The Indian automotive industry is going automatic, slowly but steadily. The latest to join the automatic brigade is the Renault Scala and the Ford Fiesta. Both of them are sedans in similar price brackets, making this a very interesting comparison. In terms of design, however, they could not be more different. While the new Ford Fiesta has a sharper styling and more definition, giving it a rather futuristic, mean machine look, the Renault Scala looks classier and somehow roomier too. Let’s dig a little deeper to see what makes both these cars so attractive.
The interiors: The Scala automatic model has keyless entry and exit, as well as a button for push start and stop. You’ve also got electrically controlled ORVMs, climate control AC, as well as audio controls on the steering wheel itself. The leather upholstery has a fine finishing and there are soft headsets for the rear seats too. One peek into the car and you can see that Renault has spent quite a bit of time designing it ergonomically, making efficient use of the space within the cabin. There’s ample legroom for both the front as well as rear passengers. The Scala’s boot is also quite spacious, making it an ideal ride for long road trips.
The Fiesta’s futuristic styling isn’t just restricted to its external design. Even its dashboard has a lot happening on it, making you feel almost like a pilot in the cockpit. We love the flowing center console with its red backlight and easy to read font. The Fiesta comes loaded with features like cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and even voice commands. The instrument panel on the Fiesta has a twin dial design, but the best part is its readability. Even though there’s a lot going on, it’s easy for even first-timers to understand all the information being displayed. Like the Scala, the Fiesta too has electrically controlled ORVMs. Sitting in the front seat is extremely comfortable as the large seats offer ample support.
Under the hood: The Scala is powered by a 1.5-liter petrol engine with a maximum power of 98 bhp and a maximum torque of 134 Nm. But it’s definitely meant more for city driving. Try revving the engine and you can hear it getting noisier. But on the good side, it promises a mileage of 17.9 kmpl on the highway and about 12 kmpl in the city, which is extremely comfortable for a sedan.
The Fiesta also has a 1.5-liter engine, but with a slightly higher power of 108 bhp, and even though it responds better to the revving than the Scala, it too does end up whining in protest after some time. What sets the Fiesta apart is its dual-clutch transmission, which comes with a 10 year/2.4 lakh km warranty. Shifting is smooth, but it doesn’t have paddle shifts. L mode is comfortable to drive and gives the best performance, while the D mode gives the best fuel economy.
The drive: Driving the Scala was definitely much better in the lower speeds, but at higher speeds, it felt a bit more jarring, especially when the road wasn’t as smooth. The suspension in the Scala isn’t too good, but the handling is quite comfortable. The Scala’s body does roll some when driving on curves at high speeds, so get your foot off the pedal during turns.
The Fiesta, on the other hand, is an amazingly smooth ride, irrespective of the road’s condition. Its suspension is much better than that of the Scala and in terms of handling too, it lives up to Ford’s standards pretty well.
In conclusion: The Scala makes for a good choice for city driving, but if you’re among those who love to drive and live to drive, go for the Fiesta.