"If you drive a Honda, seldom you'll switch your brand during your next upgrade" a good friend of mine who is driving a Honda from past 20 years said this to me. I was contemplating on buying a car from past one year and had set my eyes on Volkswagen Polo. Even when I was handing over the purchase order, I was not sure if I should take it back and go to VW dealer. My mind said Honda but my heart was set on VW. It is not easy when this is your first car and also a major investment for the first time. To begin with, I was not sure if I should be investing 7 Lakhs on a car. But in country like India where inflation is high, its worth the investment because in next 1 year the same car may cost another 1 Lakh extra. Its better to pay the extra 1 Lakh as interest and enjoy the car.
I took test drive of Brio, Swift, Polo (Both Petrol & Diesel), Felt Brio had too much glass and the gears were stiff, VW people had an air. When I called them for a test drive, they asked me to come half way as my house was far away. They even asked how much my salary was to confirm if I could afford the car. What bullshit. For every question of mine was met with "Its German Engineering" statement. So far the best service experience I had was at Maruti. They spoke my local language, not too intrusive nor distant. They came to my house three times with three different models. They handed over the keys and just allowed me to experience the car to my hearts content. For a second I felt I should just go ahead and buy a swift. But the looks were outdated and I like the old model better then the new one.
I wanted the title of this blog post to be "How Volkswagen sold me a Honda". No doubt VW has some good cars but they also have some worst dealers. With all the recent VW scandal 'm happy with my decision to buy Honda.
Let me go ahead with the likes and dislike about the car so that any one reading this can make an informed decision:
1. Build Quality. It is always nice to hear the reassuring thud when you close the door which is missing is this car.
2. Rubber housing around the windows. When the windows are half open and you drive on a rough road, windows shake and make noise. (I did not face this issue on test car)
3. Rear window can be opened upto 90%, not a major issue.
4. Panel Gaps.
5. You can see the wires when you bend and look below the steering. They could have used some clever engineering hacks to at least clamp the wires.
6. Buy an S Variant instead of going for E or EX variant. I made a mistake picking up the EX variant. If you can afford, go for the model that has an ABS.
7. Option to use the key only on driver side. Hence I had to install a remote lock.
8. OEM Horn: Stopped working in the very first month
1. iVTEC Engine: Single most reason to pick a Honda. Recently took the car out to Ooty and it just handled the curves beautifully without slowing down to catch a breath.
2. Handling: With short turning radius and stiff suspension you will feel confident handing the car. Just responds the way you want it to.
3. Mileage: 17 - 18 KM/Liter on highway with AC
4. Its Spacious.
5. I like the way the steering is designed. You just feel like holding it.
6. OEM front speakers are very good. Do not change the front speakers
7. I'm satisfied with the OEM tires and 165mm width. May change them to Michelin XM 2 during my next upgrade
Despite cost cutting being evident, its a good car to own if you live in a big city. Its almost two years and this is a late post. I have heard that the Honda has increased the base price as the model became popular. When I purchased, interest rates were very high but the interest now is slightly less. On a side note, i would like to add that I drove Hundai Xcent and was impressed with the power and the build quality. It was a brief 5 minute ride and it is difficult to judge a car in such a short span of time.
Cost of Car (On Road): Rs 6,75,760/- (I have not included the interest that I'm paying.)
Remote Lock + Mud flaps + Rear Speakers: Rs 8,300/-
2 Din Honda OEM Head unit: Rs 4000 + Rs 500 as fitting charges
Under Body Coating: Rs 3596/-
Fabric Seat Covers: Rs 3400/-
Better Horn: Rs 1200/-
Total Cost: Rs 6,96,756/-
Savings for not going to next model is Rs 26,976/-
But you will get a seat height adjuster, Steering audio controls, No need to cut wires to get the remote lock and wheel covers.
First Service cost : Free
Second Service cost: Free + Rs 1268/- Cost of Engine oil
Third Service: Rs 1413/-
Fourth Service Rs 2183/-
Replaced a broken mirror which costed: Rs 2504/-
If you notice the service bills are rising steadily. I do not own any other cars to know if the service charges are reasonable. Company had recalled my car to find out if the braking fluid distribution unit was defective. It turned to be OK and they gave a free wash when I left the car for inspection. I'll keep updating this post as and when some thing interesting happens with my car.