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Old 13th February 2010, 17:11   #1
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Default Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home

Background:
I decided to switch to an automatic car around last quarter of 2009. Had a Hyundai Getz earlier. Reasons to go for the AT were pretty simple: Would help my wife to drive. Also, being from Bangalore, AT makes driving easy in the bumper to bumper traffic.

I had been working in North America from my company and had rented all kinds of cars for weekend drives there. Got the first feeling of automatic gear boxes from those vehicles. In NA, lane discipline and pedistrian crossings are much orderly and I felt people can manage without an AT. However, most of the cars are ATs there. In India, we have pathetic and chaotic traffic enviornment but most still many look only for a manual probably to save that additional 1 or 2 kmpl. Awareness is spreading and more and more people are realizing the benefits of an AT.

Since my current car was a hatchback, I prefered a sedan but willing to seriously consider hatchbacks as well. As usual, took multiple test drives of the auto variants of i10, i20, SX4 AT and City AT. Airbags and ABS were in the list of features that are a must. I spent lot of time in team-bhp website to know about the dealership and ownership experiences of various models.

Cars considered:

i10 AT: I have to admit it is a wonderful and practical city car. With ABS and airbags, the AT variant is 6.4L on road in Bangalore. Further, I have to upgrade the skinny tyres and buy alloy wheels from outside which would take the price to 6.6 to 6.7L range. My better half was sceptic about the space and comfort of the car to go for the long drives. We wanted to buy and keep a car for long so thought not to go for i10 considering that future requirements might not be served well by that car. At least in Bangalore, I have seen that requirements invariably outgrow what the current house and car can provide. i10 is a smaller car than our Getz and too went againt it.

i20 AT: Had all the bells and whistles which even high end sedans lack. Interior size including the boot were excatly the same as my Getz. It is a bit pricey at 8.76 on road for the AT version without the sun roof. It is the costliest hatchback in India as far as I know. The AT in i20 is basic 4 speed tranny. In fact, other than the Honda City all the other 3 cars mentioned here have basic 4 speed AT gear boxes. I finally decided to drop it because experience taught me that hyundai cars don't hold much resale value (probably Santros do). Also, Hyundai petrol cars are are a bit notorious for the fuel efficency as well.

SX4 AT: Being a Martuti, this was my choice till January when I decided to opt out of it. I was not happy about the 4 speed AT gear box coupled to the 1600 CC engine. Again, I was not sure about Suzuki's expertise in building AT gear boxes. As everyone knows, the previous AT models were not popular at all. As far as opinion in team-bhp goes, Suzuki is still struggling to make big cars successfully. Moreover, reviews in auto magazines and popular TV channels indicated that the AT tranny is strictly average. When I contacted Maruti dealers in Bangalore in Dec, I was told that the car will be available from Jan 2010 onwards. In Jan, I was told that the car will be delivered in April if I book in Jan and make the full down payment immediately. Contrary to straight thinking, it is not because SX4 ATs are in huge demand. In fact, they are hardly selling the ATs is what I know. I doubt if Maruti is trying to fix the initial gitches in the AT model. At least, one dealer indirectly indicated so to me. Even if Maruti had to manufacture the car after the confirmed book, it should not take that much time for delivery.

City AT: As popular wisdom goes, it is not a good idea to strech and buy a car as it is a depreciating asset. This car unfortunately was a bit out of my budget. I have to say that after driving all the above cars, this is the one which I liked the most. A terrific machine indeed !! AT gear box is very good too (doubt if it is same as Civic). It is a 5 speed tranny and also has the option to drive as a manual via the paddle shifter. I decided to go for it even if I have to strech a bit. Once I didn't want to regret my decision once I buy a car.

Buying experience:
Talked to Magnum and Whitefield Hondas in Bangalore. Employees of some companies like Infy, Wipro and TCS may get a corporate discount not from the dealer but from Honda. Bad luck that price of City had increased by another 5k in Jan again. Finally decided to go with Whitefield Honda at KR Puram as they are the nearest one from my home.

Sales guys:
Sales person whom I interacted is 'Deb' who is a nice, soft spoken guy devoid of usual hollow charm and gimmicks of a typical sales guy. I booked Alabaster silver on scond week of Jan and was promised the delivery by last week of Jan or by latest by first week of Feb. By first week of Feb, I was informed that the car had arrived. Went for a pre-delivery inspection along with my brother and noted the VIN and chassis no. Started the engine and noted down the total kms run as 5. Tyres were from Michelin. Looked for scratches and dents too. No scratches and going good so far. Incidentally, met Assitant General Manager Ramdas. He is one of the most interesting person whom me and my brother had interacted with. I recommend him as a must meet if you deal with Whitefield Honda regarding sales.

Finally delivery of the vehicle:
I decided to take the delivery in second week of Feb (Feb 12th precisely ) as it is Shivarthri and an auspicious day. I was given a slot at 2 pm in the afternoon and me, wife, kid and my brother reached there on time. I had the delivery checklist from team-bhp with me and requested Deb to go through item by item which he obliged to do. I had a Hyundai and my brother had a Maruti car earlier. I must say that buying a Honda is an entirely different experience when compared to those.When taking delivery of my Getz from Advaith Hyundai, Residency road Bangalore I was taken from showroom in Residency road to garage in Mission road by Advaith guys where I was made to wait till evening 5. It is 5 in the evening that I finally got the vehicle with accessories fitted. Not a pleasant experience definitely. That was in 2005 though. Contrast this with Honda, the car was ready with all accessories fitted by the time I was in the showroom. Deb was with me all the time till I drove out the vehicle unlike in Advaith where I didn't know whom should I talk to get matters expedited. Checked the vehicle for same VIN and chasis no. Kilometers run were noted again as 9 km. These days, it seems, the vehicles need not be taken to RTO office for registeration. Finished all formalities and paper work, distributed sweets and handed over a token gift to Deb. My son was offered a box of choclate by Whitefield Honda making him the happiest kid in town that day. Lemons were kept under the tyres to avoid 'dhristhti' and a small pooja was done in the showroom itself.

Wanted to enhance the security of the car, an I enquired Whitefiled Honda if I can do so without voiding warranty. I was told that gear lock is not required in AT as the gear selector will already be locked if car in parked position. Unfortunately, as per their advice, a security system too cannot be fitted as it will tamper with the immobiliser circuits Honda had provided. This will void the warranty. Immobliser provided by Honda will prevent theives from driving the car away but it will not raise an alarm if anybody breakes into the car

Finally On the road:
Deb saw us off and we drove to the nearest Shell petrol pump to fill fuel. Had a drive in the Sarjapur road and to a temple again in the evening. Fuel consumption indicator is showing a mileage as 9.8 kmpl in smaller roads and around 10.8 kmpl on wider roads like Outer ring road. Being an automatic, I am not expecting a mileage above 11 inside city.

Thanks for patiently reading my buying process and experience. Hope it will be useful for you. Have a great day.
Attached Thumbnails
Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home-06022010038.jpg  

Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home-06022010039.jpg  


Last edited by Dippy : 8th March 2010 at 17:57. Reason: Deleting pic on request
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Old 13th February 2010, 17:58   #2
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Ah! The review does justice to the great car made by Honda

Neatly written, but you didn't mention the price you paid for this beauty.

P.S : Need more pics, particularly of the dashboard.
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Old 13th February 2010, 18:15   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B103 View Post
In India, we have pathetic and chaotic traffic enviornment but most still many look only for a manual probably to save that additional 1 or 2 kmpl. Awareness is spreading and more and more people are realizing the benefits of an AT.
I was under the impression that AT's give better fuel economy as the engine provides uniform acceleration under controlled RPM's.

Atleast in the US, all manuals give slightly less economy compared to automatics.
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Old 13th February 2010, 18:26   #4
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Congratulations B103. Yeah, time to put in more details on the Price paid and the "deals" which you got. Also, let us know if you are planning any accessories on the vehicle.

I have also booked ANHC AT Alabaster Silver to be delivered on Feb 21st.

Happy driving.
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Old 13th February 2010, 20:49   #5
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Congrats B103 on you r prized possession.
So does Honda have any alarm system offered by the dealership that can be fitted without voiding warranty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by B103 View Post
Background:


Cars considered:

i10 AT: I have to admit it is a wonderful and practical city car. With ABS and airbags, the AT variant is 6.4L on road in Bangalore.

Wow, I paid just 5.65 in Kolkata. Thing sure are pricey down there!


i20 AT: ...... I finally decided to drop it because experience taught me that hyundai cars don't hold much resale value (probably Santros do). Also, Hyundai petrol cars are are a bit notorious for the fuel efficency as well.

Hangover from US perhaps?


Finally On the road:
Deb saw us off and we drove to the nearest Shell petrol pump to fill fuel. Had a drive in the Sarjapur road and to a temple again in the evening. Fuel consumption indicator is showing a mileage as 9.8 kmpl in smaller roads and around 10.8 kmpl on wider roads like Outer ring road. Being an automatic, I am not expecting a mileage above 11 inside city.

Nice mileage you are getting first up.

.
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Old 13th February 2010, 20:56   #6
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@blackasta

Hyundai feelings - i totally agree with you on the "Hangover from US". Another thing which i myself faced. Maybe time will tell.
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Old 13th February 2010, 22:34   #7
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Congratulations on your new City! I love this colour.
Get some tints like the ones shown. the car looks awesome with these.
Attached Thumbnails
Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home-honda_city_5th_gen_face.jpg  

Dream comes true -- Silver Honda City AT comes home-honda_city_5th_gen_tail.jpg  

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Old 13th February 2010, 22:49   #8
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Congrats on the City AT, its a beauty and indeed a dream car to own. Since your car is also silver, I'd be really interested in your car-seats once you do them. (or are they leather already?)

AFAIK, even Corolla Altis comes with a 4-speed AT, but would be much more refined than the SX4.
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Old 14th February 2010, 16:30   #9
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Thank you prateekm, hrmanju1, blackasta, sidindica and Fornax

Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
Ah! The review does justice to the great car made by Honda

Neatly written, but you didn't mention the price you paid for this beauty.

P.S : Need more pics, particularly of the dashboard.
Thanks Prateekm. In Bangalore, road tax+registeration amount is one of the higest in India which takes City AT to 11.54L on road. As far as I know, the same costs only 10.27L in Delhi. Reduce corporate discount of 15K from that and you get the on-road price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrmanju1 View Post
Congratulations B103. Yeah, time to put in more details on the Price paid and the "deals" which you got. Also, let us know if you are planning any accessories on the vehicle.

I have also booked ANHC AT Alabaster Silver to be delivered on Feb 21st.

Happy driving.
Thanks hrmanju. In the big ticket items, security system was one in my mind. Unfortunately, it looks to me I won't be able to fit it as Honda may void the warranty. That is what was told to me multiple times. Thought to check if Honda is giving any security system to know if they want me to buy theirs. Unfortunately they too don't sell a security system. I am not keen to spend money on leather seats as it is more of aesthetics than any functionality. Typre upgrade is an open point. May go if I get a decent price for the older tyres. So not decided yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fornax View Post
Congrats on the City AT, its a beauty and indeed a dream car to own. Since your car is also silver, I'd be really interested in your car-seats once you do them. (or are they leather already?)

AFAIK, even Corolla Altis comes with a 4-speed AT, but would be much more refined than the SX4.
Fornax, I am sorry to say that I don't have plans to do leather seats. By default, the car comes with velvet color fabric seats which matches well with the color of the door trims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Congrats B103 on you r prized possession.
So does Honda have any alarm system offered by the dealership that can be fitted without voiding warranty?
Thanks Sid. Car already has the immobilizer but it does no good to stop intrusion. Honda is not having a security system which can be bought and installed for additional security.

Another strange thing which I have noted is that the spare tyre which they give is not an alloy rim. Only 4 wheels are alloys.

Note from Mod - please use the multiquote option rather than a separate post for each quote

Last edited by ajmat : 14th February 2010 at 18:06.
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Old 14th February 2010, 19:16   #10
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Hey Biju, congrats on the city. Could check the TBHP only today afternoon as I was busy with normal weekend chores. Tried to call you but then couldn't make it.So how was the weekend drive ? Did you take her out on the highway ? Btb, regarding the security system, I talked to the Xenos guys. What they informed me is that they will not cut any factory made wirings but use only clips to make the connections and as per them, it shouldn't void warranty. But, then we don't know whether it is theis sales ploy. Anways,they offered me a reverse parking system (with the camera/display) and a basic security system for 5.5k. Am still to decide whether to go with this or not.

So, wishing you many more miles on the city. When is your next drive to Chry ?
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Old 14th February 2010, 19:52   #11
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congrats on the car. Looks good,share the pics of lemon under tyre here as well

How is it moving from Getz to City ? Driving, pickup, parking etc ?
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Old 14th February 2010, 21:19   #12
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congrats for your new car City AT, it is one of the best automatic available in our country right now

I have also one with the same colour and getting the same mileage as u mentioned best of luck pls write ur riding experience.
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Old 14th February 2010, 21:36   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B103 View Post

Another strange thing which I have noted is that the spare tyre which they give is not an alloy rim. Only 4 wheels are alloys.
Thats a pretty standard practice worldwide.
Cars with large alloys and fat tires regularly have a skinny doughnut as a spare.
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Old 15th February 2010, 10:52   #14
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OT

Quick question.

With a temporary registration board (without actual Number plate) - is it advisable to travel out of state? I am planning to go on a visit to AP.
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Old 15th February 2010, 11:54   #15
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Default Sequential shift mode

I tried the 'S' mode in the auto gear box today morning. It downshifts (say from 5 to 1) automatically when the vehicle's speed decreases. You can see the currently engaged gear in the dashboard. upshifts ( 1 -> 2 -> 3 etc) has to be done manually by the paddler. Release the foot from the accelerator and gently tap the right paddler and the display changes to reflect the new gear. Cool !!

'S' mode gives you best of both the worlds -- it is very close to an AT as you don't have to manually shift down quickly to avoid knocking. It resembles a manual box as you need to upshift only when you want like to get more pickup to overtake another vehicle. All that with little strain of a gentle tap of the paddler.

I am yet to use paddlers in 'D' mode. I guess in this mode, the engine will behave like the 'D' mode and upshifts too automatically if I paddler is not currently used.
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