Heavily congested city traffic and undulated roads is certainly making people turn to automatic cars. A large number of car makers are turning to make the automatic transmission vehicles, including Maruti with its Celerio AMT. Honda has launched the Honda City AT which is definitely a car to reckon with in its class. However, there is also the Volkswagen Vento TSI to compete with it for the top slot. Both the cars are quite popular among used cars in Trivandrum. Here is a comparison of the two sedans in the AT market.
Automatic transmission cars are not a new thing in India. However, the technology that they use has certainly changed from what they were. Most of the automatic transmission gearboxes of older days were cumbersome and slow and they used a lot of fuel. They were not very efficient and were quite expensive when compared with manual transmission vehicles.
Cars with automatic transmission nowadays have improved CVTs and clutch gearbox and they have shed off all the negatives that they were associated with. They are easier to drive, more efficient and cost effective. The Volkswagen Vento TSI DSG can take on most drivers on the road while the AT version of the Honda City is more fuel efficient compared to the manual one. The City AT has a mileage of 18kmpl whereas the manual version has 17.8kmpl, according to the ratings by ARAI. This is also one of the reasons why people have warmed up to automatic cars compared to manual ones.
In terms of style and making, the Vento TSI and City AT are very different. The City AT has a sharp and edgy design which makes it look modern and chic. The car has a tough chrome grille and pushed back headlamps which lend it a youthful look. On the other hand, the Vento TSI looks very text book in design with its Spartan approach and subtle lines. Therefore, over time, the Volkswagen vehicle would continue to retain its classic looks. The detailing by Volkswagen is almost perfect as the spacing between panels is good and the boot lid is evenly layered etc. The City AT looks quite shabby because of exposed cables and wires because of bad carpeting of the boot’s lid.
In terms of the interiors, the Honda looks very trendy. It has been upholstered in light shades and looks spacious. Colours and materials have been used interestingly such as the black background of the central console and the green and blue backlit dials which makes the console look trendy. However, this does not suggest that the Vento TSI is built shabbily. Even though the pizzazz or urban appeal of the City AT is not there in the car, the quality of finishing, fittings and plastic is much better in the Vento TSI. What should be remembered is that the car is targeted towards mature buyers. In terms of the equipment built-in, the City AT is certainly better because it has an entertainment system with 8 speakers, a colour screen measuring 5 inches, climate control that is operated by touch screen, reversing camera and power outlets along with sun roof. Comparatively, the number of features in the Vento is fewer- Bluetooth connectivity and steering mounted controls.
Both cars may run in a similar fashion, their mechanics is completely different. The City AT runs on petrol and uses 1.5L i-VTEC engine which produces peak torque of 145Nm and 119PS of power. Also, there is Continuously Variable Transmission included in the engine. Compared to the past CVT, the modern CVT is not unenthusiastic and rubbery. The new CVT is sharp, natural and willing. Even with a bit of throttle, the car reacts well. For relaxed driving, the City CVT is quite responsive and smooth. However, when you press the acceleration, you can feel the rubbery CVT getting through which is slightly disappointing.
However, the Vento TSI’s engine is less powerful than the City AT and hence its performance is also not that tough. The petrol engine embedded is only 1.2L and produces a turbocharged power of 105PS. Because of the DSG gearbox, the car gives a tough competition to the City AT. Not only is the Vento TSI smoother but it is also more willing to be driven. It feels peppy to be driven because of the higher torque (at 175Nm, it produces almost 30Nm more torque than the City AT). The high torque can be gotten at lower revolutions per minute, compared to the Honda City.
The Volkswagen manages its feat because of turbocharging and direct injection. Also the twin clutch transmission used in the car, the DSG is one of the best in India. The 7 speed dual clutch gearbox has wide ratio ranges and is quite quick which is why it brings out the engine’s best. The Vento has a tough power sense. The CVT produces no lag or elastic feeling; it offers pure performance associated with DSG gearboxes. You may shift to the manual mode of driving by moving the gear lever towards the left.
The suspension set up on the Honda city is quite soft in terms of ride quality. Even though driving the car is comfortable, the City AMT does become a little difficult on rough roads. Also, the City does not feel as planted as the Vento TSI at lower speeds. The City does display good linear driving and there is no pitching. Also, the grip offered is quite good even though the City AT has thin tyres. However, it is not as tough as the Vento TSI. The steering is quite light, as with most Honda cars. The quality of ride on the Vento is more firm and grounded compared to the City AT, thanks to the wider tyres, better suspension and good grip on the road.
Therefore, the decision to be taken about the better car is not a tough call. The Vento TSI is sportier to be driven because of the good reaction of the engine and gearbox along with the handling and riding. Moreover, the Vento TSI is cheaper than the City AT too. It is one of the most popular cars among used cars in Trivandrum. However, if you want a car which is more modern, has better fuel efficiency and lots of equipment, then the Honda City AT should be your call.