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Old 28th August 2008, 16:11   #1
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Default Honda City 10000 km report EDIT: Now 30,000 kms

Background: I needed a car for commuting in Gurgaon, since public transport is zero here, and my other car was in use. I had a small-car already, so thought of buying a sedan for boot space, space, and refinement.

Purchase decision: I was looking at almost everything. I did so much research that analysis was leading to paralysis. Once, I wondered if all this was worth it and I should buy an 800 and finish this. I guess my problem was I didn't know what I wanted, so I ended up going in multiple directions. I then decided to use my relatives' and friends' help, and I ended up buying the NHC. I also used T-Bhp extensively for my research. The good thing was it was win-win. Some of my relations also purchased much better cars after discussions, and one of them put it off altogether!

What I did know was I needed was something reliable, with a good service network, and a proven engine/product so there are no problems later. I take good care of things, so I wanted something that will easily last me at least 10 years. One thing I did want was gray interiors. I can't stand the beige interiors. It was good in a way since I had to take the base model, and ended up saving money. Most of NHCs sold are the GXi model. Also, when you are initially buying a car, you tend to over-spend on things you don't need. Frank advice from friends saved me quite a lot of moolah!

I looked at and TDed almost everything available then, and had narrowed my choices to Verna, Aveo, Fiesta, NHC. During my initial trials, I had liked Fiesta the best. However, it was small from the inside, and there were service issues (perceived by many - may not be real as posts in the forum point out.). Next was Aveo, which was spacious, 1 lac less than the Honda with all the discounts. I had almost taken it at that point. However, the engine sound, the drive, and gear shifts and interiors were the negative points. Verna was Ok, but we didn't like its seating somehow. NHC, when I Test-drove it 2-3 times, was average to drive. I was more careful while driving it since it did not inspire much confidence. The Fiesta was better here. It did not have the precision of the Fiesta, so you did not speed it as much as you would speed up in a Fiesta, and it was not much fun. But then the Fiesta with great handling felt underpowered with AC. I felt this factor should not affect my decision since i'll get used to the handling of a car after I drive it for some time, and all the cars were similarly underpowered anyway. Well, I was right and wrong. SX4 came onto the scene then, and I didn't consider it since it was new, had a huge A pillar that obstructed view, the backseat was not good, and the mileage would have been less.

The interiors, space, the silence that envelops you once you are inside, the super Honda reliability, and a great re-sale (indication of future maintenance requirements) were the reasons I bought it. Plus everyone just said yes to the Honda, whereas they would think and say yes to the other models. I don't deny that there was a push from the family as well.

So what do I feel after 10000 kms?

I've used this car in the city around 60% of the time, and the rest on highways. Its lovely to drive, the AC is good, and there is no outside noise. This car will always give you a great ride when driven sedately. There is not that much extra in the car for driving thrill per se, but there is a lot of extras in terms of space and refinement. The ride gets jarring when the speeds increase on bad roads.

Is it worth more than Fiesta and Aveo, which were a lac cheaper when I bought this model? I think the answer will come not now, but some more time down the line.

Another question is around the Diesel options. Fiesta Diesel would have come at that price. I chose to go with NHC because the diesel Fiesta was even more sluggish, and due to the spacious interiors of NHC. I figured if I drove 15000 kms in a year, the running cost differential would be around Rs. 12000 (50000-38000). That would pay for insurance, but I'd have to live with a slower car and maybe more maintenance payment down the line. If I had a maruti diesel option at that time, I might have taken a different decision.

Pros:

The car is liked by my relatives. Everyone likes the car.
Its extremely comfortable for long drives - you are fresh after a long journey. In-city commutes are a breeze. The steering is awesome. When you reach your destination city after a 6-7 hour journey and are stuck in slow-moving traffic, you really appreciate the feather light steering.
No rattles. Its extremely silent inside, with only the road noise coming in. I'm thinking of putting Michelins to reduce that, am just waiting for some Vitamin M.
Engine is very silent. Engine is surprisingly responsive when required. Initially, I used to be careful, but it can pull when you want it to. So overtaking trucks etc is Ok, but speeding and racing with other cars is a no-no. I won't call it underpowered now - I would call it correctly-powered!
Mileage is great. No complaints at all from that side. Gives me around 14-15 in city, and 18-odd on highways. I try to keep it around 2000 rpm.

Servicing is good. You have to be firm sometimes. Building a relation with the service center helps.

Cons:

Parts are expensive, so I'm v careful. Can't be carefree with this car.
Music system with the car is Ok, but speakers are not. I have put Blaupunkt speakers, they are better, but they didn't turn out that good either. I'd suggest if you change speakers, go through the forum and do some good research on front component systems first.
Seat is very soft, and I developed back problems due to that. Now I keep a rolled-towel and the problem is gone.
Clutch is hard, its harder than my Zen. This also contributed to the back problem. I was told that is due to the fact that it is a hydraulic clutch. It was bled twice, but there is no difference, so i've decided to live with it!
Brakes are not good. In an emergency situation once, they locked up and I forgot to pump the brakes. The tyres locked up and left their marks on the road. I guess ABS would have helped, but there is some time before it comes in all the cars.
Handling is average. I don't push the car.

In conclusion, this car is an excellent commuter. I go for go-carting for my thrills, and I think its better that way. If you are a restrained kind of person, this is your car. Its strength is great normal driving experience. I guess it has a history of great reliability - I will update this thread as the kilometers keep rolling.

With this model on its way out, and the new one coming in, I hope the negatives are taken care of, not that there are many!
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Old 28th August 2008, 16:18   #2
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Amazing review, keep it coming. You have a wonderful car. Pity that its life has come to an end.
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Old 28th August 2008, 16:45   #3
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Good review. Do update this whenever you do major milestones like 20K, 25K etc. Do post pics...
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Old 28th August 2008, 17:45   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simran View Post
.
.
.SX4 came onto the scene then, and I didn't consider it since it was new, had a huge A pillar that obstructed view, the backseat was not good, and the mileage would have been less..
.
.
Even the Honda City has an obstructed view with the a - pillar . Doesn't that cause a problem to you.

Very nice review by the way
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Old 28th August 2008, 17:57   #5
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Default A Pillar

Thanks guys for the nice words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.gupta88 View Post
Even the Honda City has an obstructed view with the a - pillar . Doesn't that cause a problem to you.

Very nice review by the way
Yes, the A pillar of NHC is also big, but that of SX4 was bigger. I find that a pain while driving in the hills. I wonder how bad it'd be with the SX4. You have to rock back and forth at every right turn. Visibility was much better in older cars.

Another point - rear visibility of the City is much better. And although targeted at men, more women have bought SX4 in my office than men!!
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Old 28th August 2008, 18:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simran View Post
.
.
.SX4 came onto the scene then, and I didn't consider it since it was new, had a huge A pillar that obstructed view, the backseat was not good, and the mileage would have been less..
.
.
Even the Honda City has an obstructed view with the a - pillar . Doesn't that cause a problem to you.

Very nice review by the way
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Old 28th August 2008, 18:20   #7
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A very well put together and honest review of the car. It is a perfect car for a restrained guy, as you rightly said.
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Old 29th August 2008, 10:39   #8
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A small update - the car was hit by an Activa today morning, which was turning left at a signal as I was turning. He turned in as I moved forward and he hit the bumper on the right. The speed was nothing, we were starting to move as the signal turned.

I moved on since I felt it'd be a small nudge. Later, when I saw the damage, I was taken aback. The bumper's right side has caved-in. Now I understand what people mean when they say NHC's bumpers are made of paper. I thanked God that the chap did not hit any metal on the car. Something like this on Zen would not have resulted in such damage.

RR Honda is close to where I work, so I might just go there to get an estimate of the charges, just for the heck of it. I will get this corrected from outside. Does anyone know of any good/reliable garage in Gurgaon that would do this? Any tips to be kept in mind?

Lesson learned: Drive carefully, if you are in a Honda. Others have indicated this, and its a re-iteration.
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Old 29th August 2008, 11:21   #9
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i think you might have to replace the bumper. should be somewhere around 7k.
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Old 29th August 2008, 11:21   #10
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This is the damage to the bumper, and there is a shot of some scratches that were put by a tractor tire when it scratched against the rear door.
Attached Thumbnails
Honda City 10000 km report EDIT: Now 30,000 kms-29082008001.jpg  

Honda City 10000 km report EDIT: Now 30,000 kms-29082008003.jpg  

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Old 29th August 2008, 11:28   #11
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Bumper doesn't need replacement - all it Rs 200 labour job to push the bumper back in shape.
But the door needs painting. Cost of paint job is same as any small car.
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i think you might have to replace the bumper. should be somewhere around 7k.
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Old 29th August 2008, 11:29   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabloo View Post
Bumper doesn't need replacement - all it Rs 200 labour job to push the bumper back in shape.
But the door needs painting. Cost of paint job is same as any small car.
hmm maybe not. but lets see what they tell simran.
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Old 29th August 2008, 11:35   #13
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Nice review simran. I have the same model (15 months old), have done about 18500 kms so far and my experience has been very good. Very satisfied with both the car and service. I guess I got over the mad-max kind of driving on my Matiz and I treat this one with lot more respect.
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Old 30th August 2008, 15:31   #14
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I showed the car to the auth center, and they said they don't do dry denting. They were asking to replace the entire bumper. I guess I'll get it done outside.

I have a question - Will there be a problem with the paint finish if the bumper is heated and put back in shape? If so, i'll leave it as such since it is not troubling my mind so much after a day.
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Old 30th August 2008, 15:51   #15
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You can see minor scratches, which are visible on close inspection. Otherwise nobody would notice.
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