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Old 28th February 2014, 11:33   #1
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Default 2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!

Before I put my virtual pen to paper, I must mention that unlike most new car owners who upgrade (some downgrade) because of problems related to space, expenses, and other requirements, my new-car journey sprung up due to an actual problem.

Sounds weird and peculiar, but that's how the chain of events unfolded, which I am about to narrate.

Circa 2012:

I had sold off my five-and-half year old M800 and upgraded to a shiny new 2012 Honda City. The 3rd-generation City had received a facelift in November 2011, and in terms of interior space, looks, reliability and it's VFM entry level variant, the newly introduced Corporate Edition with full safety features, was the perfect upgrade for me, who was looking at the Jazz X. I had stretched my budgets and zeroed in on the "fluidic" Verna 1.6 EX back then, but safety suddenly became paramount, since I became a father to a lovely little angel princess in December 2011. Priorities changed, and I had decided to forego of creature comforts and frill, toy-like features in the Verna and go for the wonderfully safe, but barebone in features, Honda City Corporate Edition.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20130302_145643.jpg

Complete details here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...-now-sold.html (2012 Honda City - Silver Pegasus - A journey of absolute bliss! EDIT : Now SOLD!)

Months passed, and my City (named "Silver Pegasus" by me) was my perfect, no-fuss, no-niggle companion. He was heavily accessorised and in time, he was the most handsome car of the city I lived in.


My Dad, who used to drive his '98 Maruti-Suzuki Esteem, was experiencing a lot of trouble in keeping the car in one piece. Maintenance issues were cropping up, spare parts were suddenly unavailable, and repair bills were mounting. But despite all that, Dad persisted with his Esteem because he loved it to death (he still does!). But due to my continuous pressure on him, he finally agreed to trade it in, in exchange for the 2012 Maruti Suzuki Ritz. The Ritz had received a mild facelift back then as well, and sharing the same engine as the Swift, was the perfect VFM upgrade for him. Unlike my Honda City which has it's A.S.S. center 300 kms away in the state capital, the Ritz could be easily serviced as well, since the Maruti-Suzuki A.S.S. center is in our own city. People in his friend circle had insisted that the diesel had better driveability, offered better mileage, and would get better resale value in the future, so he went for the diesel. The variant chosen was the middle one - VDI.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20121227_113738.jpg

Complete details here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...-now-sold.html (2012 Maruti Ritz VDI - Our new family workhorse! **EDIT: Now sold!**)

And so, we both were set with new cars for the next 6-7 years (at least). Or so, I thought.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20131013_124859.jpg


Boy, was I wrong!


October 2013:

After the initial excitement and novelty had worn off, Dad was steadily driving his Ritz lesser and lesser. It came to the point that many days, he just backed the car outside the garage of our home in the morning and left it to gather dust under the sun all day. Because of the ease of driving inside the city and for quick runs to my office and daily errands, the Ritz became my preferred choice. I handed over the keys of my Pegasus to him and asked him to drive it, thinking he must be missing his beloved Esteem and that's why he might not be feeling as connected to his Ritz. For a short while, my City became his ride and all was well again. But the unruly traffic all around him and his rapidly slowing reflexes and vision made him more and more apprehensive, specially when driving the big car. I offered to chauffeur him around to his destinations but he would have none of it. He was adamant that he wanted to drive (maybe his pride didn't allow him to accept this fact). But I sensed he didn't like driving, or rather enjoy it, like he did before. It came to the point during October last year, when he completely stopped driving any of our cars. Suddenly, I found myself driving the Ritz 5 days of the week, and my Pegasus on the other 2 days.

Soon, I was the sole driver of both cars. The Ritz, being the diesel option, was cheaper to run than my City. But my Pegasus was MY car. It pained me to see it covered in the garage 5 days of the week, doing absolutely nothing, while I drove the Ritz and my 2 bikes in turns. The running of both cars slowly started becoming lesser and lesser, and I had no option but to take a hard decision to sell off one of them.

Or both.


November 2013:

This was when the 2014 City's unveiling rumors started getting stronger. Soon, the press release for a November 25 unveil got out. On a whim, and hoping that the all-new City equipped with the diesel heart would be a revolution of sorts (based on the current-gen Civic & C-Rider), I pre-booked it on November 7th without having any idea of what it might be like, in looks or in performance, purely on the reliability of the Honda badge and because the City was the safest of all choices in it's segment, and I was enjoying a completely fuss-free ownership of my Pegasus.

November 25th came, and the 2014 Honda City was unveiled amidst great fanfare in Delhi. I loved the design, although it bore subtle changes to the existing 3rd generation City. The front is very obviously inspired by the current-gen Civic, and the all-new rear which took inspiration from some of the popular Beemers we know, looks absolutely smashing!! And the interiors are a huge step up from the 3rd-gen car as well, loaded with a bunch of features which could give competitors of the C2 segment a real run for their money! For the first time (in a LONG time), the 2014 City looked to take on the competition head-on, specially with a very crucial weapon in it's armory now. (LINK (Pics & Report: 2014 Honda City unveiled in India))

The all-new, India-specific, Earth Dreams 1.5 liter i-DTEC diesel powertrain.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-hondaamazesedan06.jpg

(image sourced from the official Team-BHP review)

Overall, I was sold. I will quote my thoughts on the launch directly from the official Team-BHP launch thread: (LINK (Pics & Report: 2014 Honda City unveiled in India))

Quote:
Honda has followed the philosophy that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it, but whatever's broke, definitely fix it." The arrow-shot design is a big revolution in design in itself, and Honda couldn't do much more to top that. The all-new Civic with that new design didn't fare well in the acceptance department, did it? Honda has played it safe for now, until the next 5-6 years at least, till the next-gen City will be due (2019-2020 perhaps).

I still say that Civic-ish front and that all-new smashing rear gives a lot of added personality to what is already a wonderful existing design.

Overall, I am glad they retained the core design bits of the current-gen City and gave what the City most needed - a bunch of sleek features, new front/rear looks and a fantastic diesel heart. The current City sold well till the end of it's cycle just for it's looks and it's performance, and this one should take the legacy forward. It's got most things right for the Indian market now.

As for me, I will be one happy chappy to be behind the wheel of this one, hopefully for a long time. It's been almost six hours since the unveiling and the grin on my face hasn't gone off, and that itself says a lot!
While the 2014 City was fast garnering different opinions from different BHPians, I was sure and positive that the 2014 City would proceed to become the newest bestseller in it's segment after it's launch, then settle down to a healthy monthly sales number of around 4500-5000 units later on.

All that was left, was a real-life test drive, which would seal the deal.

End of story, right? WRONG! Boy, if only I knew that there were more twists in my tale.


December 2013:

I waited all through December with bated breath for my nearest dealership, Shubh Honda, to get a diesel City model. By then, most auto sites started reporting their first-drive reviews of the 2014 City, and most of them reported on the high NVH levels of the diesel variant. Having experienced the Vento/Rapid and driven a Scorpio extensively, I knew they were hard to beat. But still, curiosity kept building up. The Amaze diesel had pretty high NVH levels, so I expected the Honda engineers to have worked on this aspect of the diesel City. The fact that it came with a 6th gear and the official brochure mentioned sound insulation, made me confident that NVH levels would be noticeably quieter.

Team-BHP's official review was out in the 3rd week of December, and it was pretty much confirmed that the NVH levels of the 2014 City diesel wasn't upto par. Vibration and shakiness felt on pedals, noisy unpleasant clatter, and lack of oomph on the highways, as experienced by GTO, made me apprehensive. Still, I was adamant on checking this out in the flesh and then take a decision. Quoting from the official City review thread, as posted by GTO (Honda City : Official Review):

Quote:
As things stand, power & torque to weight figures are more in line with the C1 segment than C2. In a straight drag, the Verna, Vento & Rapid will leave the City diesel for dead. There is no competition. On the open road, performance can best be termed as 'adequate' by segment standards. With a torque-to-weight ratio (172 Nm / ton) that's lower than even the Dzire, the City diesel isn't going to be burning down any expressways. The Vento TDI is capable of leaving a smile permanently plastered on your face. That's not the case with the City i-DTEC which is more suited to a regular style of driving. Don't get me wrong; acceleration is decent and the City is capable of travelling at 3 digit speeds all day. The Amaze's top speed was limited to ~145 kph. No such limiter on the City, with Honda claiming a top whack of 190 kph. It's just that you expect something special when spending 10 lakh rupees. That's missing in this diesel. This motor isn't as high-rpm friendly as the others either. The i-DTEC revs to a maximum of ~4,450 rpm (VW & Hyundai diesels easily cross 5,000). In the City, there's no point in taking the rpm that high, and it's best to upshift at 4,000 tops.

An area where the City disappoints is NVH. Honda says that insulation has been beefed up and the window glass has been made thicker, but clearly that's not enough. The engine is very audible inside the cabin, even at an urban revv range of 1,800 - 2,000 rpm. What makes it worse is the crude, unpleasant engine note. On the move, the diesel motor always makes its presence felt. A Honda techie stated that aluminium diesels are inherently noisier. Another major disadvantage of the City diesel is the significant amount of engine & drivetrain movement felt on the pedals. These vibes are felt not only on the clutch, but even on the accelerator. It's directly proportional to engine rpm. The experience takes away from the refinement you expect in a Honda.
Anyway, I was informed on 19th of December that a diesel VX (in Carnelian Red shade) had arrived for showroom display and subsequent RTO registration. I was off to Raipur in a flash to check it out, and upon entering the showroom, the 2014 City in all her majestic aura and that huge smiling moustache, greeted me!

I was smiling as I entered the display area. Plenty of visitors had crammed into the showroom already, to check out the fantastic, shining red queen. All the attention she was garnering reminded me of royalty, and like my good friend and fellow Team-BHPian arup.misra mentioned in my 2012 City ownership thread, the City is actually the emperor of it's segment. The regal splendor of the red City reminded me of Arup's quote, and my thought at that moment was:

"Gosh, she's beaming like an Empress, ready to address her subjects!"

The thought stuck, and so did the name. I decided at that exact moment of the name of my future steed - the Empress.

Till then, I had pretty much decided to sell off both our existing cars and get the 2014 City from those funds. In a few hours when the crowd had subsided, the car was driven out into the hangar for a shining session, and that was when the engine noise struck my ears!

Surely! But it can't be! No way, this is Honda engineering. It makes sense for the built-to-a-cost Amaze, but for a premium offering?! The extremely loud NVH brought back all the thoughts I had from reading the online reviews from earlier in the month - no VGT, same specs as the Amaze, mismatch interiors, etc. - all the negative thoughts which were clouding my judgement came flooding back. I wondered if Honda engineers had worked on the Amaze powertrain at all, or just carbon-copied it for the 2014 City, and just added a 6th gear and did a bit of tuning. (based on a tweet by Hormazd Sorabjee, this seemed to be the only explanation)

Only one thing remained to confirm my fears - I was handed the keys for a short TD inside the compound before the shining session. Walked in, felt eerily familiar as if I was walking into my Pegasus with an all-new dash and steering wheel. Cranked up the engine and the first thought was "WHOA!"

Not a good whoa, but a super-disappointed whoa.

The vibrations filtered through the pedals right into my feet, and the cabin shook slightly as the very gruff engine came alive. Compared to this diesel heart, my Pegasus's i-VTEC was music nirvana personified!! The cabin went through a small shake as well, which reminded me of unrefined 3-pot mills of the Polo. The drive was smooth and power delivery was wonderfully linear, but something was missing. Try as I may, I wasn't getting connected with this car.

Went back into the showroom confines, and poured through the Team-BHP review again, then thought over all the pros and cons. I had availed my Pegasus's 3rd Paid Service earlier in the month and had casually inquired about the selling price of the 2012 City Corporate, and the figure quoted was so low that I had instantly scratched the decision of selling Pegasus anytime soon. The mutual decision at home was to sell off the Ritz and get a bigger car for myself, while Dad would keep Pegasus. But now, the diesel City had left me unimpressed, despite all it's wow features and design highlights.

I decided to turn elsewhere for my car hunt, somewhat with a heavy heart. Despite getting repeated assurance from the dealership people that the production cars will have comparatively lower NVH levels than the showroom display car, I had pretty much decided in my mind. Returned home and called them up, asking them to cancel my 7th November booking. On December 27th, received the booking amount refund via cheque.


January-February 2014:

The EcoSport:

I had set my eyes firmly on the Ford EcoSport. Ever since it's launch in mid-2013, I had always wanted it in my garage. Checked it out on display at the Inorbit Mall in Hyderabad before it's launch, and had left impressed. But by the time I had the finances, the waiting periods had ballooned to six months, and it had undergone a heavy price increase already! By January 2014, it had had another price increase and now the car was almost 75,000 rupees costlier than it's launch price!! Still, the sheer compactness, futuristic looks and features on offer, and it's mini-SUV stance were hard to ignore.

News started to trickle in that select dealers had cars available in their garage, which were either base or middle variants of both petrol and diesel.

Decided to give a call to the newly opened GK Ford dealership in Raipur to inquire about the same, and if I might get lucky. The first time I called, I got the feeling that something might be worked out with them, by the way they answered ("Car has a waiting period of 6 months, sir, but if you come visit us in person, we might be able to arrange something"). I was after the TDCi Titanium variant, and if that was impossible to get, I was thinking of the petrol variants (even the 1.5L). In short, I was after the Titanium variant, either diesel, EcoBoost or petrol (didn't matter to me, as long as it had full safety features).

I got tied up in year-end work at my job, and called them again in early February. This time, a different fellow answered back and upon my query, answered that they could procure an EcoSport Titanium Diesel for me in 45 days flat, despite the lengthy waiting periods, but on one condition - I had to buy accessories/teflon/underbody/whatever of at least 1 lakh rupees worth!! I was taken aback by this, and despite my annoyance, threatened him using sweet words to report to Ford about this. He merely snickered back, and said instructions for this kind of deal came to them directly from the company itself, since the car has become such a hot-selling one, and I was more than welcome to take this up with them through email or telephoning their customer relations service. Needless to say, I told him in no-minced words that I was not THAT desperate to own their car, and hung up.


The Linea T-Jet:

All my friends love this car, and for one major reason only - pure adrenaline rush!!! I was interested as well, and with the Linea facelift around the corner, plus reports of big discounts, made me call up the newest dealership of Fiat India at the state capital. Unfortunately, the number of times I called them subsequently, I received only one reply (more or less) "Sir, someone will contact you with full details of the Test Drive", and of course, that call never came back. It seemed that the dealership didn't want to sell a car to me, and visiting the capital again in such a short time just for a TD was not possible, so struck it off my list.


Never considered the Vento because of Volkswagen's horrid after service sales reports, and the same went for the Rapid, although I was tempted for a wee bit when the new Rapid with projectors and steering-mounted controls was launched. But Skoda had enough horror stories around, specially on our forum, so left it out.

That left me with 2 more contenders, one of which was again based in the capital.


The XUV 500:

Called up the Ralas Motors dealership and asked them if there were any discounts available on the XUV, and if they could give me a good offer. Got reply back that the W4 didn't have any offers, and there were some nominal discounts on the W6 & W8. The W4 was within my budget, but getting a 12L+ car without many of the features for which the XUV had become popular, simply didn't digest with me. I inquired about Mahindra's After Sales Service in my circles, and most of the feedback I received was a thumbs down. Add to that, the sheer number of complaints of niggles with the SUV made me apprehensive. Plonking so much money into a (possibly) niggly vehicle and then not getting good service would be a back-breaker. Add to it, my whole family insisted it was too big for our requirements and wouldn't be easy to manoeuvre around our semi-urban, semi-rural city. I was pretty keen on the XUV till the end, and only with a heavy heart struck it out.

And the last contender (actually two from the same car company) made the strongest cases, purely on the basis of providing service in my home city.


The Hyundai Verna:

This was a compromise of sorts. I wasn't keen on it even one bit, but since it met the main requirement of local service, I asked the local dealership to send over a Verna for a TD. The dealership manager himself came in the afternoon, driving a new white SX petrol, for us to TD. Turned out him and my Dad had a link from the past! During my Dad's working days in SBI, when he was Branch Manager in a sleepy Orissa town, the manager's father had been a close contact of him. Either way, Dad excused himself from the TD so me, wife and Mom piled into the car. Me and the manager took turns driving it, and wife was impressed by the features. To be frank, I wasn't. Neither was Mom. And Dad thought it was too big!!

I had the SX (O) in mind just for the features, and inquired from the dealer if it was possible to procure one. He said he would get the new 2014 Verna, but needed at least 25 days to deliver. I reconfirmed if it was the same one with projectors, DRLs, diamond-cut alloys and 6 airbags. He called up someone in their main office and confirmed it. I told him I would get back to him soon.

Quite frankly, the TD didn't impress me much. Take away the features of the Verna and what you are left with is a pretty basic car, and not fitting it's 11.5 L price tag. The new cars come with stiffened suspension which takes care of it's handling, I was told.

And, as is in the case of most compromised decisions, I had second thoughts almost immediately. The manager was calling me virtually everyday to confirm the booking, now that he had a direct contact to me through Dad! I started to look for excuses to cancel it. Finally an idea struck me.


The XCent:

Hyundai had unveiled it's Grand i10-based notchback, the XCent, at the Auto Expo 2014. No, I didn't like it one bit in terms of looks (too similar to the Grand + an oddly shaped rear) or in terms of engine power (a big step down from the C2-segment). Quite frankly, all the notchbacks with 1.1/1.2 L powertrains should have a separate category for themselves, to distinguish them from the Etios(es), EcoSports and the Sunny(s) (C0 segment, perhaps, or send the City/Verna/Vento into a new C3 segment, keeping these cars in C1). But I had my excuse. I called up the dealer and told him that the XCent was an all-new car and will be around for 5-6 years, while the Verna might get a facelift in the next year or two, so I was more interested in the XCent. He said he would keep me informed about the same.


Finally, I had some breathing space. I went through all options one by one carefully again, and here Mom's one line hammered my decision home:

"Once you have sat in a City and experienced it, nothing else comes close. Not even your Verna-Ferna whatever. I want the City only."

She had pretty much spoken my mind's thoughts. She was never happy with my decision to sell off Pegasus, and missed it terribly.


:::::::Which brings me to the parallel story running with this one:::::::


At first, we had decided to sell off the Ritz and get a petrol hatch which could be driven by wifey and Dad both. The i20 petrol made the strongest case with it's long list of features and local servicing comfort, so we had booked one during this time. When a i20 was sent home for a TD, Dad thought it was too big for a hatch (he thought the Ritz and the Santro had the best sizes for hatchbacks), and same was echoed by the wife. I convinced them that this was the best option available to us right now (since the Jazz stood discontinued), so we went ahead and booked the Asta (O). Further discussions followed at home, and after having second thoughts, we put the booking on hold on the pretext of pursuing it in March for better discounts.

Pegasus was never planned to be sold. I would have none of it. But everyone in the family insisted that if we were going for a bigger hatch like the i20, it wouldn't make sense to keep 2 cars again. Finally, burying my heart under a huge slab of stone, I agreed to it.

Spread the word in January about selling both cars. By February-end, got 2 fantastic deals for them.
The Ritz VDi, with 8500 kms on the ODO and 14 months of ownership (bought in December 2012), went for 5.20 L (we had got it for 5.51 L), and
Pegasus (bought in March 2012 at 7.95 L), loaded with accessories worth almost 1.25 L, went for 6.00 L.

Knew I wouldn't get a better offer for them and the deals were made. By February-end, both cars were sold off.

Now, our new car meant new requirements. It was Mom who came to the rescue here. She is the most practical one in the family, and also quick on calculations. She said both cars had clocked almost 10,000 kms in their short spans, which meant that if we had a single car, it would have more running as well. Although Dad was not driving much, there was no saying he wouldn't in the future, since the spark was still there. Three drivers in the family would mean a lot of running. That warranted a diesel, and since she never liked the Ritz's interior space, and neither impressed by the i20's either, she wanted us to have a sedan in diesel. So we were divided in the middle - Wife and Dad insisted they would be more comfortable driving a small car, while me and Mom were adamant that a bigger sedan was the need of the family.

We discussed this a lot during the time the EcoSport was being considered. It wasn't as big as a sedan, and wasn't as small as a hatch either. It's Ritz-like stance impressed Dad, wife liked it because it was small and compact, I loved it's futuristic looks and power on tap, and Mom was willing to accomodate everyone. Too bad the company and the dealership bungled everything up, otherwise we would have had an EcoSport in the garage now, if it was a car available off-the-shelf.

As things stood, looking at our budgets, wifey said she would prefer a much smaller hatch than the i20. Dad left us to our decisions since he would be a very sparing driver henceforth, and because he was annoyed of going the 2-car-route again, specially after selling off our previous (rather new) cars. I was annoyed as well, since I loved my Pegasus to bits and didn't want 2 cars in the garage again! Wife put my fears to rest and said she would ensure that our second car got plenty of running (she wasn't driving the Ritz because it was Dad's car). We decided to go entry-level and check out the cars there. The Nano was too cheap, the Alto too old, and Spark not available. The Santro with a bigger engine was available at about 15,000 rupees extra, but fears of the car getting discontinued anytime soon, now that Hyundai is testing it's replacement, made us apprehensive. In came the Hyundai Eon. The compactness, mini-fluidic looks, premium-looking interiors and the space inside impressed all of us. Also, we owed the Hyundai dealer for accomodating our whims through the past 3 months. The decision was made - on March 6th, a Sleek Silver Eon Magna+ was driven into our garage.


:::::::End of parallel story:::::::


I called up the Honda dealership in mid-February yet again. Extensive talks and repeated assurance of the City diesel being more refined than it's initial showroom display unit made me visit them in third week of February to check out a new diesel. Indeed, some additional work had been done in the factory at the production engineering levels, and the car was comparatively quieter than the earlier units. There was still the sound clatter upon cranking up, and the small, shaky vibration filtering through the clutch pedal to remind you that it's a diesel, but the engine was slightly more refined, specially at higher RPMs. 1500-2500 RPM was the best band for the City diesel, as was evident from the short TD inside the compound.

I finally decided with where my heart and mind both were going - booked the City i-DTEC V MT on 25th February, in Alabaster Silver color, with a promise of March/early April delivery. I insisted to have the car by March 31st at the most (quite frankly waiting for more than 1 month for a car isn't appealing), and got assurance of the same as well.


March 2014:

The follow-up experience was less than average in the beginning. Upon dealer insistence that I spread out my choices a bit more so that they could honor their end-March delivery commitment, I gave them no less than FOUR variant choices - VX petrol, V Diesel, V Petrol and VX Diesel, in that order and keeping budgets in mind. I also spread out the color choices - Alabaster Silver, Urban Titanium and Golden Brown. In spite of this, by March 20th, I had no clear idea of which variant I would be getting in which shade. Dealership had it's hands tied - the company simply wasn't following the order of bookings sent to them, and more lower models in common shades were being unloaded there (the metros were definitely getting priority for the top variants). Decided to drop an email to Customer Relations about all this. But the Customer Relations management people merely forwarded this back to the dealer, "roughening" them up verbally for not dealing properly with it's customers. Indeed, the dealership was getting harrassed from the company on one side, and from the customers on the other. The dealership manager wanted me to wait till April if I wanted a VX petrol in my chosen shades, but I was adamant on a March 31st (or earlier) delivery.

Despite all this, and probably partly because of the repeated calls (adding more pressure) from the company's Customer Relations people, I finally received a call on Saturday, March 22nd, that two cars were available as fresh despatches from the factory - one was a V MT diesel in Golden Brown shade, and the other was a V MT petrol in Urban Titanium shade. Weighed up all options and prospectives, discussed with family, and finally decided on the Golden Brown V MT Diesel. Received an SMS promptly in the evening that the car (March 2014 make, as decoded from the VIN provided) was allotted to me. They said the truck had left the Noida plant the day before, on Friday 21st March (found out later that it had left on Thursday 20th March morning), and was expected by Wednesday (March 26th) morning. I called up my bank (had opted for a nominal loan on short EMI-tenure) and asked them to process everything and get the loan account ready by Tuesday.

Received a surprise call from the dealer on Monday, March 24th, that the despatch truck was expected to arrive by Monday evening itself!! Quickly called up the bank manager and after getting the assurance that the loan processing and account would be ready by the end of the day, I made preparations and left for the dealership on Monday night. Dad and Mom had warned me not to drive back on Tuesday, even if I took delivery, since it was an unauspicious Tuesday. As things would have it, the entire Honda Assure website was down all through Tuesday!! Coincidence, or divine providence?

Insurance and registration formalities could be completed by Wednesday noon only. It was almost 12:30 PM when I left the dealership, and close to 1 PM when I left the state capital for my city.

A new era, and a new voyage has begun. I finally had my Empress with me, and she was on her maiden journey home, which I hope is the first of many, many adventures to come.

Last edited by RavenAvi : 27th March 2014 at 21:05.
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Old 27th March 2014, 12:39   #2
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Default re: "Empress" - 2014 Honda City i-DTEC VMT - Earth Dreams Unleashed!

THE EMPRESS RIDES IN


As I stated above, the cars which arrived on Monday evening were stored away in the nearby BMW dealership, since it was closing time and the Honda dealership was completely packed with cars. When I arrived on Tuesday morning at the dealership, my car was driven from the BMW dealership straight into the service area for the PDI and subsequent washing/polishing session. The moment I laid my eyes on her for the very first time, I was reminded of the regal splendor that Empresses and Countesses command when they enter their courts. The Golden Brown shade looks absolutely stunning!!

Be mindful that before this, I had never seen the Golden Brown shade in person. All I had was studio shots of the City from the Net, and a few pics from other owners, which were also posted on the Net. So, I had to catch my breath at first. Standing between two white Citys, my Golden Brown beauty looked like it had arrived from another timeline altogether!

Since I had already chosen the name of my wonderful companion, I christened her "Empress" then and there. The shade is a lovely mix of dark brown with a tinge of green ("mehndi" color, as the dealership girls called it), and in it's metallic shade, looks wonderfully gorgeous. Compared to the Sparkling Brown shade available in the 3rd gen City, this one was deeper and more rich. From a distance, the casual observer could easily confuse it with black. It's only upon closer, detailed inspection that you can make out the Golden Brown hue. It shines the best under direct sunlight. Above all, it's a color shade exclusive to the 2014 Honda City, hence it would add a lot of regality to an already ultra-legal car.

The PDI done by the dealership guys and subsequently by me was all okayed, and Empress left for the showers to get washed. All through the day when Honda Assure was down, I was visiting the workshop hangar repeatedly to steal glances at my Empress, checking out her polishing sessions and accessory fittings. In the afternoon, I noticed a patch of fogging on the driver-side headlamp, right in front of the high-beam glass. It wasn't there in the morning, so definitely it had developed after the washing session! It was on the inside and couldn't be polished off. I brought it to the attention of the workshop manager who checked it out and promised to do something about it. I got a pleasant surprise when I went back again - the entire headlamp assembly had been swapped with a brand-new one! I thanked them for the same, and they said they would send it back to the company and ask for a replacement, since it came with a brand-new car.

A wonderful gesture nevertheless. I know of dealerships who wouldn't do it, or feign helplessness about the same.

Empress was duly polished and decked with ribbons, all ready for delivery. Unfortunately till closing time, Honda Assure website wasn't up and running, so they requested me to extend my stay by at least half a day more, and they would get everything resolved next day morning. They dropped me off at my hotel subsequently.

On Wednesday morning (yesterday), I arrived early at the dealership and noticed that someone from the dealership staff had stayed back the night before and had completed the insurance work!! Another nice gesture. The registration process and billing was quickly finished and Empress was brought out to the showroom display for delivery. Shubh Honda has this wonderful way of delivering their cars where they play a nice bhajan through the showroom speakers while they let the customer do the religious rites, and when they hand over the keys, two rockets of confetti are burst over the top. Since I have become closely familiar with most of the people working there, everyone crammed around me and Empress to get into the delivery pics. I asked for others to come as well (the Service Manager Mr. Shrikant, Workshop Manager Mr. Kulwinder, Accessories Manager Mr. Rao) and all of them were gracious enough to come and share the delivery pictures with me. The happiest of all of them was the Sales Manager, Mr. Harjinder. He was positively beaming, possibly at the happy thought that he could honor the commitment he had given to me exactly one month ago, and that one more satisfied customer had entered the Honda ranks.

The full breakup of the prices:

Ex-showroom = 10,24,000/-
Logistics = 4,500/-
RTO Charges = 76,180/-
Temporary Registration = 1,500/-
Comprehensive Insurance = 35,991/- (includes Depreciation add-on)
Extended Warranty = 11,800/-
Roadside Assistance = 2,900/-
Choice Number = 5,000/-
Trade (in loan cases) = 800/- (refundable by bank)
Illuminated Side Step Garnishes = 4,999/-
Foot Light = 2,999/-
Body Cover = 1,699/-

GRAND TOTAL = 11,72,368/-

Labor charges for accessories fitment were waived off.


I reached home at 5:45 PM on March 26th (yesterday), and these are my observations so far:

Positives:

- The City diesel is a wonderful, easy car to drive. The driveability nature of the Earth Dreams i-DTEC is solely concentrated on linear power/torque delivery, specially at lower RPMs across all gears. The woeful response of the City petrol at lower RPMs/gears is completely non-existent here. This car is absolutely great to potter about town in the 2nd/3rd gears at speeds of 30-35 kmph.

- The car felt very planted on the highway. There wasn't much bobbing about from the rear, specially when cornering. Most gradual corners were dismissed nonchalantly at 60-70ish speeds. Hard cornering is yet to be tested.

- The power on offer at lower gears is mind-boggling. A great example of this was in the Keskal ghat section, about 150 kms from Raipur. A white Hyundai i20 had stopped before me at an U-turn corner of the ghat, because a truck was coming down slowly from the far end of the corner. That was because another truck had broken down right in the middle of the turning!! There was a small space at the closer end, but the incline there was too steep, and the bigger space at the far end (from which the 2nd truck came down) had a smaller incline. I had decided to go for the far end, around the broken-down truck, but because the road was not visible on that side (the ghat roads are in terrible shape and badly need a lot of work), followed the i20 into the closer end. As things stood, the incline turned out to be too steep for the i20!! I don't know in which gear it was in, but it roared and stalled right in the middle of the steep incline in it's cornering (after almost crossing the broken-down truck), rear wheels freewheeling for a moment. What's more, it started rolling backwards!! I was right behind him, but instantly spotted the gap between the i20 and the broken-down truck, and merely pressed the throttle (I was in 2nd gear). Empress shot forward into the gap and I could easily turn through the U-turn after shooting past both vehicles. Half a second's delay, and the i20 would have crashed it's rear end into Empress's front. I didn't stop to see what happened to the i20, and merely continued on.

- The car loves overtaking in the 4th and 5th gears. A gentle tap on the throttle in 4th makes it shoot forward, going past line trucks easily. Overtaking is a breeze.

- Driving is very easy in the highways. The power/torque is adequate for the sedate drivers who don't go beyond 100 kmph. This is also where the engine produces it's best Fuel Efficiency figures as well. The 6th gear definitely helps in this cruising ability.

- The steering feedback is adequate - it's light enough to tackle city traffic, and weighs up well at highway speeds. Maybe the 100 extra kilos of the oil-burner add to this. Diesel City owners should have no complaints.

- All controls are perfectly placed within reach of the driver. Like it has been pointed out in the official review, all the dash parts - HU, Climate Control, right-side air vents, etc. are slightly inclined towards the driver (like in the Civic, but not as prominent). Steering-mounted buttons, specially for calling/ending calls, is easy to operate.

- It was my first time driving a 6-gear diesel. I had to adjust my driving style accordingly within the first 30 kms to "read" the engine response. Coming from 5-gear petrols, this was a bit awkward at first but I got the hang of it. Once you learn the responses from the engine at the gears slotted, driving it becomes very easy.

- Touchscreen Climate Control makes the car look like it's from at least 2-3 segments higher. It's glossy yes, but doesn't look like a fingerprint magnet, like most touchscreen phones we use today. Dust particles can be seen though.

- Connecting phones through the Bluetooth on the HU is a breeze. 4 phones can be connected to the HU, but only 1 phone will be the default selected one. The controls for the USB, phone connectivity, etc., are spread out nicely in context onscreen menus and rummaging through them is easy. Calling is pretty clear as well, with the party on the other side reporting a nice, clear voice coming through their phone earpieces.

- The seats are nice and comfy. They hug you gently from the sides when you sink into them. The rear seat is THE place to be in. Acres of space available.

- Smashing rear end looks. The tail lamps look VERY futuristic and the level of detail in them is mind-boggling. Also, the noticeably thinner chrome bar connecting the tail lamps looks much better in it's subtlety, unlike the thick, gaudy chrome strip in the 3rd gen City's rear.

- Reverse camera view is fantastic. The wide view is the best mode, since it shows you the widest angle of stuff happening behind your car. The distance-indicating lines are nicely spaced out and perfectly accurate.

- The car jumps into higher speeds at lower gears pretty easily, exemplifying the wonderful driveability nature of the engine.

- I could swear the Speedometer has been tampered with - you are driving at 80-90 kmph and it feels like 60-65 inside the cabin!! Only passing traffic makes you realise the speeds.

- The engine is comparatively quieter on lower RPMs at cruising speeds. The best band for engine NVH levels is between 1500 - 2500 RPM for the top 3 gears.

- Cruise control works like a charm, although I prefer driving manually without it's aid.

- The Climate Control is remarkably effective. The temperature outside during my afternoon drive hovered between 35-37 *C. The cabin stayed nicely cool at 19 *C! At times I had to move all the vents to other sides to keep my hands and face from freezing off.

- The OEM Head Unit and the speakers are very good, and one of the best offered in this segment right now (other than the one on the Fiesta). You only need to test it by popping in this track - Aaj Ki Raat from the film, Don (the remake). The thumps at the very beginning of the song is the best example of how good the sound system is. The tweeters compliment the speakers wonderfully (I think the front ones are components, rears might be components as well, or co-axials). For lovers of dhinchak bass, the setup might be not upto their expectations. My advice for them - get an 2-channel amplifier + subwoofer installed with the existing system and everything should be good to go. For normal music lovers like me, the tight bass on offer and the smooth highs more than make up for the slightly-flat mids.
Overall, you won't feel the need to upgrade at all, or at least anytime soon.

- Also, the system comes with speed-sensitive music volume levels. Slow down the car and the music volume goes down, and pick up speed to notice the volume rising up. Nifty.

- Noise insulating windshield (in the VX) is totally unnecessary. Very acceptable NVH levels in the V MT. The smooth droning of the engine filters into the cabin at cruising speeds.

- The ORVMs are large and round, and although not wide enough, do their job adequately.

- Absolutely no scraping of the underbelly anywhere. I took the car over moderate to large speed-breakers and it crossed them with ease. Let's see how the car performs in this test with a full load inside the cabin.

- The front chrome-moustache grille gels well with darker colours - Golden Brown, Black and Red make it bearable. Doesn't go well with White, Silver or UT.

- Door panels thankfully don't move when the windows are rolled up/down. Looks like the Honda engineers took care of this problem for the production cars.

- Front map lamps are immensely useful and preferred. A single, central cabin lamp is too dim and almost useless, IMO.

- Honda says to change engine oil every 10,000 kms or 6 months. Ideal life span for the semi-synthetic oil on offer. More and more companies are going the semi-synthetic route these days.

- Doors lock automatically at 20 kmph speeds. Ideal.

- Reverse gear doesn't engage when the car is in forward motion. Shift to 6th gear from the 5th fearlessly.

- Round, blue dials with interchanging blue-green indicators on both sides to indicate power-economy modes while driving, look extremely classy. Unlock the car and open the door, and the speedo rings light up as smooth, blue, rounded halos as if they are greeting you as you step in. Place the key in the keyhole and turn once, and the halos brighten up for an instant before going off.

- Lock button locks all the doors with 3 continuous flashes of all indicators. Unlock button unlocks the doors with a single flash of all indicators.


Negatives:

- Engine refinement is not upto par. Despite being the lightest in it's class and using liquid-filled mounts, the vibration and clatter filtering into the cabin through sounds and clutch-throttle feedback is disappointing. The Verna diesel is the absolute benchmark in diesel engine refinement and NVH levels.

- The gear shifts are hard, compared to my i-VTEC's smooth shifts. There is short, precise slotting involved (I could swear I hear a jingle everytime a gear is slotted in), but the gear shifts take some effort.

- Your left leg will be strained with the hard clutch as well (no doubt being a diesel). Although not as hard as some other cars from the same segment, it's not as smooth as the Verna's either. The Verna remains the benchmark.

- Honking requires a real effort as well. The rotary steering-mounted controls on both sides ensure a REAL stretch for both thumbs on both sides. Not ideal at all.

- The 6th gear is pretty much useless for sudden overtaking and climbing inclines. Downshifting to 5th/4th is necessary for both.

- The IRVM mounted on the front windshield on the inside is a design flaw. It blocks vision of incoming traffic from the left and makes you crane your neck on either side of the IRVM to check that out. This could be painful (and dangerous) on the highways when side roads with incoming traffic join in from the left.

- High rear + high parcel tray blocks rearward vision from the IRVM. The integrated headrests could have been a boon otherwise. The reverse camera is an absolute necessity.

- The panel gaps are inconsistent. Some parts such as the boot lid and the front bonnet have huge gaps on both sides, while other parts/panels are shut tight.

- I already noticed two moving panel sections on Empress. Details in the pictorial to follow.

- Road imperfections filter into the cabin quite a bit. The suspension has been stiffened to add to the ground clearance issue, and maybe that's the reason for this. Can't beat the Fiat Linea for sheer riding comfort.

- The alloys look horrendous. I was never a fan of chunky ones but preferred the 5-spoke ones offered on the earlier generation to these propeller-inspired monstrosities.

- The front grille is too loud and garish. I have never seen a more in-your-face grille than this one on the 2014 City. Although it is acceptable when viewed in combination with the Golden Brown shade.

- Chrome bits have been tastefully applied, but the 3 different designs of the AC vents look oddly misaligned with each other. All the vents are pretty effective though.

- The driver armrest could be of no use for shorter drivers. I am 6'0" feet and had the seat almost 3/4ths of the way back, and could rest only the left elbow on the armrest. Not ideal. It doesn't look to be adjustable either (haven't fully checked it yet).

- No height-adjustable seat belts in a 11-12 lakh car!! A glaring omission. My 2012 City Corporate had them.

- Lots of space at the rear, but headroom is on the shorter side. The Sunny offers better headroom with more than decent rear seat space.

- Front adjustable head rests have a lock groove at the lowest position of their bars. Result - the headrest locks at only it's highest position! Not ideal at all for those who would want it to lock in at lower grooves, like me.

- Service interval is of 1-month/1000 kms, 3-months/5000 kms and thereafter every 6-months/10,000 kms. Not ideal for those whose running is less than 1500 kms per month.


In summarising, if you are an expressway/highway racer and want the best performing units from this C2-segment for the burning enthusiast inside you, get the Vento or Rapid Diesel. If you are a petrolhead with the same racing DNA, the Linea T-Jet is the perfect car for you. In the automatics department, the Vento TSI simply blows everything else out of the water.

The City diesel appeals to the sedate, cost-conscious, peace-of-mind seeking people who are looking at a no-fuss, reliable and relatively maintenance-free car for their daily commuting and weekend getaways. It's made for the perfectly urban nuclear family as their perfect steed, day in and day out. That's why it ticks most of the boxes of my requirements. As it does for the majority of the customers in this segment.

Above all, it's a Honda. It's a City. It's an i-DTEC. 3 strong statements, two of which have proved their worth so as to be chiseled in stone for times immemorial.

As for the i-DTEC, let's see if it builds on it's predecessors' royal lineage and carves a niche for itself in the days to come.

Last edited by RavenAvi : 27th March 2014 at 21:50.
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Old 27th March 2014, 19:56   #3
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And now for the Pictorial. All the pics have been taken by my Samsung Galaxy S4, so please pardon the quality of them.


First look as she is driven in, covered in dust, straight from the BMW depot.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_113822.jpg

Standing between 2 white Citys, the golden-brown haired Empress looks chic.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_113851.jpg

The fabulous rear, inspired by the Beemers.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_113908.jpg

My favorite photo angle - the rear three quarters.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_113918.jpg

First look at the interiors - front...

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_113928.jpg

...and back.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_113934.jpg

The powertrain and it's badge - sealed, waiting to be opened.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_113956.jpg

OEM battery is of Amaron. I think it's maintenance free.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_114008.jpg

First disappointment - Goodyear GT3s!! Absolutely loathe these tyres.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_114155.jpg

The blue halo rings on the speedo light up for a few seconds when you open the door, as if the car is welcoming you.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_114219.jpg

Spare key has buttons too.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_114232.jpg

Duly christened. Fitting.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_114341.jpg

PDI time.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_115105.jpg

The VIN says March 2014 make.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_115505.jpg

Tag ID - interesting batch number. And the pollution certificate.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_115805.jpg

KMs on the ODO when it was driven into the hangar.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_121325.jpg

Empress beaming after her shower.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_133816.jpg

Chrome door handles look really classy.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_133942.jpg

Notice the protrusion on the bottom of the ORVM.
Positive = it will take the first hit and keep the integrated blinker safe. Negative = If heavily damaged, entire unit will need to be replaced.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_134015.jpg

Notice the two protrusions on either side, like canine teeth. It is to help disperse air better, when the car is travelling forward.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_134045.jpg

Inconsistent panel gaps.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_134155.jpg

Blackened B-pillars look really classy.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141250.jpg

Equipped with the Immobiliser Anti-Theft System.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141308.jpg

The 5" OEM Head Unit. Looks premium but it's not a touchscreen unit.
Supports CD playback, Bluetooth, Aux-In and USB. Has an inbuilt FM/AM Radio as well.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141414.jpg

The first thing you see when the Head Unit is activated - a shining Honda badge.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141543.jpg

Center vents look premium and are sufficiently wide. They disperse air nicely, despite not being too large. No way of shutting off air completely.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141421.jpg

Front passenger gets an air shutoff roller instead.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141433.jpg

The 6-speed golfball gear knob. I actually prefer this one over the leather-wrapped stick on the VX.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141504.jpg

The IRVM has been stuck to the inside of the front windscreen. I didn't like it at all. The 3rd-gen City had much better IRVM placement.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141621.jpg

Passenger sun visor gets a vanity mirror (non-illuminated).

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141750.jpg


(To Be Continued...)

Last edited by RavenAvi : 27th March 2014 at 19:59.
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Old 27th March 2014, 20:41   #4
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Map lights at the front. Extremely useful. Can be activated by pressing gently on the center of their far ends.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141824.jpg

The Speedo when not illuminated.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_141923.jpg

Rear doors equipped with child locks.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_142100.jpg

The accessory package for the Side-step Illuminated Garnishes kit.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_163638.jpg

Front door sills illuminated by their presence, while...

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_162130.jpg

...the rear doors get shorter, non-illuminated ones.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_163758.jpg

The wiring kit for the Ambient Foot Light kit.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_164313.jpg

Rest of the wiring, and the foot light LEDs - one for either side of the footwell up front.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_164341.jpg

Here's how they look when lit up at night. Enabled by the parking light switch.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_200559.jpg

Empress all ready and decked up after accessory-fitting and her polishing session.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140325_185012.jpg

In the showroom display the next day, all ready to be driven out.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140326_113125.jpg

View #2.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140326_113145.jpg

View #3. In case you are wondering about the car behind, it's...

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140326_113210.jpg

...an Urban Titanium SV MT. Notice the shade difference?

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140326_113652.jpg

Empress reaches home at 5:45 PM yesterday, after her 323-km maiden voyage.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140326_192617.jpg

Fuel Efficiency figures of her first ever highway run.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140326_192637.jpg

All cleaned up and shining earlier in the morning today.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_084742.jpg

Notice the shade from close quarters?

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_084812.jpg

Design blunder. Look how the IRVM eats into the driver's left side view. Be careful when the traffic arrives from that side.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_084914.jpg

Muscular protusion on the front bumper. Inspired by the Fluidic theme?

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_085006.jpg

A pic of the Hyundai Eon's rear bumper for comparison. Notice the similarity? Car companies call this "similarity in design patterns."

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_085020.jpg

Roof drainage grooves are almost on level with the roof itself, in contrast to the 3rd-gen City which had much deeper grooves.
This one helps in improved and much quicker drainage.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_085038.jpg

Inconsistent panel gaps, like this one on the end of the bonnet, on the right of the front windshield.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_085051.jpg

This panel, the end of the rear bumper, actually moves to the touch! Same happens on the other side. Fit and finish is not upto par.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_085117.jpg

Look closely at the detailing at the edge on the headlamp. It helps in better spread of the light from the throw inside.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_085204.jpg

Large panel gaps on the boot lid section as well.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_085458.jpg

Rear bumper protrudes noticeably at the reflector level down below.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_085630.jpg

Front door panel tapers off outward quite noticeably. Could be prone to scratches and hits.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_090711.jpg

A new journey begins with an all-new badge.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_085519.jpg

Urban power unleashed. Honda's Earth Dreams technology.

2014 Honda City VMT i-DTEC - The Golden Brown Royal Eminence. EDIT: Now sold!-20140327_090833.jpg


Thank you for being patient and taking the time off to read till the end. I hope it was worth every bit of your time, as much as it was a joy developing it through the days gone by.

A big thank you to everyone involved in this decision process: my family, the Shubh Honda dealership (specially Mr. Harjinder Sodhi, the Sales Manager and Deepika, my Sales Exec), and all the wonderful friends and folks on Team-BHP, with a very special shoutout to my Pune Chapter friends.

And so, the Empress starts her reign. Hail!

Last edited by RavenAvi : 28th March 2014 at 09:57.
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Old 28th March 2014, 10:43   #5
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

I don't recollect such panel gaps in our test car. Is this due to production at the new Rajasthan plant?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I don't recollect such panel gaps in our test car. Is this due to production at the new Rajasthan plant?
Thank you so much, GTO.

The Citys are still rolling out from the Greater Noida plant. The Tapukara plant is producing only Amazes right now, and will start Mobilio production from next month-end onwards. The Jazz is also slated to be produced from Tapukara next year.

I think it's just a case of hurried production schedules to meet the high demand the City is commanding right now. The guys in charge of quality control have either become lazy or just waving the finished Citys through the Assembly Lines without detailed, close inspections.

Once the monthly numbers settle down in the future after this initial demand furore, we might see Citys with better fit and finish.
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Old 28th March 2014, 11:02   #7
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Default re: "Empress" - 2014 Honda City i-DTEC VMT - Earth Dreams Unleashed!

Hearty Congratulations. Great write-up. Looks like the City Diesel came out just at the right time and satisfied your requirements perfectly. Wish you all the best with the 'Empress'

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 28th March 2014 at 11:03.
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Old 28th March 2014, 11:59   #8
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Default re: "Empress" - 2014 Honda City i-DTEC VMT - Earth Dreams Unleashed!

Congrats RavenAvi on your new acquisition. Nice choice of color! The Empress looks fantabulous in golden brown. Regarding panel gaps, I have noticed similar gaps in my friend's city (delivered last week). It feels quite irksome to have such wide gaps in a 1.2 million INR car.
Happy mile munching mate.

Last edited by Pferdestarke : 28th March 2014 at 12:01.
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Old 28th March 2014, 12:33   #9
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Default re: "Empress" - 2014 Honda City i-DTEC VMT - Earth Dreams Unleashed!

Nice detailed Review.
Glad to see everyone in your family is happy with the end choice.
Am Amazed by the panel gaps. It's not acceptable on a million rupee plus car no matter how much is the demand.
Any plans to change tyres as Goodyears won't be good enough?

Do post a pic of Honda body cover on your car.

Last edited by harry10 : 28th March 2014 at 12:34.
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Old 28th March 2014, 12:33   #10
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Thumbs up re: "Empress" - 2014 Honda City i-DTEC VMT - Earth Dreams Unleashed!

Congrats Mate. As usual, an excellent write up and report. As a matter of fact, I had been eagerly waiting for your review since reading about your ownership reports on Silver Pegasus and Ritz.

Loved the report and once again congrats and happy mile crunching!
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Old 28th March 2014, 13:29   #11
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Default re: "Empress" - 2014 Honda City i-DTEC VMT - Earth Dreams Unleashed!

Thanks for this highly informative and detailed review and congrats for your purchase.
Although city would be used for city driving by us and I have cruze to make the enthusiast in me happy , I still found the performance to be not bad at all, during my first test drive I hard revved the car and floored the pedal and the car reached three digit speeds fairly quickly and it still was pulling just fine and although its no match to vento/verna , its not too far behind either. I personally don't think anyone would be disappointed with its performance (if not overwhelmed).

Last edited by manson : 28th March 2014 at 13:39.
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Old 28th March 2014, 14:29   #12
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Default re: "Empress" - 2014 Honda City i-DTEC VMT - Earth Dreams Unleashed!

Sir Avi, take a bow. Your writing skills still makes me envy and now you have burdened me to make a tough choice - rate this better than the Pegasus "bible" or at par.

Her majesty will surely will make more than a few heads turn and the apt name suits her profile too well.

Would wait for you to clock some miles before I ask you a few questions on the d-Tech. Meanwhile get her some good shoes. An empress cant be seen without her Gucci.
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Old 28th March 2014, 15:43   #13
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Default re: "Empress" - 2014 Honda City i-DTEC VMT - Earth Dreams Unleashed!

Great review! Very detailed and informative.
Honestly speaking, I like the 3rd generation looks better than this one but interiors are much better in this one.

Congratulations on the new ride.
Wish you many happy miles on it.
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Old 28th March 2014, 16:46   #14
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Default re: "Empress" - 2014 Honda City i-DTEC VMT - Earth Dreams Unleashed!

Congrats RavenAvi
A very honest and a detailed review.
Though i never liked any City apart from the OHC. The new generation City is a perfect family sedan. It is fuel efficient, reliable, safe and has some real good features.
Enjoy your ride and Drive safe!

Asit Kulkarni
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Old 28th March 2014, 16:57   #15
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Default re: "Empress" - 2014 Honda City i-DTEC VMT - Earth Dreams Unleashed!

Hey Avi,
Congratulations on your new ride ..
Was wondering what made you change your mind, but your post details out the reasoning clearly.
Last time we spoke you were not pretty impressed with New City compared to your Pegasus, but then practically better to have 1 car than 2.

Nice to hear Pegasus is in great hands.. Congrats and Enjoy.

P.S: considering Switching Ikon with City i-Dtec. Let us see

Cheers
MKP
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