Highway Report and Wrap Up
We recently bid goodbye to one of the most efficient long-term test cars we have had here at CarWale. Efficient not just in terms of fuel economy but also in everyday usability. It’s the Honda City ZX, in diesel manual guise and over the last three months, it’s had a rather challenging role to fulfil i.e. play wingman to our lead photographer Kapil and his never-ending still shoots for CarWale and BikeWale.
Over the first couple of months into its arrival, our City had done a large chunk of travel in, you guessed it, the city. And in our previous report we talked about how the car fared within the confines of Navi Mumbai. Now, as we wrap up our thoughts and final impressions, it’s time to talk about the City’s highway manners and how it has performed in the last three months. Besides seeing a lot of action during Kapil’s commute between Kalyan and Navi Mumbai, the City has been a frequent visitor many scenic locations around Lonavala and our in-house studio near Panvel.
On the highways, it’s strong diesel engine never failed to offer enough punch to zip through the slow-moving traffic, while the light yet quick steering and the grown-up chassis formed a perfect match when driving through the ghats. The six-speed manual is undoubtedly among the most engaging gearboxes that we have experienced in everyday cars. So much so that it makes this supposedly economy box a proper fun car to drive. What’s not so good though is the NVH at highway speeds. Naturally, there is tiny bit of wind noise that filters into the cabin. That is expected. However, the engine is quite audible at expressway speeds and you will have to crank up the music volume to get rid of the diesel drone.
This 1.5-litre may be incredibly efficient in the overall scheme of things but on the highways there is no escaping the noise it makes. Ride quality remains flat and the City will easily let four people do long distances without much fatigue. You could add a fifth person in the second row but it’s not exactly comfortable because of how the rear bench seat is contoured. The front seats though are very comfortable and offer good bolstering on the sides.
The City ZX has been the default camera vehicle for all our shoots and it’s never let us down. Its 507-litre boot swallows everything – be it Kapil and Kaustubh’s exhaustive camera gear, big suitcases or anything in between.
We have covered thousands of kilometres purely in the city, kept the AC running many a times while the car is stationary on shoot locations and yet the average fuel efficiency never dipped below 15kmpl. The City ZX diesel is incredibly fuel-efficient and combine that with a 40-litre fuel tank and one needn’t worry about refueling for days.
And so three months and many, many shoot schedules later, we have still not had enough of the City ZX and would be happy to have it again. The City is an evergreen product and in this latest iteration Honda seems to have nailed that ideal combination of fuel efficiency, daily usability and comfort. Add in the handy set of features (read: blind-spot camera viewing, rear sun blinds, semi-digital display) and we are all the more convinced that the new City is among the most sensible picks in its segment.
Version: ZX Diesel
Kilometres this month: 1,560km
Fuel Efficiency: 15.2kmpl
Price: Rs 18.74 lakh (when tested)
Photography: Kaustubh Gandhi