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:-
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!