My wife Medini Chitnis received the keys of all new White Honda City SMT on 26th Aug 2010 at an elaborate ceremony at the Crystal Honda ShowRoom in Pune. We had made elaborate plans to drive North to Baroda>Ahmedabad>Jodhpur>Jaisalmer before that and I also purchased a Map My India GPS. I ran out 1000 km by 3rd September for the first service and we set course for Baroda on 06 Sept 2010. We returned to Pune from Jaisalmer on 22nd Sept 2010, got the second servicing done having crossed 5400 km. 26th September we started from Pune on a road trip to Kerela and returned home to Pune on 04 Oct 2010. To date, I have burned rubber = 9,800 km in a short period of just 2 months. My Review of the Honda City. The running in paid almost Rs 9.75 lakhs for the car. Did the run in of the engine on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, revving up and down to 7000 rpm in all gears the first 3000 km. Took the car to 170 kmph during the run in briefly. Run in done I have kept the rpm at 4000 rpm max at all times. The engine is absolutely amazing. With a little depression on the accelerator, the Honda touches 110 kmph, returning an incredible 16.9 kmpl on fuel consumption on the Expressway. In the City of Mumbai, she returns around 12 kmpl which is cool for a 1.5 litre engine. The 2nd and 3rd gear deliver plenty of torque which I really love, as I am addicted to torque.The drive quality of the car is super. I give the V-Tech engine 9/10 marks. THE dashboard instruments very nicely designed though I love the space-age instrument panel of the Civic much more. No cribs, though. I am really pleased that at any given time I get a display of the fuel consumption and also km to go for the level of fuel in the tank.
Points 8/10. Rear view and side view mirrors are absolutely great. The filter to cut off glare at night on the rear view mirror is a big plus for me. Points 9/10. Seats are really comfortable. The air conditioning top class with amazing climate controls. The music system is adequate for my needs. Plenty of leg room forward and aft. What I hate is the cheap plastics all around me. Come on give me some leathers! Marks 8/10. Dikie/Trunk/Boot Plenty of space.
Driving on Indian highway
Now comes the moment of truth. The Honda City is fit for
a)the City driving in large metros like Mumbai or Delhi.
This car badly performs on National Highways and Indian Highways for one reason alone. Very small ground clearance. The Honda City is fine for highways in Malaysia or South Korea, not for Indian Highways. This car hits the bottom even at very slow speeds on the speed breakers anywhere in North and South India. My car’s bottom has taken a heavy beating to date. Having said that even after 8 hours on the wheel the driving stress is negligible. Points: 6/10 The braking system, no debate is absolutely reliable. My wife slammed the breaks at 70 kmph and the car came to a dead halt immediately. An Alto that rammed us from behind got smashed. The Honda City rear just suffered dents. So I guess the safety features are super. 9.5/10 Mountain roads are never smooth roads. Here again for poor ground clearance the Honda City is a failure. There is enough power to drive any road.
What Honda needs to know
1. Raise the ground clearance forward.
2. Jazz up the interiors with smart leathers get rid of plastics.
3. The headlights are bad too. Do something about that. Even my Pulsar 220 street bike has a more powerful beam than the Honda City!
4. Give an option to the buyer to select his own Music System.
5. The warning should come even if other passengers do not buckle up seat belts.
6. By default, headlights should switch on when the engine starts as per International norms.
7. Give a better tool kit including a good jack. What has been given to me is really flimsy and cheap. Shame shame !!
8. Make the Honda City driveable on Indian Highways. Seriously for people who like to travel long distances, Hond City is NOT the car for Indian Roads. You may be better off with a cheap Indian SUV like the Bolero or for that matter a Hyundai Santro i 10/20.
The last word Yes the car is Naish !!
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