Best Subcompact Sedan Comparison: Changan Alsvin Vs. Honda City Vs. Toyota Yaris

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Changan Alsvin Vs. Honda City Vs. Toyota Yaris

The Corolla XLI and GLI had majorly dominated the Pakistani automobile market’s subcompact sedan segment. These vehicles remained as the consumers’ first choice until they stayed in the market because of their reliability and amazing resale value. However, after their departure, the subcompact sedan segment seems to be missing worthy cars.

On one end, there’s the Honda City, which has stayed in the segment for a long time, but is a decade-old, bare-bones car with only a few upgrades. On the other end, there’s the Toyota Yaris, which is fresh and advanced but too expensive for a subcompact sedan.

In all this power struggle, a third contender recently entered the segment – the Changan Alsvin. This subcompact sedan was launched in Pakistan on the 11th of December 2020. After the vehicle’s price was revealed, it received a positive response from the country. Will this new subcompact sedan cause a significant paradigm shift in the segment? A comparison is needed to answer this. Here’s a comparison between the top three vehicles of the subcompact sedan segment.

The Honda City vs. The Toyota Yaris vs. The Changan Alsvin

Design Comparison

The Honda City

The fifth-generation Honda City has been in the segment for over ten years. Its looks might seem outdated today, but it started as a very appealing vehicle. The Honda City features a sporty look with a sleek profile, which includes:

  • razor-sharp lines
  • an aggressive front facial
  • a trademark hunkered-down stance 
  • a sharp and aggressive front 
  • a tame rear 
  • slightly controversial pentagonal tail lights
  • a unique rear bumper design complement

 

The Toyota Yaris

The vehicle received mixed reactions at its debut last year due to its controversial (slightly disproportionate) design. The Toyota Yaris’ front and side features:

  • a rounded-off look with a sharp highlight design
  • a tiny grille between the headlights
  • a massive bumper grille below 
  • an unconventional heightened hood
  • a bulky side profile
  • small tire size

The rear of the car seems to be designed by a different person altogether as it showcases:

  • a slightly longer and straightened-out tail
  • elongated tail lights 

The Changan Alsvin

This metallic blue vehicle looks different than most of the cars in the local compact sedan segment. The decent-looking Alsvin features:

  • an aggressive and stylish front fascia
  • a large and imposing front grille
  • a sharp pair of headlights
  • cutting-edge LED DRL’s
  • a smooth front design

The side profile showcases: 

  • a few sharp lines
  • an average-looking set of 15-inch alloy wheels
  • body-colored door handles 

The rear end resembles the fifth-generation Hyundai Accent because of the simple taillights, bumper, and reflectors.

Interior Comparison

The Honda City

The Honda City features a reasonably well-laid-out interior:

  • clean looking plastic dashboard 
  • soft cotton fabric lined seats with the front ones providing good posture and ample space and the rear ones promising a decent amount of legroom and headroom
  • 506 liters boot space (enough to carry two large suitcases or three small suitcases)

The Toyota Yaris

Somewhat similar to the City, the Yaris showcases a clean, nicely laid out interior composed of scratchy plastics/silver trim-pieces around:

  • the vents
  • the center control stack
  • the steering

The vehicle also includes:

  • slightly heightened seats lined with soft cotton fabric 
  • a spacious cabin that can comfortably accommodate either a family of five (2 adults, 3 children) or four adults
  • 476 liters boot space that can easily fit a full-size and a medium-sized suitcase.

The Changan Alsvin

The Alsvin flaunts a modest interior as compared to the other vehicle’s cutting edge design. It has simple interiors, including:

  • a modern cockpit
  • a cheerful ivory-beige color 
  • black dashboard and door panels
  • a sporty-looking, flat-bottomed steering wheel with control switches
  • a 7-inch touch-sensitive infotainment screen
  • dual airbags
  • leather seats that can fit a family of five (3 children, 2 adults) or four adults

Weight and Dimensions Comparison

The following table compares the proportions of the three subcompact sedans:

Performance Comparison

The Honda City

The current generation of the Honda City in Pakistan has two engine options:

  • a 1.3 liter, naturally aspirated, four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 100 hp and 128 Nm of torque. The 1.3 variants are known to provide a fuel average of 13 to 16 km/liter.
  • a 1.5 liter, naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes 120 hp and 145 Nm of torque. The 1.5 variants return a fuel average of about 10 to 14 km/liter.

Both engines can be mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission, depending on the variant.

The car’s suspension setup consists of:

  • a MacPherson Strut in the front
  • a Torsion Bar Coil-Spring suspension at the back
  • ventilated disc brakes with an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) technology in the front
  • conventional drum-brakes in the back

The Toyota Yaris

The Yaris also comes with two engine options:

  • the base 1.3 liter, naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes 98 hp, and 123 Nm of torque
  • the bigger 1.5 liter, naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces a non-remarkable 106 hp and 14o Nm of torque

Both engines can be mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 7-speed CVT automatic transmission. Toyota claims that both the powertrains return a fuel average of 14 to 16 kilometers to the liter; however, the actual figures may differ.

The car’s suspension setup consists of:

  • MacPherson Struts in the front
  • a Torsion Bar Coil-Spring suspension at the back
  • ventilated disc brakes with an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) technology in the front
  • conventional drum-brakes in the back

The Changan Alsvin

The Alsvin is also available with two powertrain options:

  • the base trim has a 1.37-liter, 4-cylinder Blue Core engine with Dual-Variable Valve Timing Technology (DVVT ) that delivers 95 hp and 135 Nm of torque and is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox
  • the mid and the top trim levels both have a 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder Blue Core engine with DVVT that makes a weak 105 hp but a good 145 Nm of torque, and is mated to a 5-speed DCT automatic gearbox each.

The data from the international market suggests that the vehicle provides a fuel average upwards of 13.7 km/liter.

For the suspension setup, the Alsvin has:

  • MacPherson Struts in the front
  • a torsion bar coil-spring setup at the back
  • ventilated disc brakes in the front with ABS Technology
  • conventional drum brakes at the back

Specs and Features Comparison

The following specs and features comparison is between top variants of each subcompact sedan:

Price Comparison

The new player in the segment, the Changan Alsvin, has the edge over here. Here is the price comparison between the trim-levels of all three vehicles:

Conclusion

The above comparison maintains that the Honda City loses points for not featuring modern convenience and safety features. On the contrary, the Yaris loses points for having a controversial design and for being the most expensive option in the segment.

Changan might be better than Toyota Yaris or Honda City.

Therefore, it is safe to conclude that, on paper, the Changan Alsvin is currently the best ‘value for money’ car in the local subcompact sedan segment. A concrete conclusion can only be made after the ownership experience is determined by consumers, which entails:

  • quality
  • reliability
  • maintainability
  • resale value

Only time will tell whether the consumers deem the Changan Alsvin ownership worthy or not.

What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.

  • Booked this great looking chinese entrant, I hope what it claims will be true and the Big 3 monoply will destroy soon Inshallah!


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