All Car Segments Types In India Explained With Examples
In this article, we’ll explain the car segments in India with examples. There are 4 main segments in India - A, B, C and D. Among these, we further have 2 sub-segments each in B, C and D class. This length-based vehicle segmentation also includes the list of body-styles available in each segment. This article also factors in the new C-segment sedans, which are getting long enough to qualify to be part of the D segment. Let’s start with the smallest in the group, A-segment cars.
The A segment is the smallest category of cars, with a length of less than 3699mm. These cars are typically compact, affordable, and great for navigating through city traffic. The predominant body style in the A segment is hatchback but you can also get micro SUV style and crossovers like Maruti Suzuki S-Presso and Renault Kwid.
Some popular examples of A segment cars include the Maruti Suzuki Alto, Renault Kwid, and Maruti Suzuki Celerio. It’s worth noting that the Kwid here is an exception. It technically has the length to be in the B segment but because of its length, features and performance, it serves better as an alternative to the A segment cars like the S-Presso, Alto and Alto K10.
The B segment includes cars that are slightly larger than the A segment, with a length ranging from 3700 to 3999mm. These cars are still compact and affordable, but often offer more features and a bit more space. Most B-segment cars also have a larger, 1.2L petrol engine for better performance.
In the B1 segment also, the predominant body style is hatchback. But, for buyers who want cars with better ground clearance, there are some crossovers or mini SUV alternatives like the Maruti Suzuki Ignis, Tiago NRG and Tata Punch.
The B2 segment includes cars with a length ranging from 3850 to 3999mm. Examples of B2 segment cars include the Tata Altroz, Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, and the upcoming Mahindra XUV300 Sportz.
Because of the tax structuring in India, most B2-segment cars offer a maximum of 1.2L displacement for petrol engines or 1.5L displacement for diesel engines. Turbo petrol engines are also common in the B2 segment cars. These offer far better performance while allowing the car to qualify for the small-car tax slab.
In this segment, sedan, hatchback and SUV/crossover body styles are available. If you want, you can even get off-road SUVs like the Maruti Nexa Jimny and Mahindra Thar in the B2, sub-4m segment. But, because of their larger engine displacements, they don’t fully qualify for the small-car tax slab. Only the Thar 2WD with its 1.5L turbo diesel engine meets the small-car requirements. You can also get MPV in the B2 segment. The Renault Triber is a rare sub-4m MPV in its class and it’s the most affordable 3-row car.
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The C segment includes cars that are larger than the B segment, with a length ranging from 4000 to 4599mm. These cars are typically more spacious, comfortable, and come loaded with features. Examples of C segment cars include the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta, Skoda Kushaq and Hyundai Verna, Honda City, Skoda Slavia, Nexa XL6 and Kia Carens.
1.5L normal petrol and 1.5L turbo petrol engines are pretty common in this segment. You can even find some cars with 1.5L turbo diesel engine in this class like the Carens, Creta, Alcazar and Seltos.
The C1 segment includes cars with a length ranging from 4000 to 4399mm. Examples of C1 segment cars include the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Skoda Kushaq, Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Volkswagen Taigun.
Since these cars breach the 4-metre mark, they have to include high tax in their ex-showroom prices. So, they are considerably more expensive than the smaller B2-segment cars. Manufacturers also know this quite well and therefore they offer much larger vehicles in this segment. This way, the car buyers get a much bigger vehicle than a B2-segment car and the cars mostly justify the price jump with far better road presence.
The only exceptions to this rule are the Kushaq and Taigun. These C1 segment cars are considerably smaller than the other C-segment cars like the Creta, Vitara and Seltos. The most common body style you will get in the C1 segment is SUV or crossovers.
The C2 segment includes cars with a length ranging from 4400 to 4599mm. Examples of C2 segment cars include the Honda City, Nexa Ciaz, Hyundai Verna, Kia Carens, Skoda Slavia, Hyundai Alcazar and Volkswagen Virtus.
The most common body style in the C2 segment is sedan but the XL6, Alcazar and Carens are also available for buyers who want 3-row seating.
The D segment includes cars that are even larger than the C segment, with a length of 4600mm or longer. These cars are typically more luxurious, powerful and offer plenty of space for passengers and luggage. D-segment cars are best suited for buyers who want to travel in the rear seat. However, some of the D-segment cars are also enjoyable to drive like the XUV700, Scorpio N, Skoda Octavia and Tata Safari.
The D1 segment includes cars with a length ranging from 4600 to 4799mm. Examples of D2 segment cars include the Mahindra XUV700, MG Hector and Hector Plus, Tata Safari and Harrier, Toyota Innova Hycross and Innova Crysta and Skoda Octavia.
ADAS features like adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance and others are common in the higher variants of D1-segment cars.
The D2 segment includes cars with a length over 4800mm. Examples of D segment cars include the Skoda Superb, Toyota Camry, Toyota Fortuner, MG Gloster and Kia Carnival. These cars are the longest among personal vehicles and they are almost exclusively for chauffeur-driven customers.
Unless you go for lifestyle pickup trucks like the Isuzu D-Max V Cross or Toyota Hilux, most of the D2-segment cars are suitable for rear seat usage. The common body styles for D2 segment cars are sedan, SUV, MPV and pickup truck.
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Car Segments In India - Summary
Here’s a quick recap of the length-based segments of car in India with their respective body styles and vehicle examples: