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Old 7th July 2004, 15:04   #1
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Car *: Honda City 1.5 (Vtec)
Year : September 2001
Colour : Saphire Silver
Mileage : 39580 kms

15th/September/2001 : We were on the look out for a new midsized car as our 65bhp Carb Esteem, which had served us for 7 years needed to be replaced.

Let me make it clear that, back then........i wasn't an auto freak. Words like bhp, torque, abs, disc brakes etc meant nothing to me. All i knew was that this was a car that, was supposed to take me from point A to point B. But i did enjoy driving.

Then, as we progressed with our search for a new car, i got the chance to drive some of the "then" latest machines like the Lancer, Corsa, ikon etc. We had almost made up our minds to go in for the lancer, as we had heard good reviews about it. I even got to a point where i thought it was the fastest car in India!!!

22nd/September/2001 : Now, when one of our family friends heard that we were going in for a Lancer, he obviously wasn't pleased. He told us that he had recently bought this car called the Honda City which he felt *was worth giving a try.

So, off we went to the nearest Honda showroom to check out the "City". We were first given a brief review on the car and then were provided with a test drive. The moment i sat in, i knew i was gonna love this one. As we drove it on the Sarjapur ring road, I, for the first time, saw me taking a car beyond 130kmph.

That was all it took, the lancer was instantly forgotten. This was the kind of car i wanted to own and drive. *But don't worry, the Vtec had still not come into the picture, the car we test drove was infact a "City 1.5" LOL!!!

Then as i was talking to the Honda guy about the "City's" performance, he mentioned something about *there being another varient of the City that he claimed was faster than the car we had just tested. At first, i thought he was joking. Was this guy, trying to tell me, that there existed another car that could actually nuke the City 1.5??

I instantly wanted to know more about this car. He said it was called the City Vtec, it was the only other Honda in India other than the Accord, to have the revolutionary Vtec engine. *

I asked him, "And how fast exactly is this "Vtec" car, you're talking about?" "Snap", came the answer, "Well sir, it can go from 0-100 in under 10 secs, has a top speed of 185kmph and is more fuel efficient than the competition.............". No further questions.......

I asked him how long it would take for the car to be delivered. He said, less than a week.
We booked the car immediately and it was delivered to us on the ""27th of September, 2001"". *

7th/July/2004 : The Vtec has come a long way now. It's covered close to 40,000kms in under 3 years (something my esteem couldn't do in 7 years). *It's seen everything from an indicated top speed of 195kmph to drifts at 150kmph, from hand brake turns at 30 kmph to WRC jumps at 140kmph.

What's even amazing is that even after all this, the only thing that ever needed to be replaced on the car were it's brake pads at 25000kms. The starter problem was totally my mistake. It happened bcoz one of the battery cells had run dry, killing the battery temporarily, which inturn affected the starter motor. It wasn't such a big deal, all we had to do is get it cleaned for around 250 bucks.

Other than that, the Pre-2002 Vtec models have this niggling problem with jerking at low rpms and, knocking and pinging at high rpms. This car is very sensitive to fuel quality, using 93 Oct will solve this prob to a great extent.

Engine and Transmission: Well what can i say, after all, wasn't this the reason we paid that 1 lakh extra for the car? Start the engine and it's as silent as it was, when we bought it. The engine has really opened up now, the car shoots like never before and the gear shifts are much smoother.

Tyres : This is one area where the Vtec could have done better. While the "S322 Bridgestone - 175/65 R14 82T" tyres are good for sedate driving, they tend to lose traction when driven hard. The tyres are designed to reduce rolling resistance and last through the years, not exactly the ideal kind for spirited driving. * *

Even after 40,000 kms, the tyres show a lot of tread life.

Ride and handling : Ride quality suffers a bit when compared to the City 1.5 mainly due to the low profile tyres. On the other hand, the handling has improved a lot, the steering response is great with the feedback frequently updating you about the road surface.
I dunno why, but my Vtec shows more signs of oversteer rather than the usual FWD understeer.

Brakes : Braking this car has always impressed me. For a car with no ABS, it's very stable and precise under hard braking. The brakes need to be warmed up a bit before they can start working efficiently. Brake fade is something i still haven't experienced on the Vtec.

Servicing : Getting the car serviced is easy as it gets. the first few "free" services produced a bill of around Rs. 500 with the regular paid service coming upto Rs. 1200. The most expensive serice so far has been the 20K which came to Rs. 2990. The car is due for it's 40K service which i'm sure will crack the 3K barrier as the spark plugs will need to be replaced.

Fuel Efficiency : Look at it this way, it's a 985kg car producing 106bhp from a 1.5 ltr engine capable of hitting 100kmph *in under 10 secs and a top whack of 185kmph. Doesn't sound that FE does it?

But in reality, it is FE........very FE!!! On my regular city run-abouts, i've seen the FE hover anywhere between 10 and 14 kmpl.

It's on the highways that the car really shines. With the speedo planted between 100-120kmph and the A/C running on level 2, the vtec regularly returns 16-17kmpl. However, the best FE figure we've seen is 21kmpl over a distance of 420kms with 75% A/C.

This car is so FE that my mother runs the car for over a *week with the fuel needle on "E". And the car has never given up on her, not even once (Just for the record, our *"Wagon-R" *has stopped twice).

Overall verdict : All i'd like to say is, *"There are many cars in India for those who live on the limit, "this" is for the ones who live beyond it".




Regards...
Shan2nu



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Old 7th July 2004, 15:16   #2
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Hey Shan2nu,

Awesome review and spectacular picture! Another great one to add to your other awesome VTEC pics.

Im sure everyone at TBHP (and especially back then in Formulaindia) knows just how much you love your car, and it shows

Believe me there is plenty of fun still to come....especially when the time comes to get new tires!!

cya
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Old 7th July 2004, 16:57   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]The moment i sat in, i knew i was gonna love this one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]At first, i thought he was joking. Was this guy, trying to tell me, that there existed another car that could actually nuke the City 1.5??
Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Well sir, it can go from 0-100 in under 10 secs, has a top speed of 185kmph and is more fuel efficient than the competition.............".

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]What's even amazing is that even after all this, the only thing that ever needed to be replaced on the car were it's brake pads at 25000kms.


Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]the steering response is great with the feedback frequently updating you about the road surface.
Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Brake fade is something i still haven't experienced on the Vtec.
Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]"There are many cars in India for those who live on the limit, "this" is for the ones who live beyond it".
Could not have put it any better myself. Getting excited just reading your review - Makes me wanna buy another one right away, and you havent even mentioned the unparalleled pleasure of upshifting at 7000rpm!!

GTO
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Old 7th July 2004, 17:18   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (GTO @ July 08 2004,01:27)]and you havent even mentioned the unparalleled pleasure of upshifting at 7000rpm!!
That's the problem, there are no words that can xpress what it feels like. You gotta do it yourself. There's no other go.......

Regards...
Shan2nu
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Old 7th July 2004, 17:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Shan2nu @ July 07 2004,13:34)]"There are many cars in India for those who live on the limit, "this" is for the ones who live beyond it".
Yes ,yes ,yes. Don't I know that after Panchgani trip?
And didn't I mention that in my Optra review?
Fantastic job Shan2nu. Great photography. Here, I would say the car looks really lethal!! *
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Old 7th July 2004, 21:06   #6
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Great write up Shan2nu......u make me regret not buying the VTec....damn i should have pressed my dad for that...
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Old 14th July 2004, 02:54   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Great write up Shan2nu......u make me regret not buying the VTec....damn i should have pressed my dad for that...
Hehe, it's not too late even now. You will still find a well maintained Vtec for a reasonable price.

Regards...
Shan2nu
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Old 14th July 2004, 03:12   #8
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ummm... wow... Shan2nu now thats what i call a spirited write-up. Have been in and out of work for the past couple of days, but ever so dearly when i hop out of that 12 bogied contraption called a Mumbai local and into that three wheeled death contraption called an auto rickshaw, my mind (and roving eyes) head for that pretty lady called the VTEC. I just keep noticing VTECs all around myself, and notice whether they are i) Well Maintained? ii) No visible accidents? iii) One sensible person behind the wheel.

All of which tempts me to go and give that friendly VTEC owner across the signal a thumbs up sign and a question. Wanna sell er'.... err... cuz i wanna buy one.

Is it gonna happen? I'll keep my fingers crossed. (and add my toes to that equation too!!!)

Revv



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Old 14th July 2004, 03:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I just keep noticing VTECs all around myself
Ring, ring.......

Hello, is this the world health organisation?

Well, i'd like to report, that a large section of the Indian population seems to be infected by a deadly Virus, come to be known as "GHTV".

What r the symptoms, you ask? Apparently, the infected seem to be under the illusion that they are being surrounded by a variant of a certain "Honda" model. They seem to be in a very "variable" state of mind....

What's that......you're sending your people over to help us eradicate it?

NAH!!!!!! I just wanted yo'll to know about it, don't bother.......we'll take care of it. (By letting it grow)

Regards...
Shan2nu



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Old 14th July 2004, 04:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Revvmaster @ July 14 2004,01:42)]I just keep noticing VTECs all around myself,
Hey Revv man!

I was just telling Shan2nu the EXACT same thing two days back. Especially after doing the "Mahableshwar 2004" TBHP video edit and staring at video clips of the vtec for well over 48hours of working time, i just cant stop noticing vtecs all over the roads.... its like their population has quadrupled! LOL

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Old 14th July 2004, 10:55   #11
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Hahahaha, You boys are smitten by the Vtec bug!! Shantanu, I think me and you are going to make it an epidemic

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Old 14th July 2004, 14:43   #12
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You guys have be smitten by the honda city vtec bug.... wait till the honda accord vtec bug bites u
The car craves u to push it to the limits and doesnt fail to impress me even after a year and a half since i took the delivery i will get almost the same pleasure when the rpm shoots to the red line in a jiffy...I'll hopefully add a 15,000 Km report soon to express myself better of the citys vtec big daddy
But for the price i must admit the city vtec is a best buy..beatuiful car
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Old 14th July 2004, 16:08   #13
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The Accord is also an amazing car, no doubt. But its not as chuckable as the Vtec. Not as driver-oriented in terms of steering feel and the like.

Will await your 15K report

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Old 15th July 2004, 01:32   #14
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It was just yesteday, that i was thinking it's high time i got the Vtec's 40K km service done, but franlky i wasn't sure if that would be possible in the near future as we would have to take the car to either Blore, or Mlore for that to happen.

At around 10:30 this morn, my dad calls up and says that one of his friend just told him that the guys from "Peninsular Honda" in Mlore had come down to Hubli as a part of their service camp.

Without losing a sec i got into the car and took off. i wasn't sure if they would oblige as "Whitefield Honda" from Blore, had told me last time around that the 40K service was to be a major one and that it couldn't be done in Hubli.

I reached there in around 10 mins and asked the guy if it was possible to get the 40K service done for my car.

Without blinking an eye, he said "Yes sir, that's possible".

""I was delighted""

I gave them the car and sat there watching them as they worked on a 2002 City 1.3 which had come in for it's 60K service.

What i liked about them was that, all these guys worked on that car, like a pit crew works on an F1 car. There were 4 ppl removing each wheel. While one would check the cars electricals, the other would work on the oil changes.

These guys were like machines!!!!!!!!

Finally, after some time, my car was taken, wheels removed, filters changed, all oils drained and replaced by a new batch.

One interesting thing i noticed was that when they were cleaning the air filter, the car was revved 4-5 times without the filter and boy did the car sound different. The engine note had changed drastically, it revved harder and roared louder.

After the car was serviced, i went for a little test drive while they worked on the bill. I have to say that the car felt like new, the gears felt tight, the brake felt more powerful, the engine revved as if it had still not been run in. But, that scared me, i asked the guy, why my car refused to revv like it did a few hours ago, he said that since everything had been changed, it would take a few kms before the car got back to it's normal ways. I hope he's right..........

NE way, i got back to the service station and a bill was placed on my palm which looked something like this.




"Rs. 6095.25" for a 40K service?? Damn good eh, considering that this was a major one and that they had really worked on the car.

Happy and satisfied, i left that place, heading back home, with 2 "free" filled bottles of steering and brake fluid respectively......revving away to glory.

PS: I would surely recommend these guys to anyone looking out for a service, worth spending every penny on.

Here are some contact numbers.

Harish Shetty
(Senior Sales Consultant)

Peninsular Honda
(Prop. Patel Cars Pvt Ltd)
Show Room:
NH 17, Mangalore - Goa Bye Pass Rd,
Derebail, Kottara, Mangalore - 575 006
Cell * * * *: 98459 48222
Tel/Fax : 0824 - 2222313 / 314 / 315
E-mail * : patelcars@vsnl.net

Regards...
Shan2nu



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Old 15th July 2004, 13:26   #15
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Wow. Thats cheap for a 40K service! Although I noticed you went for the cheap stuff when it came to the oil. Which oil did they use anyways? I hope not that stuff they get in bulk and pump out from a barrel!

Anyways, Good to see the Honda is still running like new.

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