Honda City vs Volkswagen Vento - Which is better?

Honda City was unchallenged from many years and enjoyed its premium car perception among cars buyers in India. However, post the Vento launch from Volkswagen, the story did start to change for the City.

Compare Honda City and Volkswagen Vento


Most Indian car buyers follow a linear approach when they upgrade, that is from a entry hatchback most of them would either move into premium hatch and then into a 3 box car or a sedan as these cars are known in common parlance. This is not to say that there are no customers who skip segments or jump parallel (i.e 3 Box Sedan to a Compact MUV or a Compact SUV). Segment wise numbers bear testimony to Indian car buyers linear movement while upgrading.

Honda City has been an undisputed leader in the sedan segment for many years, its leadership status was first dented to some extent by Maruti SX4 and with the Vento coming to Indian, City for the first time faced serious threat to its leadership position. With Vento’s arrival, Honda blinked and offered it’s new City with some additional features and a new Price Warrior called Honda City Corporate, till then Honda had a 4 variant policy (Normally E, S, SMT, VMT/AT) . As of today, both City and Vento are struggling with their petrol power plants. At least Vento has a diesel option which the New City does not. In an evvironment where petrol cars are under stress, we at www.ecardlr.com thought of going against the tide and pitching two very competent and capable petrol heads for a head to head comparison, for those die-hard petrol fans.


Individually both cars are a class apart and good looking enough to applaud their designers. Both the Honda New City and Volkswagen Vento look futuristic and have very sizable proportions in line with the sedan category car buyers requirement. But teh story changes teh moment one wear a comparison hat. Its quite obvious that both New City and Vento do not give much leeway to each other when it comes to comparing them on looks and Style.

Honda City looks futuristic in its flesh with theme of an arrow which is being shot from the bow. Dynamic lines, sharp edges and taut skinning not only make it classy to look at but also enhance the desirability quotient of car.

VW’s Vento, in comparison to City, is sa study in understatement, just like all German cars.  Front fascia of the Vento is adorned and accentuated by on its square-ish grille; global signature of VW brand of vehicles. Wrap around headlamps are sharp, sculpted, they along with large narrow air-dam adds to Vento overall elegance design theme.

Side perspective of New City is characterised by strong and sleek shoulder line extending which extends all the way to the rear of the cars. City with its blacked out B-pillars, stout haunches and coupe like tapering roof line makes the car look far ahead of its time. On the other hand Vento side profile contains the sharp creases running simultaneously and merging at rear end of the car. Slim B and C pillars adds to the cars sophistication, while steeply raked windscreens enhance Vento’s aerodynamics.

Rear belongs to the City, sharp lines on kink on the hood with chrome rear applique makes the City look more dynamic. Design theme of City resembling an arrow shape is complemented further by its tail lamps. Vento’s rear in comparison looks kind of outdated. Vento’s tail feels more squarish in shape. Overall Honda’s City will attract more attention though Vento is not very far behind, particularly for those wanting to stay away from any obvious presence.

*****                                                                      Vento: *****


Interior cabin of New Honda City as well Volkswagen Vento clearly reveals each cars strengths and weakness. While New City attracts with its layout of the interiors Vento leaps ahead with the quality dimension.

New City comes with two-tone black and beige upholstery with an aluminium finished centre console. Although quality of material is of high class it still fails to compete with the grains of material used in VW’S Vento. But when it comes to the laying out of the whole scheme City again takes the lead.  Dials of both the cars are superb to look at and also very intuitive due to their large size.

When it comes to space, both the cars are equally good with almost same wheelbase (Vento has an extra 2 mm). Front seats of the City are superbly bolstered though rear bench of the Vento has better thigh support. Knee room and legroom is almost same in both the cars with no perceptible difference that can be detected. In the headroom department City is slightly better than Vento

Overall inside storey of both the cars deserves equal marks as both have their own share of merits and grouses.

*****                                                                         Vento: *****


City comes with 1.5 L, 4-cylinder breathing through 16 valves with help of single overhead cam supported by patented i-VTEC technology. Power is rated at 118 PS@6600 RPM while the max torque of 146 Nm is doled out @ 4800 rpm.  Vento, on the other hand, is powered by 1.6 L, 4-cylinder inline engine breathes through 16 valves mounted on double overhead camshaft. Power figures standS at 105 PS while torque of 153 Nm@3800 rpm is produced by this German mill.

Comparing these cars head-on head on there is little to doubt about the superiority of New City power mill over the Vento’s engine. With state of art technology, it delivers scintillating performance along with good overall mileage figures. Idle is ultra smooth and very refined. Low end response is quite sufficient and City moves with great alacrity. Drivability is good and you can tackle the traffic in third gear, however even a shorter third gear would have made it superb car to drive.

The 1.6 L Vento engine too is smooth and refined but falls too short when you compare it to  Honda’s  i-VTEC engine which is still a benchmark in mid size saloon category. It also boasts of good drivability but it’s not in the league of the New City. Similar result is shown by mid range where City’s rev counter shows no hesitation in approaching the top end of the counter. In contrast, Vento has let up in power generation as it approaches the red mark on the rpm front. Free revving nature of City’ heart can be ascertained from the power figures which are generated at much higher rpm in case of City than in Vento.

Both engines are mated with 5-speed manual transmission and both conform to the standards of benchmark. However Vento’s gear lever, due to its unique shape, is far more enjoyable than the City in gear shift experience.

City: *****                                                                               Vento: *****     


New City uses McPherson strut up front and torsion beam at the rear. In case of Vento, hardware used up front is same as of City’s though the rear has semi independent trailing arm.

Tyres of City are shroud with 175 mm wide rubber with aspect ratio of 65 while Vento is endowed with 185 mm of wide rubber with aspect ratio of 60. City’s ride though is compliant in nature. Vento shows better finesse in dealing with the undulations especially at slow speeds. Also Vento’s soft suspension settings make it more comfortable riding proposition than City.

But on handling front City claws back its lost ground as it shows better tendency to remain in its line even during the hard cornering. Stiff chassis of City means most of time city retains its composure. There are hints of body roll and under steer but these are far more perceptible in Vento’s than in City.

*****                                                           Vento: *****


City starts from the price tag of 7.82 lakh while Vento’s retailing begins with 7.45lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). So on value for money (VFM) front Vento has some advantage over the City.

However the big picture comprising the evaluation of both the cars on various dimensions, you feel there is still some extra finesse that Japanese are able to infuse in the City. No doubt Vento is also a commendable offering from VW but when pitted right against the City, it feels a little subdued. As a complete package, City is still very hard to beat as it has more sophistication than any other segment contender.  Only thing that can go against this superb all-rounder sedan is absence of diesel variant and in fact Vento had beaten City many times on basis of this limitation only. We at ecardlr.com believe that all the New City needs is an efficient , refined and responsive diesel plant just like its petrol counterpart to regain its lost glory. If market rumours are to be believed, the same is expected as early as 2013 Oct. Till then petrol heads have a great car in the New City.

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