Looks are subjective but there is always room for common ground. The sedan segment is under grave threat from the rapidly evolving crossover segment but that doesn’t stop automakers in providing us with beautiful cars that look and go the part.
The basic formula for a sedan has always been a low slung and sleek design language with a slanting roofline. This gives it a coupe-ish design language and stands out for a market like India which has got a new-found love for crossovers and SUVs. We put up a list of the best-looking sedans available in India for 2020.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz is the only hybrid car in this lot and as it is a Maruti Suzuki, you can vouch for its mileage figures and after-sales support. It is the least expensive of this lot but that doesn’t reciprocate to the design language as it has been given a premium clothing. It has the footprint of a mid-size sedan despite being a compact one.
It is built on a fresh platform as compared to SX4 which it replaced that had an ageing platform. There is a decent level of chrome treatment throughout the car and the front grille gets a chunky chrome brow. There is a faint shoulder line that flows from the front to the rear. The rear has a subtle look and has a split taillight setup. The car is well proportioned and goes well with the size.
Yaris is Toyota’s late entry into the already competitive sedan segment. It is built on Toyota’s common “B-platform” and flaunts a very conservative design language as compared to the other Toyotas available in India. Toyota has given the Yaris a compact form factor without compromising on cabin space. It is not the design language that can be digested easily but kudos to Toyota for being bold here.
The conservative design language is still distinctive and gets bold elements like swelled up headlights and a larger lower grille, which gives it an aggressive look. There are a lot of creases which are laid out on the bonnet and doors. The rear is also loud with elongated taillights that don't go in line with the compact form factor. To top it all, those 15-inch wheels are undersized for the car and are noticeable due to its awkwardly long front and rear overhang.
Skodas are known to be conservative in their design language and very loud in terms of performance. The Rapid is no different and has the best proportionate body among the entry-level sedans. It has minimal lines but looks muscular even with those and the choice of colours contrast well with the dual-tone offerings and chunking looking alloy wheels.
The current iteration has been given sharper updates as compared to the first-gen. Blacked out projector headlights with underlying LED DRLs gives it a taunting look. The form factor will remind you a lot of the now-discontinued Volkswagen Vento but the Rapid is a much-evolved version of its twin. The rear has Skoda’s signature tailgate creases that run diagonally along with the number plate holder provision.
We would be considering the upcoming Honda City, as if situations were normal, the car would have been already on sale. But we will be getting it as soon as the current pandemic situation dulls down. The upcoming City is a larger leap as compared to the current offering. The front fascia is heavily inspired by Honda’s Accord and flaunts a full-LED setup which brings it along with the ranks of the Civic.
The platform is also all-new which is longer and wider than the on-going generation. There are prominent muscular shoulder lines along the sides that are joined with the LED tail lamp housing. The taillights have received a fair bit of criticism for having a lot of similarities with that of BMW 3-Series. The overall proposition is well conserved and none of the components feels out of place.
Verna has been one of Hyundai’s best sellers and for sure-cut reasons. It is an impressive overall package which has a well-stacked bundle of features both, inside-out. It recently got a midlife update that includes a larger front grille, reworked headlamps and new alloy wheels, among many others.
Both front and rear bumpers have been tweaked which now gives the compact sedan, a wider stance. Form factor remains the same and has a lot of sharp lines which gives it an edgy approach. Another simple yet detailed addition is a coloured patch on the lower grille in the front bumper which gives it a unique look.
You can consider the Octavia to be Skoda Rapid's elder brother, but a more brawny and serious one! Skoda has been the go-to brand for enthusiasts in India for a long time now and the main reason is the limited number of Octavia RS which gets deployed in limited numbers and also gets sold out in a blink.
It now adopts a sharper design and resembles more like the bigger Superb sedan. The new 4th generation Octavia gets a completely redesigned front fascia, with a new bumper, apron and narrower, all-LED headlamps. At the rear, there is a heavily revised tailgate that gets edgy styling coupled with a pair of sleek LED tail-lamps.
The most anticipated launch of last year was of Honda Civic because this nameplate is worshipped among enthusiasts for the exploitable performance it offers. The design of 2020 Honda Civic has changed drastically as compared to the 2006 Civic, but the core design language remains the same, with a sleek approach and coupe-ish roofline.
Headlights are full-LED and the chunky chrome grille has us in splits. All of the lightings are LED except for the third brake light which awkwardly used a halogen bulb. The alloys are well sized and complement their overall design language. The rear design is bi-polar which is bold, to say the least. It doesn’t sync with the futuristic sharp design of the front fascia. Despite being a mid-size sedan, the propositions of Civic are rather compact and aids in Indian road conditions.
The Hyundai Elantra’s design is what you would call an “evolution”. All of those curves are now gone, to make way for sharp elements. The front is now dominated by a sharp-looking hexagonal grille which integrates the triangular LED headlamps seamlessly into it and bonnet gets muscular creases in the centre.
Both the front and rear bumpers have been heavily reworked and now look much sportier. Despite all of these changes, Elantra manages to blend in with the crowd because of its compact form factor and the fact that there are a lot of Hyundais on the road! Hyundai Elantra gives a tough fight to Honda Civic which falls in the same segment of mid-size sedans.
This is a very broad-minded question as looks are subjective and vary from person to person. However, we can evaluate the design language of these sedans based on how well the various elements are put together to form a seamless and clean looking package.
We would go for the Honda Civic and Skoda Octavia in this lot. Both the cars have design statements that are opposing yet they sync in providing a wholesome package. Honda Civic wins us over with the futuristic design that has a fair bit of quirkiness to it. Most importantly, it didn’t stray away from its core design language.
Skoda Octavia, on the other hand, gives us an underdog vibe, with humble looks that are well proportioned with insane performance. Both these cars will satisfy people at both ends of the spectrum and thus are our picks of this lot.