Ford Fiesta AT vs. Honda City AT

The Ford Fiesta petrol sedan is now available in the automatic avatar with two trims: Style priced at Rs. 8.99 lakh and Titanium Plus priced at Rs. 9.73 lakh. Unlike other C segment cars, the Fiesta automatic comes with a ‘dual clutch’ auto box that offers quick acceleration like a manual transmission would.

fiesta vs city

Honda gave a mild facelift to the City sedan last December. The City comes with a 5-speed automatic transmission (AT) in the top-end V variant. The City automatic is offered in two trims: V AT priced at Rs. 9.42 lakh and V AT Sunroof priced at Rs. 10.22 lakh.

We compare the Fiesta AT Titanium Plus and the Honda City V AT Sunroof to check out which automatic sedan offers more bang for your buck.

Driving and Handling

The City is powered by a 1.5-litre i-vtec (variable-valve timing) petrol engine that puts out 116 bhp of power and 146 Nm of torque. This is an engine that loves to be revved and sounds pretty sporty at high rpm. The City’s automatic gearbox has the usual D or drive mode and also an S or sports mode.

 

The paddle shifts helps you drive the automatic car in a way similar to a manual transmission. The paddle shifts can be used in either D mode or S mode and there are built in safeguards to prevent you from accidently shifting down at very high rpms.

Coming to the Fiesta automatic, the car is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol motor that puts out 108 bhp of power and 140 Nm of torque. The dual-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission actually gives this car a unique sporty characteristic, while the sixth gear makes the engine relax at higher speeds, which should be good for fuel economy.

By constantly monitoring the driving conditions, the ECU (engine control unit) of the Fiesta AT pre-selects the next gear allowing the car to quickly shift to the next gear with minimal time lag. The gear selector has only 5 standard modes – P (park), R (reverse), N (neutral), D (drive) and L (low mode). When the transmission is in D mode, the Fiesta AT up shifts at optimum points to give you maximum power and good mileage. The L mode is for better acceleration but compromises on fuel economy.

Handling wise, the Fiesta AT has a great suspension setup that is good in terms of both ride quality and handling. On the other hand, the City’s suspension setup is stiff and even small bumps filter into the cabin.

Essentially, both cars, in a way, are offered with technology that is close to driving a manual car. However, the Fiesta AT goes a step ahead and with its dual clutch transmission, offers a better driving experience than the City.  Overall, the Fiesta AT scores more than the City AT in terms of drivability and handling.

Space and Comfort

The Fiesta is wider and taller than the City however the City still has more comfortable rear seats. The City is benefited by its longer wheelbase and hence, it offers more legroom especially for rear occupants. Even in boot space, the City offers a 506 litre boot while the Fiesta offers only 430 litres.

With regard to comfort, both the cars have well sculpted seats in the front rows. But when you move to the back seats, the Fiesta feels a bit cramped and the transmission tunnel’s intrusion makes life difficult for the middle passenger. The City is quite spacious at the rear and can offer comfort to three passengers easily. Overall, the City has an edge over the Fiesta, in terms of space and comfort.

Looks

The Honda City with its arrow form design and the Ford Fiesta with its kinetic theme depict two extremes of Asian and European car designs. The face lifted City gets new wide chrome grille, redesigned front bumper, new fog lamps and tail lamps. There are cosmetic updates such as chrome door handles and turn indicators on the ORVMs.

The Fiesta has fox-eyed headlamps, an inverted trapezoidal lower air dam and chrome surrounds for the fog lamps. The side profile reveals the protruding wheel arches and chrome beltline. The rear looks a bit awkward due to the downsized tail lamps and boot shape. Though looks are subjective, when compared to the City, the Fiesta looks futuristic and more upmarket.

Features

The fully loaded Fiesta AT Titanium Plus comes with more features than the City V AT Sunroof variant. For instance, the Fiesta AT comes with Hill-Start Assist and Hill-Descent Control functions. It also has Voice activated controls, power-fold mirrors, Bluetooth which are not available in the City AT, though the latter comes with sunroof.

Clearly, the Fiesta AT has an edge over the City AT when it comes to features.

Price, mileage and overall VFM

The City V AT Sunroof is priced at Rs. 10.22 lakh which is Rs. 49,000 more than the Fiesta AT Titanium Plus priced at Rs. 9.73 lakh. Except for the sunroof, the Fiesta AT has all the features offered in the City AT and packs in more features.

With regard to mileage, Honda City automatic gives an ARAI-certified mileage of 15.6 kmpl while the Fiesta AT gives an ARAI-certified mileage of 16.95 kmpl. In real conditions, expect the Fiesta AT to be slightly more fuel efficient than the City AT.

The Fiesta AT is significantly cheaper, is slightly more fuel efficient and also comes with more features than the City.

Pros and Cons

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Verdict

If you want an automatic sedan that is high on fuel economy and loaded with gizmos, go for the Fiesta AT. If you want a spacious sedan with proven reliability and high resale value, go for the Honda City.