Comparison:Compact SUV vs Premium Hatchback vs Compact Sedan
Hatchback vs SUV vs Sedan Confusion. Whats the Better Buy?
If you are in the market for a new car and within a budget of Rs 8-10 lakh, the big question is what type of car you would want. With so many options available like a compact SUV or a premium hatchback or a compact sedan- all within a Rs 10 lakh price point, you might think what type of car would suit me. Well, in this article we would clear this confusion out.
Looks and Size
If you want looks then the compact SUV is certainly the one to go for and the reason they are so popular. The compact SUVs may be under 4m but they are well proportioned while the bigger tyres and added ground clearance gives them further presence. They are wider and taller than hatchbacks or compact sedans too. You have good looking compact SUVs like Hyundai Venue or Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon or the Maruti Brezza.
A premium hatchback like the Volkswagen Polo or Maruti Baleno looks sportier while actually ends up looking lower and even wider due to the design. Hatchbacks have the longest bonnet and are lowest to the ground hence have a sleek look. The compact sedan is actually the most difficult design to get it right here due to the added difficulty to get the boot in at under 4m however cars like the Honda Amaze hence they look a bit awkward but for those who want a sedan shape and the prestige of owning a sedan, the compact sedan does work in that case.
Interior Luxury and Features
If you are paying Rs 10 lakh you would expect a premium interior and features. Here all three match up well but there are some differences. The premium hatchback we have seen has the best designed and sportiest interior for the price point and generally has the best quality. More effort is paid towards futuristic design. The compact SUV has a more rugged interior design with more effort towards space, comfort and practicality. However compact SUVs are also quite luxurious but have a more sober design with less sporty look.
The compact sedan goes for a formal look with more beige used and a wood finish unlike the all black look that most compact SUVs or the premium hatchbacks have. They are tuned towards luxury more with beige and less sporty details. In terms of features, we have found that compact SUVs have the best there and lead the way in terms of technology or features given. You would find more of the latest features on a compact SUV than a compact sedan or hatchback. Also the premium hatchback has more features for the driver while more effort is given to compact sedan in terms of the rear passengers.
Space and Practicality
If you want space and an airy cabin then a compact SUV makes more sense. You get in and have a high driving position and more visibility plus more space is there when compared to a compact sedan or premium hatchback. Due to the height and design you have more space inside with better legroom or headroom. That said in terms of comfort, the compact sedan has better rear seats as in sedans, the emphasis is also given to the rear seat where owners are also expected to chauffeur driven.
As an example the Maruti Dzire has a comfier rear seat over the Maruti Swift or even the Brezza with same going for say the Aura or the Venue or Nios. The premium hatchback has the least space at the rear and also the smallest boot. The compact sedan in most cases, offers the most boot space while followed by a compact SUV.
Engine Options and Performance
If you like driving then no doubt the premium hatchback is your best choice due to the low and sleek body style which is about driving performance. They are tuned for handling and fun to drive which makes them perfect cars to enjoy behind the wheel. Compact SUVs are also good to drive but their height and size brings in body roll and same is for the compact sedan where comfort is given more priority over handling. In terms of gearbox or engine options, the compact SUV offers you the most choice followed by premium hatchbacks and compact sedans.
All three types of cars are quite efficient but surprisingly the compact sedan is more efficient over a premium hatchback. A compact SUV due to its weight and bigger tyres is not as efficient of course. All three, comparatively speaking will deliver good mileage in city and highway.
The way they drive is also reflected in the suspension set-up that each type of car uses here. A compact SUV is normally tuned for a bit towards comfort and also to tackle bad roads thanks to the ground clearance. A compact sedan arguably gets over bumps the softest way and the suspension is towards comfort the most while a premium hatchback has a bit more firm ride with its bias towards sporty handling.
Maintaining all these three types of cars is pretty near the same and of course costs are different for different car-makers but there are some points we would share. Typically premium hatchbacks, due to their market positioning, have slightly more expensive maintenance over a compact sedan while compact SUVs are also slightly higher over a compact sedan and nearly the same as a premium hatchback.
So there are different reasons to buy a premium hatchback or a compact sedan or a compact SUV and it all depends on your lifestyle, usage and more. If you have a nuclear family or mostly drive the car yourself plus like driving along with wanting performance and style, then a premium hatchback fits your demands. It is for those who want a stylish city car with performance.
On the other hand, if you are a family man and need space then the compact sedan has a boot plus is comfortable with focus on space and practicality. It is also most affordable to maintain and also the most efficient.
The compact SUV is for those who like the SUV lifestyle and design along with the need for a slightly higher driving position and more premium design inside out. It is also for those who travel more and use their SUVs more with focus on highway use and better long distance comfort. Do note compact SUVs are more expensive but they have the most choice in terms of engine options and also the highest equipment list.
Top Compact SUVs- Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Maruti Brezza, Mahindra XUV300, Ford Ecosport
Top Premium Hatchbacks- Maruti Baleno, Toyota Glanza, Tata Altroz, Volkswagen Polo Hyundai Elitei20
Top Compact Sedans- Maruti Dzire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Aura
Upcoming New Compact SUVs and Premium Hatchbacks in 2020-2021 include Toyota Urban Cruiser, Kia Sonet, Renault Kiger, Nissan Magnite, Next Gen Hyundai i20 and 2020 BS6 Honda Jazz.
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