re: 4th-gen Honda City : Official Review
My Honda City
(ďVĒ-Manual Transmission, Petrol) has completed 20,000 km in ~25 months of ownership. The first year was with hardly any running (less than 500km per month) but over last 1 year, I have been doing Mumbai-Pune expressway runs almost weekly so running has increased to approx 1500km per month. What Iíve liked:
What Iíve not:
- Engine: sweeeeet and fast petrol Ė can keep a lot of other (read: expensive) cars in the rear-view mirror
- Equipment: unique climate control, rear air-con, reversing camera
- Extremely spacious cabin: with the front seat in my driving position (I am 177cm), rear passenger can stretch as much as needed
- Unbelievable boot: I remember fitting 4 large suitcases once which left me and my family shocked (the SX4 couldnít take more than 2 large + 2 medium)
- Loads of sensible touches: healthy sized cup holders, armrest, rear cup holders, etc make it easy to live with
- Decent mileage in the petrol version: not counting Mumbai city mileage (as I believe thatís not a fair barometer for any car), on my expressway runs, including getting out of Mumbai, I get around 14-15 which I believe is great Ė my SX4 would not give more than 12 in similar situations
- Easy to drive: light controls and easy manoeuvrability for the city making it quite effortless to drive
- Status: Itís a Honda City, i.e. society status unlike a Maruti SX4. So many questions on the SX4 that it wasnít even funny. No one dare the purchase of a City if you know what I am talking about
- Stereo / Bluetooth: Does the required job well and the stock speakers sound good
- Boring alloy wheel design & skinny 175 mm tyres too
- Extremely light build quality. Lacks the sheer solidity of its European rivals and even from cars below a segment (my Dzire feels more solid and SX4 was like rock solid in comparison)
- Interior quality feels cheap and out of place in a million plus rupee car (lots of squeaks and rattles which werenít there in my SX4 and which arenít there in my Dzire)
- Poor seat fabric quality easily prone to stains
- Some features missing (proper dead pedal, folding rear seat, height-adjustable seatbelts, boot lid cladding)
- Lack of proper security system (although keyless entry is there)
- Dead pedal fell off, engine underbody cover came off, power windows donít work for a few seconds upon starting the car
- Pathetic service interval of 10,000km / 6 months: Should be 10,000km / 12 months (as also pointed out in a survey on our forum)
Car looks nice and am quite happy with the looks. It looks nice and sporty and gives the ďposhĒ feeling which you would expect from a Honda. Paint quality seems to be fine and should last the distance. If only the alloys would have been better and the tyres one size bigger. I am not someone who visits a car accessory shop so havenít made any changes but can live with it. Verdict: no major issues / complaints. Interiors:
Very, very poor quality of plastics used. Lots of rattles and squeaks which I have learnt to live with by increasing the volume by a couple of notches. Seat cushioning is fine but fabric is just cheap and stain-prone. I havenít put seat covers yet but perhaps will have to now get them put. Car can comfortably seat 5 adults as the back seat is quite spacious. I would have preferred black interiors considering the beige is stain-prone. The car is anyway quite large inside so giving the beige to make it look bigger hasnít perhaps been the best idea. Verdict: major issues / complaints. Engine & Driving Experience:
As I said before, the petrol engine is just fabulous (my friend has the same car in diesel but he doesnít share the same experience). The car is fun to drive, sounds awesome (read: music), handles well, and does provide a feeling of secureness on the highways. Having said that, the gearbox is very poor and slotting in gears is an effort (as compared to my SX4 and Dzire). Service center says this is normal so I have given up there. Suspension etc seem to be fine and no issues there. Ground clearance has been great and I donít think I have ever scraped the underbody despite not being too careful. Head unit & reversing camera:
The HU is a functional one and does the job well. Am I happy Ė hmm letís just say 50-50 as I would have liked perhaps the one from the Thai version with touch screen and navigation. The reverse camera does its job well though I have faced numerous issues with it getting dislodged (falling off from its socket!) and of which the service center is also unable to do anything about and so am living with it. Other points:
- Piano black finish is a fingerprint & dust magnet with too much of empty space Ė I guess thatís why a bigger HU needs to be installed.
- The 6th gear is what I sorely miss on highways. The rpm is way too high at highway speeds and I believe the 6th gear would help in increasing mileage for someone like me who has highway driving but doesnít want a diesel.
- I wish Honda had the ďVĒ model with CVT (they still donít have it). The SV felt like a compromise (as I donít like accessorizing my car) and the VX-CVT was 250k more expensive and at the time I didnít want to spend the 6k monthly extra.
- Wish Honda had given projector headlamps to enhance the front end.
- Fuel tank capacity: Very less at 40 liters giving it a range of around 500-600km on highways. Should have been at least 50 liters to avoid filling up every now and then.
- Experience with Honda ASS: Poor to say the least. Staff seems unknowledgeable and only keen on upselling unnecessary items (read: scams). Having said that, my experience with the minor accident I had was very good as a personal contact was established with a senior person.
Cost of ownership: Very reasonable and would put it comparable to Maruti (obviously this is with understanding and not getting ďscammedĒ)
- 1st & 2nd service: Rs 0
- Minor accident (to the rear where boot and bumper was changed): Rs 40724 (zero-dep where I only paid the minimum deductible)
- 3rd service: Rs 1449
- 4th service: Rs 3839
- 5th service: Rs 3000
The car does feel built to a cost when it comes down to quality but thankfully there has been no compromise on the petrol engine and reliability. I only feel let down with the interior quality as I have spent over a million bucks but nothing else and other manufacturers have more serious complaints than this (e.g. DSG) so I have learnt to live with it. Reliability has *touch-wood* been rock solid and the car has always been ready to go.
Overall I am on the more satisfied side of the scale and will keep the car for some time to come.
But would I buy one again - perhaps not as my work now demands a "SUV" so probably something more rugged in the next couple of years. PS: I haven't uploaded any pictures as my car color is the same as the official review, i.e. Carnelian Red.