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Old 5th April 2010, 15:41   #1
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Default ANHC - Mine is here, Finally !

After two months of dilly-dallying and test driving multiple cars, I finally bought the ANHC. Details are as under

Model : VMT
Color : Polished Metal Metallic
When? : 01-Apr-2010
Dealer : Hallmark Honda, Navi Mumbai

I have a 2004 Maruti Suzuki Zen. Car has not been driven much as I was living in US from 2005 - 2009 Feb, and had driven the car for only 1 year (8000 kms) before leaving for US. Left the car at my parents' place when I went to the US, and got it back in Feb 2009 when I came back. Since then I have driven it approx 20000 kms in the past 13 months.

Decided to go in for a new car sometime in Jan - Feb 2010, as the zen was 5 years old, and we wanted to get a more modern car. Seating was not too comfortabe in the zen bcoz I had installed a booster seat for my younger daughter (2 yrs), and that left very little space for other passengers in the car.

Requirements :
The hardest thing to nail down. We started off with just the basic requirement of upgrading the car. Considered Swift, i10 before deciding that we needed a sedan and not a hatchback becauase of the additional boot space. Other factors to consider
* My parents visit us quite often, hence car should have a comfortable back seat, more importantly a comfortable 'middle' back seat.
* Should comfortably seat 3 in the rear seat.
* Good looking, low maintanance ( I had the same requirement for my wife when I wanted to get married. Got the first part, but unfortunately not the second. )
* Adequate safety features.
* Good legspace

The Candidates :
Maruti Stable
SX4 & Swift Dzire : Both the vehicles were knocked off the list by my wife. Dzire was too common, and we did not like the claustrophobic rear seat. SX4 was too bulky, and we had heard other people talking about the uncomfortable back seats. Missus said it looked like a modern version of the ambassador. Wife took a test drive of the Dzire diesel, and loved the responsiveness of the car, but the back-seat was a deal breaker.

Chevrolet Stable
Aveo : Went to the Chevrolet showroom (Nikhil Automobiles) in Navi Mumbai for a test drive of the Aveo. When we reached the showroom, they did not have any Aveo for a test drive. So the sales rep very helpfully offered to give me a test drive of his Boss' Aveo, which was a 2008 model with 50K miles. Did a test drive of the car. Found that the car had inadequate legspace even for the driver (I have long legs). The car was slow to pick up (not sure if this was because it was an old model or that's just the way it is)

Optra : Liked the car, but the sales rep advised against buying it as he said the car was not being pushed by GM, as they wanted to position the Cruz instead. Sat in the rear seat of both the Optra & the Cruz and found the middle seat very uncomfortable.

A WORD OF CAUTION if you live in Navi Mumbai and service your GM cars at Nikhil Automobile. They offered me to test drive a customer's Aveo which had come in for serivce as I wanted to test drive a new car. See my post about this here

Fiat Linea:
Somehow my wife did not like its looks and we did not even go for a test drive of this car. I still find myself gazing at other Lineas in my parking complex.
Ford Fiesta:
Test drove the Ford Fiesta at Bhavna Ford, Nerul. This was one car that I liked very much, but my wife did not. She said that the looks were ordinary. Back seat was better than the others we had tested, but still not VERY comfortable. Was getting approx 60K corporate discount, but wife shot it down. The showroom too did not inspire any buyer confidence. It was dimly lit, dusty at places. TD car had been driven more than 25K. Did not give me the 'WOW' experience.

More details in the next post.
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Old 5th April 2010, 15:56   #2
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wow its raining honda's these days in teambhp,adding you in that list.Congratulations on your new buy and awaiting to read your second part.Also do share pictures.
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Old 5th April 2010, 16:02   #3
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Great man. Do post pics and tell us the on road price.
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Old 5th April 2010, 16:40   #4
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Great , update more details in your coming posts and also some pictures

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Old 5th April 2010, 16:56   #5
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The ANHC was never in my initial list of cars, as it was beyond my original budget of 7-8 lacs. But having looked at all other cars in the segment, decided to take a TD of Honda city as well. One of my friends has an ANHC and I had taken a ride in the back seat for a trip to Lonavala last year. At that time I had found the car to be very comfortable.
Called up Hallmark Honda and fixed up an appointment for the test drive. You can read about my experience with Hallmark Honda in this dealership review thread. I will update it once I am done writing this initial ownership review to bring it up to date.

Test Drive 1 :
This was before I had chanced upon the Team-BHP forums. This was a simple test drive on the ultra-smooth Palm Beach road to check car acceleration, braking response, steering feedback and general features and comfort levels. Wife was smitten by the looks and the butter-smooth driving experience. Rear seat was very comfortable, legspace was adequate and compared to my old Zen, the car felt like a merc.

Came back home and did some quick calculations and found that we could afford a Honda, if we wanted to go for it. From that day on, no other car interested my wife. Talked to my friend who already had a honda to get his feedback on the car, and surprisingly, he advised me against buying the ANHC. He talked about the low ground clearance and the fact that he had to replace his oil sump (?) just a month ago because it had developed a crack because of the frequent hits to the under-carriage. So I came back home and did some search on the internet on the low ground clearance problem. Found the team-BHP website and went through all the ownership reports of the ANHC. Found that though the car had a low ground clearance, it was not a major problem and could be mostly avoided if one had good driving habits.

Also found the test drive checklist on this website, and armed with the extra information went back and demanded another test drive of the ANHC.

Test Drive 2 :
Went through all the items on the checklist religiously. Braked hard at high speeds, put the car through the paces. Took it to an area in Nerul known for it's killer speed breakers (Kendriya Vihar Complex) with 4 adults + 1 child to check it's ground clearance. At the very first speed breaker a big CRRRUUUNCH sound. Used the team-BHP advice of braking before the speed breaker and then rolling over it, for the remaining speed breakers and cleared every single one of them. That was enough to satisfy me.

Booking :
After I took the two test drives in early february, found that I might need to go overseas for a long term stint. Unfortunately it took me a month to get any clarity on this opportunity, by which time I had lost all interest in going abroad. Me and my wife were going crazy leering at all ANHCs in the Navi Mumbai area. The more I read about the car on this forum and the more I saw it on the road, the longer the wait seemed.

Meanwhile, the 2010 budget was released and my sales rep SMSed me to tell me that car prices for ANHC were up by 18K.

Finally went ahead and did an initial booking with a 5K on 20th March. Decided on a 6L loan for a 3 year period. Sold off some of my non-performing portfolio to come up with the remaining 4.13 L balance.

Decided to go for the Honda Assure insurance plan as I wanted to use my 50% NCB on my Zen to buy the new Insurance. Unfortunately found out that I need to get car Registration transferred to my wife's name in order to get the NCB certificate. This took another 8 days. Then found out that NCB will take another 2 weeks to arrive because of the year end, and so decided to go ahead and pay the full amount for Honda Assure (25K) and then get a refund once the NCB arrives.

Next Post - PDI & Actual delivery. Pics coming soon !!
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Old 5th April 2010, 17:28   #6
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Congrats on the purchase of the most sought after C segment sedan.

Every point is nicely documented till the PDI and delivery. Keep the updates coming.
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Old 5th April 2010, 17:31   #7
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Hi manu,
congrats for the new car.Excellent write up.Waiting for the pictures and update.ANHC is great car to own.You will love it.Drive safe.
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Old 5th April 2010, 17:48   #8
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Color Color, Which Color ?
Next came the important decision of choosing the color. Neither me nor my wife wanted Silver as our Zen is also of silver color and we've gotten bored of seeing silver colored cars on the road. Both of us liked the Polished Metal Metallic color initially, but saw a Bold Beige ANHC on the road one evening and liked that too. Decided that the best way to choose the color would be to see both the cars side by side. Asked the sales rep, and he agreed to show us both the cars at the showroom. After a lot of deliberation, wife chose Bold Beige (left the decision to her), and we asked the sales rep to get a Bold Beige VMT ready for delivery by the last week of March.

After we came back bome, for the next couple of days wife kept looking at the Polished Metal Metallic ANHCs parked in our complex ( 2 of them ). She also saw a few more bold beige ANHCs in the morning light, and felt that PMM looked better. So we called up the sales rep to tell him that we wanted the PMM color now. The poor guy was at his wits end. Fortunately he had a PMM VMT in the stock yard and he said that he would be able to deliver the car by the month end.

Pre-Delivery Inspection:
Asked the sales rep to bring the car to the showroom on Saturday, 27th March for a PDI. Went through the checklist at the showroom. Car was not available for a TD, so except for driving the car, did all the other checks. Found that the internal cabin light and car stereo was not working. Sales rep told me that sometimes they take out the fuses when the car is in the stock yard. He assured me that they would be in working condition at time of delivery.

Car was fitted with MRF tyres. Asked the sales rep if he could change them to Michelin, which he agreed to. Checked the VIN and confirmed that it was a Feb 2010 production (Thanks again to Team-BHP VIN verification thread ). I dont think the sales rep had ever come across such an informed customer before. He was impressed with the detailed check-list and asked me where he got this from. Thanks to Team-BHP for such an exhaustive PDI checklist. I also told him that I had posted a review of Hallmark Honda on the team-bhp website and will keep it updated based on my experiences at the showroom. Something to keep them on their toes !

Decided on the following accessories from the showroom itself.
Sun Film - 3M CR 70 for front windshield (Rs 6000), RE 50 for sides & rear (Rs 4500)
Reverse parking sensor - Xenos Rs 6000
3M Under body coating - Rs 5000. I chose to do this at the showroom, even though it was expensive because they could hoist the car and spray the underbody properly before the underbody got dirty.
Corner Protectors - 8500
Side Protectors - 6000
Total Accessories cost Rs 36,000. Discount 3%

Delivery Day - 1st April 2010.
Decided to pick up delivery of the car on 1st April after my elder daughter returned back from school. Asked the sales rep to arrange for a pick-up from home as no one wanted to drive the old car back from the show-room. Sales rep himself came to pick us up from our home, and took us to the show room.
At the showroom, he gave me the invoices for the car, receipts for registration, PUC certificate, other documents and a box of chocolates. Explained the extended warrenty. I asked him to show me the car before I signed off on the invoices.

When I went to inspect the car, I found that the sun-film had not been installed properly. The front windows sunfilm had small nicks (approx 1 cm), and the rear left window glass had a 1 cm scratch on it. The quarter glass' lining also looked worn out. I brought this to their attention. The GM for the shop floor came and inspected the defects. He agreed to replace the film on both the front windows and replace the glass and the lining on the rear left window provided I take the delivery and bring it back the next day. I agreed to do so (Hallmark Honda replaced my window, window lining and the sun-film as promised)

Performed a small pooja at the showroom and distributed a box of sweets to the showroom employees. Gave my sales-rep a gift, which made him very happy.

Took the car out of the showroom, and took it to the temple for a more elaborat pooja. Finally brought my dusk beauty back home at 6 PM.

Next Post - Pictures & Initial impressions
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Old 6th April 2010, 09:58   #9
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Many congrats and its a good read, thanks.
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Old 6th April 2010, 16:12   #10
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Wanted to upload some pictures yesterday evening, but did not get the time. Will upload them later today.

Initial Impressions:
After driving a 5 year old Zen, with absolutely no pickup (with AC ON), no cooling, bare minimum comfort levels, this car seems heaven.

* Utter smooth drive. Can hardly hear the engine purring. A couple of times, I have turned the ignition key even when the engine was running. Now when in doubt, I turn down the stereo volume to double check. The car seems to just glide over the Navi Mumbai roads.

* Minimum road noise. Not sure whether this is because of combination of Michelin & under body coat.

* Gear shift is smooth. Car picks up in the 5th gear even from low speeds of 30-40 kmph. Wife feels that the clutch is a bit hard. Will check it out again.

* Acceleration is quick and in no time I am at 80 kmph. In fact I find it hard to keep the car at 60 kmph, and to drive the car at 60, I keep a very light foot on the accelerator. Cant wait for the run-in period to be over.

* Haven't encountered any problems so far with the low ground clearance. I've driven a little over 250 kms so far, and I think, just once, the mud guard scraped the road, that too, ever so slightly.

Fuel Economy:
Haven't exhausted a fuel tank yet, so dont know about the actual fuel economy. However the display shows 13.x most of the time, and even touched 14.1 during a relatively long drive. Of course, the roads are relatively empty, and I drive in 5th gear most of the time.

The seats are plush. The car really gives a feeling of a luxury car. AC is good, though the front cools faster than the rear seat. However the entire car doesn't take more than a couple of minutes to cool down adequately. There is enough legspace for the passengers in the rear seat. The USB / iPOD ICE is excellent and the speakers are better than average. The only problem is we cant seem to get through one complete song as my daughters keep asking for the song to be changed every minute or so. Expect the on-steering controls go get worn out soon !

* The beige seats are dust magnets, and the rear seat is already getting soiled because of the kids. I am thinking of getting a seat cover just for the rear seat (not the back, just the flat portion).
* Have some difficulties judging the distance in the front and on the Left side when turning the car into a parking space.

Other than keeping the car below 2500 rpm and 80 kmph, are there any other precautions that I need to take during the run-in period?

I am planning to take a road trip to Shirdi next week, and another one to Pune in the last week of APril. Will post additional feedback at that time.
Photos coming up later today. I apologize for the delay
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Old 6th April 2010, 16:42   #11
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Thanks TheBeastFieast.

vijaythacker, Pancham, Schoudhury - I will post pictures later today. Haven't taken detailed pics of the interiors yet. Will also post on-road price breakup.

Last edited by Jaggu : 6th April 2010 at 17:55. Reason: Removing [Font] tags, please avoid copy paste from external fornt editors, also Preview before Submitting posts. thanks
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Old 6th April 2010, 17:34   #12
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Congratulations and welcome to ANHC club,

That's a detailed review so far.

Most of us (ANHC owners) had the apprehension on the price tag this beauty has. But, once you own and ride it every penny is well spent.

Drive safe and have fun, expecting your pics.
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Old 6th April 2010, 17:45   #13
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Congrats on your new car!

It would be better if you get the seat covers for all the seats, otherwise the interiors would look very bad.
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Old 6th April 2010, 19:02   #14
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That was one exhaustive review man. Well put!!

Congrats on the car. Glad the forum helped you out in your buying process. Now, some pics please. Quickly!!
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Old 6th April 2010, 19:55   #15
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Just a note- if your budget was 10 lacs+, why even waste time in TD of other cars, cause the best choice is the ANHC for that price!!!! Aveo, SX4, Fiesta are quite far behind!
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