So this is my first ownership report on this forum and that too of something that has become very close to my heart in less than a week: My White Unicorn(2014 Honda City SV CVT iVTEC) Little Bit of History
We got our second kid last August 2013. My i10 has been serving me really well since the last 6 years and not to exaggerate but it was always maintained in mint condition. With 2 kids and the desire to go around Bangalore from short weekend trips to week long trips, I knew that my i10 will fall short when it comes to space and the power. My personal luggage would probably be a fraction of what my kid’s luggage usually is, so then the hunt for a new car begins in October 2013. Car Hunt
I’ve been always fond of SUVs. The road presence, the ample boot space, the seating and the safety that comes with them were few reasons for which SUVs always fascinated me (not to mention the fantastic ground clearance that most of the SUVs give). The other thing that I was really looking forward to is buy car with automatic transmission. Driving around Bangalore in traffic is so painful and I just needed one car for the family. However, I could not find anything in the 12-15 lakhs range which was also a stretch. So options I considered were:
1) Mahindra XUV W6/W8
2) Nissan Terrano
I’ll not go into the details of why I had them as part of my options list, but they both dropped from my list in a months time. I usually take the company cab to office and so I hardly require the car for my use on weekdays and that's when my wife uses it occasionally. On weekends, its always the family together. So keeping 2 cars was not an option and I decided to swap my i10 with whichever car I go with. With this, XUV fell from the list immediately as my wife would not agree at all to drive the beast. I took the test drive of 85ps diesel Nissan Terrano and really liked the car. The car does have a nice macho look (compared to Duster in my opinion). My wife also really loved the looks but she was hesitant on driving the same and was never fond of diesel cars. My family also kept on stressing that you can never match sedan comfort with any SUV. The absence of AT added to the list as well. This took Terrano off list as well.
I was kind of disappointed with all this and was back to ground zero. White Unicorn awaits me
Then I see the launch of 2014 Honda City and was impressed to a certain extent, no wow factor somehow as I had not come out of the SUV hangover. I just reserved it anyways. Then comes the official launch event in January and I was thoroughly impressed that time. Around Jan mid, Honda dealers in Bangalore started getting the display/TD vehicles. It was a weekday and on the way back to office, I dropped down at Dakshin Honda on Lavelle Road (where I had reserved car). As I entered the showroom, there lay in front of me a Silver 2014 Honda City. The sharp lines, the beautiful rear lights, the sparkling interior completely astonished me and I agreed to go for SV CVT. The VX CVT trim was a bit of stretch for me in terms of budget and I knew I would not use lot of the extras coming on the high end trim and spending over 2 lakhs for the same did not convince me to go for VX. The colour was left open. I then started my rounds of the various Honda dealers in Bangalore on regular basis to get a feel of various colors. On one fine day, I visited Whitefield Honda and there was a sparkling White Honda City on display and I was taken aback. It felt as if the White Unicorn is waiting for me and I confirmed the colour with Dakshin. That was me alone at the showroom with my wife at home. We had seen a UTM colour Honda City earlier and she had really liked the colour. But once I showed her the White colour during my second visit to Whitefield Honda, she agreed that it looked better than UTM and a big relief for me to let me have my White Unicorn. D Day
Fast forward to March. I get call from my SA confirming allotment of my car. I’m overjoyed with the news but at same time a bit skeptical as I hadn’t taken a TD (no CVT TD vehicles) and the paddle shifters had been mysteriously taken off from SV CVT variants. The looks of the car and the reliability of Honda’s iVTEC engine made me take the risk and I took the plunge. I got done with all my paperwork and payments and the wait started. Dakshin Honda agreed to take back my i10 and they gave me a pretty good price for that. I paid the difference and was all set. The best part is that I was allowed to keep the car till I get keys of my Unicorn. With only 1 car and 2 kids, this worked out really well for me. Now, I had to wait for one of the auspicious days which happened to be 22nd March (Saturday) for me. My car was ready on Thursday evening itself. Only I know how I have spent those 2 days knowing that my Unicorn is waiting for me but I cannot get her home.
We reach Dakshin honda around 9:00am on 22nd March. I get done with some final paperwork and finally took reigns of my White beauty (came with Michelin XM1 tyres). The entire Dakshin staff was very helpful. The SA Manager Mr. Ajeya, my SA Mr. Jagadish and the Accessory manager Mr. Joseph were always there to answer my queries. I’ve heard some negative stories for Dakshin but I had a pleasant experience. Breakup of the Costs involved (Post Excise Cut):
- Ex-Showroom: 9,46,000
- Insurance (0 Dep B-B): 34,503 (Insisted on National Insurance under Honda Assure and that's what I got)
- Road Tax + Handling Charges: 1,57,508
- Extended Warranty + Road Side Assistance: 12,575
- On Road Cost: 11,50,136 Honda Genuine Accessories:
- Reverse Parking Sensors: 6,500
- Illuminated Scuff Plates: 5,500
- CVT Sports Pedal: 3,500
Got a decent discount on accessories above. Anything that has to do with electric/drilling, I’m never comfortable getting it after market and so went with Honda. AfterMarket Accessories:
- Art Leather Seat Cover from Car Trendz on Mission Road
- Tyre Upgrade to Michelin Primacy 3ST 195/60R15 from Madhus Enterprise
- Neo Alloys Aristo HS 6.5J from Madhus Enterprise
- 3M Nomad Mats from 3M HSR
I cannot thank Nikhil (Nikhilb2008) enough here. He has been of immense help in answering all my questions. He has been instrumental in helping me close on the tyres and alloys here.
- Details of the experience of getting the Tyre and Alloy change captured on a different thread here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/bangal...ml#post3400313
- Details on the experience of getting 3M Nomad Mats captured on a different thread here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/bangal...ml#post3400298 Gifts from Dealer:
- Box of chocolates (My family loved them. Good selection of chocolates)
- 4 liters of Petrol What I Like about my White Unicorn:
- Brilliant Exterior and Interior space
- Oodles of leg space for rear passengers
- Enough boot space to take care of the massive luggage space required by my wife and 2 kids
- Marvelous iVTEC engine
- CVT Automatic engine is pretty smooth What I don’t like about my White Unicorn:
- Folks might find the CVT engine a bit noisier when pushing the accelerator. I however found the noise to be similar to ones you hear from sports car so I’m fine but capturing it on the downside.
- Beige carpets/interiors/side doors are going to be difficult to maintain
- Absence of paddle shifters in SV variant. Though ’S’ and ‘L’ mode would suffice, there will be situations where more control would be required.
- Rubber band effect, though very limited, can be felt when you suddenly push acceleration
- Piano black console is finger print magnet and dust is easily seen on it
- Naked boot lid and no cladding on rear wheel wells
Delivery Time pictures (Sorry for limited ones taken at dealer. We had a time crunch to take delivery before 10:00 am and had to do all the Puja before that and entertain my daughter and she wouldn't let me take pictures of car alone that easily)
My daughter seemed the most excited of the lot to take the White Unicorn home. Exterior
The brand I completely swear by. Initially I found the grill to garish but now I really like them on white and find them pretty bold.
Love the sharp side lines. Notice the Neo Alloys and the wider Michelin Primacy 3ST 195/60R15 in place
Close up of the Alloy Wheels. I was planning to go earlier for Chinese made brands but with guidance of Nikhil, settled for Neo Alloys and I'm glad I did.
No Automatic/CVT Badging which means same badging as Petrol manual variants
Love the rear of car and how the red blends with white. Notice the reverse parking Sensors
Close up of Reverse Parking Sensor: These are painted white on my request. No loss of sensitivity as per dealer and the warranty remains. They work as expected. No display screen or any voice message. Just a set of beeps which becomes constant tone when you are very near obstacle.
In SV variant, ORVM have to folded manually. I somehow feel that they do not fold enough inside. See the gap left once you fold them. My i10 ORVM used to fold much more inside. I'm not sure if same issue is on V/VX model with electrical folding ORVM Interior
Honda has done an amazing job in interiors. Though there will always be room of improvement, I believe this is a welcome change and makes the car feel very premium.
Before I dive into pictures, I wanted to mention few things on Ergonomics side. I get on and off lower back pain and it would always become acute when I used to drive my Manual i10. By the time, I would reach my office (about 1 hour drive from home), my back would be aching pretty badly. However, I'm loving the ergonomics of the driver seat. The back is well supported and I do not feel any pain on lower back while driving. It took me about 5 minutes initially to find the right position but now I'm all set. The dead pedal is so useful, specially in the CVT vehicles that I enjoy the drive. I'm sure that the absence of clutch and the art leather seat cover in place would also be helping here. Lot of times, my wife would have to sit on rear seat with both kids and for her she is loving the comfort on this Unicorn (the 195/60 Michelin tyres are also helping here) compared to that of i10.
Lord Ganesha to protect my Unicorn. Look at viewing area/angle from driver's seat.
Fresh interiors. No Leather wrap on steering wheel. I’ll not be getting any leather cover now. I somehow feel that grip levels are decent and it’ll be more hygienic. Love the cruise control. I was able to activate it beyond 40kmph
Art leather in place. Car Trendz did a really nice job here.
Love the blue color on MID. Notice the ECON light and the blue arc light above speedometer. More about this in Performance section
3 inch Audio console is average. Speakers are nothing great and I found the JBL installed on my i10 much better.
The piano black console is a finger print magnet and dust easily shows up. Folks would really need something like Jopasu mini duster and MF cloths to keep it shiny and clean.
With the 3.5" system, notice that only USB and Power socket are present near cup holder. The Aux input is on the 3.5" system
Light press on indicator activates the left/right signal 3 times. I find it very useful when changing lanes.
Notice the black window switch panels compared to silver given in V/VX Trims. I somehow feel it blends better. The fabric on doors is not a good choice. It’s a very light shade and will easily get dirty.
ECON button. More about this in performance section. Notice the missing electrical fold-able ORVM button on SV trim compared to V/VX.
The extra 'L' Low mode on CVT SV gear box (VX CVT comes with paddle shifters instead). This is to be used when climbing the hill.
Illuminated scuff plates. Though Honda charges a bomb for these, I feel they are well worth.
CVT Sports Pedal. This was recommended by my friends and even the accessory shop as the quality is top notch and adds to the grip levels and elegance. Notice the 3M Nomad mats in place. I have never spent that kind of money on floor mats earlier but with my 2 kids and water/milk always being carried, I think its a worth wile investment. Note that Dead Pedal is covered by mats and I'm still able to use it properly.
Mats+Sports Pedal+Scuff Plates look very classy
Key to unleash my White Unicorn