Sedans have been appreciated for their comfort levels and street presence. However, with the world turning to SUVs, sedans are falling behind.
In this list, we take a look at 12 sedans that no one really remembers in India, despite most of them being sold before the SUV craze hit the country.
The Cedia was among the sportiest D-Segment sedans to have been sold in India and competed with the likes of the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. Despite offering sporty handling characteristics, a punchy 2.0-litre petrol engine, and an attractive body kit with the ‘Sports’ variant, the Cedia’s sales numbers were not good and it was quickly forgotten.
The Ford Escort was the first-ever Ford vehicle to be sold in India. It got a whole list of features when it was launched including electrically adjustable ORVMs, power steering, air conditioning, power windows and a factory fitted music system. The Escort was offered with two engine options – a 1.3-litre petrol and a 1.8-liter diesel engine. .Unfortunately, buyers at that time didn’t seem interested in the Ford.
The Peugeot 309 was launched in India after the French carmaker joined forces with Premier Motors Ltd (PAL). The Peugeot 309 sedan was offered with both petrol and diesel engines. The 309 offered a great ride quality and its TUD5 diesel engine won a lot of accolades for its longevity and high fuel economy. However, low sales number saw the French carmaker leave India a few years after it arrived in the 1990s and 309 was soon forgotten.
The Daewoo Nexia was a more premium version of Daewoo’s popular Cielo sedan. It was offered with a 90 Bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine. However, while it was a more premium offering and it looked quite similar to the Cielo, which was a good thing. Unfortunately, not many Nexia sedans were sold and then Daewoo went bust, which meant it was quickly forgotten.
The Nissan Teana is a more recent sedan that competed in the D2 segment against the likes of the Skoda Superb and the Honda Accord and was bought into the country via the CBU route. The Teana offered customers stately looks and a comfortable ride. However, a thirsty petrol engine, high price tag, expensive maintenance and a small service network meant that the Teana didn’t do well in terms of numbers.
The Opel Vectra was a rather powerful D2 segment sedan that offered premium features and a powerful 2.2-litre engine with 146 Bhp on tap. The Vectra was also known for its great ride quality. Unfortunately, the Indian market wasn’t ready for this premium German sedan and it tanked on the sales charts barely finding any takers, which meant it was quickly forgotten.
The Austin Montego was bought to India after the Rover Group teamed up with India’s Sipani
Automobiles (known for oddball cars like the Dolphin). The car was sold as the Rover Montego and even offered an estate version. The Montego came packed with a host of features and offered a comfortable ride as well. However, the Indian car buyers were not interested in this British sedan and spotting one today is quite a big feat.
Maruti’s first-ever sedan offering was the 1000. The Maruti 1000 was powered by a 970-cc petrol engine that produced 46 Bhp and powered a sedan that weighed just 825 kilogrammes. Despite being sufficiently fun to drive, its high price of Rs 3.81 lakhs in 1990, made it unaffordable for the general masses and it was considered an elitist car by some sections of the media. The 1000 was eventually replaced by the Esteem, which offered a more powerful engine and more features.
The Fiat Siena was sold in India as a rival to the Esteem. Unfortunately, Fiat’s infamous after sales and service network and the poor brand image saw the Siena become a sales failure. The Siena was replaced by the Petra, which too failed to sell well in India.
Tata Indigo XL
The Tata Indigo XL was one of many that were spawned off the carmaker’s Indica platform. The Indigo XL was essentially a long wheelbase version of the Indigo and it offered more legroom at the rear than a Honda Accord. The massive space at the back along with very comfortable rear seats made it somewhat popular in the yellow board market. Unfortunately, it never sold well was removed from the lineup a few years after it arrived.
The Kizashi was launched in India in 2011 and was the most expensive Suzuki sedan to have ever been sold in the country. The Kizashi drew power from a 2.4-litre 175 Bhp petrol engine and it offered good handling, feature-laden interiors and good build quality. However, a Maruti’s image as a small car specialist and the lack of diesel engine option killed the Kizashi and it was withdrawn four years later due to low sales numbers.
Ford Fiesta facelift
When Ford updated the Fiesta for the last time, they gave it revised styling including an Aston Martin-inspired grille to go with its powerful engine and brilliant handling characteristics. Unfortunately, a slightly cramped rear seat and a marauding Honda City saw the Fiesta despite the facelift not do well in sales numbers, which eventually lead to the sedan being withdrawn from the Indian market.