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New Ford Fiesta vs Honda City Road Test Comparison Review

We pit new Fiesta against Honda city in this road test comparison review. Here’s our verdict.


New Ford Fiesta vs Honda City Road Test Comparison

At the outset it may seem a bit unfair to pit new Ford Fiesta against Honda City but then whom do you blame for this other than Ford. By pricing Fiesta right at the doorsteps of City purchase point, Ford has expressed unmistakable hostility towards its Japanese counterpart. In automobile circles this move is widely seen as Ford’s biting more than it can actually chew though this Blue Oval seems quite confident to take head on with current segment leader Honda City. In its latest avatar Ford has tried hard to make Fiesta more desirable by upgrading its styling, design, interiors, equipment, features and overall quality. As a result of all these efforts new Fiesta indeed feels like a notch above its predecessor though there is only diesel engine that this 2014 Fiesta comes with. Decision of dropping petrol heart in this crucial C-segment category where price sensitivity is a bit abated compared to lower segments, is really hard to swallow down. On other hand Honda has shown no such reluctance as City comes equipped with power petrol as well as diesel heartthough Ford feels that they can manage this bout with diesel only. So in order to have the records straight, we take diesel versions of both Fiesta and City, pit them against each other and here’s our verdict. 
 
HOW THEY LOOK LIKE
 
Ford Fiesta, new kid on block, comes with heavily revamped exterior that makes the car look impeccably elegant. Large multi-slated hexagonal grille flanked by swept back headlamps equips Fiesta with fluidity that is hard to find on any other car of its class. In profile view too, Fiesta maintains its design coherence with back to back upward rising character lines. Alloy wheels fitted in subtly beefed up wheel arches further enhance the beauty of Ford Fiesta. Rear portion now feels less bulky in Fiesta upgrade than it used to be in older version. Fiesta designers have done a nice job to mask the excess of flab though a dead on rear third quarter view still sends signal of a bit chubby boot. Integrated lip in trunk opener is a nice touch and so is the wrap around split tail lamps.

               

Like new FordFiesta, Honda City impresses us with its beauty quotient too. New design ethos has converted Honda City into more mature and elegant lady. There are oodles of premium feel that new City comes with. Be it large chunky chrome slat featuring right at frontage of City or the rear split wrap around tail lamps; Honda City has upped its game in every bit and byte of the design aspect. Sculpted bumpers gel seamlessly with dynamic design of City though puny tyres do spoil the party a bit. 
 
               
 
On dimensional front, Honda city dwarfs visibly compact Ford fiesta on all fronts except the width where Fiesta scores advantage with its wide 1764 mm footprints compared to 1695 mm of City. Honda City is considerably longer than Fiesta and trumps Fiesta in height department too. On crucial parameter of wheelbase Honda City wins hand down with its 2600 mm measurement compared to 2489 mm featured by new Fiesta. Honda clings on to its space advantage in boot are too with 510 litres on offer compared to 430 litres that new Fiesta comes with. 
 
Ford Fiesta: *****   Honda City: *****
 
HOW THEY FEEL INSIDE 
 
Stepped into cabin of new Fiesta and one feels quite at home as basic layout of the interiors is similar to what old Fiesta came with. Having said that Fords has really tried hard to upgrade the bits and bytes of interiors and fortunately their efforts have paid off. Two-tone dashboard that comes in black-beige colour scheme feels far more premium than before. Grains now exude plenty of opulence and black glossy finish has done its job of uplifting ambience the successfully.
 
               
 
Moto Razor inspired keypad for telephonic control though feels a bit cluttered, still it is not something that one will feel bothered about. Air vents though looks smart however their ability to direct the air flow is really been limited. In terms of equipment, the top model of Fiesta Titanium comes equipped with a long list of equipment. It gets auto headlamps with wipers, automatic climate control, Ford’s voice recognition SYNC system along with AppLink control. Further Ford has equipped Fiesta’s top most variant with dual front air bags, cruise control, key less entry with push button start and steering mounted controls. Further there is provision of reverse sensors though there is no rear view camera that otherwise would have made things far more convenient for owners.
 
              
 
In contrast, Honda City comes with far more sophisticated quality and lengthy equipment list. Top variant of City comes with airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors with camera, sun-roof and 5” touch screen display. Further the feel and plushness of City’s cabin is one of the best available in the class and though new Fiesta has got the quality basics right, it is Honda City that walks away with premium award.  And then there is crucial aspect of cabin space and roominess where City once again denounced Fiesta very badly. Even in its previous iteration, Fiesta was criticized for poor cabin space especially at the back though Ford seems to have learnt no lesson. New Fiesta continues to get plagued with poor cabin space as rear bench is literally short on space. Knee and leg room is poor and to top it all head room is even more of a disaster. In contrast, Honda City has created a new benchmark in cabin space with its ridiculously spacious and voluminous cabin. Keeping up their legacy on space, in Honda City too Japanese engineers have eked out possibly every cubic centimetre of space.
 
Ford Fiesta: *****    Honda City: *****
 
HEART OF THE MATTER 
 
New Ford Fiesta comes only in diesel avatar that features 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder oil burner that puts out 90 PS of power and 204 Nm of torque. On other hand Honda City churns out 100 PS of power along with 200 Nm of torque from equal capacity diesel engine. Both the cars showed good low-end grunt in this comparison though we found City’s power delivery a bit more linear than Fiesta’s. Further the torque in City peaks at 1750 rpm giving it slight edge over Fiesta where the rotating force hit its limit at 2000 rpm. In terms of refinement none of the vehicle is going to win any award as both oil-burners are mediocre in their refinement. Further owners of both the cars will have to come to terms with the continuous hum that is sure to emanate from hoods of both the vehicles.
 
                  
 
Even the mid-range of both the cars pack a good punch though City once again claim advantage over Ford with additional 6th gear that helps the City to cruise on highway in far more relaxed manner than Fiesta. Further the City’s i-DTEC engine feels more rev-happy in nature than Fiesta’s DURATORQ TDCi.
 
                 
 
In terms of transmission, Ford and Honda have mated their respective vehicles with 5-spped and 6-speed manual transmissions. Shift quality and precision of both vehicles are good though we find Ford a wee bit ahead than Honda in gearbox department. Fiesta gear shift are more precise and less notchy than City. Gear lever of Fiesta feels solid and there is less vibration at idle compared to a bit cheap looking City’s transmission lever. That said there is no directional effort requires in any of these vehicles and slotting is effortless. Clogging in both these vehicles is inspiring though clutch action of City feels much progressive as well as lighter. Ford’s pedal seems to be a bit heavier especially compared to entire new diesel breed that comes with ultra-light clutch action. 
 
Ford Fiesta: *****    Honda City: *****
 
HOW THEY LIKE TO DRIVE ON ROAD
 
Ford has always considered as manufacturer who mastered the art of India roads. Despite being an outside, Ford has got to grip with Indian road conditions like nobody else been able to. New Fiesta maintains Ford’s road legacy and maintains its competitive edge over the rivals. With its ultra-smooth ride and cunningly good handling prowess, Fiesta remains a player to beat. Except its slow speed jiggling, Fiesta has not get any other chink in its armour as it irons out each and every thing that comes into way. Occupants seem to find a layer of wool between them and road with Fiesta gliding over all sorts of patches with utmost ease. Even in hard cornering manoeuvres Fiesta stick to its line courtesy of its rigid chassis and taut suspension. Further tight skinning with literally nil overhangs makes Fiesta a complete driver’s car.
 
                 
 
Honda City also feels quite confident on road though its dynamic prowess is nowhere near that of Ford’s. Further the lengthier dimensions and a bit of soft suspension setting makes City more vulnerable to body roll. On the good side though slow speed ride is far more composed in City than one feels in Fiesta. Right from beginning City effectively separated passengers from road undulation even at the start of pace building; something that Fiesta lacks. 
 
                 
 
Steering feedback on City is average and unlike Fiesta steering unit that bristles with feedback, City’s unit lack communicating prowess. While Fiesta accurately communicates to driver about what each and every tyre up to, City feels a bit disconnected from ground reality especially at higher speeds. There is nothing much that separate braking prowess of these vehicles as we find both Fiesta and City equally impressive in their stopping prowess. Further in terms of fuel efficiency, once again both the vehicles are closely matched and though Honda in this comparison comes with bigger footprints and more body bulk, it squeezes out more km to litre as per ARAI certified figures. 
 
Ford Fiesta: *****    Honda City: *****
 
OVERALL VERDICT
 
Ford has decided to sell the only available diesel version in between Rs 7.69 – 9.29 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). On the contrary Honda City range starts from Rs 8.37 lakh and stretches all the way to Rs 10.99 lakh. In terms of pricing Ford Fiesta has advantage over Honda City but then Honda City is altogether a car of different calibre and persona. Customers will find it equally hard, as we found, to compare the Ford Fiesta as a buying alternative to Honda City. Not only does Honda City is a class above Fiesta in every aspect of design, space, interiors, engine, quality but it also comes with far strong brand ethos and credos of Honda than what Ford represents for Fiesta. We at ECARDLR believe that had Ford pitted ne Fiesta against the entry level sedan players like Dzire, Amaze, Sail etc., it would have been in better position to establish itself in market. But now with price points that border on premium C-segment, Fiesta has opened Pandora’s Box. So how successful the new Fiesta will be? Our bet only a handful number of driving-enthusiasts will bite the Fiesta bullet and City’s business will hardly be affected. 
 
Ford Fiesta: *****    Honda City: *****

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