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Old 7th October 2008, 20:55   #1
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Default 3rd Generation Honda City driven

Mod Note: Team-BHP's Official Review of the 4th-gen Honda City has been uploaded at this link (Honda City : Official Review). Please continue the discussion over on the review thread (Honda City : Official Review).

Honda had organised a media drive of the 3rd generation Honda City(3GHC) in Jaipur and guess what I was invited. So I reached Jaipur this noon and after a heavy lunch set off to drive the ‘Honda City’ around the ‘Pink City’ to see what it feels like. And true to the tradition of a dedicated team bhpian, the first thing I did on reaching the hotel was to type this report and post it here along with the pics…Read on.

3rd Generation Honda City driven-dsc00185.jpg
The line up of cars

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Looks and styling

The 3GHC borrows styling cues from the bigger Hondas and to good effect. The headlamps and the grille are fused into a single element much like in the European Civic hatchback except that there is no plexiglass stuff over here. The prominent V on the bonnet lends it an aggression while the twin slatted grille with no chrome garnishing is deliberately sporty.

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This was the car we were allotted
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The 3GHC looks proportionate and has none of the quirkiness of the one it replaces. The elongated wheelbase has allowed the designers to add a boot that merges with the rest of the body. The body flows from the front to the rear with no abrupt changes in shape. Much like the Civic. The only fault I could find with the styling is that the wheels looks small, something a set of good alloys and tyres can cure. A tyre upgrade is not a bad idea as mentioned in the handling part.

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I was expecting the dashboard to carry the drama that came with the Civic dashboard, so I was in for some disappointment. The steering wheel which is borrowed from the Civic gets controls for the stereo.The centre console with the three knobs replacing the climate control looks uninspiring but carries a great music system. Honda has ditched the ubiquitous CD/MP3 player that every other car comes with and instead provided a USB interface for connecting pen drives or the ipod or any other MP3 player. While this can be seen as a move to the future, one must also take the trouble of ripping those Audio CDs and copying them into a pendrive. Thankfully, the music source whether it’s a USB drive or Ipod is hidden behind the LCD screen. The playback controls for the music system are split into easily usable buttons and a knob. The interface looks like out of an MP3 player.
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The front seats got my attention with good bolstering on sides and excellent thigh support.

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The rear seats of the old Honda city have always been praised for their comfort and the new one doesn’t disappoint either. The overall seating appears lower thanks to a lower hip point but it is still very comfy. The sloping floorboard which houses the fuel tank underneath provided good support for the feet and is very relaxing.Another aspect that caught my attention was the angle at which the rear door opened-close to 90degrees.!
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The dials were attractive with their orange lighting and red needles,but when viewed from certain angles looks cheap, thanks to the overuse of lighting strips
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Handling & Ride

AUTOCAR had predicted that the 3GHC would be a driver focussed car as opposed to the 2GHC. The lifeless EPS of the previous version has been replaced with a new steering that feels light at low speeds and getting well weighted as speeds increase. What it lacks slightly in feedback, it makes up with precision and directness. The car can be easily pointed where one likes to and at high speeds, it inspires confidence. The nervousness and lack of feel that pervaded the 2GHC’s steering is a matter of the past. And it needn’t be mentioned that the small dia Civic steering is good to hold.

We will take the car through its paces only tomorrow. The initial impressions of the City’s dynamic abilities are good. The chassis is very balanced and body roll is not that pronounced. There is a hint of understeer telling you to ease up the throttle but that is pretty much about it. What ruins the fun are the 175/65R15 tyres, which are a bit narrow to allow serious cornering. They run out of grip every time your feel like pushing the handling to the extreme. A tyre upgrade is the first thing you can do on your city.


With 116bhp on tap, the City never felt slow. The 1.5litre VTEC engine is a state of the art unit from Honda, or so says the press material. The long stroke motor is carried over from the old City but instead of idsi, it gets a VTEC head. It features a more advanced VTEC system than the previous one and Honda says they have managed to get the FE of the idsi in this one. The engine felt smooth and responsive in the City. It does get a bit buzzy around the top end but is fairly high revving for a long stroke motor. Could not test the capabilities of this engine to the fullest, thanks to the chaotic traffic in Jaipur where the media drive was organised.

Will post the full report tomorrow.
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by GTO : 17th December 2013 at 18:36. Reason: Link to review
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:09   #2
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Great Picture mates, thanks.
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:14   #3
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Is the floor gray for a car with beige interior theme or have they put some kind of soft mat?
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:20   #4
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thanks for sharing the pics.the car looks great.do update us on full features of car as well
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:24   #5
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wonderful wonderful update! I almost feel I'm in the pink city! From a distance, the hubcaps look just like alloys! Is the ride on the firmer side? Do push the car to the limits tomorrow!
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:26   #6
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@vivek : Nice photographs . Definitely the new honda city is one of the best looking cars available in India. Waiting for your detailed report.
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:28   #7
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Many Thousands are waiting for your review mate.

Many Car deals are in your hands

EDIT : I see a picture with 15.4kmpl

Looks amazing Man. Even on the highway if it is.

Last edited by abhinav.gupta88 : 7th October 2008 at 21:34.
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:33   #8
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Brilliant Pics Vivek! Thanks for sharing.

My area of concern in this City are:-

1. The red needles on the speedo surely look overdone & actually will give a quite cheap feeling during the day time.

2. A/c knobs could easily be of better quality.

3. The gearshift seems to be borrowed from previous gen if im not mistaken. But the previous gen had a beige cover this seems to be fully black.

4. Door panels could be of better finish for a 9 lacs car!!! Atleast a silver garnish would have atleast made it look a tad better.
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:37   #9
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Excellent pics, and an Excelling looking car!

Thanks for them!
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:51   #10
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Another first at TBHP.

Awesome job TBHPian cheers:

IIRC, the speedo cluster lights stays on during day time too?

The red one looks great.
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:56   #11
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amazing pics mate, jaipur is one of my fav cities and i see that you made a trip to 'Nahargadh Fort' for couple of pics and drive
Eagerly waiting for the secong part of the review. However i must say that the rear doesnt gell well with the overall shape of the car. Infact dint really like the rear, it looks bit odd to me. Or maybe i'll have to see it in real life.
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Old 7th October 2008, 22:00   #12
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a nice preview of the city!!!
good pics and an intelligent writeup...
is the floor in the rear flat or has a camel hump???cant see it in the pics...
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Old 7th October 2008, 22:01   #13
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Default Some Inside Information

Unknown Location,Oct- 08
ources say that Honda Siel India had taken inputs from Senior Members of the Ice Section on T-BHP.The members were allowed to cast their opinions and suggestions via their forum. The R&D team at Honda were highly appreciative of being allowed to take part in "Ask the Gurus" thread section.

The concerns raised were on the inabilities to achieve the perfect front sound stage while installing high end music systems.The Glass section between A-pillar and Dashboard has been omitted in their latest design offering and now Tweeter Pods can be installed on side RVM covers!.Feedback is yet to start in this regard, but rest assured that Honda has taken T-BHP ICE SECTION seriously.

For further information ,please visit the following link.

Janaki Jhassoos's son reporting.He aint famous yet to give out names before doing undercover jobs

Last edited by absynthguzzler : 7th October 2008 at 22:05.
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Old 7th October 2008, 22:04   #14
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Awesome pictures Vivek, thanks. You are one lucky guy.
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Old 7th October 2008, 22:05   #15
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Great stuff Vivek. Eagerly waiting for the full report. The only things that I am not quite happy is the lack of climate control. I do agree with everyone on the dials, but I would love to see the digital stuff they have in Civic. These two features would have really help Honda establish a clear leadership position.

Anyways, let's hear from you and I shall try it out when ever it is available for us in Bangalore.
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