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Old 26th March 2013, 18:03   #1
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Smile Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Hi Friends,

The shortest possible description of our new proud acquisition is that 'It’s Hot, Its Hap and Its Jap'!

Background

We had a 2007 Maruti WagonR vxi which served us brilliant in the past 6 years. She didn't give us any issues at all which could cause even the mildest of a headache. In fact, out of the 45000 kilometers that the car had traveled, more than half was on the highways, countryside, bad to very bad roads as well but never even once we faced any reliability, performance or comfort issues with her. One specific thing which I must mention about her is that we always felt very safe whenever we took her out be it inside the city, town or on the highways. Once in the midst of our long highway trip, on a bright sunny afternoon when I dozed off (for god knows how many seconds), she absolutely ran on autopilot mode, and even woke me up by merely brushing her wheel covers on the edges of the divider but got back on track to keep and maintain her straight line without losing any control and composure whatsoever, all on her own. She was a life saver for us on that day on a 4 lane high speed highway. She was ageing well but we thought probably her 6th birthday would be the right time to find a suitable replacement as she was still in the best of her health to serve her new owner for another 5 years without making him/her having sleepless nights over the car. In short, we decided to upgrade to a sedan from our extremely faithful, ever reliable beloved 'red cutie'.

Hunt for the new car

I have always been an impulsive decision maker. Moreover, most of my key decisions are taken purely based on my gut feel and instincts. The thought to upgrade to a sedan was originated and finalized in not more than 2 days, and to my good fortunes, my better half aligns so very well with my quick decisions that we finalized the upgrade plan in a week, that's first week of February 2013 and made the booking with Pride Honda by paying 21k INR in the second week of February. I decided to sell my existing car to the dealer itself after getting a considerably good deal for the exchange.
Now, there is a catch to my impulsive decision making methodology! Although we decided almost instantly to buy a new car, we had in fact, done a lot of research and thinking on what would be our new car even when we were absolutely sure we wouldn’t buy one in another year or so. Out of my own interest in cars and with amazingly detailed and thorough Team-BHP reviews and ownership threads on new cars (I don’t miss even a single thread), it is safe to say that we had a lot of information on what we want from our new buy and what’s best is available in the market to match our expectations and budget beforehand. In the past 8 months or so, we visited almost every brand’s showroom and reviewed all sedans available under 10lac INR OTR, thus when the time arrived to actually get one, our impulsive decision was fully backed by prior information and research data.

Expectations from new car, best fits and stack ranking in the descending order

1) It has to be a petrol sedan under 10 lac +- 1 lac (my usage pattern doesn’t warrant a diesel engine, less than 20 km travel on an average per day)
• Honda City
• Hyundai Verna
• Volkswagen Vento

2) Powerful heart, i.e., peppy, butter-smooth and reliable engine tuned for driving enthusiasts
• Honda City
• Hyundai Verna
• Volkswagen Vento

3) Comfortable ride and confident handling
• Volkswagen Vento
• Honda City
• Hyundai Verna

4) Good-looking, exterior styling and design (I love the way a car looks!)
• Honda City
• Hyundai Verna
• Volkswagen Vento

5) Above average build, satisfactory fit and finish
• Volkswagen Vento
• Honda City
• Hyundai Verna

6) Above average interior space and decent boot
• Honda City
• Volkswagen Vento
• Hyundai Verna

7) Above average interior styling and design
• Hyundai Verna
• Honda City
• Volkswagen Vento

8) Mileage not a factor
• Honda City
• Hyundai Verna
• Volkswagen Vento

9) Maintenance not a factor cost-wise but the A.S.S. should be accessible everywhere and reliable too as and when needed
• Hyundai Verna
• Honda City
• Volkswagen Vento

10) Features and Gadgetry
• Hyundai Verna
• Honda City
• Volkswagen Vento

Cars reviewed but not considered

Nissan, Renault, Ford, Tata, Skoda and Fiat cars were reviewed but not seriously considered for obvious reasons, almost similar to the ones that many owners / reviewers have already mentioned in their posts. I have a serious grudge against Maruti that it doesn’t have a proper ‘C’ segment sedan at this point of time. SX4 is mighty and an awesome car to own but its due for a makeover and based on what I know, it is going to be purely cosmetic which is probably not worth waiting for. DZire as an entry level B segment is hoot to drive but long waiting period even for a petrol and odd rear shape didn’t allow me to give it a serious thought.

Final choice

There was a dilemma for some time between Volkswagen Vento and Honda City (Hyundai was ruled out after considering it’s ride and handling capabilities as I have had enough of the ‘Volvo’ish fun in my Wagon R already, and Verna’s build and rear seat position didn’t inspire much confidence to go ahead with keeping it an option either!). Volkswagen petrol was uninspiring to the driver inside me but the strong brand reputation, Timeless design, European feel, supreme build, fit and finish, and attention to detail kept me on it till the last minute. Ultimately, based on its superior engine, interior and exterior design, spaciousness and reliability, the Honda reigned supreme. I didn’t want any aftermarket fitments at all with my new car so decided to go with the high-end version without AVN and Sunroof i.e. VMT. From color choice point of view, I was inclined towards carnelian red but chose urban titanium instead as it is easier to maintain, looks more plush and sophisticated for such a big car, and gives more premium feel to it. Oh come on whom am I fooling around, wife said its urban titanium so it was, period!

Complete booking and delivery experience

The booking was done with the Pride Honda dealership in Hyderabad and overall experience was good. Sales staff was courteous, professional and well informed. One month approximate waiting period was intimated to us and the car did arrive on the expected date i.e. 4th of March. We took delivery on 5th evening and the whole process finished in less than an hour. All documents were ready (as the car was on company lease, only a few arrangements were there to be made from our end) and the car was neatly washed, cleaned and decorated when we reached there. I did a brief PDI (team-BHP checklist to my helm) and finding everything ok, informed the SA to proceed with the delivery process. He handed over a couple of documents and explained car features to me (I already knew all of them as we have a Honda City in our family which I had driven on city roads as well as highways extensively!) to which I listened patiently, distributed sweets and token gift to the SA, SM and sum to the cleaning staff and watchmen. They too gave us a box of chocolates, and big bouquet (along with 5 liter of Fuel in the car) and we took off in our Samurai.

On-road price and discounts

• On-road price came around 10.45 lac INR (after discount)
• Discounts offered were free insurance (worth 23k INR), exchange bonus (15k)
• Freebies offered were meagre floor mats, and Teflon coat

Now few things about Samurai

Completed around 600 km with Samurai so far. It is still in the run-in phase.

1) What I liked

• Great engine under the hood. The iVTec is amazing to drive, very peppy and rev-happy one. A gentle tap on the pedal and the car simply takes off
• Spacious rear (5 average built persons can sit comfortably on mid-range drives) and decent boot space (more than 400 liters which is sufficient)
• Safety features, liked the fact that Honda hasn’t compromised on them in any of the variants (ABS + EBD, 2 Airbags etc.)
• Ergonomically placed controls in the cockpit, and lots of cubby holes
• Comfortable front and rear seats (not too hard, not too soft)
• Braking is confidence inspiring, the vehicle stops with assured predictability
• Gearshift is smooth and expected to be butter-smooth after a couple of servicing done (based on my experience with the family Honda)
• Drivability inside the city (not this one but family Honda tested on highways and it is equally good there as well)
• Steering wheel is meaty, good to hold and the steering mounted audio controls are really useful
• Hand rest helps during long drives
• Acceptable build, fit and finish
• Acceptable mileage so far
• Acceptable music system (tweeters in V MT are an added advantage although I don’t think I am really positively or negatively affected by ICE, I prefer low volume music in the car, and the only sound which pumps me up is the engine grunt!)
• Acceptable NVH levels, no rattles for god’s sake (I had waggie earlier!)
• AC is chiller and cools the cabin in quick time (this is March)
• Ground clearance is now acceptable and fortunately I haven’t yet managed to scrap the underbody (earlier it was 160 mm now it is 165 mm which is a welcome change)
• Fuel efficiency is something which is hardly going to bother me for two reasons. One is that my usage is not much, second is that I drive sedate on most occasions and even if rarely I drive like a driving enthusiast, I rev-up, rev down but don’t really cross 100-110 kmph so it’s hardly going to affect the mileage I assume! All in all so far it is showing average consumption as 14 kmpl which doesn’t sound alarming anyway.
• Cleaning the top of the car is now easy, don't really have to climb as in Wagon R !


2) What I didn’t like

• No auto-lock for doors on speeds beyond 20 kmph. Come on Honda, even my humble Maruti had it. This is something which I have to get used to
• Cruise control. This feature is an absolute waste in India. Honda you could have offered something better and more practical like a rear view camera + sensor (which I eventually bought). I had to get along with this only because of the additional features like alloy wheels, fog lamps, and other cosmetics offered with V model.
• As compared to Wagon R, it is a low slung vehicle so for someone like me with 5.11 height, it is a bit difficult to ingress, egress in Samurai
• Ride is overall comfortable but I feel DZire is much better (maybe due to Honda’s puny tyres as compared to Maruti)
• Headlights and Horn, less said the better!
• Dead pedal is missing, not that it really bothers me
• Goodyear GT3 tyres, I don’t know whether I should like them or dislike them since I know only about Michelin, Yokohama, Bridgestone and JK. Goodyear brand itself I have no awareness. Somebody can educate me here whether it should fall under likes or dislikes!

3) Additional accessories fitted

• Art leather seat covers – 12500 INR
• Reverse Camera + Sensors – 10500 INR

Now it is time for some pictures.
Attached Images
      
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Old 26th March 2013, 21:30   #2
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Congratulations! It looks nice. You seem to have managed without scrapes with 165mm GC in Hyderabad!

Well 165 is better than 160! Even 14kmpl FE is good for Hyderabadi traffic.

Drive safe and have fun.
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Old 27th March 2013, 15:35   #3
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Congrats on the new car, being a fan of Honda, its always a delight to see new reviews from proud owners. The UT on the City sure looks good in pics.
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Old 27th March 2013, 16:16   #4
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Congrats sforsarang on your new ride .
You can't go wrong with a Honda. Every time i see a new honda city thread i start thinking, when will honda bring in the diesel city . I just love the way the new Honda City looks.

12.k for art leather seat covers, is i think on a higher side. Did you get that from the dealer only .

Anyways ,drive safe and enjoy your city .

Cheers
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Old 27th March 2013, 16:54   #5
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Welcome to the Honda City club. Good looking color. Did you get the reverse parking accessory fitted from Honda? BTW, I couldnt see the sensors on the rear bumper

Last edited by GTO : 27th March 2013 at 17:30. Reason: Do NOT use acronyms when referring to cars (e.g. ANHC)
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Old 28th March 2013, 10:25   #6
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Thank you Soonya, tjacob, Schoudhury, dre@ms for your wishes ! All in my family are pretty light weight including me so 165 mm should be sufficient even in Hyderabad ! Seat covers got installed from the dealer itself. Yeah even I thought 12k is a bit expensive but I had 'not-so-good' experience with xenex and one or two other such from quality and VFM perspective for my waggie so decided to play safe with new car. BTW, the honda guy told me outside it will be cheaper but they will use 6mm thickness and we provide covers with 9mm thickness I don't know how true it is. @Dre@ms, pictures are when neither the seat covers nor the reverse camera was installed. I got them installed last week itself. Unfortunately reverse cam and sensor fitment isn't available in body color for UT. Went ahead with black ones. It does look good nevertheless. Any idea on the 'good'ness of 'Goodyear' tyres?
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Old 28th March 2013, 10:38   #7
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Quote:
Originally Posted by sforsarang View Post
Any idea on the 'good'ness of 'Goodyear' tyres?
I also got Goodyear, over 3 years ago. They served me well for over 3 years and 33,000 km. I went on several long drives, mostly on concrete roads, the car/tyres handled pretty well.

I changed to Michelin about 2 months ago and they are certainly better than Goodyear. I've have not had a chance of a long/drive yet with these.
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Old 28th March 2013, 11:14   #8
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Congrats on the Honda sforsarang. The City looks cool in this colour. BTW i also feel the ride quality in Dzire is a little better than the City, could be due to the ride height of Dzire being more than that of the City.
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Old 28th March 2013, 14:04   #9
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Reading our post is indeed a pleasure after joining the Honda club. I too have acquired a VMT urban titanium with the cng option. Cng kit is still not fixed up and hence cannot share the cng experience. I am absolutely in agreement with your experience except for the consumption which was indeed a consideration for choosing the city cng. I drive an average 100 km a day and have more or less seen an average of 12 km per liter of petrol. Then, we drive in Mumbai and you know our roads and the traffic. Congrats and thanks for your input.

Note from the Team-BHP Support: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting an entire long message inconveniences our mobile users.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 28th March 2013 at 14:07.
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Old 28th March 2013, 15:12   #10
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Quote:
Originally Posted by sforsarang View Post
Hi Friends,

The shortest possible description of our new proud acquisition is that 'It’s Hot, Its Hap and Its Jap'! .
Congratulations mate! from one ANHC owner to another: welcome to our world!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sforsarang View Post
2) What I didn’t like

• No auto-lock for doors on speeds beyond 20 kmph. Come on Honda, even my humble Maruti had it. This is something which I have to get used to
• Cruise control. This feature is an absolute waste in India. Honda you could have offered something better and more practical like a rear view camera + sensor (which I eventually bought). I had to get along with this only because of the additional features like alloy wheels, fog lamps, and other cosmetics offered with V model.
• As compared to Wagon R, it is a low slung vehicle so for someone like me with 5.11 height, it is a bit difficult to ingress, egress in Samurai
• Ride is overall comfortable but I feel DZire is much better (maybe due to Honda’s puny tyres as compared to Maruti)
• Headlights and Horn, less said the better!
• Dead pedal is missing, not that it really bothers me
• Goodyear GT3 tyres, I don’t know whether I should like them or dislike them since I know only about Michelin, Yokohama, Bridgestone and JK. Goodyear brand itself I have no awareness. Somebody can educate me here whether it should fall under likes or dislikes! .
  • Regarding Auto-lock, i was surprised of a mention of the same in our Owner Manual. Still haven't been able to find out how to initiate.
  • Do reveiw my thread to find out how I try to use the Cruise Control. I Wonder if it helps you.
  • Definitely low sprung as compared to Wagon R, or even an Alto (my last vehicle). But the doors open wide, that somewhat helps a fat 5.7" like me.
  • Cant say much about the ride. Seems comfortable to me, except some minor bottom scrapes (or the fear of it). Also, there is a noticable thump of pothole ridden roads, coming from the pedals.
  • Headlight - Definately needs an upgrade. I barely make do even with my fog lamps on (VMT - version). Horn - Seems OK. perhaps the insulation of the vehicle dampens the sound when inside the car with the doors shut.
  • Miss the dead pedal.
  • Cant comment much on the tyres.
What is the Mileage you get?
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Old 28th March 2013, 15:22   #11
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Many congratulations Sforsarang for your Samurai.
In the petrol sedan segment there is still no match for the City and the UT looks fantastic.
The city has the best audio system, surprising you found it acceptable only.
Regarding the Goodyear GT3 tyres, it performs well but makes a lot of noise.
If you have to change the tyres, do it now so that you get decent value for the stock ones.
Enjoy your ride and drive safe.
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Old 28th March 2013, 15:40   #12
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

First of all many congratulations sforsarang on your new acquisition and welcome to the ANHC club. Wishing you thousands of happy miles on your Samurai.

Regarding the art-leather seat covers, which brand of seat covers did the dealer install. Most Honda dealers stock Autoform. Do they include the arm rests ?

I own the 2011 version of the ANHC and trust me 165 must be a whole lot better than 160 though I have kind of learnt of live with it.

A couple of things they could have done better with the face-lifted version was
a) maybe provide a SATNAV/reverse camera capable HU instead of the cruise control on the MT versions.
b) Maintained uniform colors for the dial and HU lights if they were sticking with the old HU.
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Old 28th March 2013, 17:23   #13
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

congratulations on the car.Looks ready to be unleashed!
can you please share a pic of the art leather seat covers.And what other options of seat covers the dealer had?
I am due to fit seat covers on my new city and your inputs would definitely help.
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Old 28th March 2013, 17:56   #14
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Thank you very much guys for your heartfelt wishes.... It doubles my joy of our new car !
00nuts001, I guess that autolock option is for thailand honda cars, the manual seems generic for most part. Mileage so far is around 13-14 kmpl (on the MID it shows 14 avg)

Sommos you might be right about the audio, the thing is I don't even know how great audio sounds ! Since I prefer mild music in a low volume (except when I am not driving on highways), I don't seem to notice much of a difference. My waggie had alpine music system (aftermarket) which was good to my choice. You are right about the tyres, there is indeed a bit extra noise on the roads, especially cement roads.

Baddychat, Feel free to consider me plain illiterate on the accessories front but I forgot the brand for seat covers(in fact I dont remember if I ever noticed it, just that it has 'honda' printed and the person said its honda approved). I will check and let you know.
And yes they include arm rest as well. Yeah we have 160 mm honda city in our family and that was the only reason I couldnt dare to pick honda before for myself. Anyday I would have preferred that SATNAV or even reverse camera thing instead of cruise control. Even in the USA I didnt use cruise control !

Pyrodrive, I will definitely click the pics of seat covers and reverse camera installation and post asap.

Thanks guys for your wishes and inputs as well.. Please keep them coming owners !!!
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Old 28th March 2013, 22:21   #15
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Default Re: Our new Japanese Samurai - Honda City V MT Urban Titanium

Quote:
Originally Posted by sforsarang View Post
Baddychat, Feel free to consider me plain illiterate on the accessories front but I forgot the brand for seat covers(in fact I dont remember if I ever noticed it, just that it has 'honda' printed and the person said its honda approved). I will check and let you know.
And yes they include arm rest as well. Yeah we have 160 mm honda city in our family and that was the only reason I couldnt dare to pick honda before for myself. Anyday I would have preferred that SATNAV or even reverse camera thing instead of cruise control. Even in the USA I didnt use cruise control !
The accessories at these showrooms are expensive.
When I bought my car I had inquired about the Caska HU which they sell. They had quoted me 45 k at which I decided to stick with the original HU, fit reverse cameras buy the Map my India app on my phone and save up that money.
On the other hand the same Caska HU's are considerably cheaper if you can get them from US or the likes. They are cheaper if you can get them from the Caska distributor directly.
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