The compact sedan market will get a new sub-segment. Just like the B-segment (where most of the compact sedans are present) has a large spread across a varied price range, the compact sedan segment too will get stratification. The first two cars to enter the fray will be the Chevrolet Essentia and the Tata Kite 5 sedan. The former is based on the Beat hatchback while the latter shares its DNA with the Zica hatchback.
The entire compact sedan car segment is unique to the Indian market as it exists due to the Centre’s rules meant to aid in the development of small cars. This means of all the compact models sold in the country literally push the limit of permissible length.
The Kite 5 measures in at 3.99 metres and like its elder sibling, the Zest, is expected to have a wheelbase of 2.47 metres. The Essentia too is expected to be 3.99 metres but will definitely have a larger wheelbase than the Beat’s 2.37 metres. We believe that both cars, when launched, will be offered with the segment standard boot capacity of 330 litres.
The compact sedan segment is one where the manufacturers have been attempting to provide more for less. It is a similar story here too for the Kite 5 whose interiors are based on the Zica hatchback.
Standard equipment on the top-spec variants are expected to include 2-DIN music system, AC, power windows, steering mounted audio controls, multi-function display in the instrument cluster and electrically adjustable ORVMS. The Essentia too appears to have similar levels of equipment but will come with a touchscreen infotainment system and no steering mounted audio controls.
The Tata Kite will be offered with one petrol and diesel engine option. The petrol is a 1.2-litre three-pot unit that produces 83.8bhp and 114Nm of torque while the diesel is a 1.05-litre unit that produces 69bhp and 140Nm of torque. Both engines are only offered with a five-speed manual though there is a possibility that there will be an AMT option for the petrol motor.
The Essentia is expected to be offered with the same engine lineup from the Beat hatchback - a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.0-litre diesel. The former is good for 79bhp and 108Nm while the latter produces 57bhp and 150Nm of torque. Both the engine options get only a five-speed manual.
The Tata Kite 5 compact sedan is expected to be priced in the range of Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh while the Essentia too will have a similar price range of Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh for the top-spec diesel variant.