bet it must have seriously dented Xcent sales. But then not everyone wants an i20, and not everyone likes Hyundais. So the new Jazz is coming up very soon, and it is another seriously fantastic car. And this time around it will be well priced too. So I expect it to do the same to Amaze sales. So is the he Suzuki YBA hatchback, which promises to be spacious, efficient and reliable And it will surely have an effect on both the Dzire and the Swift. And all of them are much more modern, and will appeal a lot more to urban buyers.

Hence, I feel though the compact sedan will not die anytime soon, it's only a matter of time before it loses its crazy following and ends up being just another segment in the market.
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Old 19th April 2015, 07:45   #107
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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
But it is also impractical with the rear seats being comparable to a B segment hatchback and has even less headroom than the A class. It is priced at 31L INR starting instead of 21L INR for the A, not only for what it offers - but what is it capable of selling it. Audi would have had to price the A3 hatch similarly had it been brought to our market.
Yes, but my point was not that. The reason for CLAís success is quite opposite to that of the compact sedans in India. It commands a premium (worldwide) not because of the sedan factor or practicality aspect. Itís the styling that works for it. The 4-door sports coupe is a successful formula now; the styling, sporty feel etc. takes priority over practicality. What I mean is, its successful due to its overall form-factor, and not just by the presence of a boot.

And you are right, If Audi brings the A3 hatchback to India, it may be priced significantly lower to the sedan. Thatís not because the sedan is superior to the hatchback, but more for the fact that manufacturers clearly know our marketís fetish for sedans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
This is why I like the arguments with you. I thought about your points on the Jazz / City pricing (I believe we discussed it on the Jazz thread) before writing the posts. And here you take it another step higher. Let me explain my thought process though -

What if i rephrase it as - In most of the international markets, the hatchback option is only for those who want the added practicality of NOT having a boot (The small and crowded streets of Europe for instance)? If the sedan isn't desirable as compared to a hatchback - why dont the biggies have hatchback versions? They had estate versions which are also a dying breed internationally.

Put someone in the small crowded streets of Europe and ask him to choose between the Golf and Jetta - he would choose the Golf at same price. What if there are no restrictions on space? Like the US? Jetta of course. To take another example - We would have more BHP'ians from Bangalore worried about buying a big sedan over a hatchback, rather than from a small city like Trivandrum.

Of course, this is 'my theory'. Waiting for your counter argument.
My thoughts on this are based on what I have read and seen, not backed by any data or quantitative reasoning

More than the space availability, I think every market has its traditional preferences Ė hatchbacks were always popular in Europe, and we can say that Americans always liked big cars. The differences are diminishing now, but still the base affinities remain intact.

And the sedan/hatchback segregation works differently. VW Golf is a popular hatchback in Europe, and 3-series or C-Class are extremely popular sedans traditionally. Tomorrow if VW decides to launch the next generation Golf as a sedan or say the 3-series become a hatchback, both models may suffer badly. So they stick by their traditional forms and provide variants in other forms, e.g.; Jetta, 3-series estate etc. If space restriction is a constraint, the BMW 1-series would have been a bigger success than the 3 in Europe, which is not the case.

Japanese manufacturers work differently. For example, A Mazda 3 is available in both hatchback and sedan forms Ė the hatchback version works better in Europe while in Asia I see more sedan variants on road. And both variants are priced similarly, irrespectively of the popularity. Here in Singapore, irrespective of the space constraint, people love sedans (5-series sell in huge numbers here). But the manufacturers who offer both sedan and hatchback options of the same car donít say that there is a boot attached so pay more for it.

----

I am not an ardent fan of hatchbacks. Infact personally I prefer a well-made, good-looking sedan than a hatchback or a crossover. For example, if I am buying a car in India tomorrow, I may look at the Vento TSI instead of the Polo GT because it suits my requirement better, and not because of the status symbol aspect. I know itís a boot job on the latter, but it does not give me a compromised feel. The car looks good, engine options are brilliant, minimum necessary safety tech is all there, and the car drives well. And I feel I am getting something worthwhile for my money. In the current scenario a 9 lakh compact sedan does not give that feeling. In my books itís still a compromise.
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Old 19th April 2015, 09:38   #108
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Post Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Valid point on the fair comparison.

However, my point was only to say that the segment is not 'cramped' as people claim. The interior space in Xcent / Zest / Amaze is more than what is available in Verna / Linea which are termed acceptable, but we claim CS segment is cramped. Lol. Because its a CS.
Xcent / Zest / Amaze are primarily applauded for their space. There are probably few who might not have an idea about this. But again coming back to my earlier point, they are of no comparison to a C segment in many aspects and I am sure you know this better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Now let me play by your rules. Let me compare Amaze D against City D. Both huge sellers. Top end Amaze retails at 8.21L and City at 11.83L. Thats a cool 3.6L difference which translates to about 4.5 - 5L depending on which City you are living in.

Performance - Same 1.5 diesel. Same specs.
Interior space - Amaze has enough. City has 30% more.
Boot space - Amaze has 400L which is quite enough. City has 25% more at 500L.
Handling - Both handle good. City is undertyred as stock though.
Interior Quality - I dont agree with both. But City is a better than Amaze for sure.

All said and done - 5 lakhs more? Yes, may be worth it. But dont you think Amaze is not a bad deal for people who don't want as much as the City, at a cool 5 lakhs less? City petrol makes more sense thanks to the 1.5 petrol though.
I live in one of the hottest town in India; Chennai

Performance: Honda City diesel gives the same performance but do not forget the Petrol variant of City. The Honda City had built it's reputation because of it's petrol variant and not the diesel variant.

Interior space - better
Boot space - better
Handling - better. undertyred? Amaze is not any better.
Interior Quality - Amaze interior is pathetic. City is not great either but better.

Is Amaze a bad choice? No. It is a great option for those who want a Sedan but cannot afford one.

When taking into account the on-road price, I was surprised to see that Honda Amaze's price was pretty close to Honda City's. And not everyone would go for top variant. It's mainly going to be SV variant.

What ticks for Amaze over City for me is the Automatic Variant. This makes more sense in the city (Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore etc. not Honda City ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Now, DZire v/s Ciaz.


Engine - Ciaz scores? I have a chart prepared on page 1. Please see my comments there. Same 1.3 diesel in VGT guise and a 1.4 petrol, both offset by the weight difference. The actual difference between DZire and Ciaz is very less.
Boot: Agreed. Ciaz offers 50% more.
Ride quality, handling: Please read up both team-bhp reviews. DZire has excellent ride quality and handling. Ciaz is similar but not much better. To add - it has a poor steering calibration compared to DZire.
Interiors: Agreed. But DZire is not a bad place too. With so many parts shared.

DZire ZDi comes in at 7.21L compared to Ciaz at 10.31L ex-showroom. Again a 4L - 4.5 L difference compared to the compact sedan.
I am sorry but I to have to completely disagree with you on this. It is like saying Swift makes more sense than Dzire.

Swift and Dzire have nothing in difference except the boot (same wheelbase). So why buy a Dzire?

Engine: I would like you to take test drive of Dzire and Ciaz back to back. Take both the cars on highway and please come back and post. The difference lies in the real world performance. It is of no comparison. My uncle owns both and I have the liberty to use them whenever I want and hence trust me Ciaz performs better than what's on paper. I've literally asked my uncle to sell Dzire and get an I20 or Swift as it did not make any sense after having Ciaz in the garage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
I'm never arguing at the C segment car is any lesser than it is. I'm only saying that the C segment being what it is - the compact sedans are not to be dismissed - given the price difference.
Before you conclude that I am bashing the CS; I am just trying to make a point that CS is CS and that's it. It is a very similar concept to premium hatch but with a boot for those who want a boot. But again as GTO said, I20 outsells nearly every CS out there in the market including it's very own Xcent.

Every segment has it's own strengths and the decision making of a buyer purely depends on needs and society where he lives. A thread in defence of CS does not make any sense as CS is already selling in good numbers and it does not need any justification or points to prove that CS rocks.
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Old 19th April 2015, 09:53   #109
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

I don't believe you wrote such a detailed post to justify CS segment! Kudos!

Well and very few here seem to agree with the post! Indeed you fortified their belief "why to hate CS"

And any which ways who listens to "enthusiasts!" If they did, many of the best-sellers today wouldn't have found any takers.
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Old 19th April 2015, 11:37   #110
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

The sales figures of Dzire and Amaze itself proves that people care two-hoots about the opinion of the enthusiast. I think that's what most of the members of this forum are saying as well. Whatever points that Crazy Driver has put is I am sure is known to both average Hari/Joe and the "enthusiast". Nevertheless it has triggered some interesting conversation. The number of CS sedans itself proves this than anything else. I believe that this is the list in the market - Indigo CS, Zest, Dzire, Amaze, Xcent and now Aspire. Is Verito Vibe a compact sedan? To me it's more of a notch-back than a CS sedan. I think what would give a different perspective is to have a thread about notch-back and station wagons and then burst some of the myths surrounding them. As far as I am concerned there are no myths surrounding CS sedans.
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Old 19th April 2015, 14:12   #111
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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 swiftnfurious View Post

The same way, isn't Grand i10 / Bolt / Brio spacious than Verna / Linea? I am pretty sure of this. None of these cars as I understand don't get any "extra" space in the compact sedan form over the hatchbacks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
However, my point was only to say that the segment is not 'cramped' as people claim. The interior space in Xcent / Zest / Amaze is more than what is available in Verna / Linea which are termed acceptable, but we claim CS segment is cramped. Lol. Because its a CS.
What??

Compact Sedans now have more interior space than C segment sedans??

That means their equivalent B segment hatchbacks now have more space than the C segment sedans??


I had some respect left for Volkswagen for not joining the CS rat race in India. Looks like that is going down the drain too!
http://www.team-bhp.com/news/volkswa...-compact-sedan

Last edited by Geo_Ipe : 19th April 2015 at 14:19. Reason: adding VW CS link
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Old 19th April 2015, 14:57   #112
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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
[b][u]

You want to purchase a brand new compact sedan and consult this with an enthusiast friend. Here are some his points that you could come across, and below are the reasons why I feel they don't have much substance.
first of all thanking you for such a brilliant write up, its always a pleasure reading your posts, the attention to details are immaculate.

However even after going through 14 reasons and agreeing with almost all of them I would still not go for a CS, but then there are people for whom I think a CS would be the best deal.

I have a 2008 Honda city and while getting it serviced I had the opportunity to sit in an Amaze and frankly I was quite amazed with the interior space maybe because I had a preset notion that it would be cramped. Now what really intrigues me is that a premium hatchback and a CS more or less have the same length but after reading your post I have come to believe that a CS has better boot space as well as rear leg room (I am confused). How have they managed this?

A CS is rightly priced and one gets to upgrade from the hatcback. I am personally against smaller sedans but I guess they are here for a reason and they are going to stay.

Recently I had toured Kenya and even a scorpio looks puny to the kind of SUVs people ride here , moreover they prefer suvs, vans, estates and station wagons to sedans but Indian cars are more stylish . So that 's the way things are, I will share a pic when i get the opportunity.

regards.
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Old 19th April 2015, 18:17   #113
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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 Aaron:) View Post
...Take the example of the Swift and the Dzire. For approximately 70 k more you get ...slightly more leg space,..
Nop, not really! The beige in Dzire is probably giving you a better sense of space, but there isn't anything extra in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
What??

Compact Sedans now have more interior space than C segment sedans??

That means their equivalent B segment hatchbacks now have more space than the C segment sedans??...
Sunny, Scala, Ciaz & City are quite spacious. The cars which are low on space are Linea, Verna, Fiesta, Rapid & Vento (from what I can recollect now). The Bolt / Zest, Brio / Amaze have better space.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 19th April 2015 at 18:25. Reason: Editing a portion of the post
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Old 19th April 2015, 19:05   #114
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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 swiftnfurious View Post
Nop, not really! The beige in Dzire is probably giving you a better sense of space, but there isn't anything extra in there.

Sunny, Scala, Ciaz & City are quite spacious. The cars which are low on space are Linea, Verna, Fiesta, Rapid & Vento (from what I can recollect now). The Bolt / Zest, Brio / Amaze have better space.
I checked, and you are right. The Swift and Dzire have similar leg space. I stand corrected.

I would rather buy a Swift, but you can't deny the fact that for a small family, the Dzire is infinitely more practical.

The choice is mostly clear. If you need the boot space and some additional practicality, buy a CS over its equivalent hatch.

Yes, a hatch like the i20 makes a good case for itself even if you need the space (good legroom, decent sized boot) but then it's the only one. Other premium hatches like the Polo, Punto and Swift cannot compete on space. The only other hatch that comes close is the Bolt, but then it has a really small boot. Probably the upcoming Jazz will change the equation.
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Old 19th April 2015, 19:07   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Sunny, Scala, Ciaz & City are quite spacious. The cars which are low on space are Linea, Verna, Fiesta, Rapid & Vento (from what I can recollect now). The Bolt / Zest, Brio / Amaze have better space.

That is not possible at all. Brio and Amaze are completely different in terms of space, so cant even compare. Coming to the amaze, at my driving position, i can barely sit behind myself with my knees almost touching the seat, in my vento, there is still a ton of space. The city and vento are pretty close in terms of wheelbase. Perhaps what you are mentioning is perceived comfort. The amaze has a higher seating position, which provides more utilisation of space. Seat width, no comparison to any of the C segment sedans!
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Old 19th April 2015, 22:14   #116
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

All said and done, just back from a 3 day itnerstate trip with a little baby and couple of adults and all the baby's toys,stuff and our own big luggage suitcases.

All fit so well into the Xcent. Glad i made the point to purchase this car over the hatchback sibling even though it meant stretching the budget a little bit.

So no matter what the pseudo-enthusiasts think, it all boils down ultimately to individual needs.
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Old 20th April 2015, 01:02   #117
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Wow CD. Quite an exhaustive write-up and an amazing effort to answer most of the questions thrown at you. Really appreciate the amount of time and effort you put on your threads. People like you make T-BHP a more fun place to be.

Coming to my perspective. As a kid, I equally loved both hatchbacks and sedans (maybe a little more than hatches you know - just a littttle bit more). I always thought hatchbacks - Maruti 800 / Alto, Santro, Uno, Matiz were cute and for small families. Sedans were what the rich rode on. And the typical feeling that Sedans means status.

But even then, I quite hated the compact sedans. If you were wondering what were the compact sedans when I was a kid. A few I can remember - Esteem, City, Corsa, Baleno. I thought they were "small" cars meant for people who could not afford a Civic or an Accord or a Corolla or an Octavia or a Contessa which were the real sedans for me (We could afford neither - we were still riding a Chetak) In my part of India, people have a concept "Kappal maathiri car" which means a ship like car. Probably that school of thought gave me the impression that only the bigger cars were good cars.

As I was finishing school and entering college, I started seeing bigger hatchbacks which I thought were really superb. They were - Indigo Marina, Baleno Altura, Octavia Combi. I always wondered why these big cars were so rare to see. Then, I did not know that it was a different segment altogether called estates. I still feel bad that we are not having a single Estate option to buy.

That was also the time when the premium hatchbacks started becoming more common and I started loving them more than sedans. (Probably because the market was getting filled with the smaller sedans I hated and the pool of bigger sedans always remained the same). Even though, with C-segment sedans growing in length and style, I am quite liking sedans like City, Ciaz, Vento, etc, the same sentiment continues till date. I hate Compact Sedans and would any day choose a premium hatchback. We have a Swift Dzire ZXi (longer version) but that was my dad's choice and I did not want to pull him back even though I didnt quite like the car.

Coming to the current crop of CSs, they are not doing anything to change my views. Amaze is pretty proportionate, Figo Aspire (from the pics) looks fine too. But Dzire and Zest (side profile) are having a neck to neck battle for the worst ones. I have sat inside all CSs except Zest and Amaze is decently spacious (I am 6' 3") no others are comfortable for me.

That is the only reason I am waiting for the new Jazz - it is sub 4m + has 380L+ boot space, extremely practical and looks good too. I dont say that I will never buy a CS, but if I do, that will never be a heart decision.

P.S. We are fighting over sub 4m sedans. Go to US, even cars like Civic, Corolla, Jetta, Focus are considered small cars. Accord, Camry, Passat, Taurus are the big cars there.

Last edited by Vigkey : 20th April 2015 at 01:09.
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Old 20th April 2015, 12:39   #118
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Default Re: Compact Sedans - 15 reasons why you probably shouldn't listen to the enthusiast!

Crazy Driver, nice write up, putting up your perspective!

Would you also want to consider the handling of these cars - the hatch vs the respective compact sedan?

From my limited experience, it's so much more fun chucking a petrol Swift down Kerala's winding high range roads in the monsoons, than it is, a Dzire. The CS version on the same platform, simply does not give one the confidence.

Ugly proportions and individual perceptions of prestige aside, to my mind, how a car behaves on the road is 'the' factor that would swing drivers (whether they consider themselves "enthusiasts" or not!), this way, or the other.

On the other hand, if you are looking for practicality at the same budget, the car as a means for getting you from pt A to pt B, with the least hassle, keeping you and your luggage separate (!), and don't have an urge to throw your car into sharp corners with abandon now and then (!), why not a compact sedan? Who needs "enthusiast" approval?!
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Old 20th April 2015, 13:06   #119
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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 CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Brio and Mobilio, you mean?
No I meant City and Mobilio. Which in turn have the similar internal width as Vento, Polo, Verna and Ciaz.

I don't know about Brio.

One major advantages of C-segmenters is the generous crumple zone, which CS cars simply cannot replicate. I mean simply lift the bonnet of any C segment car and you will see a huge empty space in the front, which can act as crumple buffer zone. But CS cars have the area jam packed.
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Old 20th April 2015, 14:19   #120
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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 Aaron:) View Post
Yes, a hatch like the i20 makes a good case for itself even if you need the space (good legroom, decent sized boot) but then it's the only one. Other premium hatches like the Polo, Punto and Swift cannot compete on space. The only other hatch that comes close is the Bolt, but then it has a really small boot. Probably the upcoming Jazz will change the equation.
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That is the only reason I am waiting for the new Jazz - it is sub 4m + has 380L+ boot space, extremely practical and looks good too. I dont say that I will never buy a CS, but if I do, that will never be a heart decision.
Yes Jazz definitely makes sense over CS. We will all have to wait for the pricing and how it plays.


Even the current (rather the discontinued) version is better than the CS for space.
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