Road test: TVS Scooty Zest vs Yamaha Fascino

The TVS Scooty Zest 110 is one of the best 110 cc scooters money can buy. Can the new Yamaha Fascino give the Scooty a run for its money?

With its utilitarian combination of storage space, along with the user-friendliness of its automatic powertrain, the 110-cc scooter is one of the best means of pottering around town. And currently, the TVS Scooty Zest 110 is probably the best that money can buy. Now Yamaha, who has been in that 110 cc segment with its Ray and Ray Z for some time, had renewed its onslaught with the Fascino to be the segment leader. We compare the newly launched Yamaha Fascino with the TVS Scooty Zest 110 to see if the former can steal the latter’s crown.

The Fascino grabs eyeballs by the dozen wherever it goes. With its curvaceous body work and lavish amount of chrome, there is no doubt which of the two is the looker. The chromed-out mirrors and front grille along with the triangulated headlamp lend a retro look. The smooth flowing lines on the bodywork meld seamlessly across the length. Aesthetically, the Zest, on the other hand, is all curves and boomerangs. The front apron is flanked by the boomerang blinkers and, in the middle, sits the chromed out TVS crest plate. The Scooty Zest 110 is actually quite a smart-looking scooter in its own right. It’s just that the Yamaha is so much smarter.

With its segment-leading 21-litre storage bin, the Fascino should have beaten the Scooty Zest’s offer of 19 litres hollow but it doesn’t. On paper, even though the Yamaha’s storage is larger, it fails to accommodate a full-face helmet. The TVS exhibits no such restriction. Even the little storage bin on the apron of Yamaha seems to be more about form than function; the Fascino’s triangular cubby-hole tapers towards the bottom, which makes retrieving tiny objects from it quite the task. So clearly, the TVS Scooty Zest 110 offers a more practical approach to form.

The Fascino’s 21-litre storage bin does not beat Yamaha’s 19-litre one. Pics/Sanjay Raikar

Ergonomics and build
Riding position is similar on both scooters, but the Fascino’s handlebar is slightly lower than the Zest’s and feels more natural. The fit-and-finish on both scooters is middling — good but not outstanding. The Yamaha fares slightly better than the TVS in terms of build quality.

Engine and performance
The TVS Scooty Zest 110 is powered by a 109.7-cc engine with peak power of 8 PS at 7,500 RPM and 8.7 Nm of torque at 5,500 RPM. Acceleration is brisk and the engine feels refined and peppy enough to put a smile on your face. It’s fairly fuel-efficient as well, returning an average of 55 km/l on our test. The Fascino’s 113-cc engine, on the other hand, puts out a peak power of 7.1 PS at 7,500 RPM and a peak torque of 8.1 Nm at 5,000 RPM. The Fascino, while still peppy, fails to propel one as excitingly as the Zest. It’s also not as economical as the TVS, and returns an average fuel efficiency of 42.5 km/l.

Handling and ride quality
Although both scooters employ a similar suspension set up, the Scooty Zest 110 has a set up that translates into a smoother ride over Indian roads. The scooter is extremely flickable and filtering through traffic is a breeze. The Fascino, on the other hand, is set up more firmly and can turn into a wonky ride on rough patches. However, the stiff set-up means the Fascino corners with considerable aplomb.

The Fascino has much going for it aesthetically and the retro styling works commendably in its favour. If bling quotient and road presence is of primal importance, then look no further. However, it does moderately in terms of performance and fuel economy. The build quality, too, is only slightly better than that of the Zest. The Zest might not turn as many heads as the Fascino, but will surely get you to college and back much faster. Even in terms of running cost, the Zest offers better value for money. If you are looking for a better overall package, the Zest definitely fits the bill.

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