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MouthShut Score

91%
4.10 

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Rs. 7,90,000 (Ex-Showroom)

Honda

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Owners pride - value-for-money
Feb 11, 2008 07:23 PM 37186 Views
(Updated Feb 11, 2008 07:36 PM)

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10th anniversary special edition. There are many reviews on this nice car, yet I hope this shall provide better judgment. Today I bought a new Honda city – GXI version of the 10th year anniversary special edition. This is important since it is different from the earlier GXI version with a few goodies thrown in


Honda seems to be waking-up to the market realities. It is a practice with all the manufacturers to launch special editions when they feel that a modal has done its run and the sales figures start a downward trend. This may be due to aging or competition starts to put pressure. This is what probably led to a heart change in the Honda stable.  The competition from Suzuki SX4, Hyundai Verna and Toyota corolla.  I have included corolla since they are offering almost a lakh rupees as various discount offers and price is just Rs80, 000 more for the base model(city 8, 20, 000 on road and 9, 00, 000 for corolla)


I bought the white color that looks stunning with a classic aristocratic feel.


The common factors in the above four cars is only the size and hence could be divided into 2.


A)    The Maruti SX4 & Verna B)     Honda City & Toyota corolla.


You might ask why I left out the Honda civic. It is nowhere in the price bracket with 13 lakh on road price. You may consider it if you are going for the high-end corolla. But then there are others like Skoda Laura ambience waiting for you.


So it is the Honda city GXI verses Toyota corolla basic version. My effort here is to give an experience of the first and how it compares with the second.


Which are the areas these two cars compare.


1)      Overall size and the interior space.


2)      Price range


3)      Maintenance factors


4)      Fuel type - petrol


What these do not compare


1)      Riding comfort


2)      Engine power & mileage


3)      Appeal


4)      Re-sale value


Overall length & width of these cars are almost same with corolla slightly bigger.


Corolla               City


Length:             4530                4390


Width               1705                1690


Height:             1490                1495


Wheel base:     2600                2450


That is 6 inches long and so is the wheelbase. Higher wheelbase means better stability.


The legroom space for both front & rear passengers are more or less same & far better that the Maruti SX4 & Verna.  Biggest attraction is that both these cars could seat 3 adults rather comfortably in the back. This is important for a family person particularly if in the habit of taking them for medium range travel – between 50 to 500 klms. Here I should mention particularly the empty space below the rear seat. I am sure you might have noticed while taking your family for a trip, they will carry items like snacks, food, extra dress & napkins for the kids, hand bags etc. now you got a nice space below the back seat for all these in your Honda city. A cheap(they might have saved a little on the cost) but damn effective utility.


The most important factor of any car is its ride quality. There is not much you can gloat about it in a Honda city. It is very smooth on a well-laid tarmac as if sailing through the waters of Venice but behave like a drunken monk if threatened by a bad patch and your whole body will start to do voodoo dance in the middle of Amazon jungle. Corolla on the other hand is flat more on the quiet luxury side.


Now coming to the engine Honda is driven by 1500cc, 77 bhp with a torque of 12.7kg @ 2700 rpm while corolla carries an 1800cc 120bhp of hose power and a torque of 16.1kg @ 4200rpm.


While these figures are confusing, they point to one thing, the corolla is much powerful. Usually the effect of low power results in lack of acceleration & lethargy at low speeds particularly when you try to accelerate with 5 people on board and ac running. But Honda has somewhat tried to overcome this with the torque developing at lower engine speed(2700 rpm). Still you may have to downshift more often than in corolla. For a person who uses the vehicle mostly for the office & back and occasional family trip Honda has done well to keep the expenses on the golden liquid down. So with the 1 lakh difference on the car and petrol expenses you might save almost Rs 3000/- a month(2100/- for loan amount+ petrol), which is very good. Considering Honda is having equal brand image, this saving makes it a most attractive option. Within 2 to 6 months Toyota is adding a new avatar to the corolla range, which is supposed to be far better than the present breed. So time will only tell what exactly is the future of the present models and its re-sale value in particular – one of the main reason for my choosing the Honda city. I have heard a story about a person without any children. He prayed to the lord with utmost devotion. The lord finally appeared before him and granted him his wish but with a condition. The lord gave him two choices – a child who is very intelligent but with a very short span of life or another – an average in faculty but with a longer life. You could imagine which the humble devotee choose.


Corolla does not come with much features on the base version, only attraction being the ABS, which is good mostly on the highways at high speeds while cornering etc. As for the rest of the features Honda fares well with beautiful beige interiors and wooden finish thrown in at some places. It all also comes with factory fitted fog lamps that costs almost 12000/- and an alpine MP3 player thrown in. One of the useful features I have found is the focus adjustment of the headlamps- electrically, just as the electrically adjustable rearview mirrors. Honda also provided a height adjustable steering wheel that is very useful while on a long trip. For the shorter one like me height adjustable seats are most welcome, without which I may have to use an additional cushion for a clear and confident view of the road in the front.


As for the mileage, I do have only figures provided by other owners. Corolla – 9 to 10 in city and 13 on highway. Honda is economical with 12-13 in the city and 17 on highways.


So folks, though corolla offers a better ride quality and smooth power delivery, I felt the scale tipping on the Honda side and I am sure so will most of you.


Yours very Suresh Babu


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