Ford Fiesta vs Rivals: Competition Check

There are some seriously good competitors in the Indian sedan space, and the Fiesta makes for another addition with its own unique characteristics. Here's how they stack up against the values of the current competition

The all-new Fiesta is here, but it comes bang in the middle of some tough rivals. Some have been around for a while and made their mark on the minds of the masses, and others have just joined the fray attempting to top the competition. The new Fiesta (Read : New Ford Fiesta Launched) holds its own with some phenomenal road-holding and emerges as the new car for the enthusiast, but there still are departments where the others have things covered compared to the new entrant. Here’s the lowdown.

Honda City

The long standing king of the sedan class has had recent scares to its domination from the Volkswagen Vento, but it still remains one of the most favoured car when it comes to buyer choice. The ultra-refined yet powerful iVTEC engine is quite a gem, and is certainly one of the best engines out there in terms of performance on all fronts. The exterior styling and interiors of the City are also pretty non-controversial, a fact that has worked in its favour for a long time. The lack of a diesel option hurts the City (Honda City : Drive to Discover), and while it is light and nimble around town the Fiesta exhibits better driving feel than one of Honda’s four proud pillars.

Volkswagen Vento

The Polo vs Fiesta fight has been a long and hard one when to comes to European hatchbacks, and the respective three-box versions of the two cars for India are likely to carry on this battle. The Vento has an edge over the Fiesta in almost all departments – it has a design that accepts a boot much more gracefully, has classier interiors, presents a more solid feel to the driver and has the VW badge value. The Fiesta on the other hand is an easier drive around town especially in the diesel variant, and has a more refined petrol option. Young buyers may also be more attracted to the Fiesta’s “kinetic” interiors.

Hyundai Fluidic Verna

The latest entrant in the Indian sedan space has created quite a stir, and is set to be the first rival that the Fiesta will need to get past. The two are similar in some ways too, with global design cues and experimental interiors. The new Verna (New Hyundai Verna : First Drive) qualifies itself as a better city car though, with an easy steering and comfort-oriented suspension. The Fiesta on the other hand remains the choice for the enthusiast amongst the two, with better steering feel and a great balance between ride quality and handling. Four engine options on the Verna as opposed to the Fiesta’s two also give it a larger range to operate in terms of buyer’s budgets, which gives the Korean an added edge.

Maruti Suzuki SX4

The SX4 holds its own place in the sedan space, and remains the car of choice for buyers with faith in the Maruti brand. It is a competent product too, with a uniquely muscular design and appeal. The engine options on the SX4 (MSIL SX4 : First Drive) have expanded with the addition of the VGT-DDiS diesel mill too, and the diesel variant makes for a surprisingly practical and driveable car. Compared to the Fiesta, it lacks a solid feel behind the steering and a design that has begun to look somewhat dated. The ride quality is plusher but big body roll into corners makes it a handful while driving fast. The Fiesta on the other will sail through most corners and bumps at pace.

Fiat Linea

Fiat’s flagship sedan has also been a big contributor to the company’s resurgence in India. A looker by most standards, it definitely has the oomph and the glamour quotient needed to beat the Fiesta. While the Linea ( Fiat Linea TJet - First Drive) was at the forefront with introducing new user-tech on its cars with the Blue&Me etc, the Fiesta has gone one notch up with voice recognition for its controls. The Linea is not dull to drive either, with great feedback and road manners, irrespective of the manner in which it is driven – much like the Fiesta.

Chevrolet Optra Magnum

The dark horse of the segment has emerged as one of the best value-for-money deals around. Technically a car from a higher segment, GM’s smart pricing for the Optra-Cruze means there’s much more car to be had for the same price as compared to its rivals, which are a rung lower – be it space or engine capacity. The market is realizing this fact slowly, and the Optra Magnum could be the one unexpected spanned in the Fiesta’s works with its great VFM proposition and stunning performance.

Recommended Variant : Fiesta Titanium

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