I cant help but start with a smiley.. On 22nd Oct I took delivery of a Honday City VMT model. Within a week the car has literally grown on me and the amount of excitement it generates while driving & or even when stationary is something which am not able to explain in words. In short it brings out the child in me
. Color is Carnelian Red Pearl and I have named it "Red Arrow".
Pardon me for any mistakes as its my first ownership thread. Search...
Search for a new car started almost 6 months back. I have been driving a Santro for the past 8 years and it has served me & my family well to the core all these days.. Absolutely no complaints.. Car never let me down even during my numerous long drives to Kerala. But being a hatchback it has its limitations, not so confidence inspiring at speeds above 100, not-so-great suspension, luggage space ("Travel Light" is not in my family's dictionary), back seat comfort and leg space. Suddenly the seed of desire was sown in my mind and I started seriously thinking about a bigger & powerful car. Wifey and my parents tried to remove this seed right from the beginning, well they were successul only to the extent of postponing my decision by 5 months.
Now came the million dollar question - Diesel or Petrol? Did some calculations based on my current usage and arrived at a figure of around 1000 KMs running per month ..Thought I will stick with Petrol and for a diesel I will have to stretch my budget.
My priorities were
1) Good engine (Smooth & Stable at speeds above 100-120). Excellent drivability in the city as well.
2) Comfort (Driver & Backseat)
3) Good looking
4) After Sales Service
5) Creature Comforts
Cars shortlisted and test driven (entirely my views) VW Vento + ves
a) Solid build
b) Superb handling and brakes
c) Interior space - ves
a) Not so inspiring engine. Petrol engine on offer not a patch of its diesel sibling.
b) Interiors too bland for my taste.
c) After Sales Support Hyundai Verna + ves
a) Awesome interiors
b) Loaded to the brim with features
c) Excellent city drivability - ves
b) High speed stability (not so confidence inspiring)
c) Rear seat shoulder and leg space (leg space was limited after pushing the driver seat to suit my seating) Honda City (Will elaborate since I finally chose this) + ves
a) Superb engine - i-vtec engine is a gem; silent, smooth and well refined.
b) Fuel Efficient - Getting an average of 13 Kms/l in the city with full time AC. Yet to take it for a long drive.
c) Space inside - Loads of space in the front & rear.
d) Excellent city and highway drivability
e) Looks - IMHO City looks as good as the fluidic Verna (Hyundai is setting benchmarks in the design dept)
f) Superb seats - very comfortable and provides good support
g) Lovely steering - feels good to hold and easy to manouvre though the feedback is less on good speeds.
i) Safety - Airbags and ABS
right from Corporate Edition
j) Music System - Feel one of the best amongst OEM
k) Steering Mounted controls - Very intuitive and easy to use.
l) Boot space
m) Interiors - Love the dual tone (Beige and black)
n) Air conditioner - Cools the entire cabin pretty fast
o) Blue back lighting of meter console - Pretty cool - ves (or things that could have improved)
a) ACC - Could have provided it in a car of this price though the AC is a chiller.
b) Head lights - Lighting is quite insufficient.. Would like your suggestions here on an upgrade.
c) Better Steering feedback esp on highway cruising-steering feels light.
d) Bluetooth connectivity
e) Spare wheel is not an alloy
f) Strangely there is no mute button on the steering wheel or on the audio system (am I missing something here??)
g) Could have given one more cabin light at the front (map reader type)
h) Except for driver side none of the power wndow switches are illuminated, come on Honda!
i) Spare key is a normal one without remote facility.
Apart from the above cars I briefly test drove i20 petrol Hatchback (expensive and lacked power), Vento Diesel (very impressed) and Verna Diesel (floating feel at high speeds). Shockingly there was an audible rattle coming from the Verna steering column in the diesel model of the test drive car. When I brought this to the attention of the sales rep he casually told me that this is very common in all Hyundai models (Have heard this in the previous model of i20) and nothing to worry about
. Interesting Features
Since I have upgraded from Santro, some of the features (might be basic in all the latest cars) really impressed me
a) Headlight Reminder - Beep sound if you forgot to switch off the Headlights, very useful indeed.
b) Ignition Key Reminder - Beep sound if you forgot to remove the ignition key after turning off the engine
c) Cabin light will switch on automatically after turning off the engine - Pretty helpful
d) Car will get locked automatically in 30 sec in case none of the doors are opened after unlocking.
e) Display of mileage and Range.
f) Eco Indicator - Glows when you are driving at the right speed wherein you get max fuel efficiency, pretty addictive
g) Auto rolling up and down of driver's side window. Pinch guard protection as well but just for the driver side window. Dealership Experience
To sum it up me & my wifey got sold for Honda City for its classy looks, interiors, drive and last but not the least, the dealership experience. Booked the vehicle with Whitefield Honda in Bangalore as its closer to where I stay as well. Right from the start the sales person I dealt with was pretty helpful, open and proactive. Everything right from the booking to the delivery went smoothy without any glitches. Luckily I also got Michelin tyres as well. Did a PDI on the delivery day and found everything ok. Car is a Sep-2012 make.
Being a petrol vehicle there was hardly any waiting period. In fact the sales rep informed me that the vehicle can be delivered in 5 days flat, but we waited till Navarathri and took the delivery on Oct 22nd, Monday. Only delay I faced was in getting the Number Plate. Received the number only during the time of delivery and got the number plate installed 3 days after delivery.
Received reverse parking sensors, floor mats, sweet box for my daughter (nice gesture) and a ganesha idol from the dealership free of cost.
fabric seats with Art leather seats from the dealership itself. Cost was 15K and I received a discount of 3K. Seat color is called "Sand" and almost looks like the OEM
Beige color fabric, good thing being you can easily maintain the art leather ones.
Total On Road Price - 10.54 Lacs (excluding upholestry costs). Initial Ownership Experience
Drove around 273 Kms in the last 6 days out of which I took it for a short Highway spin (~ 90Kms to & fro to Kolar) as well. Car behaved extrememly well at speeds of around 120Km/h. Also tried the cruise control feature as well, worked like a charm. But I would have really given away this feature for ACC, Bluetooth or auto folding mirrors :-) .. But the i-vtec engine alone answers to the lack of all these bells & whistles.
Car really soaks up all potholes and uneveness of the road. Suspension is designed for a very comfortable ride. This was a huge difference for me coming from a Santro. Ground clearance of the new version is increased by 5mm to 165mm. I really feel the difference as the car has not even scraped one speed breaker (Tried with 3 passengers including myself) till now. I test drove the older version of City earlier with the same 3 passengers and car scraped one of the monstrous speed breaker on ORR (just after the flyover near the More Hypermarket towards M'thahalli) and several ones on the Varthur Road towards ITPL (those who know the Kundanhalli gate to ITPL stretch). But I was really impressed with the new car that it never hit any of the bumps on the same road with the same set of passengers. Very surprised that Honda has managed to address the ground clearance issue with just 5mm raise without compromising the driving dynamics
Eco indicator is very addictive especially in the city traffic conditions as it encourages you to be in the right RPM and gear for better fuel efficiency. On the highways its very hard to keep your foot off the throttle, but during my short highway stint I observed the eco indicator glowing at around 120KM/H, but out of excitement didn't really notice the RPM reading.
Very impressed with the fuel efficiency as well, 11.5KM/L being the worst and 14KM/L the best. Out of the 273KMs I drove till date almost 200KMs is within the city bumper to bumper kind of traffic. So overall am quite happy, would be great if fellow City owners in the forum can share their views on the mileage figures here.
Fuel tank capacity is 42 litres and the car was delivered with 5 litres in it.
Overall am very happy that this is one of those buys wherein I went with my Heart. After the first drive itself I was quite sure that this would be the one. In fact most of my near and dear ones including my wife asked whether its a good decision to take a Sedan and that too a Petrol when the entire nation is going behind Diesels.. Well I have no answer to that, all I can say is that am very happy with my purchase and have no regrets whatsoever even if my running increases to justify a diesel
Will try my best to keep this thread updated regularly.
Now enjoy some pics.