Which B-segment sedan offers the best power-to-weight ratio?

Eric/May 14, 2020 06:01 PM

The B-segment sedan market in Malaysia is perhaps one of the most competitive segments around, as various car manufacturers have their sights set on this segment.

But not all sedans are created equally – some are more powerful, while others offer a more upmarket interior.

Speaking of power, let’s take a closer look and see which B-segment sedan offers the best power-to-weight ratio.

Honda City – The most popular, for a good reason

The Honda City is Malaysia’s most popular non-national B-segment sedan, thanks to its clever interior packaging and strong performance from its 1.5-litre engine.

The City’s 1.5-litre engine is good for 120 PS and 145 Nm, allowing the 1,112 kg sedan to boast a power-to-weight ratio of 108 PS-per-tonne, one of the highest power-to-weight ratios in the segment.

Lower variants of the City, like the 1.5 S and 1.5 E, have a power-to-weight ratio of 110 PS-per-tonne, as these variants are lighter than the City 1.5 V,. while the City Hybrid boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 115 PS-per-tonne.

Mazda 2 – If you can look beyond the RM 104k price, then it’s good

The Mazda 2 recently received its mid-life update, which saw the little B-segment sedan and hatchback receiving a Mazda 6-inspired front-end.

While the Mazda 2’s engine may not output as many horses as the City (115 PS vs 120 PS), its lighter kerb weight (1,065 kg) helps to bump the power-to-weight ratio to 108 PS-per-tonne, on par with the Honda City.

Although power-to-weight ratio of these two cars are similar, the Mazda 2 is the nicer one to drive, largely due to its rev-happy engine and a more direct feel 6-speed automatic transmission, which thank to the lock-up clutch, feels more engaging than the City's CVT.

As nice as the Mazda 2 is to drive, it is also the most expensive option here, as it is priced at an eye-watering RM 104,170.

Toyota Vios – One of the most comfortable options

The Toyota Vios is the only model in this comparison that actively participates in motorsports, as it participates in the Toyota Vios Gazoo Racing Festival.

Despite its motorsports image, the Toyota Vios isn’t as sporty as Toyota portrays.  

Not only does the Vios’ engine output less than some rivals (107 PS, 140 Nm), it is also one of the heaviest Japanese options out there, with the top-of-the-line 1.5 G variant tipping the scales at 1,145 kg.

As such, the Vios’ power-to-weight ratio comes in at 93 PS-per-tonne, putting it behind the City and Mazda 2.

However it is cheapest, quietest, and most comfortable in its class. Sounds like a good deal don't you think? The CVT is also the best in the business.

Volkswagen Vento – The only turbocharged model here

The Volkswagen Vento is the sole turbocharged model in this comparison.

Although some may get excited at the mere mention of turbocharging, the Vento actually boasts the lowest power-to-weight ratio here, coming in at 89 PS-per-tonne.

But figures alone don’t paint the full picture, as the Vento’s 175 Nm of torque is available from just 1,550 rpm, making acceleration a breeze.

The Vento is also the only one here to feature a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, which offers lightning quick shifts at the expense of being jerky at lower speeds.

Output figures aside, the Vento’s ride and handling prowess is no doubt one of the best in the segment.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an all-rounder, it’s hard to argue against the Honda City – it packs one of the most powerful engines around, and the interior offers the best practicality.

But if you want a more driver-centric car, the Mazda 2 should be right up your alley, as Mazda engineers have done a swell job with the ride and handling of its entry-level model.

The Toyota Vios and Volkswagen Vento are good options for those who travel a lot on highways, as both cars offer superior cabin quietness and excellent ride comfort.

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