Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze, Tata Zest compact sedans heat up competition

Written by Car Dekho | Updated: Feb 13 2014, 18:48pm hrs
Tata ZestThe car maker showcased an alluring compact sedan, Tata Zest at the Indian Auto Expo. (CarDekho)
The Indian car market currently has the maximum number of car buyers from either the hatchback or compact sedan segments, take for instance Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze, Tata Zest and more. Although, the share of compact sedan segment is now partly affected by the newly arrived compact crossovers, the competition within the entry level sedan segment has increased much in the last couple of years.

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In the Indian auto-market, the compact sedan segment attained heights of success with the launch of the Swift Dzire by Maruti Suzuki. The car became very popular and its waiting period had gone up to as much as 6 months at some point of time. Dzire did well in both petrol and diesel variants and with the growing fuel prices, its diesel variants became quite popular among the enthusiasts. However, the monopoly of Swift Dzire was exploited by Honda SIEL that introduced the sizzling Honda Amaze last year. Honda set a benchmark by launching its first ever diesel engine with the Amaze that has much better fuel efficiency than the Dzire diesel.

The competition in the compact sedan segment will increase in the near future as Tata Motors recently affirmed that it will strengthen its entry level sedan segment in India. The car maker also showcased an alluring compact sedan, Tata Zest (Codenamed Falcon 5) at the Indian Auto Expo and is reported to go on sale by April this year. Tata Zest displays grace both inside and outside, to challenge its major rivals, the Amaze and the Dzire. Outside, it will get the Tata signature grille along with Humanity line, Projector headlights with chrome accents, DRLs, attractive 15 inches alloy wheels and Tail lights with treatment of LED lamps, while the interiors will be quite soothing and house many advanced features. Added to this, the company will introduce it in both petrol and diesel trims. The petrol trims will carry a frugal 1.2 Litre Revolution turbocharged intercooled MPFI petrol power-train that will churn peak power of 84 bhp, while the diesel trims will carry efficient 1.3 Litre engine that churns top power of 89 bhp. Furthermore, the diesel variants are expected to carry first-in-class 5-speed AMT enabled by F-tronic technology.

Hyundai Motors also intends to introduce a compact sedan in the Indian subcontinent. Earlier, the car maker had Hyundai Accent sedan for the same segment but the car could not compete with the better compact sedans like Tata Indigo and Maruti Swift Dzire and it was eventually phased out. The buzz around the market is that Hyundai Motors is now looking forward to introduce a classy compact sedan soon in India. It is believed that the 'Xcent', unveiled recently by Hyundai at the Auto Expo, is the compact sedan being discussed. This sedan is based on Hyundai Grand i10 platform and looks a perfect rival for cars like Maruti Swift Dzire and Honda Amaze. It is reported that Hyundai Xcent will go on sale by the end of March 2014. Like the hatchback sibling Grand i10, the Xcent will also come loaded with a variety of sizzling features to attract the fans and will have plenty of room inside to accommodate five passengers with ease. Under the hood, this sedan will get the 1.1 Litre diesel and 1.2 Litre petrol engines, derived from the Grand i10.

Currently, the entry level sedan segment is ruled by the Dzire and the Amaze and both these cars have their own pros and cons. Maruti Dzire being the oldest in the market, gets higher resale value due to its high fan following but the Amaze is one step ahead of its rival in terms of fuel efficiency. Moreover, the diesel power-train of the Amaze churns more power and torque than the Dzires diesel mill although the latter offers more leg-room, head-room and shoulder width than the Amaze. Interestingly, the NVH level of the Amaze is quite low compared to the Dzire. The boot space of Dzire measures 316 Litres, while the Amaze has more capacity to gobble up 400 litres of luggage. As seen in the Auto Expo, the upcoming compact sedan, Hyundai Xcent also has capacious interiors and attractive styling that may worry the makers of Dzire and Amaze. Additionally, Tatas compact sedan, Zest, will also have many advancements to lock horns with the existing rivals.

The launch of both Zest and Xcent is crucial for the growth of Tata Motors and Hyundai Motors respectively. Zest will apparently try to overcome the errors of cars like Tata Indigo and Tata Manza and represent Tata Motors with its premium quality, appearance and interior styling in the entry level sedan segment. On the other hand, with the Xcent now in India, Hyundai must be hoping to capture a larger share of the compact sedan segment.

Tata Zest