Ready to go automatic?

Arun Changrani, Hindustan Times
New Delhi
First Published: 17:13 IST(23/4/2013)
Last Updated: 18:13 IST(27/5/2013)
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Do you find yourself going crazy every time you’re held up in a traffic snarl? Hate tiring your hands and feet changing gears when you are helplessly stuck at red lights during peak hours? Well, maybe it’s time you switch over to cars with automatic transmission. With an increased per capita income, vehicles of such nature are no more out of reach for individuals. Their USP is their functionality, handling and performance. We give you a heads up on three automatic sedans. So, get ready to zoom down the road with our top picks.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2013/4/car-city.jpgHyundai Verna
Its biggest plus point is the use of a start/stop button, which helps in enhancing the sedan’s functionality.

Performance:
The 1.6 litre petrol variant is equipped with a 4 speed automatic transmission. You won’t complain of any noise vibrations from the transmission, while the gear box works fairly well to provide ideal shifts. With a low slung front end, Verna does well to absorb small potholes and broken surfaces. At low speeds, the ride is pretty comfortable, while at high speeds, this sedan does not feel convincing enough. 

Honda City
Evolution! That is one word which can be used to describe the 5th generation Honda City, which has a sleek exterior design. 

Performance:
Known for its performance, the 1.5 i-Vtec engine is not new to the Indian markets. What’s new is a 5 speed automatic transmission on board, which features peddle shifts. These peddle shifters work best when in sports mode. Once on the move, engine vibrations tend to sneak into the cabin, especially at the time when the engine is revved hard. On the whole, the gear box provides perfect shifts. The City is known for its ride and handling. A brilliant suspension setup ensures that broken surfaces and potholes do not pose a threat to its occupants. Also, this sedan can handle turns and curves with ease.

Ford Fiesta
Fiesta aims at bringing forward a driver centric experience, with an improvement in exterior design and cabin features.

Performance:
With a 1.5 litre petrol unit on board, the Fiesta is the first sedan to feature a dual clutch automatic transmission, which allows the user to up shift and down shift without any discomfort. The transmission, along with the engine, does not contribute to any vibrations. The Fiesta does well to provide quite a hassle free ride, both within the city as well as on the highway. Soaking in potholes and broken roads comes instantly to this machine. And as for the handling, Fiesta is quite capable of managing turns and curves on the road with ease. 

Price List
Honda City AT: R10,62,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)

Hyundai Verna AT: R10,06,729 (ex-showroom Delhi)

Ford Fiesta AT: R9,99,900 (ex-showroom Delhi)

Verdict
With two new kids on the block (Hyundai Verna and Ford Fiesta), the Honda City is still going to be the preferred one due to its brand recognition, value for money and better resale value. However, the other two remain more superior in their distinctive design philosophy, which still leaves the door open for those who would like to experiment with something which is new.


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