The Nissan Sunny diesel with a competitive starting price of Rs. 7.98 lakh poses a significant threat to top-selling diesel sedans such as the Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento and the Maruti Suzuki SX4. We pick the Volkswagen Vento and compare it with the newly launched Sunny diesel to find out which car offers the maximum bang for your buck.
Driving and handling
The Vento’s 1.6-litre common-rail diesel motor puts out 104 bhp of power which is 19 bhp more than the Sunny’s 1.5-litre engine that churns out 85 bhp of power. Also the Vento’s diesel engine makes 220 Nm of torque which is again 20 Nm more than the Sunny diesel. The power to weight ratio of the Sunny diesel is 77.8 bhp/ton while for the Vento diesel it is 87.2 bhp/ton. Clearly, the Vento has more power on tap than the Sunny making it more fun to drive.
The Vento’s steering is easy to maneuver at low speeds and weighs up nicely at high speeds. There is a little body roll when tackling corners at high speeds. The NVH levels too are pretty low and the suspension soaks up road bumps and uneven surfaces at all speeds without any trouble. On the other hand, expect the Sunny diesel’s steering to be good at low speeds and will likely give just adequate feedback at high speeds. The long wheelbase and low body height of the Sunny will give you a planted ride even at high speeds. Summing up, the Vento drives better than the Sunny and is a better performer.
Space and comfort
The Vento has a wheelbase of 2,552 m while the Sunny has a wheelbase of 2,600 m. The wider wheelbase of the Sunny directly reflects as phenomenal legroom at the rear. However, the rear seat in the Sunny is set low compromising the under thigh support. The Sunny also sports a slightly larger boot of 490 litres than the Vento which has 480 litres.
Overall, the Sunny wins over the Vento in terms of space and comfort.
The Volkswagen Vento has conventional yet elegant looks. It has an angular front with trademark Volkswagen features such as a slim grille with a large VW badge at the centre, a low-set bonnet and a profile that’s traditional compared to the fresh design of the Sunny. The boot is neatly integrated into the Vento (as the car is based on the smaller Polo hatchback).
The coupe-like rear styling on the Sunny clearly hides the fact that it is built on the same ‘V’ platform as the Micra hatchback. Also, at many angles the Sunny may look odd and it may take time getting used to its structure. With regard to interiors, the Vento has durable yet soft to touch plastics while the Sunny has sturdy plastics which feel hard to touch. Both cars have uniform, fit and finish, with even shut lines, though the Vento is a bit better than the Sunny.
Both the Sunny diesel and the Vento diesel get electric power steering, AC with heater, rear AC vents (fans in Sunny), power windows, central locking, adjustable headrests (front & rear) and music system with speakers. The base variant, Sunny XL gets driver and passenger airbag, ABS, EBD and BA (Brake Assist) and comfort features including automatic climate control and electric mirrors. These features are not available in the Vento Trendline. Similarly, the top-end variant, Sunny XV comes with electric folding mirrors and intelligent key with push button ignition which are not available in the Vento Highline.
Price mileage and VFM
The Vento Trendline is priced at Rs. 8.28 lakh which is Rs. 30,000 more than the Sunny XL priced at Rs. 7.98 lakh. The Vento Highline is priced at Rs. 9.78 lakh which is Rs. 1 lakh more than the Sunny XV priced at Rs. 8.78 lakh.
With regard to fuel efficiency, the Vento (20.5 kmpl) seems to slightly lower than the Sunny diesel (21.6 kmpl). Due to the lighter weight of the Sunny
Though the price and mileage are similar, the Sunny diesel stands out as a clear winner with its ‘value for money’ proposition. The Sunny XL which is Rs. 30,000 less than the Vento Trendline still packs in safety features such as Airbags and ABS and comfort features such as automatic climate control, electric mirrors. Similarly, the Sunny XV which costs Rs. 1 lakh less than the Vento Highline do come with as many features as the latter and also includes push button start and electric folding mirrors.
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The Vento looks solid and performs better than the Sunny while the latter comes with more features at substantially lesser price than the Vento. Both the cars target family saloon buyers which are often chauffer driven. Therefore, performance and handling may be a second preference as against space, comfort and features. On that count, we pick the Sunny as the better car over the Vento.