Yesterday, we listed 5 new compact sedans which are expected to launch in India soon. Today, our attention is on a segment that's immediately higher: the mid-size and upper mid-size sedan segment.
In this story, we pick 8 such cars which would be launching in the country this year.
2014 Fiat Linea Facelift
The 2014 Fiat Linea facelift was showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo almost two years after it went into production in Europe. The market launch, according to our sources, will take place early next month. This will be the first major facelift for the Linea in India, though no changes are expected for the mechanicals of the sedan.
The front fascia gets a new grille and bumper while the rear sees the repositioning of the registration plate enclosure. Interior changes come in the form of a new center console and entertainment system while the top-end model will see the addition of cruise control and voice activated radio commands.
Nissan Sunny Facelift
Nissan debuted the Sunny facelift at the Auto Expo 2014 days after putting it on sale on the Thai market. Globally, this is the Sunny's first-ever refresh. The front end of the car receives Nissan's V-shaped grille, larger boomerang-shaped headlights and a new bumper with chrome inlays for the foglamps. At the rear, the Sunny facelift is subtly different in its bumper design.
Inside, the refreshed Sunny gets a piano black center console with a new music system capable of Bluetooth connectivity, leather inserts for the steering wheel, and side airbags in addition to driver and passenger airbags. Mechanically though, there are no changes. We expect to see the Sunny facelift launch in the first half of this year.
Ford Fiesta Facelift
The Ford Fiesta facelift, which was unveiled internationally in late 2012, will be launched in India this year. The updated Fiesta had its Indian showcase at the 2014 Auto Expo earlier this month. The grille resembles that of other international Ford vehicles and salutes Aston Martin.
Other exterior changes include redesigned headlights and taillights and new alloy wheel designs. The interiors of the sedan sport a revised center console with Ford's SYNC and AppLink system. Under the hood, the updated Fiesta should continue with its 1.5-liter petrol and diesel engines.
2014 Toyota Corolla
The next generation 2014 Toyota Corolla will have its Indian launch in May this year and dealers have started accepting bookings for the car since its Indian reveal at the Auto Expo 2014.
Toyota has confirmed a petrol and a diesel engine for the new Corolla in India. These engines, however, are carried over from the current Altis, though we expect the fuel efficiency to be marginally better. The petrol is a 1.8-liter 140 PS unit while the diesel is a 1.4-liter 88 PS motor.
The top-end variant of the Corolla is announced with LED lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, automatic wipers, a navigation system and a 7-inch infotainment display.
The Maruti Ciaz will be launched in India sometime during the festive season months of September-November. Based on the concept Ciaz which was revealed at the Auto Expo 2014, the sedan will replace the now aging SX4.
The exterior design of the Ciaz will borrow heavily from the concept Ciaz (also known as Authentics concept), which is a good thing as the sedan will rival the likes of the new Honda City and Hyundai Verna. Based on spyshots, the interiors are built using common parts available to the Ertiga and Swift. The Ciaz will be sold with a petrol and a diesel engine.
2014 VW Vento Facelift
VW India has plans to introduce a facelifted Polo (by the middle of this year) and a refreshed Vento (by the end of this year). The Vento facelift will draw design inferences from the refreshed Polo such as the new bumper design, new mirror elements for the headlights and integrated turn signals on the wing mirrors.
Mechanically, the diesel engine of the Vento, which is now 1.6-liters, will be repackaged to 1.5-liters in the interest of fuel economy and refinement.
2014 Skoda Rapid Facelift
The Rapid is expected to undergo a mid-life facelift this year. Based on the VW Vento, the Rapid is the only volume seller for Skoda in India, after the Fabia was discontinued last year.
We expect Skoda to integrate its new family face in the facelifted Rapid and it would be safe to assume a front fascia borrowed from the European Rapid. The interiors were recently revised with a new steering wheel, gear knob and music system and hence, we do not expect any drastic changes here. Like the refreshed Vento though, Skoda could use the 1.5-liter diesel engine thus replacing the current 1.6-liter unit.
2014 Hyundai Elantra Facelift
Launched in India in August 2012, the Elantra is need of a facelift in the wake of new competitors such as the 2013 Octavia, the 2014 Corolla and the updated Renault Fluence and VW Jetta.
In markets such as Korea and the U.S., Hyundai introduced a minor refresh for the sedan last year. The update sees LED daytime running lights integrated in the headlamp cluster, projector headlights and LED taillights. In spite of the Elantra's shrinking segment, Hyundai sold around 4,800 units of the sedan last year.