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Old 8th October 2008, 15:46   #61
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seems like Honda has done super job on exterior (excluding wheels of course) but not so good on interior. Would love to see if they launch V series in G3 City too
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Old 8th October 2008, 15:59   #62
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Originally Posted by aseem View Post
I dont know if its just me, or if all of you also feel that the interior of the new City is a great DOWNER, even compared to the current generation City. I want to buy a car, and would probably end up buying 1.8S Automatic, but the package is severly compromised, thin tyres, no climate control, drab interiors, drab central console, drab speedo meter, no alloys, no fog lamps or provision of thereof.
The only reason I get to buy this is that there is a dearth of good cars in this range. The engine of new City, the external looks (somewhat), and the paddle shift. I would have gone for Civic E, but I do want paddle shifts and decent power on the tap. This would be my poor mans Civic
If its interiors , then wait for the Linea or Chevy Cruze and get the "Thinking Man's Civic."The highlighted is what you are paying for and what Honda is known for.These features alone will ensure there will never be a dearth of G3HC followers. Everything else can be perfected by buying options in the market, but what they offer cannot be bought anywhere else,not even by choosing another car in same price range.
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Old 8th October 2008, 16:02   #63
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hey all,

firstly vivek thank you for the pictures and the report , very crisp and to the point.
I have been tracking this car for a while now and am really to get a heads up on it..

im currently in Geneva and the Civic hatchback here has a very similar front grill to this 3rd gen honda city, giving it a very sporty almost mean look...
ive been meaning to buy a new car but due to work keep travelling , i am quite sure my next is going to be the scorpio m hawk but seeing this Honda it has me thinking... hmm
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Old 8th October 2008, 17:01   #64
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Love it! Awesomely taken pics of a good looker.
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Old 8th October 2008, 17:23   #65
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Good looking car. From those pics it looks like a shrunk civic.
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Old 8th October 2008, 17:28   #66
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Wonderful review, Vivek. Am tuned in for more
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Old 8th October 2008, 17:33   #67
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Originally Posted by aseem View Post
This would be my poor mans Civic
Quite funny. Do you know Civic is called poor mans ferrari by some Civic forums? So NHC becomes a poorer mans ferrari
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Old 8th October 2008, 17:45   #68
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Nice review and still waiting for your drive back from jaipur to delhi and high speed drive on expresway.
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Old 8th October 2008, 18:01   #69
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Default From 'Pink City' to the 'Capital City' in the new Honda City

Thanks for the comments and appreciation.
Now it’s time for the report that you have all been waiting for.
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We started from Sheraton Rajputana Hotel in Jaipur at 8:30am in the City automatic(car no 1), the one I had my eyes set on.

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My friend in CNBC was in the driving seat as he had a short video to be completed. So with the camera man in the Innova, we set off through the densely packed streets of Jaipur. Later I thought it would be wise for me to climb into the Innova to click some motion pics and did so. In a few minutes, he was done with the remaining part of his video shoot and I was in the driver’s seat.

Honda officials said that these four cars we had for today were among the first pre-production models in the country. The production of the city commences by the end of October and units will reach showrooms by around November. It will be these four cars( and may be three more) that goes for regional launches and dealer familiarisation. So the job that lay in front of me was to bring the car to Delhi in one piece.

I started off in the D mode. The instant throttle response was a boon in thick traffic. The car zipped forward with enthusiasm right from the idle rpm with barely a hum present in the cabin. Making progress through gaps was easy but soon we were crawling and I found it an ideal time to test the capabilities of the music system.

Review of the music system

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Like I said the controls are akin to that of the ipod. The interface is simple and the buttons are well laid out. You have a knob at the centre with the volume control and selector button. Push it on and it comes on. Push again and you get the folder list. Push one more time and you get the track list.

We plugged in someone's pendrive and scrolled through the folder list and tracks and located the song “Summer of sixtynine”, a song which my ears are quite familiar with and hence a good point to start with. The equaliser comes with several presets like Energy, and three other names which I dont remember anymore. One of the preset modes was specifically meant for MP3, and is said to improve the quality of the music which is lost in the compression by the format. It also features the SVC(speed sensitive volume control) as in the Civic, which automatically raises the volume with speed of the vehicle. But as on the Civic the response is low and you often end up adjusting the volume after you have done that overtaking manoeuvre and settled down to normal speeds.
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In the new city, the rear speakers, which are about the size of the front ones, are located in the rear doors rather than on the rear parcel shelf. This I believe has improved the imaging to an extent but you know how good factory fitted music systems can be. I’m no proper audiophile to comment on the quality of the music, but I must say I was quite impressed. I toyed around with the fader controls and found that the front speakers offer decent bass while the rear ones lag a little behind. The trebles were not so high and the vocals were pleasingly loud. Overall the music quality was quite commendable.

Back to driving

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With the traffic now cleared it was time to floor it. I stuck the tranny in S mode. With the pedal pushed to the carpet, the VTEC engine got singing. The throttle felt a bit more responsive(and jerky when you take your foot off) than before(again Civic comes to mind) and every prod is accompanied by a push on your back. I used the paddle to stuck it in 2nd gear and kept the pedal down. 3000rpm…4000rpm…5000rpm and the engine note turned to a beautiful snarl. Frankly, it is no match for the old Hyper 16 VTEC or the normal 1.5 engine and gets a bit buzzy around the top end. But compared to the previous VTEC, this one is brilliant. There is more life at around 5000rpm and it revs beyond that with even more eagerness. The smoothness is impressive as is the lack of noise at low revs. Power begins tailing off as you cross say 6500rpm, but the beauty of the paddle shift gearbox lets you hang on to the same gear(the Civic box too) for some more time until you hit the rev limiter at7000rpm. The rev limiter seems a bit too harsh and puts the engine back to 6500rpm before revs soar and the limiter intervenes again. By this time I was doing 100-110kmph.

The paddle shifts are engaged with good precision and downshifts were faster too. The response is quite good when you downshift and it can do two shifts at a time. The autobox in the new City, like the one in the Accord A/T is a generation newer than the Civic’s, I was told.
As regards to acceleration, we didn’t have the timing equipments with us, but I expect the City to be a seriously fast machine. With just 40kgs over the old City VTEC and an additional 16bhp and seemingly shorter gearing in the first two gears, expect the City to do a 0-100kmph run in approximately 10seconds. The magic of the old City is somewhat back in a modern form.

But it’s not all about perfection. The City somewhat struggles to get from 100kmph to 120kmph and this was more pronounced when we had a whole complement of passengers and camera equipments. Anothe problem was that the rear suspension seems to squat down when the car is loaded as is evident in some photographs.

The stability is great as speeds rise. The steering which was on the lighter side in the city roads felt heavy on the highway in nearly the same way a good steering should. There was no hint of nervousness even when changing lanes at triple digit speeds. I saw 150kmph coming up from time to time but it felt more like 120kmph. You dont get the excitement of going faster than you really are, say in a Fiesta 1.6 but it is still fun. It is more like a Civic only thinner and slightly more manageable. The handling is pretty good despite some amount of body roll but the directness of the steering and the agility of the chassis makes it a hoot to drive. Sadly the road was fairly straight and I cant wait to take one to the hills for a full test of the handling

Braking felt safe with ABS but the lack of disc at the rear is sad, especially when you consider that the previous version VTEC had that. The car tracks fairly straight under harsh braking and feels secure but the vibration that filters in is a bit on the higher side. Honda said that this would be reduced in the production versions.

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On the highway these 175 tyres didn’t feel like running out of grip but extreme cornering would get them screaming for sure.

The ride quality is acceptable. Small ridges and bumps do make their presence felt but overall it is quite comfy. It is the sound that filters into the cabin, when you encounter a major pothole, that disturbs you more than the jolting caused by it. For a japanese car, there is the typical 'cracking sound' rather than the 'thud' in European cars when you hit a pothole. As for the ground clearance, even with full load, we couldn’t find a speedbreaker anywhere where we could scrape the underbelly of the car and sadly, off roading was out of question.

3rd Generation Honda City driven-dsc00269.jpg
The rear has somewhat grown on me...wait a second, i didnt have any complaints; i only said it could have been designed better

The red car I drove today is the top end version and is distinguished by the body coloured beeding on the bumpers and the sides. Inside, the door sills have metallic scuff plates with the name City, illuminated in blue colour(my appologies as the photo shows it white, somehow), like in the Accord.

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The door pads are finished poorly in a single shade of ‘greige’ ( Honda speak for grey-beige combo..phew)-texture and look similar to that of the Logan. There is simply a strip of black plastic to break the monotony while the fabric trim goes unnoticed.

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This gearlever doesn't look very well finished either, does it?
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The AC knobs look decidedly downmarket and do not make good impression on a Rs.10lakh car.
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It has a rough edge here where the bare metal shows as if like in an unfinished product. Looks worser in silver which is more visible. Could have been concealed behind a plastic piece like the front wheel arches.
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There will be this option pack on sale which has front &rear bumper attachments, fog lamps, a tiny lip spoiler on the boot as well as side skirting.
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Looks smashing front front, doesn't it?? It's even better in flesh.
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Easily the best mid sizer, ever!!!!
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Old 8th October 2008, 18:20   #70
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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
I am getting envious that the new city is loaded with all those features. I was till now having great style with my Civics steering. Now i see its in NHC and also slated to be in Jazz later.

But NHC is undoubtedly a great car.

You know what - my dealer asked me a question which made me angry. Do you want to trade your civic with NHC? I shouted at him and pleaded, Dont kill Civic.
You should have beaten him then and there. But the new City is terrific and at that price the auto makes huge sense. Chances are that Civic buyers with MT in mind would now settle down for the auto version of this City. The primary reason why we all love the Civic is the looks and this one looks even better and more futuristic, atleast from the front. High fuel efficiency is an added plus and there you have a BIG BROTHER KILLER in the new City

Originally Posted by oss View Post
That's a wonderful report Vivek. Eagerly awaiting the performance report.

BTW, can you check if the fuel lid can be opened when the central lock is on? This has been niggling in my mind since i checked the car out last week at the dealership.
Sorry, Never really thought about that. Saw your post only when I came to the hotel and after the cars left.

Originally Posted by jassi View Post
I think most people anyway change to alloys these days at the time of purchase - atleast from the team-bhp reports it seems so So even if the gave some mediocre alloys, I'd rather go and upgrade to ones of my own choice and add some fat rubber for better handling !!
There in lies the problem. Honda says that any (after-market) fitment voids the warranty of the car unless it's fitted by the dealer. Honda says it will give alloy wheels as optional accessories at the dealership, but sadly the choice will initially be limited to two patterns. They had initial plans to give a 16inch alloys among the accessories, but has now dropped that.

Originally Posted by karanraheja View Post
I thought the one you drove was the S version! E version has grey & beige mixed interiors
All versions we had were S. The one I drove was of the inferior variety(see today's post), but there was nothing as regards with the naming to really distinguish them. Perhaps honda will come up with some clever alphabet stuff to get this addressed in the production versions.

Originally Posted by coolbareilly View Post
Congrats Vivek for being the first BHPian to drive G3HC.

We all give you a BIG applause for great pics and decent reports. We all are waiting for you to post the details ones cheers:
I was the first one to draw the Honda City(remember the photoshop rendering),na? Well, God and Honda decided that I should be among the first to drive it as well.
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Old 8th October 2008, 18:20   #71
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Truly wonderful review and a real good looking car. But for me (and my wife) "Frankly, it is no match for the old Hyper 16 VTEC or the normal 1.5 engine and gets a bit buzzy around the top end." this worries. Life starts at top end??
Things liked
1. Exterior
2. Paint
3. (No)Music system
4. Black dash plastic
5. Overall package
Didn't like
1. Alloys and tyres
2. Door trims.

Anyway this is a hit already i think. Keep the quality (no rattling as this ages). Hows the boot space?
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Old 8th October 2008, 18:37   #72
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Vivek, thats a fabulous review and very professional at that. You have taken into account every aspect of the new City. Your photography compliments your review as well. Absolutely amazing. An aditional thank you for testing the AT version which most probably the are we are going to buy for the family. However like you said, that AT gear shift knob didnt impress me either. The one on my OHC looks better. Apart from that the car looks like a segment killer altogether.

Keep the review coming.
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Old 8th October 2008, 18:49   #73
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Well that's a really nice review there Vivek! I suppose for any new owner, a set of nice alloys & tyres is a necessity!
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Old 8th October 2008, 18:50   #74
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Great review Vivek, really gives us readers a feel of the car. I find it curious you say the tail design has grown on you, I feel that too because the first time I absolutely hated it but now I am becoming more amenable.

The interiors don't appear to be upto Honda's usual standards from the pics at least. There is a cheap, minimal and cost cutting feel about them, for instance those AC knobs are jarring to say the least, nearly unacceptable for a 8-9 lakhs car, same with the door panels - too plain and to be compared to Logan which is the ultimate cost cutting machine is a huge blow on Honda. The finish seems indifferent but maybe the production version will improve things.

The performance as you report seems peppy which is great, however the warranty business with tyre change is overbearing, most folks will want to put 195 or at least 185 to really get the performance out of the car but this Honda policy is a spanner in the works. Once again great review and hope to see more from you.

Last edited by raul : 8th October 2008 at 18:52.
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Old 8th October 2008, 18:51   #75
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Originally Posted by kutlee View Post
Truly wonderful review and a real good looking car. But for me (and my wife) "Frankly, it is no match for the old Hyper 16 VTEC or the normal 1.5 engine and gets a bit buzzy around the top end." this worries. Life starts at top end??
The OHC engine was a fantastic unit whether it's the VTEC or the 1.5. It revs as if it was kid's play, in a frenzied manner. The engine of the 3GHC is the same as the sedate idsi unit in the current 2GHC, but has a reworked cylinder head that encorporates the VTEC system. What makes it different is the fact that it is not as rev-happy as the old City VTEC nor does it have the same peaky nature. This one has power delivery around the low end and mid revs where it is fairly refined. The engine gets audible as it revs higher. There is good power at 5000-6000rpm which is what made me say so.
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