The scooter segment in India is an integral part of the two-wheeler market in India. The consumers for the scooters are growing day by day, thanks to the extreme ease of handling of these vehicles. These scooters are lightweight, gearless, easy to handle and come with reasonably good mileage figures. All these factors have made the scooters a reliable vehicle to ride to work and over short distances.
Some of the most noteworthy models in the Indian scooter segment are the Honda Activa, Vespa S, Suzuki Swish and the Mahindra Rodeo. Here is a look at these models vis-à-vis each other.
Looks – If looks could kill, then no other scooter has the charisma of the Vespa S, which is highly vibrant and attention seeking. It stands apart from the crowd because of this and hence, cannot go one noticed. Scooters like Honda Activa, on the other hand, carry the same old bland design and colours, which are least inspiring.
However, the Mahindra Rodeo and Suzuki Swish come with far more attractive colours and graphics than the segment leader Activa. If style is your primary choice, then Vespa is the best, followed by Swish and Rodeo. The Activa will be the least preferred model for those seeking a stylish scooter.
Engine Power – Honda Activa is powered by a 124.9cc air-cooled, engine of 8.75 PS of power and 10.1Nm of torque. An average mileage of 55 kmpl is offered on city roads. The Vespa S is powered by a 125cc air-cooled, 10.1 PS, 10.60NM powerful engine, with a mileage of 57 kmpl on city roads. The Suzuki Swish is powered by a 124cc air-cooled, engine of 8.7 PS power and 9.8Nm torque, with a mileage of 56.3 kmpl on city roads. The Mahindra Rodeo runs on a 124.6cc air-cooled, engine with 8.2 PS of power and 9Nm of torque, with a mileage of 45.6 kmpl. The Vespa is the fastest and powerful of the lot, while the Rodeo is the weakest of them all.
Cost – The all-new Activa comes at an ex-showroom rate of INR 68700/- and above. The corresponding figures for Vespa S, Swish and Rodeo are INR 87450/-, 57300/- and 57600/- respectively. The Vespa is the costliest, while the Swish and Rodeo are identically priced, and Activa is not very cheap.
Conclusions – Though the Vespa looks great and performs faster and powerful than the others, its premium price cannot be justified by the performance. Honda offers reasonable ride quality and has many desirable features, but its price might be beyond many. Swish is competitively priced and comes with good ride quality and features. Rodeo, although priced competitively, is let down by its poor performance.