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Old 2nd January 2016, 21:48   #1
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Default Indian market needs a small AWD hatchback!

The world has many AWD hatches, we have none. Today I read on the internet that "Alto Works" which is in Alto model exclusively for Japan will have an AWD with a 660 cc turbo petrol.
Im sure a small AWD will be a wonderful thing for us Indians to have a bit of fun on snow and sand. I for sure will love to buy a small petrol AWD hatch. What do you feel?
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Old 2nd January 2016, 22:06   #2
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Default re: Indian market needs a small AWD hatchback!

It would just be sweet to have a small AWD car, and i had the same thought when i saw the Alto Works model.

But there are three main points to be taken care of.

1. We have never been kind to FTD cars, yeah. Maybe cars having mass appeal like the Zen, Swift, OHC, Fords may have had their success but they were mostly due to other factors.
A proper market for FTD cars. Small but surely coming up.

2. AWD... Though we have our monsoons, AWD has never caught fancy due to the slight FE penalty and complexity. The thing is we never demanded for one, so never got one. The cheapest one is the Gypsy, but its more like a 4X4 off roader, while the Duster AWD is not exactly setting sales chart on fire even slightly.

3. Even if we get AWD models, those are most likely to be on demand AWD with mostly the front wheels being powered and rears getting engaged during extreme conditions. Not exactly what we as enthusiasts are looking for.


So, AWD will surely come to India at affordable prices, but not in the foreseeable future atleast as a FTD option. Would love to be proven wrong, but then our market is like that.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 23:43   #3
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Default re: Indian market needs a small AWD hatchback!

I personally will not go for the small AWD car owing to its complexity and possible higher maintenance cost.

But in hilly places like Uttaranchal, this will be useful.

Also, if small trucks like Tata Ace have this feature, it will be useful in sandy, muddy and hilly places.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 01:27   #4
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Default re: Indian market needs a small AWD hatchback!

Well, as much as I personally long to see such an AWD car in the <=10L segment, I fear we're not gonna get anything like that any time soon. We don't have the market for them, despite the conditions being such that they may warrant one sometimes.

Though we are a so-called 'SUV-crazy' market, and especially compact SUV's are a proper rage right now, our idea of an SUV in general is more of a status symbol and means of showing superiority on the road, rather than actual off-road ability. In that, our compact SUV's subscribe far more to the former idea rather than the latter. Hence, our idea of a 'comapct SUV' is more like that of a Hyundai Creta (which looks and feels like an SUV but is very much a regular car under the skin, yet claims to be an SUV) than that of a Fiat Panda 4X4 (that otherwise looks like an average hatch, but comes with 4x4, electronic off-road nannies, off-road tyres, etc. but still calls itself just a 4x4 variant of the Panda). Something that is an off-roader but doesn't look or feel like one isn't our cup of tea. Here it is exactly the other way round.

And as has been said earlier, the AWD hardware also affects the price and efficiency somewhat (it does the performance too, but nobody would care about a slight drop in perormance here anyways. But 1-2 KPL less or 80-90K more, and it becomes a deal breaker), which is not ideal. I mean, if we buy even Endeavours and Fortuners majorly in 4X2 variants, how will we buy small hatchbacks with AWD?

Also, almost none of the India-spec cars that sell under 10L I think are exactly AWD ready as they are. Neither I guess would the manufacturers have the investment or sources of AWD gear ready for making them on a large scale. The Duster AWD is compact and capable, but touches 15L on-road. A Creta AWD will be even costlier. The closest we'd come to a proper compact off-roader would be the TUV300 4X4, with a ladder frame and Mahindra's expertise. But that too won't come in cheap.
The 'Cross' hatches don't get any extra grunt or additional GC or protection for an AWD to make sense in them. And those too will 'cross' (pun intended!) 10L with AWD in tow.

Actually, I'd like to quote my post from another thread (Crossovers (CUV) - The new trend worldwide) from a while ago here, as it makes a lot of sense here as well:
Quote:
Just read this comparison between 4 such CUV's in the USA.
And the point to note there was that they were all called what they essentially are - subcompact crossovers. And having a look at them, just about every single car in that comparo comes with AWD in tow (the Kia Soul doesn't yet, but its coming soon) and have capable motors
Quote:
And yet, I repeat, they are all referred to as 'subcompact crossovers'. And they are seen as what they are- small cheerful cars that can tackle a bit of rough if the time comes. And given that it is USA, the time does come occasionally. So they are sold and bought for purpose, not show. Nobody makes too much of a fuss about them.
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Now, if any of the above cars were to be sold in India, they would be first called and marketed as "Premium Urban SUVs", the AWD would be the first to get kicked out of the spec sheet, then the safety kit, and then the car would be equipped with the most low-cost, underpowered, fuel-efficiency oriented diesel engine available in the manufacturer's stable
Quote:
Further, whichever car stays within its limits, and is not overambitiously branded as an SUV, or doesn't look like a 'big car', or doesn't come with a 'prestigious' badge on top, fails desperately, however fast, high quality or reliable it may be (yes, the S-Cross. Forget waiting periods, this is one Maruti with one lakh rupee discounts within mere months of launch).

Last edited by mukul32 : 3rd January 2016 at 01:42.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 10:23   #5
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Default re: Indian market needs a small AWD hatchback!

I personally feel an AWD Renault Kwid would be a great product as a small AWD hatchback. Keeping issues like performance, fuel efficiency and costs aside for a while the Kwid looks like the perfect car to get an AWD setup. The higher stance and mini Duster'ish looks gives it moreover a reason to have an AWD.
Maybe Renault could try and build a project AWD Kwid. Try and replicate the Audi Quattro?
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Old 3rd January 2016, 13:26   #6
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Default re: Indian market needs a small AWD hatchback!

+1. There is surely an untapped market there. Just because I want an AWD, doesn't mean I want those 7 seats too. Baring the Duster, almost all the AWDs here today are 5+ seaters. Even Duster feels a little too big, if it's gonna be just 2 people+luggage in the vehicle. Something like a Jimny or even Ecosport AWD would be ideal!

Small and nimble, with adequate power is the perfect recipe! Alas, nobody seems to be interested to break into this segment yet.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 18:54   #7
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Default re: Indian market needs a small AWD hatchback!

I too agree that we really need a compact AWD hatch. The kwid with AWD would have been perfect, but as long as India remains a price sensitive market, this will always remain a dream. They have not even designed the KWID for ABS, lest alone AWD.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 20:45   #8
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Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum.

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Last edited by GTO : 4th January 2016 at 12:23.
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Old 4th January 2016, 09:55   #9
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Default re: Indian market needs a small AWD hatchback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jassi_jeeper View Post
The world has many AWD hatches, we have none. Today I read on the internet that "Alto Works" which is in Alto model exclusively for Japan will have an AWD with a 660 cc turbo petrol.
Im sure a small AWD will be a wonderful thing for us Indians to have a bit of fun on snow and sand. I for sure will love to buy a small petrol AWD hatch. What do you feel?
The first question to answer is: WHY do we need an AWD for use on regular tarmac roads?

The only reason an on-demand 4wd system was designed, was for additional traction on sealed roads in the plains, where weather conditions such as snow and black ice cause skids. On-demand systems, especially in hatchbacks and sedans, are NOT meant for pure off-road driving (though there are enough people out there, who are desperate to prove that a Fiat Panda 4x4 can cope with off-road terrain better than a Range Rover).

How many places in India have snow and black ice on the plains, that merit having the additional benefit of an AWD system in a small hatchback or sedan with low ground clearance? None IMO.
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Old 4th January 2016, 12:27   #10
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Default Re: Indian market needs a small AWD hatchback!

Naah, I don't think there's a market for an AWD hatchback. Even if AWD is offered as an option, I'll be surprised if more than 1% of customers opt for it.

Why do we need AWD on a hatchback in India? I can understand the need for it in countries with snow, but that kind of weather is limited to a small part of India.

Without the need, AWD only brings additional cost, weight, maintenance & fuel usage.

I'll be happier with a wider variety of safety features & automatic transmissions in hatchbacks (than AWD).
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Old 4th January 2016, 12:41   #11
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Default Re: Indian market needs a small AWD hatchback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Naah, I don't think there's a market for an AWD hatchback. Even if AWD is offered as an option, I'll be surprised if more than 1% of customers opt for it.

Why do we need AWD on a hatchback in India? I can understand the need for it in countries with snow, but that kind of weather is limited to a small part of India.

Without the need, AWD only brings additional cost, weight, maintenance & fuel usage.

I'll be happier with a wider variety of safety features & automatic transmissions in hatchbacks (than AWD).
Small AWD hatchbacks haven't been a success anywhere in the world. Forget India, even places that see lots of snow haven't seen much traction in the sales of small AWD cars. For example, please see this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subaru_Justy, and http://left-lane.com/european-car-sa.../subaru-justy/

In places where there is lots of snow, people buying AWD vehicles have always tended to go for SUV/Crossover/Station Wagon - for their greater utility and ground clearance.

Any regular B-segment hatch fitted with snow tyres is at a natural advantage in the snow - it is light and has FWD. For the kind of use these vehicles are put to - as a runabout - this is more than enough. They will mostly be used in more urban locales where some civic amenities like road salting & plowing are provided. They will rarely be used in remote rural areas.

If someone like Subaru could not gain traction selling the Justy in Northern Europe, what hope for such a car in India?
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