Ford India today launched the Fiesta Classic, with some minor changes and very aggressive pricing. This make the Fiesta Classic excellent value, taking the fight to the Toyota Etios and the Maruti Dzire. We compare the Ford Fiesta Classic and the Toyota Etios.
The new Fiesta Classic from Ford India is going to have car enthusiasts sit up and take notice. A 100-bhp sedan at Rs. 5.49 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi, seems like a steal. It is in fact bang in the middle of premium hatchback pricing and will even have hatchback buyers checking out the car.
After the success of the Ford Figo with its aggressive pricing, Ford has learned a thing or two about smart price positioning. While the Maruti Dzire continues to provide excellent value for money based on the trust that Maruti has built in its customer base, it’s the Toyota Etios buyers who could probably be swayed by the Fiesta, given that the Etios is going rather slow on deliveries.
Ford has launched three versions of the Fiesta Classic with the base LXI 1.6 petrol priced at Rs. 5.49 lakhs, the mid-level CLXI at Rs. 5.99 lakhs and the top-end SXI petrol at Rs. 6.86 lakhs. The equivalent Toyota Etios models start from Rs. 4.99 lakhs for the bare-bones J version, that does not even have power steering, going up to Rs. 5.43 for the G version, Rs. 6.41 for the V and Rs. 6.86 lakhs for the VX variant.
It’s a tough choice with such attractive pricing. So which is better value?
The Toyota Etios has a decent looking front, with a smiling grille. In profile, it looks like a proper sedan with distinct rectangular lines. From the rear it is quite plain looking and has been compared to the Mahindra Logan, though Toyota has tried to brighten it up with generous use of chrome. The Fiesta Classic on the other hand has a slightly old-school design compared to other modern sedans, but it looks very sporty. The indented headlamps and chiseled out grille give it a sporty look. At the rear too it is very proportionate and looks very European. The Fiesta is marginally longer than the Etios, because of its longer bonnet.
While not many are enthused about the Etios looks, there aren’t too many who complain about the Fiesta’s looks, though the design is quite conservative.
Winner: No winner
When it comes to the interiors, the areas of cost saving are quite evident in the Toyota Etios. The seats have thinner cushioning, and the front has fixed headrests. The Fiesta has plush seating, with adjustable headrests and a new dual-tone instrument panel. The Etios has basic instrumentation in the G variant, while the Fiesta has better instrumentation, and also features a tachometer. In terms of space though the Etios is better, with more legroom and shoulder room in the rear seat.
The Etios scores better on interior space, while the Fiesta Classic is par for the course.
Winner: Space – Etios, comfort – Fiesta Classic
ENGINE & HANDLING
This could be a deal maker for Ford when it comes to people who love driving. The Fiesta Classic is powered by a 1.6 litre, Duratech, petrol engine that puts out 100 bhp of power and 146 Nm of torque. This is mated to a slick-shifting 5-speed manual gearbox. The Etios has an 89 bhp 1.5 litre engine, with 132 Nm of torque that’s spread very evenly, allowing easy drivability in the city.
The Ford Fiesta is quick off the mark and accelerates to 100 kmph in 11.43 seconds, making it one of the quickest sedans in that price segment. The Etios though is right up there with the Fiesta in terms of acceleration. The Etios can hit 100 kmph in 11.47 seconds, thanks to its short gearing and lighter body weight. The Fiesta is a fun to drive car and loves to be driven hard through corners keeping a precise line and giving the driver great steering feedback, typical of Ford cars. The Etios though feels a little Playstation-like to drive and goes about its business with a very matter-of-fact approach.
If you are a person who loves to spend time behind the wheel, the Fiesta is sure to please, while the Etios too is quite good.
Winner:Fiesta (by just a little bit)
If one were to look at the manufacturers’ claimed mileage for the Toyota Etios and the Ford Fiesta, the Etios clearly is the more frugal car here. The Fiesta pays the penalty for bigger displacement. The Etios claims a mileage of 17.6 kmpl, while Fiesta Classic’s test mileage is 14.1 kmpl. In real world driving conditions this would mean the Fiesta Classic would give about 12 kmpl, while the Etios did give us close to 15 kmpl in our road test. However, there are test reports done by an automobile magazine that indicate the Fiesta can give about 20 kmpl with extremely light-footed driving. But don’t expect any of that in daily drives.
Winner: Toyota Etios
VALUE FOR MONEY
If you look at the Fiesta and Etios across variants, Ford has matched Toyota car for car and then thrown in a little extra. Given the subtle cost cutting in the Etios, the Fiesta feels more premium on the interiors and not as plasticky as the Etios. Though the rear seat shoulder room may not be as much as the Etios, legroom is just about adequate in the Fiesta, making it a great family car. It looks like Ford may just have a winner on its hands, given the bumpy road the Etios is facing at the moment.
Winner: Ford Fiesta Classic (by just a little bit!)
Toyota Etios | Ford Fiesta Classic | Maruti Suzuki Dzire
|Model||Etios||Fiesta Classic||Swift Dzire|
|Price (ex-Delhi)||Rs. 5,46,000||Rs. 5,49,030||Rs. 5,43,227|
|Claimed mileage||17.6 kmpl||14.1 kmpl||15.9|
|Fuel capacity (Litres)||45||45||43|
|Ground clearance (mm)||170||168||170|
|Boot space (litres)||545||430||440|
|No. of cylinders||4||4||4|
|Power (BHP)||88.7 bhp @ 5,600 rpm||100 bhp@ 6,500 rpm||84 bhp @ 6000 rpm|
|Torque (Nm)||132 Nm @ 3000 rpm||146 Nm @ 3400 rpm||113 Nm @ 4500 rpm|
|Gearbox||5-speed manual||5-speed manual||5-speed manual|
|Tyre size||175 / 65 R14||175/65 R14||185/70 R14|
|Kerb weight (in Kgs)||915||1110||1025|
|Parking Sensors/ assist||No||No||No|
|Fog lamps Front||No||No||Yes|
|Fog lamps Rear||No||Yes||Yes|
|Airconditioning||Manual HVAC||Manual HVAC||Manual HVAC|
|AC Rear Vents||No||No||No|
|Music system||No||No||Single CD|