Before the SUV frenzy, D-segment sedans like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia/Laura, the now defunct Chevrolet Optra/Cruze and the Hyundai Elantra flourished quite well. In fact it was quite a sizeable market for manufacturers. Packed with features, potent engines and good designs meant this segment was quite popular amongst the upper middle class. However with the onset of SUV’s across all sizes, the demand for D-segment cars started diminishing and as a result even the manufacturers started concentrating more on SUVs rather than these sedans because of which this segment did not see anything exceptional being launched. However recent surveys have indicated that buyers now are asking for a luxury sedan that drives well, offers the best of technology and space making it a complete package.
So what are the factors that can turn it around for this segment? Let’s have a look.
When we say desirability it’s a lot of things coming together. The first-gen Honda Civic when launched was something that everyone wanted thanks to its ultra-sleek looks and futuristic interiors. The Octavia brought in a ton of features, great build and got enthusiasts hooked with the vRS variants and so on. While the current crop of cars are brilliant machines, the D-segment needs more effort from the manufacturers. While Skoda is doing great handling the performance end of things with the new vRS, Honda looks set to drop a lot of jaws with its new Civic. We’ve already told you it is coming and you can read about it here. Hyundai too has unveiled its Elantra facelift which looks stunning and will make its way on to Indian shores next year. With manufacturers working hard on the styling element, these cars when launched just might be able to woo buyers who for now prefer butch looking SUVs.
Enjoying drives is directly proportional to the road infrastructure. At the moment roads in India are undergoing a major overhaul with new routes and expressways under construction like the western peripheral e-way, Delhi-Meerut e-way amongst others. Once operational, these roads will cut travel time massively thanks to increased cruising speeds. What is a given is that the current and upcoming D-segment sedans will be far more enjoyable in these conditions and not to mention far more comfortable when speeds get higher compared to SUVs. This could be another factor which could sway SUV buyers towards D-segment sedans.
Age of the millennials
This is the age of millennials, young tycoons and a gazillion start-ups. What that also means is that there are a bunch of young entrepreneurs who need a swanky set of wheels. And they are pretty particular about their needs. Their car needs to look great, offer a bunch of features and importantly connectivity options and ooze luxury at the same time. This is right up the alley of D-segment sedans and could be another reason why D-segment sedans could come back into the reckoning.