Honda is a big name in the world auto market. When it came to India in the wake of the liberalization it quickly carved a niche for itself and endeared itself to the Indian Public. The Honda City model was a winner and sales charts showed the people loved the car.However not content with the success of the City, Honda refined the model and launched the V tec. This is basically an upgraded version of the City ZX and has made use of the success of the City to entice the public albeit with a higher price tag. The old city is certainly a car to remember and one does wonder how the new V tec will fare. Is it a better car? A better buy?
Honda is a market leader and by launching the V tec last year (2009) Honda has produced a winner for the Indian market. The launching of the vtec was akin to return of the king .The car with 100 hp output (slightly lower than the earlier city) has certainly impressed all and sundry.The styling of the City ZX vtec doesn’t differ at all from the earlier model. The changes are cosmetic. The only addition is the rear fog lamp.There is a slight change in the front grill, otherwise body wise there is not much difference. The most distinguishing feature though is that small badge below the rear right tail light and it says Vtec. The Vtec engine though aims at economy and power. At a hundred Ps to its name the car is not a slow runner on the highway and economy is also there in the city as well thanks to the vtec engine.
The engine is the same 1497cc that powered the earlier I-DSI model. But the power house has a SOHC (single overhead camshaft) configuration. This is not very conducive to engine efficiency. However the plus point is that the Honda vtec churns out 100bhp at 5800rpm. In addition the new city has a maximum torque of 13.5kgm at a r 4800rpm. this is a bit high and the result is that though you may not feel it in the cabin ,but the car outside could be noisier.In addition the car has 2 Airbags, ABS, EBD, Electronic Power Steering, Leather Gear Knob, Parking Brake handle and Steering Wheel, CD player compatible with MP3 and WMyA support. The VTEC has 15 inch alloy rims and a lower profile tire. The tyres could have been a shade larger size for better handling during curves and hill drives.
The transmission of the city is very good; the gear shifts are easy and give confidense to the driver. The gear ratios are optimum and you can touch 100km per hour in the second gear itself. That is nice and very encouraging. The chassis is solidly built and the car has all four disc brakes.
However all said and done this Honda car has excellent dynamics and the steering makes the car handle easily.
Now coming to the pricing. The car costs a cool 100,000 rupees more than the earlier model. The deluxe version goes up to 11 lakh rupees. But then Honda has a name and I will recommend buying it over the other cars in the market. It is certainly value for money