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Old 9th October 2020, 16:17   #1
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Default Is it the end of the sedan era?

With the number of C-SUV/SUV/Pesudo-SUV/Hatch-on-Steroid-SUV launches in India and the sales number consistently beating the sedans of the equivalent segments, are we going to witness the dearth of Sedans in near future?

I am a sedan loving guy. I absolutely love them. Nothing can match the ride quality of a Sedan for me. I don't think any SUV can beat the fun of driving a low-slung sedan in tarmac or in twisty hilly roads. That is something that I feel will be lost over next few decades. Yes, I can see GTO praise about Creta 1.4 Turbo has better ride quality and fun and all, but can it replace the joy we get from driving a Sedan over the same roads?

I agree that the GC and high commanding position and all, but I don't get why a urban city dweller who stays in a place with decent road infrastructure(in TN, we don't have such unscientific speed-breakers that's doing its duty in Bangalore) need an vehicle with SUV body-type?

We have an XUV and Old Thar with us in our joint family, which I will drive only when I feel like so and or if the terrain demands. As a low-slung sedan lover, I feel sad. We already don't have good, sporty, FTD sedan's for the past few years and even if they launch one, no one is going to line up for them like an SUV. So OEM stay away from Sedan's and this, I believe will lead to downfall of Sedan's and one day we can count number of sedans on sale in one hand. It might be far-fetched but not completely impossible.

Take for example, in current post-BS6 era, we hardly have a good capable sedans(no compact sedans included) in less than 30L category.

Hyundai : Verna, Elantra
Skoda/VW : Rapid, Vento, Octavia
MSIL : Ciaz
Toyota: Yaris

Surprisingly Ford has completely done away with Sedan's altogether if I remember correctly.

What do you guys think about this? Are we really staring the extinction of Sedans? Please don't say this is part of evolution. Evolution is step-forward, not step-backward. Taking something good and replace it with less than good is not a good idea. I for one, think it should stay and Manufacturers should consider bringing them to our shores. But before that, it is the people who need to understand the needs vs wants.

Mod Note: I have searched for any relevant thread and I couldn't find any. So creating new thread. Please move to appropriate section if it isn't.

Last edited by GTO : 11th October 2020 at 11:12. Reason: Guess you meant GTO, not GTP :)
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Old 9th October 2020, 16:38   #2
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

I am afraid I have to agree with you on this. I guess SUV form factor is the global trend and we have caught it in the last decade or so. Prior to that, sedans used to be aspirational while the UV segment consisted mostly of the butch ladder and frame. Crossovers changed the equation and offered best of both worlds.

Honestly, City vs rural scenario is not very different and some of our biggest cities are known for horrible potholes and unscientific speed breakers. Rather people seem to prefer a "one car does it all" due to space and budget constraints.

Having tried multiple form factors, I personally have settled for a sedan due to superior handling, controlled body-roll and engaging feeling. Also grew up watching/driving the likes of 1000/Esteem, city, Lancer and later Icon, Fiesta which were great fun !!

I do feel constricted at times when the situation demands reaching scenic places which offer free off-road experience en-route. Thankfully I have my AltoK10 to take me to these places. But in case downsize to a single car, I will most likely end up with a cross over.

Lastly, one can enjoy sedans are a mouth watering price in used car market due to obvious reasons. A solid used sedan would most likely be having lesser mileage and sell for half the price as compared to UV equivalent. Trust me, the sedan will offer more value at this price. However chances are that, people will end up buying a SUV for a brand new car.

Last edited by rajshenoy : 9th October 2020 at 16:48.
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Old 9th October 2020, 16:41   #3
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

It is not just India, but a trend that is manifesting in many countries.From our perspective, however, while the ride/handling of a sedan is better on good roads, the problem is exactly that: "Good Roads". We do not have road quality that is comparable with the best of developed countries. Therefore, the ride quality suffers and the comparative advantage of handling is lost in the quest of basic road comfort.

A more recent worrying phenomenon that is cropping up in our major cities is the water logging or flooding during intense rain spells, partly caused by disastrous civic management. Then, there is the incessant work-in-progress for metro rail or flyovers causing disruption of the traffic cycle and spoiling the road quality.
All in all, not a rosy outlook for sedans going forward.
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Old 9th October 2020, 16:48   #4
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

Well the sedans are losing out big time in features in front of the so called SUVs case in point is the Creta/Seltos vs Verna/City!

The general public prefers features over anything these days it is only the enthusiasts who know that there are several other things that make or break a car other than features.

People are willing to pay more for the extra ride height that protects the car in the long run against potholes, flooded roads.

Well it cannot be denied that sedans have a driving feel of their own but then look at the fasttt-turbo petrol SUVs that have come into the market (duster, creta, seltos, kicks) whereas only the rapid/vento and verna get turbo petrols! Verna's turbo petrol DCT is slower than it's own 1.5L NA sibling, Honda is not getting the 1L turbo.

Why has the Thar generated so much demand even-though pricing is similar with the sedans it's because people want a big burly butch SUV to conquer the crater filled roads, even if only 10% will use the 4WD system for serious off-roading.

So ideally if you see there is no game-changer in the sedan segment today! Hence people are flocking for the SUVs and rightfully so.

I request the mods to please add a poll.
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Old 9th October 2020, 16:58   #5
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

Originally Posted by xcentrk View Post
Mod Note: I have searched for any relevant thread and I couldn't find any. So creating new thread. Please move to appropriate section if it isn't.
Originally Posted by CEF_Beasts View Post
I request the mods to please add a poll.
Well there is a rather elaborate & 5 star rated lengthy thread on this topic already on the forum. Its at -

Link to Thread on TBHP (Should you buy an SUV? The definitive Sedan vs SUV debate)

Another one about crossovers vs sedans -

Link to Thread on TBHP (Crossovers vs Sedans: Your choice & why?)

This topic has been discussed quite at length and there have been quite interesting perspectives on these threads. A nice informative read. The 2nd one also has a poll like suggested by CEF_Beasts. And Crossovers are winning by a clear margin.
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Old 9th October 2020, 17:06   #6
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

Very relevant topic IMHO. Infact, we might just be looking at the last real generation of sedans in India!

The typical sedan - the Honda City has been selling ~2500 units despite being available in petrol and diesel. In comparison - the recent crossover products launched in the market (Creta and Sonet) have received 4 times the response in the initial months. I hear the numbers of the City are driven by the 4th generation City which is running with discounts in parallel. Honda is not alone in this situation - and even the facelifted Hyundai Verna is facing similar sales numbers, whereas the ageing Ciaz and VW twins are nearing triple digits.

Recent sales trends show 13% sales for sedans as against 26% for crossovers and SUVs. However, exclude just the DZire - and all the other sedans together form just 7% of sales in the market. Exclude all the compact sedans - and it falls to an irrelevant 2.5% market share.

Like the C segment sedans once killed the D segment - believe compact sedans are taking over now. They are extremely competent products in their own right - and also offer much more value. Amaze 1.5 CVT (City doesn't offer a diesel CVT!), Hyundai Aura 1.0 Turbo MT (Verna only offers an expensive DCT variant), and the well-rounded DZire - all offer 80% of their C segmenter at 60% of the price IMHO. If you haven't been in one - try it for the packaging brilliance off-late. The last one I drove could even do the ton in around 10 seconds. The market generally scoffed at the compact sedan trend when it emerged - but they have truly taken over.

Almost no reason to buy sedans today. They aren't the sportiest cars around (No Fiesta S, Linea TJet, etc anymore), nor the most practical for their dimensions, nor the most prestigous (Tall is the new long, like Maruti said) and bad roads make them a compromise in cities as well.

No wonder the segment is dying and will continue so - for the forseeable future. Don't think companies will find it worthwhile to replace these sedans, when the time for the next generation arrives.
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Old 9th October 2020, 17:39   #7
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Almost no reason to buy sedans today. They aren't the sportiest cars around ... and bad roads make them a compromise in cities as well.
The SUV or psuedo SUVs are surprisingly bad at taking bad roads comfortably for the riders. I could feel the change in road condition in Seltos or Ecosport. But XUV300 (an SUV) and Toyota Yaris were really comfortable on bad roads. Even crossover like S cross fare far batter in this. The higher center of gravity of SUVs necessitates the hard suspension, which in turn makes bad road traveling tiring.

However, the tall ingress egress and overall airiness of cabin is hands down best in SUVs. We need to have more safety options in lower versions, such as more airbags from base version itself.
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Old 9th October 2020, 21:40   #8
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

I think the future of sedans in this country is in the hands of some manufacturer, definitely not the car buying public. The general understanding or car makers statements tell us that the Buyers are looking for CSUVs or compact sedans. This means that the customer and his needs dictate what is made available to him.

Yes, there is truth in that point of view. We are looking for increased GC, the SUV silhouette, higher seating etc.But then, there is also truth about making several compromises like seating five people in reasonable comfort at the rear, Good drive experience and other positives pertaining to sedans.

At times I wonder that we discover new needs(read as wants) based on what is offered. For eg. I might be perfectly ok owning a sedan for my needs. But then an eco-sport or creta is launched. I then initially begin to wonder whether that ground clearance is important to me. Fast forward a few years I want a car with high GC. This logic applies to all other positive attributes of the new thing. Obviously the good old sedan form factor has to take a back seat in the sales showdown.

So in the Indian context, Which Car Maker would be interested in saving the sedan?

Maybe KIA. Hope they bring in a proper sedan. Wishful thinking, I know.They are entering hot segments and setting the sales charts on fire. Pray they make a grand statement in the Sedan space too.

Whatís needs to be done to make sedans highly desirable again?

Standout design, acceptable build quality and believable prices please. Ask the makers to give VFM offerings and think of volumes. Give us a good product, tell us why we need sedans. Use the Power of suggestion. Will any Maker do that? concentrate on sedans. I donít know. But again, itís a segment where there is scope for success. Nobodyís created any grand success stories in past few years. Maybe someone, somewhere would decide to make a play.
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Old 10th October 2020, 09:18   #9
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

This is the sad truth. If you look at the sales figures from the last month, the Dzire is the only sub-compact sedan that makes it to the top of the list (probably aided by the fleet and taxi market). Manufacturers globally have seen customer buying trends shift towards crossovers/SUVs, even legends like the mustang are getting crossover electric versions!

In India, we can see this trend as people are getting a more practical vehicle by purchasing a crossover for the same money as they would spend on a similarly priced sedan. As much as we like sedans for their low driving position and better handling, the road conditions and average Indian mindset are not conducive to their purchase any longer.
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Old 10th October 2020, 10:30   #10
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

It looks like that, at least in short to medium term. But riddle me this:

If 90% janta is riding in SUVs, what happens to the "commanding view" factor that so many of us attribute to the populatory of SUVs? Will we start gravitating towards trucks to get a better view?

Another reason for SUV trend that is frequently cited, the quality of roads. In my living memory, Indian roads have never been better than they are today. Both city as well as highway infrastructure is vastly, vastly better than what it was. Having driven extensively over North India and Maharashtra, I am confident that a sedan can go to 99% of the places that a 4*2 SUV can (4*4 is a different beast, but comprises a small minority of SUV sales anyway). In the interiors and rural India, the scene is different but they have, for this real, practical reason, always bought proper SUVs (case in point, Bolero). And their contribution to this current craze is much smaller.

So, as far as i am concerned, I do see a huge element of fad in the SUV tilt. There are a number of first time SUV buyers, for who the form factor brings out a new experience of driving and is definitely novel. Once people have had their SUV thirst satisfied and their desirability/novelty factor reduces, Sedans will make a comeback.

Last edited by Vitalstatistiks : 10th October 2020 at 10:36.
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Old 10th October 2020, 11:29   #11
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

Yes, the main issue is that in a budget of 10-15L, sadly the options are very limited. Definitely ,comfort quotient, besides a Sizeable boot is big attraction in Sedan..But, sadly, taking a leaf out of my recent experience, after driving compact, Hatch,Sedan- Swift,Verna,Ciaz(All Diesel) for over 16 years, I wanted to go for upgrade..I did not see a good choice in Sedan, so settled for X-over, Seltos (D)! Delivery will be by the end of this month..But, still keeping my fingers crossed! Don't know if I would face issue's on ride comfort or boot ...Gone with the flow
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Old 10th October 2020, 12:20   #12
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

I am and will remain a sedan person. I love driving crossovers/SUVs as well, but sedans will be my first love. One reason why I chose the Civic over the Harrier/Compass.

Talking about the primary reasons why people prefer to buy crossovers - ground clearance and commanding position.

Ground clearance - Is it worth sacrificing the comfort, drive and convenience of a sedan for as low as 15mm extra ground clearance? I've driven sedans all my life, sometimes even on bad roads, but never have I faced a massive GC issue. I think buying a bad handling crossover over a good handling sedan for city folks is a bit absurd.

Commanding position - I absolutely never get this for crossovers. For true SUVs on highways, sure. But for crossovers in busy city traffic? Nope. How do you even see above a fully loaded Tata Ace that is in front of you? What will you do even if you can see above, if you are crawling at 10kmph anyways?

Now let's talk about the real issues - wrongful perception of capabilities and safety.

I have people telling me that - pardon my French - Korean hatchbacks on stilts can be taken for offroading. The person wasn't joking. I guess the flatbed tow truck industry has a new driver of growth - a bunch of Venues and Seltos' stuck in slush trying to navigate jungle roads. Maybe the ventilated seats will finally be useful while the owner waits for rescue.

From a safety perspective, I'd rather have a 5 star rated sedan or hatchback, then a 2/3 star rated crossover. Sure I can't drive over a speedbreaker at 30kmph but I'll live longer.

Last edited by andafunda : 10th October 2020 at 12:24.
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Old 10th October 2020, 12:32   #13
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Default re: Is it the end of the sedan era?

I love hatchbacks and sedans more than SUVs. My reasons are -

1) Visual appeal - the image of an automobile imprinted in my brain from childhood days is that of a sedan. When you hear the word 'car', what image appears on your mind?

2) Low slung nature compared to SUVs - It is difficult for most SUVs to match the driving dynamics of a hatchback or a sedan. The SUV crowd will always talk about the advantages they get - like higher GC, better visibility of what's ahead, and the commanding seating position, but probably they don't know what's sacrificed!

This video features only sedans & hatchbacks - "Why do you like cars?"

Last edited by clevermax : 10th October 2020 at 12:42.
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Old 10th October 2020, 12:48   #14
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I believe every type of car has its own charm.

Over the years the manufacturers have stopped putting in efforts to bring out good sedans.

The focus shifted onto crossovers and I do not agree with the opinion that says people have started ditching sedans for SUVs.

When the choice is so limited for a long time, it is but obvious that people will end up choosing from the options they have, and they are crossovers/suvs.

Personally I had a vento from 2014-2017. I couldn't find a good option to upgrade and ended up buying a crossover, and as per my experience on any given day, a crossover could not stop me from missing my earlier ride.

It is a collective effort from manufacturers and buyers to kill the segment and I feel sad about it.

The same happened to estates/station wagons and now to sedans.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 14th October 2020 at 19:32. Reason: spacing for improved readability
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Old 10th October 2020, 13:07   #15
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Though SUVs will remain a more practical choice, 2nd or 3rd car buyers will be more open to sedans. The trend will reset, it's like fashion. 1st car owners appreciate the presence of an SUV style of vehicle over a hatchback or sedan.

I own a 2015 Fiesta and I don't know what to replace it with whenever the inevitable happens.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 14th October 2020 at 19:32. Reason: spacing for improved readability
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