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Old 14th May 2010, 10:39   #1
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Default Ford Fiesta SXi vs Honda City VTEC

I spent 3 weeks this summer driving my brother-in-law's 4 year old Honda City VTEC through expressways, city roads and village tracks, with and without passengers, with or without good music, in the night and in the day, through lonely streets and crowded places. And compared to my 4 year old Ford Fiesta 1.6 SXi, here's how the City matched up...

Steering & Road Handling: The City has slightly lighter steering, even though the thin grip makes it a little more difficult to handle. The Fiesta though has absolutely perfect road grip and is absolutely stable on high speed curves. I did manage to extract a few squeals and drifts with the City, but the car skids and loses grip if the road is slightly rough and unstable, and I almost managed to crash the car once while trying a S curve on a loose-gravelled road at around 100 kmph. Braking with the City is suspect too, and the car seems to lock brakes and skid on, while even without ABS, the Fiesta is always ready to stop at the drop of a dime. All in all, if you want to take those high speed thrill rides, the Fiesta is the car for you. Don't even try it with the City, which is best left to the city!

Acceleration and Power: Again, the Fiesta wins hands down. The City is almost sluggish, and trying those high speeds manouevers in and out of multi lane traffic and those quick bursts of speed on the highway to edge in front of slow moving trucks are best avoided with the City. Bear in mind that the VTEC is the high power version of the City - my experience on test drives with the lower end versions have been worse!

Drive Quality and Suspension: This is one point where the City scores better. Both cars are better suited to take the rough roads at higher speeds, and drive quality deteriorates sharply if you try to take the rough at slow speeds. The City though is much more comfortable on bad roads.

External Looks: This one is completely personal, and I love the rounded, muscular look of the Fiesta compared to the flattened, straight lines look of the City, which looks more like a vehicle from one of those futuristic movies.

Interiors: The SXi has a very good 6-speaker audio system with 6 CD in dash changer, whereas the City's sound system has 4 speakers, and much less audio quality. The City though comes with support for MP3, which is a big minus for the Fiesta. The Fiesta's leather seats and trimmings are also much more refined, and it also has more reading lights in front as well as in the back, while the City has only the single central light panel. Many of the City's controls are found in non-intuitive locations, like the reverse foglight which is situated near the handbrake! The City seems to provide little more interior space and is very comfortable to get in and out of. The double glove compartment of the City is nice!

Fuel Efficiency: This is a big let down for the City, and a car which was expected to give well over 15 kmpl, barely seems to manage 11-12 kmpl, unlike the Fiesta (which turns out an impressive 13-14 kmpl). Maybe it's the VTEC engine that sucks up fuel, but compared to the much more powerful Fiesta, this is definitely a big negative.

Value for Money: This is the biggest killer for the VTEC. At almost 1.25 lakh more than the Fiesta, with it's low fuel efficiency and bad ride quality, and not-too-impressive interiors, the VTEC is definitely not value for money!

Overall: No doubt about it.. whether it is swanky interiors, the external look or the fuel efficiency, the Fiesta more than matches up to it's much more expensive rival. And of course, if you drive with your heart, and if you love those squealing tires and drifts, if you love to see your competition fade in the rear view mirror, buckle up in the new Josh, and Go Fida!

Disclaimer: This is not necessarily an unbiased view, coming as it is from a die-hard Ford loyalist, so City-lovers, if you are reading this, please understand!
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Old 14th May 2010, 13:46   #2
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Nice comparo, would be interesting to see replies from VTEC owners ...

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.... The Fiesta though has absolutely perfect road grip and is absolutely stable on high speed curves....
Was the fiesta on stock tyres?
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Old 14th May 2010, 13:55   #3
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I drove the first 40000 km on the original MRFs it came with, and I am not a fan of the MRFs - they're tough and long lasting, but I love the softer Bridgestones I have been using since. The VTEC was running Ceat.
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Old 14th May 2010, 14:03   #4
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Which Honda City did you drive? If it's 4 years old, I suppose it's an NHC VTEC? That car can't even be compared to the Fiesta when it comes to performance and handling. It's a boat but a comfy one and definitely more comfy than the Fiesta. The ANHC is vastly better than the NHC on performance and handling, but still falls short of the Fiesta IMO. It has been discussed to death in several threads so I will not repeat it here. And the ANHC base version which does not even have alloys and basic ICE is about 2.5L more than the top end Fiesta so the VFM factor got worse. And I am talking about 'my' definition of VFM here. I felt the NHC had nicer interiors than the Fiesta and more roomy as well. ANHC interiors are a downgrade compared to the NHC.

Last edited by Gilead : 14th May 2010 at 14:22.
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Old 14th May 2010, 14:30   #5
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Yes, it was the NHC, 4 years old. I like your comparison to a boat NHC interiors looked rich with the beige tones, but in terms of the sound system, the quality of leather, the positions and accessibility of switches, I think the Fiesta scored better.

But within the city, I think the City scores over the Fiesta in ride quality. Maybe that's one reason people still go for it?
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Old 14th May 2010, 15:18   #6
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LOL!! I almost got shocked reading the heading of the thread! But after reading it I realised, you are reffering to the NHC Vtec!! Hmm, then its ok. I also did not like the NHC's handling.

Why dont you edit the heading to the Fiesta Sxi vs the NHC Vtec..

Cheers
Shrey

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Old 14th May 2010, 20:28   #7
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NHC does seem to give a floating feeling after 100. I felt so while driving my friend's NHC (1.5 iDSi). Though the interiors and everything is excellent the PS is dead. No feel at all from the steering.
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Old 15th May 2010, 00:24   #8
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Performance & handling should have been the last priorities for Honda when they came up with the NHC.

The car's strong points were FE, ride and light steering. I was stunned by the FE figures my friend was getting with the NHC and SHOCKED as well, considering what they have done to the legendary OHC

The VTEC was an afterthought from Honda?
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Old 16th May 2010, 11:57   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddheshb View Post
Overall: No doubt about it.. the Fiesta more than matches up to it's much more expensive rival. And of course, if you drive with your heart, and if you love those squealing tires and drifts, if you love to see your competition fade in the rear view mirror, buckle up in the new Josh, and Go Fida!

Disclaimer: This is not necessarily an unbiased view, coming as it is from a die-hard Ford loyalist, so City-lovers, if you are reading this, please understand!

Hi Siddesh,

That was a very nice report, and though you are a die-hard Ford fan (as I am too) I think you have been fair in your observations.

IMHO, I think that the only Honda (sub Rs. 10 lakhs) that can be compared to a Ford is the first City, (OHC). That was a drivers' car alright and was a stiff competitor to the Ikon (and Baleno and Siena, too). When I bought my iKon ZXI 1.6Nxt in 2004 (which I still own and love dearly, see my report here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...000-kms-3.html (Ford Ikon 1.6 Nxt ZXI - 6 years, 72,000 kms)), the OHC was a big attraction for me.

It seems to me that from that point onwards, Honda changed its focus very surely with the NHC from producing a drivers' car (the OHC) to a car that brought hi-tech and comfort at a premium price (the NHC and now the AHNC). Today the Hondas are not about "driving" but more about hi-tech and space-age looks. This means they are considered "premium" compared to Fords, and have "snob value". (Snob value is not a bad thing - it means better resale prices!). Given this "premium" image, it quite a surprise to learn that the Fiesta has better interiors and music system too! And I read in another magazine review (don't remember which magazine) about the lack of reading lights in the ANHC, just as you have stated. I agree with you that the Ford has very useful cabin lights. My iKon has five cabin lights and they are all very useful. I presume the Fiesta has the same set up as the ikOn. Those lights are great aren't they?

Very interesting report, enjoyed reading it.

Cheers from another Ford fan!
Damu
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Old 16th May 2010, 20:32   #10
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Yes, 3 on top of the dash, and two over the rear doors. Not to mention the additional light in the dashboard compartment.

Unfortunately, on my Endy, there are just two lights, and these fall on the middle seats, putting the driver and co-driver in complete darkness. And there's no light for the dash compartment either :( Only option: read in the light of the dashboard controls and the DVD screen!
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