2023 Honda City ZX CVT replaces my Dzire Diesel AMT; Likes & Dislikes

Turbo petrols were out considering the apparently low fuel economy and reliability issues.

BHPian Bikeroralsurgeo recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Buying decision and 5000km ownership experience of the 2023 facelift Honda City ZX CVT

Greetings fellow BHPians,

I have been an avid reader of team BHP posts for the longest time. The Honda City thread has been instrumental in shaping my car-buying decision and hope I can help a few other people on the fence.

I am a practicing Oral Surgeon and have to travel an average of 80kms a day through Pune City traffic. This amounts to 2500-3000km a month which makes reliability paramount. Another important factor is easy and smooth driving characteristics and low cost of ownership which were mandatory. Plus turnaround time has to be low as vehicle breakdowns and time spent in the workshop directly affect my work.

My previous vehicle was a Suzuki Dzire VDI AMT. The car has been extremely reliable clocking in 140000km in 5 years with a mileage of 20kmpl in the city and 24kmpl on the highways. The new car bug had been bothering me for a while now, however, I held on to the dzire. The final trigger to sell the car was a cement mixer which decided to cozy up to my car in a traffic jam. As fate would have it this is our third car in a row which has to be sold off because of cement mixers.


So finally a decision was made to buy a new car. Seeing the above-mentioned requirements and my previous hassle-free experience with a Japanese car, German cars were out of consideration. Also, turbopetrols were out considering the apparently low fuel economy and reliability issues. Also, the fact that the car would be driven by drivers with lead feet drove me away from turbo-petrol engines. Diesel was out of consideration as diesel with good transmission was above my budget of Rs. 20 lac. Also, all diesel options were pretend SUVs (read midsize SUVs) which is a segment I absolutely dislike. So all these factors considered we had to buy a reliable, economical, automatic petrol sedan.

Cars considered - 2023 facelift Honda City and the new Hyundai Verna

So this narrowed the choice to these two cars, particularly their NA CVT variants. I had read a lot of posts on Team BHP about lifeless, linear, boring albeit smooth, reliable, and economical driving dynamics of this engine transmission combo. This actually fits my requirements perfectly as I do not rely on my car to satisfy my need for Speed. For those purposes, I have another Japanese steed which no car at this price point can ever match

One fine Sunday my wife and I decided to go to the mall and on the way check out both the city and the Verna.
On test driving the city CVT both of us loved the car and booked a meteoroid grey ZX CVT right away. The VX is no longer the VFM variant that it used to be with the notable omission of leather steering wrap, the dashboard fabric insert, leather gear lever, and also smaller tyres asking with many of the premium-looking garnishes inside which used to be present in the pre-facelift VX. Received a very good price for my Dzire as diesels are now discontinued and the car is very much in demand. Also received a discount of Rs. 88000 on the new vehicle, things simply seemed to fall into place and we went ahead with the booking. The slimming down of the ugly chrome bar, the faux carbon inserts and the rear spoiler have made a timeless look even more elegant. We did not even bother to check the Verna as we anyways did not like the clamshell look much. Delivery was promised within a week on my wife's birthday.

Delivery was done as promised on my wife's Birthday. The process was pretty smooth and included a small birthday celebration.


  • Super smooth engine and transmission combination
  • Soft suspension which absorbs most of the bumps
  • Powerful air con unit with physical buttons
  • ZX seats are plush and feel from a segment above
  • Auto-dimming lights and auto wipers work great
  • Amazing mileage - I have achieved 12.5-13 in City, got 20kmpl up to kognoli from Pune, and 18.5 cumulative on my Goa trip with the AC on at all times( checked on Fuelio with a 0.2kmpl discrepancy from the MID)
  • Tons of space inside especially the rear seat
  • Adequate power on tap and good handling especially coming from a Dzire


  • Very poor sound insulation - you can hear the suspension working every time. Also, gravel bouncing around in the wheel wells makes a lot of noise which takes some getting used to
  • Engine noise on highways which is again due to poor sound insulation
  • Skinny tyres which are an eyesore but otherwise perform fine in my opinion
  • The screen which is barely visible in direct sunlight and the poor reverse camera
  • The auto wiper can be overzealous at times
  • The headlamp throw and spread are just adequate

ADAS needs a special mention in this write-up. The initial euphoria around it has long gone and has become more of an annoyance. The lane keep assist works fine. Adaptive cruise control appears way too sensitive and brakes as well as accelerates very aggressively. The CMBS feels absolutely unnecessary wherein it brakes aggressively at the smallest of intrusions. I have been rear-ended twice by unsuspecting two-wheelers and a rickshaw. The faux carbon inserts have managed to protect the bumper paint in all three instances. Makes you wonder whether that is what they were designed for. CMBS has to be turned off manually every time the car is restarted. I am planning on taping up the ADAS camera to turn off the CMBS for good.

My inference is that Japanese brands are masters at shameless cost-cutting wherein they don't even try to hide it. The exposed wiring in the wheel wells made my mother wonder if we had received a defective piece at the time of delivery. The inside panels even though they appear well put together flex at the slightest pressure. Sheet metal is quite thin and flexes on pressing. Though a car's safety comes from its chassis, some heft in the body panels induces confidence in customers and is a feel-good factor.

All in all, I am happy with the purchase as it is a no-nonsense car that has got to ask the fundamentals right and it ticks all the right boxes for me.

Pictures from my trip back from Goa via the lovely Anuskura Ghat. On the way to Goa from Pune via the usual Amboli route there's a 40km patch with nonexistent roads. However, I'm happy to report that there were no rattles or squeaks.

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