Mahindra is the latest entrant to the 125cc segment with the Gusto125. The 125cc is evolving and Mahindra says that they wanted to capture the niche end of the market with the 125cc Gusto, as already the 110cc variant does the same. Mahindra two wheelers have been doing the same with their motorcycles as they are also at the premium end of the market. The 125cc scooter segment has some serious benchmarks already which have been ruling the industry.
Suzuki is the company which comes to mind with their Access and Swish. Next comes Vespa, which has been in the industry, but even higher in the segment than the Gusto. Honda Activa was the last entrant in the segment with a potent package that it offers with it. We put them together head to head in this comparison to tell you which scooter performs the best and which the best bang for your buck as these scooters tend to offer a little more performance and practicality as well in spades.
Styling wise all these three scooters have a very different design language that they follow. The Activa looks modern and fresh and has a conservative design to it. Front has a big chrome strip and looks captivating. Where Activa 125 looses at the side and at the rear where it looks plain utilitarian and isn’t the typical Honda scooters that we are used too. It looks substantial, but not in the right way.
Suzuki Access, on the other hand continues to come with the same design that we have here today. Sure, there have been just one change to the refreshed scooter and that is the large front mudguard that looked like an auto rickshaw spare part, and that has been replaced.
Access looks like a bigger scooter that it is and hence a been key product for Suzuki when it comes to sales. Front is still appealing, but the rear is showing its age and rear isn’t particularly modern enough either. Overall, new colors and other bits help but then again, it is clearly showing its age now.
Vespa on the other hand continues to be the same and we had the S model with us just for how things get funky in this segment. It comes with various options, the square headlight looks sporty and the overall design looks retro and what the junta calls it, ‘cute’.
This is where the Gusto 125 shines. With the new colors, it has the same magic of the Vespa as its design is striking too for starters. Overall, the massive rear tail lamp along with boxy side panels, which are done perfectly make the Gusto 125 into a smart looking boxy scooter, which either is a hit or a miss. However, with the new colors we must say it does very up market, good looking and likeable.
Speedo and Switchgear:
Speedo wise the Gusto 125 and Access 125 come last as they have bland clusters and age old fonts. There isn’t much to show except fuel gauge and speedo. The Vespa has the funky one and has a bit of information such as clock and trip meter.
However, no one beats the Activa as it has the backlit console in orange color and is part digital and part analogue. Digital part shows fuel gauge, trip meter and odometer and the Activa unit looks way modern in person and superior in this test. Switchgear is good on all these scooters and provide the basics well.
Ergonomics and Space:
All scooters have good seats, but the Gusto 125 has the largest in width and length, which gives a great edge over its rival. Gusto offers seat height adjust-ability and the height drops to 40mm in the lower segment, which is a Gusto key success point. Where Gusto doesn’t ace is the under seat storage, which is the best in all the other scooters and it is behind by a good margin. All scooters offer 6 litre fuel tanks. All scooters have a wide floorboard expect the Access, that comes last by a small margin.
Powering all these scooters is 125cc engine which are 2-valve, air-cooled, CVT gearbox equipped. The Vespa is slightly different which has 3-valves. Let’s start with that first. Vespa doesn’t have the punchy driveability when it comes to low-end punch and has a strong mid range and top-speed takes a lot of the achieve.
The CVT effect is the most pronounced here and doesn’t allow you to put down all the highest power and torque figures of 10 BHP and 10.6 Nm of torque. NVH levels are good on the Vespa and the other three contenders as well. Overall, Vespa comes last as it isn’t punchy and very city friendly when it comes performance, but it does with sedate commuting.
Next comes the Suzuki Access. Once a benchmark in the segment thanks to super peppy engine class leading numbers. The engine is refined offers very good off-the-line acceleration and still remains as the competition does the same too. 40 and 60 km/hr from 0 km/hr come up so quickly once you roll on the throttle that is truly an eye-opener when you look behind as the traffic is still far away from you. Activa 125 and Gusto 125 is also manage to to do the same.
However, the Gusto lags a bit behind in outright acceleration as it is quite heavy. Mahindra has done some clever job with the transmission and despite the kerb weight, it gets off the line very quickly like the other two Japanese. Numbers wise, the Activa leads, then come the Access and Gusto 125 is similar to the Suzuki.
Mid-range is strong all these scooters and hence overtaking on highway and twisty roads isn’t much of a problem. We saw 90 km/hr on the speedo on the Gusto. We think it lags a bit of it because the engine needs time to open up as it was new. All scooters can easily deliver up to 40-45 km/l.
Access is a genuine 100 km/hr scooter according to the speedo. Activa 125 has managed to reach 90 km/hr. Vespa has the highest top-speed, but it needs a runway to do so. Surprisingly and something we learned in the past is that the Activa 125 has aced all performance test when it comes to performance and it still continues to do the same. Overall, you cannot go wrong while commuting on these three scooters (Vespa isn’t counted here) but if you want more performance the Activa 125 is the option for you.
Except the Vespa, all other scooters have underbone type chassis. Vespa comes with a monocoque chassis. Gusto has 12-inch wheels, front and rear. Access has 10-inch wheels on both ends and Activa has 12-inch at the front and 10-inch at the rear. Vespa also has 11-inch at the front and 10-inch wheels at the rear which is odd as always.
Gusto and Activa 125 ride very stiff of the lot and yet provide just about adequate ride quality for our broken roads. Access is stiff on the front and rear is very soft and hence the dynamic abilities on the edge isn’t so called fun, but before that it is a scooter well suited for the masses and newbie enthusiast.
All of these things are seen in spades when you consider the Gusto 125 and Activa 125. Vespa has an able chassis, but the soft suspension and small tyres and wheels let it down. The front wobbles a lot at high speeds and in the corners it is good only when the speed is on the lower side.
There is a reason why it isn’t in the pictures because it doesn’t cut the cake for this segment, it’s here to put add glamour to the scene. Overall, it’s a tough decision between the Activa 125 and Gusto. However, the Activa is more dedicated and hence it is the most sportiest of the lot here.
Gusto 125 vs Activa 125 vs Access 125 vs Vespa S Review Verdict
Since the Vespa is out of context as the variant does not exist anymore and the what does is the engine. Vespa S came to this test for to give you an idea of the 125cc category feels like and hence since its short comings in the mechanical part, it comes last in the test. Coming to the Suzuki Access, the scooter has the peppiest and the most enjoyable engines of the lot. Access remains a great no-nosense product in this. However, its dated in this test and needs a serious upgrade and doesn’t ace this test.
Activa 125 seems to have everything, a bit of features, a extremely strong mechanical base such as class leading performance and very good ride and handling. The pricing is spot on too and offers disc brake as well. This is where the Gusto 125 comes in with a bang. The scooter has almost everything the Activa has and where it lacks and that is only performance.
The Gusto 125 makes up for it by offering lifestyle features such as remote flip key, height adjustable seat and other bits. Mahindra Gusto 125 can be the winner if the pricing undercuts the Activa 125 or even matches it as it would be intense value for money. Wait for the complete verdict when the pricing of the Gusto 125 comes and it goes on sale.
All prices ex-showroom Delhi
Vespa SXL 125 – Rs. 82,000/- (Disc)
Activa 125 – Rs. 62,000/- (Disc) Rs, 56,000/- (Drum)
Suzuki Access – Rs. 52,000/-
Mahindra Gusto 125 – Rs. 57,000 (Approx estimate)