Cartrade Comparison Test
One of the premium mid-size sedans, Volkswagen Vento, got a 2015 facelift which made it look sharper and smarter than before. Unlike Hyundai cars, Volkswagen has always given more weightage to subtle and understated lines which make it look sophisticated compared to its rivals. The grille has got wider and looks premium with chrome finished twin slats running along the width. The front bumper and the bonnet features revised crease lines to make it look bolder than before.
Also, the bumper gets revised outline with a chrome strip pasted on the lower section. It is a blink it and you will miss it change on the side coz the profile merely sports chrome strips along with new set of wheels to make it look distinct but doesn’t create an impression at all. To the rear, Volkswagen has added more chrome on the boot lid as well as on the rear bumper. The tail lights have been updated for the facelift and even the exhaust sports a steel finish.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
For the first time in the brand’s history, Maruti Suzuki attempted making an elegant and upmarket sedan and to a great extent, they succeeded too. The front of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz has a wider stance with larger headlights. The intricate detailing inside the headlight makes it look interesting with projectors as well as multi angle reflectors embedded in it.
The same feel is carried to the side wherein it gets a shoulder line that dominates the silhouette. Maruti Suzuki offers 16-inch wheels with multi spoke alloys giving it an equally premium side profile as the front. Also, making the glass area on the side looked stretched evenly; the pillars have been deliberately blackened. To the rear, one would find large well placed tail lights again for that necessary elegance and poise. The bumper on the rear with its scooped out sections reminds of the Kizashi.
The understated feel of the outside is carried over inside too with subtle lines on the dashboard and central console. The two-tone beige and black interiors lend a premium touch and so does the new flat bottom steering wheel which has been carried from the Polo facelift. The cluster has been updated too with a lucid and bright display of the multi information display. This compact screen displays the essentials of driving such as trip readings, distance to empty and gear shift indicator.
The new Volkswagen Vento is not any more comfortable than the previous model as the seats are well cushioned but can be tiresome on long journeys. Even the headroom, leg room and knee room is not as generous as some of its rivals in the segment. It is clearly not the car to be on long distance commutes. While, almost everything inside the new Vento feels upmarket and premium, the dated non-touchscreen unit feels an odd fit.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
Happily, the interiors of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz are equally expressive as the premium exteriors. The Ciaz doesn’t only offer premium line of features and layout but also is as grand in space making it one of the most spacious kinds in its segment. It makes use of rich quality of veneers, fabrics and textures to make it look distinct from its overall portfolio of models. To make the cabin feel more airy, it gets bright coloured leather seats done in colours of creamish beige. The most impressive aspect in the Ciaz has to be its rear passenger space which is grander to the extreme. Taller passengers will be completely floored with this as there is more than sufficient knee room and leg room in this area. It also gets rear passenger AC vents to make sure it doesn’t take too long for the rear passengers to get cooler air.
Present day cars are all about features and options and Maruti Suzuki couldn’t be left behind as they have equipped the Ciaz with some of the best in class features which has also been aped by some of its rivals now. For ease of operation and comfort, there are steering mounted controls, automatic climate control, touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and rear park assist and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors. In addition, the Ciaz also offers keyless entry and a retractable rear windscreen blind.
The new Volkswagen Vento comes in three types of engines. Firstly, it gets a 1.6-litre MPI engine that makes 103 bhp of power at 5250 rpm and 153Nm at 3800 rpm. This motor comes with a five-speed manual transmission. For the enthusiasts, there is a1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that makes 103 bhp of power at 5000 rpm and 175 Nm at between1500 rpm to 4100 rpm. This one comes with a seven-speed DSG transmission unit. It delivers a mileage of 18.19km/l.
The diesel motor has a displacement of 1498cc and produces similar power output at 103 bhp at 4400 rpm. This motor, however, offers a superb torque delivery at 250Nm between 1500 rpm to 2500 rpm. This motors comes as standard with a 5-speed manual transmission and delivers an efficiency of 20.64 km/l. In addition, it is also offered with a seven-speed DSG box with a mileage of 21.50 km/l.
The TSI petrol motor is purely for the enthusiasts who like the rush of power at smaller dashes inside a city. It is extremely well spirited and it at ease no matter in city or on highways. The diesel motor displays similar confidence and the 250 Nm of torque acts as an aiding tool on highways. Just push the throttle a bit and the motor churns out great deal of performance to take on city commute as well as highway traffic.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz is offered in both petrol as well as diesel variants. The petrol variants make use of a 1373cc motor that produces 90bhp at 6000 rpm and 130 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. This engine is offered with a 5-speed manual and well as 4-speed automatic transmission units. As officially claimed, this motor delivers 20.73 kmpl for the manual transmission and 19.12 kmpl by the automatic transmission model. The more popular diesel powertrain utilizes a 1248cc motor that churns out 86 bhp of power at 4000 rpm and makes a meaty torque of 200 Nm at 1750 rpm. This motor makes use of a 5-speed manual transmission. This motor also happens to be most efficient in its class at 28.09 kmpl, thanks to its Smart Hybrid Technology which uses an Integrated Starter Generator.
The diesel motor is the same as seen on many popular cars in India. The NVH levels are not very impressive considering the fact that the diesel clatter tends to enter the cabin at higher revs. Even though, the motor has been properly tuned to make sure it hauls a sedan of these dimensions, there is evident turbo lag at initial engine speeds. This makes it uncomfortable in city driving conditions. To aid this, the shift quality has been changed but still lacks the finesse where its rivals score more. The petrol unit however is more suitable for such short commutes as it is rightly tuned for an immediate response. The power delivery is very linear making the motor revv with a smooth response. However, this engine is not much of a please on highways as it needs to be constantly revved.
Ride and Handling:
If there is any car which sets a benchmark for ride and handling, it has to be the Volkswagen Vento as it displays its prowess with great confidence. The new Vento too carries forward that same tradition. The ride for the rear passengers is softer and Volkswagen has done this as it makes it a lot more comfortable for those who are chauffeur driven.
The steering response is extremely precise and on high speeds, it pays great dividends. The suspension setup too is impressive as it effortlessly soaks up the difference in surfaces. Helping that positive feel is the 7-speed DSG box which has a smooth shift quality and is unarguably the best in the segment.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
Since the petrol Ciaz is lighter than the diesel variant, it offers a more agile ride. This comes as a major boon while handling city traffic and to support the same the smooth petrol motor revs confidently at the lower range. The light steering wheel helps easy manoeuvrability of the car inside the city. While the benefits and merits are totally felt inside the city, on highways it is almost a curse since the vague steering input is the last thing you wish for.
The suspension setup too doesn’t really work in tandem as the cushy springs do not feel reliable on high speeds. The diesel too doesn’t fit the bill of being a joy to drive. It lacks the joy and pleasure of its European rivals but is definitely better than the Hyundai Verna and Honda City. The only area where it feels at home are the highways where the motor gets into its real spirits.
Value for Money:
The updates done on the Volkswagen Vento definitely make it look smarter than its rivals and also, the drive factor too, is a benchmark setting trait but the only place where the new Volkswagen Vento lags behind terribly is the presence of modern features as seen on the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Honda City and even the Hyundai Verna. But, if you wish to own a premium sedan with a strong built quality, the Volkswagen Vento is definitely the choice. The prices of Volkswagen Vento range from Rs 7.85 lakhs to Rs 10.62 lakhs for the petrol and Rs 9.10 lakhs to Rs 11.87 lakhs for the diesel.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
The Ciaz has been positioned as a premium sedan and the efforts and detailing gone into making and promoting it speaks loudly of the company’s intention to not slot this near to its other budget offerings. The petrol Maruti Suzuki Ciaz is priced at Rs 7.79 lakhs for VXi MT and it goes all the way upto Rs 9.68 lakhs. The automatic variants are priced between Rs 9.48 lakhs to Rs 9.7 lakhs. The Smart diesel hybrid variants are priced between Rs 8.76 lakhs to Rs 10.93 laks. All these prices are ex-showroom Mumbai.
Volkswagen Vento Vs Maruti Suzuki Ciaz:
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz is a much better value for money proposition than the Volkswagen Vento. Maruti Suzuki has ensured that the Ciaz is a lot more loaded and affordable. The Vento’s only advantage is that it is offered with a diesel automatic, which isn’t the case for the Ciaz.