I started to look for a new car in December 2009.Basically I wanted to buy a premium hatch.I shortlisted Hyundai i20 and VW polo.By then polo has just came to the market and deliveries haven’t started out yet.So test driven i20 petrol and I was unimpressed with the pickup,though the interiors were gorgeous.
Initially our budget was 7lakh rupees.While we were hunting for our new car,one question arised?why go for a hatchback,whynot a sedan?If we buy a hatchback now it has to be replaced surely within the next 3 or 4 years.Why not go for a bigger car now?So we started looking for a sedan now.
The cars in my mind were SX4, city and Verna.I Had test driven Sx4 and it felt heavy to drive.The visibility is also not that good and overall I was not impressed by it.Verna was ruled out because I wanted a petrol car,and Verna petrol was not as good as diesel car at that time.My previous car was Indica diesel and I had some bad experiences with it.Anyway I am going to do less than 1000km per month so petrol car seemed like an automatic option.
Next option was Honda city.It already won the ICOTY award in 2010.It’s probably the best petrol car you can buy below 10lakh rupees at that time.I had test driven City and fell in love with it.The smooth engine,good acceleration balanced ride and handling sealed the deal.It has great road presence also.But our budget has been exceeded and we went for the lowest variant at that time i.e EMT.The good thing about Honda is every variant has the same I-vtec engine (1.5 l) and same safety features.It’s only in the exteriors,interiors and gadgets there is difference between the variants.I wanted to buy a Honda city badly,It didn’t bother me even if it’s a EMT variant which doesn’t have even Stereo and keyless entry.
Well at that time EMT variant is only available in Grey which is one of my favourite colours,so we booked the same colour.I believe this grey will retain it’s original sheen better than most colours.
The whole process of buying and delivering the car went smoothly.The dealer was co-operative and the sales person was also good.I bought tha car in Jan 2010.At the time of delivery I opted for front,side and rear bumper protectors which cost me almost 15,000 Rupees if I remember correctly.Honda’s accessories are super expensive.Later I bought Front grille and alloy wheels from Honda but only with discount price.
After taking delivery I went to a car accessories shop and bought Autocop Dx remote central locking system.It took almost 1hr for the wiring.Other accessories For my car in the first month are Sony CD player ,sunfilm and seat covers.3M antirust treatment for the car was done at the time of first service.These are the only changes I made for my car in the first 4yrs. Things I like in Honda City
Great looking car.Looks like a proper sedan.
Great engine.It is refined and a pleasure to drive.
Easy maneuverability of the car.Makes it easy to drive in the city.Good pickup also,which makes it a pleasure to drive on highways,which is where I do most of my driving.
Handling is OK.There is significant body roll if you take a turn at speed above 50Kmph.
Good stability at high speeds although if you cross 150Kph it’s not confidence inspiring.
Lot of space in the front and in the back.Great boot space as well.
You won’t hear the engine or outside noise at moderate speed.Only if you are going over 100Kph you will hear the outside noise.
Problem free car.I didn’t encounter any problem during my 5 years of ownership. Things I don’t like
No clock in the car.It’s a 9 lakh plus car and there is no clock.I don’t use the CD player that often,so I have to rely on my wrist watch to know the time.It’s a big problem during night driving.
No Automatic climate control.No A/C vents for the rear seats.
Ride quality is somewhat stiff,though not a deal breaker.You can feel most of the pot holes and speed breakers.
Doors don’t lock automatically when you reach a certain speed,some times they lock,other times you have to lock them manually.
The quality of plastic used is not that good.Infact interiors are very ordinary.
Poor ground clearance.After upgrading the tyres it improved marginally.
Some of the modifications I did to my car were inspired by Dr.Mudhan’s Albus,like Rear spoiler,Led lights etc.I didn’t like the front grill of my car and wanted to replace it with Modulo grill.I asked the dealer about that,and they said they didn’t have it in stock.I searched online and it’s available with some online trader,but I didn’t want to risk 15,000 Rs without seeing the quality of the product.Fortunately Pride Honda people called and said the grillis available in discount price.So I decided to go with it.It cost me
Modulo grill.I believe it brings a great character to my city.
Fog lamps – cost 9k
Gear knob – cost 1.2k
Chrome tip for silencer – cost 0.8k
Parking flashes – cost 1.2 k
Rear LED – cost 0.7k
LED light in the centre
Chrome beading for the windows – cost 5k
Chrome beading on the sides – cost 2k
After 4 years and almost 40,000 km I changed my stock tyres to Michelin Primacy 3ST 195/60/R/15.That proved to be a very good move,as I fely very confident at high speeds after changing the tyres.Ground clearence also improved.Now I can go over normal speed breakers without worrying about scraping the under belly.Pics of my tyres along with the alloy wheels which I got from pride honda after a considerable discount.Thanks again to Dr.Mudhan for bringing this discount to light.
Before alloy wheels
After alloy wheels
Rear lip spoiler
A pic of the interior
After 5 years of ownership I am a very satisfied Honda owner.Although I bought Mercedes E class this year,my love for honda didn't change.I am using City mainly for day to day use and short trips and I am using E class mainly for high way and long trips.I may buy other cars in the future,but I may never sell this City during my lifetime as it was my first car bought with my own money and there is some emotional attachment with it.Thank you.