Honda City automatic vs Volkswagen Vento automatic: Comparison
Automatics are definitely catching on. With congested roads and insufferable traffic, automatic cars seem to be the answer for hassle free driving. And, the latest in the ever increasingly portfolio of automatic cars in India is the New Honda City AT. But to see how good it is, we have the Volkswagen Vento TSI for comparison - both good cars; both with modern, refined and fuel efficient drivetrains; but only one winner.
Efficient automatics, meanwhile, is a recent occurrence. Going back in time, the older generation automatic transmissions were a far cry from the new-age auto boxes, which struggled to cut a niche in India. This, of course, was also because the technology back then wasn’t up to the mark. Most old-school automatic gearboxes were slow and cumbersome; these guzzled fuel; were inefficient; and as a result were expensive to run compared to manuals. The only reason why anyone thought of buying an automatic car back then was because of their inability to let go of the clutch pedal, correctly.
Thankfully, over the years technology has improved considerably, and with the introduction of dual clutch gearboxes and improved CVTs, automatic transmission (AT) has managed to shake off all the vices it was once associated with. Modern ATs have not just become better to drive but have also become cost-effective and more efficient. In fact, the DSG on the Volkswagen Vento TSI can outsmart most drivers; while the new Honda City CVT delivers higher fuel economy than its manual twin; According to ARAI the City AT returns 18kmpl while City manual gives 17.8kmpl. So suddenly, Indian car buyers have woken up to this segment and automatics are rolling out of showrooms faster than one would have predicted, say five years ago.
Up-close, the new Honda City AT and Volkswagen Vento TSI follow completely different approach of manufacturing and styling. The City is more modern and trendy, with sharp creases and shoulder lines. With swept back headlights and a large solid chrome grille — it appears to be a lot flashier and youthful. The Vento follows a more purist design, with subtle lines and minimalist approach. One has to admit that the simpler and understated Volkswagen will age more gracefully. The attention to detail by the German brand is excellent — right from the almost perfect gaps between the body parts and panels — to the boot-lid which comes evenly-layered even from the inside. The City, on the other hand, has its wires and cables exposed due to improper carpeting of the boot lid.