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Old 2nd January 2010, 10:35   #1
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Default The ANHC - A Comprehensive Ownership Experience and Report

The Need of a car

My first car is a Santro Zip Plus bought in May-2003 and I sold it in Dec-2008 before I left with my family to Malaysia as I found a better opportunity in a UK based firm. I then had to buy a car there for basic commute since a proper public transport simply didn't exist in the place I stayed. I obviously didn't want to spend a fortune on a car, considering that I had initially planned for a 2 year stay. I decided to buy a pre-owned car, a Perodua Kancil (Pronounced as Kanchil - named after a mouse deer). The car looks

just like a Maruti-800, sadly didn't like the speed in excess of 100 KM/hr. Nevertheless it did serve the very purpose of simple commute. I sold it back to the same dealer where I purchased the car from. Thankfully I didn't have to cough a heavy depreciation amount.
Ever since I returned to Bangalore, 2-wheeler commute with my family consisting of 1.5 year old son became a risky affair and I was in need of a car more than ever. This prompted me to tune into current automotive affairs and its latest offerings.

What Car?

Considering the fact that I owned a santro before, I needed a car which is bigger, safer and has better highway manners. Santro was the best city car but did pose some nervous rides in the highway. I then started to chalk down my requisites, it became very evident that I needed a car which is fun and safe to drive and of course petrol/diesel was not not in question.

Test Drives

Maruti Swift Dezire-ZDi (Diesel)
What I liked:
  • It's a Maruti of course. It shows even in their sales. The sales man didn't waste any time to get the car for test drive
  • Has better equipment list for the price
  • Best interior quality in comparison to other entry level sedans
What I didn't like:
  • The much talked about award winning FIAT-SUZUKI engine. I found it to be very sluggish in low revs.
  • The test vehicle had lot of rattling, it was enough to alert me about the build quality
  • 3-box sedan - Oh. come on isn't it very obvious that someone glued the butt to a beautiful Swift.
  • Poor rear legroom: My wife was struggling to get out of the rear seat. I don't see this improvement over Swift as they claim it to be.
  • A waiting period of 3 months, kidding me - The world changes quite quickly.
Skoda Fabia - Ambient (Diesel)
What I liked:
  • Great build quality, the interior plastic speaks for themselves.
  • Huge list of equipment list both safety and comfort.
  • Very powerful and a responsive engine. Nice to drive in city as well
  • The ride and handling is exemplary. Some of the bigger cars should be ashamed of.
  • Best in class rear legroom
What I didn't Like:
  • A heavy price for a hatch
  • Ordinary looks
  • Noisy engine. I didn't like the petrol, the spec simply didn't have the numbers to push the adrenaline higher.
  • Questionable after Sales Service - Man, skoda needs to quickly do something about it.
Ford Fiesta - 1.6 Duratech SXi (Petrol)
What I liked:
  • Powerful engine
  • Feels solid, I just loved the steering wheels
  • Hefty discount on offer
What I didn't like:
  • Fit and Finish.
  • Questionable after sales service and much talked about pricey spares
  • Sober looks
Honda Jazz
What I liked:
  • Feels like more car per car
  • Exceptional build quality, I was dumb struck when I sat inside.
  • Thud noise when closing the door. Gosh it's musical to the ears
  • Magic Seats - It really is magic. It's a master bedroom out there.
  • A powerful engine, especially after the torque kicks in
  • Beautiful looks
What I didn't like:
  • It's too pricey for a hatch
  • A noisy engine during low revs
  • Very short equipment list for the price.
Honda City - VMT
This happened to be the last car I opted for a test drive, trust me, I didn't want to get behind the steering wheels of any other cars except this one. When the sales man ushered the price list at me, it was a jaw dropping scene. I then regained my composure and said to myself, why not I stretch my budget and go for a car which I liked the most instead of repenting later. The toughest of challenges that was laid in front was that how would I ever convince my wife. She out rightly rejected that it's foolishness to spend 7-digit figure on a car for a small family of 3 people. However I knew I wanted this badly, it only had to be a tactical move to convince my wife. I called Srinivas from Magnum Honda for another test drive, this time with my family onboard, and he was very happy to oblige. When my wife saw the car she didn't waste any time in occupying the rear seat and she kept screaming from behind at least 5 times that it has loads of leg room. I was quietly smiling to myself. After the drive she was so happy, she asked me quietly,

is it possible to own this car? isn't it expensive?. Yippee! it was only a matter of time before both of us got together to pen down some numbers and finally we decided to go for it. A relieved man I was. I will narrate in detail about the likes and dislikes of the car in the following section.

The Booking day arrived!

November 7th, me with my family and my friend headed straight to Magnum Honda to meet Mr. Srinivas to formalize the booking. Which color was the big question however my heart and mind were tuned into Bold Beige Metallic, my wife had other options. She liked the Polished Metal Metallic, to me that wasn't a convincing color as I knew for Bangalore type of traffic and roads it would simply become a drawing board for the scratches to showcase their modern art. I booked polished metal to please my wife, a day later my wife agreed with my choice and Mr. Srinivas promptly updated the change in color.

Another challenge was to accommodate the car in my garage. The first problem was that the ramp was hitting the under chassis and one has to literally kiss the wall with the bumper in order for the garage door to be closed. I didn't want to take any risk and had to plan for a garage renovation. Again Srinivas from Magnum Honda showed no reluctance

in getting the car every time I wanted to check if the alteration was enough to safely fit the car in the garage.

A big drama when the delivery date was approaching!

I was promised by Srinivas that it would take about a month for me to get the car, to me that was ideal since I had some time to take care of my money matters. However I wanted the car by first week of December as me and my wife had planned for a surprise visit to my in-laws place in Shimoga. When the D day was nearing I was told by Srinivas that it would be delayed by 15 days, which meant that our plan to give a surprise visit to Shimoga was about to be a spoiled one. Although I was reluctant to negotiate with other dealers, I did call up other dealers in Bangalore out of frustration. I met this guys from Whitefield Honda who promised me that he has the Honda City - VMT, Bold Beige ready in the stock and would be happy to deliver in 2-3 days. I then was composing an email to Magnum Honda to cancel the booking and refund the booking amount. I get a call from

Prashanth, Sales Manager of Magnum Honda, saying that he will arrange the car and would be ready for the date that I wanted. I double checked with him again if he was speaking truth and he convinced me that it would be ready 101%. Upon asking how he was able to arrange the car, he said he spoke to another customer who wanted the same colour and was

willing to change to Crystal Black. Thank god, I said to myself. I didn't forget to thank Prashanth for keeping the promise. Next minute I get a call from the sales guy from Whitefield Honda asking me when he could come home to finish booking formalities. I told the gentleman that Magnum have agreed to arrange a car for me and I would want to go with them simply because Srinivas from Magnum Honda was very happy to send the car for test drive/parking inspection in my garage every time I called him, at least 4-5 times. My heart felt that he should get the credit for his hard work. I kept getting calls from the sales guys from Whitefield Honda, he kept saying that it is not possible for Magnum to deliver the car on the promised date simply because they didn't have the car. He then started to speak loosely about them, which I thought was highly unprofessional. I agree healthy competition is good for the market but not at the expense of etical standards of the trade.

The 'D-Day' finally arrived.

December 3rd, 2009. Don't know how many sleepless nights I spent dreaming about this day, but the day finally arrived. It's time to realize the dream. As expected I woke up early in the morning and wishing the clock could only click faster than normal. I was given the delivery time as 2:30PM. I came back home after a 1/2 day's work and was quick to get my family to Magnum Honda. Srinivas greeted me in the reception and it was nice to see my name being displayed on the display board which said " We are proud to deliver the car to the following customers" Srinivas quickly got around with the paper work and then introduced me to the beauty who was oozing with luster and a welcoming aroma around her. I was so excited and overwhelmed to get hands on the door handle only to witness the impeccable luxury and the finish the car had to offer. Huh..was a mind blowing experience. I wish it keeps happening again and again.
My little son was so excited that he got into the act of inspecting the car seeing me inspect for any scratches. After the pooja was done I was officially handed over the car key and was congratulated by all the sales guys in Magnum. Srinivas did some magic which certainly touched our

heart, he took a snap of me and my family with the car and presented the picture with a beautiful frame which had the embossing of Magnum and Honda on it. I thought this was one of the most touching experiences in buying the car.
Emotions apart, it's time to get the engine cranking and I set off with a careful acceleration amidst clapping hands of Magnum salesmen. I was very nervous moment as expected, and my first destiny was the famous Manjunatha temple in Banashankari 2nd Stage. After the pooja we reached home and my wife didn't forget to ask me if I had any plans of sleeping inside the car. I whispered, "envious wife".
On 5th December we set off early in the morning at 4:30 to Shimoga for a surprise visit to my in-laws. Throughout our journey I was as careful a driver as a mother to her newborn baby. Keeping in mind the Run-In period I was very cautious not to exceed the 2.5K RPM. Gosh what a drive it was. I stand up and applaud the Honda engineers for coming out with a car as good as this.
We reached Shimoga at 11:00 AM and how could I describe how happy my in-laws were. I took them for a small drive just outside Shimoga and all in all an experience that I would remember and cherish for a long time.

Car Details, Accessories and Money Matters

Model: Honda City - VMT
Colour: Bold Beige Metallic
Booking Date: 7th Nov - 2009
Delivery Date: 3rd Dec - 2009
On road cost of the vehicle: 10,53,786
Corporate Discount: 5,000
Insurance: ICICI Lombard. I didn't opt for insurance from dealer thereby I could save 6214/-
Loan Amount: 6,00,000 @ SBM 8% for the first year and 10% for the next 2 years.
Accessories provided by the dealer:
3M Sun film - SP35. Cost: 3,500, the dealer agreed to pay 2,500 from his side only.
A beautiful silver Ganesha idol
Accessories fitted outside:
Stanley Leather for Seat Covers, Door trims, Console box and Gear liver at Stanley, Mission Road.
Cost: 29,000. I have posted the pics in the Pictures section below.
Sales Consultant: Srinivas KB. A great guy, demonstrated great attitude and professionalism. I strongly recommend him.
Dealer found wanted: A follow up after customer visit

It's feedback time - I hope Honda is listening!

Kudos!
1. It's Gem of an engine. An engine so quiet and refined that it took a while for me to realize whether is off or on.
2. My word, how big is that boot - I don't need packers and movers the next time I shift my house.
3. Rear Legroom - I don't think the tallest of the homo sapiens has anything left to crib about.
4. I just can't stop falling in love with the ICE. Welcome to the CD/DVD less era.
5. Ride and Handling - This is a much needed improvement over the old Honda city. Thanks to stiffer suspension
6. Real-time Mileage Indicator - Well done Honda
7. Rear Seat Comfort - Best in the class
8. Great Steering Wheel - Feels like the CIVIC
9. Design - Best looking Sedan in the country
10. Fuel Efficiency - Again Best in class. I got a mileage of 20.3 KMPL in the highway. What more can you ask from a big car.
11. Exceptional build Quality - It's a Honda of course.
12. Safety - Standard across all variants! Great job Honda. Finally there is one automobile company who cares for the safety of Indians.
13. Alloy Wheels - 5 spoke alloys are just about perfect and easier to maintain as well.
14. Wide opening door - It's like laying a red carpet to the already welcoming interiors
15. It's a Honda! - The brand value has done wonders in India. It is such a pride car to own.

What did Honda miss?

1. Central Lock - auto lock after engine start and auto unlock after engine stop.
2. Roof light - add one in the front
3. Illumination of power window buttons - I found it so difficult to spot the buttons in the night.
4. Front suspension noise - Heard when hitting pot holes.
5. An option with telescopic steering
6. Foldable rear seats
7. Climate control is certainly a miss
8. Electrically foldable mirrors
9. A remote fuel lid release - Lot of the petrol bunk walas don't understand the push release mechanism. One has to get off the car to help open the lid.
10. Where is the light for the engine compartment
11. Sun glass holder
12. Factory fitted parking sensors - I think this should be standard across all variants
13. Adjustable centre console
14. Softer and better quality of Interior plastics
15. Rear 12V power outlet
16. A much more powerful headlights - Most Indian roads are not well lit.

Nice to have
1. An option to electrically raise the suspension - It would have been so nice to tackle those uneven roads and humps.
2. Desmondronic foldable key
3. High beam/low beam switch on the steering wheel - It is so convenient during night travel on highways

Pictures

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Last edited by Eddy : 2nd January 2010 at 13:42. Reason: Note Inline
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Old 2nd January 2010, 14:17   #2
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Congrats on your buy ! You are welcome on Board !!!

Your car look great and the setting is very nice ! Shimoga , i suppose with the betal trees around, Right !



Quote:
3M Sun film - SP35. Cost: 3,500, the dealer agreed to pay 2,500 from his side only.
When i bought mine, dealers wern't offering anything. You are lucky though !

Quote:
Stanley Leather for Seat Covers, Door trims, Console box and Gear liver at Stanley, Mission Road.
Your upholstery is great ! But you will have to spend time & maintain it.

Quote:
Sales Consultant: Srinivas KB. A great guy, demonstrated great attitude and professionalism. I strongly recommend him.
I fully agree with your opinion about the Magnum Honda guys.The guys in all the departments are good and very kind natured.

Quote:
1. It's Gem of an engine. An engine so quiet and refined that it took a while for me to realize whether is off or on.
Look at the rpm meter, when in doubts.
Quote:
I just can't stop falling in love with the ICE. Welcome to the CD/DVD less era.
I agree with you man ! Its the best in its class. No doubt about it whatsoever.

Quote:
Design - Best looking Sedan in the country
Furturistic, i would say.


Quote:
Fuel Efficiency - Again Best in class. I got a mileage of 20.3 KMPL in the highway. What more can you ask from a big car.
You may have to discount a little.


Quote:
Central Lock - auto lock after engine start and auto unlock after engine stop.
I did feel the necessity of this feature too.

Quote:
Front suspension noise - Heard when hitting pot holes.
This is news to me. I have not heard any such noise. I suggest you get it checked it immediately.
Quote:
Climate control is certainly a miss
I dont miss it in Bangalore.Though preferred.

Quote:
Electrically foldable mirrors
I did like it in my wife's i 20. I have been teased about it

Quote:
much more powerful headlights - Most Indian roads are not well lit
.

The manufacturers will not violate the governing rules. I have got it upgraded spending 1.2k.

Quote:
An option to electrically raise the suspension - It would have been so nice to tackle those uneven roads and humps.
It will be nice a feature, but will be expensive.

I wish you many many miles of happy and trouble free driving with your lovely lady!

keep posting !

Last edited by nandans2005 : 2nd January 2010 at 14:22.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 14:53   #3
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Quote:
Congrats on your buy ! You are welcome on Board !!!

Your car look great and the setting is very nice ! Shimoga , i suppose with the betal trees around, Right !
Thank you very much.
Yes the place is Shimoga, in my father-in-laws farm house. The trees are betal trees.

Quote:
When i bought mine, dealers wern't offering anything. You are lucky though !
With lot of pleading and begging I managed to get this deal. If you have seen the post by joecherian, he has managed to get insurance free on 1.5-VMT from Whitefield Honda guys.

Quote:
Your upholstery is great ! But you will have to spend time & maintain it.
Do you know any good Leather cleaning liquid?

Quote:
Fuel Efficiency - Again Best in class. I got a mileage of 20.3 KMPL in the highway. What more can you ask from a big car.
Well, that's wht the indicator said after the journey. Usually I would have needed 2k on petrol for my Santro before to travel Bangalore-Shimoga-Bangalore. Now I need to spend only 1500 on premium petrol.

Quote:
The manufacturers will not violate the governing rules. I have got it upgraded spending 1.2k.
Which one did you buy and where did you buy? Specifications please

Quote:
I wish you many many miles of happy and trouble free driving with your lovely lady!
Thanks a lot nandans2005 for all your comments and your wishes.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 15:17   #4
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Awesome report Jayanth. You have hardly left any points to mention! Cheers and ride safe.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 15:21   #5
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very good report, and that is a very nice elegant color for ANHC
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Old 2nd January 2010, 17:10   #6
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Thanks a lot karanraheja and rkbharat.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 18:10   #7
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Hey Jayanth,

Congratulations on your new car. It looks awesome. Take good car of her and drive safe, I'm sure she'll serve you for many years.

Cheers,
Laxminarayan
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Old 2nd January 2010, 18:33   #8
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3. Illumination of power window buttons - I found it so difficult to spot the buttons in the night.

Actually the drivers side window is marked auto visile also at night as well as the driver control button.

4. Front suspension noise - Heard when hitting pot holes.
Go and get your suspension checked ASAP.I have travelled over roads(,as well as no roads) with potholes as deep as 3 to 4 feet at its lowest point and there is simply NONOISE,It is as silent as the grave .

5. An option with telescopic steering
It is tilt and telescopic,read the manual..

6. Foldable rear seats
They are foldable too as i have read in the manual.

.9. A remote fuel lid release - Lot of the petrol bunk walas don't understand the push release mechanism. One has to get off the car to help open the lid.
That way they dont put diesel....

14. Softer and better quality of Interior plastics
.Please tell me the name of which sedan /hatchback you are comparing it to.........???


BTW,congrats on your car,may you enjoy many happy miles with it..........drive safely,the ivtec is addictive.....
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Old 2nd January 2010, 18:52   #9
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Hi Jayanth

Congratulations on your ANHC VMT. Your buying experience and ownership feedback is well written. I am sure it will help others who want to buy a C/C+ segment sedan. I also hope and wish that Honda guys are reading your feedabck.

I see that you have made your in-laws proud along with your wife and yourself. Keep it that way as much as possible.

keep posting your experience
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Old 2nd January 2010, 19:07   #10
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Jayanth,

Excellent review. Great attention to details.
This colour looks awesome for ANHC. In my opinion this is best colour for ANHC and second best is silver. I have been looking at buying car in price range of 8 to 10 lacs. But also have been very much tempted towards CIVIC(due its looks and performance) and at the same time in a dilemma whether it make sense to stretch the budget to 14 lacs.

But after seeing this review i feel ANHC is a good buy. It has got looks, good engine and very good FE.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 19:33   #11
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Hello Iamlegend,
Thanks for your wishes. I have replied to your comments inline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamlegend View Post
3. Illumination of power window buttons - I found it so difficult to spot the buttons in the night.

Actually the drivers side window is marked auto visile also at night as well as the driver control button.

[Jayanth]
That is correct, I would have prefered all the buttons including the passenger side power buttons also to be illuminated.

4. Front suspension noise - Heard when hitting pot holes.
Go and get your suspension checked ASAP.I have travelled over roads(,as well as no roads) with potholes as deep as 3 to 4 feet at its lowest point and there is simply NONOISE,It is as silent as the grave .

[Jayanth]
Yes. I will get this checked with the service centre.

5. An option with telescopic steering
It is tilt and telescopic,read the manual..

[Jayanth]
I just read the manual (Page 76) it says you can adjust the steering in or out, incidentally you can't do that. See the features in hondacarindia (link: :: Honda City ::) there is no option mentioned as telescopic. I probably assume that the manual which they provide is a generic one and not exclusive for Indian models. That is why they mention "In Some Models" in the manual.

6. Foldable rear seats
They are foldable too as i have read in the manual.
[Jayanth]
Again not available in the Indian model

.9. A remote fuel lid release - Lot of the petrol bunk walas don't understand the push release mechanism. One has to get off the car to help open the lid.
That way they dont put diesel....

14. Softer and better quality of Interior plastics
.Please tell me the name of which sedan /hatchback you are comparing it to.........???

[Jayanth]
The fabia certainly has a softer feel of plastic.

BTW,congrats on your car,may you enjoy many happy miles with it..........drive safely,the ivtec is addictive.....
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Old 2nd January 2010, 20:04   #12
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Congrats Jayanth. Welcome to ANHC family. Seems the count is getting more as day progresses. Regarding the deals you got, you would have got even better if you had waited for some more days so that you can capitalise on year end discounts. But then, if you was badly in need of a car , that is a different case. Anyways, car is a gem.Take good care of her and enjoy each and every moment.. I too am in the honeymoon period with my ANHC.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 20:46   #13
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too am in the honeymoon period with my ANHC.

Well said Joe cherian
.....Me tooo
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Old 2nd January 2010, 21:20   #14
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Congrats on the new buy. That gives me one view point on Magnum versus Whitefold Honda. Anybody else has more opinions on this aspect?

A few years back, when Magnum was not around, I was told that Whitefield guys were pretty rude and arrogant, as they were the only guys. With Magnum around, I thought Whitefield guys should have come to their senses.

Please note, these are views as I heard from others and not mine.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 21:23   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaves76 View Post
Jayanth,

Excellent review. Great attention to details.
This colour looks awesome for ANHC. In my opinion this is best colour for ANHC and second best is silver. I have been looking at buying car in price range of 8 to 10 lacs. But also have been very much tempted towards CIVIC(due its looks and performance) and at the same time in a dilemma whether it make sense to stretch the budget to 14 lacs.

But after seeing this review i feel ANHC is a good buy. It has got looks, good engine and very good FE.
Thanks Reaves76.
I liked this color because it is easier to maintain in Bangalore traffic menace and it's a safe color.

Well you have a tough decision to make between the ANHC and the CIVIC esp. when budget is not a constraint. It's really worth the extra money to sit inside the cockpit of the CIVIC. Having said that ANHC is a top seller.
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