Allow me to begin with a little background about this purchase. We have a humble Dec 2005 Hyundai Santro Xing XO. The hatchback has done 65000kms so far primarily because Ranchi is a small town and the car has been used mostly in the urban jungle. However it has been quite old now and the car had started showing its age. So there was a need to add another car in the garage, with more space and comfort than the Santro. The search began sometime in the year 2012. Primary Requirements:
1. Decent space and comfort levels.
2. Good driveability as the car will be used primarily by my parents.
3. My dad loves the gizmos so the car had to be adequately equipped.
4. My mom loved sedans and dad wanted a SUV, so that was a huge confusion.
5. Decent after sales and service, brand reputation and an authorized service center at Ranchi was a must.
The most sought-after car around that time was probably the Renault Duster. However, there was no Renault dealership in Ranchi and since it was fairly a new brand in India, we did not wanted to buy a car and risk its aftersales, specially when the nearest dealership was 430 kms away in Kolkata. Still, I went ahead and test drove the 85PS Duster Diesel in Kolkata from Renault Chowringhee.
The Duster had rave reviews about its ride quality in almost all automotive magazines and forums and yes the ride quality was indeed magical. Still not convinced, I test-drove the Duster again with fellow bhpians Avishar Dutta (avishar), Jagswroop Singh (jagrocks7) and moderator Suhaas Shenoy (suhaas307) from Renault Palace Orchards, Bangalore. Somehow I was convinced that the Duster was well worth the money, at that time a 85PS RXL(o) costed 9.99 lakhs ex-Delhi. The only issue was that Renault was not present in Ranchi. Constant mails to Renault India followed and they mentioned that they will be opening a dealership in Jamshedpur shortly by end Dec 2012 or early Jan 2013. We waited till April 2013 without evaluating any other car, but sadly the dealership at Jamshedpur was yet to be opened. So the Duster was ruled out of the contention.
Meanwhile the Amaze was launched. I took a couple of test-drives of the Amaze petrol and diesel from Basudeb Honda, Ranchi. Also evaluated the Swift Dzire but somehow these two did not hit the sweet spot. No Nissan and Renault showrooms in Ranchi meant the Sunny and Scala were also ruled out. We never considered the 3rd generation Honda City as it was in its last stage of production and a newer model would be out soon as a replacement.
We did not wanted to buy a Vento or a Linea because both the VW and Fiat dealerships’ reputation was not too good in town. Skoda has no dealership in Ranchi so Rapid was ruled out. Also we did not consider the Verna and the Fiesta as they both will be replaced soon with newer and better models. Moreover, we wanted to get something other than a Hyundai. There was nothing wrong with Hyundai’s after sales and the Santro had served us extremely well over all these years but still we wished to switch brands.
Among all this, we were waiting for the EcoSport launch with bated breath. The car could have been the perfect vehicle for the family. The EcoSport was launched soon and even after a month of its launch, it was yet to arrive in Ranchi. So me and my dad went all the way to Bhubaneswar and booked a Mars Red EcoSport ecoboost Titanium (o) on August 4th 2013 from Capital Ford, Bhubaneswar. We were promised that the car will be delivered in 12 weeks. In the meanwhile they offered us a silver car but we were not too keen on a silver EcoSport so we wanted to wait for the Mars Red one only. We were told that the car will be delivered sometime in mid-November. However that did not happen. We waited till November end and were told that our EcoSport will arrive in December end. Everytime we would call up the dealer he would argue and give weird explanations as to why the car was still at the stockyard. Frustrated, we almost thought of cancelling the EcoSport booking. The 2014 Honda City launch was just around the corner, so on 18th December, my dad booked a Golden Brown Metallic City CVT VX from Basudeb Honda, Ranchi.
We retained the EcoSport booking and thought we will pick up the EcoSport or City, whichever comes earlier.
In the meanwhile, we also evaluated the Terrano and the XUV500, even though we were not too keen on getting either of these. However the XUV500 was amazing. We almost thought of getting one, but then realized that since the car will be used only by my parents, it will be a tad too huge. We never needed 7 seats anyway. Fast Forward to January 7th:
The 2014 Honda City was launched, the variants were officially disclosed and the pricing was revealed. We confirmed our CVT booking as we thought the running won’t be more than 1000kms a month but we were told that the petrol variants will be available only by March second week. Later in the day I realized that the car will be used in highway jaunts as well for about 1500 kms a month and probably a diesel would be a better choice. So we scheduled a test drive of the new City the next day, i.e, January 8th.
The test drive proved that how easy and driveable was the new City Diesel, with absolutely zero turbo-lag. Several discussions later, we finalized a Crystal Black Pearl Honda City VX diesel. The SP at Basudeb Honda, Mr.Ibrahim Husaain promised us to deliver a black City VX-Diesel by January end. On January 13th my dad got a call from Mr.Ibrahim stating that a black City VX-D was available at the stockyard. He invited us to check the car. My parents saw the car and instantly fell in love with the black color on the City. The weird alloy wheels and that garish chrome grill did not look too bad on a black City. We were set to take delivery by 16th January. D-Day, January 14th:
The whole family went restless and decided to get the car today itself, instead of waiting till 16th. My dad inquired with Mr. Ibrahim if that was possible. Mr.Ibrahim instantly said yes and the car was brought to the showroom from the stockyard. All the paper work was done and we were handed the keys of the brand new City VX Diesel.
The dealership also arranged a small puja that was performed before the car was delivered. During the puja they learnt that it was my younger brother’s birthday today. They quickly arranged a birthday cake and celebrated the occasion, which was indeed very thoughtful. The breakup of the costs involved are: Ex-showroom:
Rs 11,29,499 Insurance:
Rs 39,541 Registration and Road Tax:
Rs 41,385 Road Side Assistance:
Rs 4,600 Extended Warranty:
Rs 11,800 Logistics and Anti Rust:
Rs 11,742 Total Cost Payable:
Rs 12,38,567 Accessories:
1. Carpet Floor Mats:
2. Honda Car cover:
3. Scuff Plates:
Rs 4,999 (Set of two illuminated front door scuff plates and two non-illuminated rear door scuff plates) Discounts:
15% dealer discount on accessories. So the mentioned three accessories were bought for Rs 7,095 instead of Rs 8,347. Freebies:
A box of chocolates and a few balloons in the car. Things I like about the City:
• Gives a premium feel. Feels bigger than most of its competitors.
• Lots of space and a huge boot. The rear seat is very comfy. Enormous amount of legroom and a comfortable squab makes it a comfortable place to be in.
• Decent levels of equipment. Electric ORVM’s, rear AC vents, electric sunroof, cruise control, touch screen AC controls, three power sockets, keyless entry and go, rear parking camera, push button start and stop, etc.
• The gearshifts are smooth and the driveability in town is excellent. Absolutely zero turbo-lag makes it effortless to drive in urban conditions.
• MID shows a fuel efficiency in the range of 16-17 kpl so far in the city and 19-20 kpl in the highway which is excellent IMO. Post first servicing, it is expected to increase further.
• The steering wheel feels great to use in town. It feels light and the maneuverability is excellent. Not sure how well it will weigh up in the highways. Things I don’t like about the City:
• Diesel clatter is very much evident. However I felt that it is slightly lower when compared to the Amaze diesel.
• Limited headroom for 6-foot tall passengers in the rear. I am more than 6 feet tall and I only find the front seats comfortable in almost all sedans. However the City's rear seat is excellent for most average height people.
• The levels of grip from the tyres are no Linea-class. Although it rides pretty decently, a fatter rubber might just make it better.
• The alloy wheel design is boring. Not to my liking. However my parents feel it is rather inoffensive.
• The dashboard is a little too high for my liking. Restricts frontward visibility to some extent.
• The beige leather interiors attract dust and stains. So proper care has to be taken to keep the interiors in top shape.
The delivery of the car happened in the evening so took only a few pics at the time of the delivery. Will upload more pics and write about the City’s road manners as we clock up the miles. Some pics during the delivery: LOOKS:
I was a bit apprehensive about the new City’s looks since I saw it first in Team-bhp as well as Autocar. I first saw a white City in flesh followed by a silver one and then a red one. None of these appealed to me. However I totally fell in love with the black City. Hook, line and sinker. The City looks stunning in black and it made heads turn wherever it went in the last 2 days. I am in love with those BMW-sque rear lights. Fog-lamps provide good visibility in foggy winter conditions Front three-quarter look Rear profile of the car. Note the raised body near the tail section Side profile shows a strong waistline curve along the body Front profile. The grill looks garish but still looks better in a black City IMO Honda=Reliability Front headlamps are well designed Another angle This City is an oil-burner The rear lamps look striking when illuminated A closer look at the tail lamps The alloy wheels don't compliment the looks of the car well The rakish front silhouette INTERIORS:
Interior quality is decent. Some hard plastics are there, but the beige leathers make it look premium. The front seats are quite comfortable. The rear seats have enormous legroom making it quite spacious. The boot space is huge too. The steering wheel looks fantastic and the dials look funky. I am not a fan of those neon blue lighting on the dials though. However the dials are very easy to read. Equipment levels are generous and has almost everything one can ask for in a sedan for the price. The dashboard of the City RIDE AND HANDLING:
The City rides pretty well. It handles decently too. However a fatter rubber would have been ideal. The levels of grips are good and the steering is light making it extremely useful in urban conditions. There has been no ground clearance issues so far either. An increased GC and suspension tweaks help to tackle speedbreakers pretty well PERFORMANCE:
When compared to a Verna 1.6 diesel, the City feels slightly slow. But it has a linear and seamless power delivery, no turbo-lag, making it very easy to drive in town. The City has good amount of torque and pulls pretty well at low rpm’s. The braking is great as well. The engine has a diesel clatter and some amount of road noise creeps in as well, but there are no vibrations as such. The engine bay Earth Dreams i-DTEC mill under the hood Note the sound insulation padding to minimize the diesel clatter FUEL EFFICIENCY:
I am yet to do a tankful method test but the MID has been indicating fuel efficiency figures ranging around 16-17 kpl in the city so far which in my opinion is excellent. The highest I achieved in the last two days was a staggering 20.1 kpl in the excellent four-laned ring road in Ranchi. MID indicating the time, fuel efficiency figure and outside temperature
Last but not the least, yes the car belongs to a BHPian.