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Why Your Next Car Should Be A Sedan And Not An SUV?

This is a topic of discussion that is highly debatable, especially considering the different types of terrains in India. And yet, we list out a few things to show you why your next car should be a Sedan and not an SUV.

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Sedans have ruled the roads across the globe for a long time. Basically bought for comfort, engaging performance and reliability, most sedans have been a favourite for decades. However, the plethora of affordable SUVs that come in all shapes, sizes and budgets caused the downfall of sedans in recent years in many countries.

With options available in SUVs like a buffet at a grand Indian wedding, an average Indian buyer is more likely to look into it, and this has been a cause of concern for sedans here. Despite this, manufacturers are betting big on their sedans and loading them with features and not to forget the stunning looks, that could turn over a new leaf and take on its rivals even from the SUV segment.

When it comes to the basics of why sedans were the kings of tarmac for so long, the intensity of the reasons has only been amplified.

  1. Space

    Hyundai Verna 2020's scenic view
    Hyundai Verna 2020 interiors

    Firstly it has to be the focus on space. Sedans are usually chosen because they offer a more spacious cabin than Compact SUVs or hatchbacks at the same price bracket. It is a given that Compact SUVs definitely have more headroom as they are taller but due to the longer wheelbase in sedans, they provide more than sufficient legroom that creates an ample amount of space between the 2 rows. This makes the cabin feel more spacious and airy when compared to some Compact SUVs which make you feel claustrophobic at the back.

  2. Comfort & Luxury

    2020 Honda City Interior
    2020 Honda City Interior

    When it comes to riding comfort, a sedan is always better simply because it has better and more comfortable seats accompanied by a smoother ride. The smoother ride is courtesy of a softer tuned suspension setup to make the ride less bumpy and hence enhancing the ride quality. As long as the road is good, as in highways and in most cities, there is nothing quite like driving or being driven around in a sedan. If you go higher up the food chain, the most luxurious cars in the world are all sedans and that is for a reason.

  3. Performance

    The Skoda Octavia | 18 Years of Thrilling Enthusiasts
    The Skoda Octavia vRS

    The driving performance also favours the sedans more than the compact and sub-compact SUVs. A lower centre of gravity means that the car is more planted not only during aggressive speeds in corners but also during spirited highway runs. The lower height of the car adds up to the lower drag co-efficient when compared to the large bulky SUVs which means you can go faster while having more control at the same time.

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  4. Fuel-Efficiency

    Fuel Efficiency | Priorities of Indian car buyers
    Fuel Efficiency

    The advantage of having a lower drag coefficient extends to sedans being more frugal as well. It is because of this that even with more powerful engines, sedans achieve better fuel efficiency figures. SUVs and Compact SUVs not only have high drag co-efficient but are also large and bulky resulting in poor mileage irrespective of any kind of fuel they run on.

  5. Boot Space

    Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Boot Space
    Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Boot Space

    When you compare the sedans and SUVs above 30 lakh, the competition is fierce and the debate may never end but when you compare the SUVs, compact SUVs and sedans below 25 lakh, then the result is very clear and sedans always come out on top. SUVs like Creta, Duster and Harrier definitely have a lot of boot space, but hold on, sedans like the Ciaz, Verna and Octavia give you almost the same if not more for a lesser price. A small but very important point is that the loading lip of sedans is much lower than SUVs which makes it so much easier to lift and stuff the luggage into the boot.

Finally, when it comes to buying a car, we all can agree that there are many more factors that play an important role in deciding the car of choice and with this article we are not trying to prove that Sedans are better, NO. What we are trying to say is that there are a whole lot of options to consider and do not fall into the SUV bandwagon which the whole world is into.

Of course, higher ground clearance is important but come on, we’re 100% sure that the places you want to visit even in other states have pretty good roads especially with the Government pushing to build better roads throughout India. And, everybody knows how much off-roading one actually does after spending buck loads of money on a 4×4 SUV. We’re not telling it’s useless but we know an average person uses it less.

Last but not the least, it boils down to one’s requirements and budget. What we provide in articles like these are only opinions and choosing between them is always in your hands. We understand that you’re investing a whole lot of money while buying a new car and that’s the reason we wanna make sure you don’t regret buying it. After you list out the requirements and finalize it between 2 or 3 cars that checks all your boxes, then between them always listen to your heart and not the brain.

Ciao.

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Gautam Ganesh
A believer in "Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul." An avid car and bike enthusiast. Anything that has a handle or a steering wheel, excites me.

43 COMMENTS

  1. No you are awfully wrong. SUVs score on all parameters and sedan doesn’t. I have been using sedan and SUV for over two decades of various brands

    • Your experience is worth more than anything and we really do have respect for that but the parameters that define your purchase might not be the same for everyone else. This article is to explain that SUVs are not the only answer for all your requirements and sedans are also an option and we have highlighted a few key parameters where sedans are better. We do not have any intentions of wrongly influencing people to buy a sedan over an SUV. We urge people to make a checklist that suits their requirements and accordingly make the purchase. As stated in the article, what we provide is only an opinion and the decision is always left to you. 🙂

  2. SUVs afford a better view of the road ahead and with every city getting flooded regularly, a higher clearance is necessary. Further others are more careful with you when you drive a rugged SUV than when you drive a sedan.

    • Hi Ramaswami,
      – SUVs definitely offer a better view of the road ahead, which is very true and there is absolutely no denying that as it is basic physics.
      – Every city getting flooded, this is a disaster and I think no cars are spared from this kind of an incident, doesn’t matter if it is an SUV or a sedan.
      – Others being more careful when you drive a rugged SUV – Absolutely true but only if you are driving a Thar, Fortuner and Endeavour. They will be less careful when you drive a Creta, Seltos, Harrier or MG Hector. And we don’t think there will be any difference in their response to hatchbacks and Compact SUVs since they are of the same dimensions.

  3. I feel that you’re not comparing SUVs with sedans, rather compact (sub 4mtr) SUVs to latter. If you look at the bracket of below 25 lacs, you get to choose between some good sedans as well as some value for money 7 seater SUVs like Mahindra and Tata models. What sets the SUVs apart is the King of the road feeling and overall nature of the vehicle to take on any raid condition. Right now, below 25 lac class, many of the SUVs still offer manual gearboxes rather than sedan which seem to push towards automatic options. And say what you will, Dual clutch is still not ready for India! I think it all boils down to where you want to drive. If you’re a city creature, go for a sedan. But if you don’t mind hunting for a parking on city streets and are more in favor of a vehicle that can take you places away from the asphalt, nothing beats an SUV. Do you agree Gautam?

    • Very precise observation Pratyush and indeed I was keeping the Compact SUVs in reference as they are the ones eating into every other segment and not just sedans in India. Regarding the 7 seater SUVs, it is true that they are value-for-money products especially from Tata and Mahindra but what if the buyer’s budget itself is below 15 lakh or maybe even below 10 lakh, or what if the buyer already has a seven-seater and is looking for another comfortable and sporty car below 15 lakh. As I said SUVs are not the only answer to every question while making the purchase. And all the sedans below the 20 lakh budget still offer manual transmission and provide automatic, only as an option just like all SUVs that are offered in both manual and automatic these days.

      One thing is very darn true. If you want to go anywhere else apart from the asphalt, then there really is nothing that beats a true blue SUV. But then again, under the 20 lakh budget, apart from the Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha all others are Pseudo-SUVs or you can call them Urban SUVs which are fit for the tarmac only and maybe a bit of soft off-roading. If you think I am wrong, then try following a Mahindra Thar on an off-road track with a Kia Seltos or a Hyundai Creta and you will have your answer 🙂

  4. Hahaha its funny how you feel … “we’re 100% sure that the places you want to visit even in other states have pretty good roads especially with the Government pushing to build better roads throughout India. ”
    Even in city like Mumbai roads are shit. And so is the so called Expressway. Now full of pot holes that it can literally kill a person. Higher ground clearance is the only and the biggest reason to go for an so called SUV. Although the term has been abused to call shitty cretas also an suv. They are nothing but an oversized hatchback.

    • Hi Gaurav, in the next segment you have sedans like the Hyundai Verna, Honda City, Toyota Yaris and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. If your preference is space and comfort, then you can go for Honda City. If you want performance and handling, then Hyundai Verna is the car for you. If you want lower maintenance with the jack of all trades, then you have the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. Please consider your requirements and choose accordingly. Also, the current segment itself has grown a lot and cars like the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Honda Amaze may also serve the purpose with a little less budget.

  5. Absolutely and Nicely written. People often get carried away with compact suvs. I personally own a civic and have driven it to places. Old generation Civic was famous for its ground clearance. I have managed even with it in all of the tourist places across states. And above all what a ride and handling it gives. New gen sedans are equally good. And how many of us would dare take a compact suv or, suv bght on bank loan to difficult terrains. Hardly few.

  6. Absolutely good article and the five points explain about sedan are right.
    Yes we can compare between sedan ans suv and according to our requirement we can go for it.
    My disel sedan always give approx 7 km/ltr more milage than my SUV with same engine capacity.
    Thanks for the article Mr Ganesh

  7. In 10-11 lakh bracket, which petrol car is recommended?
    i20 or Nexon or Sonet
    I am planning to buy one in next few days.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Rajesh,
      In the price bracket you have mentioned, there are a lot of options from hatchbacks to compact SUVs and sedans. We would have listed it all but since you have already narrowed it down to 3 choices, let us tell you everything about them.

      Tata Nexon- This is the safest bet. Not only because of its impressive 5-star rating but also because of its potent Turbo-petrol engine. It has good torque and power which is tuned well and it has riding modes too. It handles well on highways and bad roads. It performs the best when you want to go off-road in a Compact SUV. Since we prioritize safety over anything else, this is our choice among the three.

      Kia Sonet- If you want a stylish SUV to make a style statement with loads of boot space and good ground clearance then you can choose the Sonet. It misses out on a lot of features in the price bracket you have mentioned but you get a good engine, it handles well, not as good as the Nexon though, and it does have the best looks in our books. It has not been crash-tested yet but we do not have high hopes especially after the dismal 3-star rating of its elder brother the Kia Seltos. In the price bracket mentioned it does not come with an option of a turbo-petrol as well.

      Hyundai i20 – We understand looks are subjective but this has to be the best looking hatchback in the market right now. In the price bracket mentioned you will get the Sportz Turbo iMT, which is our engine and transmission choice between the 3 you have mentioned. Although the Nexon has a good turbo petrol engine, it is still an SUV and compared to that, the i20 is a hatchback and hence lighter, more frugal and definitely more fun to drive. The turbo-petrol mill in the i20 is quite engaging and the iMT is the best hybrid between an automatic and a manual. So far it seems to be doing well and we kinda like it. It feels spacious on the inside and comes loaded to the gill with features.

      Please take a long test drive in all the three cars that you have mentioned and make the choice 🙂

  8. I personally think that these 2 segments CANNOT be and SHUD NOT be compared at all. A SUV lover has always larger than life aspect. No comparision stands at par. For me both have their true essentiality depending upon mindset and requirements.

    • We definitely agree Mr Santanu and what you said is absolutely right. It is literally comparing apples(sedans) to oranges(SUVs), but the sad fact about the herd mentality is that people don’t know how they influence the market. For example, just because more people are buying these Pseudo-SUVs, manufacturers don’t even bother about introducing other cars in any other segments. The fact that there are only 7 sedans under 15 lakh when compared to 22 SUVs under the 15 lakh bracket says it all. So this way, even if someone wants apples, he will be forced to buy oranges, just because everyone is buying them.

      But then again, our intention is to have apples, oranges and a whole of options to choose from only to make sure that people are able to buy what they actually need.

  9. Hi, nicely written article. I am going to purchase my first car in few days. im a sedan lover. My budget is upto 15 lakhs.
    must have features for me- 6 airbags, ESC, Sunroof(not mandatory), automatic transmission. please suggest what6 are my options?

    • Hi Naveen and thank you for your compliments.
      Good to see that you are giving safety a high priority and unfortunately it does not come at an affordable price yet.
      In the budget that you have mentioned, you have only 2 options which are the greatest rivals for a very long time and they are the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna.
      Both come with 6 airbags, automatic transmission, sunroofs and ESC. If your budget is 15 lakhs and cannot extend more than that, then you will have to go for the manual transmission option as the automatic variants of both cars may cost you at least 1-2 lakh more than 15 lakhs.

      Among them, Honda City is the more comfortable, luxurious and feature-rich option whereas the Verna is more oriented towards performance and driveability. Even the Verna is comfortable for sure but not as much as the City.

      Please take an extensive test drive in both along with your family to make the right purchase.

  10. Quite thought provoking article..
    No one car whether suv or sedan can be meeting all needs.
    On few important consideration for local market -safety, maintenance, milage, cost, and high drive posture with ground clearance, ones that come closest are perhaps S cross and Nexon.
    Nexon fares poor on buying experience, poor customer support, & ambiguous AMT, while S Cross suffers from lower power and a four gear AT. Hope the two makers listen and address these.

  11. Ganesh i think you have personal grudge over SUVs. SUV also give better performance than sedan. Mileage might be a bit here and there. And on Indian roads sedan is not worth It. I have beared the consequences of sedan. Government is giving emphasis on infrastructure but what about internal road and even city pot holes. Practically sedan is not for Indian road. Also suv also better comfort than sedans in below 25 lac segment. I think the article is having only your view of looking at the aspect. But not the reality. When people are getting all suv features performance and comfort in same cost as a good sedan car why not go for it.

    • Hi Prafulla,
      I myself own an XUV300 and if this article makes you think that I hate SUVs, then you’re not understanding my intentions, sir. I have highlighted a few features why sedans are better, that does not mean SUVs are worse. Why does one product have to be an absolute disaster for the other product to be good? It is an individual’s perspective.

      SUV cannot give better performance than a sedan having the same engine and this is a fact.

      SUV offers better comfort than sedans below 25 lakh budget – this is also something left to individual’s choice but I think the Skoda Octavia and the Honda Civic or even the Hyundai Elantra offer better comfort than Creta, Seltos or MG Hector.

      Reality is often disappointing and yes due to the horrible roads in India an SUV might make you believe that it is a good purchase but sedans are not far behind and not all of them scrape their bellies on all speed breakers.

  12. Shifted from city to nexon… ground clearance of 208mm as good as thar.. got rid of that thud on every speed breaker of mumbai. … agree city was plush.. but nexon is THE vehicle for Indian road…its just the indian road condition tht makes compact SUV a sensible option elsèofcourse sedan would be good for private roads

  13. Nice article Gautam. I myself have been in a fix about which vehicle to buy since the past 6 months. None of the vehicles seems to be ticking all the boxes. My heart and brain are doing flip-flops between the sedans and the pseudo SUV’S. I am looking for an automatic under 12 lac budget. I feel for a vehicle to be called an SUV it should have a four wheel drive. People are being misled in to calling these vehicles as SUV’s (similar to calling Bangalore the Silicon Valley or electronic city).
    I would prefer a an automatic and a higher driving posture considering the pain in my left leg during long drives. Please suggest.

    • Automatic sedans under 12 lakh for your requirements, these are the options :
      Skoda Rapid Rider – Comes with a torque converter and a peppy engine
      Hyundai Aura – Perfect for your requirements and even the top end comes well below 12 lakh
      Honda Amaze – This is also a perfect fit for your requirements
      Maruti Suzuki Dzire – If you want low-cost maintenance then this is the car.

      I believe the Hyundai Aura and Honda Amaze make more sense for you and an extensive test ride along with your family can help you decide. Among them, the CVT on the Honda is better than the AMT on the Hyundai if you want linear and a smooth driving experience.

      PS: Not to be a spoilsport but Bangalore really is the Silicon Valley of India and electronic city is an area in Bangalore 😛

  14. Hi Gautam,
    Wonderfully written.I Havre the same thoughts as you.The so called SUV’s are more of a soft off roaders and crossovers.

    My question is ,Is altroz diesel a good choice. We run around 10000 kms in a year 50 percent in highways and village roads.

    We are a family of 4.

    • Hi Bharath,
      Thank you for your wonderful comments.

      Not all cars are perfect and the Tata Altroz does have a couple of drawbacks. Some of them are :
      – After-sales service is a hit or a miss
      – The 5-speed gearbox is borrowed from the Indica. It is good but does not age well and is not suited with the rest of the car’s mechanicals.
      – The Naturally Aspirated Petrol engine is smooth but it has a relaxed drive that is against the chassis and suspension which force you to push more.

      Nonetheless, Tata Altroz is an amazing car. It punches well above its weight and its USP is its handling and features like the 90-degree openable doors. It is the best value for money in its segment and is definitely a looker in our books.

      Considering the price range it comes at, you have several other options like the Hyundai Grandi10 Nios, Hyundai i20, Honda Jazz and Maruti Suzuki Baleno. The one thing that the Tata Altroz can boast itself is the 5-star crash rating making it the safest hatchback in India. For your requirements, the Tata Altroz is a good fit, but please take an extensive test drive in all the cars mentioned and then put down the cheque.

    • Hello Aayush,
      To help you out further we’d like to gather a little more information.

      1. Budget
      2. Where you will be driving the car more, city or highways.
      3. What are all features you are expecting from your new SUV?

  15. Bang on, Gautam! You have hit the nail on the head. Being a Doctor by profession, 99% of my driving is with in the city limits, have pretty smooth and good roads ,no potholes, no water-logging in rainy season, no off-roading. So, instead of following the bandwagon, I have booked a 150 bhp sedan for the sheer class, driving pleasure, comfort and interior space.

    • If you want a no-nonsense pure off-road fun to drive car, then there is nothing like it. But you have to consider the fact that it is a more lifestyle vehicle and it will be difficult if it is the only car in your garage and this is because of the very limited boot space (practically nothing at all), difficult to get into the back seat especially for elder members of the family.

      Even then it is the best off-roader and its on-road manners have improved by leaps and bounds, so yeah if you are willing to make a few sacrifices, it is an amazing package.

  16. I’m giving you just a view why SUVs/CSUVs are better than sedans…

    Consider a CSUV Nexon XZ+ (Diesel) and consider an equivalent petrol in Verna (as diesel base variant is absolutely kinda beggar) … on the basis of OTR prices….

    Nexon will offer you loads of bells & whistles plus 5star NCAP rating while Verna Petrol will be nothing but a mid variant, gas guzzling poorly spec’d car with just empty space on offer… Therefore, sedans in India will die down, beaten black and blue by CSUVs/SUVs. They can not compete.

  17. Hi buddy,

    I’m looking for my first car, can you suggest me some options.

    Budget : 12-14L

    have looked into compact SUVs but unable to make a call

    • Hi Vinodh
      If you are looking for a feature packed model, you can look out for Venue or Sonet. However, a mid-ranged variant of Tata Nexon and Maruti Brezza can also be taken into consideration.

  18. Hi Gautam an extremely rational and thoughtful article indeed. I almost picked a compact SUV but finally melted again on the Honda City top model CVT petrol. Though SUVs if I may call the mid sized ones so, have their advantages but as u brought out in ur article and replies to comments, a sedan is a purist’s delight. There’s an X factor in a sedan which lends grace and élan to ur driving experience without being bold and brash. But then each to their own as requirements and priorities differ for each. please do give a sense by when can we expect a refined, reliable, EV environment to evolve in India and also, do u think petrol vehicles will loose their relevance once EVs set in. thnx

  19. It is a nice article and exactly reflecting my thoughts. In my experience, I traveled in many SUVs and I never had the comfort level as I get from my Sedan Dzire.

  20. Very well written article.

    I drive Renault Scala diesel variant. Although I love SUVs, the comfort of sedans are unmatched.
    The way a sedan sticks to the road with control should only be experienced.

    After driving Scala, I am not in a position to switch to a petrol variant of any sedan. Be it for the mileage or power. Diesel is a diesel.

    Could you please throw any light on Kia Optima entering Indian Markets.

    Thanks in advance.

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