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Old 24th November 2011, 01:02   #1
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Default Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

5000... 5500...6000...6500... Bliss

<Disclaimer: All views expressed for/against a car here are entirely mine and are not intended to hurt anyone or challenge any beliefs. No car is perfect and we simply go with what makes sense to us most.>

Characters:

Honda City 1.5 iVtec - Urban Titanium
195/60 R15 Michelin Primacy LCs
Aftermarket Alloys

Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec - Paprika Red
185/65 R14 Michelin XM1+
BMC DIA Cold Air Intake revision from Red Rooster
Headers and Free Flow Exhaust from Red Rooster
Changes Due: Tyre upgrade and RD ECU

Background:

Back in May 2010, I was hunting for a car with one single criteria - a driver's car. Resale, space, gadgets, looks et all didn't really matter.
A lot of test drives, comparisons and TeamBhp time and the list was narrowed down to two - Cedia and Fiesta 1.6.
Several factors, mostly non-automotive, and the Fiesta 1.6 came home in Paprika Red.

Come 2011 and we were hunting for another sedan. This time, the criteria was slightly extended to include Reliability and Service. Ofcourse, being a Driver's car was the default ask. Space, gadgets, looks et all didn't matter this time either.

Contenders:


The scene had changed a little bit since with the old warrior Cedia all but disappearing from the scene with Southern Motors closing down and there was a new entrant jousting for attention - The Fiat Linea T-Jet. GTO's T-Jet review came out and it seemed to have just what I was looking for. So began a series of T-Jet test drives - really long ones. The T-Jet was impressive; great high speed handling, strong mid range, impeccable road poise and manners and a hydraulic steering unit that connected well with the driver. But, I still preferred the Fiesta's agility - smaller turning radius and a sharper, quicker steering meant that the Fiesta was much more chuckable in the city while being just as fun on the highway. We did consider a second Fiesta 1.6 - but ruled it out as it one doesn't really buy cars in pairs do they!
Then came the round of petrol price hikes and I started looking at diesels seriously. First came the Vento Tdi - loved the build quality, interior fit and finish and the engine. The ride was pliant and the handling acceptable. The EPS steering was just about manageable and clearly not in the league of the Fiesta/Linea. What was a major turn off though was the attitude of the showroom folks. They were absolutely disinterested in explaining the car or offering a test drive. And kept emphasizing on the long waiting list as if that one piece of fact was supposed to blow me away into buying it. The test drive itself was too short and to be honest, a wee bit more noisy then I would have liked. I waited for the sales folks to get back to me - just to gauge their seriousness towards a customer. Never happened. And that was the end of the Tdi.

By then, rumours of the 2011 Fiesta started looking serious. Did a bit of search on the global Fiesta and every single review I read couldn't stop praising the handling or the engine. And there was going to be a 1.6 diesel to boot! So that was that then - we wait for the Global Fiesta and book.

In the meantime, the fluidic Verna was launched with an exhaustive list of trims and variants. Although never a fan of the old Verna's handling or road manners, I was told that this new one is built on a completely new platform and doesn't have any of the old Verna's quirks. And more BHP. Alright then, no harm in a test drive I think and call up the nearest Hyundai showroom. And boy, what a change in attitude from Volkswagen! The sales guy was very patient, polite and asked when I wanted a test drive and where right away. They call back right when I ask them to and confirm place/time of the TD. The car comes at the promised time and I decide to take it onto some open roads. And I was severely disappointed. The steering was lifeless and dead, it understeered like crazy and the less said about high speed stability the better. I failed to notice all the extra horses either. It was loaded to the grill with features and looks fresh but was designed with a sedate driver in mind. Clearly this was not the car we wanted and we moved on. The customer focus of the Hyundai sales force though, left a big impression.

The Global Fiesta arrived with a de-tuned for India engine and not-made-for-India price. Superlative handling apart, nothing in the new Fiesta seemed worthy of being the costliest C segment sedan. With a heavy heart I let this pass.

An unexpected player came into the picture courtesy a much deserved price cut - the Honda City. I never looked at this seriously despite the well praised engine because of its handling and steering feedback. And I thought it was 75k overpriced. But a friend asked for a suggestion between Verna and City petrols - I suggested the City and got involved in the discussions with the Dealer only to realize there's almost a lakh's discount running on the city! Suddenly, it seemed VFM like never before! Now this car will be used mainly by my younger brother and by my Dad occasionally - how important is handling for them I ask myself. Not as important as a good deal is the answer and a Urban titanium City comes home!

Attaching some snaps - I am a complete noob at photography so please excuse the quality/standard of these:
Attached Thumbnails
Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec-dscn1955.jpg  

Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec-dscn1937.jpg  

Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec-dscn1953.jpg  

Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec-dscn1946.jpg  

Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec-dscn1965.jpg  


Last edited by niranjanrvce : 15th February 2012 at 19:44.
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Old 15th February 2012, 21:39   #2
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: City 1.5 iVtec Vs Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

The Duel:

Exteriors:
Absolutely no contest here. I like the Fiesta's traditional lines and no nonsense, simplistic approach to design. But the City just blows it away with it's arrowhead design that makes it, in my opinion, still the best looking C segment sedan on sale. The front is futuristic and the design philosophy carries just so well into the angular arches and shooting-forward side stance. The rear is a bit of a let down but the 2012 City addresses that thus completing the package. At some point, I will end up changing my taillights with the new led ones.

Interiors:
Now this is a bit of a mixed bag. Fiesta seems to have better interior quality - soft touch dashboard, well put together hud and nice overall plastic quality. Everything seems built to last and there are no rattles after 25k+ kms over some of the worst roads in Karnataka. City on the other hand could definately have used some soft touch materials. The quality isn't bad, but it just doesn't 'feel' premium. However, neither cars are class leading in this aspect.
Space on the other hand is a completely different story. The City's front seats are fantastic and offer excellent lumbar and lower back support. Ergonomics are good and you will find a comfortable driving position in a jiffy thanks the useful driver seat height adjust. However, don't be surprised if you bang your head against the roof if you are slightly on the taller side. The fiesta offers comfortable seats but they feel one size smaller to the City's. Fiesta's seat height adjust is a sad joke. Now, most of the time, either car will have a max of 1 co-passenger. So rear space was never a big need for me. But for the times we have had 4+ people in the car, the City is infinitely more spacious and comfortable. The rear bench is a sofa with excellent lean back angle, an useful arm rest, generous head and leg room and pliant ride. The Fiesta had good bolstering at the back but the legroom can get tight and fitting 3 in is a bit of a squeeze. At low speeds, the City's ride is just fantastic even over broken roads. A combination of soft suspension +soft tyres I guess.However, at speeds, Fiesta's rear ride quality is definitely better of the two. Undulations and uneveness in the road don't make their presence felt and generally, the rear passengers won't know what speeds you are doing.

Let's get to the important parts:

Engine:

I will start with the Fiesta. That 1.6 is absolute magic. Incredible throttle response and drivability form a heady combination - just tap the accelerator and you get going instantly. Absolutely no delay whatsoever. Slam the accelerator and hold it there - post 4k, all the way upto 7k, this engine will sing a tune that you just can't forget. You will find yourself constantly doing 90 in the second gear just to hear the sweet growl. Don't feel like it and want to relax? No problem, lug around at 20 in the third and she feels at home. Infact, 3rd gear is a de facto automatic in city traffic. The car hits its top speed in 4th and 5th gears and here's the best part - when the revv limiter cuts in at its top speed; it will surprise you everytime. The engine feels like it could have done a lot more even at those revs. Engine has a neat anti-stall feature (or should I say the ECU has?) and it will lug along at 15 in 2nd with no pedal input at all. Not that I use this much! I will come to the effect the CAI and FFE mods have had later.

Now the City. I had read a lot about the iVtec and its class leading acceleration and just couldn't wait till the run-in was done with. Well, by the time I got the City home, I already had a CAI and FFE on the Fiesta so I am not sure if it's an effect of that but; the City has so far been a bit of a disappointment. The engine is lovely - you can feel the vtec kick in post 3.5-4k and there is definite surge. But what takes the game away are two things - low end response and throttle response. There's a hint of a delay when you slam the accelerator before she begins to move and I don't like that at all. And the low end is clearly tuned for mileage - nothing, absolutely nothing happens till the vtec kicks in. Most of the power comes so far up the rev range that by the time it kicks in, I am bored of waiting! I just give up the idea of having fun and go back to shifting at a sedate 3.5-4k. It does get loud post 4k but not in a bad way. There's a nice deep humm, not quite mini-racecar like the Fiesta but nice nevertheless. Is the City fast on open roads, in a straight line, in the hands of a good driver? Absolutely. Is it fast in real life conditions - not as much as the figures say it should be. Am I being fooled by the City's speed masking abilities? Nope. Same road, same point, I know I have hit higher speeds in the Fiesta. Everytime. Just for comparison sake. The engine's anti-stall feature is quite well implemented and you can forget slipping the clutch even in the worst bumper to bumper conditions. And I do use this a lot in City traffic on this car.

Handling:
The City's achilles heel was supposed to be its handling - so I go get 195 sections right on delivery hoping it will help. To be honest, they have I guess but since I never drove much with 175s, it's hard to tell. The handling is quite predictable and never makes you feel out gunned. I believe the chassis is in fact very taut, it's the suspension that doesn't quite match up. High speed stability is acceptable - nothing to worry at 120, slightly jumpy above that. Undulations do unsettle it a bit and it's best slow down when you see the road isn't levelled out well. Body roll sets in but in a manageable manner. What's the fly in the ointment? The steering. NO feedback. None. zilch. It hurts to write this. What would I not give to have a good hydraulic setup on that can talk to me! There is no real dead center worry like the Verna but it's doesn't quite weigh up and isn't as direct as you would like. Again, a hint of delay in steering response exists and you will not really go doing a series of quick corrections around fast corners with confidence.
I drove the City up the ghats on the way to Udupi (a route I have done many times with the Fiesta) and around it (Hebri-Agumbe-sringeri stretch). While it was competent and never gave me much of a scare, it definitely wasn't home or enjoyed being thrown into corners with just the engine braking on.

The Fiesta. Well, where do I start. The steering is pure magic. Absolute magic. It talks to you, obeys you, commands you, chides you and turns you into a giggling fool with the slightest hint of a bend in the road. You know where your wheels are. All the time. Even if you don't want to! Oh look, that pebble went under my left front tyre but missed my left rear. See what I mean? The chassis feels like it can take an engine twice the current one. The suspension is built for speeds. Understeer? Well try and make it. It's just point and shoot really. Faster you go, better the ride! I regularly do charmadi-kudremukh-sringeri-agumbe-thirthalli stretches and the car is such an absolute delight on the curves that you end forgetting everything else. You get home, still grinning like a fool, lay down and then realize just how much you have made your arms work. The car's handling capabilities are way over what an average driver can ever exploit. And the best part is - the car will remind you of this everytime. The only sore point, especially with the recent mods, are the 185 XM1+s that are quite ordinary and squeal like rats for miles on end. An upgrade is due but I want to stick to 14s and that seems hard to find.

I want a sedate drive with my parents on relatively straight highways? I pick the City to go. I am not too inclined on being sedate or there are some twisties on the way? I take the Fiesta.

Braking:
Adequate in both. Have had some quick braking situations and have never felt a lack of bite. ABS has kicked in on occasions in both cars.

Mileage:
You think I would monitor this seeing as I bought not one but two petrols? No accurate data about this folks, sorry. The City hud shows around 12 most of the times I have seen it. City DTE shows 550+ on tankup. Fiesta DTE shows 450 on a tank up (45 litres). That's all I know.

Service Costs:
Fiesta has had 5 services. No big repairs. Just minor things here and there. City has had 2 free services so far. Almost equal service costs I would say. Although, I can look up the exact figures if someone wants me to.

Other minor stuff:
- The Fiesta has separate bulbs for low and high beam (H7 and H1) and with Osram nightbreakers in; there provide adequate illumination even in the ghats. The City's single H4 is woefully inadequate and putting in a Nightbreaker didn't help. I am looking for better options.
- The city has one cabin light. Fiesta has 5 - useful when just the rear passenger wants to look for something.
- City was fitted with artificial leather seats after market and they feel quite nice. Fiesta's OEM leather seats are dirt magnets and a pain to maintain.
- City's boot seems to be more cavernous but has a higher loading lip. Both boots do well enough for my usage - 3-4 day trips with 4 people or airport runs.
- City has run 6k+ kms in 5 months and Fiesta has run 25k+ kms in 17 months.
- I like the City's wipers more. Don't know why.
- I like the City's stalk arrangement - Fiesta's reversed stalks are not quite natural.
- Fiesta's wiper speed control is just fantastic: intermittent (7 adjustments!), medium and high. City has the usual wiper speed control .
-Special mention to City's seats again - absolutely lovely place to be in in terms of comfort.
- With the co-passenger seat fully pushed front; the City turns into a limo. Serious. Same thing in the Fiesta? It turns into half a C segment sedan. Serious.
- Both will hit large humps when fully loaded. Proceed with caution in B'lore
- Fiesta's suicide mudflaps have committed.. well suicide. One of them on a team-bhp trip to Nandi hills. I don't plan on replacing them.
- City has a seat belt warning. Also a key left in warning. Useful
- Both have a headlights on warning if you open the door and remove key from ignition with lights on.
- Tyre noise is absolutely zero in the City. PLCs are as quiet as they come.
- AC is powerful on both cars. B'lore isn't the ideal City to test an AC though.
- Fiesta blower is very noisy. Irritatingly noisy. Play music.
- Ah music, Fiesta OEM system way better than the City's. No planned upgrades on wither.
- City's steering controls are very useful. You feel like James Bond when operating them: if only they were controls to an invisibility cloak or rocket launchers
- 3M paint treatment and waxoyl underbody treatment (that tar like thingie) on Fiesta. Pending to be done on City
- Lumar sunfilms on City installed at showroom during delivery for free. 3M sunfilms on Fiesta aftermarket
- I got Michelin XM1+ OEM with the City - exchanged for PLCs and alloys at Sai Iyenger's in Indiranagar. Ashwin there does balancing,alignment for both cars as well.
- One of the PLCs had a small cut in the City at max speed of maybe 40 in bumper to bumper traffic! Still can't figure out how. Got it repaired and using it as strictly as a spare now.

Next: Red rooster and the Fiesta!

Last edited by niranjanrvce : 15th February 2012 at 21:44.
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Old 16th February 2012, 13:46   #3
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th February 2012, 14:39   #4
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Congrats on the City! Very detailed and well written comparison. Though it feels like you are partial to the Fiesta, you have tried to give an unbiased view on both the cars. And what a place to stop writing. Waiting for the next installment of Red Rooster. Please put it up soon!!
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Old 16th February 2012, 14:42   #5
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Simply amazing write up

This is one thread from heart of a true petrolhead. Though I'm a Ford fan, I love Honda City. Unlike the Ford, City is a very carefully packaged car, targeted at all kinds of customers. It would not disappoint a customer who's looking for Toyota ease & comfort or Ford fun or even both. City, in my opinion, has got the best looks in India. Space age looks and yet timeless design.

I absolutely loved the way you wrote. Your pics are fantastic. Your style of clicking pics makes me want for more pics. Please post at least 15 more, comparing City and Fiesta.

I'm already waiting for your next thread, Red rooster vs the Fiesta (though I'm still trying to guess which car is Red rooster). Happy revving and rolling!
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Old 16th February 2012, 15:01   #6
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilsCry View Post
I'm already waiting for your next thread, Red rooster vs the Fiesta (though I'm still trying to guess which car is Red rooster). Happy revving and rolling!
Red Rooster is a performance tuning house in Bangalore. Niranjan has changed the Air Filter to a Cold Air Intake and a Calibrated Free flow exhaust on his Fiesta.
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Old 16th February 2012, 15:08   #7
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Hi, My wishes on your cars. I really enjoyed reading this thread. Well scripted article.

I am not sure whether it is too much to ask as you have only test driven the T-jet. How do you compare it with City in terms of handling?
I see that you would have chosen Fiesta over T-jet based on your feedback. But did you pit T-jet against City before deciding on City? As T-jet was also available with hefty discounts during those days.
Regards,
Dinesh
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Old 16th February 2012, 15:10   #8
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Congratulations on getting the Honda City.

Very well written review. I agree with most of your points. Your garage has two most desirable C segment sedans. Enjoy and drive safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post
Mileage:
City DTE shows 550+ on tankup. Fiesta DTE shows 450 on a tank up (45 litres). That's all I know.
!
City's tank capacity is 42 liters and if it is showing 550+ on tank up then it is way fuel efficient than Fiesta. My gives City 15+ in town as per RTMI.
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Old 16th February 2012, 15:17   #9
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Congrats on the city. Its definitely a VFM car now. The fiesta is a hoot to drive, especially the now discontinued 1.6S.

OT, Seeing your ID, did you go to RVCE? If yes, which batch (graduating year I mean)?
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Old 16th February 2012, 15:23   #10
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

I am sure you will come to appreciate the Honda more and more with time. Also, it is the King where economy is concerned. After having a Civic for a year and a half, I now regret having bought an Accent 1.5 when I should have bought the City 1.3 (the 1.5 was out of my budget) back in 2002.
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Old 16th February 2012, 15:31   #11
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Thanks everyone for the wishes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ndinesh View Post
I am not sure whether it is too much to ask as you have only test driven the T-jet. How do you compare it with City in terms of handling?
Dinesh
Oh the T-Jet is in a different league if compared in terms of handling alone. Between a T-Jet and Fiesta it comes down to personal preferences but between a T-Jet and a City, there's no comparison. T-Jet has much better grip through the corners, has a beauty of a hydraulic setup and better highway manners and high speed stability. My only grouse with the Jet was its high turning radius.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
City's tank capacity is 42 liters and if it is showing 550+ on tank up then it is way fuel efficient than Fiesta. My gives City 15+ in town as per RTMI.
Yup, there's no doubt that City is more fuel efficient. In fact, I would guess the difference to be 2-3 kmpl or more. (50% city, 50% highway)

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivasuma View Post
OT, Seeing your ID, did you go to RVCE? If yes, which batch (graduating year I mean)?
Yes I did! 2003-07. Seems like a long time ago though. Why do you ask?

Folks, I will try and pen down the Red rooster experiences in the evening. Apologies for the delay.
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Old 16th February 2012, 15:32   #12
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Good neat writeup. Like the way you segmented tested and reviewed the petrol beauties.

Couple of your points I might disagree with you

a) High Speed stability doesn't just disappear at 120. Have driven my city at 160+ on NH17 ghats. Didnt feel flustered at all.

b) I drive with OEM 175's XM have never scrapped at bottom

I'm with you on

a) Stock headlight are a disaster on highway. Got HID's on mine

b) Absolutely zero feedback from steering but I got used to it

These are my personal opinion no offend meant. By the way you are better in photography than me
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Old 16th February 2012, 16:02   #13
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Good write up niranjanrvce . have you ever driven a Fiesta 1.4?

I'm looking for a pre owned fiesta, i'm in no hurry. the market is flooded with Fiesta 1.4 between 2 and 3 lakhs.

The fiesta 1.6 not easily available, the fiesta 1.6S noways no one is selling it.

I do not require the car for more than 5000km in a yr, it will be my 2nd car.

so according to you how is the fiesta 1.4 and which tyres suit it the best?
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Old 16th February 2012, 18:30   #14
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Nice comparison. Good write up. I can relate to your Agumbe Ghat experiences. Been traveling on that stretch for 3 decades and been driving on that stretch for a decade. Been driving my, now 8yr old, Ikon 1.6. And every time I drive on that ghat its a new experience. An awesome one. Only trouble I have with Ford on that ghat is when I have heavy bags in the trunk. The rear bumper invariably brushes the road on that ghat. This with no passengers in the rear seat.
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Old 16th February 2012, 21:19   #15
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Default Re: Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec

Fiesta and Red Rooster:

<Disclaimer: I won't use any names from the Red Rooster team although I know them well now- I don't know if they will be comfortable with me doing that.>

Back in Oct 2010 the Fiesta had run 5k and I was looking at mod options. One day I get a mail advertising about Red Rooster's Power Drive package for cars and call up the number listed. They ask me to drive down to their expansive workshop in Whitefield.
I drive down that very day and am amazed by the scale and depth of the workshop. Go through GTO's thread on them if your keen on a closer look at their workshop. Anyway I am told Power Drive Package consists of BMC DIA cold air intake, a free flow exhaust and a Fuel Pressure Regulator. I am not too sure about the FFE I say. I don't want a loud car. It won't be they say. I am not convinced and decide to hold that off. Now, the FPR - what does it do again? I listen to their explanation and decide against going for it.

Now all that remains is the CAI. There are two types - DIA and CDA. CDA is the costlier one with carbon fiber body for the filter. DIA has black plastic body. I ask them about the difference and if CDA is worth the extra bucks and I get a honest answer - no real difference in performance, go for the CDA if you want a carbon fiber body for some particular reason or else the DIA will do the job just fine. I give the go ahead for the DIA and they promptly begin work. In the meantime, I take a walk around the workshop to stand and gape at a few TC'ed Cedias, Red Rooster's own Rally prep Cedia, a TC'ed Accord and a about to be TC'ed Swift.

I then take a jolly ride in one of their own turbo charged swifts that was running Tein Super street suspension and boy was that fun! I have owned a Swift before but this didn't feel like the same car at all. Big kick in the back when the turbo spooled up and handling as if it was on rails. I end up thinking if it makes more sense to buy a used Swift and blow it then buy a new car for the same money.

In the meantime, my car is ready and I take a test drive. There is a noticeable difference in how cleanly it pulls through the rev range but nothing too significant. The intake sound though is something else - it isn't the sound of an exhaust, or of the engine spinning away but something like a big bad beast making a long drawn growl. I loved it. It wasn't too loud but when you accelerate hard it makes it presence felt. And it stays with you post 4k. The post installation picture is attached below.

I drive the car around for another 10k+ kms and go back to them with two issues - the re-breather tube was not plugged back into the new intake and the filter body was touching the hood under some conditions. They promptly take the car in, completely re-do the plumbing for the air intake by taking off the now defunct OEM airbox and attach the re-breather tube. They also open the filter and clean it up thoroughly. About 3 hours of effort. Cost? Zero. It was their job to make sure what they install runs perfectly they say. I am impressed.

The itch for more power came back to bite me a few days after that. I call up Race Dynamics and inquire about a standalone/piggyback ECU for the Fiesta. I am told it can be done but the gains would be much better if there is an FFE to go with the CAI. So back to Red Rooster then!

I ask for an FFE with max gains and minimum sound. I also tell them that I love the driveability and linear acceleration of the Fiesta and this shouldn't compromise them. Can be done is the reply and they come to pick up the car from my place in the morning and I go there post my office work to pick it up. They used a 4x2x1 setup with a custom end can. The gains are much more noticeable now and the car feels happier than ever up the rev range. Fiesta always had good low end torque but now it's gone two notches higher. I get a lot of wheel spin under hard acceleration and if you stomp the A pedal in the 1st gear, you will struggle to control the torque steer. The car hits its top end faster and is even more fun overall. The sound though exists quite prominently post 2.5k itself and at around 5k, every single dog in the vicinity will be chasing your car. I was a bit uncertain initially on whether I can live with a constantly loud car but with time I have fallen in love with it. There isn't much difference with windows up and music on in bumper to bumper traffic and when in the mood you get a front seat ticket to sweet sweet music.

After driving the car around for a few hours, I notice a very distinct grating sound from the front. Wasn't very sure what and came home for the day, parked the car and forgot about it. The next day, I start taking the car out only to notice a oil spill from underneath.I bend to check down and it looks like the gearbox oil is leaking. I call for Ford's towing service as I didn't want to risk driving the car without sufficient tranny fluid. FORD service takes the car up, investigate and find out that the drive shaft has been put the wrong way! And that caused the gasket in the tranny fluid box to get lose and start leaking oil.I call up Red rooster and inform about this and they are apologetic about it and offer to pay for repairs. I refuse and ask them to just give me a discount next time I am there.

A few months after the FFE install, I started hearing a very loud rattle between 800 to 1100 rpms in all gears. Took it to Red Rooster, they take a look and see that the OEM latch in the middle of the exhaust has broken. I can't fathom how that could have happened and thank my stars it showed when I was in the city and not on a long trip. They weld it back in place and I come back with problem solved.

A week later and the rattle is back! But this time it isn't too prominent. I take it back to Red Rooster and they haul the car up and determine it to be a loose spring bolt in the mid section of the exhaust. They replace the bolts, tighten them and I take it out for a test drive. I don't see the rattle anymore although there is some mild vibrations at maybe 950rpm. But you would have to listen very carefully to be able to detect it. I was in a hurry anways and decide to ignore it for the moment. The car runs fine but with the mild vibration as described above. Maybe when I have time again, I can go back to get it rectified.

Please note that they didn't charge me for any of the repairs performed above.

Overall am I happy with Red Rooster's customer service? Yes. Would I have liked lesser issues to crop up? Yes. Would I go back to them? Yes. One thing is for sure, you tamper with the car in anway, a chance of some issues cropping up does exist and a bit of patience is needed to iron them out.
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Petrol Siblings: Honda City 1.5 iVtec Vs Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec-02022011188.jpg  

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