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Old 19th September 2009, 13:55   #1
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Post Altis vs SX4 vs ANHC vs Fiesta. EDIT : Black Fiesta 1.6S it is!

I've been driving a Ford Ikon 1.6 ZXI Sept 2005 for the last four years. Although there was not immediate need for a replacement, you find yourself checking out all the new models on offer as you are on the road. So albeit reluctantly (cause I love my Ikon, and love the way she drives) I started looking for my next acquisition.

Looks - Important
Safety - ABS EBD Airbags
Drive Quality - Very Important
Cabin Space - Moderately Important
Features - Moderately Important
GC - Important
FE - Not Very Important
Aspirational Value - Moderately Important

Consideration Set:
Toyota Corolla Alits
Hyundai Verna (knocked out - no airbags)
Ford Fiesta

Test Drives:

Corolla: Although the Altis doesn't belong in this category, I decided to TD it anyway. I TDed the 1.8G. Comes with ABS, EBD, Air Bags, in Dash 6 CD changer, Audio Controls on Wheel, many many storage spaces in cabin, Auto Climate Control, very roomy, Steering Adjust, Alloys. Sweet car. Decently powered and high AV. Feels a little bulky in traffic, gear box didn't feel great and cornering was ok. Looks great though with a very good GC 176. But the price did me in. 10.9 exshowroom in Bangalore. Didn't see the VFM of paying 4.5 L more than a fully loaded Sx4 or Fiesta.

SX4: Bulky looking thing, but over time I could see my self getting to like the looks of the car. Clearly not a love at first sight kinda thing. The 16" Alloys, 1.90 GC distinctly stood out as I approached the car for a TD.
Inside, again surprise after surprise, pleasant ones. ABS, EBD, Audio Controls on Wheel, Leather Interiors, Auto Climate Control, Steering Adjust etc etc etc. Nice high driving position that gives you a good commanding position in traffic and also great view. The insane treatment of the A pillar however is a different story altogether. I do think there is quite a large blind spot that it causes. The drive falls below expectations. At a weight of 1200 kgs (same as the Corolla) the engine comes across as clearly underpowered. On a bumpy road, the passengers start bobbing around in the cabin (high CG) and the cornering ain't good either. The high GC however means you'll never have to cringe as you drive over mountainous speed breakers in Bangalore as this car just swallows them whole
without batting an eyelid. If you aren't very particular about the drive quality, the SX4 is excellent VFM. At 7.57 Ex showroom with a 60 k discount, one cannot dismiss the value proposition.

ANHC: It really is a good looking car. Sweet lines and the "arrow-shot" form make it very appealing. Almost tempted to say it was the best looking of the lot. The interiors seemed a little tacky but I'm not complaining. The steering wheel looks and feels great. Great audio system with a primary input from an i-pod or usb drive. CD slot available at an additional 13k, but not required in my opinion. Airbags, ABS, Brake Assist, Audio Controls on the steering, etc surely add to the appeal. The absence of Auto Climate Control was a shocker in a car that costs 9 Ex
Showroom for the VMT version. The only doubt I had in my mind about this car was the GC. We tend to travel out on the weekends pretty often and usually to jungle places like Bheemeshwari, Galibore, BR hills, Kabini, Ooty, Red Hills, Wayanad, etc etc. Because of that good GC is a must. From a few threads on the forum here and also assurances from the sales guy, I had high expectations!! Pun intended :-).
The drive quality is great. The 118 bhp clearly makes its presence felt and the seating position feels good. Lots of room in the cabin. The instrument panel looks good with a nice play or orange and black. The music system sounds great too. It was time to test the GC. with 3 people in the car I took it over a bump that usually poses a problem for my Ikon as well (Ikon GC = 160 same as ANHC). But with the larger wheel base as well as a smoother suspension, the ANHC took a nice swipe at the speed bump and gave it a nice loooong kiss. I was as disappointed as the sales guy in the back. It may not have touched if I really took it slow, but attacking a speed bump with a ANHC is out of the question. On getting back to my apartment, I decided to test it going into the basement parking. Took it in at the same speed as my Ikon, and this time the panel below the front bumper touched the ground. Tried again, very slowly, and it was okay. Just the combination of the suspension and the GC gives it a high propensity to touch the ground. So all in all, the ANHC is a great car, a good upgrade from a Ikon, but she has to be driven carefully.

Fiesta: The one that was brought for the TD was the 1.6 S with the 15" Alloys, body skirting and spoiler. The european looks and styling while certainly not a heart stopper, were very nice indeed. The interiors were nice and sporty. ABS, EBD, Airbags made sure it cleared the safety spec. The drive was a beauty. Right from the seating position, adjustable steering wheel, to the gear box, to the power surge in the 2nd and 3rd gears were clearly reminiscent of the Ikon. GC at 168, cleared the earlier bump I spoke about with no problem what-so-ever. The cabin is not very roomy and the rear seat leg room is not great. But the drive quality really takes your heart away. Her ability to jump out from behind a slow moving vehicle and leap forward will be really handy in the Bangalore traffic. She corners well and is very very responsive to the slightest touch of the accelerator pedal. Back at the showroom, the SXI model has leather interiors and 14" alloys without the skirting and the spoiler. It also comes with all leather interiors, wood finishing and head rests for the rear seats. The ORVM in Chrome on the new SXI spoils the look however, but it shouldn't be hard to get that changed. The SXI is at 7.08 L with a corporate discount of 50k. So at 6.6 Lac its great VFM as well.

At this stage, the Fiesta SXI is the front runner, followed by the ANHC. SX4 is out due to the drive quality and the Altis at this point in my life is clearly not VFM.

COMMENTS AND VIEWS ARE WELCOME. Will make up my mind in the next few weeks and keep you posted.

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Old 19th September 2009, 19:09   #2
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Hi Tarunt,

Just today, i got my new Fiesta 1.6Sxi premium. I fell the car is really worth every penny spent.

My take on the 3 other choices listed by you

Altis - its a wonderful car, no doubt - backed by toyota reliability. But as you yourself have put it, it belongs to a different segment. If you can stretch your budget to 12 lacs+, this is the car to go for (my view - better than Civic)

SX4 - personally, i didnt like the looks of the SX4. Also, it wasn't as much fun to drive as the Fiesta.

ANHC - to me, it is horribly overpriced. Consider it, only if you are loyal Honda fan. Else, there are several other options available.

BTW, why didn't you consider the Linea?
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Old 19th September 2009, 19:17   #3
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You find the Altis heavy in traffic??Even with that super light steering? This is rather shocking!
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Old 19th September 2009, 19:39   #4
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You are using an Ikon, You should look at the Fiesta. The european lineage cars handle much better.
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Old 19th September 2009, 19:40   #5
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Originally Posted by ashishgandhi_00 View Post
Consider it, only if you are loyal Honda fan.
Such statements are avoidable IMO. There are many who are not Honda fans and despite that have gone for ANHC.
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Old 19th September 2009, 20:11   #6
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Altis is alltogether a different class and i dont think its worth comparing with cars of the lower segment.Moreover you have kind of knocked it out .
From the rest 3 i would say :
2) SX4 = Fiesta (Both of them have their own set of pros and cons)

Since you said that you would be going out quite frequently on weekends the GC of SX4 would be a boon.Our fellow bhpians have even done the spiti with quite ease in the SX4.

And incase you feel that the ANHC is overpriced you can through this healthy discussion :
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Old 19th September 2009, 20:26   #7
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Fiesta 1.6 Sxi is much more value for money compared to ANHC, Honda people are charging more than 2 lakhs for the 'H'. If one is not particular about that straight H, there are better cars in every segment.
Dwindling sales for Honda shows that more and more people are realising that important fact.

I have seen many people (not in this forum) who will cry 'oh dont buy a Ford, never go for a Fiat'. IMHO, one's decision should be based on his likes and needs, never to give too much importance to what others say.

It is your money and you are the one going to use the car.

Tarunt, from your post, it is clear that Fiesta 1.6 (decide whether Sxi or S) is the one most suited for you. Any particular reason for omitting Linea from your list? just being curious.
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Old 19th September 2009, 20:43   #8
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Hi Tarun,
From your post it looks like you have fallen in love with Fiesta! Go buy it, nothing to beat it from driving experience! While I would reco. Honda, the low GC is a put off. You know nothing will happen by a slow speed scratch on the belly, but it makes you skip a beat everytime! I have experienced it!...Goooo....Fidaaa....
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Old 19th September 2009, 20:49   #9
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Tarun, i guess you are already Fida over the Fiesta. Go for it- its surely one of the best drivers car below 9 lacs!!

P.S. : Surprised about your views on Altis, i thought it was more suitable for City driving . But altogether its a segment above the other cars you mentioned.
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Old 20th September 2009, 01:09   #10
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Buy the Fiesta S. If you are looking for another driver's car, check the Mitsubishi Cedia. The rest are boring compared to these.
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Old 20th September 2009, 01:29   #11
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FIESTA S!!!!!!!!!!!
IMO that is the best for you plus its another ford so familiar feeling and maybe you can take extra discount from your old dealer.
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Old 20th September 2009, 03:16   #12
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Tarunt, "FIESTA S" is really getting hot day by day :-)
is the price mentioned by you for diesel version,
sorry for being a newbie on this car details currently.
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Old 20th September 2009, 08:11   #13
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Ikon 1.6 is a very nice car to drive, so logically so why not Fiesta ? I agree that as compared to Ikon's rear seat Fiesta's rear seat is not very comfortable. Once settled into Ikon's seat, its very comfortable, but this must not be a huge problem.

If you dont want to go in for Fiesta for lack of space, go for SX4. Drive it at more than 2000 rpm and see the throttle response from 3000 to 5000 rpm band. The torque is really good here. But below 2000 rpm its not great. The car is heavy, no doubt, but the positives like high seating position, good GC are hard to ignore.

Altis is a great all rounder and currently I would rate that car as best overall pakcage in Rs. 10-12 lakh segment. If you are ready to pay for ANHC/G3HC, I would suggest you stretch your budget and get Altis.

If I were in your place, my preference would be :

Fiesta > SX4 > Altis > G3HC ( i.e. ANHC ).
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Old 20th September 2009, 14:51   #14
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didn't you consider the Linea?
I haven't considered the Linea cause I heard the petrol one was underpowered. Should I be TDing that too?

You find the Altis heavy in traffic??Even with that super light steering? This is rather shocking!
Actually, with the Altis I think it was a mind thing of driving a "big" car. And I did get caught up in traffic quite a bit during that TD and that's probably why I felt that way. It does have a light and steering.

Congrats Ashish on your new SXi. It really is a great car. Which colour did you buy? And what's your opinion on the chrome ORVM's?

FIESTA S" is really getting hot day by day :-)
is the price mentioned by you for diesel version,
sorry for being a newbie on this car details currently.
The price I mentioned was for the petrol version. Ex showroom ie.
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Old 21st September 2009, 10:37   #15
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The Honda City is the best all-rounder from its segment. Stop by this interesting discussion to know more.
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