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Old 18th September 2010, 18:06   #1
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Default My Japanese Doll : Habanero Red Honda City S-MT

hi folks.. thought I'd post my experience with my new red honda city 1.5 SMT..

we've previously owned 800, alto, zen and corsa.. so this is the first sedan..

before i begin the review, i'd like to share something that we came across while we were in the showroom deciding on the car.. we'd really liked the red colour..but the salesman pointed to us that since we live in NCR where temperatures soar in the summer, a darker shade would absorb more heat and hence the a/c wouldn't be effective..also, he was pushing us to buy VMT and showed us carrots by giving 10-20k off on the VMT.. (the diff betn SMT and VMT is some 50k and VMT has alloy wheels, chrome handles, reverse parking sensor and fog lamps extra).. finally when we persisted with SMT red, he said it wasn't available and would take a few weeks.. so, i think the red SMT variant is hugely popular (agreeably the red colour looks smashing and SMT has all the necessary features) and probably there is a gap in supply-demand so dealers are citing some offers and problems to lure customers to other variants.. so, in case any of you are planning to buy a City, be cautious..

coming to the car.. i'd list my opinion in the form of the up and down sides..

the positives :
- i think this version of City looks the most stylish with an attractive chasis shape and tail and head lamps..
- the beige tone interiors really go well with the car.. n with a red body colour, its a treat to watch..
- the power steering is very effective.. the steering is quite smooth so handling is easy..
- the steering wheel itself is very classy.. and the quick buttons for the music player make controlling the player easy while driving..
- the a/c is powerful.. at a temp of say 35 deg, a fan speed of 1 will be sufficient for 2 people after a while..
- the console is attractive, more so with the orange instrument backlight..
- the fuel consumption bar is quite handy, you know the fuel consumption instantly..
- the steering column is adjustable so for short or tall people, it doesn't put much strain on the shoulders..
- the acceleration is pretty impressive.. it is not significantly hampered with 3 people in the car n a/c at speed 2..
- the gear box and brakes are smooth as of now..
- a large boot space..
- a 5V electrical point is factory-provided just below the a/c controls.. so u don't have to get it done later and mess around with the wiring..

we have the reverse parking sensor fitted so backing up is not much of a problem..

what hasn't impressed me :

- the horn.. it sounds like a mouse! i just can't understand what went wrong there..
- i am 5 10..yet, i cannot see the tip of the front bumper on either corners.. so can be a slight problem for short people..
- no engine cover.. the opel corsa i have has a thick rubber sheet that covers the entire engine (ie the area under the bonnet).. this helps is keeping out dust and water being splashed onto the engine while driving.. the engine in City is covered for a small patch on the left and right sides, leaving the centre exposed..
- no temperature gauge.. i don't know if theres a reason for it, but there is no temp. guage in the console.. so, if something goes wrong with the coolant, the engine might just keep getting heated and you'd realize a l'il too late.. however, it does have an icon for the engine not reaching an appropriate operating temp..
- having driven corsa, one of the sturdiest cars of that segment, i don't find City that robust.. the tyre thickness is also 1 ply less than that of corsa..

everything said and done, i think the City is a pleasure to drive.. so if you are thinking about one, get one!
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Old 21st September 2010, 11:50   #2
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Great review, i just got my ANHC 2 weeks back and I agree with everything you say! The horn does rather sound like a mouse wheezing and gasping away..hehe.

I'd like to add that the lack of auto lock and auto open central locking is a bit annoying.

.... I think you should move your thread to 'test drive and initial ownership reports'. You're going to get more visibility that way.

Welcome to T-bhp!
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Old 21st September 2010, 14:47   #3
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thanks!

mentioning what you pointed out somehow slipped my mind while writing the review..

most cars these days either have a the electronic central locking as a freebie on delivery or people get it fitted, so its become a habit not to worry about locking the doors once you sit inside the vehicle.. they should have come up with something to solve this..

just like they have an alarm for the driver seat belt not in place, they could have an auto doors-lock once they engine has started..

also, one more thing I like about this model is.. they have separate bumper prototypes for SMT and VMT.. VMT comes with fog lamps so the bumper has the provision.. SMT does not come with it, so even the provision aint there.. I find this good coz more often than not, the plastic cover in place of the fog lamps in cars not provided with them is of poor quality and gets damaged easily..
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Old 21st September 2010, 15:15   #4
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Oh, the bumper bit is news to me. That's really good, actually. I hate the fact that they peel away the plastic with a knife when installing fog lamps in lower model cars.

why not post some pics?
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Old 21st September 2010, 15:23   #5
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I had selected 10 pictures, each at a significant point during the trip, but 8 were more than 1 MB.
I will crop them and change their format tonight and post them.

The bumper thing just struck me when I saw a VMT during my trip home. And yes, having a hatch for fog lamps but covering it with a plastic mould looks cheap! I am so glad they have a diff. bumper altogether.

I was wondering, does the reverse parking sensor come in each body colour? Coz I have seen a few green and grey Citys with black sensors. They kinda look odd.
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Old 21st September 2010, 15:28   #6
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Congrats on your new ride.

The horn sounding like a mouse. My wife had the same complaint with our Civic, until she heard the horn standing outside the car. It is the insulation which reduces the outside sound.

As for corners not being visible it is pretty common with modern shapes. The first beast I met with this problem - M800 in 1987. The old FIAT 800 had spoilt us.

You have audio controls on the steering. The Civic does not! Temperature gauges started going awol as early in the mid 1970's, The Alfasud had a light which came on until the engine warmed up and again when it tried to overheat.
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Old 21st September 2010, 15:37   #7
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The Civic does not have audio controls?! Well, even the basic model of City i.e. EMT does not have it, only SMT and VMT do.

I had a look at a Civic in the showroom, it did have audio controls on the steering; guess they have started incorporating it in the newer models.

I just remembered, can anyone explain the concept of dual horn?! I tried various things like, honking and simultaneously pressing and then releasing the clutch to reason out the dual horn system; even tried that with brakes and accelerator but just can't understand what triggers the duality of the horn.
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Old 21st September 2010, 16:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
what hasn't impressed me :
- the horn.. it sounds like a mouse! i just can't understand what went wrong there..
- no temperature gauge.. i don't know if theres a reason for it, but there is no temp. guage in the console.. so, if something goes wrong with the coolant, the engine might just keep getting heated and you'd realize a l'il too late.. however, it does have an icon for the engine not reaching an appropriate operating temp..
Welcome to ANHC club.

I have heard few ANHC horns being horrible, but It doesn't on mine. Check it with SA, I feel one of the dual horn might have gone faulty. Having said that, we already have some discussions on BESURA horn (you would hear some qweek noise if the horn is pressed for longer duration). This is annoying sometimes.

For temperature guage, we have indicator for the same it appears if the engine is cool (blue) and once it's at normal temperature turns off. I think if we really have an overheating temperature it would lit itself.

Drive safe and have fun.

Cheers
Raghu
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Old 21st September 2010, 16:35   #9
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@ sgiitk..

I'm quite surprised that the Civic does not have audio controls on the steering! I check a Civic at the showroom, it did have them. Probably, they have started incorporating it in the recent models.

I'd like to ask you, how different is driving a AT in the sense of pickup, smoothness during acceleration and braking w.r.t. a MT?

Also, given the fact that you can't manually control the gears in AT, has it impacted the fuel efficiency?

@ Raghu.. I doubt something could be faulty since every City I have come across has this sound! In fact, the moment I hear it, I am SURE it is a City without looking at it!

About the dual horn, I really when the dual horn is activated or what purpose it serves. I tried several things like pressing the horn and simultaneously pressing and releasing the brake; tried that with the clutch and accelerator too but the horn seems to have a mind of its own! I can't reason it out somehow!
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Old 21st September 2010, 17:13   #10
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Congratulations on your new acquistion.

The instant fuel bar graph can be distracting initially (as one will be bit conerned when the bar graph goes down).
FE of ANHC to some extent depends on driving style. You can check other owner's thread to find out how to extract maximum milage out of your car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
we'd really liked the red colour..but the salesman pointed to us that since we live in NCR where temperatures soar in the summer, a darker shade would absorb more heat and hence the a/c wouldn't be effective
Just wanted to know, your location shows Bangalore and you have indicated about NCR.
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Old 21st September 2010, 17:19   #11
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@ ram..

I'm not quite worried about the mileage since I am getting 17+ km/l

But yea, the indicator can get distracting since you keep expecting the bar to slide more towards the right and try to change the driving style!

About my location, I am presently working in Bangalore while my family stays in Gurgaon. Hence, the two places!
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Old 21st September 2010, 17:30   #12
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Hi
Congratulations on your ANHC.
wish you many many thousand safe miles with your new car.

Quote:
- the horn.. it sounds like a mouse! i just can't understand what went wrong there..
we are all used to hearing illegally modified deaffening horns all our life.
more over not used to good noise isolation. so the horn sounds less dB.
Actully it is in line with the legally allowed decibels (atleast in my ANHC)

Quote:
- i am 5 10..yet, i cannot see the tip of the front bumper on either corners.. so can be a slight problem for short people..
have you tried the seat height increase feature, you can set it to the highest position and tryout.

Quote:
- no engine cover.. the opel corsa i have has a thick rubber sheet that covers the entire engine (ie the area under the bonnet).. this helps is keeping out dust and water being splashed onto the engine while driving.. the engine in City is covered for a small patch on the left and right sides, leaving the centre exposed..
there are lot of things which ANHC has but corsa doesnot, they are generations apart. do not worry about this. i have used my ANHC last 16 months, driven them in heavy rains, dusty environments, enginebay is still clean, only twice i have got it cleaned till now, that too with water jet, it is very safe.

Quote:
- no temperature gauge.. i don't know if theres a reason for it, but there is no temp. guage in the console.. so, if something goes wrong with the coolant, the engine might just keep getting heated and you'd realize a l'il too late.. however, it does have an icon for the engine not reaching an appropriate operating temp..
There is a temp indicator, it glows when it is needed. i have read about it in the user manual.

Quote:
- having driven corsa, one of the sturdiest cars of that segment, i don't find City that robust.. the tyre thickness is also 1 ply less than that of corsa..
you are comparing german build with Japanese build. which is like comparing apples with oranges and trying find which one is harder to squeeze. both come in their own complete package including positives and not so positive things.

Quote:
I'm not quite worried about the mileage since I am getting 17+ km/l
there is an error of approx 1.0 to 1.8 KMPL in the indicator Vs actual. to arrive at the right FE, please use 3-4 tankfuls without resetting the trip meter. you will get the reading which is closer to the actual FE.


now having chosen the ANHC, enjoy it to the fullest, do not worry much about small things.

Drive Safe, Have fun.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 21st September 2010 at 17:39.
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Old 21st September 2010, 17:58   #13
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@ starvegabond..

As such I do not have a problem with the tip of the bonnet, I was saying short people could have a problem in judging it..

Any insight on how the dual horn works and its purpose?
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Old 21st September 2010, 18:23   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
@ starvegabond..

Any insight on how the dual horn works and its purpose?
Several years ago i used to know three companies ROOTS in Comibatore and HELLA from germany (having a factory near Jaipur i think), Weiler from germany (factory near pune).

All of them are known for their horns in the respective domains. ROOTS for multi tone horns and HEELA is a reputed Automobile horn supplier and Weiler a reputed Piezo horn supplier

in case of dual/multi tone the excitation (or drive) is changed to make the horn coil or piezo resonate at a different frequency in turn making different sound.

Purpose of dual/multitone horn is to to make a different sort of signal.
A higher pitched tone is probably used for Highways/Ghats and a regular lower pitched one for the cities.

i am not aware of the horn technology used these days. i am out of touch with all three companies at least since 5-8 years.
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Old 21st September 2010, 18:32   #15
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I'm not sure the purpose could be what you mention in this case.

The tone changes albeit very slightly in tone at no apparent trigger. You are driving and sometimes right in the middle of your honking, it changes its tone!

Your explanation about dual horn makes sense if there are different buttons for the dual horn. Else, how would the horn differentiate between being in ghats or city.
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