Are any of the new scooters good to compete with the Honda Activa? Rachit Hirani from MotorOctane.com takes them for a spin.
Honda has been leading the segment with its Activa, as competitors haven’t launched proper scooters for a long while. But now we have two strong competitors: the Hero Maestro and the newest entrant Mahindra Gusto.
We pit the three against each other to find out the winner.
In design, the new Activa is lot sleeker. It has cut flab from its bulky styling. The Activa-i used in the images is slimmer and lighter than the Activa.
The new Activa always appealed to both the genders and it continues to do so. The nose does look stylish and even the silhouette looks uber.
The rear styling is one aspect that Honda has worked a lot and it looks a lot better than the previous Activa.
The Gusto does look like a scooter from outer space. Many people did find it appealing and several came to check the scooter I rode. The Gusto’s side indicators and slats look like eyes with eyebrows.
The Gusto appears to be small and compact, but in reality it is larger than the other two. At the rear too, it looks stylish, however, my personal opinion would be to use a Mahindra logo than the name between the tail lamp.
It is the only scooter with 12-inch wheels, while the rest have 10-inch wheels.
The Maestro does look comparatively bulky and subtle. The design is a bit old school and this appeals more to the mature audience. It seems to be oriented more towards the male segment and it does look trendy with the LED tail lamps.
The Gusto is the one loaded with more features and it feels a lot more comfortable as one can adjust the seat height of the scooter, while the other two are comfortable too.
The Gusto gets more features like mobile phone holder; find my bike alarm and the torch in the key. The dials on the Maestro are digital and they do look hip.
The Activa and Gusto look basic compared to the Maestro. The quality is better on the Maestro, as the handle bars on the Activa could have been a tad better and even the quality on the Gusto needs to go up by a couple of notches.
Sit on the scooters and you will find the Gusto to be the lightest to ride unless you sit on the Activa-i. But in reality, the Gusto is the heaviest of the lot with 121kgs while the other two scooters weigh 110kgs.
Wring the throttle and the Activa is the most responsive and it is the easiest to zoom in traffic, despite the Activa having lesser power on paper.
The Maestro has good response too, but the Gusto once it gathers momentum is quicker. So, for that quick city riding the Activa leads and this is one of the strongest reasons why the Activa has been a segment leader.
The ability to zip past in traffic is the most important factor for a scooter and while all three are good, Activa has an edge over the other two. The power delivery is the most linear on the Maestro and even the Activa.
When it comes to manoeuvrability, the Maestro takes a leap forward, especially while riding with a pillion. The Activa and Gusto aren’t far behind either in this aspect.
In fuel efficiency, all three are almost equals. The ride on the Gusto is more pliant and it is comfortable as the speed goes up. This is due to larger wheels and suspension set-up. The braking on the Activa is a bit better than the Maestro.
Honda Activa is a great offering in the scooter segment. However, the Hero and Mahindra are good offerings too. Both the brands offer more value for each and every single paisa you spend on them.
Now, the question is, do you want something that is more stylish and value for money?
You won’t make an incorrect decision irrespective of which you buy among these three. If you need something zippier, then it is the Activa-i. It has a lighter body and peppier for city riding.
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