The all-new 4th generation 2014 Honda City is here and has been priced quite aggressively, making it a car to reckon with for buyers looking at a mid-size sedan. The Honda City petrol will directly compete with its largest rival and current segment leader by sales volume – the Hyundai Verna, as well as with the Volkswagen Vento, Fiat Linea T-Jet, Ford Fiesta and the Nissan Sunny.
All these are the top five sedans that buyers consider when looking for a mid-size sedan, and each has their own virtues. The other cars in this comparison also include the Skoda Rapid petrol and the Renault Scala petrol, but since these are badge-engineered products and mechanically identical to the Volkswagen Vento and Nissan Sunny respectively, we’re not going into the details here. Also read: 2014 Honda City launched at starting price of Rs. 7.42 lakh
The all-new Honda City is priced between Rs. 7.24 lakh and Rs. 10.98 lakh for the petrol variants, which includes two automatic CVT variants as well. For this comparison, let’s look at the top-end manual transmission variants of each car. The top-end manual transmission variant of the Honda City is the VX, priced at Rs. 9.93 lakh, and the V variant, which knocks off a few convenience features, but still offers what the segment expects is priced at Rs. 8.99 lakh.
Honda City vs Hyundai Verna
If you compare the Honda City with the Hyundai Verna, things get rather interesting. Buyers will be in a bit of a dilemma considering the Hyundai Verna is slightly cheaper than the Honda City. The Verna also offers better power and torque figures, as well as some additional safety features (six airbags, all-round disc brakes and DRLs in the SX-O variant). However, in terms of ride quality and interior space, the Honda City is better. It also offers more boot space. And then there are some other convenience features such as cruise control, rear AC vents and an electric sun-roof that the Verna does not offer. It’s also slightly more fuel efficient than the Verna.
So if you are a buyer looking for a bit more space and comfort, and some more gizmos, look at the Honda City. However, there’s a price difference of over Rs. 50,000 ex-showroom. Are you willing to pay that price?
Verdict: The Hyundai Verna seems better value for money
Honda City vs Volkswagen Vento
Comparing the top-end Honda City with the Volkswagen Vento, the Vento suddenly seems like a good value proposition, given that it is significantly cheaper. The Rs. 1 lakh plus price difference though gets you features like a sun-roof, reverse camera, push-button ignition, power folding mirrors among others. And then, there’s the power. The City puts out 117 bhp of power, compared to the 104 bhp that the Vento offers, and the City is also lighter than the Vento, which also accounts for the better fuel efficiency. However, the Vento makes more torque lower down in the rev-band, which is great for city driving.
Considering the Vento is significantly cheaper, it will be a car to reckon with for buyers looking at value-for-money cars. But wait, there’s the V variant of the Honda City to compare with the Vento Highline – that variant priced at Rs. 8.9 lakh, is aimed squarely at the Vento, and would be much better value for money – as you get more space, more power and more mileage, with slightly better features as well. The City V variant would be winner here (same as the VX, minus sun-roof, leather upholstery, push-button start and excess chrome).
Verdict: Honda City V is a better proposition than Volkswagen Vento Highline
Honda City vs Fiat Linea T-Jet Emotion
Enthusiasts will be sitting up and taking notice of this one. The Fiat Linea T-Jet offers just as much in terms of features if you compare the V variant of the Honda City with it. The Linea scores on drivability – it feels much better to drive than the Honda City. The additional weight of the Linea and hydraulic power steering also helps with the handling. The Linea T-Jet has a turbo-charged petrol engine, which makes much more torque available much lower in the rev-band, allowing for some peppy acceleration. It also has an equally long wheelbase and spacious cabin, although headroom at the rear is a bit tight. It’s the car that can most easily give the Honda City a run for its money.
When it comes to the Fiat Linea T-Jet, car to car, the City and T-Jet are evenly matched. Where Honda manages to sneak an advantage is with its dealer network – with Fiat only now playing catch up, quite aggressively. Enthusiasts are likely to look at the T-Jet, while feature conscious buyers may prefer to shell out Rs. 1 lakh more for the top-end City.
Verdict: Fiat Linea T-Jet better for those who love driving
Honda City vs Ford Fiesta Titanium Plus
Another driver’s car that buyers consider, but eventually end up ignoring because of its initial pricing fiasco is the Ford Fiesta. This car has better handling and dynamics than the new Honda City, but loses out on power. The Fiesta offers just as much features as the Honda City V variant, but is also slightly pricier as well, being about Rs. 16,000 more expensive. So, if one were to compare the V variant of the City to the Fiesta, the Honda City V variant still comes across as better in terms of features, power, overall space and fuel efficiency.
The Ford Fiesta, unfortunately, loses out here. And somehow, it has been losing battles even with other rivals as well, going by its dismal sales figures. The Honda City is the winner here, even if you take the V variant in comparison instead of the VX.
Verdict: Honda City is a better value car compared to the Ford Fiesta
Honda City vs Nissan Sunny
One big card that the Honda City is playing is the space card. Enter the Nissan Sunny (and Renault Scala), which so far held the top spot in terms of rear-seat space. The Sunny still has a small advantage in terms of overall cabin space, but the rear seat of the Honda City has better cushioning and support. Both cars offer rear AC vents, although the one in the Sunny / Scala is only a blower. The other advantage the Sunny has is price, being about Rs. 1 lakh cheaper than the V variant and nearly Rs. 2 lakh cheaper than the top-end Honda City with the added convenience features. However, it doesn’t have the power or performance to match.
If you are on a tight budget and are looking for a spacious sedan, then give the Nissan Sunny or Renault Scala a thought. But if you can stretch your budget to throw in better performance and comfort, as well as a few more features (cruise control, reverse camera etc), pick up the Honda City.
Verdict: Nissan Sunny better for those on a budget, for everything else the Honda City is better
Share your thoughts on which of these cars you would consider in your buying decision.
See detailed table below for features and technical specification comparison:
Honda City vs Hyundai Verna vs Volkswagen Vento vs Fiat Linea T-Jet vs Ford Fiesta vs Nissan Sunny:
Comparison of specifications and features
[table id=1062 /]