Addressing the question of Value Proposition"
The Maruti Suzuki SX4 and the Global Ford Fiesta jostle for space in a crowded part of the Indian automotive market. So which makes a better case for itself as a purchase proposition? We find out as we pit them against each other…
What if you could get a car that gives you 15 kilometres to a litre of petrol, was fun to drive, loaded with gadgets, had spacious interiors and a lot of smart techy features as well? Although you’re probably thinking that this is quite a tall ask, the truth of the matter is that the consumer would love to have it all. The other part to that truth is that there are products that will probably even satisfy such a finicky consumer in search of value. Read on to find out how the Global Ford Fiesta compares with the Maruti Suzuki SX4 on the aspect of which is a better ‘value proposition’.
Looks and design:
Thanks to its adherence to Ford’s Kinetic design philosophy, the new Global Ford Fiesta not only looks smart but its aerodynamic silhouette also cuts a sleek figure. Its contemporary, youthful and of course dynamic, to say the least. The aerodynamically sound shape also has the added benefit of being able to aid fuel economy by reducing the vehicle’s drag coefficient. Returning to the style front, there are few in the segment that can really match up to the Fiesta’s smart design and imposing road presence. What adds to the feel good factor are its excellent build quality, lustrous paint job and high levels of fit and finish.
The SX4 on the other hand exudes more musculature. After all, the original SX4 was conceived jointly by Fiat and Suzuki as a crossover utility vehicle. As a result, the SX4 also sits quite high for a sedan in its class and overall has a tall stance. While some people definitely buy into the SX4’s styling there are others who think that it is slightly oddball in a clutch of low slung and sleek sedans. Build quality and overall levels of fit and finish though are very good.
Interiors – design, space and features:
The Fiesta’s cabin is a quantum leap ahead in this segment. Drawing its inspiration from the latest design trends in the world of mobile phones, the Global Fiesta’s cabin reflects the techtastic character of the vehicle. And to support this character, the Fiesta is replete with smart technologies. Take for instance, the first in class Voice Control system. This ultimate in handsfree technology literally lets you talk to your car as it lets you access various functions like controlling the cabin temperature through the automatic climate control system or selecting your favourite radio station on the 6-speaker music system via voice commands. The Fiesta also offers Bluetooth telephony for seamless connectivity on the go. For greater comfort and convenience, there are steering wheel mounted controls for the audio system along with controls for the other first in segment feature – Cruise Control.
In comparison to the Fiesta, the SX4’s interiors are roomier. But on every other count it falls short. While you do have a music system with USB and aux-in, both of which the Fiesta also has, there’s no Bluetooth connectivity and certainly no Voice Control. Nor is there Cruise Control. Fit and finish of the interiors though is quite good.
Engine – performance, power, torque, fuel economy, smoothness:
The Global Ford Fiesta is available with a 1.5-litre Duratec Ti-VCT petrol engine that develops a maximum power of 108 BHP and 140 NM of maximum torque. The engine develops sufficient power to delight the enthusiast while delivering stellar fuel economy for the practical man who has wants a vehicle that’s not expensive to run on a daily basis. Indeed the Fiesta’s fuel economy figure, as tested by ARAI, stands at an impressive 17 kmpl.
The SX4 has a larger 1.6-litre petrol engine that puts out 102 BHP and 145 NM of peak torque. While the engine is a scorcher and would delight the driver, it is down on fuel economy when compared to the Fiesta. Tests conducted by ARAI has shown the SX4 to return 15.5 kmpl.
Suspension – Ride, comfort and handling:
Ford vehicles are known for their superior ride quality and enhanced driving dynamics, and the Global Fiesta is no exception. The car’s firm suspension setup endows it with excellent handling characteristics while at the same time is tuned to be pliant enough to absorb the bumps and jolts of Indian roads. Add to this minimal body roll and you’ve got the perfect recipe for excellent stability at high speeds and a comfortable journey for passengers. Add to this the fact that the Fiesta has best in class levels of low NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) and it’s easy to see why the Fiesta’s cabin is such a comfortable place to be in.
The SX4 too has a suspension setup that provides it with a high level of comfort as it absorbs undulations and other road irregularities with aplomb. Its high ground clearance, courtesy its crossover roots, is another plus point on Indian roads. However where it lags behind is in its delivery of thrills. On the driving dynamics front, while it does a competent job overall, it doesn’t match up to the Fiesta’s abilities.
So far so good. But then if you had to put your hard earned money down on one of these two products, which one would it be? The Maruti Suzuki SX4 starts at Rs. 7.72 lakh, ex-showroom in Delhi. For that you get a powerful engine, comfortable ride, spacious cabin, large boot, stereo system with aux-in and USB and steering wheel mounted controls for the same.
The Fiesta on the other hand is available from a starting price of Rs. 7.35 lakh, ex-showroom in Delhi. Depending on the variant you choose you not only get an engine that’s powerful enough and a car with a comfortable ride quality you also get a vehicle that will bring a smile to your face with its lively dynamics. Add to that all the features that you would get, including first in class Voice Control, Cruise Control, Bluetooth telephony and Guide-me-home headlamp function, among others and the Fiesta makes a much better case for itself as a better ‘value proposition’.