With the exquisite palate of car options growing day by day, automakers are flooding the market with models in every segment. As a result the past couple of decades have seen segments like crossovers & sub 4 meter compact sedans seeing a variety of new options.
What are Compact Sedans?
One of the chief reasons behind compact sedans becoming popular is their smaller tax bracket. Compact sedans or sub-4 meter sedans in India are designed keeping in mind the excise duty tax paid on them. Sub-4 meter cars are subject to only 12.5% excise duty as compared to 24% on larger cars having the same engine capacity of less than 1500cc or 1.5L, one good reason behind Why Everyone is going below 4-Meters.
Figure in our Indian affinity for “Saste Main Sabse Zyaada” & compact sedans seem like a great option. They provide the status symbol associated with a sedan, as well as it’s features like ample boot space and comfort without you having to pay the price of one.
Most compact sedans are built on the same platform as their sister hatchbacks, with most car makers simply adding a boot to fit the description of a sedan. Some manufacturers manage to get the design right whereas others are still struggling to make their compact sedans look less like hatchbacks with a swollen rumps.
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The Best Compact Sedans of 2016
We have compiled a list of all the compact sedans available in the market. These Compact Sedans bring everything from being easy on the pocket to ample amount of space at your disposal.
Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire
(Price : 5.27 – 8.58 lacs)
As is the case with most car lists, Maruti Suzuki always manages to have a contender in. The second car to enter the segment with it’s sub-4 meter 2nd edition, the Dzire is one of the good compact sedans in the market. It is the most selling compact sedan in India. One of the prime reasons behind it selling like hot cakes is that it gives best in class mileage of 20.85 km/l with the petrol motor & the 26.5 km/l with the diesel one.
The Dzire looks similar to the Swift, with just a boot being lobbed on to the rear, almost as an afterthought. The latest facelift saw the boot being better integrated into the design. With a healthy introduction of chrome at the front & rear, the new Dzire is no more the ugly duckling it used to be. It comes equipped with all the standard features like push button start, electrically foldable ORVMs & a good looking beige-black dual tone interior & is the widest compact sedan in the market.
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The petrol motor is a 1.2 litre (83 bhp, 115 Nm) engine whereas the diesel is a 1.3 litre (74 bhp, 190 Nm) oil burner, both being mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. In addition, the petrol comes with the option of a 4-speed automatic transmission too. Both the engines are happy to rev, though the torque surge in the diesel comes in beyond 2000 RPM & gives the car a more than satisfying upthrust. NVH levels are well under control and the car is very easy to handle. It can roll over bumps and potholes without any jolts making their way into the cabin. The Dzire is one car which justifies the Indian predisposition towards Maruti cars & makes for a good compact family sedan.
(Price : 5.41 – 8.31 lacs)
With Amaze, Mobilio & BR-V all being built on the same platform, Honda might have stretched out the use of Brio’s platform. Amaze has certainly helped Honda in selling volumes and has overtaken the City as the most selling Honda car in India.
The Amaze is one of the better designed compact sedans and the boot looks a seamless part of the design. The front grille has bold chrome strokes and the car with it’s angular design certainly scores top marks for looks. Coming to the interiors, the dashboard has the same dual tone design seen in the City & Jazz. Amaze has ample amounts of cabin space. Among other features is an automatic climate control which will give you the chills, literally.
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The Amaze now comes powered by two engines, a 1.2 litre petrol (87 bhp, 109 Nm) & a 1.5-litre diesel (98 bhp, 200 Nm). Petrol engines are Honda’s main game as can be seen with the performance of the revv- loving petrol oil burner. The diesel on the other hand lacks for a bit of end range thrust, but apart from that does very well on the road. The diesel boasts of a 25.8 km/l mileage and comes mated only to a 5-speed manual. The petrol comes mated both to a 5-speed manual which gives a mileage of 17.8 km/l and an automatic CVT which gives a slightly better efficiency of 18.1 km/l.
(Price : 5.42 – 8.06 lacs)
With the expectations which come with the success of it’s namesake predecessor Accent, the Hyundai Xcent made it’s entry into the compact sedan segment in 2014. Despite the stiff competition provided by established rival like the Maruti Swift Dzire & Honda Amaze, the Xcent has done well both for itself & Hyundai.
The Grand i10 based compact sedan by Hyundai has a boot which looks well designed & merges into the car’s shape without it being an eyesore. With chrome again finding it’s place in the right amounts on both the front & rear fascia, the Xcent is a fine looking compact sedan. It is one of the most feature rich compact sedans with features like steering mounted controls, automatic ORVMs, Parking sensor and camera, & much more. Mimicking the welcoming interiors of Grand i10 has further helped Xcent become one of the best compact sedans in the market.
It has the same set of engines which powered the Grand i10 – a 1.2 litre petrol motor (82 bhp, 114 Nm) & a 1.1 litre diesel powerplant (71 bhp, 180 Nm). The petrol engine has linear power response and is fun for city driving with ample low range pick up. It comes mated to a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission & gives a mileage of 19.1 km/l. The diesel is actually a 3 cylinder oil burner which has a good enough low-range thrust. The turbo lag ensures the mid range gets a lusty boost of acceleration but the top end leaves you wanting. It returns an ARAI certified mileage of 24.4 km/l. The NVH levels have been kept well in check in both the variants.
Ford Figo Aspire
(Price : 5.28 – 8.2 lacs)
With the success of the Ecosport, Ford has decided to dedicate more of its considerable resources to the sub-4 metre genre. The Figo Aspire is it’s second such offering & just like it’s sibling Figo, is one of the most powerful cars in it’s segment.
This compact sedan from Ford’s stables has a front grille which creates quite an impression and the overall design is quite fluidic. Unlike many of its contemporaries, it does not look like a car which was tailored to somehow fit the sub-4 meter bill. It’s fresh design is backed by the stately interiors with a healthy presence of beige. It does not lack for any of the features present in its colleagues in the compact sedan segment and actually brings unique new features like MyKey technology to the fore. The owner can fix the top speed, music volume, compulsory seat belt use etc. into the key using this feature. The car is both roomy and comfortable.
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The Aspire has 3 engine options – 2 petrol & 1 diesel. One is a 1.2 litre petrol powerplant (87 bhp, 112 Nm) of the Figo which has good low end acceleration for city driving and comes mated with a 5-speed manual transmission. It gives a mileage of 18.16 km/l. The 1.5 litre oil burner of the EcoSport (110 bhp, 136 Nm) is the other petrol option and comes synchronised to a 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission & has a fuel efficiency of 17.2 km/l. The larger engine is exempt of the excise duty benefits of the smaller one. The diesel mill is a 1.5 litre power churner (98 bhp, 215 Nm) with a mileage of 25.83 km/l and comes mated to the 5-speed manual transmission. The diesel oil burner has suppressed turbo lag and an impressive mid range punch. The diesel version is one of the best compact diesel sedans at present. The car has excellent handling, responsive steering and a comfortable suspension which adds to the ride comfort.
(Price : 5.11 – 8.55 lacs)
The company which gave birth to the compact sedan segment in India with the Tata Indigo CS is on it’s way up with products like the Bolt, Tiago & Zest in the pipeline. Tata has finally implemented a much needed makeover in car designs, finally foregoing the outdated Indica inspired look.
Zest with its sloping front grille and strong shoulder has a sporty aura which coupled with the angular lines on it’s side make for an appealing design. Wraparound tail lights do a great job of rounding up the design. It has a cheerful interior which gives a very rich upper class feel. It is one of the widest compact sedans along with the Dzire. There is plenty of head as well as leg room and the infotainment system is an absolute blast. The features will leave you in open eyed amazement with voice commands for phone, media & climate control. You can even read your messages through this infotainment system, reject calls, browse music and what not. The Zest leaves behind the Xcent to become the most feature rich compact sedan in the market.
It comes with a 1.2-litre turbocharged Revotron petrol engine (89 bhp, 140 Nm) & the widely popular 1.3 litre Quadrajet diesel engine. The Revotron engine makes it the only turbocharged petrol compact sedan available in the market. With absolutely no power lag, the Zest has instantaneous low & mid range pick up. As a result, it is a joy to drive around the city. It comes with the same 5-speed manual seen in the diesel as well, but the Revotron engine enables you to drive it in three modes – Eco, City & Sport. The diesel also comes with the option of a 5-speed automatic AMT. Hence, the Zest is the cheapest automatic diesel sedan in the country and the only diesel compact sedan with automatic transmission.
It has terrific balance & it’s suspension system will happily negotiate even big bumps with ease. It makes for an enjoyable ride and stays on the ground firmly. The steering gives speed proportionate feedback and handles well. It is one of the quietest compact sedans available in the market.
(Price : 5.31 – 9.32 lacs)
Inspired from the Polo, Ameo is the first product Volkswagen has designed keeping in mind Indian sentiments. It has been aggressively priced and the German giant will sure be hoping it gives Volkswagen sales a real boost.
The Volkswagen Ameo is a good looking car with it’s front resembling that of the Polo. It has a smooth flowing side profile and the boot looks part of the design. The interiors are reminiscent of Volkswagen with great build quality & typical dual tone black-beige color scheme. The Ameo is best suited for 4 passengers as it has a transmission bulge in the middle. It comes well equipped with features including a touchscreen infotainment system, rain sensing wipers, cooled glovebox among others.
Ameo is powered by a 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder petrol engine (75 bhp, 110 Nm) with a 1.5 litre diesel (108 bhp, 250 Nm) in the pipeline which was supposed to be launched on 27th September, but wasn’t. The petrol engine comes mated to a 5-speed transmission. It doesn’t stand anywhere in terms of performance when compared with its peers as both low & mid range punch is lacking. It’s fuel efficiency stands at 17.83 km/l. Coming to ride comfort and handling, Ameo like any other Volkswagen offering scores good marks. The diesel is expected to come with the same 5-speed manual and a 6-speed DSG automatic transmission.
Which of these Sub 4 meter Compact Sedans is going to be your next ride?
Let us know in the comments below.