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Car Segments in India Explained

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 07/12/2023

If you are considering buying a new car in India, you may be wondering about the different types of available cars. How are cars classified, and why are they important? How can you find the best type of car for your situation and preferences?

Cars are classified into different types based on various factors, such as size, shape, price, features, etc. These types are called car segments. Car segments make it easier for buyers and sellers to compare and assess different cars in an organised way. They also help car makers create and promote their products according to the needs and expectations of the customers.

There are six main car segments: A, B, C, D, E, and M. Each segment has its features, pros and cons. Here, we will describe each car segment and give examples of popular cars in each segment.

Popular Car Segments in India

A-segment cars

If you are looking for a small, affordable, and efficient car that fits your budget and lifestyle, you might consider buying an A-segment car. A-segment cars are the smallest and cheapest category of cars in the Indian market. They are also known as mini cars, city cars, or hatchbacks.

Here are some of their features.

They have a length of fewer than 3.6 meters.

Their engine capacity is less than 1.2 litres.

They come with an average price range of Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh. A-segment cars require low maintenance.

A-segment cars are the most fuel-efficient in the Indian market, with an average mileage of 20 km/l to 25 km/l.

Due to their small size, they are easy to drive and park in congested cities.

However, these cars have some downsides as well. They have limited passenger and luggage space and low safety and comfort features.

Some popular A-segment car models in India are:

Maruti Alto: The Maruti Alto has been the best-selling car in India for more than a decade. It is a simple, reliable and affordable car with a mileage of up to 22.05 km/l. It has a price range of ₹2.99 lakhs to ₹4.48 lakhs.

Renault Kwid: The Renault Kwid is a stylish and spacious car with a mileage of up to 22.3 km/l. It has a price range of ₹3.18 lakhs to ₹5.39 lakhs. It also has features like a touchscreen infotainment system and a digital instrument cluster.

Datsun Go: The Datsun Go is a spacious and practical car with a mileage of up to 19.02 km/l. It has a price range of ₹3.86 lakhs to ₹6.51 lakhs. It also has features like dual airbags, ABS, and rear parking sensors.

B-Segment Car

These cars are larger than the A-segment car categories in India. They usually have four or five doors and can comfortably seat four or five passengers. B-segment cars can also have different body styles, such as hatchbacks, sedans, or SUVs.

Some features of B Sedan segment cars in India are:

They have a length of 3.8 to 4.2 meters, a width of 1.6 to 1.8 meters, and a height of 1.4 to 1.6 meters.

They are priced between 5 and 10 lakhs, depending on the brand, model, and features.

They have smaller engines and lighter bodies, so they consume less petrol or diesel.

They are easy to drive and park, as they have compact dimensions and good manoeuvrability, which makes them suitable for Indian roads and traffic conditions.

Some popular B-segment car models in India are:

Maruti Swift: It is the most popular and successful B-segment hatchback in India and is known for its sporty design, peppy performance, reliable quality, and low maintenance cost. The Maruti Swift offers a choice of a manual or automated gearbox and has a fuel efficiency of 21.21 km/l for petrol and 28.4 km/l for diesel. The Maruti Swift has a price range of ₹5.19 to ₹8.02 lakhs and has a boot space of 268 litres.

Hyundai Aura: It is the sedan version of the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios, one of India's latest and most feature-rich B-segment sedans. The Hyundai Aura is known for its modern design, spacious interior, smooth performance, and high-tech features. The Hyundai Aura offers a 1.2-litre petrol engine that generates 83 PS of power and 114 Nm of torque, a 1.2-litre diesel engine that outputs 75 PS of power and 190 Nm of torque, or a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine that produces 100 PS of output and 172 Nm of torque.

C-Segment Cars

C-segment cars are also known as mid-size cars or executive cars. They are larger than B-segment cars (compact cars or subcompact cars) and smaller than D-segment cars. This segment cars typically have a length of 4.2 to 4.8 meters and a wheelbase of 2.6 to 2.8 meters.

Some characteristics of C-segment cars in India are:

They are usually available in sedan or hatchback body styles, with four or five doors and a boot space of 400 to 500 litres.

They are energised by petrol or diesel engines, with a displacement of 1.2 to 2.0 litres and a power output of 80 to 150 PS. Some C-segment cars also offer hybrid or electric variants.

They have a higher ground clearance of 160 to 180 mm, which helps them tackle rough roads and speed bumps. They also have a larger turning radius of 5 to 6 meters, which makes them less manoeuvrable in tight spaces.

They have a higher level of performance and handling with features such as turbochargers, direct injection, variable valve timing, paddle shifters, and sport mode. They also have stiffer suspension, larger wheels, and better brakes, which make them more stable and agile on the road.

Some of the popular models that fall under this car market segment are:

Hyundai Verna: It is one of the best-selling C-segment cars with a price range of ₹10.96 to ₹17.67 lakhs. It offers a choice of three engines: a 1.5-litre petrol and diesel and a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol, with manual or automatic transmission options.

Skoda Slavia: It is a new C-segment car with a price range of ₹10.89 to ₹15.99 lakhs. It is based on the Skoda Rapid but has a new name, design, and features. It offers a choice of two engines: a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol and a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol, with manual or automatic transmission options.

Honda City: It is one of the oldest C-segment cars in India, with a price range of ₹11.67 to ₹15.99 lakhs. It offers a choice of two engines: a 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel, with manual or automatic transmission options. It also offers a hybrid variant, with a 1.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors.

D-Segment Cars

D segment is mid-size cars that offer more space, luxury, and features than the smaller segments. They are usually between 4.5 to 5 meters long and have powerful engines. Some of them are also available with hybrid or electric options. D-segment cars in India are divided into two sub-segments: D1 and D2.

D1 segment cars are mid-size sedans that can seat five people comfortably. They have premium interiors, advanced features, and good performance. Some of the popular D1 segment cars in India are:

Skoda Octavia: This is one of India's best-selling D1 segment cars. It has a sleek design, spacious cabin, and various engine options. Octavia has a 1.4-litre TSI petrol, a 1.8-litre TSI petrol, and a 2.0-litre diesel engine. It also has a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Hyundai Elantra: This is another strong contender in the D1 segment. It features ventilated seats, dual-zone automatic AC, a sunroof, and an 8-inch infotainment system (touchscreen) with BlueLink connectivity.

D2 segment cars are larger and more luxurious, can seat up to seven people, and have more features and technology. Some of the popular D2 segment cars in India are:

Honda Accord: This hybrid sedan combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine and two electric motors. It has a total output of 215 PS and a fuel efficiency of 23.1 km/l. It also has features like a wireless charger, a head-up display, a 10-speaker sound system, and a multi-angle rearview camera.

Skoda Superb: This spacious, elegant sedan offers a premium feel and powerful performance. It has a 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine that produces 190 PS and a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox. It also has features like a virtual cockpit, a 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a Canton sound system, and a three-zone climate control.

E-Segment Cars

E-segment cars are also known as full-size luxury sedans. These cars are designed to offer an exceptional and exclusive driving experience. They offer the highest level of luxury, performance, and safety features in the market, but at a very high price.

The notable features of E-segment cars are:

They have a sedan body type and a length of over 5.5 meters.

They usually have a larger engine capacity of over 3 litres and a higher power output of over 200 bhp.

They have very low fuel efficiency and high emissions.

They have very high tax and insurance costs.

E-segment cars are suitable for elite and affluent customers. Some popular E-segment car models in India are:

Mercedes-Benz S-Class: This is the ultimate luxury car that offers a mileage of up to 13.5 kmpl. It has a price range of ₹1.42 crores to ₹2.78 crores. It also comes with some features like massage seats, ambient lighting, and rear-seat entertainment.

BMW 7 Series: This dynamic and sophisticated car offers a mileage of up to 17.66 kmpl. It has a price range of ₹1.38 crores to ₹2.46 crores. It also comes with some features like gesture control, laser headlights, and panoramic sunroof.

Audi A8: The Audi A8 is a sleek and elegant car that offers a mileage of up to 11.7 kmpl. It has a price range of ₹1.57 crores to ₹1.99 crores. It also comes with some features like a virtual cockpit, adaptive air suspension, and matrix LED headlights.

M-Segment Cars

These cars are also known as SUVs and MPVs. They have an SUV or MPV body type and a varying length. They offer more versatility, ruggedness, and space than other car segments but at a higher price. They usually have a larger engine capacity of over 2 litres and a higher power output of over 150 bhp. They are designed to offer a multipurpose and family-friendly driving experience.

The downside of these cars is they are more difficult to drive and park in cities. They further have higher fuel consumption and emissions than other car segments.

Some of the popular M-segment cars in India are:

Mahindra XUV700: The Mahindra XUV700 is a new and advanced car that offers a mileage of up to 18.5 kmpl. It has a price range of ₹11.99 lakhs to ₹22.99 lakhs. It also comes with some features like ADAS, panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, etc.

Hyundai Alcazar: The Hyundai Alcazar is a spacious and premium car that offers a mileage of up to 20.4 kmpl. It has a price range of ₹16.3 lakhs to ₹20.14 lakhs. It also comes with some features like wireless charging, ventilated seats, a 360-degree camera, etc.

MG Hector: The MG Hector is a smart and connected car that offers a mileage of up to 17.41 kmpl. It has a price range of ₹13.49 lakhs to ₹19.35 lakhs. It also comes with some features like an internet car, voice assistant, infinity sound system, etc.

J-Segment Cars

J-segment cars are vehicles that fall under the Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) category. This segment is further divided into different types of SUVs, such as small SUVs, mid-SUVs, large SUVs, and premium SUVs

Some notable characteristics of this segment car are:

They are affordable or compact SUVs measuring less than 4 meters long.

J-segment offers more space, comfort, and ground clearance than hatchbacks or sedans.

They are suitable for both city and highway driving, as well as off-road conditions.

J-segment cars have various engine options, including petrol, diesel, hybrid, and electric.

They also have various transmission choices: manual, automatic, AMT, CVT, and DCT.

They come with many features and safety equipment, such as airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP, hill assist, rear camera, touchscreen infotainment, and sunroof.

J-segment has a higher seating position and better visibility than other car segments.

They have a higher resale value and lower maintenance cost than other car segments.

Some of the popular J-segment models in India are:

Kia Sonet: It is the best-selling compact SUV in India. It offers a 1.2-litre petrol, a 1.0-litre turbo petrol, and a 1.5-litre diesel engine, along with a 6-speed manual, a 6-speed iMT, a 7-speed DCT, and a 6-speed AT gearbox. It has a starting price of ₹6.79 lakhs (ex-showroom).

Hyundai Venue: It is the second-best-selling compact SUV. The engine option that it offers is identical to Sonet. The transmission is mostly the same, with the difference that it offers a 5-speed manual instead of a 6. Venue price starts from ₹6.92 lakhs (ex-showroom).

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza: This compact SUV in India offers a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a mild-hybrid system, along with a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed AT gearbox. It has a starting price of ₹7.51 lakhs (ex-showroom).

Crossover Segment

Crossovers are the new trend in the Indian car market. They offer the best of both worlds: a hatchback and an SUV. However, they are less in demand and less popular than other segments.

Some characteristics of crossover cars in India are:

They are based on a car platform rather than a truck platform, which makes them lighter and more agile than traditional SUVs.

They have a unibody construction, which means the body and the chassis are integrated into one unit, improving the vehicle's structural rigidity and safety.

They have a lower centre of gravity than SUVs, reducing the rollover risk and improving the vehicle's stability.

They have a front-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive system, which provides better traction and control on slippery surfaces.

Some noted crossover models in India are:

Honda WR-V: This stylish crossover car offers a smooth and responsive performance, a roomy and comfortable interior, and a sporty and elegant exterior. It is available only in petrol variants, with a mileage of 23.7 km/l (petrol). It has a price range of ₹8 lakhs onwards.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno: This popular crossover car offers a reliable and economical performance, a classy and spacious interior, and a sleek and modern exterior. It is available in both petrol and CNG variants, with a mileage of 20 km/l (petrol) and 26 km/kg (CNG). It has a price range of ₹5.40 lakhs - ₹7.82 lakhs.

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross: This premium crossover car offers a powerful and refined performance, a spacious and luxurious interior, and a bold and dynamic exterior. It is available in both petrol and diesel variants, with a mileage of 18 km/l (petrol) and 23 km/l (diesel). It has a price range of ₹8 lakhs - ₹12.07 lakhs.

Conclusion

With so many car segments, sometimes it becomes challenging to decide which one suits your style the best. In such a scenario, consider your family size, the area where you reside or where you usually drive the most, fuel economy, and, most importantly, budget.

Well, whatever segment of car you choose, make sure to secure it under comprehensive car insurance. This type of four-wheeler insurance safeguards your car from any unfortunate instances that damage your vehicle. Car insurance usually covers fire, riots, vandalism, earthquakes, theft, and third-party liability

FAQS

What segments are there in the car industry?

In India, you can find A, B, C, D, E, M, J, and Crossover segment cars in India.

What are the mid-segment cars in India?

Mid-segment cars are bigger and more expensive than small cars but smaller and cheaper than big cars. They have more space, comfort, and features than compact cars. Some examples of mid-segment cars are Honda City and Hyundai Verna.

What are B and C-segment cars?

B-segment cars are smaller and suitable for city driving, while C-segment cars are a bit larger with more features.

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