Best sedans for bad and rough roads

If you are in the market looking for sedans which can take on the rough, potholed roads of India, then this compilation of sedans with the maximum ground clearance will help you make the right choice.

Given the bad roads in India, ground clearance is an important factor for buyers. A car with high ground clearance gives the driver the freedom to go past road undulations with less worry. CarToq picks popular sedans with highest ground clearance right from compact sedans, to entry-level, premium and luxury sedans.

Compact sedans

Our pick:  Maruti Suzuki Dzire

2012 marutisuzuki swift dzire
Photo: The new Dzire is fresh looking, feature packed and is also well equipped to take on our rough city roads

The Maruti Suzuki Dzire has a ground clearance of 170 mm which is the highest in the compact sedan segment. The new Dzire is powered by an 86 Bhp, 1.2-litre petrol motor and returns a claimed mileage of 19.4 Kmpl.

The automatic variant of the Dzire petrol returns a claimed mileage of 17.4 Kmpl. The Dzire diesel is powered by a 74 Bhp, 1.3-litre motor and has a claimed mileage of 23.4 Kmpl. The Dzire is offered in six variants which consist of three petrol variants: LXI, VXI and ZXI and three diesel variants: LDI, VDI and ZDI. It is priced in the range of Rs. 4.88 lakh – Rs. 7.34 lakh. The other compact sedan that has a decent ground clearance (165 mm) is the Tata Indigo eCS.

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Mid-size sedans

Our pick: Fiat Linea

new fiat linea 2012 photo
Photo: The Fiat Linea with its 185 mm of ground clearance can go over most bumps and potholes easily

The 2012 Fiat Linea comes with an impressive ground clearance of 185 mm. The 2012 Linea petrol is powered by a 1.4-liter FIRE motor that puts out 88 Bhp of power while the 2012 Linea diesel is powered by a 1.3-litre motor which churns out 92 Bhp of power. The Linea diesel has a claimed mileage of 20.4 Kmpl while the Linea petrol has a claimed mileage of 14.6 Kmpl.

The Linea is offered in five variants out of which two are petrol variants; the 1.4L Active, the 1.4L Dynamic and three are diesel variants; the 1.3-litre Active, the 1.3-litre Dynamic and the 1.3-litre Emotion. The Linea is offered in the price range of Rs. 6.96 lakh – Rs. 9.35 lakh.

The other cars in this segment with high ground clearance include the Maruti Suzuki SX4 (180 mm), Mahindra Verito (172 mm) and Toyota Etios (170 mm). The Ford Fiesta, Fiesta Classic, Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid have 168 mm of ground clearance. While the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Tata Manza and Nissan Sunny have a low ground clearance of 165 mm.

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Premium Sedans

Our pick: Toyota Corolla Altis

Photo: The Altis with its 175mm of ground clearance is our pick from the premium sedan segment

When it comes to premium sedans, the Toyota Corolla Altis (175 mm) tops the list with regard to ground clearance.

The Corolla Altis is offered in both petrol and diesel versions. The Altis petrol is powered by a 1.8-litre motor that puts out 139 Bhp of power and returns an ARAI-certified mileage of 14.5 Kmpl for the manual variant and 14.3 Kmpl for the automatic variant.

The Corolla Altis diesel is powered by a 1.4-litre motor that puts out 87 Bhp of power and returns an ARAI-certified mileage of 21.4 Kmpl. The Corolla Altis is offered in the price range of Rs. 12 lakh – Rs. 15.43 lakh. Other cars in this segment with high ground clearance include the Renault Fluence and the Honda Civic, with 170 mm. The Cruze and the Laura offer 165 mm and 164 mm of ground clearance respectively. The Volkswagen Jetta has the least ground clearance of 139 mm.

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Luxury sedans

Our pick: Skoda Superb

skoda superb action
Photo: The Superb is sophisticated can also handle bad roads better than its competition

When it comes to luxury sedans below Rs. 25 lakh, the Skoda Superb has the highest ground clearance of 158 mm. The Superb petrol is powered by a 158 Bhp, 1.8-litre turbocharged engine mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) automatic transmission. The ARAI-certified mileage of the Superb petrol is 13.14 kmpl for the manual variant and 13.67 kmpl for the automatic variant.

The Superb diesel is powered by a 139 Bhp, 2-litre turbocharged engine and is mated to a 7-speed DSG.  The Superb diesel returns a claimed mileage of 17.16 kmpl.  The Superb is offered in the price range of Rs. 18 lakh – Rs. 24 lakh.

Other cars in the luxury sedan segment which offers high ground clearance include the Hyundai Sonata and Honda Accord which offer 155 mm. The Volkswagen Passat offers 150 mm ground clearance while the Nissan Teana has the least ground clearance of 145 mm in this segment.

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If you are in the car market looking for sedans that offer maximum ground clearance, you cab buy on of these four cars depending on your budget: Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Fiat Linea, Toyota Corolla Altis and Skoda Superb.