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Old 22nd August 2011, 22:10   #1
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Default Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impressions)

The hunt started for a premium diesel mid-sizer around a month back.


My shortlist (in priority) were:
1. The Global Ford Fiesta
2. The Fluidic Hyundai Verna
3. The Sophisticated Volkswagen Vento


(@ Mods: I am putting the first impressions/ test drive impressions of these 3 cars in 3 different posts. It is purely for ease of reading since it would be too lengthy in a single post)



1. The Global Ford Fiesta

Being a Ford owner from the last 8 years, my first choice was the new global Fiesta. This car was the one that i was looking forward to with excitement following each and every post out here. The first dampener was the price. On paper we had shortlisted the Trend variant. The on-road price in Ahmedbad was 11.04 Lakh. For checking out the Fiesta, i was accompanied by my father – wanted to get a feel about how varied ages would view the vehicle.


On entering the showroom, I wasn’t overly impressed with the looks of the car (the car on display was a Kinetic Blue Titanium+ variant). The paint quality was very good and the car had a decent presence, when seen from head-on with ample amounts of chrome cladding (at the front + on the window surroundings) and a good set of alloys. However, it wasn’t giving the impression of being a 11 lakh rupee car. The over bulky rear clearly gave a feeling of being a last minute add-on. My dad found the Fiesta’s design a bit over the top- he did not like the bulbous rear or the coupe kind of sloping lines. Now i was the first one to sit on the driver’s side. The interiors seemed really dull and of poor quality. The grey coloured dashboard looked faded and it seemed I was sitting in a 6-7 lakh rupee car. The quality of plastics was poor. The window switches seemed to be made up of poor plastics & looked fragile. I have heard a lot about the body-hugging seats. Having a large framed body, i wasn’t very comfortable in the seat. Moreover, i found the layout of the centre console irritating with jutting out controls and meters. Neither me nor my dad liked the center console. It was jarring and way over the top. Meanwhile my dad (both of us are around 6ft) tried sitting on the rear seat, with me sitting in the front! Let me tell you it was one heck of a struggle for him to get in and a greater effort was required by him to get out. Poor fellow literally had body aches after stepping out of the vehicle. That was it ! Fiesta dreams gone down the drain. Still I sat in the rear bench only to find that now it seemed as if i was sitting in a 3-4 lakh rupee car! My old Fiesta (the Classic now) has a better rear bench (I am not going by measurement/wheelbase numbers but by general ingress/ egress and seating position). Possibly the price tag of the Fiesta is based on the logic of the car being designed in 2 parts (7 lakh for the front end + 4 lakh for the rear end ). I have been reading various reports talking very highly about the ride and handling dynamics of the Fiesta. However, I didn’t feel the desire to drive it at all since it failed in the first obstacle itself – didn’t appeal as a 11 lakh rupee car. This was the first time that i took home negative impressions of a Ford Car (being a fan of the Ikon, older Fiesta and the Figo).
The most interesting or sad thing was the 'selling attitude' of the Sales executive. He almost had a resigned look on his face. When i commented that the price was very high as compared to competitors, the only thing he timidly said was 'Sir, this is made of Boron steel'. Then when we discussed the power, features of the vehicle, space at rear, he had a sorry look on him and said 'I agree sir'. He also commented that the rear seat on the Fiesta Classic is more comfy than the new one. Seems that Ford has seriously gone wrong with the pricing - the sales guys have lost interest in selling the new fiesta.
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Old 22nd August 2011, 22:20   #2
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Default Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression)-2

2. The Fluidic Hyundai Verna

After this, we had certain discussions and finalized on the ANHV as the car to buy – the curves and style was much appreciated. The price for the Sx variant is Rs. 10.61 on road in Ahmedabad as compared to the 1.6 CRDi’s 9.94. Additions are mainly in the form of alloy wheels, a passenger side airbag, cooled glove box, electrically foldable outside mirrors, rear cam display in the rear view mirror (Weren't too sure on the variant to opt for- so left it as a last minute decision).

We went to a local dealership for the test drive and were snubbed and denied the test drive. Anyways, a couple of days later i managed to get my hands on a diesel SX variant(which was brought to the office by a friend of mine who had himself borrowed it from another friend

Ok, the first impressions are as most of us have shared in various posts – the car is certainly a looker. The remote was a folding-key type fob. Sitting in the driver seat is comfortable and the faux wood finish + chrome add to the show-package. The illumination is good with the driver information cluster giving a lot of information including the gearshift recommendation. The combination of a smooth shifting 6-speed gearbox + a light clutch (for a diesel it seemed light) is ideal for city commute.

Sitting on the drivers seat was a reasonable comfortable experience. My left knee kept rubbing against the center console which wasn't a big concern- surely i can decipher a perfect position later on.

Now for the main test we chose a road on the outskirts (a ring road) which would allow us to take the car into the 3 digit territory and give us an idea about the stability + cornering abilities of the vehicle.

I managed to take the car upto 130 km/hr. The power delivery is gradual and at most times it didn’t feel like a 128 bhp motor. After speeds of 80, the cornering of the car didn’t give me confidence. I had to substantially slow down while cornering. My current Fiesta feels better planted at such speeds. Even the smallest of potholes or bad roads are felt in the car and the most irritating thing is that the car bottoms out on breakers that should not pose much of a problem.

Next, i sat on the rear seat with my friend (5’9”) on the driving seat. The rear seat feels quite cramped. My knees were squeezed against the front seat. Moreover, i found the rear seat set too low and sort of curved which meant that i was not able to find a suitable/ comfortable position. We encountered a flyover on the way, which had a lot of variations on the road i.e. the surface was uneven, in the typical Indian fashion. Seating on the rear was horrible – really felt that i was sitting on the rear bench of a state transport bus! After 80 km/h, the ride was extremely bumpy and irritating - for the first time, i was actually clinging the grab handle while sitting in the rear of a car !

I have read a lot of positives about this car- mainly about the styling and the gizmos. For me, the gizmos don’t justify the price or the attractiveness of a car.

For me the key components of a car are its Engine, the ride quality, handling, high speed stability and the space inside. On all these components the ANHV majorly disappoints (drove it for around 35 kms).
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Old 22nd August 2011, 22:54   #3
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Default Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression)-3

3. The Volkswagen Vento(Higline)

Vento’s design appealed to all in the family- simple and sophisticated. The only grouse which I have with the Vento is that VW have made it identical to the Polo-they could have made certain distinct changes. Anyways, can't complain much since when you look at the Vento from any angle, it feels well designed and put together. The good thing is that the boot doesn't look like a add on- feels well integrated. One thing that distinctly attracts is the quality of the paint-job. I strongly feel that the sheen and finish of VW’s paint is unparallel in this segment.

Inside the cabin feels very airy – due to the simple layout of the dash + the light colours (apprehensive about the fabric shade as it’s too light for Indian conditions). I felt that the quality of dashboard plastics was great – not as showy or dynamic as the Verna but definitely better in terms of sophistication and finish.

To maintain consistency, i followed the same test route as that of the Verna’s.

The first irritating thing was the higher than expected noise levels from the engine (now i understood why Fiesta is being advertised as having the quietest cabin). The next irritant was the position of the centre arm rest, which was causing a bit of a hindrance while even fastening the seat belt.

Once I started and rolled out, the Vento brought a smile to my face. Driving the Vento is an altogether different experience as compared to the Verna. I managed to take it to just a tad over 130, till I ran out of road space. It was very well planted and it felt that the Vento can cruise happily all day long at such speeds.

In gear acceleration felt much better than the Verna. At speeds of around 50, a simple push of the accelerator makes the car surge forward. Overtaking is a breeze. The Vento surprised me with its road handling manners. I really liked the steering feel (had heard negative reviews about it)- it gave me a lot of confidence while cornering at higher speeds. None of the variations or potholes on the road were able to disturb the Vento. The gearing was smooth and changing the gears often was not required. I really liked the MID in the centre of the speedometer that gives a lot of information including gear changing suggestions. It was a bit of a surprise since i hadn’t read much about it as compared to the ANHV which showcases its supervision cluster + driver information system.

Next, i sat on the rear seat and it clearly seems that VW has designed this keeping in mind that a lot of these vehicles are going to be chauffeur driven. The rear seat is a good place to be in with decent amount of leg room and head room. The rear center armrest is broad and comfortable. The best feature for the rear benchers are the AC vents. The air throw was decent, though not exceptional. Found this feature sorely missing in the other 2 cars (Fiesta & ANHV).
My dad was very happy and satisfied, sitting on the rear bench throughout the test drive. He commented that it felt that he was sitting in a more expensive car.

The price on-road quoted was 10.85 lakhs which includes accessories worth Rs 16000. These accessories are Rear parking sensors, mud flaps, mats, 1 car perfume, 2 VW beige colored cushions and 3M body protection paint.
The parking sensors are the audio/beep kind and not the camera kind like in the ANHV

Gizmos vs Substance

Ok, finally i just wanted to clarify 1 thing i have been reading a lot about. Verna is being praised for the gizmos it provides whereas Vento is being hammered for the lack of features. I find this to be misleading. If you compare variant to variant (Sx of ANHV with Vento Highline), I feel that the Vento has more critical features.

Features that the ANHV has which are missing in the Vento: Steering mounted controls; USB/Aux support; Bluetooth connectivity; cooled glove box; electric opening + closing of the ORVMs and rear view camera.

A person who is fond of listening to superior quality music wouldn't even be satisfied with the sound quality in the Verna. So a simple change of the HU would add a lot of missing features to the Vento.

Critical features that Vento has which are missing in the ANHV
1. Rear AC vents;
2. One touch up & down for all windows;
3. Opening and closing of windows from the remote;
4. Pinch guard system on the windows that detects an obstruction and automatically rolls down the windows;
5. Passenger front seat that can be adjusted with a lever at the rear;
6. Telescopic + Tilt adjustable steering.
I am not even including Passive interior surveillance as a key feature though it is present in the Vento since i am not sure about its applicability or practicality.

Now add to this that you basically buy a car for the core components: stability, engine response, handling, ride quality, space and i conclude that the Verna is no match for the Vento. The Verna has a few gizmos, more show but the Vento has more substance.

The decision for me has been made. The Vento is the clear winner. I have fallen in love with a car which i had not even considered till recently.

Kindly note: The observations made are strictly mine and there is no intention to offend any car owner or car lover.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 00:23   #4
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Thanks for writing in with such clarity and detail. I d totally agree with your take on vento. I haven't personally tried verna or fiesta (the new ones) but I have a feeling that what you said is spot on.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 01:10   #5
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Hey gaurav!
Great write up! We are in a similar boat as well, with us replacing our fiesta TDCi. While we were looking at cars with a 20l budget, we've had to cut it down to 11-12l as well, and the contenders are the same.
I've seen all the cars unto 20l and in terms of the drive, I was only impressed with the vento. I thoroughly enjoyed it, except that found the steering fouled with my knee during gearshifts, thus making it very uncomfortable to drive.
Did you notice this?

I too found the steering acceptable, though a bit light. Took her unto 140 and was very happy with the stability as well. Just disappointed about the missing chrome bits in the interiors. They look very dull without them.

I have yet to drive the fiesta and the cruze, and will then decide. Neither of those dealers are offering me a TD as yet (been a few weeks). However, it seems as though our requirements and end result will be similar. We too have had fords for the past 11 years, but the new fiesta has only impressed me on paper. Still to get over the looks and price.
The verna and sx4 didn't even make the list as apart from the looks and engine, they had nothing else going for them. However am contemplating a used merc as well. Let's see how that works out.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 05:00   #6
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Default Re: Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression

Hi Gaurav

Great thread. I'm in the same boat as you and lamborgini. I have been using a Ford Fusion for almost 4 years now and looking at changing the car with a diesel sedan with an OTR upto 12 Lakhs.

I have short-listed the three cars + a Magnum. Being a car from a higher segment, Magnum is my first choice, followed by NFS and then the two V's. I'm planning to TD them this week and take a decision this week. I have a good friend working as SP in one of the Ford dealers. He is thoroughly demotivated with the NFS and he recommended a Fiesta Classic instead of NFS!!!

Lucky you, as you have come to a decision already. My best wises on owning the Vento. Looking forward to your ownership thread.

OT: Chennai was battered by heavy showers yesterday and many roads were completely inundated with water. Pot holes added to the mystery of road users. I drove my Fusion through the chaos without an iota of worry while other cars (including the Fluidic and the Vento, not the NFS as Ford has hardly sold any car) were finding it difficult to navigate. This has got me thinking if I should go in for a Safari instead. Just my thoughts.

Last edited by MAS : 23rd August 2011 at 05:04.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 09:23   #7
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Default Re: Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression

A very nice and detailed write-up. Thanks for the same. So you have finally zeroed on the VW Vento. Waiting for your ownership report for the new beauty. Congrats in advance.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 12:17   #8
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Default Re: Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
Hey gaurav!
Great write up! We are in a similar boat as well, with us replacing our fiesta TDCi. While we were looking at cars with a 20l budget, we've had to cut it down to 11-12l as well, and the contenders are the same.
I've seen all the cars unto 20l and in terms of the drive, I was only impressed with the vento. I thoroughly enjoyed it, except that found the steering fouled with my knee during gearshifts, thus making it very uncomfortable to drive.
Did you notice this?

I too found the steering acceptable, though a bit light. Took her unto 140 and was very happy with the stability as well. Just disappointed about the missing chrome bits in the interiors. They look very dull without them.

I have yet to drive the fiesta and the cruze, and will then decide. Neither of those dealers are offering me a TD as yet (been a few weeks). However, it seems as though our requirements and end result will be similar. We too have had fords for the past 11 years, but the new fiesta has only impressed me on paper. Still to get over the looks and price.
The verna and sx4 didn't even make the list as apart from the looks and engine, they had nothing else going for them. However am contemplating a used merc as well. Let's see how that works out.
Thanks lamborghini. The steering problem can be sorted out. I suggest you go again for a drive if you are considering the Vento. Pull it a bit out towards you and then raise the height - should solve the problem as this was the first adjustment i made on sitting in the car.

If you sit a lot in the rear, then i don't see how the Fiesta can help you out. Would like to read your take on its driving capabilities after you test it.
Used merc- that is an interesting option though a dicey one ! All the best

Quote:
Originally Posted by MAS View Post
Hi Gaurav

Great thread. I'm in the same boat as you and lamborgini. I have been using a Ford Fusion for almost 4 years now and looking at changing the car with a diesel sedan with an OTR upto 12 Lakhs.

I have short-listed the three cars + a Magnum. Being a car from a higher segment, Magnum is my first choice, followed by NFS and then the two V's. I'm planning to TD them this week and take a decision this week. I have a good friend working as SP in one of the Ford dealers. He is thoroughly demotivated with the NFS and he recommended a Fiesta Classic instead of NFS!!!

Lucky you, as you have come to a decision already. My best wises on owning the Vento. Looking forward to your ownership thread.

OT: Chennai was battered by heavy showers yesterday and many roads were completely inundated with water. Pot holes added to the mystery of road users. I drove my Fusion through the chaos without an iota of worry while other cars (including the Fluidic and the Vento, not the NFS as Ford has hardly sold any car) were finding it difficult to navigate. This has got me thinking if I should go in for a Safari instead. Just my thoughts.
Thanks MAS. I've always felt that the Fusion is a brilliant vehicle- the lack of proper marketing and a little bit of foul pricing has let it down. Even today, it has the potential to compete with the best of hatches. You would have to change your driving style a bit if you opt for one of these sedans after getting used to the Fusion- slow down at speed breakers, avoid bigger potholes since the Fusion absorbs them all with ease.
Happy hunting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Repsol View Post
A very nice and detailed write-up. Thanks for the same. So you have finally zeroed on the VW Vento. Waiting for your ownership report for the new beauty. Congrats in advance.
Thanks Repsol. Planning to take delivery in 2nd week of October.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 22:05   #9
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Default Re: Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression

Thanks for the detailed report Gaurav. Very well written!
So have you done the booking? When can we expect an ownership thread?
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Old 24th August 2011, 04:04   #10
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Default Re: Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression

Hey Gaurav!

Interesting writeup
Thanks for sharing your views.

Amongst NFF, Fluidic Verna and Vento, the Vento does seem to be the most complete car. The cabin didn't work for me at all, though.

The Fluidic isn't for anyone who wants high speed or spirited driving. Though the engine supports it, the body/chassis and suspension don't
The NFF's body/chassis and suspension are built for it, but alas, the engine doesn't have enough steam to do justice to it.
The Vento, though with the highest NVH and coarsest engine of the lot, seems to be better suited to high speed driving. The body/chassis, suspension and engine seem to have acceptable compromises, making it an overall good package for high speed driving.

I wonder why you gave up on TD the Magnum totally. It was a revelation for me. You may want to read about it on my ownership report. ( http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...let-optra.html (Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)) )

Happy Motoring!

Last edited by Poitive : 24th August 2011 at 04:13.
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Old 24th August 2011, 05:02   #11
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Default Re: Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression

I did TD the NFS today. Will post a detailed write up in appropriate thread as I don't want to hijack Gaurav's. In short

- liked the looks, finish and paint quality
- looks much better in flesh and IMO best in white & moonbeam silver
- interiors are not as bad as they have been bashed
- Gem of a chassis. Begs for a better engine
- NVH - Best in the class and may better a few segments above

But, overall disappointed with
- the way Ford has screwed up the pricing. If it were a Lakh cheaper, I might have considered it
- the fact that my next car is not going to be a Ford :-(
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Old 24th August 2011, 11:39   #12
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Default Re: Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Hey Gaurav!

Interesting writeup
Thanks for sharing your views.

Amongst NFF, Fluidic Verna and Vento, the Vento does seem to be the most complete car. The cabin didn't work for me at all, though.

The Fluidic isn't for anyone who wants high speed or spirited driving. Though the engine supports it, the body/chassis and suspension don't
The NFF's body/chassis and suspension are built for it, but alas, the engine doesn't have enough steam to do justice to it.
The Vento, though with the highest NVH and coarsest engine of the lot, seems to be better suited to high speed driving. The body/chassis, suspension and engine seem to have acceptable compromises, making it an overall good package for high speed driving.

I wonder why you gave up on TD the Magnum totally. It was a revelation for me. You may want to read about it on my ownership report. ( http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...let-optra.html (Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)) )

Happy Motoring!
Yes i agree that the Vento indeed has a noisy engine. But the overall package is such that it manages to do everything well.

Ruling out the Magnum was more of a decision taken by the rest of the family members. The general comment was that it is too dated and it doesn't give the feel that we have purchased a new expensive car!

In fact I really like the interiors of the Magnum-spacious and airy. Have driven it once- the engine is fantastic & responsive. The car feels planted at high speeds and oozes confidence. On the negatives i found the suspension a touch too soft and the steering was not as responsive.

Would read your ownership review in detail. Congrats on your new acquisition- you are going to have some wonderful times

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Thanks for the detailed report Gaurav. Very well written!
So have you done the booking? When can we expect an ownership thread?
Thanks vb. Yes i have booked the Vento
Would definitely post an ownership thread-that would be sometime around end October ! Can't wait to lay my hands on the beauty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MAS View Post
I did TD the NFS today. Will post a detailed write up in appropriate thread as I don't want to hijack Gaurav's. In short

- liked the looks, finish and paint quality
- looks much better in flesh and IMO best in white & moonbeam silver
- interiors are not as bad as they have been bashed
- Gem of a chassis. Begs for a better engine
- NVH - Best in the class and may better a few segments above

But, overall disappointed with
- the way Ford has screwed up the pricing. If it were a Lakh cheaper, I might have considered it
- the fact that my next car is not going to be a Ford :-(
Wow, your last line is a replica of my thoughts. The day i made the decision i was discussing the same thing with my family - my next car is not going to be a Ford !
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Old 24th August 2011, 13:39   #13
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Default Re: Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav911 View Post
Yes i agree that the Vento indeed has a noisy engine. But the overall package is such that it manages to do everything well.
Yes. It feels more complete than the other two. Especially for spirited driving.

Quote:
Ruling out the Magnum was more of a decision taken by the rest of the family members. The general comment was that it is too dated and it doesn't give the feel that we have purchased a new expensive car!
If I put the amount paid, year it was put in production aside, the actual feel of the car - the plush ride, finish, refinement of engine, blah blah, it 'felt' the most expensive car in the bracket. But it doesn't have bling, has been seen around on the road for ages (in one avatar or the other) and has lost appeal for many.

Quote:
In fact I really like the interiors of the Magnum-spacious and airy. Have driven it once- the engine is fantastic & responsive. The car feels planted at high speeds and oozes confidence. On the negatives i found the suspension a touch too soft and the steering was not as responsive.
Ah yes, the steering takes a tad longer to respond when compared to lighter cars. This one hits it's sweet range in triple digit figures, which is something not used on a daily basis. The suspension is wonderful - when you push it, it does a lot better than the bodyroll suggests.

Quote:
Would read your ownership review in detail. Congrats on your new acquisition- you are going to have some wonderful times
Thanks mate. The times have started. Enjoying every bit of this wolf.

Quote:
Thanks vb. Yes i have booked the Vento
Would definitely post an ownership thread-that would be sometime around end October ! Can't wait to lay my hands on the beauty!
Congrats mate! Looking forward to sharing the joy. It should be a lot of fun to drive. Had the cabin been more agreeable for my body and the Mangum not been in contention, I too may have gone in for the Vento. Was very enjoyable to drive.

Quote:
Wow, your last line is a replica of my thoughts. The day i made the decision i was discussing the same thing with my family - my next car is not going to be a Ford !
Ford really is loosing out, when they could have made a killing. Too docile an engine, price, not delivering (check Sugeeta's experience on the NFF thread) etc. Ford is loosing loyalists quickly.
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Old 24th August 2011, 16:38   #14
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Default Re: Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression

Congratulations on a sensible choice.
Vento is definitely the most fun to drive sedan in its segment. It has a superb engine which feels much more powerful and responsive than the Verna. I guess German horses are much stronger. Fiesta is not even in question. On the ride and handling department it is ages ahead of Verna. The NFS handles better due to its stiffer suspension but at low speeds the ride is comparatively harsh. The space in Vento is also much better than its competitors. The only grouse I have against Vento is the refinement and the old school ICE.
I agree with you on the feature list. It has got the important ones. Airbags, ABS, ACC, Rear AC vents, MID and an unending list of small but useful ones that SouravC is right now compiling. Practically speaking you dont need cruise control, voice activated controls, Foldable ORVM etc. What I would have liked is the extra 6th gear and 16" alloys.
Another myth is the steering is rubbish. I say the myth is rubbish. It just takes a few minutes to get accustomed to it. Although it is by no means as feelsome as a Fiat but more importantly it is quick and it is direct.
You are already an owner of Fiesta. How do you rate the ride of handling of Vento compared to it?
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Old 24th August 2011, 17:00   #15
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Default Re: Diesel Hunt - Fludic Verna Sx vs Vento Highline (Includes Fiesta First Impression

Right said Gaurav, Hyundai is more for sedate driving and straight roads than twisties. Vento has better in gear figures than most car's. The difference between the two is because of taller gearing in the Verna to give it better mileage.
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