Update 16th May 2017: All-New Maruti Suzuki Dzire Launched At Rs 5.45 Lakh
With the market crowded with so many options, which one should you put your money on?
The compact sedan segment in India today is busier than ever. While Tata introduced its new compact sedan, the Tigor, in March, and Hyundai launched the Xcent facelift recently, the latest to join the brigade is the third-generation Dzire. The Swift Dzire 2017 has been launched at a starting price of Rs 5.45 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Among sub-4-metre sedans, there’s also the Honda Amaze, Ford Aspire and Volkswagen Ameo to choose from. With the market crowded with so many options, which one should you put your money on? We compare these compact sedans for you to get a better understanding of what each brings to the table.
Price & Features
|Cars / Price Range (ex-showroom, Delhi)||Petrol||Diesel|
|Maruti Dzire||Rs 5.45 lakh- Rs 8.41 lakh|
Rs 6.45 lakh to Rs 9.41 lakh
|Hyundai Xcent||Rs 5.42 lakh - Rs 7.55 lakh||Rs 6.32 lakh - Rs 8.45 lakh|
|Tata Tigor||Rs 4.7 lakh - Rs 6.19 lakh||Rs 5.6 lakh - Rs 7.09 lakh|
|Honda Amaze||Rs 5.53 lakh - Rs 8.43 lakh||Rs 6.66 lakh - Rs 8.44 lakh|
|Ford Aspire||Rs 5.45 lakh - Rs 8.29 lakh||Rs 6.55 lakh - Rs 7.99 lakh|
|Volkswagen Ameo||Rs 5.53 lakh - Rs 7.38 lakh||Rs 6.93 lakh - Rs 9.88 lakh|
If price is the biggest consideration, then look no further than the Tata Tigor. It is the most affordable compact sedan of the lot with a starting price of Rs 4.7 lakh for the base petrol variant. The Hyundai Xcent starts at Rs 5.42 lakh, followed by the Ford Aspire at Rs 5.45 lakh. The Honda Amaze and Volkswagen Ameo have an identical starting price of Rs 5.53 lakh.
The new Dzire starts at Rs 5.45 lakh and goes up to Rs 9.41 lakh for the top-spec variants. The outgoing Dzire retailed at Rs 5.27 lakh, and the new Dzire costs slightly more but safety features like ABS and dual airbags are standard now. Volkswagen’s Ameo has the most expensive top-spec variant priced at Rs 9.88 lakh for the diesel Highline. The top-spec Tata Tigor XZ (O), on the other hand, costs Rs 6.19 lakh for the petrol and Rs 7.09 lakh for the diesel. That’s a difference of around Rs 3 lakh between the diesels! For that price, you lose out on cruise control, automatic rain sensing wipers and electrically folding outside rearview mirrors and, of course VW’s slick 7-speed DSG transmission.
The new Dzire top-end commands a higher price compared to the outgoing one as it now packs features like auto LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, push/button start stop, automatic climate control with rear AC vents and touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Also, unlike other Maruti cars like the Baleno and the Ignis, the new Dzire gets an optional automatic transmission even in the top-spec Z+ variant.
The Hyundai Xcent has been recently updated and it now offers features like 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, rear parking camera, automatic AC, push button start/stop and 15-inch diamond cut alloy wheels. The top variant, which comes with all of these features costs Rs 7.55 lakh (petrol) and Rs 8.45 lakh (diesel). The Xcent petrol offers immense value when compared to the Ford Aspire and Honda Amaze.
The Tigor has the most affordable variants overall. The top-of-the-line Tigor XZ variant gets features like projector headlamps, touchscreen infotainment system, rear parking camera, automatic climate control and Harman Kardon sound system, but misses out on LED DRLs, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and push button start/stop, which both the Xcent and the upcoming Dzire get in the top variants. Still, it makes a strong case for anyone wanting a stylish compact sedan that’s spacious, has a big boot and has enough relevant features to keep the urban commuter happy.
Although the Volkswagen Ameo is one of the most expensive cars here, it also gets some segment-first features like cruise control and automatic rain sensing wipers. It also offers a touchscreen infotainment system with Mirrorlink, reverse parking camera and automatic climate control. The Ameo also gets a 7-speed DSG unit with the 110PS diesel engine that leads to a higher sticker price for the top-end diesel variant.
Both the Honda Amaze and Ford Aspire lack in the features department. These are also the oldest cars in this comparison. Both of them miss touchscreen infotainment system and reverse parking camera. However, the Aspire comes with six airbags which none of the cars in this comparison offer. It also gets leather upholstery.
|Features||Tigor XZ (O) (P - Rs 6.19 lakh, D- Rs 7.09 lakh)||Amaze VX (P - Rs 7.43 lakh, D - Rs 8.44 lakh)||Aspire Titanium+ (1.2 P- Rs 6.89 lakh P, D- Rs 7.99 lakh)||Hyundai Xcent SX(O) (P- Rs 7.55 lakh, D- Rs 8.45 lakh)||Ameo Highline (P- Rs 7.38 lakh, D- Rs 8.58)||DZire Z+|
|Side & curtain Airbags||No||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Reverse Parking Camera||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Height adj. Driver’s seat||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electrically Foldable ORVMs||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electrically Adjustable ORVMs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Touchscreen Infotainment System||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Leather upholstery||No||No||Yes||No||Steering wheel and gear knob||No|
|Rain sensing wipers||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
Takeaway - If you are looking for a feature-loaded sedan on a budget, the Tata Tigor is a good option. However, if you’re looking for all the bells-and-whistles, then you may want to consider the Hyundai Xcent which offers a lot of goodies and is still priced quite competitively. The new Dzire is also priced aggressively and looking at its feature list, it is also able to give the Xcent a run for its money.
While all sedans in this comparison fall under 4m length, the Ford Aspire has the longest wheelbase at 2491mm. As a result, its interior space is rated as one of the best in the segment. Interestingly, while the Volkswagen Ameo has a long wheelbase, it doesn’t quite translate to more space at the rear.
The Dzire looks promising on paper; its wheelbase now measures 2,450mm - up 20mm from its predecessor, which should add to its roominess. Also, the width of the new Dzire has increased by 40mm to 1,735mm, making it the widest sedan in this comparison. Shoulder room at the front has been increased by 20mm, and at the rear by 30mm. The outgoing Dzire didn’t have the most spacious cabin, but the new one promises a lot more interior space.
When it comes to height, the Tata Tigor is the tallest at 1537mm, and the Ford Aspire stands second with 1525mm. While the Xcent stands third (1520mm), the new Dzire stands fourth (1515mm). The height of the new Dzire has been decreased by 40mm compared to the outgoing Dzire however, that doesn’t seem to have had a huge impact as far as headroom is concerned.
Among the five sedans, the Tigor has the biggest boot of 419 litres. It is also designed in a way that the boot hinges don’t interfere with the boot space, freeing up maximum room for luggage. The Xcent comes a close second with 409 litres of boot space while the new Dzire offers 378 litres, 60 litres more than the outgoing Dzire.
Overall, while the new Dzire offers more space than before, the Honda Amaze, Ford Aspire and the Ameo still have best-in-class space on paper. However, the improvement in the Dzire will be appreciated as it was much needed.
Engine & Gearbox
All the compact sedans here come with a petrol and a diesel engine. The Aspire, however, comes with two petrol and one diesel engine. Barring the Tigor, all models get a petrol automatic while only the Dzire and Ameo offer a diesel automatic. However, the Dzire gets an AMT transmission while the Ameo diesel comes with a 7-speed DSG transmission. The 1.5-litre petrol engine on the Aspire comes with a dual clutch transmission. The Amaze offers CVT transmission with the petrol engine and the Xcent offers 4-speed automatic. The Tigor is the only compact sedan here that doesn’t get an automatic transmission for now.
The petrol engine powering all these cars is a 1.2-litre unit. However, the Aspire has an additional 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The 1.5-litre motor is also the most powerful of the lot putting out 112PS of power and 136Nm of torque.
The petrol engine on the new Dzire and Xcent has been carried forward from their outgoing models. The engine on the Dzire produces the same 84.3PS of power and 114Nm of torque as earlier.
If we compare the 1.2-litre engines, the one in the Honda Amaze has the highest power of 90PS. However, while the Amaze offers 110Nm of torque, the Tigor, Dzire and the Xcent put out 114Nm of torque.
The second-generation Dzire was one of the most fuel efficient cars in its segment with a claimed mileage of 20.9kmpl, and the new Dzire also retains this title with a claimed fuel efficiency of 22kmpl. The AMT gearbox is offered from the second ‘V’ variant onwards in the new Dzire, and it makes the package a lot more desirable for those who drive a lot in city and can spend a few extra bucks for the convenience of an automatic.
If you want a fuel efficient sedan, pick the Dzire; however, if you are looking for good driving experience, you can go for the Aspire 1.2 as it is known for its peppy engine and good handling. Moreover, Ford recently introduced the Aspire Sports with a stiffened suspension and sporty looks. All of this should add a lot of excitement to your driving experience.
The 1.3-litre diesel unit on the Dzire and the 1.2-litre unit on the Xcent produce the same power and torque: 75PS and 190Nm. It is not among the highest power and torque figures but it is also not the lowest. While the diesel Dzire gets a five-speed manual and automatic transmission as well, the Xcent only comes with a five-speed manual unit. While the Xcent has a claimed fuel efficiency of 25.8kmpl, the mileage of the new Dzire is 28.4kmpl making it the most fuel-efficient diesel sedan on sale in the country.
The Amaze has a 1.5-litre engine which produces 100PS of power and 200Nm of torque and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. It is certainly more exciting to drive as compared to the Xcent and Tigor due to its higher torque and power figures.
The Tigor on the other hand has the smallest engine in this comparison, a 1.05-litre. It produces 70PS of power and 140Nm of torque which does leave you wanting for more in the performance department.
With 110PS of power and 250Nm of torque, the Ameo’s 1.5-litre engine is the most powerful diesel engine here. It also comes with an optional 7-speed DSG gearbox apart from the five-speed manual. The DSG unit of the Ameo diesel is the most sophisticated automatic transmission in this segment, and it should take the driving experience a notch higher compared to other compact sedans.
However, the 1.5-litre on the Aspire isn't far behind in terms of performance. It produces 100PS of power and 215Nm of torque and just as the petrol, the Aspire is available in a sporty avatar even in the diesel spec. With impressive power figures and a performance-focused suspension setup, the Aspire Sports Edition is certainly the most fun-to-drive diesel sedan here.
With so many cars competing in this segment, it’s difficult to find out one car that does everything correct. The Honda Amaze has a refined petrol engine and it also gets a CVT gearbox. But it doesn’t feel as modern as the new Dzire, Tigor and the Xcent. It also doesn’t get ABS and dual airbags as standard, which should be a must-have safety feature even in the base variants. The Amaze is a car for those who appreciate a spacious interior and a refined petrol engine; and want to own a Honda badge.
The recently launched Tata Tigor makes a strong case for itself, though only with the petrol engine. The diesel Tigor feels underpowered and doesn’t justify the Rs 90,000 premium over its own petrol engine. The Tigor petrol plays its value for money card quite strong. It is spacious, feature-rich and a great option for first-time car buyers.
The VW Ameo diesel’s lower variants can be a great buy for those who looking for a powerful diesel car. The petrol’s performance is underwhelming. The diesel Ameo is best for people doing long distances every day, as they’ll enjoy the Ameo’s torquey motor and driving dynamics on the highway. It can also be a smart buy for those who’ve always wanted to own the Vento DSG for its driving pleasure. But it should be kept in mind that the Ameo has limited boot space (330 litres) and the rear seats aren’t as spacious as the Vento’s.
The Ford Aspire is also priced aggressively. It has a powerful diesel engine and with the introduction of the Aspire Sports Edition that gets a stiffer suspension setup, the Aspire diesel becomes the go-to car for enthusiasts who want to strike a balance between driving pleasure and practicality.
The Hyundai Xcent also got updated recently. Barring the new features that it now gets, it also gets the 1.2-litre diesel engine which is more refined and better to drive than the outgoing 1.1-litre unit. The Xcent now has a long feature list but it misses out on ABS in the lower variants. On the higher side, if you’re looking for creature comforts and a brand with a wide service network, the Xcent can be the sub-4m sedan for you.
The new Dzire appears to be promising. It offers ABS and dual airbags as standard and is one of the most feature-rich cars at the top of the spectrum. With the AMT now being offered with both petrol and diesel engines, that too in all the variants except the base, the Dzire is one car that looks set to sweep the segment again on the sales charts. So, if you’re looking for an all-rounder budget compact sedan that also offers the convenience of an automatic gearbox, the Dzire is an ideal choice.
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