It’s my first post at TAI
and have been waiting to share across my buying and owning experience of All New Honda City 2014. The decision making process was pretty hassle free or rather unanimous, as i had already made up mind to own the City post it's launch in Dec 2013 and was not at all interested to compare/review with any other car in the segment. It was just because of 3 factors - Looks (Exterior and Interior), Performance (Have driven the earlier generation owned by a friend and just feel in love with the drive quality and also the ARAI figures for the New City) and finally an Automatic Transmission (thanks to the Bangalore traffic, it makes life much easier after a hectic day to be least worried about your clutch and gear exercise driving back home).
But the confusion that was making me restless was whether it should be SV or VX (as these are the only variants available in automatic transmission), it would have been a best to have the CVT even in V variant, but not sure what was the thought process of Honda to miss on that, might be Honda felt India is still not open for spending extra cash to get a top-end variant (this is just my opinion). As I microscopically compared the SV and VX variant, the goodies that loaded VX included:
1. 5 inch touch screen entertainment system – Might be sooner or later can be fitted as an accessory provided by Honda only
2. Electric Sunroof – Not something which is so useful in Indian weather conditions
3. Electrically foldable and turn on indicator ORVM – The turn on indicator has been provided on front sides for SV variant
4. Leather Seats – Can be done from after market
5. One push Engine start/stop and keyless entry
6. Rear parking camera – One of the best fitted (position wise in the car)
7. Keyless trunk opening – Good for a rainy day
8. Rear reading light and map light
9. Front Fog Lamp – Again can be fitted as an accessory
10. 4+4 speakers
After a deep thought from a usability perspective, item number 3 and 6 were the ones which Honda should have made it available even in the SV variant. But keeping aside the above features, practically the difference in cash value was huge (around INR 1.5 lacs) and also Bangalore being a place where every automobile owner coughs the most on road tax just adds more stabs on your wallet. Thus freezed on the SV SVT variant and did the booking in first week of Feb at Whitefield Honda. I have been one of those who never got a chance to do any test drive as Honda only made the diesel variants for TD, but with a gut belief booked the vehicle. I was informed a waiting period of 2+months which was perfectly ok with me as I already own other car that was able to manage my daily commute.
Then onwards every other day I started following through various websites/forums for updates from other prospective buyers/auto enthusiasts/auto experts, while my wait was becoming more restless and also like an age old wine ..was hoping it would be more smooth/tasty/vintage feeling as I get my hands on the steering.
But in the last week of Feb, I got a call from the sales person that my car has been dispatched from Honda plant..for few moments I felt my heart has skipped a beat, since I would practically be the first person to take a delivery of a CVT from Whitefield Honda. Also was more nervous as there has been nobody who was sure on the performance, since no TD vehicles. The vehicle would reach the dealer in next 10 days and would take another 2 days for registration, so was requested to make the balance payment of the car. As I was on a work related travel, so informed the sales person to make myself available at the showroom after a week, while the sales person was co-operative and understanding to agree to it. Come first week of March and I was back to India and the same day got a call from the sales person that my car has arrived, I was shocked and happy as I was told it would take 10 days, while it has reached in straight 6 days and that made me happy too.
The very next day went to the showroom, made the balance payment and was asked if I need any accessories..i got the non-illuminated scuff plates and rear parking camera ( I have this in my existing cars and I’m completely comfortable using them so did not think much even when it was priced at 6.5k). I signed on Form 20 and car was sent for registration. But just 2 days before the delivery date that I got to hear the most shocking revelation that SV CVT variant would be without paddle shifters
, I immediately called the sales person and even she was not sure about it and informed to check and revert, while later in the day it was finally confirmed, I was seriously heart broken, because all the reviews mentioned the entire rubber band effect in CVT could be smoothly alienated through the paddle shifters, while I was in a position where I can go back and cancel my booking
. Thus with a heavy heart, went ahead to take the delivery.
Attached some pics on the day of delivery, the beauty of the car is just incomparable. Due to lack of time, have not taken any more pictures of the car..but will do the same soon and post it.
It’s been an ownership review of 2 weeks and around 400 Kms (mostly city driving and very little highway), after all the heart broken effect before the delivery just vanished away as i start driving my silver samurai. Below are quick observations:
1. Topping the list and my worry was the rubber band effect, I will not completely deny that it does not exist, but the harshness is not so brutal to make you regret to drive, but even without the paddle shifters, the D mode is sufficiently tuned to faster pick-up/drive/overtake in city limits
2. The automatic gear shifts are absolutely silk smooth and you cannot feel them as they step-up or down
3. The S mode is the ultimate one, car zooms quickly
4. Ample, ample, ample leg room in the cabin and rear, my parents just loved sitting in the rear
5. Audio output is pretty impressive
6. Turning ratio is perfect and easier to pass through the U turn, members from Bangalore would agree with me with the roads layout
7. Changed the tires to Michelin XM2 195/R60 and alloy wheels, absorbs the small potholes and slightly scanted roads pretty nicely and also has not had any impact on the mileage (also no void on Honda Warranty, as promised by the sales person)
8. Econ mode does not have any much impact on the acceleration
9. The aircon in the rear are effective and quick
10. Got done paint sealant treatment from 3M along and Nomad fitting (not much of fan of 3D mats and these mats fit appropriately at affordable price), will be getting the paint protection treatment next month
11. Last but the most important, mileage numbers have been 11 km/l (city) and 15 km/l (highway) - mix of D,S and Econ mode
Overall till now it has been a very satisfied driving experience with my silver samurai