What do you do when you want a car that is big on style, big on size, but do not want to spend big money on it? That was my dilemma when I started looking for a car earlier this year to replace my 7-year-old companion, the Maruti Swift. And the one name that kept popping in my head was the king of sedans, the one and only one – Honda City.
I am Gaurav Srivastava, and I make my living as a UX manager in Gurgaon. I live with my folks all the way over in Pitampura, Delhi. Now here’s a disclaimer: in the post-Covid, new normal era of work from home, I do not have to travel to work every day. But on the days when I must, the distance can get a bit daunting. Traffic is snail-paced particularly in peak hours. And that’s when you want a ride that takes away the stress of driving and allows you to take on the madness with relative ease.
What Did I Want From My Car?
I had my mind pretty much made up as far the make and model I wanted to get for myself: the Honda City. But I also had a budget in mind: I knew I didn’t want to pay anything more than 8 lakh. Plus, I also wanted a higher end variant, so I knew that the used car space will best serve my requirement. With all that in mind, I began my search for my next set of four wheels. Did I look far and wide? To be honest, not really. I had a few friends who’d bought from Spinny already. They were happy with their selection, buying and post-purchase journey, so I headed straight to their website, typed in ‘Honda City’, added a few more filters, browsed through the available choices, picked one, and booked a test drive. So far, so good.
Honda City VX: The Test Drive Experience
Any doubt I might have had about secondhand cars (or second hand anything in general) melted away when I first drove the car. It was a home test drive, so I took it out for a spin on the roads that I normally drive on. The car felt good overall, so I decided to put my money down. At Rs 7.65 lakh, the price was well within my budget, so it felt like a pretty good deal to me.
Purchase Process: Paperwork, Staff behavior, Delivery & Payment
Paperwork: Paperwork didn’t take time. It wasn’t complex at all, and the staff explained everything well to me.
Staff behavior: The Spinny staff at the hub and the delivery folks were cordial and professional. They helped me understand everything about the car I was considering. For a brief while I was also considering the Ciaz, so they took me through a few of some Ciaz options as well. Eventually, it had to be the Honda City, so the person I interacted with took me through not just the features but also every small nick or scratch that the car had. These were anyway marked on the car’s listing page, so I was already aware of them.
Payment: I split the payment 50:50 in cash and through a loan that Spinny facilitated for me.
Used 2015 Honda City VX: First Impressions
Honda City VX Exteriors
My first impression of the Honda City was exactly as it is for a whole lot of other City fans – you may have seen it a million times but it looks just as impressive each time and its charm never fades away. The Honda City’s exterior, with its signature front grille, its headlamps and the overall design, was all there. This was a 2015 model, but did the car show signs of ageing? Not from the outside. In fact, the scratches that kind of looked a bit noticeable on the photos were somehow less apparent when I actually looked at the car in person. There was definitely no rusting anywhere as I took a closer look around the vehicle.
The headlamps, taillamps and side view mirrors were all intact and working fine. The tyres looked new and barely worn out and the paint quality didn’t show any telltale signs of wear and tear (although most cars come with fairly high quality paint work these days, so wasn’t expecting problems there anyway).
Honda City VX Interiors: comfort, space & features
Upholstery & overall ‘Freshness’: The interiors in general, and the seats in particular, were squeaky clean but once again it may have something to do with the quality of upholstery used in the Honda City in the first place. The seat covers looked and felt premium. The fabric stitches were all in place. There were no scratches or cuts whatsoever. The cabin smelled fresh, too. The dashboard and central console looked and felt premium, as did the rest of the cabin. The roofs, the doors, the cupholders – all looked good.
Cooling: It’s almost winter, so I haven’t been using the AC lately but thankfully I got to try it out while it was still pretty hot out there. The AC was working well in peak summers. So no complains there.
Infotainment System: It works well and has everything I wanted for it. There was a tiny glitch in the touchscreen, but I spoke to Spinny about it and the problem got resolved in a few days.
Seats: The seats couldn’t have been more comfortable — the design is just perfect to support your back and thighs, especially on long drives.
Space: The legroom and headroom are generous. Cabin space is where a sedan scores over other segments, and my Honda City is obviously no exception. There’s enough space for even tall people to sit comfortably both in the front and the rear seats.
Honda City VX Performance: Engine, Handling & Suspension
Engine: I wouldn’t know the exact power or torque figures, but what I do know is that the engine of my Honda City has more than delivered as far as city driving is concerned. It accelerates in no time and enables quick overtakes on busy roads with no effort whatsoever. As mentioned earlier, being caught in traffic for long hours can be quite stressful, but if the car you’re driving responds well to pedal action, then that’s a great relief to the driver. On highways, I haven’t driven much but whenever I have, aisa kabhi nahi laga ki mazaa nahi aa raha (it’s always been a fun, peppy driving experience.)
The mileage is roughly 11-12 km a liter in the city.
Handling & drive quality: The drive quality is good too. When I drive at higher speeds, let’s say around 100-120 on relatively empty flyovers, the car feels stable and reassuring. There are no disturbing vibrations and the cabin feels pleasantly insulated too. The brakes respond well (as they absolutely should!) and the gear change happens smoothly too.
Suspension: A car’s suspension is often as good as the condition of the roads you normally drive it on. My drives have felt fairly jerk-free and for this, I want to thank the previous owner who must have taken good care of my current car! I haven’t felt the bumps and the potholes too much, so probably the shock absorbers are doing what they are supposed to.
Honda City VX Performance: Safety
So, while some other makes (rightly) get a lot of attention for their safety features, I feel a Honda City in no less in terms of ensuring safety of their passengers. My Honda City gets airbags, rear camera, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Engine Immobilizer, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and more. Obviously I checked the front and rear seat belts while buying the car and found them in good condition.
2015 Honda City VX: Pricing
Pricing, or let’s say, opinion on pricing can be a subjective thing. What appears expensive to one may look reasonable to another. I, for one, really felt that the price Spinny asked for was quite in line with my expectations. It enabled me to transition from a hatchback to a sedan without stretching my budget at all.
For the amount I paid, I got not just the car but also additional benefits that felt quite valuable to me. Their 5-day money back promise was quite reassuring. If anything went even slightly wrong with the car, I could simply drive it back to them and say: no, thank you. There’s the buyback angle as well: I knew that if in a few months I wanted to switch to another car, I could do that easily by selling the City back to Spinny for an assured amount. And as already mentioned, they are also fairly quick in responding to any concern.
Honda City VX: Pros and Cons
- Powerful engine
- Smooth drive & handling
- Premium interiors
- Good city mileage
- High resale value
- None that comes to my mind; sorry!
I have been driving the Honda City for some months now and it has given me absolutely no complains. I can see myself driving this one for at least the next few years, hopefully taking it out on longer drives outside the city as well. To anyone considering a car, my suggestion would be to seriously give a used car – and used Honda City cars – a thought. It won’t disappoint you.