Exterior & Interior: Honda City vs Volkswagen Vento

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Honda City Interior

Honda upgraded the quality of plastics some time ago but the City's interiors still don't feel as rich as that of its competitor here

Honda City Exterior

While the City's rear end didn't look all that exciting when it was launched, the Vento's staid and uninspiring design makes it look all the more better now

On the looks front, the City remains the car to beat. Now, the VW designers deserve a big pat on their backs for making the Vento look like it does. It looks inherently like a sedan than a hatch sporting an add-on boot. It has pleasing lines, good proportions and of course an attractive front end. But, it still doesn’t command as much attention as does the City.

Inside too, the City, with its play of black, beige and silver colours along with bold and fl owing design lines that carry from the dash to the doors, feels more inviting. It also feels more spacious up front, thanks to the relatively low and long dashboard.

The Vento’s high dash conceals its roomier front. But, it certainly exudes better quality, does the VW. The plastics in particular look and feel more upmarket. The operability including ergonomics is better on the Vento as well. It also has comfy seats that support you well, be it for the back, thigh or even the sides. And that holds true even for the rear.

But, that’s only till you haven’t rested your behind inside the City. Because once you do, it’s immediately clear that even though the Vento has comfy seats, the City’s are better, both front and rear. These are larger, better contoured and prove less tiring over longer jaunts. It’s certainly the better car to be chauffeured around in, even though it doesn’tget the convenience of adjusting the front passenger seat from the rear like on the Vento.

Volkswagen Vento Interior

Cabin of the Vento is reminiscent of VW's Polo. It is made of good quality materials and feels plush. Two-tone trim adds a dash of cheeriness

Volkswagen Vento Exterior

Dynamically, the Vento is ahead of the City; it has a fi rmer chassis and a more feedback rich steering

The Vento though makes a better case for itself for those who like driving. To begin with, its steering wheel is adjustable for both reach and rake (the City only gets rake adjustment), and along with height adjustment for the driver’s seat it’s easy to get both comfortable and cosy behind the Vento’s wheel. The steering itself feels better than the City’s. It’s still light but it feels less artifi cially weighed than the Honda's and is more linear in its operation as well.

Then of course, it handles better. Now both cars roll quite a bit when thrown hard into bends, but the Vento thanks to higher grip levels, has a better turn in. It also responds to steering inputs with more alacrity than the Honda. And the best bit is, even though it feels tighter and more predictable than the Honda, it doesn’t lose out on the ride quality front either. In fact, it rides better than the City. It’s the best of both worlds really.

The City’s ride isn’t jarring either but when going over broken surfaces or smallish potholes, but the Honda bobs around a bit and the ride can get noisy too. Passengers can also feel nearly every bump or irregularity the City goes over. The Vento on the other hand smoothens nearly everything at slower speeds and it’s only at higher speeds over pronounced undulations that it tends to wallow and roll a bit. Having said that, deep potholes can still get the better of the car.

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