We owned a Hyundai Santro (Nov 2006 make) which had faithfully served us for the last 5+ yrs without a single problem whatsoever. But for the past few months I kept feeling that it was time to upgrade and convinced my wife about the idea. Once she was convinced the idea took shape into firm action and thus the hunt began for a sedan in July.
My priorities were reasonably good space for carrying 4-5 adults, good bootspace, smooth engine, good city manoeuverability. Though i was keen on
a petrol engine, i was open to a good diesel car as well.
We test drove Hyundai Verna (CRDI 1.6), Skoda Rapid (TDI), Nissan Sunny (Diesel) etc but somehow nothing convinced us. When we test drove the Honda City almost all my requirements were met and i just loved the car, the arrowshoot design, the dual tone interiors, the legroom at the rear, the AC, the ease with which i was able to manoeuver the car through traffic etc.
To be absolutely sure of everything about the car, i test drove the City under different conditions (Daytime, Night, Smooth road, Highway for highspeed handling, roads with potholes to check the ride quality, took the car through roads having big huge humps to check if the botoom scrapes with 4-5 adults onboard etc). And finally we decided it was City which should replace our Santro in our garage.
Finalizing the Deal:
I spoke to both the dealers in Pune (Deccan Honda and Crystal Honda). There was an offer from Honda during Aug wherein we had free insurance and free extended warranty for 4yrs and road side assistance for 4yrs. Somehow i felt that the sales folks in Crystal Honda were more forthcoming compared to Deccan Honda and also since Crystal Honda has a showroom, workshop and stockyard not too far away from my place, we decided to book our City with Crystal Honda. I was offered 1.7 lacs for my Santro which i thought was ok (none of the other dealers were offering me anything more than this). Moreover the advantage of giving it to Honda was that i was allowed to keep the car with me until the the day of delivery of my City which i thought was good.
Below is the final deal we got
Variant - E MT
Colour - Sparkling Brown
On Road Price - 8.81 lacs (excluding paid accessories). I opted for a Zero Depreciation Insurance which cost me 5K which i felt is good to have for a new car.
Free accessories from dealer - Sun films for rear & side, Reverse parking sensor (which i upgraded to a camera by paying the difference amount), UV paint protection from 3M (single coat), Transparent mats.
Paid accessories from dealer - Wooden finish on Audio HU, front and rear door hand rests (Rs 16K), Reverse parking camera (Rs 3.5K)
Paid the booking amount of Rs. 51K to the dealer on 18th Aug and asked the sales guy to inform me once the car arrives at the dealership.
I promptly received a call on 24th Aug informing me that the car has arrived at the stockyard. I quickly decoded the VIN (which sms'ed to me) and realised that it was a July 2012 make. I took my PDI checklist (thanks to Automotive forum) and went alongwith my wife for a comprehensive PDI. I noticed that the manual central lock (remember that EMT does not have remote locking feature) was not working properly, there were some minor paint scratches on the boot though it was not major. Apart from this i was happy with the ODO reading (10Kms), AC, audio system, lights, the car was reasonably clean. The sales guy informed me that the car would go through a comprehensive PDI of their own and all issues would be resolved. I was convinced and paid the remaining amount (minus 1.7 lacs which was the price they gave me for my Santro). My mom had informed me to take the delivery on 2nd Sep due to auspicious reaons which the dealer happily obliged.
Car during the PDI at the stockyard
The remaining formalities of getting the insurance done, registration of the car etc was done by 31st Aug and car was brought and kept in showroom. I went to the showroom on 1st Sep to check if all the issues reported during my initial PDI were fixed etc. I repeated the entire PDI once again to be absolutely sure that nothing had changed in the last 4 days (when the car went for registration and Octroi payment etc). The ODO reading was 24kms which i figured was pretty ok considering the octroi checkpost roughly 6-7kms from the showroom.
I was not impressed with one of the side sunfilms as i noticed small air bubbles. The sales guy promptly got hold of the accessories guy and ordered him to redo the film which he promised to fix in time before delivery the next day.
Car during the final check at the showroom
On Delivery Day:
I was happy to have my parents joining us (me, wifey and kid) for the delivery.
The delivery was scheduled for 10.30am and we promptly reached the showroom by 9.30am. I took around 30 mins to go through all the important documents, cross checked the chassis number, registration numbers etc were correct. After a small pooja ceremony, a picture was taken by the sales staff and we were pleasantly surprised when they gave us the photograph in a beautiful frame. They also handed over a box of chocolates to my daughter.
I had got gifts for the the main sales guy who helped me through the process and the person from Autoterrace (who helped me finalize the deal on my santro) as a token of my appreciation for their efforts.
My daughter posing with her favourite car after the pooja in the showroom
We took the car straight to the temple for a pooja after which we took the car to the Shell fuel station and had a tank full.
What i like in the car
- Butter smooth I-VTEC engine which loves to be revved
- Decent Ride quality and excellent highway manners
- The car is very easy to drive in city traffic
- Excellent space at the back, large boot
- Excellent AC which cools the cabin in rapid time though i would wait until peak summer to pass a clear judgement on this
What i dislike in the car
- The lumbar support and underthigh support isnt very good when compared to cars like Skoda Rapid
- Ingress and Engress is difficult.
- Though the car has lot of safety features, somehow it does not have the tank like build of a Skoda or a Fiat car
- The steering feels very light and hence at highspeeds you do not get the necessary feedback. I am not a big fan of Electronic Power Steering. I like Hydraulics which i had in my Santro.
- The gear shift knob is tiny. This can be an irritant for people who have a habit of having one hand on the knob while driving.
I had driven around 350kms by the end of week 1 and the car returned a FE of 14.2kmpl by the tankfull method (mostly city driving with 80% AC. Not more than 20% of bumper to bumper traffic). Since the initial 2000Km is run in period, i have ensured that i do not revv the engine beyond 3000rpm and have never crossed a speed of 70Kmph. The MID had displayed 14.5kmpl which means an error of 0.3kmpl.
I have completed 2 weeks of driving and the car returned a FE of 14.85 (Mostly city driving with 30% of AC). The MID displayed 15.4kmpl which means an error of 0.55kmpl. These are awesome figures which i had never imagined i would get in my City before the 1st servicing. This only encourages my thought of getting higher mileages after 2-3 servicings. But i dont think i would contain my driving style anymore once the run-in period is over
I have also got the following done
- Autoform PU leather seat covers at one of the accessory shops - Paid Rs. 7K
- Front rear shield sun film (CR70) and Underbody corrosion treatment done at
3M store near my place. Each of the above were cheaper by atleast Rs. 1K
compared to the prices quoted by the Honda dealer for the same.
Thanks for your patience to read this. My apologies in case you feel that the writing style is not upto the mark which the forum demands
Some pics of the exteriors and interiors