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Old 6th December 2009, 11:59   #31
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I am darn curious to see how our market accepts the premium hatchbacks. With the premium price.
In your opinion which cars are at present can be considered as premium hatchbacks
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Old 29th October 2015, 00:24   #32
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

Time to revive the old thread.

Requesting the BHPians to kindly give their viewpoints on as to what constitutes a "True" Premium Hatchback.

Is it Size, but nowadays all cars try to make use of sub 4m rule.

Engine Capacity, is very important but in a country "obsessed with mileage" it takes a back seat or rather I say, thrown out of window, eg. Baleno 75HP.

Brand, its debatable as any perceived Premium brand can launch not so premium car, for e.g. Amaze

Price, also not a perfect criteria if you take into account the discounts offered.

Feature List of top variant including Safety Features, sounds a fair criteria as base variants of almost all cars whether premium or not appear naked.

Interiors, fair criteria.

Overall Build Quality, good criteria and must include fit and finish, paint job, etc. Kerb Weight comparison is debatable as Japanese cars were always lighter.

Overall Buying experience, must be considered as the Premium customers do demand preferential treatment and rightly so. At the same time, in our country, the high headedness shown by the SRs is also considered an integral part of premium package from what I gather while going through various forums and buyers quite happily accept it in the name of premiumness.

Overall Ownership Experience : Fair criteria and includes A.S.S. experience, resolutions of niggles by service team, etc. but difficult to judge for new launches.

Mileage : who knows when fossil fuel stocks become scarce few years down the line, this could become the only criteria for Premiumness.

Amount of Chrome Used : Strong Criteria in our country but to me it actually makes car unpremium.

My take :

In order of preference:

1. Overall Build Quality
2. Engine Capacity
3. Feature List of Top Variant
4. Interiors
5. Size
6. Overall Buying Experience

Price is not so very important criteria while judging the Premiumness, it can be the main criteria in judging the VFM factor of any car, premium or not, Sedan or Hatchback, etc. etc.

Currently these cars can be called as Premium IMHO

Punto Evo
Bolt
Polo GT
Elite i20
Baleno
Pulse
e2o

Last edited by carwatcher : 29th October 2015 at 00:47. Reason: Adding few Points
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Old 29th October 2015, 12:38   #33
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

Tata Kite also looks a promising Premium Hatch but then Bolt would go out of the list.
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Old 29th October 2015, 18:05   #34
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

I am surprised that there are absolutely no posts on this thread while on the Premium Hatchback Poll we had a serious discussion going excatly on the same lines.

Requesting the Bhpians to provide their valuable inputs.

Or is it such a sensitive topic that must be avoided like a plague.
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Old 29th October 2015, 19:53   #35
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

In my view, a premium hatchback should not compromise on many factors namely build quality, safety features, interior space and comfort, features available on top variant, and to some extent driving dynamics & engine as well.
However, here, the manufacturers of all the B2 hatchbacks sold, use the word premium liberally in their advertisements, but not really in their cars.

Let us review point by point:
Build quality:
Most of these hatchbacks have nothing to brag about build quality. We have no conclusive proof yet on how their light weight flimsy metal bodies with a lot of crumple zones are going to save us better.
Safety features:
2 airbags, ABS, EBD are offered in most top variants. Can't consider them premium.
Interior space & comfort:
This is one area they are improving well. The hatchbacks are around 4m and the interiors are getting better.
Features on top variant:
More features the better. Most features considered premium now, will be available next year in all the not-so-premium cars.
Driving dynamics & Engine.
All hatchbacks stick to the 12% excise duty bracket, and hence they offer engine performance sometimes equivalent to the B1 segment.

Now, due to this, the premium hatchback space is a myth. There is no such differentiation between B2- normal & B2 - premium hatchback. The not-so premium hatchback today, will evolve after a facelift into a premium one.
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Old 29th October 2015, 20:45   #36
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

Couldn't agree more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridpetrol View Post
Now, due to this, the premium hatchback space is a myth.
It is a myth milked by manufacturers to the max.

We even have posts belittling suited-buited sales executives with iPads in hand by comparing them with waiters. So can't fully blame the manufacturers fully, whatever little or big attempt they are not well understood or appreciated by many.

Similarly we have numerous posts with veiled threats to manufacturers right before launch. One can read them in hordes on EcoSport, Baleno and other car launch threads, if read collectively the do give an opinion that though everyone wants premium tag for their cars, but actually very few are ready to spend for that.

Hyundai has to be commended for handling our market wrt pricing. They are minting money with success of Elite i20 and Creta somehow by juggling with the feature list. I think its the paint-finish which does the job for them right from the launch of Santro Xing. It does give that premium feel even before you enter the car.

Last edited by carwatcher : 29th October 2015 at 20:46.
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Old 29th October 2015, 22:18   #37
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

Would like to add the Scross as the best premium hatch. When I td it, I loved its large hatch like styling and superb interiors plus kit for a hatch. Might be the first premium hatch above 10l if you ignore Maruti's marketing.
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Old 29th October 2015, 22:40   #38
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Would like to add the Scross as the best premium hatch. When I td it, I loved its large hatch like styling and superb interiors plus kit for a hatch. Might be the first premium hatch above 10l if you ignore Maruti's marketing.
Agreed! While all the manufacturers are trying to start at 5 lakhs for their premium hatchbacks, this was one bold move. Yes it was made as a crossover but honestly what is the difference between a hatchback and crossover? Think above Etios Cross and Cross Polo and compare them with their hatch versions!
Actually while the segment was a crossover Maruti has kept the crossover styling subtle. This gave it a really big hatch look. Which other hatch in our market is more than 4m in length? The only disappointment was the engine. The DDiS320 should have been promoted well.
Actually for the benefit of buyers all the hatches above 4m should be classified as premium and sub 4m as compact hatchbacks. Then there will not be any question about which one is premium: Figo with 6 airbags, or Jazz with magic seats.
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Old 29th October 2015, 23:47   #39
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

Car segmentation is done basically on the basis of length.

In our case, most hatchbacks within the length range of 3950mm - 3999mm fall in the 'Premium' range. The international models of cars longer than 4000 are chopped down to below that no. to fit them into our laws. Let us also assume that anything below ~1000cc engine displacement cannot be included in B segment.

The following is the list of premium hatchbacks available in our country(let's call it B3 segment for academic purposes):
Jazz 3955mm
Polo 3971mm
Elite i20 3985mm
Punto 3989mm
Baleno 3995mm

One car that I really hope gets added to this list:
Fiesta Hatch 3969mm (EU Spec)

The next segment is obviously 3750-3950 (B2 Segment in our case) the following fall in this band:

Grand i10 3765mm
Ritz 3775mm
Liva 3775mm
Vista 3795mm
Bolt 3825mm
Micra/Pulse 3825mm
Swift 3850mm
Figo 3886mm
Sail 3946mm

The next segment can be from 3550-3750mm with ~1000cc & above which will include the last remaining B-Segment hatchbacks (B1) listed as under:
WagonR / Stingray 3636mm
i10 3585mm
Celerio 3600mm
Brio 3610mm
Beat 3640mm

It is a well known fact that newer generations of most cars tend to grow larger and larger in size, hence keep gradually moving up segments. As the years pile on with our 'small car' regulations, we will see more and more cars graduating into the B3 segment just like the Spark has graduated from A segment to B2(Beat). Next in line to B3 segment are the Sail Hatch(if it survives till the next gen.) and the Figo(unlikely if they launch the Fiesta Hatch)

P.S.: I have not considered cars which are based on older generation outdated platforms (eg. Go, Indica eV2, Micra Active etc.) which were kept alive by their respective manufacturers for a variety of reasons.
P.P.S.:The ~1000cc requirement was kept to keep the likes of Kwid (at 3679mm and its would-be-rebadged versions from Nissan/Datsun) out of the B segment owing to the un-highway-worthy engines.

Please feel free to point out how such a system can be improved since all limits are arbitrarily chosen based on what is available in the market.
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Old 30th October 2015, 14:19   #40
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

I think Length and Engine capacity mix is a reasonable criteria as far as Govt. Agencies are concerned.

Why this thread is revived because we can share our views on what we consider as 'True' premium hatchbacks as with the launch of Baleno which is feature loaded, safety kit loaded, yet looks like Swift and priced 4.99 lac and most importantly "feels" like Tin can by many can be referred to as premium or not and rightly so coz after all MSIL fully wants to exploit the tax benefits meant for un-premium cars.

I don't think it would make any difference as to what Govt. already thinks. Infact, its better that this thread doesn't attracts Govt's attention otherwise they surely would introduce another tax in the name of premiumness.
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Old 30th October 2015, 15:22   #41
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

The problem with all these characterization such as 'premium' is that it is very subjective and can include a broad range of things. A thread like this will only make sense as long as we don't kill one another over differing scales or opinions. Sorry to sound negative but from history, I think we will end up mentioning pretty much everything under the sun in the list.
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Old 30th October 2015, 15:46   #42
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by prakash_ajp View Post
The problem with all these characterization such as 'premium' is that it is very subjective and can include a broad range of things. I think we will end up mentioning pretty much everything under the sun in the list.
The car market is evolving right?
At one point of time, having power steering in the car was luxury, now it is more of a necessity.
Similarly, today, we might feel auto headlamps & rain sensing wipers as a premium feature. However, once all manufacturers start providing these features in their cars, sooner than later, we would never have to switch on / off the headlights, or the wipers, as they will take care of themselves! Features such as Full MID, fog lamps, rear defogger & washer wiper, rear parking sensors & camera, GPS Navigation, adjustments of steering wheel & seat height will all become basic features one day.
When we say Premium, it should be distinguishable from the peers at any point of time.
Here we talk about cars such as i20, Jazz, Baleno, originally B2 segment cars. All of them sub 4m, < 1.2L /1.5L engines, keeping themselves between 6-10L OTR.
I would consider a hatchback to be premium, if they can deliver a car with dimensions bigger than a sub 4m car, engine spec better than the 1.2L/1.5L, and provide all necessary features offered in the regular cars, and then some more. Price of course will be premium (not 4.99L), but the tag would really justify it.
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Old 30th October 2015, 16:08   #43
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

For me, a premium car is which gives me a sense of ego while sitting inside, which basically is all about the quality of parts & supreme NVH levels. I wouldn't bother about the horses under the hood, 0-100 timing etc.

I vote for two options, Polo & Elite i20 based on my criteria.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 30th October 2015 at 16:10.
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Old 30th October 2015, 16:09   #44
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

There you go. You can't conclude anything with too many variables in the equation, can you? To be honest, only thing this thread can offer is a chance to make people feel good about the cars they own or fancy, otherwise a Volvo V40 or similar will come out on top every time. Then before you know, we will be talking about this price band, that price band etc.. That brings me back to my original question, so, what's the point?
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Old 4th November 2015, 20:26   #45
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Default Re: The True "Premium" Hatchbacks

In our country we have a classic contradiction.

While almost anyone can "prove" that almost all hatches are Premium but none of us can prove that any car is "Safe" as what is being discussed on a parallel thread regarding safety.

We are having Premiumness without Safety, a new segment altogether.
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