Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 5th July 2011, 03:47   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Cochin
Posts: 48
Thanked: 16 Times
Default Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Hello friends,

I never thought I had the patience or the ability to sit down and write a review. In fact I am not good with words let alone paragraphs so please pardon those silly mistakes you are certain to find in my writeup. The car in question was purchased on 30th November 2011 so its been a good long 7 months ! I could not come up with a review earlier because I belong to that dumb lot who had to try numerous times to get the Team-BHP membership.

Why a new car ?:

I started thinking about buying a new car very seriously when my good old Indigo LS (2004 model) started breaking down. To its merit despite being one of the first variant of Indigos it never left me high & dry ever. In fact it never had a break down or a major service scare until 2010 when age caught up with it. I have a Chevrolet Spark too but it's officially my wife's car and so unavailable at most times

Shortlisted Cars :

My budget was Rs.10 L but before the customary briefing on the cars I checked out, let me be very honest – my heart wanted a Honda because I have always been a fan boy of their cars : their road presence, the engine refinement, the style statement and last but not the least the peace of mind it always came with. While sitting inside the Hondas' my friends owned I always used to wonder how these engines could be so silent and refined, I have seen numerous occasions when these guys would accidentally crank the engine while it was running, such refinement !..phew I used to admire my friends for owning those cars !!! So finally when my day arrived the first choice was obviously going to be a Honda !!.

That said, I totally agree that Honda India is being stingy (the only reason why I even looked elsewhere before buying) and they “were” charging a lot more than what they should be but then there are always admirers (or idiots based on how you look at it) like me who would follow the heart and fall flat for the refinement, the buttery smooth feel and last but not the least the pride of owning a Honda.

All the cars I shortlisted were recommended by people who knew how stingy Honda India was and wanted to promote the cars they owned as a wise alternative.

The elimination round

Maruti Suzuki SX4 : My father in law has one and I always used to insist on driving when we were together so I knew this car inside out. I like the looks of this car and also the peppy engine but on the downside always felt let down by the ride quality and moreover the overall refinement which is a notch below the competition in this segment (just my opinion) so (s)he was ruled out almost as soon as (s)he entered the fray.

VW Vento : Well, thanks to the totally unprofessional approach of EVM VW (Cochin) I did not even get to test drive the car. There was an utter lack of enthusiasm and I was on my own both the times when I visited their showroom, guess the stupendous sale of Vento has gotten into their heads already. I have read amazing reviews about the car in this forum so its certain that if VW ever go Fiat's way in India, you know whom to blame !!.

That said, I feel Vento is just a new kid in the block and it would take time for people to buy it out of admiration !! Right now its the VW badge and the reviews that is helping the car sell like hot cakes. Moreover I was not exactly stumped by the looks of the car, its no way a bad looking car but its definitely not a stunner either. My idea of the best looking car today in this segment would be Hyundai Verna Fluidic so you know my taste and also the reason why I felt Vento was not inspiring enough.

Fiat Linea : I love the looks of this car and the way it handles and the ride quality too..and its indeed built like a tank !! Felt it's problem lies at the heart of the matter, the performance !. I found the car very very sluggish (I did not test drive the T-Jet) compared to competition which eventually turned my test drive into a very dull experience . My friends too scared the living daylights out of me reminding me of the “Fiat” tag. Its indeed very sad, I believe most of their cars are amazing, it could be fear of the Fiat brand name (or their infamous after sales service) that’s bogging it down from redemption.

Honda City : As mentioned earlier, Honda was always going to be my first choice but the question remained – which one ? I was ready to stretch my budget to accommodate the Civic but the plan was shot down by my wife who was not at all keen on me spending too much over the budget so I decided to finalize on ANHC.

The test drive car from Peninsular Honda arrived the very next day. The main reason for even requesting for a test drive was to impress my wife who is a much better driver than me so I decided to let her drive. She was not exactly impressed by the interiors of the car when she got in, felt the “Silver” on the dash and console kind of looked out of place. I knew her opinion would change after she drives and so it happened, she was mighty impressed by the power and refinement, the space inside and not to mention the ease of driving the car. The first thing she said after getting out was “lets go for it !!” phew, Honda had won her over instantly and at that very moment it struck me - I realized how stupid I was for not making her test drive the Civic first !!

Buying experience :

Polished Metal Metallic was the color of my choice and Peninsular Honda delivered the car on the promised date (30th November 2011). The day the car arrived at their yard I made it a point to visit them along with the TeamBhp PDI checklist. The sales guy (Rakesh) was as helpful as ever and answered all my questions in detail. The very next day the car was delivered with the accessories I had asked for –
  • The Side protector
  • Reverse parking sensors.
  • Headlight upgrade with their relay kit
  • Anti-rust coating
Freebees - Floor mats and corporate discount of 15K

Current Upgrades :
  • Michelin Primacy LC 195/60 R15 Tyres : I did the tyre upgrade at Global Tyres Cochin, soon after I purchased the car. Exchanged it with my stock Michelins and paid 12k more and yes it's on nitrogen. The first thing you would notice after the change is that the Tyre noise has gone down considerably. The car feels more rooted to the ground and is easier to handle which instills a lot of confidence at higher speeds. Of course mileage takes a hit, it currently returns an average of 11.6 kms in the city (Cochin) and 15.7 kms on highways. I always assess the mileage manually. I top it up to full and once the fuel indicator dips to the last quarter I top it up again. The figures above is an average of the numerous toppings I did.

    With regard to ride quality, infact I myself was not sure about how the tyre upgrade would work out so took her to Peninsular Honda and asked one of the sales guys (who happens to be my friend) to take it for a test drive. He was quite pleased with the way the car handled at high speeds and behaved on pot filled roads which reaffirmed my findings.
  • Lenso Alloys : I never liked the OEM alloys, thought they looked somewhat like the wheel cover that comes with the EMT and SMT models (just my opinion). Wanted something that would be different yet simple and elegant. After numerous visits to various car shoppes across Cochin I again found what I was looking for at Global tyres – the brand was Lenso (L1-racing alloys) and it cost me 24k.
  • V-Kool sun film (all six glasses) : was quite expensive but its definitely very effective in the scorching heat of Kerala Summer.
  • 3D Kagu Mats - phew, It makes the interiors looks brighter, bigger and very neat. I bought it only recently so will comment on the durability later.
  • Front & Back protectors : don't think it is capable of protecting anything but guess it enhances the look of the car further.
Upgrades in queue :
  • Seat covers
  • Caska HU
What I like about the car :
  • Powerful proven Engine – very refined too !!
  • Killer timeless look
  • Sleek gear shift
  • Inside Space !
  • Back seat comfort
  • Overall refinement – no rattles whatsoever
What should improve :
  • Cheap looking Dashboard
  • Honda India's image of being stingy
  • more features - starting with Automatic Climate control and bluetooth integration
  • This car needs better headlight bulbs – the stock wattage is not bright enough hence my upgrade
  • Tires are too skinny for the weight and power of this car , yet again the reason why I upgraded.
  • A diesel variant !!!!!!
Driving this car so far has been an experience filled with pure joy and fun!. If not for Honda Indias greedy pricing strategy and the huge rise in cost of petrol I believe it still would have topped the sales chart !. Despite all odds, for me it still remains the most practical petrol car in this segment.

Driving out of the showroom - made my wife do it !
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug05.jpg

The champion, fully loaded !
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug13.jpg

Picture profile of my champion
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug10.jpg
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug11.jpg
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug14.jpg
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug15.jpg
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug16.jpg
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug20.jpg
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug18.jpg

The Michelin Primacy LC 195/60 R15 tyre on Lenso L1-Racing alloys
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug21.jpg

3D Kagu mats - definitely worth the money paid
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug22.jpg

These 3D Mats fit the floor perfectly !
Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT-firebug23.jpg
FireBug is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 08:25   #2
BHPian
 
charthom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cochin
Posts: 652
Thanked: 259 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

@FireBug,

Overjoyed to find another fresh thread on the ANHC.

Nice,brief,crisp,honest and poignant like a pepper-well written.Regret you are self claimed lazy.Stretch your wings-your style is really nice.



I know your car and actions by now-so not really curious about a lot of things.

However-

1.why did you choose S version,esop when you could stretch your budget?Dislike for the OE alloys?

2.How Michelin Primacy LC is better than XM1+ ? Had you checked out Yokohama c drives as well?How did you find Global?Reasonable?

3.How are the head lights after upgrade?Is your upgrade legal with warranty intact?

Wishes for years and years of safe and comfortable driving and ownership experience to you.

Please keep posting and updating your thread.

Best rgds,charthom

Last edited by charthom : 5th July 2011 at 08:27.
charthom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 08:54   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
drmohitg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,202
Thanked: 2,983 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Hey congratulations on your new car. You can never go wrong with a Honda. BTW you might want to change your date of purchase to nov 2010 !
drmohitg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 09:19   #4
BHPian
 
Ram_NP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 348
Thanked: 18 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Congratulations Firebug! Driving pleasure of ANHC is hard to beat.

The 3D mats is really looking nice and fit very well. I am also planning to upgrade to Kagu mats. Can you post a picture of the both front mats as well ?
Ram_NP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 10:00   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 3,242
Thanked: 1,918 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Finally, we have your review.

Man, that car is a stunner! Great colour choice.

Since you plan to change the music system anyway, any reason why you went for S instead of EMT? (Steering controls, by any chance?)

The alloys look really good man; how has the tyre upgrade affected the ride quality?

The beadings look awesome on the doors; body coloured certainly enhance the otherwise bland door.

2 things :
1) What have you upgraded the head-lights to?
2) What profile sun film - esp. on the front and rear glass?

I'm going home soon; guess those 3D mats are the 1st things I'm getting for my ANHC.

Now some pics with the leather seats once you fit 'em!

Happy driving pal!

PS : Remember Dustin Hoffman from Meet The Fockers in that football game with Robert De Nero - he puts on that black thing under his eyes. The car looks kinda the same when the beadings on the bumper! (Sounds silly but I've this thing of imagining the front of a car to be a face )

Last edited by libranof1987 : 5th July 2011 at 10:04.
libranof1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 10:36   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NA
Posts: 223
Thanked: 93 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Congrats for this real good choice of car and color. I personally liked stock alloys of Honda, but your upgrade of alloys made me change my mind, as they surely look different.
as all others, i would also like to know about your headlight upgrade like performance compared to stock and price.
certainly waiting for your upgrade and experience with caska unit.
Keep driving safe.
Nicky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 10:38   #7
BHPian
 
sudeepg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 360
Thanked: 496 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Congratulations!! and thank you for the this thread with the report and pictures. The car looks stunning! Good choice of mats. They look stunning indeed! and worth the cost.

I have a couple of questions

Since you have a lower profile tyre than what ANHC comes with, does the car bottom out more often? I hope it does not, but I am curious to know the answer.

Does the SMT come with fog lamps? When I look up the specs on the honda site they don't list it and therefore I am wondering if you got them fixed from Honda itself.

Wish you many miles of happy and safe driving!
sudeepg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 10:47   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 3,242
Thanked: 1,918 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeepg View Post
Does the SMT come with fog lamps? When I look up the specs on the honda site they don't list it and therefore I am wondering if you got them fixed from Honda itself.
Nope, the SMT doesn't come with fog lamps as standard equipment.

They look OEM - probably he got them fit with reverse parking sensors etc.
libranof1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 13:04   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Cochin
Posts: 48
Thanked: 16 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Thank you all for your comments !. Seems I missed out on explaining quite a few points in my review. i will try to answer all your questions shortly. Thanks once again !
FireBug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 14:03   #10
BHPian
 
raghu230506's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 766
Thanked: 62 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Congratulations FB,

Drive safe and have fun with IVTEC.

Keep updating us on regular basis.
raghu230506 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 14:06   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Pune
Posts: 251
Thanked: 17 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Congrats FireBug on the excellent purchase!

By how much does the mileage get affected on changing to 195/60 from 175/65??
pamishra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 14:43   #12
dot
Senior - BHPian
 
dot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ban Chang
Posts: 1,681
Thanked: 711 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Congratulations. Beautiful set of wheels, literarily. The Michelins and the dynamic set of alloys give your car a wholesome stance, which cries speed even when stationary. This aura has been heightened by a great choice of color.

Wishing you many miles of speed and happiness.
dot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 14:49   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
bluevolt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 2,822
Thanked: 1,861 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by GTO : 5th July 2011 at 17:00.
bluevolt is online now   Reply With Quote Received Infraction
Old 5th July 2011, 15:26   #14
BHPian
 
RemingtonSteele's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 568
Thanked: 161 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Congrats Dude; we finally have a review with lots of pics. Thank you.
Nice n' neat looking alloys giving new character to the car.
I am sure you have a good company of Charthom with new ANHC & Casca HU.

Anyway keep the thread ringing with regular good updates.
Wish you all the Very Best and many more smooth i-VTEC miles.
Drive safe and take care.
RemingtonSteele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th July 2011, 17:10   #15
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 44,549
Thanked: 67,987 Times
Default Re: Owning a champion - my Honda City S-MT

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeepg View Post
Since you have a lower profile tyre than what ANHC comes with, does the car bottom out more often?
The sidewall is actually taller in his upgrade. Remember, the profile is a % of the tyre width.

Thus, the stock tyre of 175/65 had a sidewall height of 113.75 mm (65% of 175)

His upgraded 195/60 tyre has a sidewall height of 117 mm (60% of 195).

And I presume you are talking about ground clearance, and not bottoming out. A suspension is said to bottom out when it runs out of travel & won't go any further (the lowest point that your suspension will travel to). Ground clearance, however, is the lowest part of your car (relative to the road). Specific to your question, his ground clearance would have actually increased.

Last edited by GTO : 6th July 2011 at 11:17.
GTO is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
City City Bang Bang! 1000 kms Report of my Honda City SMT roadie_swift Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 39 4th June 2015 15:52
Hirvonen wins Rally Perth...Loeb is WORLD CHAMPION! turbo_v12 Int'l Motorsport 2 2nd November 2006 01:57
Rossi/Yamaha world MotoGP champion 2005 Gurkha Int'l Motorsport 7 28th September 2005 11:12
Who will be F1 Champion? aseem Int'l Motorsport 3 7th September 2005 16:51
2005 F1 champion speedsatya Int'l Motorsport 21 26th March 2005 13:39


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 21:39.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks