Honda has launched the face-lifted City with some minor but interesting changes. The Volkswagen Vento and Hyundai Verna will now have to face stiff competition from the new Honda City.
Here, we pit the Volkswagen Vento against the new City to see which car is a more lucrative option for different kind of buyers. The Vento has been selling consistently and is largely responsible in propagating Volkswagen as a brand among Indian buyers. The new City however, with its competitive pricing and features like cruise control and electric sunroof is lot more appealing than it was earlier.
Ride and handling
The City is known for its peppy engine and fuel efficiency. The 1.5-litre i-VTEC is a gem of a motor that is happy even when revved hard. It puts out 116.3 bhp of power and 146 Nm of torque. The steering is light yet precise even at high speeds. The gears are easy to change and the light clutch makes driving in traffic, a breeze. The suspension setup of the City is stiff which makes it a bit bouncy when driving on uneven roads. At the same time the stiff suspension also makes it a great handler. Overall, the City insulates its occupants from most bumps and potholes without breaking a sweat.
The Vento’s 1.6-litre puts out 103.5 bhp of power and 153 Nm of torque. This engine is pretty refined but is a little behind the City’s i-VTEC when it comes to acceleration. The Vento’s steering is very light but doesn’t offer the right feedback at high speeds. The gear shifts are smooth and are in fact even better than that in the City. The stiff suspension of the Vento helps handling the bad roads with ease; however it does upset the ride, much like the City. Also read: New City vs. Fluidic Verna
Performance wise, the Vento accelerates from 0 – 100 kmph in about 12 seconds while the City is takes only about 10 seconds. In terms of handling the City’s brilliant dynamics, precise steering feedback and sporty suspension setup make it a better handler than the Vento.
Winner: Honda City
Space and comfort
The front seats on the City offer sufficient legroom, headroom and shoulder room. On the other hand, the front seats in the Vento have better under thigh support than the City. But when it comes to rear seat comfort, the City’s rear is a better place to be. The City’s rear seats have a good recline angle and offer sufficient headroom, shoulder room and legroom. The Vento’s rear seats on the other hand have a slightly upright seating position, which can get uncomfortable during long journeys. The rear AC vents and the transmission tunnel in the Vento eat up most of the middle passenger’s legroom making the rear seat best for two passengers.
Winner: Honda City
Honda has given the City plenty of exterior changes and it now looks bolder than before. The front grille is the first noticeable change with wider gaps giving it a more purposive look. The reworked front bumper and new housing for the fog lamps add a sporty appeal to the car. The side profile remains largely unchanged except for the turn indicators integrated into the door mirrors. At the rear the tail lamps have been revamped and look like LED lamps. The rear bumper gets reflectors while the boot lid gets a chrome strip. On the interiors, there are subtle changes such as a blue black lighting for the instrument cluster, chrome on the AC vents and door handles etc.
The Vento resembles the Polo hatchback up to the C-pillar after which there is a seamlessly integrated boot. Even the interiors have a lot in common with the Polo hatchback. This may be a turn down for buyers looking for exclusivity. The sharp angled headlamps and prominent logo on the front grille look elegant and suave. The side profile, boot and tail lamps are all simple yet attractive. We feel, the Vento will appeal to the mature buyer.
Overall, the facelift has made the City a more lively car in terms of looks, while the Vento fails to stand out in a crowd.
Winner: Honda City
We will compare the top-end variants of both the cars in this section i.e. the Vento Highline and the City VMT (Sunroof). Both the cars are loaded with features such as Airbags, ABS, central locking, keyless entry, power windows with auto down, music system with speakers, front and rear armrests, cup holders, bottle holders in the doors, driver seat height adjust, tilt steering and steering mounted audio controls.
The City VMT (Sunroof) gets cruise control, EBD, turn indicators on the ORVMs and an electric sunroof. These features are not available on the Vento Highline though it comes with automatic AC (Climatronic), dual rear AC vents, dust and pollen filter, parking sensors and SpaceMax control (lever to adjust legroom for rear occupants) which are not available in the Honda City. The dual rear AC vents are a more practical feature than the electric sunroof. Further cruise control is of little use on Indian roads. Hence, we feel the Vento Highline with its more practical features will appeal to buyers.
Winner: Volkswagen Vento
Price mileage and VFM
The Honda City VMT (Sunroof) is priced at Rs. 9.50 lakh which is Rs. 73,000 higher than the Volkswagen Vento Highline priced at Rs. 8.23 lakh. With regard to mileage, the City has a claimed mileage of 16.8 kmpl while its real world mileage is around 13.5 kmpl. On the other hand, the Vento has a claimed mileage of 15.04 kmpl while its real world mileage comes around 12 kmpl. Hence, the City is a little bit more fuel efficient than the Vento.
The City VMT (Sunroof) though priced higher, packs in features like cruise control and sunroof not offered in the Vento Highline. On the other hand, the Vento Highline comes with practical features such as parking sensors, rear AC vents and spacemax lever, but is priced significantly lower than the City.
Summing up, the City VMT (Sunroof) lacks certain practical features offered in the Vento Highline, but returns better fuel economy.
Winner: Honda City
Pros and Cons
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The Honda City wins over the Vento in most departments such as performance, fuel economy, looks, space and comfort. We feel the Honda City will remain the undisputed king among petrol sedans under 10 lakh.
Let’s take a look at how the Vento and the City look on paper, with the help of a specifications table:
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