Things going the way too compact to save a lot of money but demands generous space, the sub 4-metre segment barges into the picture to save the grace of such buying ideologies. Though, the government shall be blamed for such unrealistic norms and standards set for the automotive horizon of the nation that drags ‘length’ of a car for taxation and segmentation. The makers here shall be praised for their noteworthy work on developing the sub-4 meters segment to counter the barriers and surge ahead with a challenging role. Another perception had also came to the mind, if the government had strapped the limit to 4-meters, certainly for the competitive reason cars in the compact-sedan segment has considerably increased, and the buying decision changes in its favour due to the very short price gap between the hatchbacks and bespoke. Recently, king of the segment Maruti Dzire rolls out with a facelift, and the whir in competition simultaneously went up. Tata Motors with the Zest claims itself as the only maker in the segment with a ‘diesel automatic’, and the cheapest options in India if wished to go gearless in the guise of oil-burners. The others are first Honda diesel on Indian shores called Amaze, and the Xcent that promised Hyundai a helping hand in achieving its market shares. All of those will get chance to outdo each other for attaining a clear picture how anyone carmaker go this small and can also offer the right tweaks of selling it in the Indian market. Follow us to know more…
Honda believes in the strategy of max-man and minimum-machine. To apply in real, it may have kept the length to its minimum at 3980mm, while the rest of three sedans scale at 3995mm from front to end.
On other notes, Tata Motors offered the widest cabin (1706mm width) and longest wheelbase (2470mm); and Honda had fallen shorten on most of them (1680mm width & 2405mm wheelbase). Reasonably, the Dzire (1695mm width & 2430mm wheelbase) is up to the consideration, but Hyundai Xcent (1660mm width & 2425mm wheelbase) also lacks enormously spacious cabin in the league.
Here, the Japanese had made a mark along with the Tata Motors for offering touch screen with Bluetooth connectivity. In fact, the Tata is still a way ahead for offering the image display on the same screen from external devices.
All cars here are packs dual-airbags, ABS with EBD in the top-end variants. But Hyundai turns exceptional to offer the rear AC vents and rear parking camera in the segment. Apparently, Xcent is also the most features-packed car among the rest for offering push-start button, 1GB storage for the music system, and chrome finishes.
As already said, in terms of technical advantages Tata Zest owns a major of it with the 1.3-litre 89bhp diesel for offering automatic transmission, the only car to do so in the segment for such a low price tag. On the petrol side, this carmaker had also gained momentum with a 1.2-litre 89bhp turbocharged petrol motor that offers three driving-modes and the only turbocharged engine mated with the manual transmission.
Alongside, the Amaze has the biggest displacement in the series of diesel, a 1.5-litre unit worth of 99bhp.
Hyundai Xcent has the thinly occupied engine bay, a 1.2-litre petrol of 82bhp with the five-speed manual and four-speed automatic gearbox. The smallest of all, a 1.1-litre diesel churns out the least output of 71bhp.
Talking about the Dzire, engine options are from the past model where it now sells the car with a 1.2-litre K-Series petrol engine of 83bhp (lesser by 3bhp) and 1.3-litre Multijet of 73bhp. Both of them mate to a five-speed manual transmission. The only triumphant ace that it posses here is the fuel-efficiency, where diesel yields 26.5kmpl, followed by Amaze at 25.8kmpl. Hyundai’s effort this time hasn’t proven the worth here as offers only 24.4kmpl, and Tata propels to send 23kmpl from a single litre of fuel.
The entire cars of the fleet don one or another benefit over the other. It is just a matter of preferences that allows them to flourish with various set of buyers. Well, if talked about the new Dzire, it is has returned with a vengeance and claimed the max fuel-efficiency among the rest, where the Tata Motors stands alone with three driving modes for petrol and automatic gearbox for diesel. Honda owns the biggest and the most powerful displacement (in diesel). Hyundai not focusing on machine’s number had provided us the feature-loaded cabin.
Overall, it is a mix-match, but the proper test-drive will deliver a proper insight how they perform in real road conditions.