AMAZING HONDA CITY
think I'm one of those lucky few who got to test drive a Vx CVT model of Honda City, thanks to a new dealer of Honda in Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi by the name Samara Honda. They brought the vehicle to my place only after a single phone call and overall it was a pleasant experience. I've driven an Indica Xeta GLS for the last 8 years, which was supposed to be my 'bachelor days' car for just 2-3 years, but here I am, married with kids, yet driving it after 8 years. Indica Xeta is a tank, never failed me, I traveled from Kerala to Mumbai, Mumbai to Bhopal, Bhopal to Lucknow, Lucknow to Shimla and same route back when it was 3 years old. Still I take it on 600-700 kms drives, never fails me, but it utterly lacks in LUXURY. That's what kicked in the quest for deciding a new car. Quest for deciding the Car: I've recently taken test drives of XUV500 W8 and Renault Duster. In Duster, I felt Renault is fleecing people by selling a raised station wagon with no comfort or luxury. The best point about Duster is its amazing suspension, and that's where the best-ness ends. XUV500 pampers you, big, spacious, luxurious. 2nd row seats are BETTER and more comfortable than even Innova (believe me, have traveled extensively in Innovas). Interiors lack a little finesse, but XUV500 is a very good package overall. Wife says she won't be able to drive XUV, so there it goes off the list. So, finally, I zeroed in on the Honda City Vx CVT. The Car - Vx CVT Exteriors: It was a silver coloured model, and though I prefer white or carnelian red, that didn't stop the silver City to look majestic and charming. First I checked the car for paint finish and panel gaps if any. . Paint job was excellent, only annoying things were no rear wheel well cladding and quirky looking alloys (spare wheel is NOT alloy), Malaysian models sport much better looking alloys. Interiors: Plush..and Engaging, are the words to describe the interiors of this car. Some guys find the piano finish tacky, but I found it to be very premium looking. Yes, it IS a finger print magnet, so be careful before thinking of entering this 'pristine refuge of luxury' with greasy hands. It is a driver's car,and it gleams in the eyes of the instrument cluster as well in the dashboard gizmos which are slightly tilted towards the driver. The keyless entry is really good, some people call it a gimmick, but when I was taking remote locking & central locking with four power windows in my Xeta, some considered it a waste of money, but I required those and am happy that I did that. Keyless entry is a boon for ladies specially, they can keep the key-fob in their purse always, and they'll never end up misplacing the car keys. Drive: The engine start-stop button is a big red one on the black piano finish console and looks inviting. You press the brake pedal simultaneously with it to start the car. The engine purrs in a sophisticated manner and the instrument cluster comes alive. I have extensively driven a second gen City and that was a slightly modest car when it came to acceleration. I drive my Xeta with a pedal to metal style, on my rear bumper ;-). On highways, the only car whom my Xeta couldn't match at all used to be Skoda Laura. This City, is a different beast altogether. I was VERY apprehensive about CVT, but I need my wife also to drive it & thus I thought that I'd compromise on my 'pedal to metal' style and start behaving like a mature family man now :-D. I shifted the auto lever to Drive and pressed the accelerator, the car responded immediately and moved ahead swiftly. I started pressing the accelerator in a gradual manner and did not find any rubber band effect. To force the car to demonstrate the rubber band effect, I slowed down and jammed the pedal down, the car lunged ahead with barely any lack of response. I realized that this CVT is ages ahead of Nissan's or Renault's, where a very perceptible and annoying rubber-band effect exists. In Drive mode, I overtook a Sumo and a Dzire, without any sweat. The paddle shifters were elbowing me silently to caress them, so I shifted the Auto lever to Sport mode and shifted up with the right paddle shifter while pressing the accelerator in my 'pedal to metal' style. That was the moment I fell in love with this Car. The car zoomed with a show of pure power and the excellent and swift steering was an icing on the cake. I went up to the 7th virtual gear ratio (it shows in the instrument cluster) and touched 100 kmph. There were four people sitting in the car (including me),and the car was in her elements. Wow,is the word, I forgot the excellent pull of XUV500's engine, driving Vx CVT with Sport mode and paddle shifters is actually like driving a sports car. It's decided now that Drive mode for my wife and Sports with Paddle shifters is for me
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