The fun factor: Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz or Toyota Vios?

By Botchi Santos

Hi, Botchi!

I need your help. I just sold my car and I need a replacement soon. My options are the Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz and the Toyota Vios.

The Ford Fiesta has the biggest displacement among the three, and has more gizmos and new features. It's selling at P816,000 for the top-of-the-line variant. I know you are a big fan of the Jazz and I was once convinced that it should be my next car. The Fiesta, however, is hard to ignore.

I'm also concerned about the Fiesta's reliability in the long run--something which the Jazz has already proven.

Another thing the Jazz wins over the Fiesta is its ULT (utility-, long-, tall-mode) seating. The Fiesta is also P26,000 cheaper than the top-of-the-line Jazz.

I can also go for the safe choice and get the top-of-the-line Toyota Vios. It's the cheapest and easiest to pay among the three and with its proven track record on reliability and ease of use I’m sure I won’t go wrong with it.

Resale value of Hondas and Toyota are pretty solid. I am just not sure about the Ford. The thing about the Vios is that it is too common and doesn't have that excitement factor I can get from the Fiesta or the Jazz.

Hope you can help me decide.

Thanks in advance, Botchi.


Hi, Bryan!

Thanks for writing to Top Gear!

Yup, I am a big fan of the Honda Jazz because the whole package is hard to beat. Only the price is disappointing.

The Ford Fiesta is a very good proposition indeed but when I tried it on for size, I found it tight getting in and out. It's roomy enough once you’re inside though. Blame the Japanese obsession for wanting to make small cars van-like with their tall headroom and equally tall doors. As you know I'm a big sexy beast so I need my space getting in and out of cars. However, you might be in a different weight class so that might not be an issue for you.

I do like the idea of a small car with a modestly large engine, which the Fiesta has, so I'm sure that on a straight line it will be fast--if not the fastest in its class.

My brother's Honda Jazz 1.5 kicks the arse of a stock Yaris in an impromptu drag race. The Jazz also handles better and has bigger cargo space. My lightly modified Yaris can barely counter-attack and only wins against the Jazz because my brother will get a bloody nose if I don’t win the race.

I feel the Fiesta 1.6 will own the arses of both Japanese hatchbacks. The only good thing about the Yaris is the price--being significantly cheaper than both cars for the top-model. There’s also an option of the handsome and aggressive RS bodykit available from Toyota. If you want to leave it stock though, the Yaris does look a bit shy compared to the confident Jazz and the funky Fiesta.

Unfortunately I haven't had the pleasure of driving the Fiesta. There's a long queue for the Fiesta test drives at the moment both for prospective customers and the media but if gymkhana and rally champ Ken Block chose this over his previous ride, then the base foundation of his fire-breathing car must be quite good. After all, you can only modify a car so much to perform better if the engineering and chassis dynamics isn't up to par.

As for the Vios? Yep, great car, ultra-reliable and cheap to own, thanks to Toyota's lease-to-own program, but it’s a boring choice as well. In this highly competitive segment, a boring car is the last thing you'll want!

So what do you think? Lets us know and keep in touch!

Take care, God bless and more power!

Botchi Santos
Consumer editor

Lost in a sea of cars and not quite sure which one to get? Click here to email your car query so Botchi can help you pick the right vehicle!

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  • jesslink Nov 24 2010 @ 02:41pm
    I'm still waiting for the Ford Fiesta gas for mile performance and its maintainability.Honda Jazz have already proven its performance...for Toyota Vios, give it to the operators.They have already a competitor... Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio
  • engr_kristian Nov 24 2010 @ 04:14pm
    the Fiesta received a lot of very good reviews but my concern is if it can handle low quality fuel like what we have in the Philippines. On the other hand, the Jazz has been tested & proven many times over that it's a very reliable car.
  • rsa1 Nov 24 2010 @ 07:23pm
    jazz still rulez
  • HD Nov 24 2010 @ 08:38pm
    Pure Fun: Mazda 2 Sport
    Fun Refinement stock audio SQ: Fiesta S
    Practicality Space: Jazz
    Resale Value Parts Price: Yaris
  • HD Nov 24 2010 @ 10:16pm
    That didnt come out right lol. For pure fun - Mazda 2 Sport is tops. It is so light and agile, it just zoomzooms and turns on a dime without hesitation. It may look weak on paper but its light curbweight mated with a decent engine and willing transmission makes it the driver's car of the segment. The Fiesta S is also very dynamic but is slightly less agile than the 2. It's best quality is its suspension refinement - it almost glides over our nasty roads without being overly soft and annoying. It is the most silent car in the class and has the best audio quality too. The downside is the powershift transmission. It remains to be seen whether it is as frugal as claimed but it is unfortunately not geared for spirited driving :(. The Jazz has the best engine (and the paddle shifter is way cool) and the largest cabin - but it is also the noisiest and its aircon is also the weakest. The accelerator is too sensitive and the brakes are too grabby but handling is decent. Otoh, it has the most space inside so it is the most practical I guess. The Yaris is well a Toyota ... it is reliable, the parts are easy to find when something conks out (pareho sa vios), and has good resale value. On the other hand, it drives like a small Camry (read: boring). If you are a conservative driver - pick Yaris/Vios. Pick Jazz if you carry a lot of cargo / passengers most of the time. If you are an aggressive driver - only the Mazda 2 fits. If you are a bit of both (passive - aggressive) and you love listening to music while you drive - the Fiesta S it is.
  • DnC Nov 25 2010 @ 03:32am
    I could hardly finish reading after the "big sexy beast" bit. You speak of the truth though Botchi. "My man!" *denzel voice*
  • jclogan Nov 25 2010 @ 05:25am
    Get the Fiesta, always get the new one unless the old ones are significantly better, which in this case, are not.The top of the line has a 6-speed CVT which will yield better FC & help retain a high market value.
  • 6thgear-nitro Nov 25 2010 @ 06:47am
    y even put the yaris in this contest.... ??? ----- yuck... no.1 pick is the Jazz and no. 2 is the fiesta..
  • tidus1203 Nov 25 2010 @ 07:14am
    For me it only boils down to the Jazz or Fiesta depending whether you need space or performance. I would not worry about the Fiesta's resale cause given the demand and the long waiting list I think resale value is secured. The Yaris, forget it. The MZ2 is fun to drive but kinda crude. The Vios, YAWN!!!!
  • bayen Nov 25 2010 @ 07:52am
    wow. i can't believe my email got posted. This is amazing. :) Thank you very much for your reply botchi. Really appreciate it. anyway, I already bought a replacement. i went for the Honza Jazz 1.5V. Space, reliability and resale value were my decision points in getting the jazz despite the attractive new toys and bigger displacement of the fiesta.
  • red.santiago Nov 25 2010 @ 09:35am
    @jclogan: I don't think that the Fiesta has a CVT. It's a 6-speed Dual Clutch Transmission I believe.
    Congratulations @bayen. Enjoy your new car! :D
  • anselmodelarocha Nov 25 2010 @ 10:30am
    mag-jazz ka. daming issues sa fiesta. gas lid cover na laging bukas, AT na unstable ang shifting, matagtag na ride, panget na upuan(mahirap pahigain ang sandalan), mahinang aircon, di maayos na locking mechanism from the inside at MATAKAW SA GAS
  • wart_les Nov 25 2010 @ 11:51am
    Honda JAZZ is the best of the three which is why the money goes with it,
  • barry Nov 25 2010 @ 02:25pm
    for bryan: my advise, just test drive the jazz and the fiesta. compare the two cars with regards to engine performance, suspension, utility and space. mahirap kasi kung umaasa ka lang sa sabi-sabi. para ikaw na rin ang magdecide kung ano talaga ang gusto mo. bottomline, kaw naman ang bibili ng kotse.
  • 6thgear-nitro Nov 25 2010 @ 02:28pm
    @bayen: what color bro??
  • jabroni Nov 25 2010 @ 02:29pm
    wait for the new hyundai verna, i think it's coming in 1-2months and this will kick the thrill of the fiesta.
  • Drift Nov 25 2010 @ 06:05pm
    The new accent is coming. worth the wait. Honda Jazz is also a great car. :)
  • bayen Nov 26 2010 @ 06:59am
    @ 6thgear-nitro
    i got the white one.
  • engr_kristian Nov 26 2010 @ 03:09pm
    @bayen: good choice, you can't go wrong with the Jazz. i also took the same considerations when I picked the Civic over the Cruze, Focus, & Lancer.
  • chujosh Nov 27 2010 @ 10:32am
    So many cars.... With not so much money.. Haha..
    Fiesta or Jazz.. Either one! Both cars are great.
  • thecardude Nov 27 2010 @ 01:02pm
    have test driven the Fiesta. had high hopes. we were shopping around for a smaller, fuel efficient, fun car. test drove the sport hatchback version and was sorely disappointed. initially liked the interiors, seating, controls but even with the 1.6, oddly enough felt not as much initial surge compared to the jazz 1.5. interiors feel cramped, really meant for just a couple. had a friend with me when i drove it to test the backseat. ok for short drives only.
  • barry Nov 27 2010 @ 02:48pm
    attention: the all new hyundai accent is coming! kelangan masubukan. abangan!
  • gvm0116 Dec 01 2010 @ 11:45am
    you might want to wait for the new accent. then balance your options anew. but if you are eager to get a new one the soonest, you'll be better off with the jazz. although the ford comes at a very close 2nd. you can't go wrong with a vios/yaris either, but the jazz is definitely better.
  • carlcarter15 Dec 10 2010 @ 01:10am
    ask ko lng.. balak ko kc bumili ng new car na fuel efficient pero mabilis padin patakbuhin.. ung ford fiesta na 1.4L engine mblis dn ba? kc ung 1.6sports nila mblis e
  • borikyo Dec 11 2010 @ 03:24pm
    i-Vtec na ang Jazz kaya kahit stock lang,may laban na...nice choice bayen!
  • iankremlin Dec 11 2010 @ 03:28pm
    owner of a fiesta sport 1.6, its less than a month new, and dissapointed with the fuel consumption and high reving. And we just knew this earlier, i would have bought a honda, tsk tsk...
  • rsa1 Dec 12 2010 @ 09:19pm
    @iankremlin, just wait until the brake-in period (although, new cars today don't need a break-in), i believe after 1000km, the fuel consumption will improve. with the revs, not quite sure. honda jazz owner here, but don't get disappointed with what you choose, baka everytime na lang gamitin mo sya mainis ka :) ganda rin yan fiesta.
  • borikyo Dec 21 2010 @ 07:02pm
    @rsa1: lam ko factory brake-in na ang mga kotse ngaun...
  • bayen Mar 24 2011 @ 09:36pm
    had the car for 6 months now. everthing is A okay. had a few mods on it already. thanks to the guidance from

    i've seen alot of fiesta this past few months. they look good.

    @ iankremlin
    Good day sir. :)
    kamusta napo yung FC nung fiesta nyo? i hope it got better na,
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