Monday, November 15, 2010

New Honda City Review 2010 [2009 launch]

Further to my last post in this link here

Latest on 15th Jan 2011 after the post below.
Earlier below I had tried to review the Honda  City Car honestly. There the essence that was conveyed was about the quality of the car, the beauty, the fuel efficiency (last time I got 18.1 kmpl on highway).

Today I must also confess that they also listen to our requirements and so Service -Wise too they are in the Best of Class. You people may read some discontented messages from different people at some places, but you need to analyse what type of complaints were there. So far I have not found any difficulty in making them listen to genuine demands of mine.
3 cheers for Honda!!

Earlier Content posted here:-

I will actually post my own Review of the Honda CITY 2008 end released model [still going in 2010]. You can read the other reviews at the Honda Site. They may not all tell you what is missing, usually, but here they do tell you as I can see but you need to read attentively the news reviews pasted on the site or else you may miss the full picture. No reviewer for example has told us about the security system changes or what is missing.
Why the new Honda City [Arrow Shot Form launched in 2009] Rocks?

1. Price - though higher than many "equivalent" cars Honda has more value for money.

2. Value for Money - in 2005 I had compared Innova with Honda City. Even though the base models were priced near to each other, I realised that the money for Innova was going into making the size larger while the same money for Honda's smaller size (compared to Innova) was going into quality. That is the image Honda enjoys and not without justification. [Though the quality is still something that leaves more to desire as it is not 100% perfect.  But then which car is?? At least I can say they are improving on quality every time a new model is launched. The IVTEC engine now is something!! Earlier GXI =non ZX version had suspension problems and a weak eletronic power Steering that reqd changing every 30,000 kms or so if you drive on rough roads. I hope they have improved these now.]

3. Fuel consumption - the best in this size and class of vehicle I guess. The new car gives you a 14.7 in Delhi driving if you know how to let go of the accelerator without letting the speed go down at the same time. With this trick you can even get this mileage at 100 kmph too, but naturally at this speed you need to have an open road to drive for some time and not reduce the speed too soon.

4. Somewhat more Features - compared to other cars of same price or slightly higher. eg Altis has 4-speed automatic while Honda City has 5-speed for eg. Of course earlier Honda did not come with ABS and Air bags as standards while lower cost cars provided the same. Even today Maruti A- Star provides these I am told. The new Honda City of 2009 which is still selling in 2010 has the new features and more like KMPL meter and so on.
5. Aesthetics/ Beauty-- The arrow shot form is indeed a hit and so are the interiors.

Word of Caution added to new customers: Some expected features are either missing or not available in spite of their manual showing them as "available in some types"

(i) Security System -- The new city has a built in factory provided engine immobiliser. However with this now they are no longer approving Auto Cop etc and so you will not have a Door Alarm system that will give you a peace of mind by blowing a horn when some unauthorised person opens your doors, dicky and bonnet. So also is the Ultrasonic sensor that comes with Autocop and 3rd party vendors will not be possible to bve fitted. I have written to Hondasiel and awaiting their reply on the same. I have suggested that they allow customers to fix this without affecting warranty of cars. This is an expected feature and needs to be allowed even through 3rd Parties..

You will find in their manuals that some cars have these. They have written back with the expected reply- that the manuals are also for cars sold abroad. I wonder why they feel India do not need these features and are not providing the same. As usual the CRM from Honda was silent on this part.

The Civic has these features so it is not that HONDA feels customers do not need it. They may have felt that customers will not be willing to pay for these addl features but then again when they have some variants what stopped them from adding some more with these?

(ii) There is just one Power Accessories Point --- I wonder why even now the car does not have more than one point. Surely it would be just a minor additional cost for them to provide one more point? Cigarette Lighters or chargers or anything that can work on 12V power will work on this available point for now. This is a desired feature.

(iii) Spotlight  at the front above the rear view mirror [like you have in an aircraft for reading] - Again a feature they say are only available in Cars sold abroad. Again my doubt why this cannot be a variant for Indian City? Or did they think this would reduce the gap with Civic since it has these addl features? I wonder how since Civic is altogether a different category of car and a larger one too!! This  is only for cars sold abroad they say.

(iv) Amazing fact is that in the very modern music system that the Japanese boasts of introducing in the car the CD player missing. I wonder why!! Hace CDs become defunct already? Many customers are buying the cars and only after driving away are realising this is missing when  USB-MP3/ Ipod etc fitments are allowed. This is an expected feature.

(v) 2 keys -1 with remote and 1 ordinary - Earlier they used to give 3 ordinary keys in 2005. Why not at least 2 keys with remote? I hear that we have to make a substantial payment for a duplicate key if this is lost. I am not sure because Honda is silent on this.

(vi) Rear Seat adjustments - for inclining and/or changing angles. Again same reply. Again my doubt as above. This is only for cars sold abroad they say.

(vii) Folding Door Mirrors [whole body] -This is only for cars sold abroad they say. Again as above in (vi) Same doubts as above!

(viii) Cruise Control - This is only for cars sold abroad they say.
All over the web you will find dissatisfied customers telling you that nobody from Honda ever is possible to contact. Well I have a different experience. If you can get hold of an email of the top people somebody does reply to you. However you may not be satisfied with the reply depending on the subject matter.

Nowhere across the world Honda believes in allowing Direct contact with customers and always does it through dealers. Abroad this model may work  but I fear, the Indian Business class being such and India not being a country where Consumer Movement has taken much shape still, the Japanese model does not work here only because of two reasons:-

1. Dealers employ low salaried people who may not be motivated to learn everything to be able to reply to you satisfactorily;
2. Dealers themselves are not interested as the car is selling anyway-- and so they will at most raise their hands saying "Honda is doing this or that so they cannot do anything about it'.


Fantastic design. I like it. Lots of glass that makes it really modern. quite different from any other hatchback or any sedan too. But then the price too is!


The topmost leftside switch is to swing the mirror body.
Spotlights like Airplane Reading Lights


The Music System- has everything.. but not a CD player!! But it has steering controls for the music system just like CIVIC has.

Last but not the least- Automatic version in City now is as good as Manual wrt Fuel Consumption, so you can choose Automatic if you can afford the Extra. The picture shows V version and so you see enamelled door switch panel and chrome plated handles etc. The New Automatic version is not like the earlier CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission and has a torque converter that gives you better mileage and also less response lag, though lag is not totally absent. But with paddle shift gears you can also have manual effect and so this car may be called MANUMATIC instead of Automatic if we use the new word.

By the way they also have hybrid Version in Civic. But then the electric motor only supplements the petrol one and never really drives the car solely on electric. So you always need Petrol in your tanks. More details on this you can find elsewhere as I have not checked the car myself and I only felt it is not cost effective for people like us- i.e. middle class.

1 comment:

Rommel said...

Very nice post and review.I do agree with this aspect, this car is a class apart,We cannot compare it with others.This is a very good choice if you try considering Honda City to be your car and ride with smooth performance for any kind of journey on the road.

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