Sedans have been pretty popular in India ever since the initial days of the auto market in the country. It is only in recent years that their sales and popularity have been overtaken by SUVs, which in fact is a global phenomenon. While the auto market of India is among the biggest in the world and there are a lot of sedans on offer in every segment, the long journey of market evolvement means that a lot of sedans launched in the past have now been forgotten by one and all. Here are twelve sedan cars from the past that currently most of us don’t remember
The Lancer Cedia was brought in as a sportier successor of the good old Lancer which enjoyed a relatively successful stint in India. At that time, the Lancer Cedia took the fights to the likes of the other D-Segment sedan including Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic among others. However, the Cedia was a big market failure and has since then prevented the manufacturer to introduce the nameplate in India again. It came powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine and a sporty body kit.
The Escort became Ford ‘escort’ for its Indian re-entry back in 1995. In those times, the Escort was considered a heavily loaded sedan but at the same time, it carried a hefty price tag. This was one of the prime reasons behind the sedan’s inability to gather customers. The Escort came loaded with features like power steering, air-conditioner, electrically adjustable ORVMs, factory-fitted music system and power windows.
That’s right, Peugeot also sold cars in India, although its stint here was pretty short. The French manufacturer joined hands with Premier Motors Ltd for the Indian market and launched the 309 sedan as its first vehicle in the country. This car came with both petrol and diesel engine options and the diesel unit was a am award-winning TUD5 diesel engine. The car also offered good driving dynamics and a great ride quality.
Daewoo’s most well-known sedan in the country was the Cielo. However, the manufacturer also made a premium of the Cielo which was known as the Nexia. The Nexie came with a powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine that was good for 90 Bhp. Despite its good looks, the high price tag of the Daewoo Nexia meant that it didn’t find many buyers in the market.
The Nissan Teana was an expensive sedan that took on the likes of Skoda Superb in the Indian market. The Teana was launched as a CBU product, which made sure of its high price tag in the Indian market. The Teana offered an extremely comfortable cabin and was offered with a powerful but thirsty V6 petrol engine.
The Opel Vectra was a premium sedan, which failed to attract the customers at that time. The sedan came with a 2.2-litre engine that churns out a maximum of 146 Bhp, making it one of the most powerful cars in its time. The Vectra also offered a feature-laden cabin and offered a great ride quality too.
Sipani Automobiles, which launched the rebadged version of the popular cars like Robin Reliant in the Indian market also tied up with other manufacturers in the market. Sipani also launched the Austin Montego, which was renamed as Rover Montego in India. Both sedans and station wagon version of the models were sold in India. The feature-laden Montego sedan did not find many takers in the Indian market as it was super exotic at that time.
Maruti 1000 & Esteem
After launching the Maruti 800 in the Indian market, 1000 was launched as the first sedan from the manufacturer. The sedan came powered by a 970cc engine producing only a maximum of 46 Bhp. It was quite fun to drive as it weighed only 825 kg. However, it was later replaced with the Maruti Suzuki Esteem, which came with a bigger engine and went on to become one of the largest selling cars in India.
Fiat launched the Siena to take on the Maruti Suzuki Esteem in the Indian market. However, the infamous service-network of Fiat ensured that it never became as popular as its rival in India. The Siena was later replaced with the Petra, which posted similar results on the sales charts.
Tata Indigo XL
Tata Indica platform was properly utilised by Tata to offer various cars. The Tata Indigo XL was a long base version of the Indigo sedan and it offered huge rear legroom. The Indigo XL came with more space than a Honda Accord in that time. It became a big-time hit among the fleet owners but never became popular enough to survive the competition for a long time.
The Kizashi was the premium sedan that was a CBU import. It looked brilliant but it was too expensive for anyone’s liking. The Kizashi was powered by a 2.4-litre V6 petrol engine that generated 175 Bhp. However, the poor fuel efficiency and the hefty price tag did not make the car very popular in the Indian market.
The Ford Fiesta is a popular name but when the facelifted version came with an Aston Martin-inspired front grille, the popularity if the car just went down. The Ford Fiesta went against the likes of Honda City. However, the Fiesta just failed to gain enough customers in the Indian market