Hero Splendor iSmart vs Honda Dream Neo: Comparison review
The great Indian commuter segment. It’s not an aspirational product category. It’s not even a segment that ushers in great new designs or technologies. But, it is very popular; the most popular, in fact.
Wait a minute. Did we say no new technologies? Well, we stand corrected, because if there’s anything new connected with fuel economy, it does make its appearance here first. And now, we have a couple more. Okay, these technologies aren’t new (actually one isn’t even a technology; it’s more an amalgamation of improved parts and processes), but it is new for the bike space, in India.
Meet the new Splendor iSmart and the Dream Neo. These are products from two exes – Hero and Honda – and both claim to have set a new benchmark in fuel efficiency terms thanks to iSmart and HET. You can read about the Splendor iSmart in more detail here, but in a nutshell, the Splendor now gets start/stop tech which cuts the engine when the bike stops for over five seconds and then fires it up when the rider is ready to move. This in turn is supposed to improve fuel economy.
HET or Honda Eco Technology on the other hand, isn’t really a technology. What Honda has done is to fine tune some of its parts and processes relating to the engine and the combustion process to yield better, more efficient running of the engine. This has also helped improve the fuel economy.
So, let’s get the fuel efficiency bit out of the way first. Honda claims 74kmpl for the Dream Neo, while Hero has stayed away from claiming any figures for the iSmart. In the real world, on our fuel economy test route with over a dozen signals and medium traffic density, the Splendor iSmart returned 71kmpl. The Dream Neo managed 69kmpl. The difference, as you can tell, isn’t well… telling enough.
Now that we know fuel efficiency isn’t really the deciding factor between these bikes, let’s see how they compare as products.