Fiesta Classic vs Tata Manza: Comparison

Tata Manza is well-recognised for its vaue for money proposition – and now there is a new challenger, the Ford Fiesta Classic

A few days ago, Ford India launched a stripped-down version of the Fiesta sedan dubbed the Fiesta Classic. At an aggressive starting price of Rs. 5.49 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Classic is a tempting buy for those looking to upgrade from a hatchback to an entry-level sedan. In fact, the competitive price tag makes it appealing to even premium hatchback buyers.

ford fiesta classic
Photo: Fiesta Classic

It’s not a cakewalk, though, with the Fiesta Classic facing a stiff challenge from Tata Manza Elan, Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and Toyota Etios. The Fiesta has already proved its mettle against the Dzire and Etios in our twin comparison tests, which leaves just the Manza out. But does the Tata sedan carry enough ammo to trouble Ford? DWS Auto finds out.

Those more interested in how the Fiesta Classic fares against the Swift Dzire and Etios can click on the appropriate comparisons: Fiesta Classic vs. Toyota Etios, and Fiesta Classic vs Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire

tata manza photo
Photo: New Tata Manza

Price

Starting at Rs 5.59 lakh for the base petrol variant and Rs.7.03 lakh for the top-end model, the Manza Elan is priced a tad higher than the Fiesta Classic which starts at Rs. 5.49 lakh for the base petrol variant and goes up to Rs. 6.89 lakh for the top-end version. The Manza’s pricing was intended to take on the likes of the Etios and Swift Dizre but Ford’s aggressive pricing can give Manza the jitters.

Winner: Ford Fiesta Classic

Exterior

The new Manza launched in February 2011 sports a ‘smiling’ grille and large headlamps that adequately illuminate the road ahead. It also boasts a 460 litre boot with a low-loading boot lid for easy loading/unloading of luggage. The Fiesta Classic, however, remains virtually unchanged compared to the older Fiesta barring a ‘Classic’ badge at the rear. The Classic’s design is simple, and the front and rear are in perfect sync unlike the Tata Manza, which appears slightly incongruent.

Winner: No winner. The Fiesta Classic is a tried-and-tested platform and may appeal to those who prefer contemporary lines and design. The Manza, while not stunning to look at, may appeal to those who have a more experimental palette in terms of design.

Also read: Fiesta Classic vs Toyota Etios

Interior

Inside, the Manza feels more up-market as against the Fiesta Classic. Ergonomics, too, are a notch above in the Manza, which provides adjustable steering (rake only) and height-adjustable driver seats. The quality of plastics used is decent and there’s reasonable attention to detail, the overall fit and finish, however, leaves scope for improvement.

Where the Manza scores over its rival is the abundant space, especially at the rear – a typical Tata trademark. Ford, meanwhile, has pared down costs on the Fiesta Classic by employing less lavish interiors. The rear seat armrest with exposed hinges is one example and the cup holders for the rear passengers also seem to be crude.

Winner: Tata Manza. The Manza’s interior is apt for a sedan at this price point, offering a little more than the Fiesta.

Engine & handling

The Fiesta Classic petrol is powered by a 1.6-litre Duratec motor that churns out 100 bhp of maximum power and 146 Nm of torque. On the other hand, the Tata Manza has a less powerful Safire 90, 1.4-litre petrol engine that produces 90 PS of maximum power and 116 Nm of maximum torque. The Fiesta Classic offers better power, pick-up and the ability to comfortably drive in start-stop traffic. Handling is not the Manza’s forte and it’s the Fiesta Classic that switches lanes and maneuvers with ease.

Winner: Ford Fiesta Classic. The Fiesta is a champion on this front, with its powerful engine and inspiring handling. The Manza is not a bad handler, neither does its engine lack power; it’s just that the Fiesta does everything it does and more.

Mileage

The Fiesta Classic has a mileage of roughly 12 km/litre while the Manza’s excess bulk (1,200 kg) makes it consume a bit more fuel delivering 11 km/litre. Though both manufacturers may claim better mileage figures through the ARAI testing, on-road mileage is what really counts. Of course, a lot depends on the driving style and you could end up extracting more mileage from the Manza if driven properly.

Winner: Fiesta Classic (but only technically). Both cars are almost at par though the Fiesta delivers a measly 1 kmpl more than the Manza. In practice, their mileage should be similar, and would vary dependent on driving styles, passengers and traffic.

Value for money

At this price point buyers would like to be pampered a little, hence what features each car offers or doesn’t becomes a crucial deciding factor. The Manza comes with power windows as standard in all variants except the base but alloy wheels are available only on the top-end Manza Elan. The Fiesta Classic boasts of features like remote boot release, front and rear power windows, dual fog lamps, etc as standard.

The Manza makes for a great entry-level family sedan if you are on a budget. It offers almost everything you would expect from a sedan of a higher segment if you are willing to compromise on power and performance. The Fiesta Classic’s attractive pricing has now not put it within the reach of those who couldn’t afford one earlier. While this is a barebones version of the outgoing model, it still packs plenty of punch to please both the office-going executive and the enthusiast.

Winner: Very similar overall scores for both; so it comes down to your personal preference.

Technical Specifications: Fiesta Classic vs Tata Manza

Brand Ford Tata
Model Fiesta Classic Manza
Variant 1.6 LXI Aura
Price (ex-Delhi) Rs. 5,49,030 Rs. 5,59, 444
Fuel type Petrol Petrol
Claimed mileage 14.1 kmpl 15 kmpl
Fuel capacity (Litres) 45 44
Length (mm) 4282 4413
Width (mm) 1686 1703
Height (mm) 1468 1550
Wheelbase (mm) 2486 2520
Ground clearance (mm) 168 165
Boot space (litres) 430 460
Engine CC 1596 1248
No. of cylinders 4 4
Power (BHP) 101 PS@ 6,500 rpm 90 PS@ 6000 rpm
Torque (Nm) 146 Nm @ 3400 rpm 200 Nm @ 4500 rpm
Gearbox 5-speed manual 5-speed manual
Tyre size 175/65 R14 185/60 R15
Kerb weight (in Kgs) 1110 1200
ABS No No
Parking Sensors/ assist No No
Fog lamps Front No Yes
Fog lamps Rear Yes Yes
Door Mirrors Manual Manual
Air bags No No
Air-conditioning Manual HVAC Manual HVAC
Power windows 4 4
Adjustable Seats Yes Yes
Power steering Yes Yes
Tilt Steering Yes Yes
Telescopic Steering No Yes
AC Rear Vents No No
Central locking Yes Yes
Tachometer Yes Yes
Music system No 2 DIN music system & four speakers
Power outlet Yes Yes
Multi-info display Yes Yes
Keyless entry No Yes

Technical Specifications

Brand Ford Tata
Model Fiesta Classic Manza
Variant 1.6 LXI Aura
Price (ex-Delhi) Rs. 5,49,030 Rs. 5,59, 444
Fuel type Petrol Petrol
Claimed mileage 14.1 kmpl 15 kmpl
Fuel capacity (Litres) 45 44
Length (mm) 4282 4413
Width (mm) 1686 1703
Height (mm) 1468 1550
Wheelbase (mm) 2486 2520
Ground clearance (mm) 168 165
Boot space (litres) 430 460
Engine CC 1596 1248
No. of cylinders 4 4
Power (BHP) 101 PS@ 6,500 rpm 90 PS@ 6000 rpm
Torque (Nm) 146 Nm @ 3400 rpm 200 Nm @ 4500 rpm
Gearbox 5-speed manual 5-speed manual
Tyre size 175/65 R14 185/60 R15
Kerb weight (in Kgs) 1110 1200
ABS No No
Parking Sensors/ assist No No
Fog lamps Front No Yes
Fog lamps Rear Yes Yes
Door Mirrors Manual Manual
Air bags No No
Airconditioning Manual HVAC Manual HVAC
Power windows 4 4
Adjustable Seats Yes Yes
Power steering Yes Yes
Tilt Steering Yes Yes
Telescopic Steering No Yes
AC Rear Vents No No
Central locking Yes Yes
Tachometer Yes Yes
Music system No 2 DIN music system & four speakers
Power outlet Yes Yes
Multi-info display Yes Yes
Keyless entry No Yes