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Old 18th August 2014, 02:26   #1
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Default A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)

So it is that time already? Can't believe that this is the fifth ownership review I am writing in less than 2 years. Lot of things have changed since then.

But the biggest change must be the shift from a die hard Maruti fan to a more mature realistic person. The association with Team BHP not only helped me gain more knowledge but also improved my writing skills as can be seen from the number of infractions and deleted posts that I got when I initially joined the forum and the present where my writing style has greatly improved.

As the title suggests it is a date with destiny, with the Kizashi breathing its last everyday and the rising costs and visits to the ASC meant that the car had to go. We would have saved a lot of money had we taken this decision earlier but emotions got the better of us. So, after a lot of discussions on this forum and insults form some ASC's (aka Kiran) we took the decision to get rid of the car no matter what the loss.

Let's start from the beginng
Dzire just completed 4 months of ownership and life was normal. The Kizashi at the ASC as usual and the other car serving us well. But things were to change, I had decided to pursue a Business course in Canada which meant I would be leaving the country for 3 good years. When I took this decision I promised myself 2 things:

1) I will get rid of the Kizashi
2) I will make sure that my dad goes for an automatic

I took these 2 decisions keeping in mind that my dad wouldn't be able to keep up with the frequent visits to the ASC. Further, his accident meant that his leg would swell up when ever he drove the car.

Time passed and Kizashi suddenly started to actually work properly now this put me in a fix. Dad was as such attached to the car and now that it was functioning well meant there wasn't any need to remove it.

So just as Dzire was about to complete 8 months of ownership we decided to get rid of the Dzire and go for a small automatic hatchback to do running around in the city.

The contenders: PART I

I started a poll in the what car? thread between the Brio AT and the Micra CVT. Surprisingly, I found that quiet a lot of people had the same confusion as could also be seen from the poll results where the Micra won by a very slim margin.Micra CVT vs Brio AT (Nissan Micra CVT or Honda Brio AT)

So decided to take the test drive of both the cars.

Before I compare them here are the cars I didn't consider and why

1) VW polo

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First and foremost the car is too highly priced. It costs nearly 3 lakhs more than brio on road ahmedabad with a long 6 month waiting period. Secondly, the sub par dealership experience didn't help either.

2)Hyundai grand i10

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Called shivalik hyundai and was promised a call back from representative in 15 minutes. I got a call back the "the next day" the representative was least interested and the lack of safety features in the auto model put me further off.

3) Celerio

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-celerio.jpg

Again lack of safety features put me off and it was of a lower segment.


Which one will it be?
So now getting back to the final 2 contenders and they are:

1) Honda Brio

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First off the dealership experience was excellent, professional and no nonsense. The SA Shrey was introduced to me by a friend who recently purchased a red Honda Brio AT. The brio had undergone some changes since the last time I had seen it. It now had a rear demister and height adjustable seats. The dash didn't look quiet bad for the price point and was functional.

The -ve's
1) No Brio AT for test drive have to drive the Amaze AT to decide.
2) No proper MID only a trip computer with Avg. FE
3) felt built to a cost in some places.
4) No bluetooth or CD player
5) Insanely pricey Honda accessories. This pinches a person who is moving out of Maurti for the first time.
6) Small boot

The +ve's
1) Great handling characteristics
2) A PROPER 4 cylinder rev happy engine
3) much better space than swift
4) Tough rear glass
5) Great resale value for Brio AT's in Ahmedabad
6) excellent steering wheel, feels great to hold
7) Much faster gear changes compared to the CVT but nowhere near the DSG's.

2) Nissan Micra

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This was just a casual inquiry which became a serious contender. Visited the showroom to see the car. Not a great fan of the bulbous looks. It is better looking than the prefacelift car but still doesn't quiet appeal to me. Some chit chat and a glass of water later handed over my license for a Test drive.

The -ve's
1) The dealer gave a stock car for the drive which would be sold of to an unsuspecting customer
2) Unknown after sales service
3) The nearest ASC is 25 kms away from my place
4) next to nil resale value
5) high amounts of body roll
6) vague and inconsistent steering
7) Looks
8) The tiny 3 cylinder engine
9) rubber band effect is minimised but present

The +ve's
1) Feels better built
2) Much bigger feature list
3) bigger boot
4) lot of storage space


Going in for Micra would mean compromising Drive for more features and going for brio would mean that it would be a much better driving car but wit bare bone features.

Noted down the +ve's and -ve's just like above and came to a conclusion that brio met our requirements. So the plan was made to bok the car in 2-3 days.

Here comes the Twist of Fate
Just as we were about to go ahead with our plan Kizashi started giving problems again. Thank god it started acting up before we bought the Brio or else it would have been the costliest mistake we would have ever made. This time the Kizashi's clutch was limping to its end and the suspension started making noise. Now that was it, we didn't even bother to show it to the MASS and started looking for buyers. A guy comes out of nowhere and gives us an irresistible deal on both the cars. So, with a heavy heart we let go of the Dzire and breathed a sigh of relief as the Kizashi left. Now from two cars we were with no cars for 2 days.

This meant that the whole car hunt had been a waste as our criteria had changed altogether. Now, we needed a sedan that would be needed to do all the running around. The running per month would also go down after I leave so we stuck with petrol.

The contenders: PART II
Well as in part I here are the car's that I didn't consider with the reasons

1) Hyundai Xcent

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Even after the horrible response at the first attempt contacted them again to inquire for the Xcent AT. The SA was't interested in selling even though I was ready to buy. He told me the Xcent doesn't come with ABS and airbags. So, I kept the phone down, later that night while going through TBHP found out the Xcent does indeed come with ABS and airbags in the AT model. I received a feedback call from Hyundai about my experience and I told them eveything about my experience. They assured me that they would take action. Didn't hear from them after that.

2) Dzire AT

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No airbags in the AT model meant that it could never have anyone from my family on the driver's seat.

3) Vento TSI

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Was ready to stretch the budget to 10.5 Lakhs but even after that the Vento was out of reach costing a whooping 11.5 Lakhs on road with Rs. 0 discount not only that but it also had a huge waiting list.

4) Hyundai Verna

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Not a big fan of the verna. The handling characteristics and the low seating position for the rear passenger was quiet uncomfortable. The drivers seat didn't have proper height adjust meaning my dad who isn't very tall would have problems seeing ahead. Further, hyundai petrol cars are known for their not so good fuel effeciency.

Which one will it be?

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So the only car remaining after removing the others was the honda Amaze. I had driven the car earlier when I wanted to take a test drive of brio since they didn't have brio AT for test drive.

The +ve's
1) excellent space management with superb rear legroom
2) much better boot space than Dzire
3) rev happy engine
4) quick to respond transmission

The -ve's
1) The brio dash doesn't workout in this segment
2) No features at all. The car is bare bone.
3) Cost cutting evident almost everywhere.
4) feels like a downgrade from dzire.


So, as this was the only option we went ahead and placed the booking for a silver honda amaze VX AT. We got an amazing deal with a good amount of freebies in accessories and cash discount too.

This is the deal we got:

Free:

1) Matting
2) Mudflap
3) Seat cover
4) underbody coating
5) door edge guard
6) RPAS

and Cash discount worth Rs.8000 and free return to invoice cover.

Last edited by rockporiom : 25th January 2015 at 10:44.
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Old 25th August 2014, 01:48   #2
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Default A date with destiny:My Honda city SV CVT

Here comes the second and biggest TWIST!

Merely 4 hours after booking the car we started feeling dissatisfied with what we had done. This in spite of the great deal that we got. I got hold of the Honda city brochure lying in the house and checked the difference between the price of the SV cvt and the Amaze VX AT. Now, here was the answer to our dissatisfaction. The difference between the amaze and the city SV CVT is the following:

I GET:
1) Climate control
2) more space
3) a proper sedan
4) a more visually appealing car
5) Cruise control
6) A proper MID


I LOOSE:

1) Auto folding ORVM
2) Fog lights
3) Alloy wheels

Now, except for the auto folding mirrors everything else could be added. So after a lot of discussions and consulting a lot of people we decided to go ahead and change the booking. So, there was a huge list of colors to choose from but due to Honda's great idea to stop City production in August meant that now there were only two colors available albaster silver and white. We chose the albaster silver as the white was non metallic. After the necessary changes were made we were given a new booking receipt.

Changing the booking meant that we lost the amazing deal that we were getting on the amaze. So, we requested the SA to give us a deal on the accessories.

Here is what we got:

1) discounts on overall accessories bill
2) free PU matting
3) free anti rust coating

It was no where as good as the deal we were getting with the amaze, but the car(city) was well worth it.



The Delivery

So finally comes D-Day just 4 days prior to me leaving for my studies. The car was ready with accessories installed waiting to be driven away. Here are the initial snaps.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-city-img1.jpg
The sleek and almost delicate headlamps.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-city-engine.jpg
The 1.5L I-Vtec engine. Quiet a silent and refined engine must say.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-city-img2.jpg
Got the fog lamps fitted. They were quiet pricey but the end product looks great.
A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-city-img5.jpg
The horribly skinny stock tyres. Would get them changed within 15 minutes of taking delivery.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-city-img4.jpg
The shark fin antenna

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-city-img3.jpg

The Delivery process

The Positives
1. The SA was present and available at the time appointed
2. The documentation was done quickly
3. We were explained the service intervals and given the emergency contact numbers.

The Negatives
1. The car didn't start on first crank after sometimes realized that the tank was empty.
2. No one explained the cars features to us.
3. All fluid levels were half and by all I mean everything engine oil, coolant, etc.

Now come the aftermarket installs

Just after taking delivery drove right into Vishal Tandon's Neighbourhood motors. Decided to get 195/60 Yoko C drives installed. Also got seat covers installed. All in all it was well worth doing it before taking the car anywhere else. The car now feels more planted.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-yoko.jpg
A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-yoko-2.jpg
A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-yoko-3.jpg
A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-interior.jpg

Last edited by rockporiom : 25th January 2015 at 10:47.
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Old 10th December 2014, 05:46   #3
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Default A date with destiny:My Honda city SV CVT

THE DRIVE
So, now that we finally have the car with us for the first time (yup you read it right the first time I drove it was when I took delivery) let's see how this thing drives.

Initial impression was that the engine is refined and quite. This was our first car that wasn't a maruti, the IVTEC is a pleasent experience with great refinement levels and great power delivery. Power was readily available from the engine at the tap of the accelerator. Since this is the first CVT car that we own dad and I both were getting used to taming the animal. One thing was sure pedal to the metal action like in the Kizashi won't work here, you need to gradually build speed or else you would suffer from the wrath of the infamous rubber band effect. Gear changes are very smooth and can't be felt unlike the brio AT. Would like to mention that the rubber band effect has been greatly reduced, the only other CVT that i had driven was the Micra and the difference was HUGE. Put it in D mode and the car would crawl without pressing the accelerator which is a boon in bumper to bumper traffic conditions. Gone are the days when we had to carefully adjust the clutch to get appropriate speed in traffic.

The kickdown action takes time in the D and Econ mode but if you want comparatively quciker times its better to use the S mode. This mode would compromise efficiency for sheer performance. Don't expect anything like a DSG as it after all is a CVT transmission but expect marginally quicker reaction time.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-city-gear.jpg

The City comes with a CVT with 7 preset ratios. Unfortunately the SV doesn't get paddle shifts or a manual mode instead it has to make do with a low ratio mode marked with L that make it stick into lower gears. The mode works well on slopes without any issues. Do keep in mind that the L mode gives a sudden jolt of power. The car is capable of picking up in the D mode on slopes, the L mode is to be used only on extremely steep slops. On a few occasions I used the L mode on a not so steep slope and the car started wheel spinning. I haven't tried the S mode yet since the car was fairly new when I had it so decided to not use it till the car completed 1000 kms so can't really comment on that but I do know that when it is slotted in the sports mode the dials turn and remain blue.

The ride and handling

The city felt a bit nervous at the steering initially but after changing the tires the car was more planted. The car has good amounts of grip when going into corners and the steering feels pretty well weighted though a bit more feedback from the tires would have been icing on the cake.The steering is light at low speeds and gradually weighs up as the speed increases which makes driving in city traffic conditions a breeze. The car doesn't scrape any of the speed bumps unlike its previous generations. The suspension is on the firmer side making it planted at high speeds keeping body roll at a minimum but this causes some of the harshness gets through on bad roads. But overall the ride quality is good on both highways and bad roads.

Build Quality

The city interior is either a love it or hate it. There are some areas where the plastic quality feels from a segment below. The door pads feel flimsy and instead of plastic silver inserts on the dash the car could have done with something like a brushed aluminium finish which would have looked great. The quality of plastic has definitely improved in comparison to the previous generations but coming from a Maruti especially the Kizashi which had a soft touch dash the City definitely felt like a down grade in terms of the plastic quality. But even at the price point I believe Honda could have done a better job in some areas. The German competitors have much better built interiors with high quality plastics(for e.g. Vento). The front arm rest feels like a piece of plastic with fabric that has been put there just for the sake of it. It could have done with a bit more foam which could have the level of comfort. Also cost cutting is evident when you open the boot which has no cladding whatsoever.

Safety

Well we took a big hit in the safety department when moving from the Kizashi which had six airbags, traction control, ESP and a solid 5 star safety rating. We were now back to the industry standard 2 airbags, ABS and EBD. It is surprising that the city doesn't get ESP. the internationally sold City not only gets ESP but also get 6 airbags. But the City is no slouch when it comes to safety as it recieved a 4 star rating with 2 airbags and without ESP and a solid 5 star rating with 6 airbags in the ASEAN NCAP. Honda equips the city with the ACE body structure which is know to
move crash energy away from the occupants of the car.

Comfort and convenience

Now this is where Honda has worked hard. First and foremost let's talk about the rear legroom which is present in excess. One can practically stretch out and relax at those long drives. The rear seat arm rest and the rear A/c vents add to the rear seat comfort. The seats themselves feel like sofa's with soft material. Under thigh support and the recline angle is also good. The only chink in the armor is the driver's seat which lacks adequate lumbar support which can cause backaches on long drives. The climate control module does its job well maintaining the temperature in the car letting you concentrate on the drive rather than fiddling with the blower and temperature knobs.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-rear-ac-vent.jpg
The rear A/c vent console doesn't get charging sockets. The vx comes with 2 charging sockets below the vents.

There are lot of storage spaces available in the car. There are cup holders right next to the gear lever. The door pads have space to store bottles and the glove box is also big enough to store a few bottles.
A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-glove-box.jpg

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-acc.jpg
The A/c control unit sports a touch panel that lights up when the car is turned on. The biggest problem with this unit is that it is a fingerprint magnet and is prone to scratches. The A/c itself cools fantastically without any issues.

THE I.C.E
The City SV comes with a 2 Din audio system with 4 speakers only and 4 tweeters can be added at an additional cost. The sound quality and output from the stock speakers is pretty good and do not mandate an upgrade.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-stereo.jpg

One problem in this HU is the positioning of the mic which can cause the reciever to get not so good call quality.

Initial Glitches
The car suffered from some problems initially. Most of the problems I faced were already mentioned in team BHP. The first problem was the fogging up of headlights, this happened more frequently as it was monsoon. After 2 days the problem stopped all of a sudden and never occurred again.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-headlight-fog.jpg

The second problem I faced was squeaking sound from the rear suspension. Honda initially suspected it to be the new tires causing the noise. They were unable to solve the issue until the second service after which the sound has completely vanished.

Other than these two there were no issues with the car. My dad is quiet happy and the city has already clocked 2500 kms in a span of 3 months.

Last edited by rockporiom : 25th January 2015 at 11:41.
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Old 10th December 2014, 06:30   #4
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Default re: A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)

Some Finishing points
A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-econ.jpg
The CVT models come with an ECON button to improve fuel efficiency. What it does is it slows down acceleration. This mode is good in bumper to bumper traffic and for sedate driving only.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-fog-lamp-switch.jpg
The VX city comes with fog lamp switch on the stalks but the one installed through accessory route gets a switch like this one.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-20140818_131901.jpg
The instrument panel doesn't get a engine temperature gauge but it gets a blue light to indicate when the engine is cold. The car should not be revved hard until this light goes.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-steering.jpg
The steering gets controls for the audio system and cruise control. I wish there was a mute button for the audio system on the steering would have been useful. The steering also gets controls for Bluetooth telephony on the steering wheel.

A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)-20140818_131941.jpg
The rings around the speedo change color according to the way you drive. Green indicates that the driving style would give best possible fuel efficiency.

Current Fuel Efficiency figures
City: 11 Km/L
Highway: 13 km/L

these figures were achieved by tank to tank method and using the ECON mode during the initial 1000 kms period.

Last edited by Aditya : 28th January 2015 at 12:02. Reason: As requested
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Old 27th January 2015, 14:40   #5
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Default Re: A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th January 2015, 16:46   #6
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Default Re: A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your purchase. The car does look lovely in silver.
Consider getting some good aftermarket alloys. It will surely take the looks of the car to a new level.

11km/l in the city? Did I read that right? That is some mind blowing fuel efficiency for an automatic. More than my petrol manual Polo

How much were the Yokohama tires? Are the improvements over the stock tires worth the money?
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Old 27th January 2015, 19:48   #7
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Default Re: A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo_asd View Post
Let me be the first to congratulate you on your purchase. The car does look lovely in silver.
Consider getting some good aftermarket alloys. It will surely take the looks of the car to a new level.

11km/l in the city? Did I read that right? That is some mind blowing fuel efficiency for an automatic. More than my petrol manual Polo

How much were the Yokohama tires? Are the improvements over the stock tires worth the money?
The car is very efficient for an automatic. My dad recently did a trip to Baroda and back. The car returned 15 Km/L on the highway without the econ mode. The tires are excellent and the best decision I made. The goodyear's lost grip when you pushed the car. The car is now glued to the road. Do note up sizing will reduce FE. The yokohama's costed about 10k for 4 after exchange.

Planning to put alloys when I go to India in April.

Last edited by rockporiom : 27th January 2015 at 20:00.
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Old 27th January 2015, 20:15   #8
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Default Re: A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo_asd View Post
11km/l in the city? Did I read that right? That is some mind blowing fuel efficiency for an automatic. More than my petrol manual Polo
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockporiom View Post
The car is very efficient for an automatic. My dad recently did a trip to Baroda and back. The car returned 15 Km/L on the highway without the econ mode.
Oh! Before I read these posts, I thought to myself, "what bad FE!" I was always under the impression that CVT is unlike conventional autos where the torque converter saps the FE, and therefore CVT will return FE at par with a manual. I sure am ill informed!
I just picked up a alto K10 AMT and it has returned me 15KMPL for the first 100 kms. All in city, no A/c. I hope it goes up after the first 2-3 services.
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Old 27th January 2015, 20:26   #9
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Congratulations on getting one of the most sought cars this side of a million (ex showroom :P).
The fuel efficiency is very good, and definitely better than my 2012 Honda City AT. I get about 9.5 in city, even down to 7 in bad traffic with AC on, with maybe 14 on highways (which definitely goes lower, since i love redlining the i-vtec :-D).
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Old 27th January 2015, 20:47   #10
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Default Re: A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jassi_jeeper View Post
Oh! Before I read these posts, I thought to myself, "what bad FE!" I was always under the impression that CVT is unlike conventional autos where the torque converter saps the FE, and therefore CVT will return FE at par with a manual. I sure am ill informed!
I just picked up a alto K10 AMT and it has returned me 15KMPL for the first 100 kms. All in city, no A/c. I hope it goes up after the first 2-3 services.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkkkkaran View Post
Congratulations on getting one of the most sought cars this side of a million (ex showroom :P).
The fuel efficiency is very good, and definitely better than my 2012 Honda City AT. I get about 9.5 in city, even down to 7 in bad traffic with AC on, with maybe 14 on highways (which definitely goes lower, since i love redlining the i-vtec :-D).

The first 1000 kms are horrible for FE. The efficiency of 15 km/l was achieved by driving at speed of 80-100 km/h and occasional use of cruise control.

At the time of this trip the car had covered about 1700 kms and had completed 1st service.

The FE can be better but my dad is not what you would call an efficient driver. Quiet often he sits with air con on with the car idling for a long time when he has to meet his employees on the way.

Last edited by rockporiom : 27th January 2015 at 20:52.
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Old 27th January 2015, 21:54   #11
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Many many congratulations on your new car rockporiom. Wish you many happy miles.

One question though. How is your Yokohama C drive doing? Apart from better grip what other improvements have you found after upgrading from your stock. Is there any improvement in ride comfort, handling etc. I'm asking this because I'm also planning to upgrade my tyres when I'll receive my car next month. I'm considering Michelin primacy 3ST and Yoko C drive.
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Old 27th January 2015, 22:18   #12
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Originally Posted by Carpainter View Post
Many many congratulations on your new car rockporiom. Wish you many happy miles.

One question though. How is your Yokohama C drive doing? Apart from better grip what other improvements have you found after upgrading from your stock. Is there any improvement in ride comfort, handling etc. I'm asking this because I'm also planning to upgrade my tyres when I'll receive my car next month. I'm considering Michelin primacy 3ST and Yoko C drive.
The yoko C drive do increase ride comfort in addition to the supreme grip. The difference in ride quality is not as evident as the difference in grip levels but yes there is a difference. I tend to prefer Yokohama over Michelin. Had yoko's on my kizashi as well and not long before selling it I was planning on changing them to new set of Yoko's. Which car are you planning to get if I may ask?
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Old 28th January 2015, 09:16   #13
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Default Re: A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockporiom View Post
The yoko C drive do increase ride comfort in addition to the supreme grip. The difference in ride quality is not as evident as the difference in grip levels but yes there is a difference. I tend to prefer Yokohama over Michelin. Had yoko's on my kizashi as well and not long before selling it I was planning on changing them to new set of Yoko's. Which car are you planning to get if I may ask?
I'm getting delivery of my City V MT petrol next month and I'll change those stock tyres to 195/60 R15. Can you please disclose the exchange value you got and the price you paid for your new tyres?

Last edited by Carpainter : 28th January 2015 at 09:42.
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Old 28th January 2015, 09:22   #14
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Default Re: A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)

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I'm getting delivery of my City V MT petrol next month and I'll change those stock tyres to 195/60 R15. Can you please disclose the exchange value you got and the price you paid for your new tyres?
My car came with Goodyear tyres which have the lowest resale value. I got 2300 for each tyre. I spent 10k for 4 tyres after exchange. You can get better value if your car comes with Michelin or Bridgestone.
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Old 28th January 2015, 09:45   #15
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Default Re: A date with destiny: My Honda City SV CVT (Automatic)

A no nonsense car. For an automatic, unless it is DSG, I will always side with CVT since it is pretty economical driving around and can be asked to perform when demanded. I drive a 2 litre Mitsubishi ASX down under with a 2.0 liter engine and 7 speed CVT gearbox and for its size and weight and performance on offer, it was pretty darn efficient especially on the the highways. Congratulations!
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