This is a comparison that has been much in demand among the CarToq community – the top guns in the C-segment and how they stack up against each other. We compare the Maruti Ciaz vs the Honda City vs Hyundai Verna Fluidic 4S and the Volkswagen Vento.
Among these four cars, there are quite a few variants to choose from – petrol and diesel and automatic options as well (except for the Ciaz). So here’s how these four cars stack up. We have taken the top-end manual diesel variants to compare here, being the most sought after by buyers too, but we also give you pointers to the other variants.
Value for money and Features
Now, if you straight away look at the prices that the top-end variants of these cars command, you will find not surprisingly, that the Maruti Ciaz is the lowest priced of the lot. But what is surprising is the sheer number of features that Maruti has packed into this car, making it quite a value for money deal here. Of course, the Honda City is the most expensive in the line up, but then when you consider the features that car also offers, it is also fairly decent value. The City offers a sun-roof, touch panel climate control and four 12-volt charging points. The Ciaz, though, throws in GPS navigation.
Now look at the features these cars offer and you would find that the Ciaz is probably the most well-balanced vs price. Except the Verna, all cars have rear AC vents. The Vento does not have auto power-folding mirrors. The City is the only car that offers a sun-roof. The Verna and Ciaz have projector headlamps. The top-end Verna is the only one to offer six airbags, while all the others have two.
If you were looking for an automatic transmission option among these cars, then the best value deal would be the Volkswagen Vento Highline diesel priced at 11.53 lakh, just a shade over the Honda City manual variant. The seven-speed DSG automatic transmission on the Vento diesel make it a treat to drive, compared to the four-speed automatic with the Verna diesel. Among petrol options, the Honda City has a CVT with 5 preset speeds, and the Vento offers a turbocharged 1.2 litre petrol with the seven-speed DSG, but the Ciaz does not offer an automatic option just yet.
Space and comfort
Buyers of any of these four cars will also be looking for a comfortable and spacious rear seat. Now, when it comes to rear seat comfort among these four, the contest is clearly between the Ciaz and the City. Both cars have incredibly spacious rear seats, with plenty of legroom. However, thicker cushioning and slightly deeper floor for the Ciaz probably give it an edge here in rear seat comfort. The Ciaz also has the longest wheelbase, which has probably freed up a few more millimetres of space for passengers. In terms of boot space, the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz are similar (on a different note, they even have similar looking rear ends) at 510 litres.
Being comfortable also means taking into account NVH levels, especially since we are looking at the diesel cars here. With the windows up, the car that feels the quietest is the Hyundai Verna – you can barely hear the engine inside, followed by the Volkswagen Vento. The Honda City is the noisiest among these four. All four effectively dampen road noise, but here again, you can hear road noise the most in the City.
Performance, handling and mileage
On paper, the Hyundai Verna tops the power table among the four diesels. Its 1.6 litre diesel engine puts out 128PS of power and 260 Nm of torque. The Ciaz looks the least powerful at 90 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque. However, in reality, the most fun-to-drive car among these four is the Volkswagen Vento diesel, although it just has 104 PS of power, but it shoves out its 250 Nm of torque in quite an entertaining manner, which would please enthusiasts. And as mentioned earlier, it also has the option of a seven speed DSG. The City and the Verna have six-speed manual transmissions.
The Ciaz is fairly laid-back in the way it handles. It is not meant to be a scorcher of a performer, but more inclined towards comfortable cruising. That’s also the case with the Honda City, where you will find the torque spread quite linear. The Verna Fluidic loses out in the handling department because of its soft suspension, which makes it fairly bouncy at speeds.
On paper again, fuel efficiency is the best with the Maruti Ciaz diesel (it also has the smallest engine among the four here). The fuel efficiency of the Vento diesel though has been sacrificed somewhat in favour of better performance. The City has a good balance between the two – great fuel efficiency and fairly decent performance.
Over bad roads, even though the Ciaz has the longest wheelbase, it has 170 mm of ground clearance, making it slightly better than the City, which can get scraped when loaded. The Verna too has a soft suspension that sags under load. The Vento is the most balanced, and the pick here if you had to handle bad roads (the new Fiat Linea, not in this list, would be the best here).
What we think
There’s no one perfect car that can please all, yet we can pick them based on what your main criteria for choosing a car would be. Pick the Maruti Ciaz if you want great value for money (and the lowest price). Pick the Honda City if you want features and space. Pick the Volkswagen Vento if you are an enthusiast who loves driving. Pick the Verna if you must have bragging rights about most power.
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