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Old 9th February 2015, 18:08   #1
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Smile Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV

It has been already a year of having owned the new Honda City. Having driven it for now ~25000KMS, I feel this would be the right time to put up an ownership review. (Warning, this would be a long post and my first attempt at an ownership review)

The Need for a new car: I own a 2010 Diesel Swift. It has proven to be a true workhorse having covered a lakh Kms till date. The swift was (and still is) serving us perfectly well over all these years. But then why a new car? My work related road travel increased multifold in 2013 and I was doing 3 trips to Mumbai every week. Wife being an interior designer and having a 2 year old (at that time. Now she is 3+) daughter at home meant that it was impossible to take the swift out of Pune.

The Requirements: The budget was between 8-12 Lakhs and here is the list that we were looking at from our next car: (Swift was the benchmark)
1. Sedan (So that our holiday trips can accommodate more luggage. Typical North Indian family . We don’t like to travel light)
2. Diesel
3. Reliability (Don’t have time and patience to run after service centers & with Express highway trips, this was critical)
4. Maintenance Friendly
5. Safety Features (Airbags & ABS must. Can do without accessories but not this)
6. Interior Space
7. Power (We all love it. More the better )
8. Automatic

The Hunt: Over the next few months I looked through classifieds and there were a few Civics/Accords that I came close to buying. Me and Wife both love to drive (including driving to holidays) and on an avg clock about 20-25K Kms a year. Having driven a swift for 4 years and being spoilt by the ample torque, drivability & economy (being a diesel) that Swift offers, just could not convince myself to pick up a petrol motor.

Thought of getting a used Jetta as it ticked almost all the above boxes except Maintenance friendly. But the horror stories were at the back of my mind and a close friend’s personal experience at service center for his Polo immediately killed the thought of going for a VW and that too used one without warranty.

Meanwhile there was news of Diesel City launch around the corner which again ticked all my requirements except Automatic. So the decision was delayed. The city was launched in November but the test drive car was nowhere to be seen. Test drive vehicle came in Jan & on one fine day I drove both the Verna & City. Both felt good with Verna on Power & City on Space.

(Did not consider Rapid, Vento, Linea, Manza, Dzire, Sail, Etios as I feel they are a segment below in space & did not consider Scala, Sunny due to lack of service centers)

Last edited by malgudi : 9th February 2015 at 18:19.
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Old 9th February 2015, 18:13   #2
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Default Car Details

The Purchase: Ultimately decided to go for the City. Next came the Model. I would have been happy to take the lowest model had it offered me dual airbags & ABS. But city came with only single airbag in E & S variants. Decided to pick SV model as it came with all the safety features that Honda was offering in City (Alloys, Fog lamps, Turn Indicators in Mirror & better stereo did not entice me to upgrade to V. Though a sunroof in place of all these in V would have definitely enticed me ). Paid the booking advance on 26th Jan for Silver SV & the car was allotted on 27th Jan (Man that was quick). Completed all loan / Registration formalities & car was delivered on 30th Jan.

Here are the details of the car. The On road Price below includes Zero Depreciation add-on, extended warranty & 4 years road side assistance.
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Freebies/Benefits So Far:
1. 3M UV Coating (Done as part of first service)
2. Wax Polish (Need to avail the same in next 6 months)
3. 50% NCB From Previous Car (9.2K savings from 1st year & 8.8K in 2nd Year)

Accessories Added:
1. Custom Stitched Seat Cover & Steering Cover : Rs 11000
2. Matting : Rs 2000
3. Ganesh Idol & 4 Perfumes (over 1 year) : Rs 1500
Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-img_5672.jpg
Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-img_5674.jpg

Last edited by malgudi : 10th February 2015 at 09:59.
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Old 9th February 2015, 18:23   #3
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Default Ownership Update

Car Ownership Cost till date (excluding Tolls, Parking):
Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-ownership-cost.jpg

Kms racked up till date:
Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-kms-travelled.jpg
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Old 9th February 2015, 18:28   #4
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Default Ownership Update

Engine & transmission: (4/5)

What you will like:
- Engine specifically tuned for the city drive.
- The power is available from 1500 RPM and even after turbo comes to life, the power is delivered in a linear fashion.
- Near petrol motor like drive feeling in the city.
- The engine power is available between 1750 to 3500/4000 RPM mark.
- Transmission designed with short gearing tuned for mileage
- Can easily cruise around in city in 3rd gear (can drive from as low as 20 to 100 in 3rd)

What you won’t:
- Lack of extra punch on the highway. (Thoda hai Thode ki Jaroorat hai). Overtaking on highway and climbing steep hills require you to plan and downshift making you feel need for that punch. It feels like Honda Designers forgot about the throttle Response. No matter how hard to press, the car shows no urgency to increase the motion speed unless you drop a gear.
- Engine does not like being revved beyond 3000 and gets very noisy.
- Notchy transmission. Even after 25K Kms it is not smooth slotting specially the 2nd and reverse gears. Compared to this Swift gearbox feels butter smooth.

Fuel Mileage (Kitna Deti Hai): (5/5)
I do not exactly drive with a light foot and like revving the engine. Am not much worried about trading 1-2 kmpl lesser mileage for driving pleasure (Diesel already gives me the desired savings). The reason for keeping a tab on mileage is that the decrease from avg acts as an early indicator to something being amiss with the engine (clogged filter, turbo not working or something graver with the engine itself).
- With my style of driving the Swift delivers me ~ 17 KMPL on an avg with 60:40 City : Highway driving
- The City has raised the bar to 18.7 KMPL in similar conditions.
- The Mileage on the city shows avg of 19.2 (have not reset the trip B till date) which shows that it is over optimistic by 0.5 KMPL (2.6%)
- 40 L tank capacity gives you approx. 650KMs of trip distance without thinking about refill (a boon on our highways with suspect diesel quality)

Avg Fuel Economy 18.7 KMPL
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Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-fuel-economy-2.jpg

Avg Fuel Price for Diesel is ~60.6 Rs/L over the last year. (The dips are also attributed to filling fuel from highways apart from the falling crude prices)
Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-fuel-price.jpg

1392.34 Liters of Diesel (Rs 88743 at Rs 60.6 to a Liter) consumed so far
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This is possible with a light foot on highway
Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-img_5974.jpg

A more realistic possibility
Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-img_5776.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 11th February 2015 at 10:53. Reason: Spacing :)
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Old 9th February 2015, 18:32   #5
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Default Ownership Update

Drive, Handling, Tyres: (4.5/5)

What you will like:

- No scrapping of underbelly (unlike previous Gen) even with full load (5 People + boot filled with luggage)
- Light steering wheel at low speed.
- Turning radius of 5.3 meter
- Height Adjustable steering wheel
- Drive quality at speed is good. You can cruise all day 100 KMPH without a sweat.
- Cruise control. A boon for people like me who are frequent express highway travelers.
- Good Braking with ABS (ABS is one thing I sorely miss in my swift)
- Factory fitted Bridgestone tyres so far have not given a reason to complain in dry or wet (except being 175 section)

What you won’t:
- Light steering wheel at high speed (can be unnerving. Maybe I am feeling it because of the Swift)
- Unrefined drive quality at low speed.
- Noticeable Body roll at speed.
- Missing Reach adjustable steering wheel
- Easily affected by crosswinds on highway.
- Inadequate 175 section wheels on highway (Have bent 2 wheels so far. Have not had this issue on the swift which runs on 185 section tyres). 195 is a necessity.
- Disc brakes on Rear would have been confidence inspiring on highways.
- Wheel Caps are slip-on variety rather than the ones which can be secured by the wheel nuts. (Someone has flicked all the wheel caps on my City. Honda has missed a trick here as all other models have wheel caps which are secured by wheel nuts)

Bent Wheel & Stolen Wheel Caps
Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-img_5671.jpg

Exteriors: (4/5)

What you will like:

- Styling. Neither over nor under done
- Dual barrel Headlamps (Good for Modifications especially if you like projectors. Can fit one for Low beam alone)
- Washers nozzles are on the plastic rim below windscreen rather than on bonnet (Avoids rusting of bonnet)
- Engine Guard
- Wrap Around Tail lamps

What You Won’t:
- Thin Panels easily get dings (Park in a mall & if the person in car next to you is not careful while opening the door it will easily put a ding on your car at the contact point)
- Paint Quality (Easily chips off even if a minute pebble hits the car)
- Quality of Wipers (Factory fitted ones do not last even 6 months and become brittle)
- High Boot makes reversing a challenge without Camera/Sensors.
- No Rear Fog Lamps in any model (Though this was a regulatory requirement as my swift came with one 4 years back)
- Chrome Center Grill (Individual preference. It is quite in your face type)

Interiors: (4/5)

What you will like:

- Futuristic Dashboard
- Green ring around speedometer to indicate economy style of driving
- Automatic Climate Control Panel is also touchscreen
- Music system & Speakers are decent (I like late back tweeters so am fine with the lack of factory fitted tweeters)
- Bluetooth/USB/Aux in options in Music system (Can play my collection from IPhone without wires)
- Hands free option
- Nifty slot below steering for keeping your toll tickets
- Ample space in each door pocket to keep 1 Liter water bottles

What you won’t:
- The Dashboard is curved and for those who like to place an Idol on the dashboard will find it tough to locate a stable spot
- Cheap Dashboard Plastics - Irritating Noise from center of dashboard. (Come on Honda I have paid 12 L for a car. Service center has not been able to resolve after 2 attempts)
- The hands free Button on Steering is a joke (can only be used for picking & cutting calls or as an “ON” button for the music system. If you want to go to your dialed list or call anyone, first you need to use the music system to go to that entry)
- Beige Carpet is a pain to maintain (So is the beige fabric. But have got Black Seat covers since day 1 so not that much of an issue for me)
- Hands free Mic. On SV model is near the music system and one needs to turn off the AC fan so that the person on other side is able to listen clearly. (V & VX models are better as they have the mic in the overhead console light above)
- Armrest needs to extend a bit further. In current position it is only a storage box
- Auto AC is over sensitive (On a sunny day, travel in shade for 1 min and blower speed immediately drops. This gets a bit irritating at times.)
- Half beading on doors. On Highways at speeds above 80 you can listen to wind noise from the door mirrors.
- Missing Actual Dead Pedal (Honda has only put a rubber on the floor. Not sure what is the design thought of Honda here)
- Missing actual Temp Meter (My swift has one. City has only a light which is blue when engine is cold and maybe red when it becomes hot but is easy to miss)

Last edited by GTO : 11th February 2015 at 10:53. Reason: Spacing :)
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Old 9th February 2015, 18:39   #6
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Default Ownership Update

Service Center Experience: (4/5)

Have had 4 services till date - 3 free (1K, 5K, 10K) & 1 paid (20K). Honda calls the odd 10K services (10K, 30K ,50K ,70K, etc) minor & Even 10K services (20K, 40K, 80K, 100K, etc) major.

What you will like:
- Neat Clean & Big service Centers
- Smiling Staff
- Suggest only what is mentioned in Service book. No additional items pushed so far (like engine additives, etc. exception washer fluid which you can politely deny)
- Service Interval of 10K or 6 months (would have liked it to be 10K or 1 year. But with my kind of usage, 10K in 6 months is fine)
- Service Cost (My Swift's Service costs are similar or slightly higher. Compared to the class of vehicle am impressed with this)

What you won’t:
- Have not been able to resolve the dashboard noise in 2 attempts
- Pickup/ Drop if required needs a 1 week ahead planning (I don’t use so it is fine for me)
- My Details have been leaked to all Insurance Companies (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...companies.html (Policy up for renewal - Fed up of marketing calls from insurance companies))

Here are the Service Costs:
Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-service-cost-split-1a.jpg
Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-service-cost-split-1b.jpg

Parts Details:
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Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV-service-cost-split-2b.jpg

Upgrades Planned :
- Music System (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/diy-do...watch-out.html) – Have few things but need to plan and integrate all
- Fog Lamps
- Alloys with 195 Section tyres

Last edited by GTO : 11th February 2015 at 10:53. Reason: Spacing :)
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Old 11th February 2015, 10:56   #7
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Default Re: Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th February 2015, 11:23   #8
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Default Re: Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV

Very nicely written and the graphs make a lot of sense.

Those seat covers look well done for the price. Can you share where you got them done?
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Old 11th February 2015, 12:18   #9
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Default Re: Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV

Great review malgudi. The review is comprehensively written and serves as reference book for Honda City diesel owners. Really liked the way you have split all features and provided both pros and cons along with rating.

The service costs and ownership cost is great and informative. As I have also booked Honda City diesel, this review provides details on what to expect from the vehicle and also the maintenance cost. Very good for future planning.
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Old 11th February 2015, 12:37   #10
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Default Re: Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV

Quote:
Originally Posted by malgudi View Post
5. Safety Features (Airbags & ABS must. Can do without accessories but not this)
Hi Malgudi,
Thanks for a nice ownership review. City, no doubt, exceeds the competition in most of the aspects and competes in others - and that shows in the sales numbers.
However, what impresses and inspires is the Priority you have given to Safety! If most of us prefer ABS over alloys/ double din music/navigation system - the Manufacturers will get the message sooner!
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Old 11th February 2015, 13:59   #11
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Default Re: Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV

Thank you for a very well written review. The graphs are nicely laid. Everything is disclosed in detail. Diesel city owners will definitely find it useful. And yes, your seat covers look really nice.
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Old 11th February 2015, 14:00   #12
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Default Re: Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV

Great buy Sir and a crisp, detailed review!

Many more happy miles to go and I hope you enjoy every bit of it.

Get those tyres upgraded as soon as possible, considering you do a lot of highway runs. The difference will be substantial and it'll make the entire drive far more pleasurable!
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Old 11th February 2015, 14:39   #13
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Default Re: Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV

Very well described on every aspect. Seat covers are really good. All the excel representations are really useful. Have you ever faced an issue with ground clearance when fully leaded?
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Old 11th February 2015, 15:37   #14
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Default Re: Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV

Wonderful review. Covers every thing. You have record of all fuel fills and all service bills. Look to be a man seeking perfection always. .

I have also purchased a Chinese make Fog Kit from Ebay and planning to fix it soon. Only worry is that there should not be any warranty issues.
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Old 11th February 2015, 16:06   #15
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Default Re: Ownership Review - 2014 Honda City Diesel SV

Congrats on the car malgudi. Brilliant comprehensive review.

Among the accessories - the seat covers stand out. Nice elegant design and good finish as well. Congrats.

I'm at a total loss with respect to your points system and 'likes and dislikes' section though. The points system suggests very high ratings, while the description provides more glaring negatives than positives.
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