DT India Car of the Year: Vote for your favourite Sedan
Despite several cases of crossovers infiltrating the sedan territory, 2019 witnessed manufacturers updating their sedans to battle to stay relevant!
Moving up a segment from the hatchbacks, we now have the sedans, which are also a step-above at practicality, features and performance. 2019 did not witness the launch of any completely new cars of this category, yet minted the old ones with a pinch of refreshment to keep them competitive in this cruel world!
Image Credit: Honda India
Priced between ₹7.96-9.81 lakhs (€10,096-12,442) depending upon the fuel type and transmission, the Amaze packs a very unique styling, highlighting its Honda roots. The liftback body style also grants it an exceptional boot space of 420 litre, which is short only to the Tata Tigor liftback in the segment. Excellent mileage figures also put it forward of the rest. The only thing that puts it behind is the lack of few essential features like Braking Assist and rear AC vents. In addition, the Exclusive and Ace Editions receive aesthetical updates like a boot lip spoiler to justify the relatively higher price.
Image Credit: Tata Motors
Marking Tata’s entry to the new but competitive electric vehicle field is the Tigor EV – the compact electric liftback sedan. The price for the standard XE+ models starts from a rather high ₹10.42 lakhs (€13215.71) and the XT+ models go up to ₹10.73 lakhs (€13,609). The electric motors on both standard and extended range Tigor produce 40 bhp and 105 Nm. The normal and enhanced charging times are 11.5 hours and 2 hours respectively while the full range for the latter version is 213 km. Overall, it is a step in the right direction for Tata, but Tigor EV attracted neither as many individuals nor as many fleet operators due to such high prices. Moreover, the space occupied by the motors reduces the boot space to a mere 255 litres, which subdues the biggest perk of this liftback. On the other hand, we have the impressive Tigor JTP facelift, released this year. The 'warm' sedan performs well with its 1.2 turbo I3 producing 112 bhp and 150 Nm. This figure is matched only by the Volkswagen Ameo 1.5 and Ford Aspire 1.5.
Image Credit: Volkswagen India
Volkswagen’s trial at a compact sedan might not be as successful but it is sure a worthy one. The new GT-Line variant, priced at ₹10 lakhs (€10,674), actually holds some sportiness as it shares its 1.5 diesel engine with the Polo GT TDI, Vento and Rapid. The power output of 109 bhp gets beaten up by the Ford Aspire and Tata Tigor JTP but the torque output of 250 Nm is unparalleled in this segment – giving it a very punchy performance. On the negative side of the spectrum, it is plagued by the high price and expensive VW maintenance. It offers ESP and Hill Hold Control while losing on EBD and TCS. For features, it offers rear AC vents, electric anti-glare mirrors, cruise control, leather wrapped steering wheel & gear knob, driver armrest, foldable rear seat, one-touch up & down in all windows and cornering headlights but loses out on some things like projector headlights, rear armrest and keyless start/stop. Ironically, the Corporate Edition offers great features (only few less than GT-Line) at a much more affordable ₹6.69 lakhs (€8480) for petrol and ₹7.99 lakhs (€10128) for diesel.
Image Credit: Ford India
Ford, the maker known for producing quality cars in the Indian market greeted us with their new Aspire Trend Plus CNG this year. This compact sedan is priced at ₹7.58 lakhs (€9608). The primary engine is a 1.4 litre I3 petrol producing 95 bhp and 120 Nm. The CNG powered blue oval receives commendable features such as reverse camera with guidance, follow me home headlamps and a 5-year warranty (or 1 lakh km). The CNG ensures a very good fuel economy and no other compact sedans offer CNG as an option at this price point. This gives this car an upper-hand over the others. However, it misses on few features like projector or LED lamps, rear defogger and wiper and foldable rear seats. Overall, the nice handling compact car with such smart looks is an appealing option amongst the plethora!
Toyota Platinum Etios Limited Edition
Image Credit: Toyota Etios
Toyota's sedan that remains mostly forgotten received a Limited Edition this year, offering both a 1.5 litre I4 petrol (88 bhp and 132 Nm) and a 1.4 I4 diesel (67 bhp and 170 Nm). They were priced at ₹8.03 lakhs (€10179) and ₹9.13 lakhs (€11573) respectively. Unshockingly, they discontinued the editions this year itself probably seeing how little they were selling. The low sales number was a consequence of high price and lack of features such a braking assist, folding rear seat, follow me home headlamps, ESP, Hill Hold Control and TCS - the things customers demand at this price point. Needless to say, this 8 year old car is in its last stages of life before probably getting discontinued once BS6 norms kick in.
Image Credit: Honda India
Honda’s best-selling car in India saw the introduction of its seventh generation but its sales are to commence next year. Until then, the sixth generation City is the one representing the marque. The latest ZX MT priced at ₹13.05 lakhs (€16,551), offers quite some high-end features like voice command, adjustable cluster brightness, electronic 2 trip metre, folding rear seat and co-driver vanity mirror. However, it misses out on the ventilated seats, follow me home headlamps, cooled glove box and projector headlights offered by the Hyundai Verna SX (O). Regardless, every Honda fan requires just one thing to keep their heart kicking normally – the VTEC YO!
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz:
Image Credit: Nexa Experience
Maruti Suzuki’s mid-size sedan with such looong dimensions is a force to be reckoned with, due to how inexpensive it is considering the stuff it offers. Finally, Maruti moved further from their old 1.3 DDIS and installed the 1.5 – at least in the Delta (₹9.98 lakhs; €12,658) and Zeta variants (₹11.09 lakh; €14,065). The Zeta variant lacks several features but it is okay considering the low price. On the positive side, it comes with techs like adjustable cluster brightness, LED taillights, LED front fog lights, rear window blind, sunglass holder, rear seat armrest with cup holders, keyless button start/stop and braking assist. Moreover, its dimensions grant it a legroom and boot space capacity higher than the else in the segment.
Image Credit: Škoda India
The long-awaited Monte Carlo edition came to us in the February of this year. The stylish flashy red German-Czech sedan comes with a price tag starting from ₹11.4 lakhs (€14,002) for the 1.6 MT and ₹14.26 lakhs (€18,086). Portraying VAG’s focus on driving dynamics is the fact that it comes with braking assist, electronic stability program and hill hold control. It also comes with techs like shift & gear indicator and one-touch up & down for all windows but loses on headlight off & ignition key off reminder, ventilated seats, sunroof, automatic headlights, LED taillights, follow me home headlights, rear cabin light, cornering headlights, adjustable cluster brightness, inbuilt GPS and voice command. However, the driving pleasure found in Rapid/Vento is – as per many journos – unparalleled. On the lower side of the price list, we got to appreciate the Rapid Rider, equipped with the 1.6 petrol at 6.69 lakhs (€8480). It offers better safety and features than the rivals at this price point.
Image Credit: Volkswagen India
Volkswagen, seeing the misery of such an iconic capable car came with a facelift not too long ago. This facelift was introduced for it to stay relevant until VW India comes up with its next generation. Regardless, this facelift brought the Vento GTI-styled body kits for sportiness, VW connect, additional safety features and a 5 year warranty for the diesel models. Despite their try-hard efforts, they still lack behind on features such as keyless start/stop, 4 airbags, ventilated seats, sunroof, projector headlights, LED fog lights and inbuilt GPS, which in turn cause for the low sales.