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Old 2nd August 2016, 14:37   #1
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Default The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC

The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-mahab1.jpg

(Preview)

Hello; ladies and gentlemen of this esteemed forum, I am going to embark on a tale about how I finally (much to the relief of my wife) bought a car. This tale has been in the making for quite some time now because I had to keep postponing the decision to buy a car from 2014 to now.

This ownership review is going to be split into four parts:
• Background
• Booking experience
• The Ballista
• Madras Sutras

But first a brief summary (Honda City IVTEC SV MT):

What I like:
• The car is extremely spacious inside. 3 in the back is not a problem.
• The petrol engine is butter smooth. NVH is well controlled.
• The drive at these cruising speeds also feels well planted and comfortable.
• The engine bay is extremely neat arranged and it has an engine guard as well.
• Pedals are light and easy to use. The gearbox too, slots well and is well defined.
• AC is a chiller even in Chennai heat. Rear ac vents are a boon.

What I did not like:
• Steering at highway cruising speeds is very light and slightly inconsistent. It feels “twitchy”.
• Reverse camera and Sensors required for a car of this length. We got SV variant which does not have it in standard version.
• Fit and finish not up to the mark in few locations.
• Beige inside is a dirt magnet.

Last edited by nivatakavacha : 10th August 2016 at 14:09. Reason: more details
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Old 2nd August 2016, 14:41   #2
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Default Background

Way back in 2014, I proudly declared to my wife that we needed to buy a car for the family. She was delighted. I also think she expected the car to reach our stables within a month. But then, because the thing called “life” loves to hit you hard when you least expect it and where you least expect it; I had to postpone the actual buying until now. In the last year or so, thanks to this forum and my general inquisitive nature, I have come to consider myself to be an expert in the Indian automotive scene. This heightened sense of interest was also piqued because I have been in the market to buy a car for so long. I have fallen in love in and out of love with so many cars in the last 2 years that I think I might be a “Cars-innova”. (Ok, I will stop with the PJs) I test drove almost every car that came out in the last 2 years.

My dear wife was patient with me till the very end. In fact, I am sure that she had lost all hope that I would eventually buy a car. But then, as the wise folks always say, “Things did get better”.

Folks, I am happy to report that “things” did much better for me in 2016, after a disastrous 2015 where the aforementioned “things” nose diving like an out-of-control Sopwith Camel into no man’s land. Things are now on an even keel and I hope it stays this way.

Actually, things were really not that bad, but you know how one tends to romanticize one’s own struggle. If any of you have read the “Secret Life of the Mongols”, you’d tend to agree with me. It seems that a certain stubby boy, with a delicate temperament and a bulbous face had all the bad luck in the world before he became the fearsome Khan.

Anyways, back to the story: By July 2016, I knew that I had to book a car.

July 2016 (One Fine Day):

Instead of sliding out of bed, I jumped out of bed with a song on my lips. Frankly people, I felt buoyant that day like I had had one of Jeeves patent pick-up-ers. “Today is the day I am going to book my car,” I thought to myself, positively beaming inside. You see folks, when we members of our clan want to achieve sometime, we all get up early and have a hearty breakfast. It is our way of telling the world to buzz off; even though the universe might conspire and not give us our wish, what it could never take away from us was our sacred breakfast. After a hearty meal of puri-masala washed down with filter coffee, I was ready, armed with nothing more than my cheque book. Like a cowboy in the Wild West with his hands inching towards his holster, I felt ready for the hunt.

“What car?” you guys might ask in unison at this point and I actually had the answer ready to that flummoxing question as well! Much to my wife’s dismay, I had fixed that our next vehicle would be the Ford Aspire Diesel Titanium. She was not really a fan of the car. She found it deeply suburban and pedestrian.

Folks, I am going to let you in on a secret. Let us keep this thing between us. Ok? Please don’t tell my wife but I somehow think that she think that we have a lot of money; that we are rich! Most of the cars in her wish-list were either costly or too bloody costly. We both are after all, small time working professionals who are trying to etch out a living. So I had to veto most of her choices.

Coming back to the story, I got ready to leave to the nearest Ford dealer in town, with a skip in my step, a drawl in my tone, and a sneer in my attitude when my wife said, “Are you taking the cheque book? We first need to check if today is a ‘Good Day’ to book the car.”

I stopped in my tracks and in the middle of my favorite tune, “Raja kaiya vecha, athu wronga ……woaah”!!

“Woman, you cannot throw this religious curve ball at me today; especially when I am an atheist with scant respect for the position of irrelevant rocks in outer space or their cosmogony.”

Ok guys; that was what, I wanted to say. Err…In reality, all I managed was a weak, “No no no; you cannot do this to me. Please let me leave now.”
Folks, the battle was over even before it started. It was like a battle between Obelix and the poor Romans. The Home minister had taken her decision and I had to wait while she consulted with the higher power when it came to religious matters: her mother.

Thankfully, as it turned out, it was a good day after all. Her mother attested to it in triplicate. It was in fact, a glorious day. With the Sun beaming down its all-embracing warmth, I fired up my Honda Activa and made my way to the Ford dealer in Palikaranai, Chennai.

I lived pretty close by, so I reached the place in no time at all. It was closed!! Bummer it was! And there was not a single soul in sight! I found it mighty strange that a showroom was not open even after 10 in the morning.
Finally I managed to locate an ancient fossil who was wearing the watchman’s uniform, who sat there demolishing a greasy vadai and lime-rice. Seeing him, I was reminded of the old Latin proverb, “quis custodiet ipsos custodes”.

“My dear man,” I exclaimed, “pray tell me what happened to the showroom here? Why is it not open?”

“Saar, they have closed this showroom now as another company is taking it over. Even I don’t know when this place will re-open,” he smiled back.

Thanks to the aforementioned hearty breakfast, I was able to take this blow without reeling. You see folks; the men of our clan are fortified with ample resilience much like Hannibal Barca of yore. The other closest Ford showroom was deep in the city at Teynampet. So I first made my way home. You see folks, going to the city and coming back would take time and we had invited a few friends over for lunch. So I could not be late as well. I was truly in a pickle because the only mantra in my head was “Today is the day I am going to book my car.”

By the time I reached home, my in-laws had also dropped in. My FIL, a man of action also wanted to come with me and we immediately took the decision to go the Ford showroom in the city with my wife’s stern warning to not be late for lunch. She knew that I was a man possessed so she let me leave.

We fired up our Swift Dzire and snaked our way up north through Anna Salai. That ford showroom was open; at least it had an office space in a seedy building and the staff was minimal. Files were scattered all around the place like a government office and finally within 5 mins, we got a TD of the car. I already knew about the car since I had test driven it when it was launched, but this particular TD vehicle was dirty, the beige inside the car had turned to brown and the gear shifts were extremely notchy. It was not the best TD car. And I just did not “feel” it.

My FIL was not very pleased with the car and he said that a car for us needs to be an upgrade from the Dzire that we own. I was also feeling underwhelmed after the TD. I did not know why. While we had a chat in the parking lot, images of car after car kept projecting on my mind screen (like in the 80s and 90s movie where they show the most badass villains in a smoke filled room in the commissioner’s office); Dzire, Amaze, I20, I10, Zest, Tiago, Ciaz, TUV300, S-Cross and then finally, the Honda City!!

My thoughts went back to the Honda City which I had driven recently and the sweet 1.5 IVTEC engine which made the car sling forward like it was a projectile of some sort (hence the name: The Ballista) and in a rare moment of clairvoyance; the decision was made with my heart. I refused to listen to my “inner watchman” who tried his level best to dissuade me; remind me of the iffy build quality, low GC, multiple niggles reported on Team BHP and a premium that I was going to pay for the Honda badge.

We immediately made our way south to the Honda Showroom on GST Road, Chennai, grabbed an SA who was there and cried, “Make me an offer that I cannot refuse for the Honda City SV Petrol.”

He said adroitly, “Saar, there is no offer currently on Petrol but diesel maybe I can…...”

“Offer accepted,” I cut him short, much to his shock. His face turned red and then a pale of blue. I asked him to breathe first. It hit him like a thunderbolt that he had In fact closed the deal so easily. Imagine preparing yourself to play a long drawn out game of Chess with an opponent who looks like Vishy only to checkmate the blundering opponent in 2 moves. The SA must have felt that way.

It really was his lucky day coz I booked the car on the spot. I am really not good at haggling, so all we managed to get was free seat covers, reversing camera and basic accessories in the deal. If my wife had been with me, she probably would have gotten us a better deal. You see folks; she has to get a “Good Deal” in every purchase of hers. On the other hand, well….I cannot spot a “Good Deal” even if it danced in front of me wearing a comic costume. So I paid up the advance and made my way home for lunch; finally the ghost was off my back.

We were late for lunch that day but I felt happy nevertheless. I was done with all the flirting and ready to settle down even though the car would not be used by me primarily.

Last edited by nivatakavacha : 7th August 2016 at 16:39.
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Old 7th August 2016, 16:42   #3
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Default Booking Experience

The main reason why we went with the Honda City was that we wanted a spacious car within our budget of 10-11 Lakhs. As I mentioned in the above post, I looked at most cars in the market before we finalized the Honda City, IVtec SV MT. The other strong contenders were the Mahindra TUV300, Maruti S-Cross, Maruti Ciaz and Ford Aspire (diesel). The main thing I wanted in our next car is spacious interiors. We wanted a car in which 5 could sit comfortably.

The reason why we did not go got the TUV300 were the various niggles reported in this forum. I did not want to drop 10 Lakhs on a machine and then go to the service center often. In other words, I liked the car but did not want to risk it. Other Mahindras were not considered.

I actually liked the S-Cross and would have gone for it if not for family. The others did not quite like the look for the car and hence it was dropped. Some decisions cannot be rationalized. Similarly, we also dropped the Ciaz because it felt like a glorified Dzire. Inside the car, because of all the part sharing, it felt like the same car!! Hence we dropped that as well.

I really liked the Ford Aspire and wanted to book it but the showroom/TD experience was not to our liking. I still would have gone for it but at the last moment, the Honda City came the picture. Hence we finally went forward with the Honda City Petrol SV MT. The Honda City Diesel was out of my budget.

Final Cost:
Car chosen – Honda City IVtec SV MT, Carnelian Red
Ex showroom price – 9,55,300 Rupees
Insurance – 35,810 Rupees
Lifetax/registration – 97,630 Rupees
Extended warranty/RSA – 14,320 Rupees (4 years warranty and 5 years RSA)
H-connect – 7,999 Rupees
Total on road – 11,11,059 Rupees

The only things I could haggle from dealer were 1) corporate discount of 4K 2) basic accessories 3) car body cover 4) seat covers 5) under body rust protection coating 6) reverse camera.


The booking experience with Capital Honda, GST was pleasant. Except for a delay of 1 week from commitment of delivery of car, everything else went smoothly as planned. They were really professional in their dealing and schedule. They even presented me with a cake during delivery. I don’t have experience with the service as yet but going by my gut feeling, I don’t think it will be a problem. I took my own loan from a bank of my liking and they helped me complete all the relevant paperwork.

They readily agreed to all my conditions which included 1) getting the VIN number first 2) checking the car and doing PDI before registration 3) delivery on auspicious day 4) clean delivery.

They did not mess up any document nor was their work slip shoddy. I appreciate the service and support that was extended to us by Capital Honda, GST, Chennai.

When I first set my eyes on the car (during PDI before registration):
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-first-sight.jpg

Rolling the Ballista forward after the initial puja (or as I fondly call it – “Crushing the lemon rebellion”)
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-starting.jpg

Last edited by nivatakavacha : 10th August 2016 at 14:11. Reason: more details
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Old 7th August 2016, 17:07   #4
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Default The Ballista

Safety & related equipment:
The Honda City IVtec SV MT comes with dual airbags and ABS as standard on the car. I hope we never have to use the airbags. Since the car has only run for 500 kms and very sedately, I am yet to encounter a situation where the ABS has kicked in. We had also paid for the H-connect but are yet to receive it. I mainly went for the H-connect because of the GPS tracker it has. I will write a separate post on it when I receive the device.

Usage/Odometer reading:
Our usage is mainly going to be city (90%) and it should have a monthly usage of about 1000 kms. The odometer reading stands at 500 kms while writing this review.


External Styling and Design
I really loved the sleek arrow shaped look of the car. The front creases on the bonnet look wonderful and the elongated silhouette of the car goes really well with the design philosophy. I personally think that it is the best looking sedan in India at the moment with its cuts and curves. This car definitely needs better tires on them. The current ones look too puny for the build of the car. Since I am out of Vitamin M at the moment, I am resisting my urge to upgrade them at the moment. It is really funny coz our Dzire runs on 185 mm tires while the bigger, better City runs on 175 mm tires. Another feature that I really loved was the shark fin antenna. I really hate those awkward long antennas. Detailed photos for the external looks are available in the next post. The overall build quality is decent. The color which we selected was Carnelian Red and it looks lovely on this car. The paint job is really good and the car has a nice sheen to it.

Fit and Finish
This is an area where Honda has some way to go. They are still not at – daresay – “Hyundai” levels yet.

The floor mats on the Honda City are nothing great and are not a perfect fit for the space as well:
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-fitfinish1.jpg

The place where the carpet is cut to expose the VIN number is also not that great; the carpeting in general feels mediocre:
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-fitfinish2.jpg

Inside the boot, under the carpet, there is some really bad paint job:
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-fitfinish3.jpg

In the rear, there are some places where the panel gaps are beyond what I am comfortable with:
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-fitfinish5.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-fitfinish6.jpg

But by far, my biggest grouse would be the window panel. The entire assembly moves when I roll the windows up or down. It is highly irritating to buy a 10 Lakh machine and still get some shoddy work. I expected better from Honda.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-fitfinish4.jpg

Wheels and tyres
The wheel cladding too is minimal. It might be ok to the average Joe, but if you take care to see the wheel area, one can see some really ugly bits. We got the car with Bridgestone tyres (175 mm section) and since we are generally sedate drivers, I am not changing the stock tyres now. For the next set of tyres, I intend to go for wider tyres.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-wheel1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-wheel2.jpg

Interior Design, Quality and Space
The dash is nicely arranged, all the controls are accessible. I really like the asymmetric design of the dash. It is this imperfection which appealed to me. The quality of plastics is good and all the buttons are well damped. The steering wheel is a delight to hold. The Auto AC again is easy to use. I had my apprehensions about the Auto AC but it is actually pretty easy to use. One thing to note is that the center console in piano black finish is a dirt magnet again.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-dash.jpg

As a driver, I really did not have that much difficulty in adjusting to the Honda City from our Dzire. Thanks to the long seat lengths adjuster and the seat height adjuster, I could find a comfortable position pretty easily. The doors open wide and ingress is pretty easy. For older folks, it might be a problem as the car is low slung to begin with (GC: 165 mm) but my grandma did not have much of a problem with the car. Inside the car, all the seats are really comfortable, even the backseats. 3 in the back is not a problem at all with the car. I hit my head once when I got into the car. But once you are inside, the head space is good (even at the rear). All the seats are comfortable and under thigh support is good as well.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-internal1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-internal2.jpg

Thanks to the space + rear ac vents, the backseats are the preferred seats in my family now.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-rear-view.jpg

The boot is again big and well finished.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-boot.jpg

Visibility & size of mirrors: The glass on the front and sides are large and the view from the driver’s seat is great. I would have liked the ORVMs to be a size bigger, but it is not a deal breaker.

Air conditioner cooling & effectiveness: The AC is a chiller even in the Chennai heat. Thanks to the rear vents as well, all the occupants have felt comfortable with the car on our rides.

Audio system & sound quality: I am not really an audio enthusiast, so I found the audio output to be good. The car comes with USB/Aux inputs and I tried using both a USB stick and IPOD for audio. The sound quality is good..

Engine/Steering/Ride Quality
In general, the car is a breeze to use. The general opinion is that even though the car looks big from outside, just sometime behind the wheels and one can get easily used to the car. The steering is light to use and the ABC pedals are light as well so it is easy to use in traffic. I have not really pushed the engine so far, but I do know that this IVtec engine is a gem! There is hardly any sound from the engine and cruising at 70 kph in 5th gear feels like gliding actually. The cabin is well insulated from outside sound except when the under chassis is hit when small stones (which sounds loud). The acceleration is steady and neat. I have driven it only 500 kms so far. I am waiting to extend the engine after a few thousand kilometers. I went to Mahabalipuram recently and on the highway, the steering did not weigh up all that well. For lack of a better word, I am going to go with the word - “twitchy” on the highway at cruising speeds. I had to constantly correct the steering. One thing that I loved was that I hardly felt the speed on the Honda City. I have not taken it beyond 80 kph but even at that speed, it feels like the car is doing a slower speed. I love that feel of stability coupled with lack of NVH. It really is a smooth ride. The gears also slot well and the shift-gates are short and well defined. The braking too feels confident and progressive. I did not have any problem adjusting to the brakes as well.

Overall, it is a very satisfying package. Like any Honda, it is easy to use and a delight so far.

Gearshift & clutch: The gear throws are short and the gear gates are well defined and hence, it slots in easily. The clutch too, is light and easy to use. One thing I noticed is that from standstill, when I release the clutch, the engine rpm slightly drops before it picks up as the car starts rolling. In the first day, I let the car stall twice because of this. Coming from a diesel, it felt slightly different but I am used to it now.

Overall NVH levels: Overall NVH levels are really good. The cabin is insulated against noise from the engine and the surrounding well. It is only when small stones hit the under chassis that one can hear a lot of noise. I went on a rough road and some of those rattles sound really loud.

Fuel efficiency: I have not yet checked the tank-tank full method but the instantaneous display says that our mileage is around 9.8 km/l.

Last edited by nivatakavacha : 10th August 2016 at 14:17. Reason: more details
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Old 7th August 2016, 18:52   #5
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Default Madras Sutras

(Special thanks to my good friend Mr. K for the photos and company on this trip)


This is the post in which I am going to introduce the young Honda City (and you) to the city. As many of our BHPians are not Chennai based, I thought it would interesting to give one and all a brief tour of the city through the eyes of the Honda City as it visits all these places as well. One particular thing that has always disturbed me, not just about Chennai but about all the cities in India is the lack of attention that we pay to some very important things like sanitation, protection of natural resources and greenery. These often ignored vestiges of our march toward the future, is going to endanger us all someday. We really have taken environmental/historical degradation to the next level here in India. Let me take you all on the “Madras Sutras” tour; hoping again hope that we somehow save what is left of the these relics.

Dear Ballista, this is the Besant Nagar Beach also known as Elliots Beach. When I was a kid back in the 80’s, this beach was next to empty but now, the mornings are filled with walkers/joggers and the evenings are full of hawkers and half the city. It once was empty and clean, but long gone are those days.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-bessie1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-bessie2.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is the Ashtalakshmi Temple near the seashore at Besant Nagar! Even though this is a relatively new temple, it has become an important stop in the landscape of the city.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-astha1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-astha2.jpg

Dear Ballista, Chennai is divided into 3 parts by 2 main rivers. The Coovum River divides the north and central portion of the city and the River Adyar divides the central and the south. They were good clean rivers about a hundred years back but now; these are nothing more dump-yards. A lot of the waste of the city is pretty much dumped into these rivers. Cesspools there are now; now let us all go and cry a river!

Adyar River:
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-adyar1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-adyar2.jpg

Coovum River:
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-coovum1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-coovum2.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is the very important Kapaleeshwarar Temple. The present structure might only be about 500 years old but a temple (in Mylapore) has existed for more than a 1000 years. Chennai might be new, but this place Mylapore has existed for a long time with the temple as its cultural, religious center.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-kabali1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-kabali2.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is Santhome Church. Built in the 16th century, this was to show to the world, the Portuguese power in South India. Over the years, the Portuguese eventually lost their hold for this place, but they left their mark on Chennai through Catholicism. This is a very important landmark for the religious.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-santhome1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-santhome2.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-santhome3.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is the lighthouse of Chennai near the Marina Beach. Apart from seeing it in countless films, most Chennaites have also visited this wonderful place.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-lighthouse1.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is the Marina promenade. Again engineered by the British, this once was part of the “White Town”.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-marina1.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is the World War memorial made by the British to commemorate their victorious campaign in the world wars.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-ww-memorial1.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is the very ancient Fort St. George or what today, is the Tamil Nadu Secretariat. The British presence in this part of the world started when they first created this fort. The City too, developed around this fort back in the day. As you can still see in this photo, the walls of the fort are still standing.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-fort1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-fort2.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-fort3.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is where the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) starts at Madhya Kailash. In the near past about 30 years back, this place was nothing more than a little street and the “city folks” would generally avoid this place. Now this road (20 kilometers) is known as the IT highway. A lot of the world’s software comes from this stretch of road.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-omr1.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is the Tidel Park. One of the first iconic IT parks in the city build a couple of decades ago, this spawned so many more such monstrosities all over the city.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-tidel.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is the SIPCOT IT Park at Siruseri. The IT highway which starts at Madhya Kailash ends here at this IT Park. These self-contained huge monstrosities house so many people and they are a sight! I work in one of the smaller buildings in this IT Park.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-sipcot1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-sipcot2.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is the Palikaranai marsh land. This is a “protected” habitat but as you can see in the photos, the only things “protected” in this place are the interests of certain people with power and money. It is sad when one can capture in a single photo – a protected land, a dumping ground and huge IT buildings. I call this particular montage “The Moral Decay of Chennai”.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-pall1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-pall2.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-pall3.jpg

Dear Ballista, this is the East Coast Road (ECR) Road which connects the city to Pondicherry. It is a beautiful stretch and lots of people make the trip.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-ecr1.jpg

Dear Ballista, these are the ancient rock sculptures at Mahabalipuram. Created around the 5th century AD, these rock sculptures are a remarkable testimonial to our ancients and their legacy. Many such monuments dot our country, I will show you more as we travel.
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-mahab1.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-mahab2.jpg
The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC-mahab3.jpg

Last edited by nivatakavacha : 10th August 2016 at 14:19. Reason: some edits
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Old 11th August 2016, 07:16   #6
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Default re: The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC

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 August 2016, 10:11   #7
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Default Re: The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC

Quote:
Originally Posted by nivatakavacha View Post

Hello; ladies and gentlemen of this esteemed forum, I am going to embark on a tale about how I finally (much to the relief of my wife) bought a car.

But first a brief summary (Honda City IVTEC SV MT):
Congrats on your latest acquisition nivatakavacha

Honda City really nailed it when they actually introduced the i-Dtec engine, which was pretty much the only chink in the armour. With the recent reduction in the price gap between the Diesel & Petrol, the demand for the Petrol has slowly and surely increased.

When it comes to the Petrol engine in this segment, IMO there is nothing that really beats the i-Vtec. Ofcourse the TSi from VW is great but the refinement on the Honda is something to experience.

Wish you a happy motoring and drive safe.
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Old 11th August 2016, 10:31   #8
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I loved the way you've dramatized the small boring details and made it very satirical.
The Honda City is an amazing car bud. It brings a smile on our face whenever we drive it or just watch it standing there outside our house, relaxing.
Even I haven't revved the engine more than 2500rpm yet but I can feel the surge it has to just shoot forward(like a Ballista).
Just a few questions.
1) Where did you get those foot lights from? They look fabulous!
I inquired about the same from Honda they said it'll cost 5500 rupees and it's just contemporary light, no white light no blue light, and they said it'll void the warranty if I get it from outside(provided there is some cutting on wires).
2) Your FE seems to be on the lower side, our car is hardly 130kms run and it's giving 10.5-11.2 consistently.
3) Are those seat covers fabric ones or leather? How much did Honda say they cost?


Overall very good decision. If you'd have bought the Aspire you'd be crying right now, 91k discount on the model you were going to book.
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Old 11th August 2016, 10:37   #9
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Default Re: The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC

Super thread nivatakavacha,

I had a Honda City ZX VTEC 2006 which I sold in 2015. You have the upgraded version. So, I am totally able to connect with what you have written.

I also liked your POV of Chennai. Thanks for sharing.

Just by and by - I found some 'magic' performance at 85 kmph. I always got the best performance at that speed. Plus or minus 5 kmph is okay. If I remember right the rpm was 2700. For my model, the manual said that this was the highest (I don't remember!) BHP or Torque. On highways, with 4 people on board and luggage in the back with AC 100%, the best I had achieved was 19.5 kmpl over 1100 km!!

Regards and may you have many long, enjoyable and safe trips on your City!

Girish Mahajan

P.S. Rated 5 stars
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Old 11th August 2016, 12:23   #10
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Default Re: The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC

While reading this post, I had a continuous smile on my face. The dramatization of the events prior to the purchase, the details of the entire buying process, the pros and cons of the car. All very well knit together into one writeup. The car itself is known to one and all. However, the captures of Chennai with the Ballista is something new. I never realized when the writeup changed from buying a Honda City to a Chennai photo session.

Superb car, amazing photos, nice flow of words. Congrats @nivatakavacha
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Old 11th August 2016, 12:31   #11
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Default Re: The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC

Great write up nivatakavacha, and heartiest congratulations!

Been a while since I read such a humorous and involving post And I can relate with you on one aspect, I also took almost two years to decide which car to buy, got bitten by the Team BHP bug in the process, and ended up buying the Honda City

You will enjoy the fuss free ownership. I have the 3rd gen one and it has performed flawlessly in the past 6 years. And the best part is, I get an average FE above 15kmpl for my office commute! My main grouse is that the speeds above 100 odd are not confidence inspiring, and handling is neutral at best.

Any specific reason you did not consider the CVT? All the best and wish you a great ownership experience.
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Old 11th August 2016, 13:46   #12
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Default Re: The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Congrats on your latest acquisition nivatakavacha
Thank you so much vik0728! Yes, the IVTEC is hard to beat in this segment. I am hoping that I face none of the issues that BHPians see in the ANHC. The first time i drove through rain, I half expected to see water flowing into the car. Yes, I also feel the petrol is the way to go in the future with all the new rules/bans.

Thanks once again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by iss1307 View Post
I loved the way you've dramatized the small boring details and made it very satirical.
Thank you so much iss1307! Even I am waiting to rev the engine after the first service!
In reply to your questions:
1) I got them fitted by dealer directly and it cost me 2000 Rs. If the dealer in your town is charging more, then definitely something is fishy. Please check with them once again or other dealer in your town. If you want, I can get the accessory code (if something like that exists) from my SA. Please DM me if you want any support on this.
2) Yeah, I am not bothered about FE as yet. Will wait till the engine has run a bit before I start checking FE.
3) The Seat covers are fabric; I again got them as freebie from dealer. They cost around 7/8K according to them.

Haha! Yeah, good that I did not book the Aspire. The dealership experience was not very pleasant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKMahajan View Post
Super thread nivatakavacha,

I had a Honda City ZX VTEC 2006 which I sold in 2015. You have the upgraded version. So, I am totally able to connect with what you have written.
P.S. Rated 5 stars
Thank you so much GKMahajan!
"19.5 kmpl over 1100 km" is an amazing feat! I hope my car gets to about 16-17 on highway jaunts. Yes, I loved the feel of the car in 5th gear at 80 kph; everything is so silent and engine feels so relaxed. I am waiting to push it further after sometime. Thanks once again for your comment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by anuraglakhotia View Post
While reading this post, I had a continuous smile on my face. The dramatization of the events prior to the purchase, the details of the entire buying process, the pros and cons of the car. @nivatakavacha

Thank you so much anuraglakhotia!
If you smiled while reading, the purpose of this thread has been fulfilled. I hope to continue writing more as my journey with the car progresses. Thanks once again for your kind words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by avisidhu View Post
Great write up nivatakavacha, and heartiest congratulations!

Any specific reason you did not consider the CVT? All the best and wish you a great ownership experience.
Thank you so much avisidhu!
So you also took a long time before taking the plunge? LOL! After the Chennai photoshoot my wife was speechless and told me that I had never done a proper photoshoot with her! haha!
I did not consider the CVT coz 1) Cost 2) I am really not a big fan of automatics, especially CVT with small displacement engines. I love the feel of a traditional 6 speed box with larger engines like the ones I have driven in the US. Since the clutch is pretty light in the ANHC, driving the manual should not be a problem in city traffic.

Thanks once again for your comment.
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Old 11th August 2016, 14:09   #13
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Default Re: Madras Sutras

Quote:
Originally Posted by nivatakavacha View Post
This is the post in which I am going to introduce the young Honda City (and you) to the city.
Congratulations nivatakavacha and hope you enjoy many many joyous & safe miles with your ballista.

Love the way you have managed to get good clean clicks of your ballista in front of famous & less famous chennai/OMR attractions.

P.S: Why did you give roundtana a miss? Your ballista might spend a lot of time going round and round if you do stay near it
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Old 11th August 2016, 14:18   #14
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Default Re: The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC

Quote:
Originally Posted by nivatakavacha View Post
I did not consider the CVT coz 1) Cost 2) I am really not a big fan of automatics, especially CVT with small displacement engines. I love the feel of a traditional 6 speed box with larger engines like the ones I have driven in the US. Since the clutch is pretty light in the ANHC, driving the manual should not be a problem in city traffic.
Dear nivatakavacha,

Even with a soft clutch and smooth gear shifts in my Honda City, I have gone in for a Jazz CVT. I have driven the City CVT too. Let me assure you - spending an hour in stop-go bumper-to-bumper traffic is quite tiring in MT. The difference is HUGE.

Most probably - you are very young and have a higher stamina! I alternate between WagonR manual and Jazz CVT and can vouch for the benefits of CVT or any AT for that matter. On a smooth highway, it makes no difference. However, in city traffic automatics are the only way forward.

Oh! And - this does not mean you have made a mistake! The City is a super vehicle even in the MT version.

One more thing - the City CVT does not have a smaller engine!

Girish Mahajan

Last edited by GKMahajan : 11th August 2016 at 14:19.
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Old 11th August 2016, 14:31   #15
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Default Re: The Ballista: Our Honda City SV i-VTEC

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKMahajan View Post
....
One more thing - the City CVT does not have a smaller engine!
Girish Mahajan
I'm guessing he means in comparison to US, by that yardstick the engine is certainly small and the City is a small car too
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