Ford Fiesta Automatic Competition Check
The premium mid-size sedan segment already has a lot of great choices. But with the Fiesta upgraded with an automatic gearbox, the competition gets even more interesting
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The new automatic Fiesta (Read : Launch Report) may come touting a lot of features and a segment-first dual clutch gearbox, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have to contend with some great cars which make for some tough rivals. Some of these have been around for a while, while others are fairly fresh. But what might swing the vote in the favour of this new auto box sedan is the fantastic handling package it offers, making it the perfect enthusiasts’ car (Read : First Drive) and some pretty decent pricing, at least on the entry-level trim. Here’s a look at how all the automatics stack up.
Undoubtedly the Honda City has been the long standing king of this class, and a very aspirational car for most Indians. Even though it got attacked by the likes of the highly capable Volkswagen Vento and the well-endowed Hyundai Fluidic Verna, it still remains one of the most preferred buys in this segment. The powerful iVTEC engine is a gem in terms of tractability and refinement, and when coupled with the brilliant 5-speed automatic transmission, the results are even better.
Where the City (Read : Launch Report) takes a bit of a hit is the pricing, which at Rs 9.37 lakh for the non-sunroof version is a little on the steeper side, especially when you consider that it doesn’t offer as many toys as its competition. But you do get paddle shifters on the steering wheel so you can decide just how sportily, or economically, you want to drive. You also get good build quality and brilliant fit and finish all around. The City is light and nimble around town while the Fiesta exhibits better driving feel than one of Honda’s four proud pillars.
Price: Rs 9.37 lakh (City V AT) / Rs 10.22 lakh (City V AT Sunroof) – ex-showroom Delhi
Internationally, the Polo and the Fiesta are staunch rivals, especially in the European hatchback segment, and of course, their sedan counterparts which are made for India carry on that fight here as well. The Vento (Read : Volkswagen Vento vs Honda City) does feel like it wears the boot better than the Fiesta and even in terms of its interiors, offers more elegant surroundings. Driving feel is more solid from the Vento of course, though the Fiesta does edge over it in terms of steering feedback. But while it would be easier to favour the Vento in the manual transmission version, the argument might just sway a bit in favour of the Fiesta when you consider the auto boxes. The 6-speed unit in the Vento feels a little dated compared to the Fiesta’s new dual-clutch system, and the shift times tell this tale very well.
Price: Rs 9.21 lakh (Vento 1.6L Highline AT) - (ex-showroom Delhi)
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