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Old 17th May 2007, 03:07   #1
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Default NHC Variants vs. SX4 - A definitive Comparison

For years now, Honda has been ruling Indian roads. Be it motorcycles, cars or scooters. Honda has been quite instrumental in crafting Indian automobile industry.
Does that give them rights to dictate what Indians should drive and what safety features they deserve and at what price?? cheaper Indian lives? Deeper but Ignorant Indian pockets??
"Man maximum, machine minimum" Honda says. Does that means less of safety kit?

No doubt Honda quality is excellent. But how does one measure quality? hearsay? just believing the hype?? IMO, other manufacturers are definitely catching up. They deserve a objective comparison, NOT blind faith.

OK, Just to clarify, I dont own a single Maruti product OR work for them. But my quest to buy a near perfect sedan in 7-8 lacs range got me to compare between the best selling and the newest kid on the block.

So Lets subjectively compare the latest offering by Maruti with Honda's City;

1. Value For Money : Find other car which gives you so much at this price point. Maruti have engaged decent quality equipment vendors for the kit WHILE keeping frugality in mind. NOT the Logan kinda frugality mind you. Thats downright cost cutting. Compare the cost of SX4 ZXi with the lowest specced Honda City. In ANY STATE in India. I dont know what VFM is if SX4 is not.

2. Performance : Its just adequate. This I admit because I had an extended TD. Lets put the Aussie or European spec motor in the car for the perspective. ALL of 2000 ccs and see the car climb the sales chart! Really?? question yourself...what sells in India more...Performance or "average kya hai?" . Balancing between FE and performance isnt so easy. If you want performance go buy yourself Honda City Vtec @ 1.5 Lacs more and bask in the Honda Glory with a bigger hole in your pocket. Ask yourself would the 0-100 figures would matter to you in everyday runs.
Besides, rest assured that any SX4 variant would be much faster than City Exi/Gxi. Only competition is Vtec. But if you just want performance, there are better cars out there at Vtec price point IMO. Mitsu Cedia is one prime example. Want cheaper performance, go for Palio Stile 1.6 Sport. SX4 is a better balance on performance/price/sedan feel.

3. Fuel consumption : Dont have the exact figures, but it would be definitely more than Honda City Exi/Gxi. Honda City's (NOT Vtec) SOLE priority remains FE. With a Motor less powerful than Swift, twin sparks for every cylinder,and lightweight, City WILL always be cheaper to run than SX4. But then Indigo is even cheaper to run...oh did you say "status symbol" ???

4. Status Symbol : Show off.Hollow.Pretense. Akin to taking a dumb blonde with you at some page 3 party. Not involving, not even worth conversing with, but considered fun to show off. How much fun is showing off your washing machine to others?

There would be more points like After Sales Support, Cheaper spares, Ride and Handling, but everyone knows where the probability of coming up trumps lie. I wouldnt talk about them.

I dont mean to berate Honda owners or their cars as such. I just want to wake people from their Honda induced slumber and wake up to the fact that there are other manufacturers who are making better cars and too often surpass the perceived Honda Quality. Wake UP! and compare without prejudice!

And please...dont even get me started on Honda motorcycles in India and what they have done to Indian motorcycling scene.

Mods: Please delete the thread if you think the post is just a flame bait. I just want to know why would someone will still choose NHC other than for badge and FE.
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Old 17th May 2007, 03:18   #2
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Yeah you can't beat the SX4, not with the NHC atleast. Now if Maruti can sway the brand-loyal/blind buyers in this segment, Honda will be in deep poop.
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Old 17th May 2007, 03:33   #3
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The SX4 has definately given the NHC a run for its money..
1. More power
2. More features
3. More service centres from Maruti
4. Most important -- VFM

and now v1p3r will want this.

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Old 17th May 2007, 09:23   #4
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Sid, your composition is great. It surely has 'points to ponder'. I really liked the way you had put this sentence 'There would be more points like After Sales Support, Cheaper spares, Ride and Handling, but everyone knows where the probability of coming up trumps lie. I wouldnt talk about them.' You are part of market research group or what? Jokes apart, this one is a neat composition. Cheers
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Old 17th May 2007, 09:30   #5
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I whole heartedly support sids911.

That's a nice comparison between the two. Being a NHC owner, I many times personally felt that it lacks the safety features. Since, at the time of buying my vehicle(March '06), there is no competetion for NHC and there is no other vehicle with sufficient safety kit.

If I would buy a vehicle now, I would definetely consider SX4 first. Also, for the premium, HONDA should give sufficient safety kit.
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Old 17th May 2007, 09:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sids911 View Post
No doubt Honda quality is excellent. But how does one measure quality? hearsay? just believing the hype?? IMO, other manufacturers are definitely catching up. They deserve a objective comparison, NOT blind faith.
....
...
I dont mean to berate Honda owners or their cars as such. I just want to wake people from their Honda induced slumber and wake up to the fact that there are other manufacturers who are making better cars and too often surpass the perceived Honda Quality. Wake UP! and compare without prejudice!
One such indication of perceived quality of the NHC could be that it has been counted as the car with the least number of defects (~70 per thousand) for the past 3 years running by JK Power studies. Its competitors dont even come close. It has been ranked top amongst customer satisfaction as well.

Of course, given that you would want to believe such research. And given that SX4 for now, doesnt figure in this research.

OT - whatever we enthusiasts might think of, the general public has a different view of things, and our debates may hardly be representative of actual sales or the success of a car.
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Old 17th May 2007, 09:59   #7
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I just saw an ad from honda for a road show at divyashree chambers (Bangalore) today!!

Maruti definitely has a problem on supply for the SX4 which they openly agree. If they cannot roll out the number of cars, people can trun back. Honda definitely can play around with their price, or relaunch with similar features...not sure if they can do that this year though!!!

-Neel
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Old 17th May 2007, 10:05   #8
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FE is big puller in India. SX4 is nicely priced so if FE is descent. It surely going to click. Any idea on FE ?
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Old 17th May 2007, 10:08   #9
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I like this comparison.
I own an NHC Gxi (2004) and I like most of the things about NHC:
1. Super-smooth engine
2. Honda's positive attitude to launch an engine tuned for FE - a respect towards the needs of the common Indian car buyer while still keeping it a full fledged 3 box sedan with reasonable pickup, mind you
3. 500 liters of boot-space
4. the amazingly sleek and accurate gear-box...I haven't seen any other manual transmission this good in any car below 10 lacks...
5. A very high tech CVT transmission that nobody else offers in India

I agree that NHC looks (with lack of ABS, EBD) overpriced with the launch of SX4 and that's good for all of us as consumers, but I expect a qualitative comparison on this forum.

SX4 is a great thing happening to us - it's futuristic in terms of features (comfort + safety) clubbed with high availability service network and though I like NHC, Honda service is highly overpriced, their network is very small and their post-sales attitude sucks so I want to see Maruti doing well so that they set "right" the big car-makes attitude towards India.

But please please please, don't disappoint by comparing NHC with Indigo, please have some respect for the internal combustion engine and transmission technologies.
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Old 17th May 2007, 10:16   #10
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I have owned many Hondas (still do), its a welcome change being forced by Maruthi in India. Hondas are overpriced in India and hope they launch the new City along with everywhere else. If Honda can give us the great fun of Fit in sedan version with all standard features, it would be a great maturity for Indian Car market.
Thanks Maruthi for stirring up the market and leading to better cars at affordable prices.
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Old 17th May 2007, 11:18   #11
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My post might be a little biased since me too have fallen for the sx4:

But from my experience I feel the NHC bread and butter variants[the exi and gxi] are at present neither here nor there in this segment.Mileage conscious consumers are moving towards the fiesta diesel which has established itself quite well,meanwhile for all the goodies you opt for the sx4 coupled with the powerful engine,plus fe looks to be atleast 12kmpl in city[for sx4] so not much of a drastic fall.

The gxi cvt and vtec are not going to be affected much since they are targeted at a niche segment only[both these variants have their own wonderful pluses].

It's not that People in India are mesmerized by brand honda remember one man[the bajaj pulser] could overtake the honda's in two wheeler's it is not impossible for the other man[sx4] to overtake the honda either.Public memory is quite short here and trends can change very quickly.

As of now honda certainly is not VFM,this is the key criteria in Indian markets.Its upto honda now as to how they want to reposition the new honda city or the combined pressure from the Fiesta diesel plus SX4 may be too hot to handle.

However once again I repeat this is an important pre-cursor to the battle we are going to see in around 2009 when honda/toyota/nissan will take on maruti in the small car segment.
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Old 17th May 2007, 11:39   #12
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todays TOI bangalore had some honda dealer offer accessories which i see is a good move, i think at a dealer level atleast honda is feeling a slight pinch from suzuki
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Old 17th May 2007, 11:52   #13
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Well, dont write Honda off so soon!!...they have also been extremely successful in branding and building customer loyalty... I am sure they will also have an ace of spades up their sleeves....

Ultimately customer WINS and thats why the launch SX4 is even more exciting....
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Old 17th May 2007, 11:54   #14
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guys - ive been an owner of a HONDA CITY 1.5 EXI for last 2.5 years. the car is a 2001 model bought second hand. though i completely enjoy driving this car - the owner ship experience is not something im really happy about - especially when a 2.5 lakh alto owner gets a FAR FAR SUPERIOR ownership experience than i get from HONDA......

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY WELCOME THE SX4 and i SINCERELY WISH IT GIVES THE CITY A SERIOUS RUN FOR ITS MONEY AND LITERALLY BRINGS HONDA TO ITS FEET ( WHICH IS WHERE IT HAS BEEN ALL ALONG KEEPING ITS CUSTOMERS )
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Old 17th May 2007, 12:12   #15
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BTW, on the Quality and NHC front, please take a look at the below survey
ConsumerReports.org - Reliability trends, how makes compare 4/07

The most reliable car of the second-most reliable car-maker is the Fit, on which NHC is based.

Its more than just hearsay. I believe that the idea that "Honda's quality/reliability is only hearsay" is itself hearsay for many.
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