My need to have a new car arrived from novelty.
I had a Hyundai Accent which has done its prime and completed 13 good years. Now there was some sound in the suspension and in the steering column, estimate for those was 25K from the service center.
This has initiated the whole discussion. Should we invest some more money in this car or should we get something new.
The car was running good, giving mileage of around 13 and has no other issue. It can serve us another 3-4 years but then after 15 years we need re-registration. So we decided to go for the new car.
So in Sep 2013, I started my hunt for new car. We decided to stick with Petrol as my driving is around 1K per month.
We had no hurry to buy the car right away as Accent is serving good and can hold good for another year. So we decided to just check the cars and see which one we like the most. Honda City 3rd Gen
First thing came in my mind was Honda City 3rd Gen. When I bought my Hyundai Accent, I wanted Honda City 1st Gen but it was not available so I went with Accent.
This time I decided to check it right away. I checked the dealer and went for test drive (I asked them to bring the car and they never showed up, so I have to go to dealer).
The SA was really good guy. He told us upfront that they have stopped production of the car and just clearing the stock. So if I am not in hurry, I should wait for the New Honda City and we decided to do that.
No test drive done for the car. VW Vento
Vento was the next car which I checked. The response was prompt, they brought the car for test drive.
I really like the car, build is solid, driving comfort and handling is really good the only thing which I didn’t like is at low speeds car felt little sluggish (My 13 year old Accent has better response at low speeds), the peppiness was missing from the petrol engine.
My wife didn’t like those heavy doors (effect of having Accent for so many years), back seat (only good for 2 people, 3rd person will be uncomfortable) and dashboard (very simple compared to other cars).
Though we kept this in contention but decided to wait for the new Honda City.
I need to mention that their pre-sales support was really good, I have asked multiple test drive, different variants to get the feel and they have provided all that with patience. Nissan Sunny
Next in line was Nissan Sunny, though it was a short association. They got the car on the promised time for the test drive.
It just didn’t click, there was good amount of space in the car (or I felt way too much space that they themselves didn’t able to do anything with that).
It’s OK to drive but nothing special, so If there is any budget constraint it’s a good car to have but for me those empty spaces are way too much to handle.
I need a car which I will love to drive and Sunny is not one of them (no offence to anybody, it’s just my personal preference).
My wife did OK’ed the car but I rejected it just based on the feeling.
So one test drive and it was over. Hyundai Verna
This was another short stint though this time rejection was from my wife. I liked the looks and build of the car, though it felt little cramped from inside.
Inside space was not too much of a upgrade from our current Accent and back seat was last nail in the coffin. As soon as my wife set in the back seat, she rejected the car (She might have got the similar feeling as I got for Sunny).
The rejection was so strong that when they brought the petrol variant for Test Drive, she didn’t come downstairs for taking the test drive.
You can’t buy a car which has been rejected by home ministry and she respected my decision for Sunny, so it was time for me to do the same.
Verna fell out of the contest. Skoda Rapid
We were checking all the cars than why not Skoda Rapid. We asked for a test drive and dealer obliged it.
They didn’t have petrol car so they brought the non-released 2014 edition diesel car for test drive. I must admit it was a good drive, diesel engine felt refined and had enough power in it.
It looked very similar to Vento and had all similar features. We felt that Vento is better in terms of looks and decided to keep Vento in the queue rather than Skoda. Toyota Etios
I did the test drive and it was second car after Vento which gets added to the list. Only drawback was the looks and interior.
The car looks very simple from inside and outside but has some utility options, space and driving comfort. Renault Duster
I filled the online form, got a call from customer care about the details and promised a test drive.
After 2 weeks I received a SMS from Renault that my test drive has been done and they asked for feedback.
That’s end of story for Duster. They didn’t bother to give a test drive to a customer and I didn’t bother to call them again. All New Honda City (4th Gen)
Now comes All New Honda City (4th Gen).
Dealer has received the test drive cars (diesel variants) in mid-January timeframe, so we decided to go and check that.
I was following the news for the launch and watched the 7th January unveiling of the car.
They had 2 diesel cars for test drive VX and SV variant. SV was available but we decided to wait for VX model as it was with other customer.
One test drive and I know what I wanted, luckily it was same for my wife. Petrol engine is tried and tested so we thought of going ahead without waiting for test drive car.
The car looks one segment above and has good space in the cabin (space has been utilized well, does not give a feeling of emptiness like Sunny).
Only second thought was on the build. I think out of all tested cars Honda City was having thinnest sheet for the body.
But then we decided to live with it and go ahead for Honda City (read a lot online and got a good feedback on chassis build for Honda City, it helped making the mind).
Vento and Etios were in the queue, but they never come up again in discussion after that test drive.
Now discussion started for the color and variant. After almost 2 weeks discussions and seeing lots of pictures we finalized on White VX MT Petrol for us. SA also helped by taking us to Garage and showing all the colors.
I ended the 5 month car hunt program by booking the car on 1st Feb 2014. No delivery dates were given as petrol allotment was not started. We were supposed to get some update around first week of March.
I waited patiently for a month and connected to my SA in first week of March, who said not a single allocation for VX model and there are very few coming in near future so it will take time.
There are chances to get it faster if I can take V MT instead of VX MT. I decided to give him choice and said I will take only VX but in any color.
He said around 10th March they are going to get the allocation for month end and he will let me know by that time.
I connected to him again on 10th March and there was good news. He said there is one Silver VX MT where the original buyer is having issue in finance and can be delivered if I can clear the finance.
I said yes on the spot (I hope my wife doesn’t read this. I had hard time convincing her for color change as our Accent is also silver), it was company lease so finance was not an issue with me. He blocked the car for me and said it will start from factory on 19th March and I can take the delivery on 31st march.
So now my wait has been started for Silver VX MT Petrol.
I got the VIN number when the car started from the factory and it’s March-14 build. Paid my entire portion and cleared the company lease amount. Delivery:
It hardly took 1 hour to take the delivery.
Car was ready when I reached to showroom, was given brief about the car features and all the paperwork was done. We handed over the gift to SA and drove off from the showroom. Initial Impression
First impression of the car is really great, it is fun to drive, silent engine and decent power for in city and highway runs. Drove it for almost 100 km on the first day and loved every minute of it. Positives:
- I loved the ease of going in and out with keyless entry. I initially thought that it will be a gimmicky feature but the more I use it, I love the usability. Car can be opened if you are standing close to it but it can't be started until you sit inside. I have heard some security concerns over it but I feel that it is secured enough.
- Sunroof is really usable in the dry and hot conditions. It pushes the hot air out of the car much faster with very less drag.
- I have got Bridgestone tires and ride quality is acceptable. I am keeping them for now.
- Back seats are really comfortable and has a good space. Everybody who has sit on the back seat, has praised it.
- Ground clearance is good. I have driven on some bad road and it is able to handle them well.
- It really loves to driven with light foot. I love the green lights on the dials and its a good green initiative. If you drive with really light foot and acceleration and de-acceleration are smooth, you will be greeted with good mileage.
- I excepted better leather seats. You can get much better art leather cover outside. Also beige color is dirt magnet and you can expect them to change color soon.
- Sunroof cover is just a cardboard and I don't how long it will last. Same goes for rear vents, some cheap plastic.
- Car has some blind spot. Front and rear not visible and rear camera or sensor is a must.
- Side mirrors doesn't fold automatically when we turn off the car.
Now lets Pictures do some talking:
Back seats with Front seats pushed all the way back (You can see how digi-fit mats are giving an feeling of extended sides and dashboard):
Keys for VX (You Just need to keep them in your pocket):
Door Handles with Auto Lock Feature:
First 80KM, getting an mileage of 15km/l: List of Accessories Opted from the Dealer: 1. Dick Lid Spoiler 2. Side Protector 3. Front Bumper Protector 4. Rear Bumper Protector 5. Sports Pedal MT 6. Digi-fit Mats
In the Boot:
Single Piece For Back Seat: 7. Illuminated Scuff Plates
It's just 2 days of association till now with Arainrhod. I will try to keep this thread alive with all the updates, service logs and mileage changes.