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Old 3rd November 2012, 21:30   #1
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Default The All New Honda City SMT - A new owner's comments

PRE-DELIVERY/BOOKING/DELIVERY ETC -

The new Honda City came home on 3rd Nov after a ten day wait from the day of booking!

I began a survey of cars to replace my six year old Ford Fusion and locked on to the Honda City as the car with the most reliable name, engine and after sales service plus good user experience and good resale value. It had most of the features I needed in my budget. Once my Fusion was sold, I got a car loan from State Bank sanctioned in a week or so. However the tango with the City dealer went on for nearly two weeks prior to this.

It was a mixed experience at the dealer. The sales person was not completely transparent and I had to wrench out the available 'festive' discounts from him. There seems to be a hierarchy of sanctioning authority and speaking to the next higher person got me additional discounts. In all for the SMT model I got free insurance, corporate discount of 2500/-, another 5000/- off and a zero dep policy for the first year.

We chose the Carnelian Red colour and were about to book when we were told 'it may take a month'. I stopped in my tracks and said I will then cancel the idea of booking the car. Till then there was no mention of this and we presumed the cars were readily available. Looking back we began to wonder if the sales person was trying to sell us a car with 'Sparkling brown' colour that looks very close to black - the colour of our last car. Finally after a brief discussion with the 'Logistics' chief at the dealers they said they would give it on the 8th. It actually arrived on the 29 October or so. Then I decided to go for the PDI.

Having armed myself with the Team BHP PDI memoir, I sought a pre delivery inspection. The sales person casually showed me a car saying 'this is your car'. I noted the month and year of manufacture (9th and 10th letters of the VIN for Honda) and when I returned to sign the RTO forms I requested to see the certificate 22. The part B was not attached, so I asked for it. When it came I found the chassis number was different from that of the car shown to me. I told the man that this is not the car shown to me, which he initially tried to deny but a second visit showed I was right. The 9th digit (month of manufacture) was different and that had given me a clue. I was annoyed at the casual and needless deception. I then signed the RTO forms after the chassis number had been entered in it. I paid the full amount agreed in the contract - which is a one page statement of what price is agreed. This contract is important because once you sign it, no amount of bargaining will get you any more discount or goodies and 25k of your money will be with the dealer. This was on 30th October (Wednesday) afternoon. Three days was the time needed for registration and it was agreed the car would be delivered Saturday 3rd Nov at 1 pm with the number.

Thursday morning I got a phone call from the salesman that the RTO has a 'holiday' on Saturday. I checked with other sources (a VW dealer RTO man I knew - and WIAA) and found it was not a holiday. I then told the dealer that the sales person was in the habit of speaking untruths and I did not want to deal with him. They changed him for another person who gave me much better service and on 2nd Nov (Friday) night at 10 pm he even sms-ed me the car's registration numbers. Again on the day of delivery (Saturday) they confirmed the time I would come.

The second point I noted was that the car does not physically go to the RTO for the Road worthiness certificate. The odo was at 3 km when I saw it pre registration and it was at 4 km when I took delivery. It is plain the rule is only in the books and never followed by the RTO or the dealers.

The delivery procedure was smooth and a bit of initial paperwork, then showing me the controls, then a small puja and a photo session. More papers and a gate pass. The car was driven into the open. The ceremonial coconut was broken. The dealer gave me a small packet of chocolates and I had taken a gift along (as per Team BHP guidelines) that I gave the salesperson.

Then the car was driven out with all the care that I could take to avoid any bumps and scratches on the first day. Filled about 20 litres of petrol and came home and took some more snaps.


OTHER CARS AND THE CITY COMPARED -

I had test driven the Vento petrol and diesel. The diesel is a great car, very responsive when you step on the pedal, but more expensive and I don't drive more than 1000 km in a month, so dropped the idea. The Highline had no discounts and the Comfortline had no safety features like airbags and ABS. I like the VW lines but was a bit apprehensive about the After Sales and the need to get things from Germany on occasion. Amongst other options, the Verna is highly recommended but expensive compared to the City. I also like the City's shape and design as well as reputation as a 'good car'. I avoid Hyundai cars ever since they came in the market. I think the averson has to do with their first ugly Santro! Perhaps, if the Ford Ecosport had appeared would have tried it and in fact I did wait for it to come this year. The Tata and Fiat cars I did not try due to questionable after sales and resale values. The Ford Fiesta (new) I did not like the rear end styling. The Chevy stable is selling mostly Chinese models and their Optra is old. Skoda Rapid - I did go for a test ride - it had the advantages of a new car and a reasonable price. However the salesperson was clueless when I said I am hitting my head when getting in the car and did not think of pointing out that there is a height adjustment seat in it (which the Vento people did). The City is the first sedan in 18 years I have (Fiat 1964 sold in 1994) so I was till now a hatchback man. I had also tested the Brio and the Polo 1.2 as I was contemplating buying a smaller car at the same time - an idea I later dropped. The Brio is good as far as engine and the front seats are concerned. However I was disappointed with the rear seats, the head supports, the boot and the ride quality behind. The Polo is a well built car with many good features in it. However the engine noise is appreciable - could it be the 3 cylinder engine?

THE CITY - EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR -The external design is good although the front City grill is just a bit loud. The door of the City surprisingly has a good thud like my last European car and not tinny. It is also fairly heavy. It seems a well built car with a soft suspension. The seats are not as easy to get in and out of as in my last car - Ford Fusion -, but has height adjustment in the SMT model - that I use although I am not short - and that makes it more difficult to come in and go out of the car. The tilt steering is useful. There is no telescopic steering but I dont miss it. The paint (Red Carnelian) is very good and the finish is good. It looks like a premium car.

Interiors are pleasing although the black material on the dashboard just near the front glass could have been better. The front arm rest is short and does not get in the way of the hand brake. At the same time it is of no use in city drives as it is a bit away from one's elbow, perhaps in long journeys it may help. The electrically adjusted mirrors take time to get used to. They are useful for the left side mirror (because it is far away) but would prefer the manual for the right as it is faster. Space inside is ample - both at the front and the back, the seats recline at the back just enough to make it a luxurious experience and the hand rest is well designed. The driver's seat is comfortable and is moulded for good thigh and back support for the long rides I intend to take the car on.

AC is good for front seats, have not tried them by sitting behind but the air gradually passes behind I suppose. The back AC vent is under the carpet, not visible and not much use.

One irksome point (as compared to the Ford or VW) is the three monthly service. If one sees the maintenance schedule there is no real need for it as most things are checked or changed at six monthly intervals so this remains an enigma.

THE RIDE/FEATURES -

The engine and gear shift are smooth and good. The absence of a dead pedal is felt. I wonder why Honda has a Cruise control in the VMT model. I feel we dont have the roads for this yet. The car's pick up and ability to weave through city traffic is better than the Fusion even though I am still scared of a two wheeler scraping against the car or hitting the rear of the car. The brakes are responsive and the car stops pretty quickly when needed.

The audio system (no CD) is reasonably good - the salesman said it was Mitsubishi but there is no visible brand on it. The steering audio controls are useful and one does not need to take one's eyes off the road. One misses some things like fog lamps (priced at 21500 or so in accessories) that I was used to - in the SMT - although one may use them just a couple of days in an year. The Distance to empty dial is shared by other info dials (trip meter/petrol average/total running odo) so one cannot see all together as I could on my Ford. In fact I realised how fully loaded my Ford (Fusion) was in features when I saw some things missing. For example, it had fog lights front and back and the front passenger too could lock all doors. There was an boot opener in my remote key opener of the Ford in addition to the normal lock - unlock buttons. I missed these simple add ons. Of course the Honda City has ABS and air bags, alloy wheels that my Ford Fusion did not. However these help when they are really needed in tragic scenarios and not in day to day running of a largely safe driver.

The boot at 500 litres is one of the largest in the C2 sedan class and one need not worry about fitting those bags from airport trips.

I have driven the car in different times and scenarios of traffic in the city. I have not yet hit the bottom on any of the speed breakers and have driven about 150 km so far. It is a good car and the maroon (Carnelian red) colour is great. The petrol average shown with AC on at all times is 10.9 km/litre in fairly busy city traffic.

ACCESSORIES -

I got art leather seat covers for 9k from a good shop in Pune. They have small pores for 'respiration' according to the owner. It took 2.5 hrs to fix them. I also got moulded beige 3D mats (five pieces) for 5500/- and a mat for the boot for 400/- plus a microlite cloth for 200/- for taking the dust off the car without causing minor scratches on the paint. My Car body cover was delivered by the dealer and it fits very well. It will be good protection when I park for a couple of hours specially from bird dropping.

I also researched the fog lights for the Honda City. I phoned various dealers in Mumbai and Pune. The fog lights (OEM) were out of stock everywhere but I got quotes ranging from 17000 to 26000/-. I spoke to Honda one on one who got the dealer to call me obviously not satisfying my query of different prices. The accessories shop assured me he can fix me a lamp in the fog light slot that would actually be a 'Driving Light' for 5000/- without cutting any wires. I then told the salesperson at Honda to enquire whether their service centre will fit it for me if I buy it and bring it to them. Hope to get an answer soon. The accessories shop told me that if u need a 'fog' light, you can put yellow cellophane on this light and it will become yellow light and as good as a fog lamp. Dont know if this is correct.

THE WISH LIST-
Today comes the news Honda is introducing eight new models in two years! Looking at the City, there is not much they ought to tinker with. However if they have to these are the areas they need to improve
1. Automatic climate control. The present system is a generation old with rear vents under the carpet and the front seats.
2. A really good built in audio-system.
3. Remote keyless boot opening button added to the key.
4. Trim a couple of centimetres from the pointed front end (even at the hypothetical cost of the 'arrow head' style design) as it makes the car too long without adding much to the aero dynamics.
5. The sun roof and cruise control option (top end model) are really not much use in India. It is strange to find evey car offering sun roof when we have too much of the sun here. The cruise control similarly is not much use in our congested twisting roads and unlikely to help in the future.
6. The glove compartment is difficult to open when a passenger is sitting on the front seat as its opening is obstructed by the person's knees.
7. The headlights need to have better more powerful bulbs. Too many people have had to get their bulbs changed to better ones.
8. The boot has not place to keep the tool kit secured and can rattle around. The box to keep the 'danger' triangle in case of a breakdown can be substituted for a place to stow the triangle.
9. A 'net bag' to hang across the boot to keep small things/laptop in the boot (as one got with the Fusion) will be a help.
10. Only some models have the facility of dropping the rear seat to increase stowage area. This can be offered to all models. After all it is the company that gave 'magic seats' for the Jazz.

Looking forward to an exhilarating ownership experience in the days to come. Next weekend is a trip to Mumbai where I can put it through its paces! I will update the thread after the first service to give the first 1000 km experience.
Attached Thumbnails
The All New Honda City SMT - A new owner's comments-pb033013a.jpg  

The All New Honda City SMT - A new owner's comments-pb033026a.jpg  


Last edited by frequentflyer : 7th November 2012 at 19:42. Reason: adding and clarifying the ownership experience
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Old 8th November 2012, 16:00   #2
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Default Re: The All New Honda City SMT - A new owner's comments

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th November 2012, 17:06   #3
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Frequentflier congrats on getting the SMT you will surely enjoy the ride was just wondering which dealer did uf get the car fro
(may be you can just Pm that)
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Old 8th November 2012, 19:47   #4
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Default Re: The All New Honda City SMT - A new owner's comments

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Frequentflier congrats on getting the SMT you will surely enjoy the ride was just wondering which dealer did uf get the car fro
(may be you can just Pm that)
I think there is little to choose between the dealers and the moral of my experience is to be aware and alert and armed with information that is available at Team BHP. It was Crystal Honda and after the initial hiccup, to be fair, I have had steady service from them so far.
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Old 8th November 2012, 20:01   #5
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Congratulations, Hondas sure make wonderful cars that are pleasure to drive, easy to own, and serve their owners long. I am sure yours would also last long (may not be 20 years as your earlier fiat).

BTW, forget about fixing a yellow film on white fog lamps to make them yellow. We personally had instances of such a film melting due to heat emitted from the lamps. Leave them as they are and they would serve u well.

PS: whats the story behing handle @frequentflyer (its my handle on another forum). Wanted to check if the rationale is same

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 8th November 2012 at 20:03.
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Old 8th November 2012, 22:47   #6
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Mod Note : Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another on the SAME THREAD! To know how to multi-quote, click here (How to MULTI-QUOTE (when replying to a thread) on Team-BHP).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Congratulations, Hondas sure make wonderful cars that are pleasure to drive, easy to own, and serve their owners long. I am sure yours would also last long (may not be 20 years as your earlier fiat).

BTW, forget about fixing a yellow film on white fog lamps to make them yellow. We personally had instances of such a film melting due to heat emitted from the lamps. Leave them as they are and they would serve u well.

PS: whats the story behing handle @frequentflyer (its my handle on another forum). Wanted to check if the rationale is same

I agree they make good cars. I think six years is a reasonable time to keep a car and then sell it in as good a condition as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Congratulations, Hondas sure make wonderful cars that are pleasure to drive, easy to own, and serve their owners long. I am sure yours would also last long (may not be 20 years as your earlier fiat).

BTW, forget about fixing a yellow film on white fog lamps to make them yellow. We personally had instances of such a film melting due to heat emitted from the lamps. Leave them as they are and they would serve u well.

PS: whats the story behing handle @frequentflyer (its my handle on another forum). Wanted to check if the rationale is same
The Fiat was 20 yrs old when I bought it in 1984 and used it for ten more years before selling it on getting a M800!

Frequentflyer - says it all when all we want to do is fly with our cars - the more frequently the better!

I dont have lamps yet. Will remember what you have written about the paper.

Last edited by GTO : 21st November 2012 at 12:39. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another!
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Old 12th November 2012, 14:34   #7
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Default Re: The All New Honda City SMT - A new owner's comments

Congrats on the City frequentflyer.

It is still the best petrol sedan in its class. Looks really pretty in Red

The mileage will improve with use - my friend's ANHC with A/C in city traffic is giving 12 - 13 after 5000 Kms.

Happy Motoring.
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Old 12th November 2012, 14:55   #8
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Congratulation. The best petrol sedan south of 10L.


Hope you continue to log many frequent roadie miles with the city.
Wish you years of safe and pleasurable driving
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Old 12th November 2012, 15:23   #9
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Default Re: The All New Honda City SMT - A new owner's comments

Congratulations for the new ride.

Keep updating the post regularly with your ownership experience.

Drive safe and enjoy IVTEC.

In wishlist you mentioned a good music system, any specific reason?

I have allways felt the stock system is pretty good and it never let me down.
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Old 12th November 2012, 15:40   #10
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Congrats brother! I love thos color... But i just couldn't wait any longer.
On the stock ICE, the speakers will continue their job till the next 4-5 yrs or so. Will need an upgrade subsequently. I have a wonderful unit installed in mine, no change in the soumd quality, but much more applicable. Notwithstanding the installation glitch, the piece is magic. Will upgrade stock speakers+bass tube+amp after company warranty is over.
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Old 12th November 2012, 15:47   #11
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Default Re: The All New Honda City SMT - A new owner's comments

Ohhh, I still remember Crystal Honda interiors. I bought mine from them in Jan 2010.

Congrats on this very fine car and enjoy your drives.

Do you really need fog lights? I lived in Pune for 10 years and never felt the need for them. However, they will be useful in Lonavala/Khandala (or any other hilly region) during monsoons and winters, if you drive in this section.

Last edited by sa_kiran : 12th November 2012 at 15:50.
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Old 13th November 2012, 07:42   #12
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Update -

A week end trip to Mumbai in the new Honda City gave me new insights into the car!

It was full load with four people and three bags in the boot. The car's engine is smooth and eager to get ahead. Even in second gear, one does not feel the engine revving and it is silent in the cabin. I did not take it beyond 120 km per hour and that in the open stretches during overtaking only.

The music system is good but needs higher volume to appreciate all the niceties of a song. There may be better systems in the market, but this is fine for my needs.

The rear seat passengers bounce along, especially along the Pune half of the expressway. Bumps are felt by them and they said so. It is therefore a 'driver's car', more comfortable for the front seat.

The car weaved through two mother of all traffic jams in Mumbai in the evening and came off creditably. The overall average now for nearly 550 km of mixed city and highway driving is about 12 km/litre. Not too good for the present. Hope it improves.

On the expressway I filled the tyres with Nitrogen and it improved the ride quality. The dealer had said I will not need to check the tyre pressure so soon as the car had gone through pre-delivery checks. However it is better to re-check if you buy the car!

Fog lamps I need at least once an year because I visit Mahabaleshwar at least once every monsoon and have been using them there. However I am not likely to spend 22k for the Honda fog lamps.

00nuts001 - why cant you wait for the red colour? As I wrote I decided to cancel the deal if they would not give me red before Diwali and they did. The dealer is always pushing slow moving items - like the new sparkling brown (almost black) colour!

I recommend a car body cover for about 1500/-, specially if you buy the darker colours that are hi-maintenance. Bird droppings and dust are real enemies. Also get the Kimberley Clark blue microlite cloth - it works in getting the dust off compared to the yellow cloth sold at traffic lights.

Now planning a grand Hindustan safari of roughly 3500 km before Jan- Feb 2013!
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Old 13th November 2012, 07:50   #13
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Default Re: The All New Honda City SMT - A new owner's comments

Congrats on the new buy. So the Fusion saga finally comes to a close !
Glad to see you graduating one good car to another! City is brilliant all rounder.

My only negative for the city (which you should have already guessed!) is the GC. That was also the reason why I went against the then City for the other one.

Congrats again and wish you many many miles.
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Old 13th November 2012, 08:10   #14
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Congrats on the new buy. So the Fusion saga finally comes to a close !
Glad to see you graduating one good car to another! City is brilliant all rounder.

My only negative for the city (which you should have already guessed!) is the GC. That was also the reason why I went against the then City for the other one.

Congrats again and wish you many many miles.

I still look wistfully at the Fusions I cross on the road. However I have realised the City is a more refined car. I encountered many speed breakers over the week end but no bottom scraping till now. But having done horror roads like the Nadiad - Dhar stretch in the Fusion, I know how important GC is. Now my only fear is that I have not switched from Fusion to the City in a hurry without having a look at the Ecosport!

Fusion is a great car and anybody getting one for under 200000/- for a six year old model has a good deal - purely because Ford stopped production. The car is sold in the UK even today.
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Old 13th November 2012, 08:18   #15
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Default Re: The All New Honda City SMT - A new owner's comments

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Now my only fear is that I have not switched from Fusion to the City in a hurry without having a look at the Ecosport!
That you should not fear. I am not very sure if the kind of space you got used to in Fusion, we may get in Ecosport.
(There would be a compromise either on the boot or the rear space or a bit of both).

If your running is low and petrol is what you want, nothing beats the Honda City.
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