Maruti Swift owner buys Honda Elevate: It's a sensible family car

The common thing between them is the high-revving nature of their engines. As for the fuel efficiency, I've been able to get close to 19 km/l.

BHPian shan_ned recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

A short ownership review from my perspective

Purchased the Elevate VX MT variant last month. This review is mostly a subjective one. My old car is a 2008 Maruti Swift (Petrol) and I have been using it for the last 16 years. I am retaining it because I still love its engine.

Before I jump into my review of Elevate, I like to touch briefly on why I went with Elevate. I had two MAJOR requirements for the new car.

  • Ownership would be for more than 10 years. So reliability and cost of ownership are the most important factors.
  • For a good long-term ownership, service and support must be good.
  • No diesel nor pure electric.
  • Must be a bigger and more comfortable car compared to my old car.

Based on the above factors, I had no choice other than to choose a car with a Naturally Aspirated (NA) petrol engine. They are reliable and cheap to maintain as well in the long run. So, I ruled out the turbo petrol-based ones. Also, I am not a fan of driving fast with neck-snapping acceleration. I prefer relaxed cruising and strictly follow the defensive style of driving. I strongly believe that it is a VERY BIG PRIVILEGE for anyone to drive on the roads because it involves other people’s precious lives. Of course, this is applicable to all irrespective of the type of car one owns.

Based on my budget, the choices were:

  • Maruti Brezza
  • Honda Elevate

Even though I didn’t list cars from other brands, it doesn’t mean they are inferior. It is purely based on my personal preference.

While Brezza was my first preference as it meets all the above requirements much better than Honda Elevate (due to excellent after sales support of Maruti), my family preferred the Elevate because of the brand image. They wanted something outside the Maruti family as we already owned a Maruti car.

Now, coming to the review part

  • Certainly, Elevate looks unique. The rear looks like any other cross-SUV available in the market. I do somehow like the rear portion of Brezza a bit more.
  • I am not a big fan of having so many features except for a few minimal stuff. My personal opinion is that car manufacturers should invest more on the QC than on the features. In a way, Elevate VX (or even the V model) has enough features. A few features like the sunroof, the G meter display, automatic ON/OFF and a few more are not very much important to me. A 360-degree camera would have been a preferred choice for me. Similarly, having 6 airbags across the variants would have been the best thing for Honda to do right from the product launch. Till last month, there was no news of Honda providing 6 airbags for all the variants. Otherwise, I would have waited for a couple of months more. Anyway, no point in breaking the head for a thing which has already happened.
  • The interiors look like a big upgrade for me. Of course, I have seen City owners not so impressed with the Elevate’s interior. As I am coming from a 16-year-old Swift, the interiors of Elevate look premium. The overall layout looks more simple, elegant, near and not flashy. One thing which I disliked in the VX variant is the use of fabric cloth at the door side armrest. To keep my greed at bay, even a basic plastic would have been a good choice (similar to the V model).
  • I always have had a liking for smooth engines. It is for this reason I hate diesel cars. Honda Elevate engine is silky smooth just like the Swift’s engine. Even after 16 years, my Swift engine is as smooth as a new engine. The engine noise is heard inside when the revs climb because of inadequate NVH levels dampening. Personally, I don’t see it as a problem.
  • Considering the engine break-in period, I am keeping the revs not exceeding 2500 rpm. So I am yet to experience how the car behaves when crossing 3000 rpm. As I am a slow driver, I am not going to test the kicking-in of VTEC. My driving will be predominantly under 3000 rpm. I also don’t expect Elevate to be significantly faster than my current Swift because both have identical power-to-weight ratio. One thing I can say is that Elevate has a shorter gearing ratio compared to Swift. This is for the entire gear range (right from the first gear to the topmost gear). It means the in-gear acceleration will be slightly better than Swift. Of course, the difference might be significantly bigger at higher revs. The common thing between Elevate and Swift is the high-revving nature of their engines. Swift engine (G13B) can rev close to 7000 rpm and Elevate can rev above 7000 rpm. End of the day, I will not be using the top-end rev range unless there is a need for a very quick overtaking. I can only boast about it. I find the 6th gear lacking torque when less than 2200/2300 rpm. With 4 people in the car and with AC, the car speed decreases if there is an uphill slope. When giving more gas, the response is lethargic. This is the case for most of the NA petrol engines. Of course, I haven’t tested how the response will be when the rev is above 3000 rpm in 6th gear. The response in the 5th gear is relatively much better compared to the 6th gear.
  • With various media reports quoting less fuel efficiency for the MT version, I am able to get close to 19 kmpl. Sometimes, it has even touched 20 kmpl. Again, I am keeping the engine's rev just around 2500 rpm. The only downside I see is the 40 litres tank capacity. I feel Honda should have given at least 45 litres tank capacity. Anyway, this may not be a deal breaker for many.
  • The most liked part is the ride quality. It is excellent, to say the least. The car just glides over the road undulations and potholes. I am in love with the way the suspension has been setup. With the engine being ultra smooth and the ride quality being comfortable, it will be a good driving experience.
  • Audio setup: With 4 speakers and 2 tweeters, I didn’t find the audio to be lacking in anything. They are neither great nor bad. The audio system is sufficiently good in my opinion.

There are some negatives with Elevate

  • The first thing is the NVH levels. The tires make some noise. It is not bothering me much though I would have preferred a much quieter cabin.
  • The wipers look very cheap. Not expected on a 15L+ car. Need to see how effective they are during the rains.

  • The bonnet panel gap is slightly wider.

Accessories installed:

Used the OEM seat cover from Honda and it looks good.

  • Didn’t opt for either PPF or ceramic coating. I will use Collinite 845 once in a while to keep the car paint shining.
  • Purchased Viofo A229 plus dash cam (dual channel)

I am not intending to add any other accessories or modify anything further which may void the warranty. I like to keep things to the minimal.

I have opted for an additional warranty (2 years over and above the 3-year original warranty).

To summarise, Honda Elevate is a sensible family car for sedate driving. Though it is claimed to be meant for urban driving, one can very well use it for long-distance touring with good comfort.

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