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Old 9th November 2010, 00:52   #1
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Default Honda City - 22000 Km Summary Experience

I bought my car in Feb 2009 from Prime Honda in New Delhi. The financing was done by HDFC and since I was a priority customer (Company has an account) so there was little to be done. The car was in my wife's name and I was a guarantor. I was 63 years old so bank was not willing to give a three year loan. The monthly outflow for 3 years suited me more.

I opted for Alabaster Silver. Delhi is a very dusty city and a light, neutral colour shows up dust less. Dark colour are hell to maintain. I don't keep a driver - got allergic to them when the last one refused to drive the way I wanted him to. He told me in the middle of Connaught Place that I cannot drive the way you want me to. I sacked him on the spot.

The car cost approx Rs 8.6 lacs and came without mud guards which I got fitted during the 2nd service. Cost was Rs 1300 per set. Car was delivered at home without any problems and I only had to sign a couple of papers and the keys were handed over. I thought this was much better than having to go to the dealer's showroom. Have taken delivery of 4-5 cars from the dealers showroom but was not excited enough by the experience to real want it again - mostly waiting times upto 1-2 hours.

Car had 24 km on the odo. Filled her up with normal petrol and made sure I drove her real easy for the first 2000 km as per the manual for running in. First service was at 1014 km and second at 3449. There was a problem with one of tyres (Michelin) which cracked at the beading as the fitting was not done properly. This was replaced under warranty at 4500 km.

Cost of services has been around Rs 1300 to 1900 until the last service at 15000 where I got synthetic oil so the service cost went up to 3200. Someone banged into the rear tail light and the bumper while the car was parked so I got it repaired under warranty. Cost me Rs 2250/-. The antenna was removed by someone as I believe there is a good resale value. The company sells it for Rs 900 which is quite a lot.

After the first 1200 km the mileage has been between 14 - 15.4 km/litre in town using normal petrol. The lower figure is with AC and the higher figure without the AC.

I have tried it with higher octane fuel. The engine is smoother and I get correspondingly better mileage which almost works out to the same Rs per km. However, the feel of the engine is definitely much silkier.

I have done one longer highway drive from Delhi to Chandigarh and back. The mileage was over 18.5 km/litre. On the Noida Expressway at 100 km/hr it gives an indicated 20.5 km/litre on the fuel efficiency LCD display. However the actual mileage is always around 1.5 or so lower.

When my daughter drives it the indicated fuel efficiency drops from 16 - 17 km/l to 14.5-15 km/l. Clearly shows that driving habits have a major impact on FE. I would caution all those who are getting lower than 13.5 km/l to attribute it to excessive acceleration and braking.

The car is very silent and even now after 22000 km on the odo there is no creaking, rattling or any noise from anywhere. Car is very solidly put together though like most Honda's it has a very thin skin which can dent very easily. Engine is absolutely noiseless and vibration free at idling and pulls easily with very little noise till around 2000 rpm. Once over this if you push the engine it has a kind of throaty sound with rising decibels. This is owing to the variable timing as it goes into the performance mode above around 2000-2200 rpm. The car torque curve is not very good below 2000 rpm but car can dawdle at 1600-2000 rpm in 3rd gear but will not pull hard till you push the rpm above 2200. Above 2200 rpm the car goes like a bomb.

Engine noise is distracting beyond 3500 rpm though if you have the music system on it has automatic adjustment of volume with speed so it tends to muffle the sound.

The gearbox must be one of the best in its class and even in the next higher class. It is a pleasure to use and one does not feel the strain or stress of using the manual transmission even in constant city driving like I do.

Overtaking is a cinch even with the AC running though it could require a change down in gear. The body roll is very low even in turns and feels much more stable than the Honda GXi which is my second car. The car feels fairly sure footed at decently high speeds in turn manoeuvres but the tyres are not adequate for any kind of performance driving.

The air conditioning noise at level 1 of the fan is very low but this is effective only for the front seat passenger and driver. In very hot weather when the car has heated up i.e. in 40+ deg C it takes almost 5 minutes to come upto modest comfort level at level 2 speed of the fan. The air conditioning is not as good as my Honda GXi. The thermostat control is quite sensitive and can be easily set to give a comfortable temperature.

The Audio System is really quite good compared to many other cars in the same cost bracket. I am almost always listening to music on usb flash drives. The radio is easy to set up and use. Reception is good even in fringe areas and we could get good reception of Delhi FM stations right upto 100+ km from Delhi. In town, without the antenna, the reception is generally trouble free except near some big buildings or flyovers.

I have had absolutely no trouble of any kind since I bought the car. This has been my experience with my earlier two Honda Cities as well. Cost of maintenance if you exclude depreciation is very low. Even for depreciation the car has a good resale value so better than many other cars.

The ground clearance is okay for most city driving but with the non standard speed breakers in India one has to take great care in going over some of the high speed breakers especially if there are 3-4 passengers. On most roads, even the ones with potholes, as were seen in Delhi after the excessive rains this monsoons the ride is quite stable. The road noise can get intrusive on bad roads. The brakes are excellent and the ABS has saved me on many occasions in Delhi traffic. The danger is of people banging into the rear as you suddenly brake. Fortunately I have been spared this so far except for some idiot banging into me from the back on Ring Road when my car was stationary and the traffic behind me was only 10 km/hr. Must have been half asleep in the morning.

Getting in and out of the car requires more contortions than with the GXi or the Santro Xing I own. For older citizens it can be a bit uncomfortable to bend so low and slide in. The seats, both at front and at the rear, are very comfortable and have not had any complaints from any passengers so far. I remember the drive to Chandigarh did not leave me at all tired or stiff.

There are many complaints I have seen about Climate Control not being available in the City. However, I personally do not think that it adds any great functionality. I would prefer the driving to be engaging and the car to be reliable over a few cosmetic features. People have to understand that to get the kind of reliability of the Honda and the initial quality requires a great deal of engineering and production expertise which many other manufacturers still do not have. I have been is several SX4s but find that after 15000 km the cars are no longer silent and do not feel new. In contrast after 19 months and 22000 this Honda feels like the day I got it from the dealer.

The headlights are a bit weak especially for high speed driving on modest roads. However, for most city driving there is no need for any modifications. It is a pity that fog lights were not standard in Delhi which has such foggy winters that it is a must.

Everything in the car works well, all the switches etc though the plastics could be of better quality. But, many people have already written about that so I'll give it a skip.

Come to think of it I have written so much about what could have been said in a few lines below:

Excellent car, which will never let you down, is a pleasure to drive and is eco-friendly in giving good mileage and hardly ever needs to go the mechanic!

Its the middle of the night 00:20 so I will apologize for not uploading any photographs today. Will definitely take some tomorrow just to show what the car looks like after 22000 km.
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Old 11th January 2011, 17:05   #2
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Default Re: Anhc - 22000 Km Summary Experience

Nice review there, pics please.

My car is 14months old and covered 20504 KM as of now and so far it's been a wonderful experience.

Headlights is a generic issue which most of us feel, few preferred to upgrade them as well.

Wish you many more such happy miles with ANHC.

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