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The mid-size sedan segment in India is one of the most popular segments, showing a steady growth rate of 45% year on year. This is a segment that most buyers looking for value-for-money sedans, with a bit of performance are shopping.

A buyer looking for a car in the mid-size sedan segment is also looking for performance, style and comfort. Most cars in this segment are usually self-driven.

CarToq lists the mid-size sedans available in India between Rs. 7 lakh and Rs. 12 lakh, rating these cars on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (best) based on their performance, taking into account parameters such as power to weight ratio, handling, and ease of driving which includes comfort levels in the car.

Based on these parameters, here are the best mid-size sedans based on performance:

Best overall: Honda City

Best power-to-weight (petrol): Hyundai Verna

Best power-to-weight (diesel): Hyundai Verna

Best handling: Ford Fiesta

Most easy to drive: Ford Fiesta (automatic)

 

Hyundai Verna

Overall rating: 8.25

The Hyundai Verna is the largest-selling mid-size sedan, selling over 4,000 units every month. It is popular for a reason – being one of the most feature-rich cars in its segment. It comes in 10 variants, five in petrol and five in diesel, with four engine choices and two automatic transmissions.

Power-to-weight (diesel): 10/10

The Hyundai Verna diesel comes in two engine choices – a 1.4 litre diesel putting out 90 bhp of power and a 1.6 litre diesel putting out 126 bhp of power and 260 Nm of torque with a six-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. For this ranking, we’ll look at only the top-end variants. The Verna 1.6 diesel has a kerb weight of 1152 Kg giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 109 bhp per ton. The 1.4 diesel has a power-to-weight ratio of 81 bhp per ton.

Power-to-weight (petrol): 10/10

Among the petrol Vernas the 1.6 litre puts out 121 bhp of power and 155 Nm of torque, with a kerb-weight of 1100 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 110 bhp per ton. The 1.4 petrol has a power output of 105 bhp with a kerb weight of 1030 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 101 bhp per ton.

Handling: 5/10

The Verna is not a very good handling car as the steering feels very light and not very precise. The car tends to bounce a bit a high speed and getting a sporty drive out of the car is not comfortable. In a straight line, the car is one of the most powerful.

Ease of driving: 8/10

The Verna is loaded with comfort features which make it relatively easy to drive. The steering is light, the gear throws are short and the clutch is also effortless to operate. The seats are deep set and one sits quite low in the car. Reversing is made easy by use of a camera and sensors.

 

 

Volkswagen Vento

Overall rating: 7.25

volkswagen vento ipl edition

The Volkswagen Vento is one of the most classy looking mid-size sedans, with the diesel Vento being quite fun to drive as well.

Power to weight (diesel):  7/10

The diesel Vento is powered by a 1.6 litre diesel engine that puts out 104 bhp of power at 4400 rpm and 250 Nm of torque with a five-speed manual transmission. The Vento diesel has a kerb weight of 1,220 Kg which gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 85 bhp per ton.

Power to weight (petrol): 8/10

The petrol Vento is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine that puts out 104 bhp of power at 5250 rpm with a five-speed manual transmission (and one variant with a six-speed automatic). The Vento petrol has a kerb weight of 1130 Kg giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 92 bhp per ton.

Handling: 8/10

The Vento is a fairly nice car to drive and gives a very planted feel on the road. The steering feel is quite precise and the car corners well. At high speed it has a stable ride.

Ease of driving: 6/10

The car is fairly simply laid out, with controls falling easy to hand. The gear shift has a short throw and is easy to use, except for the armrest that gets in the way. The clutch is slightly stiff especially on the diesel Vento.

 

Skoda Rapid

Overall rating: 7.25

The Skoda Rapid is essentially a rebadged and restyled Volkswagen Vento that’s mechanically identical to the Vento. It comes with the same engine choices.

Power to weight (diesel): 7/10

The Rapid diesel is powered by a 1.6 litre diesel engine that puts out 104 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque with a 5-speed manual transmission. It has a kerb weight of 1205 Kg, which translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 86 bhp per ton.

Power to weight (petrol): 8/10

The Skoda Rapid petrol is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine that puts out 104 bhp of power and 153 Nm of torque. The manual has a kerb weight of 1130 Kg which gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 92 bhp per ton.

Handling: 8/10

The Rapid’s suspension feels just that slight bit stiffer than the Vento, giving it a slight edge in handling. The steering is precise and the car holds its line well through a corner.

Ease of driving: 6/10

Just like the Vento the Rapid too has well laid out controls and is fairly easy to drive. The same ergonomics of the Vento apply to the Rapid as well.

 

Ford Fiesta

Overall rating: 8.00

ford fiesta automatic

The new Ford Fiesta is a good-looking car and is one of the best cars to drive in its segment. However, its price positioning initially led to the perception of it being too expensive and hence it hasn’t sold in large numbers.

Power to weight (diesel): 6/10

The Ford Fiesta diesel is powered by a 1.5 litre diesel engine that puts out 89 bhp of power and 204 Nm of torque with a five-speed manual transmission. The Fiesta diesel has a kerb weight of 1157 Kg which translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 77 bhp per ton.

Power to weight (petrol): 8/10

The Fiesta petrol is powered by a 1.5 litre petrol engine that puts out 108 bhp of power and 140 Nm of torque with a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Fiesta petrol has a kerb weight of 1124 Kg, translating to a power-to-weight ratio of 96 bhp per ton.

Handling: 9/10

The Fiesta is one of the best handling cars in its segment. With features in its steering system such as electronic pull drift control and a very precise feel, the car has a sporty driving characteristic to it. The suspension is stiff and the car corners very well.

Ease of driving: 9/10

The controls in the Fiesta fall easy to hand. The clutch in the petrol is light and easy, and gear shifts are also quite slick, making the Fiesta an easy car to drive. The automatic is one of the best in its segment.

 

Honda City

Overall rating: 8.66

honda city action photo

The Honda City is the only car in its segment that does not offer a diesel engine. It is however one of the better petrol cars when it comes to refinement and overall comfort.

Power to weight (petrol): 9/10

The Honda City is powered by a 1.5 litre petrol engine that puts out 116 bhp of power and 146 Nm of torque with a 5-speed manual transmission and a 5-speed automatic. The City has a kerb-weight of 1100 Kg translating to a power-to-weight ratio of 105 bhp per ton!

Handling: 8/10

The City has a precise steering that is light at slow speed and weighs up well at high speed. The car does tend to pitch a little through corners, but otherwise offers a sporty ride.

Ease of driving: 9/10

The City, especially the automatic, is one of the easiest cars to drive. It feels quite light and the gears are easy to shift. The clutch is light and the brakes are sharp with very little effort needed.

 

 

Renault Scala

Overall rating: 6.50

The Renault Scala is the latest entrant in the mid-size segment, based on the Nissan Sunny. It offers oodles of space inside, but is average when it comes to performance.

Power to weight (diesel): 6/10

The Renault Scala diesel is powered by a 1.5 litre diesel engine that puts out 85 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque with a five-speed manual transmission. The Scala diesel has a kerb weight of 1085 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 78 bhp per ton.

Power to weight (petrol): 8/10

The Renault Scala petrol also has a 1.5 litre engine that puts out 98 bhp of power and 134 Nm of torque with a  5-speed manual transmission. It has a kerb-weight of 1010 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 97 bhp per ton.

Handling: 6/10

The Renault Scala has a fairly light steering that is just above average. The long wheelbase and the extended boot make it swing a lot through corners.

Ease of driving: 6/10

The Scala has a slightly notchy gearbox and a slightly heavy clutch. The brakes are average and not too sharp. The car is silent and NVH levels are good.

 

Nissan Sunny

Overall rating: 6.50

nissan sunny diesel xv action shot

The Nissan Sunny is the cousin of the Scala, essentially the same car from which the Scala was rebadged. It also offers plenty of space and decent amount of features, being slightly cheaper than the Scala.

Power to weight (diesel): 6/10

The Nissan Sunny diesel is powered by a 1.5 litre diesel engine that puts out 85 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque with a five-speed manual transmission. The Sunny diesel has a kerb weight of 1085 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 78 bhp per ton.

Power to weight (petrol): 8/10

The Sunny petrol also has a 1.5 litre engine that puts out 98 bhp of power and 134 Nm of torque with a 5-speed manual transmission. It has a kerb-weight of 1010 Kg giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 97 bhp per ton.

Handling: 6/10

The Sunny has a light steering and exhibits some amount of body roll. In corners the rear end tends to swing out a bit.

Ease of driving: 6/10

The Sunny has a bit of a notchy gearbox and a slightly stiff clutch. Braking feel is average. Overall visibility is good, although reversing is a bit of an issue.

 

Fiat Linea

Overall rating: 7.00

The Fiat Linea is the most understated car in the mid-size segment. It has luxury car like appeal and is loaded with features. For those looking for a classy car, the Linea should be on your shopping list.

Power to weight (diesel): 6/10

The Fiat Linea diesel is powered by a 1.3-litre multijet diesel engine that puts out 92 bhp of power and 209 Nm of torque with a five-speed manual transmission. The car has a kerb weight of 1210 Kg translating to a power-to-weight ratio of 76 bhp per ton.

Power to weight (petrol): 7/10

The Linea petrol is powered by a 1.4 litre petrol engine that puts out 89 bhp of power and 115 Nm of torque with a 5-speed transmission. The regular Linea petrol has a kerb weight of 1180 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 75 bhp per ton.

But there is another variant that puts out 114 bhp of power (Linea T-jet). The T-Jet has a kerb weight of 1230 Kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 92 bhp per ton.

Handling: 8/10

The Linea has a well-weighted steering that gives good feedback from the road. The clutch is slightly heavy and the car does tend to wallow through corners.

Ease of driving: 7/10

The Linea has multiple adjustments for the seat and for the steering. Visibility out front is good, but at the rear it is restricted. It has a very silent cabin.

 

Maruti SX4

Overall rating: 6.75

The Maruti SX4 is sold in both petrol and diesel but has been losing popularity, as it is pretty average on most counts except ground clearance and of course service network reach. It does not have much space.

Power to weight (diesel): 5/10

The Maruti SX4 diesel is powered by a 1.3 litre diesel engine that puts out 90 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque with a five-speed manual transmission. It has a kerb weight of 1245 kg, which translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 72 bhp per ton

Power to weight (petrol): 7/10

The SX4 petrol is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine that puts out 104 bhp of power and 145 Nm of torque, with a 5-speed manual transmission (and a 4-speed automatic). It has a kerb weight of 1210 Kg which translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 86 bhp per ton.

Handling: 8/10

The SX4 offers pretty sporty handling. The steering is precise and you get good feedback from the road. The car can be thrown around corners easily, although there is some body roll and a bit of tail swing.

Ease of driving: 7/10

The SX4 is a no-nonsense car with all the controls well laid out. Visibility at the rear is slightly restricted due to the high boot. The diesel is a bit noisy, while the petrol is quite refined.

Two other cars that also sell in this segment are the Chevrolet Optra and the Mitsubishi Cedia. However, neither of them are popular selling very few cars each month. This is how these nine midsize cars  between Rs. 7 lakh and Rs. 12 lakh stack up against each other, based on our collective assessment of these vehicles. However, we would like you, the CarToq community to share your feedback and ratings for these cars as well. Do share your ratings and reasons for them with us the rest of the community.

 

Posted in ComparisonPerformance