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Old 17th March 2010, 16:41   #61
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I think, the market has already answered this question. It is the so called "premium" hatchback all the way, there might be exceptions though.
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Old 21st March 2012, 18:20   #62
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

Reviving an old thread.

Lets take into context an individual who does not need a boot. What should he buy? A hatch, right? But what would he buy? A Sedan. Why? Because sedans are more "upmarket" & also associated with status symbol.

I have always preferred hatchbacks over sedans. I find them to be more stylish when compared to sedans & also, if I buy a maxi hatch, I get a very spacious & feature packed hatch compared to a bare basic & boring sedan.

A few points -

1) Image/Status symbol :

Its a fact that, in India, hatchbacks are looked down upon. They are considered "inferior" to sedans. Infact, sedans are considered upmarket & is the key to status symbol. It is perceived that sedans are used by the business executives whereas hatchbacks are used by the "normal" people.

It is also true that a person who thinks likewise will jump on the first opportunity to buy a sedan, irrespective of whether he needs the boot or not, irrespective of whether a hatch is more feature packed than a similarly priced sedan.

First let me start with listing the prices of some high end hatchbacks -

(on-road prices in Lacs, Mumbai taken from ACI)

Punto 90 HP - 8.08
Swift D - 7.67
Micra D - 7.40
Polo D - 8.20
Etios Liva D - 6.86
Fabia 1.6 - 7.28
i20 CRDi Asta - 8.19

For the same price or less, you get a sedan like Fiesta Classic, Dzire, Verito, Manza or Etios.

So, it is clear that someone buying a Polo or a i20 or a Fabia spends the same money as someone buying the above mentioned sedans. But some old school guys take the sedans as a status symbol & the hatches as cheap. What's the logic? What is it with the 3 box shape that classifies it as a status symbol? On the contrary, a guy having a 8 Lac hatch should be having a better status symbol as he bought a hatch for the price of a sedan...

2) Features :


It is pretty evident that for the same price, a hatch is anyday more feature laden than a sedan. Compare the above mentioned cars. There is no car in that segment more feature laden than the i20 & the Punto.

3) Space :


When it comes to the rear seat & boot space, the sedan wins hands down. But a hatch is bought by mainly those who would be having a second bigger car at home or is using this car only within city or is a small family of two. So rear space or boot space does not matter to them. Why should they unnecessarily lug around a empty boot in town?

4) Fuel efficiency :


No debates on this. A hatch is more efficient than a similar sedan owing to it's lesser kerb weight. Compare Punto & Linea, Swift & Dzire, etc. Please dont compare Polo 1.6 with Verito!

5) Performance :


This is highly debatable. I feel when you compare the sedans in this segment itself, hot hatches like Polo 1.6 leave the Verito & Dzire in dust. As you go the segment above, obviously the Verna 1.6 & Vento is much faster. But that wont be a fair comparison as they cost a lot more too.

6) Handling & Ride :


Someone in this forum said that a hatchback cannot have a good ride quality. Get a ride in a Punto, Polo & Fabia. It has a much better ride than Etios & Dzire. Just because a car is small, does not mean it has to be bouncy!

Handling is mostly better in hatchbacks than sedans, as unlike sedans, hatches dont have excessive overhangs (weights behind the axles). All their weight is between the front & rear axles since the four wheels are on the four corners of a hatch. This gives them good weight distribution which aids handling. Compare a Swift to a Dzire, Liva to a Etios, Punto to a Linea... the hatch is known to be better in fast & tight corners.

So, all said & done,
when a hatch is faster, is more fuel efficient, has more features, has better ride & handling and cost the same as an under equipped 'budget' sedan, then why do I need to buy a sedan, especially when I dont need the boot? Why is a sedan associated with status? On telling them the on road price of my Punto, people tell me that I could have gone for a Dzire instead, its a sedan after all. Why is a "sedan" so ovehyped?
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Old 22nd March 2012, 22:47   #63
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
But a hatch is bought by mainly those who would be having a second bigger car at home or is using this car only within city or is a small family of two. So rear space or boot space does not matter to them. Why should they unnecessarily lug around a empty boot in town?
I disagree with that. Most buyers have one car only, and it's hatch usually as first car, the second ( replacement in most cases) could be a sedan as income rises. No doubt there are people with 2 or more cars in the same household, but we're talking about a minority.

I don't know exactly how the upmarket image of sedans came to being, compared to a Indigo or Dzire, almost any hatch looks better/upmarket. But there is a correlation between size and price, sedans are bigger and pricier, and if you go look at history big expensive cars like the Contessa , Standard 2000 were seen and rich people's cars back when the mango man had to make do with Padminis and Maruti 800s. The popularity of 800s ( hatchback ) made them the desi Volkswagen - people's car , and big thirsty Contessas and imports like Toyotas Celicas, Honda Accords of the 80s - all sedans, wore an import/premium image that stuck on to sedans in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
So, all said & done, when a hatch is faster, is more fuel efficient, has more features, has better ride & handling and cost the same as an under equipped 'budget' sedan, then why do I need to buy a sedan, especially when I dont need the boot? Why is a sedan associated with status? On telling them the on road price of my Punto, people tell me that I could have gone for a Dzire instead, its a sedan after all. Why is a "sedan" so ovehyped?
I'm not too sure there about handling ( so where are the handling-king sedans - the Lancer , Linea , Baleno , Fiesta vs their hatchback versions lap times etc , that would put some numbers to munch on), but yes the weight savings would make better acceleration.

That said, personally I have nothing against hatchbacks, but I think it safer to buy a bigger car , because you can't just make extra space when you have more luggage than room, and a sedan's bigger boot is a useful, if seldom used advantage. The extra legroom most sedans seem to have over their hatchback equivalents is curious , do all of them have longer wheelbases ? So what stops manufacturers for having same wheelbase on hatchbacks ? Some do have room to stretch, unlike the Polo and Punto which are just a hair's width under 4000mm.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 01:48   #64
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Reviving an old thread.
...Its a fact that, in India, hatchbacks are looked down upon. They are considered "inferior" to sedans. Infact, sedans are considered upmarket & is the key to status symbol. It is perceived that sedans are used by the business executives whereas hatchbacks are used by the "normal" people...
Let me give you my example. When I was looking out for a car back in 2010 we had set a budget of 10L. What did I end up buying?? A Ritz petrol base variant. Why?? It ticked all the boxes of being a practical, no non sense car which does its duty from ferrying me from point A to point B. I did not even care about the whole image thing which has become an important factor in decision making these days. Cars are just so affordable that everyone has em and IMO it says nothing about the image or status of a person.

I may belong to a very minuscule group of buyers who don't care for the image (it is more evident cause I bought a Ritz...just kidding Ritz owners) but common be practical- Who do you want to impress?? Its you spending your money and its you who is going to live with the car. Like it? Can afford it? Buy it! Simple!!
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Old 23rd March 2012, 16:19   #65
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

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Originally Posted by Ricci View Post
I disagree with that. Most buyers have one car only, and it's hatch usually as first car, the second ( replacement in most cases) could be a sedan as income rises. No doubt there are people with 2 or more cars in the same household, but we're talking about a minority.
True. But in this case, as a first car, people dont buy "premium" hatches. They buy hatches costing less than 5 Lacs OTR.

So, when incomes rises, as you said, (above 5 Lacs), they go for sedans.

Here, we are comparing premium hatches with sedans. They cost the same.

Quote:
I don't know exactly how the upmarket image of sedans came to being, compared to a Indigo or Dzire, almost any hatch looks better/upmarket.
Exactly my point.

Quote:
But there is a correlation between size and price, sedans are bigger and pricier, and if you go look at history big expensive cars like the Contessa , Standard 2000 were seen and rich people's cars back when the mango man had to make do with Padminis and Maruti 800s. The popularity of 800s ( hatchback ) made them the desi Volkswagen - people's car , and big thirsty Contessas and imports like Toyotas Celicas, Honda Accords of the 80s - all sedans, wore an import/premium image that stuck on to sedans in general.
True.

Quote:
I'm not too sure there about handling ( so where are the handling-king sedans - the Lancer , Linea , Baleno , Fiesta vs their hatchback versions lap times etc , that would put some numbers to munch on), but yes the weight savings would make better acceleration.
Compare a Linea to Punto, Punto is said to be better.

Compare a Swift to a Dzire, Swift is said to be better.

Compare a Polo to Vento, Polo is said to be better.

We dont have hatchback versions of Lancer, Fiesta or Baleno, so we cant compare!

Quote:
That said, personally I have nothing against hatchbacks, but I think it safer to buy a bigger car , because you can't just make extra space when you have more luggage than room, and a sedan's bigger boot is a useful, if seldom used advantage. The extra legroom most sedans seem to have over their hatchback equivalents is curious , do all of them have longer wheelbases ? So what stops manufacturers for having same wheelbase on hatchbacks ? Some do have room to stretch, unlike the Polo and Punto which are just a hair's width under 4000mm.
Utility wise, if someone needs space & boot, they should buy a sedan, I agree.

But buying a sedan over a hatch, even if you dont need the boot, just because the sedan has a status image... is amusing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Let me give you my example. When I was looking out for a car back in 2010 we had set a budget of 10L. What did I end up buying?? A Ritz petrol base variant. Why?? It ticked all the boxes of being a practical, no non sense car which does its duty from ferrying me from point A to point B. I did not even care about the whole image thing which has become an important factor in decision making these days. Cars are just so affordable that everyone has em and IMO it says nothing about the image or status of a person.
You indeed belong to a rare group!
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Old 23rd March 2012, 17:49   #66
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

I have never understood this whole discussion. It may help that I lived most of my life outside India, so when someone says to me a sedan is more "upmarket", I just have a blank look on my face. Don't understand that argument one bit.

Anyway, for me the whole point is what car suits me best. In fact, for me, given an option, my vehicle of choice would be a good station wagon (estate). It offers the best of all worlds. Enough space, a stretched interior and if well designed, a pretty good handler (Subaru is proof of this).

However, coming back to the discussion at hand, for me a hatchback makes way more sense than a sedan any day of the week. The only concern with hatchbacks for me is the boot space they offer. Provided that is sufficient for my needs, I would never hesitate to pick a hatchback.

For me, a good hatchback is actually better for the airport run (for 2 people ideally) than a sedan. Most hatchbacks have way more space for luggage because of the fact that your rear seats can be folded down. With a split rear seat even 3 people can be seated in good comfort and there is decent luggage space.

In Handling, a hatchback is the ideal vehicle due to its design of wheels as far out towards the corners as possible. Proof of this is Subaru again. Their Impreza rally cars used to be the sedan but they are hatchbacks now and the reason according to Subaru is that the hatchback has better handling. This is from their rally car division that has been using and working on the sedan for years.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 22:29   #67
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
True. But in this case, as a first car, people dont buy "premium" hatches. They buy hatches costing less than 5 Lacs OTR.
So, when incomes rises, as you said, (above 5 Lacs), they go for sedans.
Again, I can't agree. I see plenty of people buy Swifts and i10s/i20s as their first car, and perhaps now Polo/Punto/Fabia get added to the list but in lesser numbers. I don't know your standard of premium hatch, but the Ritz, Swift and i10 are definitely premium hatches in my book - anything over the Santro/A-star/Wagon-R class. Even the Wagon-R now straddles the segments with its ABS and airbags variant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Compare a Linea to Punto, Punto is said to be better.
Compare a Swift to a Dzire, Swift is said to be better.
Compare a Polo to Vento, Polo is said to be better.
We dont have hatchback versions of Lancer, Fiesta or Baleno, so we cant compare!
Ok , not having driven them much, I'll concede the point to the hatchbacks, but I do think there have been hatchbacks based on the same platforms as the Lancer, Fiesta and Baleno. Maybe given different names - as the Figo is said to be an older generation Fiesta (maybe I don't know because that Fiest model was never sold here , and I'm not tracking the US/Europe markets )

Oh, and it should be Toyota Crown and Cressida , where did I put Celica in there
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Old 9th June 2012, 11:59   #68
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

The only reason one should ever buy a sedan would be the large boot size you get. With hatch, one gets a relatively smaller boot, yet enough for a weeklong travel but a lot of practical concerns are solved like FE, parking, manouverability, bland looks (80% of sedans available today are boring looking, whereas more than 80% hatches look HOT)
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Old 12th June 2012, 12:14   #69
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Default New Gen i20 Sports Diesel or New Honda City

Folks, my friend wants to go for a car and he is confused if he needs to pick the New Gen i20 Diesel Sportz or the New Honda City. He checked out the Sports diesel which is 8, 60,000 OTR, Bangalore whereas the New Honda City S variant is 9, 90,000, a whopping 1, 30,000 farther.

The i20 wins hands down in the features race. It’s a marathon of features in the Sportz version to be precise except for the smart key, start – stop engine button, passenger side airbags (sorry if I am missing anything else important) in the Asta.

The City S MT meanwhile has not much to offer than chromes and body color bumpers and some sweet space in the form of boot and rear seating. Obviously, I understand the Honda badge value, driving pleasure and the likes.

He travels almost 30 kms a day, 100 kms on the weekends, maybe an occasional trip out of town not clocking more than 1000 kms once in three months. Hence, most of them are advising him to go for the City.

I have also heard the i20 engine is completely imported and the diesel quality in India is not ideal for this. That’s another concern. Do you think this is true?

Also, in terms of service costs, maintenance & spares – can anyone throw some light among these two?

Last edited by Ranjimso : 12th June 2012 at 12:31.
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Old 12th June 2012, 12:18   #70
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Default Re: New Gen i20 Sports Diesel or New Honda City

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Originally Posted by Ranjimso View Post
Also, in terms of service costs, maintenance & spares can anyone throw some light among these two?
Based on the travel you indicated, it makes sense to go the diesel way and hence should be the i20!

Cheers!
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Old 27th June 2012, 17:58   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy
I have never understood this whole discussion. It may help that I lived most of my life outside India, so when someone says to me a sedan is more "upmarket", I just have a blank look on my face. Don't understand that argument one bit.

Anyway, for me the whole point is what car suits me best. In fact, for me, given an option, my vehicle of choice would be a good station wagon (estate). It offers the best of all worlds. Enough space, a stretched interior and if well designed, a pretty good handler (Subaru is proof of this).

.
India is a land of extreme pre-conceptions and perceptions.
Say at an evening out at a nice hotel or club or wedding or something:
If you land up in a 3 box sedan, then at some level the world thinks you have arrived in life.
If you turn up in a hatch, oh, you're just another joe and not worth 'going after'
If you land up in an SUV, then man you must a big rich sort of chap- maybe a politico or big business man or something.
If you drive about in a luxe sedan, then you're a top dude, maybe a corporate big wig or celebrity even!

If like me, you choose a Yeti over an XUV500 - oh that fellow, he is an idiot - look at the size of the XUV and look at that piddly WagonR like Yeti is what people say - I have heard them!

If you are like yourself and perhaps a few others out here, who are reasonably secure about themselves and who they are, you wont care, but the vast majority do care and thats what makes things go round!
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Old 12th September 2012, 11:35   #72
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post

So, all said & done,
when a hatch is faster, is more fuel efficient, has more features, has better ride & handling and cost the same as an under equipped 'budget' sedan, then why do I need to buy a sedan, especially when I dont need the boot? Why is a sedan associated with status? On telling them the on road price of my Punto, people tell me that I could have gone for a Dzire instead, its a sedan after all. Why is a "sedan" so ovehyped?
I recently purchased an i20 Asta CRDI - which is India's most expensive hatch outside niche offerings. Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta Classic, Verito, Dzire etc had variants cheaper than this car. So I can shed some light into this debate.

India is a "status" concious country. Secondly, in India everyone judges the other based on some broadly accepted yardsticks and moreover, there are some social mores which are commonly accepted as the standard.

For example; it is expected a guy will marry once he is 'settled' into a job. Once married, the couple will produce a baby within 2 - 4 years etc

In the same manner, it is expected that any person will grow up from a hatch to a sedan. Why? I believe that it is due to Maruti 800's perception of being a cheap car that got drilled into Indian psyche over the decades. A hatch is perceived to be a cut price car, unlike a sedan (like HM Ambassador) which is supposed to be a "normal" or "full" car.

Secondly, the association of size to price (which is somewhat justifiable). Moreover, the trend of large B2 hatches is still recent, before which it was the likes of Alto and Santro which ruled. And think of it, India is still years away from a full size hatch like the VW Golf.

Thirdly, the marketing done by manufacturers is to blame as well. It is only in recent 3-4 years with Jazz, i20 and Fabia have started coming with all features. In fact originally Maruti did not manufacture ZDI variants in Swift and Ritz.
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Old 19th October 2012, 10:09   #73
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

Guys,

Need your suggestion. My query is related to this thread.

I have shortlisted two cars and am confused on making a decision. I will be buying the new car through company lease in Jan '13.

1. Punto 1.3 MJD Emotion

2. Dzire ZDI

Advantage of Punto over Dzire

1. Ride , Handling , Build , etc
2. Cost less by approx 75K - 1lac
3. Delivery in 2 weeks

Advantage of Dzire over Punto

1. Better back seat comfort

2. 50- 100 L of extra boot

3. Better Resale Value

My confusion :

1. Is it worth spending 1 L extra and waiting for 15 week for that little bit of extra comfort

2. 80% of the drive will be solo. My family (Wife & 4 yr Old) will be using the back seat comfort for max 20% and for weekend getaways. May be will require a Child Seat in the near future :-)

3. Considering I will sell the car in 3-5 yrs time frame, Dzire might hold a better resale value.

4. Wife, Parents are pushing towards dzire. Cant explain to them the Handling, Ride advantages of Punto


Please give your thoughts and suggestions.
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Old 19th October 2012, 10:48   #74
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

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Originally Posted by Marlon View Post
Guys,

Need your suggestion. My query is related to this thread.

I have shortlisted two cars and am confused on making a decision. I will be buying the new car through company lease in Jan '13.

1. Punto 1.3 MJD Emotion

2. Dzire ZDI
When I bought my Palio MJD, everyone told me to buy Swift because it has better resale value. I gave them only one reply: "I'd rather be happy every single day I drive the car and be sad one day when I sell it, than be sad every single day I drive the car and be happy one day when I sell it".

Since your car will be company leased, I assume the maintenance costs will also be borne by them. But then, Punto's service intervals are long anyway.

Also, premium hatchbacks have rear washer, wiper and demister. I feel the rear washer and wiper are important in a dusty country like ours. During rains, the rear windshield can get really dirty and completely block the rear view.
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Old 19th October 2012, 11:46   #75
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Default Re: Premium Hatchback or Sedan

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Originally Posted by Marlon View Post
1. Is it worth spending 1 L extra and waiting for 15 week for that little bit of extra comfort

2. 80% of the drive will be solo. My family (Wife & 4 yr Old) will be using the back seat comfort for max 20% and for weekend getaways. May be will require a Child Seat in the near future :-)

3. Considering I will sell the car in 3-5 yrs time frame, Dzire might hold a better resale value.

4. Wife, Parents are pushing towards dzire. Cant explain to them the Handling, Ride advantages of Punto
Resale value maybe better for the Dzire, but with the requirements mentioned, you actually don’t need a sedan. Keeping that in mind, I guess the Punto maybe a better option here.

80% solo drive – IMHO, you will be happy in a pretty hatchback than a makeshift sedan. And if you/family want to go with a Suzuki, a Swift/Ritz may suit your requirements better.
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