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Old 28th October 2005, 04:50   #1
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Thumbs up My take on the NHC, Baleno & lancer

While this discussion has been going on in 2-3 different threads I decided to start it afresh.

many people have some confusions here about the comparision. so I decided to write a detailed information review here.


Honda CITY
Lets start with the NHC. The zx model is out. The cost is 7.57 for the gxi model. The GXI model is the top most model keeping aside the CVT and vtec. The interiors are excellent and the exteriors look fresh. The rear now looks even better with the new lights.

But when Honda discontinued the old city it was a real blow to many people out there. the sales were strong and the car was still receiving rave reviews. The 1.5 gave good FE as well as performance. Now the NHC only gives FE.

But it was to happen. Toyota was entering with the corolla and hence Honda made way at exactly the same time. If you look at the product lineup of honda and toyota not one car is entering others territory. Hence I proclaim this as treachery. Lets hope it changes with the civic & fortuner.

toyota qualis(biggest toyota crime to bring in a >10 year old car)
toyota innova(qualis replacement too expensive)=no honda
toyota corolla= OHC vtec that departed before corollas launch
Toyota camry= accord is smaller and in a different price bracket
Toyota Prado= no honda car to compete in the segment
Honda crv= No toyota to comepete here.
NHC= no toyota competitor yet


dealers response has been the worst recently after the launch of the NHC.

It basically sucks on performance and maybe only marginally better on FE. The interiors and exterior have a fresh look though.


Baleno

NOthin beats it when it comes to pricing against a maruti car. Baleno is one of the best equipped cars around in its segment with good performance and FE. NHC is taken apart by the baleno except in the looks department. costs 7.05 for the new vxi BSIII fully loaded. Its cheaper than the NHC. IT is the best performing engine of the three. The automatic A/c is only available in the baleno. Though dated now it lacks the luxury appeal and interior is a lot dated agains the NHC. Its got more features at a lesser price and makes it a better value anyday against the NHC that is plain overpriced.

Lancer

This car was supposed to be replaced 2 years ago but because of MItsubishi's international problems The replacement got delayed. There was a timewhen Mitsubishi-HM sold more lancers than the OHC. OHC was by no means bad and took the lead later on. The sales have been pretty bad recently. Hence HM-MItsubishi announced a price cut of a huge 93000RS. Now does that make the 1.5 lX at 6.59 a great deal for this once excellent car?


consider this.


1.Price Honda city is the most expensive here at 7.57 for the gxi zx BSIII fully loaded. Baleno is 7.05 for the vxi BSIII which is 52k less. Lancer is 6.59 for BSIII which is further 46k less on the baleno. but lancer lx doesnt have a cd player, spoiler and 14" wheels.so reduce 16k from the margin. So lancer is 6.75 on road and is 30k less on the baleno and 82k less than the NHC zx.

2. AirconditioningBaleno's got automatic a/c. lancer has got an a/c with two rear ducts and NHC's has got the normal a/c with front vents. Balenos a/c is the best followed by lancer and then NHC.

3. Service Network Maruti's got more service stations around. HM(atleast 31) and hOnda (24)

4.performance baleno and lancer equalise and NHC sucks.City driving all are equally good.

5. Luxury goes to the NHC and lancer tied up and baleno loses out.

6. Looks
Lookswise every1 will agree the lancer to be best looking. NHC looks are not really good but has the fresh looks and follows lancer. Last come the baleno which shows its age clearly.

7. Ride Not much really differs between them. Equal points given.

8. handling Lancer wins hands down with the EVO vi shadowing. COnsidering baleno's handling gets better with the 14" wheels it comes in second followed by the city.

9. space Not much is different but NHC is more spacious in dimensions than the lancer and the baleno which is the smallest. BUt lancer has higher ground clearance and longer wheelbase.

10. Interiors The NHC has this first clear to the eye victory here. THe baleno and lancer dont have much different and look plain. BUt baleno has a silver finish center which looks good against the beige center look in lancer.

11. FE All the cars are given equal points here.

12. maintainence Maruti comes first with extensive maruti network and cheap spares. HM-mitsubishi ties in with the asset care program for 3 years with unlimited mileage and Honda comes third. The honda dealers have been too rough lately.

summing up the points

NHC zx gxi Maruti balenoVxi mitsubishi lancer LX
1. price 1 2 3
2. A/c 2 3 2
3. network 1 3 2
4. performance 1 3 2
5.luxury value 3 1 2
6.looks 2 1 3
7. Ride 3 3 3
8. handling 2 3 3
9. Space 3 1 2
10. Interiors 3 2 1
11.FE 3 3 3
12. Maintainence 2 3 3

Total 26/36 28/36 29/36


Without any paritality done and trying to give max points for each and every car this is the result. Baleno loses out by a point to the lancer and the NHC is two points behind.

Lancer with the huge price reduction makes a good buy. While a point behind baleno is equally good as the difference is just in features and not in their effectiveness. The NHC is still 2 points behind and certanily not a good buy.

WHile I have put this according to my perspective your suggestion are welcome.
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Old 28th October 2005, 07:24   #2
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Devarish, It is nice to see a Lancer fan who can point out the facts in an unbiased manner.
I always was with the 1999 or 2000 models of the Lancer as they had the imported engines.

The later models seem to have assembled engines from HM.
Does this make any difference to the reliablity of the engine.

Would it ok to state that the 1999 or 2000 models have a better engine reliablity than the assembled ones or is this is myth.

What are views?

Besides, THe NHC, with the V-tec engine is very good. I have driven the NHC,,,but the looks of the new NHC is far more refined than the older counter part.

Have nt driven the V-tec yet...but i am sure it should be a delight to drive

Great review..though
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Old 28th October 2005, 10:17   #3
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Devarish, do you not consider the depreciation on each of these cars? Factor that into account, and the NHC is the cheapest.

How much do you think the Baleno or Lancer would sell at in the used market in 3 years time? The Baleno will surely get another price cut soon, while the Lancer is on its last legs about to be replaced with the Cedia. So that Rs.52K "premium" on the NHC will save you atleast a lakh when it comes time to sell it.

I'm no fan of the NHC, but you have to accept hard facts.

P.S.: do we really need 2 seperate threads talking about the same topic? We should continue this in the previous thread.
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Old 28th October 2005, 11:46   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devarshi84
1.Price Honda city is the most expensive here at 7.57 for the gxi zx BSIII fully loaded. Baleno is 7.05 for the vxi BSIII which is 52k less. Lancer is 6.59 for BSIII which is further 46k less on the baleno. but lancer lx doesnt have a cd player, spoiler and 14" wheels.so reduce 16k from the margin. So lancer is 6.75 on road and is 30k less on the baleno and 82k less than the NHC zx.
@Devarshi .. very well compiled.
I just differ on the price point, having spoken to MUL and HM this week.

The 6.59 L price has 2 hitches .. it includes the finance discount and it is for the BSII models. HM Kolkata is not selling BSII models as they won't be able to register those cars in this city.

As I had mentioned in the other thread, in Kolkata,

Lancer LX BSIII is 7.26 Ex-showroom out here .. however they are offering insurance free, regn free + 3% finance discount. So considering the 85% loan that they are willing to give, it comes to around 7.07 OTR. (add tyre/alloy upgrade to 20K and basic CD player 5K to that. Comes with keyless entry.)
OTR = 7.07 + 25K = 7.32L

City ZX EXi is 6.81L ex-showroom. Honda will not give any freebies. Add around 55K for insurance and regn, it comes to 7.36L. If they give similar finance discounts, then it too would be around 7.17 OTR. (add alloy upgrade 15K and basic CD audio setup 12K to that. It comes with 2 speakers).
OTR = 7.17 + 27K = 7.44L
Also add remote keyless entry (don't know how much that costs)

Baleno VXi is 6.76 ex-showroom. Insurance is free + they are giving 25K discount. Consider similar finance discount as the others (although they are willing to give around 4%). Registration is 36K here. OTR comes to around 6.67 L (tyres/alloys/MP3 player/keyless entry included)

So the Baleno VXi is 70K cheaper on road out here.

If one compares the LXi then it would be 1.2L cheaper even with tyre and audio upgrade. But lets not go there as there are other little features missing in that model (remote locking, defogger, spoiler, climate control etc)

Given this, as per your point system, the Baleno would slightly edge out the Lancer.

All said and done, if I were in the market for one, it would have been vvvv hard to decide between the Baleno and the Lancer. Both are offering VFM deals. NHC would not have been considered.

Last edited by shuvc : 28th October 2005 at 11:49.
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Old 28th October 2005, 17:32   #5
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Rtech,
HM do NOT plan to replace the lancer with the CEDIA. They are nifact launching another new version of the lancer.
evarshi, i agree with you but i would rate the Lancer interiors over the Balenos interiors.
Even if you consider price, The City would get max. 28 while the lancer still gets 29.
If you count prestige in this, owning a Mitsubishi badge will win over the maruti badge and then Baleno comes out last and NHC and lancer end tied up.
What Devarshi is trying to say is that the lancer is an hugely underestimated car.
Raajks,
HM also makes the Ikon engines and they still rock. The lancer engine is actually quite good and 8Kkm down the line, she still feels brand new. Just throw in an KnN filter and you got one of the best cars for self drive and it is still the best overall for driver pleasure and comfort.
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Old 29th October 2005, 04:03   #6
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Quote:
Would it ok to state that the 1999 or 2000 models have a better engine reliablity than the assembled ones or is this is myth.

THe NHC, with the V-tec engine is very good. I have driven the NHC,but the looks of the new NHC is far more refined than the older counter part.
Have nt driven the V-tec yet...but i am sure it should be a delight to drive
I myself own a 2003 lancer 1.5 sfxi. The engine even today is not audible in the city or when idle. What more proof can i give for reliability. And as Lambo said Hm also makes those wonderful ikon engines which people love.

The OHC vtec certainly had a better engine and lancer had better ride and handling. Never seen such fierce competitors in the Indian automobile history.

The new vtec is a tad underpowered and unsatisfying. it goes down 6bhp plus grows in weight by around a 100kgs. Cant see it reach the ton before 12 secs anyways until HOnda has some other gizmo in the engine.



Quote:
Devarish, do you not consider the depreciation on each of these cars? Factor that into account, and the NHC is the cheapest.

How much do you think the Baleno or Lancer would sell at in the used market in 3 years time? The Baleno will surely get another price cut soon, while the Lancer is on its last legs about to be replaced with the Cedia. So that Rs.52K "premium" on the NHC will save you atleast a lakh when it comes time to sell it.

I'm no fan of the NHC, but you have to accept hard facts.

P.S.: do we really need 2 seperate threads talking about the same topic? We should continue this in the previous thread.

Rtech I didnt consider the resale value because as Shuvc mentioned there wont be much of a difference(barely 25k) after 5years(not 3 as most people keep their cars for atleast 5 years.)

but here are some resale figures to just give you a glimpse. (source:- www.jmdcars.com)

honda city gxi = 6.00(2003)
maruti baleno vxi=4.00( 2003) (lower spec first genereation model)
mitsubishi lancer glxi= 4.85 (2003)(lx is better equipped)

The current lancer is not to be discontinued but HM is giving it a complete facelift at the current price range so expect the resale value to be static for some years and into the NHC territory

same goes for the baleno which is currently selling like hot cakes.The auto a/c and new wheels and interiors will give it a static resale.

PS:- That thread is only about NHC so I decided to give a comparo to these three cars in a different thread.


Quote:
I just differ on the price point, having spoken to MUL and HM this week.

The 6.59 L price has 2 hitches .. it includes the finance discount and it is for the BSII models. HM Kolkata is not selling BSII models as they won't be able to register those cars in this city.

If one compares the LXi then it would be 1.2L cheaper even with tyre and audio upgrade. But lets not go there as there are other little features missing in that model (remote locking, defogger, spoiler, climate control etc)

Given this, as per your point system, the Baleno would slightly edge out the Lancer.

All said and done, if I were in the market for one, it would have been vvvv hard to decide between the Baleno and the Lancer. Both are offering VFM deals. NHC would not have been considered.

Shuvc I am not in India at present so I played safe with the pricing front and took the prices from their respective websites.

mitsubishi lancer is priced at 6.59(offcially advertised) for all lx models(BSII and BSIII) and HM has confirmed this in the press releases.Kolkata must be different due to emission norms but just a thought.

maruti baleno's prices are updated as of 8 october 2005 on marutibaleno.com. The prices their I suppose are for the new look baleno@ 7.05

Same with NHC. The hondacarindia.com website mentions the price to be 7.57 for the new zx gxi models.

Shuvc I selected the lx model lancer against the baleno vxi and NHC gxi as LX has all the features as the competing cars (price for alloys, stereo and spoiler is added up)



AS lambo rightly said Lancer as of today is a hugely underestimated car as HM-mitsubishi has not adhered to the new marketing tactics.


I believe the rating scale I gave above had some limitations so I will be putting up a new one on a scale of ten to help make judgements better with current resale included.
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Old 2nd November 2005, 02:51   #7
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features baleno NHC Lancer

resaleprice 6(56.5%) 8(79.2%) 7(68.3%)
price(ex-sow) 7(7.05) 6(7.57) 7(7.10)
A/c 8 6 7
service network 8(??) 6(24 cities) 7(31cities)
performance 8 6 7
luxury 7 8 8
looks 5 7 8
ride 7 7 7
handling 7 7 8
space 7 7 7
Interiors 6 8 6
FE 7 7 7
maintainence 8 7 8

Total 91/130 90/130 94/130

This comaparision helps in better looking at the advantages as many advantages aer better than a 1 point difference.

Resale value is included and taken from the used value list at www.jmdcars.com . Prices for new cars are taken from thier respective websites for BSIII ex-showroom fully loaded(lancer is including 14" alloys,spoiler, keyless entry and mp3 player ffor BSIII)

Honda's service is equivalent but loses a mark for recent customer complaints.

Now this shows that while Lancer doesnt win in all the counts it turns out to be a better car overall.
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Old 2nd November 2005, 11:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devarshi84
respective websites for BSIII ex-showroom fully loaded(lancer is including 14" alloys,spoiler, keyless entry and mp3 player ffor BSIII)
Could you give the link to where these features are mentioned ?
I got the current brochure from the Lancer dealer in Kolkata last week.

At 7.26 Ex-showroom for the LX, it
Does NOT have 14" alloys -it has 175/80 R13 steel wheels
Does NOT have a spoiler
Does NOT have a MP3 player - has cassette player.
Does have keyless entry

All upgrades, they said, will come at a cost.


I think you could add another factor .. maintenance costs.
The current issue of ACI has a comparo for the latest spare part costs (which I believe includes the 60% reduction in Lancer spare costs).

If I recall correctly, for the same set of spares,
Baleno comes to 65 K
Lancer around 120 K
NHC, I think was around 100K

Having said that, how much one spends on maintenance over a 5 yr period will differ upon usage and luck .. BUT, in case one is unlucky, the Baleno will pinch you the least.
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Old 2nd November 2005, 12:22   #9
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i recently had the chance to drive the NHC gxi on the highways. The route was Delhi - Jaipur - Delhi - Patiala. All the time the car was loaded with 5 adults and a full boot, and the ac was on most of the times. And yet, the car did not feel underpowered. No dropping gears for overtakings, just a gentle press of the pedal was enough. At one point, i had a 1.6 optra (which had only two ppl on board and was being driven pretty well) as my pilot car. LOL, he even took punga with a palio that didnt let him pass easily.

And since i havent driven baleno and lancer, i cant say who is better in terms of performance, but one thing i can say for sure is that saying that NHC's performance "sux" is going a bit overboard.

I agree on the ac part. Its ac can do with some improvements.

By the way, i (and person sitting behind me) was quite comfortable as far as seating is concerned in NHC. Hows the comfort level in baleno and lancer for 6 ft plus tall people (without compromising the comfort of the one sitting behind the driver's seat)?

Amitoj
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Old 2nd November 2005, 13:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj
And since i havent driven baleno and lancer, i cant say who is better in terms of performance, but one thing i can say for sure is that saying that NHC's performance "sux" is going a bit overboard
Amitoj, I have driven NHC Gxi (iDSI) first (with a serious intention to buy), then Baleno VXi-- in quick succession... Performance-wise NHC (iDSI) is no competition to Baleno. In fact, Ichibaan Honda (Chembur) even refused to offer a test drive on the highway saying that it was against their policy, since City was designed for city driving! (I had to simulate highway driving on Govandi road, which gave a fair idea of how underpowered the car was for a 1.5L engine.)
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Old 2nd November 2005, 13:33   #11
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can you do a comparo with Baleno Lxi...as that is the correct model to be compared with Lancer...not the Vxi...VXi models are generally never VFM and hence it is not right to compare the Vxi of one with Lx of another....pls add 20k for the height adjustible seat if the new lancer comes with one! the Baleno Lxi in general has everything else...

Last edited by Buffetfan : 2nd November 2005 at 13:34.
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Old 2nd November 2005, 13:43   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc
Could you give the link to where these features are mentioned ?
I got the current brochure from the Lancer dealer in Kolkata last week.

At 7.26 Ex-showroom for the LX, it
Does NOT have 14" alloys -it has 175/80 R13 steel wheels
Does NOT have a spoiler
Does NOT have a MP3 player - has cassette player.
Does have keyless entry

All upgrades, they said, will come at a cost.


I think you could add another factor .. maintenance costs.
The current issue of ACI has a comparo for the latest spare part costs (which I believe includes the 60% reduction in Lancer spare costs).

If I recall correctly, for the same set of spares,
Baleno comes to 65 K
Lancer around 120 K
NHC, I think was around 100K

Having said that, how much one spends on maintenance over a 5 yr period will differ upon usage and luck .. BUT, in case one is unlucky, the Baleno will pinch you the least.
that is the reason the Lancer should be compared to the Baleno Lxi and not the Vxi model ...and then the VFM can be compared...
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Old 2nd November 2005, 13:59   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msprabhakar
Amitoj, I have driven NHC Gxi (iDSI) first (with a serious intention to buy), then Baleno VXi-- in quick succession... Performance-wise NHC (iDSI) is no competition to Baleno. In fact, Ichibaan Honda (Chembur) even refused to offer a test drive on the highway saying that it was against their policy, since City was designed for city driving! (I had to simulate highway driving on Govandi road, which gave a fair idea of how underpowered the car was for a 1.5L engine.)
NHC can not outperform Baleno even in its wildest dreams (by the way, baleno is 1.6 and nhc is 1.5), but having driven NHC on actual highways (and traffic jams of delhi) for nearly 18 hours, with full load, i will still say that its not underpowered.
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Old 2nd November 2005, 14:03   #14
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Also consider safety - today on the inner ring road, a "BMW" Scorpio slammed into a NHC at around 50km/h forcing it into the rear of an Indica. The Scorpio snout is damaged, NHC absorbed the whole impact and the right rear wing and half the boot has disappeared, whole front wing section is gone. The car is condemned but the passenger section is intact save for a smashed rear screen. Indica damaged at the rear but repairable
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Old 2nd November 2005, 14:13   #15
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whoa when did that happen? I was on the inner ring road around 10:30. By the way, whats a "BMW" Scorpio? Scorpio with a BMW sticker?
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