“One should never judge a book by its cover.” I can relate to this. Just a couple of years ago I was wondering if I should buy a Toshiba or a Panasonic TV, when everyone suggested me to pick the Sonys and the Samsungs. To be very honest, I thought of the brand value and I was convinced to buy a Sony, until I was advised by the store-owner— who turned out to be a family friend— to buy a Toshiba. I took that advise and picked up a Toshiba and a close friend in the same week procured a Sony LED TV. I saved 20 grand on this deal (about 40%), but my buddy was confident that the last laugh will be his. Now, with two years past there seems to be a problem in the LED TV. The screen seems to have some issues, but the problem is in the Sony not the Toshiba. Anyways, I’m not saying Sony is a bad brand and Toshiba is better, but I have been a happy Toshiba customer. We do a detailed Honda Activa vs Hero Maestro vs Mahindra Gusto comparison.
Honda Activa vs Hero Maestro vs Mahindra Gusto Design
Similar is the situation in the Indian scooters. Honda has been leading the segment with its Activa, as there aren’t been any proper scooter for a long while. But now we have two strong competitors the Hero Maestro and the new entrant Mahindra Gusto. We pit the three against each other and let you one winner.
In design, the new Activa is a lot sleek as it has cut flab from its bulky styling. 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 Activa-i used in the images is slimmer and lighter than the Activa.
The Gusto does look like a scooter from outer space. Many people did find it appealing and several came to check which scooter was it. The Gusto’s side indicators and the 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. 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 more oriented towards to the male audience and it does look trendy with the LED tail lamps.
Honda Activa vs Hero Maestro vs Mahindra Gusto Height Adjustment
The Gusto is the more feature-loaded one 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 good and 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.
Honda Activa vs Hero Maestro vs Mahindra Gusto Ride
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 and the other two scooters weight 110kgs. Wring the throttle and the Activa is the most responsive and it is the easiest to zoom in traffic, this is despite the Activa having lesser power on paper. The Maestro has a 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 all three are good, with Activa having an edge on 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 lead forward, especially when it is with a pillion. The Activa and Gusto aren’t far behind either in this aspect. In fuel efficiency, all three are close too. 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.