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Old 10th May 2010, 23:35   #1
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Default Escape Velo'city' - Polished Metal Metallic V-AT (Quasar) joins Silver Streak, Shadow

There is little suspense in this story. The title tells you all about my latest acquisition. Well, almost all. There is drama and a few twists and turns before the happy ending (er, beginning).

Planning
I knew I wanted an automatic. I knew I was buying new (reasons beyond my control). Beyond that, I didn't know anything about my next car, except that I wasn't going to buy a Honda City. I still had Silver Streak (OHC'98). My folks had 2 - a NHC and a ANHC. My in-laws had an ANHC. My uncle, friend from across the street: you get the picture - right?

So I set out to find my new automatic transmission car.

Easier said than done! AT was a rare sight indeed in India. Not as rare as the Tiger - and not quite as precious, but rare in it's own right. I put down my needs/wants on a piece of paper:

1) Automatic - I think everyone got that.
2) Budget < 12L on-road in AP. Bye Bye Civic, Corolla, Laura, Jetta etc.
3) A.S.S (bye bye once again - Skoda)
4) Fun-To-Drive Factor - hmmm. Important. In fact, maybe I could stretch my budget for this factor by a little bit. Hello again - some previous contenders.
5) Ride Quality - Important. Definitely important.

Ok - I won't bore everyone with the details. Suffice to say that if I looked at my list, the only car that popped out was the City, so I decided I would test drive all the alternatives then come back and look at my list.

Test Driving List

AT Cars I wanted to test drive (bear with me linear thinkers, because here I am all over the map)

Hyundai i20: Looks nice, fits the price
SX4: Sedan, roomy, already happy with Shadow ('08 Swift), within budget. Who's the man?
Scorpio: I do have 2 big dogs, we could go to Vizag. Or something.
Laura: Ok. I lied about the A.S.S. I can't help it. I've always wanted a European car.

I didn't need to drive the City. I had driven every model since 1998, except the CVT.

Test Drive - Outcomes

i20 - AT not available to test drive. Delivery 2 months
Scorpio - AT not available to test drive. Delivery 2 months.
SX4 - AT not available to test drive. Delivery 1 month.
Laura - felt heavy and the turbo lag made it a pain in stop and go traffic.

I did drive the manual versions of these cars, but that's subject matter for other posts. AT was a non-negotiable want.

Decision Time
No brainer right? I didn't get to drive the competition, and the City fits the bill, except for my aversion to repetition. So the story winds to its inevitable conclusion and I make my way down to the dealer ... but wait. What do we see here? A late entrant to Indian Car Idol. A vehicle par excellence. A drive that makes you want to scream in ecstasy. An engine and an auto transmission, perfectly mated. Packed to the gills with gizmos and gadgets. And a Sunroof on top of all that (pardon the pun).

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Chevy Cruze. I LOVED the drive. This was the spoiler, the little twist that can take a Yash Raj movie and convert it into a Hitchcock thriller. It was WAY over my budget. I was in over my head. Giddy like a schoolboy with a crush on the teacher. So close, yet so unattainable. I tried to work the numbers. I tried to rework the numbers. But I just couldn't reach the 16L OTR price in AP. What kept holding me back was the less than comfortable back seat. This was a family car and to stretch my budget that far out, I needed all that a car can give. If I was a bachelor, or still without kids, I would have gone for it though. sigh.

So head prevailed and I gave up the Cruze (for now) to bring home - Quasar.

Initial Report

I've done less than 200km in this Honda City, but I'll list out my likes/dislikes about it based on overall experience with all the different ANHC variants I've driven over the last 6 months.

Likes:
+ 5 speed box with paddle shifters
+ the 2 tweeters on the V. This might be because I'm coming from a Swift, but the stock ICE sounded pretty good and had quite good pick up.
+ Looks. I really like the Arrow Shot form of the City. It has a "moving while still" effect.
+ Color: Definitely like the PMM. The Maroon was a close second.
+ Comfort: nice and comfy seats, super quiet cabin.
+ No clutch.

Dislikes:
- Price. It's overpriced. Period.
- No discs at the back.
- No rear AC ducts.
- No Auto Climate Control. My Swift has it.
- No CD player. My Swift has it.
- No auto-locking. My Swift has it.
- Everyone else has one.

Probably have more when I drive my own car everyday. This was just a quick list.

Thanks to all the folks at T-BHP. Researched the heck out of cars and went through all the posts on automatic cars here. Went to the dealer with a pre-delivery checklist from here. Insisted on an inspection before payment and registration. This forum helped me find what I want, narrow down my choices, figure out what was important to me when making the decision, and be a overall well informed, prepared buyer. Tbhp Rules!
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Old 11th May 2010, 00:26   #2
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Very well written ! Congrats.

Doesn't the Verna come with an Auto option nowadays?
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Old 11th May 2010, 07:34   #3
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Very well written ! Congrats.

Doesn't the Verna come with an Auto option nowadays?
Thanks .

Good catch. It does - but no airbags, not even as an option. The way manufacturers skimp on stuff is insane imho. Give me the safety equipment and keep your alloys, chrome, ICE, leather which are better after market anyway in most cases.

Congrats to you too on your Honda Civic. It looks great in White.
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Old 11th May 2010, 11:46   #4
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Congrats foodie. ANHC is definately a good choice. But this thread is still missing something..... oh yes pics..pics..pics Also can you please brief abouts discounts and freebies.
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Old 11th May 2010, 12:49   #5
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Congrats foodie. ANHC is definately a good choice. But this thread is still missing something..... oh yes pics..pics..pics Also can you please brief abouts discounts and freebies.
Thanks. Pics are coming. Haven't had time during the day due to work.

Discounts/Freebies - are you kidding? It's a Honda - you should be kissing the ground reverently that you have been chosen to own this magnificent piece of machinery. Thats usually the dealer attitude

10K Corporate Discount. 20% off on sunfilm. The quotes are reasonable - comparable to the prices being quoted on other threads at tbhp. 25% off on Honda Assure. Tires are Michelin so I didn't have to ask for them. There isn't much else I plan to do to the car anyway.

If I can get out when there is still daylight I'll do pics and post them tonight.
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Old 11th May 2010, 13:14   #6
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Originally Posted by foodie View Post
T

Discounts/Freebies - are you kidding? It's a Honda - you should be kissing the ground reverently that you have been chosen to own this magnificent piece of machinery. Thats usually the dealer attitude
LOL!

Congrats on the new purchase. AT is a boon in Hyderabad traffic which moves inch by inch during peak hours.
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