VTEC VS TSI
evo India|August 2020
Honda sticks with the tried and tested naturally aspirated i-VTEC on the City while VW downsizes to the turbocharged TSI. Who is on the right track?
SIRISH CHANDRAN

THIS IS A RATHER STRAIGHT FORWARD comparison test, and the big question we are asking is this: can the naturally aspirated petrol hold its own in this day and age of prolific turbocharging?

Flying the NA flag is the Honda City, in its fifth-generation avatar. This new City is evolutionary, not revolutionary, and it sticks with what Honda knows best. Excellent space, a whole load of features, great comfort, and the beauty that is the i-VTEC engine. It’s not a straight carry-forward though. To meet new BS6 emission norms, the 1.5-litre motor gets the twin-cam head which also bumps up power… by two horses. No matter, on paper the City still has the legs on its rivals. 10bhp more than the Vento in a lighter package is your verdict right there.

Except, turbocharged engines have another trick up their sleeve: torque. With 145Nm, the City is 30Nm down on the new Vento TSI. Plus the Vento makes peak torque at 1750rpm while the City peaks at 4600rpm, 300rpm higher than before. Evenly matched then are these two!

BEFORE WE JUMP TO THE PERFORMANCE figures, let’s talk about the cars themselves. Now even though the City has the same wheelbase, the interiors have been re-jigged to deliver even more space. In fact Honda draped one of their lady engineers in a sari and set themselves the target of her being able to sit at the back comfortably cross-legged (because their research revealed that’s how sari-clad Indian ladies prefer to sit). For obvious reasons I cannot deliver a sari verdict but I can confirm the City is even more spacious and comfortable at the back than before. And because there’s more shoulder room there’s space for big, wide, comfortable and supportive seats up front. On space then, the City has the Vento easily bested.

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