Our silver Honda city V MT came home this week, pretty excited to take it for a drive when I will be home for Diwali :)
There have been so many Honda City reviews on this forum and elsewhere that it seems superfluous to post another one. However, readers may forgive me. I did post one ownership review in March 2007 for Corolla AT. See here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...8-000-kms.html
At that time, I was new to the forum and the forum itself in my opinion was less than 10% (in terms of members, posts, threads and everything else) of what it is now. So if nothing else, because of perhaps being amongst the first 10-15% of existing members, I may be forgiven for posting another review of the City. Why Buy and What to Buy
Following my purchase of Corolla AT in 3/2007, I bought an Etios VX Petrol for my wife in end April 2012. However, that car was sold recently with 9100 km on the odo primarily because of the desire for an AT and nothing else. My wife and I frequently interchange our cars (Etios manual and Corolla AT) and as she has to sometimes go for long drives to hospital/family, an AT seemed ideal for her. Regarding fuel type, I have never bought a diesel car, and I am not about too. Maybe I will buy a diesel car sometime in the future but that would only be in a higher segment (20 lakh+). As of now, only petrol for me.
After my experience with Toyota (2007-continuing), and my brother's experience with Honda (2008-continuing), a petrol AT meant only 2 cars to be considered on a serious note- City AT and Corolla AT. Corolla seemed too overpriced but it was definitely in with a good chance. I had also considered a Jazz (by early June 2015, there were enough confirmed indications about the petrol engine which was 1.2 l). I have driven a 1.2 Liva (when I bought the 1.5 Etios) and I found it underwhelming. I felt that Jazz may not be much better even with pumped up performance figures. Secondly, why downgrade from a 1.5 l sedan to a 1.2 l hatch.
My eventual purchase of a new car started on a half serious note from around early June 2015. My wife (and me) were extremely happy with the Etios and in fact had spent some minor amount (5,000) recently on some paint job. After that, I thought why not post a sale ad for Etios and see if I could get a buyer and at the same time be comfortable with the EMI involved in buying a City/Corolla. I was only interested in brand new, top end models for both cars and and the OTR price and interest rate that I got was as follows:
City: 13.25 lakh OTR for Silver VX AT (car, 0% dep insurance, registration etc, 2+2 years warranty, mats); 10% interest; EMI for 5 years
Corolla: 19.8 lakh approx for Silver VL AT (after final discount offer of 36K). The price included 0% dep insurance, registration. Free (nothing is free actually) stuff included 3 years free maintenance and mats. Interest rate was 10% and I was offered loan tenure of 7 years.
Overall, with the expected down payment that I expected to make, City had an EMI of 19K for 5 years. EMI payable on Corolla was around 26K for 7 years. Clearly an overstretch but definitely worth it if I could like the Corolla.
Although for the price of a City (13.25 lakh), I could have easily bought a higher specification second hand car, I did not seriously go though with it. I am not technically qualified to evaluate a second hand car and I considered it too much of a time consuming job (good second hand cars do not land up at our doorsteps). Most importantly, why give my wife a second hand car (either my old Corolla or a new second hand car).
The sale ad was posted in early June 2015 and at the same time, I talked to my old friend in Honda (who had sold me the Corolla in 2007) about ready availability of City VX AT. He said that there was nothing available till July/August 2015 and definitely not in the colour I wanted (Silver). That basically discouraged me for selling the Etios (the buyer would require 1-7 days delivery) and my wife would thus have no personal transport for a month or more. The idea of a new car however stayed with me. In the meanwhile, I was getting buyers for Etios some of whom were from car OEMs. This pushed me towards enquiring about the City from around 22nd June 2015. So I initiated the process of buying a City/Corolla from about 23rd June 2015. Delivery Process
June 23, 2015 : On the afternoon of 23rd June 2015, I started calling up Honda dealers in Delhi NCR. I stay in East Delhi and started calling dealers in Central/East/South Delhi and Noida/Ghaziabad. Within 30 minutes, three dealers told me that they had my choice of Honda City (Silver VX AT) in stock. They were Prime, (Vaishali), Ring Road (CP/North Delhi), and ACE (Honda). Prime Vaishali is of course among the oldest Honda dealers in NCR and I remember taking delivery of my boss' City in April 1998. I arranged immediately for them to contact me. I also called up Uttam Toyota and asked for a TD of Corolla. At 430 pm, the person from Ace landed up in my office, listed the price, and I asked him for a TD which he promised on 24th June. On reaching home, the Prime guy was waiting with the City AT, and I took a TD. That ended the proceedings for 23rd June.
June 24, 2015: Ring Road Honda dealer backed out of meeting me on the day citing rains. It was more a drizzle and I think he had second thoughts on driving 35+ km to my office for a TD/potential sale. At 11 AM, Toyota dealer turned up and I discussed pricing and discounts for Corolla (30K offered upfront for Corolla V CVT, 3.85 lakh for Etios, 10% interest). I was strongly inclined towards the Corolla because of my excellent and continuing experience with my 2007 Corolla. At around 1 PM, ACE also turned up and I took another TD of the City AT. The ACE person offered no discounts but promised immediate delivery (June 26-28, 2015). ACE also valued the Etios at 3.95 lakh. I gave him a booking cheque and loan approval papers with the verbal agreement that I would look around for 24 hours (which was to get the offers from Prime Honda and Uttam Toyota) and confirm booking by lunch on June 25, 2015. In the evening, Prime also turned up for final negotiations. They offered no discounts, 3.85 lakh for Etios, and delivery by June 28-30, 2015. They would not give higher on Etios and so the negotiations stalled and the process ended for the day.
June 25, 2015: Uttam Toyota came at 11AM with Corolla for TD. Although I immediately felt at home in the Corolla, I simply did not like the dashboard on the car. I could have stretched my budget for the Corolla (20+ versus 13.2 for City), but I could not imagine living for 10 years (expected holding period) with a dashboard that was not at all to my liking. Uttam also raised the discount from 30K to 36K on both G and V CVT, and offered 3 year free service. However, they would not pay more than 3.85 for Etios. So out went the Corolla, and now it was ACE and City for me. I called the ACE dealer immediately. By 3 PM, he was in my office. The loan had been approved by now. We immediately went to HDFC Bank and closed out my loan for Etios. The deal with ACE was financing with the balance to be paid as follows: cash and handing over the Etios to them on receipt of my new car. When he left, we had an understanding that I would now get the car on the next day (June 26, 2015) at around 2 PM.
June 26, 2015 (Friday): Called ACE in the morning and the sales executive confirmed delivery at 1.30 pm. So I left office at around 1.15 pm, picked up my wife and son from home at 1.30 pm (home to office is 9 km), and reached ACE at 2 p.m. As promised the car was ready, and after the usual new car theatrics and hoopla, I was out of the dealership at 3 pm in possession of course of a new City VX Silver AT. When I took possession of the car, it had 2.5 km on the odo. I found the sales executive who dealt with me to of pleasant personality, quite competent, and most important, to be true to his word. The whole process from calling the dealer (June 23, 2015 3 pm) to delivery (June 26, 2015 3 pm) took around 72 hours. Guess we were lucky to be in NCR. On taking delivery, I drove the car to Sector 16 NOIDA market and got the tyres upgraded to Bridgestone Turanza AR20 195/60 R15. I got all the 5 tyres changed and this cost me a net amount of Rs. 11,500. By 5.30 pm, I had got the fuel tank full and was back home.
Total cost on road was 13.25 lakh approx. and included car, insurance (0% dep), registration, extended warranty, and floor mats. More or less. Initial Driving Experience
My initial impressions of the City AT:
Disclaimer: The car is new, the engine is not run, and performance should hopefully improve with time.
An improvement over the Etios (features, comfort) and Corolla (features). However, even after driving the City for a week, I find Corolla to be much more responsive. I would put City above Corolla for the features and freshness. For everything else that matters to me—pickup, performance, ease of driving, seating comfort, road noise, and handling potholes—Corolla 2007 is a step up. Maybe things will change as the City’s engine runs in, but I distinctly remember Corolla to be at peak performance from the get go. Etios took some time to run in, but after that, it was a peach to drive. I am however confident of the City and consider it to be a good investment for 10+ years. Our total driving is 9,000 km per annum for all cars and so City at 10 years should be around 35-40,000 km. My Corolla is around 78,000 km and in 5+ years (when I expect to sell it), it should still be shy of 100,000 km.
Regarding features, of course 13.25 lakh will not get me a BMW (my first and only choice for a Euro Luxury car) or even a Corolla/Camry/Accord (my choice for a non-Euro car), there are clearly some features missing which could have been there on a 13+ lakh car. These would include auto headlight, rear wiper, better storage. No complaints though at all on the overall package. Totally pleased with what my wife can now expect to drive. She also drives the Corolla and so both the cars can be used by both of us.
The bhp and torque figures for City are somewhat optimistic and may have no relation to what it delivers. The difference with Corolla in bhp is 7-8 bhp and torque is 14.5 for City and 17 for Corolla, but the numbers simply do lie. I can feel that the 1.8 litre engine of Corolla is doing less work than the City. Both can go from 40 kmph to 70 kmph in a jiffy, but the Corolla’s engine literally and technically works less to achieve this. Just press the Corolla’s pedal and you are there. With the City, it gets there perhaps as fast but the engine lets you know that it has put in some effort and makes a celebratory noise on its way to the target. The lag between input and final output is much lower in Corolla. Of course, again no complaints, as the car is for my wife who drives sedately and 60-80 kmph would be her top driving speed. Even I do not exceed 90-100 kmph under any circumstance in the city. So, no issues at all regarding the City’s pickup.
It is true that the newness of the car should predispose any conservative owner to drive sedately and carefully in the initial months. However, I think the City is not to be driven hard and narrow. This is even more true during the monsoon season when most of our roads develop potholes. On most potholes, the City even with wider tyres can take some time to regain its poise.
FE is around 8.9-9.1 as of now, but hopefully should improve as the engine runs and the Delhi weather turns for the better. Again with 300 km/month of driving, not much of a bother.
I have difficulty in understanding Honda’s service schedule of 6 months/5000 km. All my 3 prior cars (the 1990s-vintage Corsa, 2007 Corolla, and 2012 Etios) required service every 10,000 km. Clearly, Honda must be loving their customers more than Toyota. At least, they have an eye on the customers’ wallet. Given that for me, months matter more than km, my City will have to meet the service schedule for at least 4 years till warranty. Any adice on how people manage to extend grace period would be welcome. That is, how much of delay is safe so as to not get into warranty disputes. What I Like and Do not Like about the City
This is a bit tough considering that I bought the City under no coercion and clearly knew what I would get from brochures, reviews here and elsewhere, my brothers' experience, and of course. More importantly, there is not a lot that causes me distress or dissatisfaction. From what I paid, I could not expect substantially more and what mattered was whether it was worth it. In one word: definitely.
Regarding what I want in a car are: reasonably fast pickup, fit and finish, and low ambient noise (road, tyres, engine, etc). Rear seat comfort is important but not too much since our cars are self-driven and we have a small family (wife, son, and mother). With that in mind, here is what I liked in the City: Likes
1. Noise: definitely a lot more silent than the 2003-08 City which I drove in 2007. I would go so far to say that NVH is quite comparable to my 2007 Corolla, and so on this aspect, absolutely pleased.
2. Seating: definitely firm seats but for a short person like me (163 cm), the City seats offer a better view than the Corolla/Etios. In both the Toyotas, we used a small cushion to get a better view. In the City, although that is now not required, but we still use it.
3. Performance: as noted, the power/torque figures seem to have some disconnect with what a person can expect in real time. Definitely perky, but I think the City AT calls for a more sedate style of driving. Going from 30 kmph to 80 kmph in a jiffy is out, and so is quick overtaking. As this is not our style anyway, so no complaints here.
4. Transmission: Some people do complain about the AT/CVT. However, from memory, my new City CVT had far lesser rubber-band effect and jerks than the 2007 Corolla when new. Even in absolute terms, I do not perceive much of this in the new City. It did not matter much in the Corolla then, it went out quickly enough then, and it is far less or non-existent in the City.
5. Leather Seats: look good but I seriously do not know why Honda keeps on persisting with the bright yellow colour for their interiors (trims, seats, leather). In fact, I would say that I liked the Mobilio leather pattern/texture better. On an absolute note however, the leather does not look bad.
6. Fit and Finish: Nothing to complain here. Although my old car Etios was roundly criticised for the interiors, I found them of good quality and more importantly, well put together. City's fit and finish is of course a step up. Sources of Grumbles
There is not much I can complain about considering what I paid. Of course, nothing is perfect and so some minor grumbles:
1. There were some features that could have not cost much and were definitely expected in a 13+ lakh car. These include auto headlamps, side door protection, sunshade on rear view, etc. No alloys in spare wheel is a big shame.
2. Some fittings are somewhat out of place (eg fuel tank and boot opener) or of not much use (the compartment between the seats which is very small and shallow, the phone storage hole, etc)
3. As noted, I simply cannot fathom why Honda insists on a 6 month service schedule except to make more money from a captive customer.
4. Although NVH is quite excellent, the car does take some time to recover its poise after being through potholes. Perhaps an old Honda problem.
My wife does not need a car to remain contented. As for me, I am extremely happy with my choice of car.
I do however wish that I had liked the Corolla’s dashboard. I could have then lived with paying 7+ lakh more for the Corolla. Maybe next time.
I am facing a new issue while connecting my iPhone through Bluetooth to car's stereo system for playing music. I have used this feature regularly since last one year.
Recently, I upgraded my phone's software with the latest iOS update. An important part of this update was Apple's new Music app, which replaced the earlier version in phone.
Since then I don't see bluetooth option when toggling through music sources in car. At the same time, however, I can still make and receive calls from car's handsfree (means there is no issue with connectivity).
Anyone else facing same problem? Or any advice how to resolve this?
Gave my iVTEC SV MT for its 1 year service. An year is gone and I am quite happy with the car.
Total distance driven: 7634
Fuel Used: 665.6 liters
Petrol Cost: 46,558 INR (Cumulative total, I took the pain of logging all the actual fuel costs during the last one year. The prices varied from a low of 62.85 in Feb to a high of 80.68 in July last year)
Average Mileage: 11.47(60% of the drive was in Bangalore City.)
Maintenance: 1399 (6th month service - Oil change was the biggest component)
Insurance renewal was done at the showroom, 22,570 (Bajaj Alliance, no claims in the last year), depreciation shield, nearly cashless and all that stuff.
The service charges came to around 4500 including wheel alignment, balancing, weights, engine oil, emission certificate and some minor components. The wheel things were optional, I just opted for it because I was feeling lazy. If I subtract it, the total would have been less than 3200. The 14% tax is impressive :Frustrati
A lot of my friends had suggested going for the diesel, so an analysis on that. The same variant diesel had 1.4 lakhs price difference at the time I purchased the vehicle and this means I am still running on "free" fuel (saved money). If I consider the cost of ownership, assuming same maintenance, then for the same distance the diesel would have cost me 23320 INR (424 liters for 7634 km at 18 kmpl and an average of 55 INR/Liter). At this rate, I have another 5 years or 38000 kms to go for the cost of ownership to merge. But none of that matters, the music as she revs over 4500 alone would suffice for me.
Now that the 2014 all new Honda City is in the market for more than a year and a half and probably heading for a mid life facelift, could anybody get to activate the auto folding of the ORVMs on switching off? Also is it part of standard features in the new version with on dash navigation? Has somebody purchased an after market cover for this car? Please share details.
The garish chrome work on the new Honda City front grille looks cheap. Can we draw some similarities between the two front grille designs of the 1956 Ford F 100 pick-up truck and the 2015 Honda City ?
(pictures from howthe stuffworks and pimcars.info)