First of all let me state i am not a technical person and all my limited technical knowledge is because of interacting on the forums itself. So, this is more like a layman’s review which I am hoping might help people who are considering City as their next car. Also, this is my first review of any of my cars (I am a lazy writer and pro active reader so do bear with me for any mistakes..)
The Journey so far-
I have always been fascinated with cars. Started driving when I was only 10 and that too on our first ever car which was an Ambassador (Rock solid is the apt word for it). For many people car is just a medium to go from point A to point B. Not for me. I take pleasure in driving and have done non-stop driving for 12-13 hours straight many times.
I had my first experience with Honda when I drove my friend’s city in 2002
around. Loved it and decided then and there I need to buy this car someday.
we wanted to buy a new car as Our Esteem has started showing its age. My opinion let’s get the City. However, as our running was like 80-90 km’s a day we needed a diesel so the idea of city got shelved and Indigo was bought.
again we needed a new car. I again wanted to buy city and again i could not because it was still only in petrol and we needed a diesel. As my dad has excellent relationship with Tata A.S.S so we bought Manza instead.
In March 2013
, I read that Amaze will be launched on 11 April. Told my father about it and as we were toying with the idea of a second car, we decided to book it. Booked it on 18th April and were given a delivery period of 6 months which was fine for us as we were not in any hurry. Come Oct the SA called us that our car will be available for delivery any day. But by then the rumors of a new Honda city with a diesel engine launching by Dec-Jan had already started doing the rounds and my decade old dream resurfaced. So, we put our Amaze delivery on hold till City launches. Jan 2014
City got launched. We had too many weddings in the family and near circle so had no time to go and check it out. Also I was a bit apprehensive as it was costing at least 4lac more than our initial budget of 7lac. Plus, the fact that Honda has put the same engine as in Amaze was a turn off as I was expecting a lot more power. Like as powerful as the engine in Verna.
Cars considered while choosing City-
Although my heart was with City my head has always stated to do a proper market research of all the options while buying any product of a similar value.
So, preferably in the same segment and price bracket I started short listing the cars which can be a better deal than City. My requirements in my new car (not in a particular preference)
• Easy to drive-
Most of my driving is in Delhi region. So, I was looking for a car which is easy to drive in bumper to bumper traffic. Whoever has driven a Dzire or Manza with the national engine knows how much a pain it is to drive in such traffic with turbo lag.
• Fuel economy-
will be driven at least 90-100 km a day. So, i needed a diesel with good fuel economy.
• Good suspension and handling.-
Comfort is really important due to high running.
• Good legroom
(being tall is a disadvantage at times). That’s why I love Manza cos of its space.
I guess most cars look good in this segment so exterior looks wasn’t much of a thought but shouldn’t be boring to look.
• Safety features-
Very important. ABS
and Airbags is a must. I had experienced the effect of ABS
in my Manza twice and avoided major accidents so I will suggest every prospective car buyer to always buy a car with ABS
. Even if we would have stayed with buying of Amaze I would have gone for the higher model just to get airbags as additional safety.
All the time is spent sitting inside so no matter how good looking exterior is if the interior is boring you will never be satisfied. That’s why I wasn’t happy with Amaze and discarded a few more choices.
• Boot Space-
Highly important. A good amount of boot space is a must due to our work related purposes.
Based on these criteria I made few choices to be considered.
No offence to any owners of these cars as it’s all my personal opinion. 1. Verna-
Of course, the biggest competitor of city has to be the first one in consideration. I had driven it earlier and it’s a rocket but I find the handling not up to the mark and steering feedback was poor. In a straight line it’s a pleasure to drive. Best part of Hyundai is the gadgets they give. Fully loaded and it’s a good looking car. Honda seems to have copied the fluidic curves in new City for the side profile from verna itself. However, biggest negative for me was legroom which I find insufficient for me. Still, I liked it so it was in contention until I took a TD and it scraped thrice from bottom. That became a major concern. 2. Ecosport-
Like the looks. Couldn’t TD it as bookings were closed and td car wasn’t available. So, there was no point in considering it. 3. XUV500-
Yes, it’s not a sedan and is more expensive but I have always loved its looks and the drive is so much fun. Would have been my first choice however, my office is in Karolbagh and the parking is literally a nightmare there even for my Manza so parking XUV is simply out of question. Hence I had to drop it. Otherwise, I was really smitten by it. 4.- Rapid/Vento-
As good looking and well built these both are I simply can’t afford dealing with Skoda/VW A.S.S. Moreover, I don’t believe with their current practice of treating customers like crap will last them out as a brand. Out of both I had driven Vento and let me say it beats all other cars in this segment when it comes to driving fun. Pity, I can never buy it. 5.- Fiesta Classic-
A drivers car but I find it really outdated. No offence to any owners. So, wasn’t considered seriously but kept in options just for the heck of it. 6.- Duster-
Always liked it’s looks. But the interiors aren’t that great and drive isn’t fun in any sense. 7.- Sunny-
Exterior looks really weird. Drive is alright with some turbo lag. But the interiors are such a turn off. Boring is the right word. Except for space nothing is appealing about it.
Not mentioning about Etios/Dzire as they were optioned out during Amaze booking itself.
Out of the lot only Verna meets most of my preferences so it would be the preferred choice if I was disappointed with City TD.
City TD experience-
Done with weddings on 14 feb. So the coming Monday( it’s the only day of the week we can do test drive as others are all working days) 17 feb I went with my Dad to check out City. The idea was to just check it out and do an initial TD, then get back home and discuss if spending another 4 lac ( i can buy an entry level hatchback for that amount and it’s a significant figure for me) makes any sense.
Couldn’t check out the vehicle properly as SA was already outside with TD car knowing we are coming for it. They had VX and SV model in Td, out of which SV was available right then. So, I just went and sat in the driving seat. That was the turning point.
I am 6.1 so I need cars with ample leg room both in front and back. That’s why cramped cars like accent, dzire etc were never considered in our earlier car purchases. Also, I am spoiled by acres of space in Manza.
Interiors are impressive. Nice leg room, dash has a nice premium feeling and touch screen ACC is really cool to operate. Special mention to the seats as they are extremely comfortable. So, half my mind was made up. Now just have to see how the engine performs. Things to check-
First thing I checked was Engine noise. It wasn’t as much as I anticipated but was quite audible. If I can live with the engine noise of Manza I could easily survive City.
Pick up- good and linear with no turbo lag, should be helpful in city driving. Gear shift is quite smooth. Handling – good, Ac – very good, Suspension – good, Brakes- very good, Ground clearance- checked on rough roads and speed breakers and didn’t scrapped even once. Most important ‘Kitna deti hai’ question- Excellent.
I might sound a bit biased towards City but it’s a fact Honda cars are a pleasure to drive. No nonsense stuff. Be it City, Civic or Accord. Most people who have driven them will agree. Toyota cars are as reliable and solid as Honda but I have always felt they aren’t as fun to drive.
All essential parameters were satisfied and as my father liked it as well so we gave the check for rest of the booking amount. Delivery stated – within 2-3 months so somewhere in May.
Now the question is which Variant
. Before coming I had read complete details about the variants along with features comparison. VX is the top one but doesn’t deserve a premium of 1Lac over V variant. V was my first choice primarily as it had fog lamps, reverse camera, alloys(which looks pathetic to say the least), electric fold mirrors etc for just 50k more. However, as it was above 10lac ex showroom so the tax was higher and was costing around 80-90k more than SV. Still I wanted it but SA said delivery will be in Sep/Oct due to low production and high waiting period. So, decided to get SV. I was highly disappointed but consoled myself that I can add things like fog lamps, alloys and parking sensors etc later on. Color
booked was Red but when I saw the white in person it was strikingly beautiful so changed it to white after 2 days. White was also the color preference of my parents so all in all we agreed on it unanimously. Also, the design and curves looks more distinguished in light shades like Silver and White.
Booking and Delivery Experience-
It’s a long one so will keep it short and state only the relevant ones. On 30 May we went to the showroom to confirm the delivery date. SA said they will get one in White color next week so we may start the loan procedure. My father opted for HDFC due to his existing relationship with them but due to some reason it got delayed and when it was cleared by 14 May the car was given to someone else.
I was miffed with SA as he didn’t even informed us that car is available and without letting us know gave it to someone else.
So, we went straight to the GM sales and he assured us there will be a white color coming in the schedule of 2 July. Confirmed with him on 3rd and he told us we can take delivery by 11th july. Got a call from him on 11th that it’s in transit and will arrive soon. On 14th july while coming back from work we thought of stopping at the showroom and confirm fixed date of delivery. Met SA and he said car has arrived in the yard yesterday evening and if we want he can give delivery in 1 hour. It was 4pm already. Common sense stated to take it in morning but it was a very auspicious day. Consulted with my Mom and after her approval we agreed to wait and take delivery that day itself.
It took them 25 minutes to install reverse sensors and another 45 minutes for other formalities. After washing and fixing of temp plates etc it was 6.00 already. I did PDI in 20-25 minutes. Then the GM himself came to deliver it and finally I was out with my new Love
Overall booking experience was average but delivery experience was good. Damage to the wallet
Ex showroom- 954900
Insurance- 26500(including zero dep taken from HDFC itself)
Extended warranty- 11800
Roadside assistance- 2900
Parking sensors- 4500
Dealer- Classic Honda
First look in the washing area
Tripmeter at the time of delivery