Tuesday, April 29, 2014

First Drive: 2014 Honda City 1.5 VX

Photos by Ulysses Ang
UPDATE: Read our in-depth review of the Honda City 1.5 VX Aero Sport Modulo. (8/12/2014).

Car manufacturers constantly play a game of upmanship each time they come up with a new vehicle. Once in a while though, a car becomes more than merely “best in class”, it starts to transcend segments becoming something that’s totally different and unexpected. The all-new City is one such example. From its humble beginnings as Honda’s B-segment sedan, it has morphed into a car that can take on the competition a segment or two higher. And to prove this point, Honda made us drive it from the confines of the urban jungle all the way to La Union.

Being the first to arrive at the start-off point in Bonifacio Global City, I closely scrutinized the all-new Honda City’s design without the glare of the convention hall spotlights where it was launched the night before. Cast against the soft, orange hue of the summer sunrise, the City looks sleek, angular, and high-tech. Some people reckon it looks very similar to the previous-generation FD Civic and perhaps they’re right; after all, the City is as cutting-edge and sporty as that beloved Civic generation. Credit this to Honda’s new “Exciting H!!! Design” (yes, the three exclamation points are included) which gives it three attributes: a solid wing face with a low frontend, an aerodynamic design, and a clear-cut side panel. Squint hard enough though and you can see the Honda ‘H’ integrated into the City’s face (trust me, once you see it, you cannot unsee it). The same motif is carried at the back though the rear-end is, dare I say it, a dead ringer for an Acura. Honda has definitely gotten their design mojo back with the all-new City.



After the driver’s briefing, it was time to step inside the City and look at its cockpit. And what a driving environment it is. The B-segment sedan label’s a misnomer since there’s nothing sub-compact about the all-new City. The design is as futuristic inside as it is outside with the 7-inch touchscreen taking center stage. It’s nerve central for the entire Honda City experience providing not just access to the entertainment system but to the multi-function computer and vehicle settings as well. I had strong reservations on the new button-less interface, but I must admit that after getting some used to, it works fine. It was equally amusing seeing Honda Cars Philippines President and General Manager Mr. Toshio Kuwahara always looking over my shoulder whenever I tinker with the touchscreen. Now, in as much as I found this interface completely alright, a handful of physical buttons or knobs would have made this set-up absolutely perfect (especially for the climate control).

Compared to its immediate predecessor, the all-new City carries the same-sized body in terms of length (4,440-mm) and width (1,695-mm), but is taller by 7-mm (1,495). The biggest news though is the additional 50-mm in wheelbase bringing the total to 2,600-mm or just 70 shy of the Honda Civic. The size increase may seem modest on paper, but in reality, the City’s just plain cavernous. With a three-to-a-car set-up for the drive, I found myself having the space to actually cross my legs in the backseat; again to the amusement of Mr. Kuwahara who saw me do the deed from his Accord. Clearly, this is a sub-compact by definition alone. This actually trumps a compact car which we also recently drove up north in terms of space.



After spending the first two legs of the drive in the back and riding shotgun, it was time to assess the City’s driving chops. The drivetrain for 2014 is a mix of the familiar and the new with the largely carried over 1.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC (120 horsepower, 145 Nm of torque) now mated to a new Earth Dreams CVT. There’s no need to be afraid of this CVT anymore. Honda’s previous foray with the belt-type transmission resulted in a mixed experience, but this one’s ten times better. Using a low-speed torque converter, the City feels punchy from a standstill—no need for the transmission to wind itself up like a rubber band to get a decent response. The instantaneous response is coupled with surprisingly explosive power making the City feel like a larger-displacement car. It rarely felt lacking executing an overtaking maneuver and in the rare occasion that it does, you can simply flick the paddle shifter to bring the CVT’s ratio down giving noticeable boost. And because of the CVT’s rather wide ratio, the City actually reaches a 190 km/h terminal velocity which is achievable (exact location withheld for my personal protection).

The all-new City also doesn’t drive like a typical B-segment sedan. It doesn’t have the same “hollow” sensation as the others, including the previous-generation model. It feels more planted whatever the road condition from smooth highway roads to pothole-ridden provincial roads. The body structure feels tight and sturdy making the cabin free from any shimmies caused by road imperfections or cat’s eyes. The steering and suspension are also well-balanced providing the right levels of comfort without any detriment to sportiness. Perhaps if there’s one criticism I could level on the City is that it needs a better brake pedal feel. Though there’s good bite (despite the vented disc/drum set-up), the initial stroke feels a bit mushy.



Reaching the Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point, La Union some five hours and 275 kilometers later, it’s surprising to note that the City ate up only half of its 40-liter gas tank achieving up to 15.3 km/L cruising on the highway or 12.1 km/L in a mixed relaxed/pedal-to-the-metal driving routine. Amazingly, the drive wasn’t tiring whether as a driver or passenger thanks to the City’s supportive and well-designed seats.

Mechanically, Honda looks to have gotten its act together with the all-new City; and then we just have to talk about its features. Priced at 880,000, the all-new City undercuts a more popular sub-compact rival and yet offers stuff almost unimaginable for this class: push-button engine start/stop, steering wheel controls, Bluetooth hands-free, two USB inputs, HDMI mirroring for smartphones, automatic climate control, rear view camera, among many others. It almost makes the Honda Civic look like a frivolous and unnecessary upgrade! And that’s the deal here. The Honda City is more than just a new sub-compact offering, it’s more than just simply best in class. This is Honda’s return to glory and a definite sign that its rivals better start cowering in fear.


137 comments:

  1. Hi Uly, what do you think is a better buy, Honda City 1.5 VX or the Mazda 3 1.5 V?

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    1. It depends on what you need.

      If I were to look at things on space alone, I'd go Honda City. It's roomier than the Mazda3. Plus the engine's mighty good and pulls better than the Skyactiv engine.

      That said, the Mazda3 is better looking and handles better.

      If I didn't have a family or if I have a bigger car, I'd go Mazda3. If this was a primary car, Honda City.

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    2. Hi Uly, Thank you very much for the response!

      How about the fuel consumption?

      You mentioned that it is better to wait for your official review on Mazda 3 for a more accurate FC. But if you were to estimate, does the Mazda3 at least match the FC of the City even if its a larger car?

      I'm torn between the two models and inclining more to the Mazda, and I agree with all your inputs (style vs. space/utility).

      I'm having trouble choosing because I don't have a family and I don't have a bigger car, but the one that I'll choose will also be a primary car. :p

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    3. Hi Uly,

      Same dilemma here. No family, and the car will be the primary car so your input is greatly appreciated. Hope you can post the detailed review of the Mazda 3 1.5L soon.

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    4. Common sense says that the Honda City may be the more practical choice. You'll never know when you'll need that rear passenger space, plus its a Honda, meaning it will probably stand the test of time better than the Mazda. I bet my left nut that the Honda City will get better fuel economy than the heavier Mazda 3.

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    5. Only if you don't read specs or test drive both. Even the TOTL City still has rear drum brakes, and non-independent torsion beam rear suspension compared to all disk brakes & fully-independent multi-link rear suspension with stabilizers on the Mz3. Honda being "more reliable" is just one of those over-generalizations (same with the Toyotas). I'd take the Japan CBU Mz3 over this Laguna-made City (no offense to our compatriots working there). Both come with 3-yr warranty but only the Mazda has the Yojin 3-yr PMS fully covered for free (36,000 peso value).

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    6. You know what, the Altis uses a torsion beam set up and its comfortable. Most probably you won't be racing a compact sedan so fuel efficiency is more important than handling. That puny 1.5L engine will still struggle with the Mazda 3's weight. Even the honda civic is lighter than the mazda 3 but it uses a 1.8L engine!

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    7. The 1.5L on the previous gen City & Jazz weren't exactly paragons of fuel efficiency based on the numerous reviews. Since they used the same engine with no changes in this generation, don't get your hopes up ricer fanb0i.

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    8. Handling affects the car from 1-300+ km/h, while peak HP & TQ is just that: an instantaneous reading at an RPM point most people won't even reach in typical driving usage. So I'd argue that suspension & braking feel is more important than peak HP & TQ for 99% of daily driving. This City cheapened out and regressed from the previous version in using drum brakes even for the top model. Couple that with narrow & small tires (175-185mm width???) and there's your answer.

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    9. LOL. Big deal 1237kg vs. 1254kg (17kg diff.). Assuming that those numbers are even accurate. Knowing how these figures are calculated, these are most probably ballpark estimates not specific enough to the exact trim & equipment level for each vehicle. They're for all intents & purposes roughly the same weight. So you're still grasping at straws Honda ricer.

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    10. Nope, the mazda 3 with 1.5L is 1254kg vs the honda city which has a curb weight of 1107kg. That 147kg difference is nothing to be laughed at. Yeah, the mazda may have 4 disc brakes but its still heavier and would require more braking power. Anyway, its not that important, even ford rangers and toyota fortuners are equipped with rear drum brakes.

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    11. I agree, I mean... you'd actually have to drive the City to appreciate it. Yes they're just drum brakes, but it's not like you're going to go 180 km/hr on a day to day basis that you'd actually need disc brakes for each tire... Point is, the Honda City is a great vehicle, and so is the Mazda 3... and you can't have everything in a single vehicle. If you want space and fuel efficiency, and the vtec engine then go for Honda City, if you want the looks, and the skyactiv engine and if you can afford the additional cost then go for the Mazda 3... It's simple as that... to each his own.

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    12. Read again, boy, you're the one who brought up the weight of the Civic vs. Mz3 in the post above. The wt. of those 2 were what I was comparing above, since those 2 belong in the same category. You were sneaky to change the comparo when you yourself introduced the Civic into this discussion.

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    13. Oh ok, I thought we were comparing the city and mazda 3. Anyway I brought up the civic because the 1.8L engine is a great match to its weight, unlike the mazda 3. Yes their weight difference is tiny but come on, a 1.5L engine for a car that's heavier than the civic? Who does mazda think they're kidding. Point is, the civic's 1.8L is great for its body, the mazda 3's 1.5L not so much.

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    14. Lol dude why did you even bring up the Civic then? If you want apples to apples theres a 2.0L Mazda3. 1.5L is only the base model which from what I remember costs a lot less than the base Civic.. The City's direct competition is the Mazda2 which is definitely going to lose over any head over heart buyer.

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  2. Sir uly. May i ask what do you think about the upcoming minor model change civic fb? About its release date? Im torn between getting this city vx or civic fb. Thanks. My budget is up to 950k.

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  3. How can a B-segment car be roomier than a C-segment car?.. wheelbase alone, the M3 trumps the city by 100mm! roominies is a visual perception. It's always the numbers that tells the whole story. I'll take M3's skyactive drivetrain anyday compared to a CVT..

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    1. Sadly wheelbase only tells a part of the interior story. It's a common misconception to think that cars with longer wheelbase would have more room.

      What the City does better is packaging. In fact, I could cross my feet in the City while couldn't do the same in the Mazda3. Likewise, the seat cushions of the 3's rear seats reach my thighs halfway meaning it's got not too good support. The City's rear seats are better.

      Again, that's why I'd like to test both of these cars for a longer period of time so I can come up with a true verdict.

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    2. Well, "seat feel" is also just part of the story and highly subjective. You didn't mention if the front seats were moved all the way forward, thus increasing legroom at the rear, or if there are other subtle adjustments made to "increase" perceived space. Any manufacturer can increase rear legroom at the expense of trunk space, seat cushion length, front seat back thickness, rear floor height and floor flatness, etc. Compare apples to apples, this is still a subcompact economy car accessorized with equipment beating the Civic a class above it. Even the test units pictured in the article above have the aftermarket body kit (those wraparound skirts are NOT stock!), yet Uly doesn't mention that the stock model don't come with those external accessories.

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    3. First of all, I had similarly-sized drivers/companions for both drives so seating was adjusted fairly similarly. It's not about perceived space, it's space that I actually felt with my own legs and knees.

      But yes, I agree about things like cushion design, etc. etc. And that's why the City feels larger. It has a flatter rear floor and thinner seats (which are still comfy). Again, the Mazda3 has excellent front seats, but the rear seats are rather short. I found the City much more comfortable to be in.

      As for the body kits, HCPI brought both the accessorized Modulo and regular City VX during the drive. We had the VX all the way and since were the last car in the convoy, we had no choice but to photo the car just ahead of us which is Top Gear's VX accessorized with Modulo.

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    4. Okay, thanks for the quick response Uly. BTW, typo, "hallow"==holy, "hollow"==floaty/disconnected, which is what I think you mean above with regard to the suspension feel.

      Uly, revive the Car Chat from our old M*****cars site, set up a basic forum rather than this unwieldy blog style commenting section and annoying CAPTCHA BS. - TM

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  4. Minicompact Less than 85 cu ft (2,407 l)
    Subcompact 85–99 cu ft (2,407–2,803 l)
    Compact 100–109 cu ft (2,832–3,087 l)

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  5. the dreaded CVT maintenance!.. nice review though,uly. I think the new city is overkill in terms of pricing. It's quite on the upside in the segment even with the bundled features.

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  6. A ford ecosport titanium is a better buy. Thanks Honda.

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  7. I was able to test drive the the new 2014 mazda 3 1.5 sedan at BGC last weekend. The back seat for passengers are roomier now versus from the previous generation. I'm 6'3 feet tall and I felt very comfortable at the back. Plenty of leg space. Then afterwards I was able to check the new 2014 Honda City right across the street. And I was really surprised that the rear passenger space of this City is probably the same as the MZ3 or probably more roomier by a couple milliliters. Sir Ulysses, I hope you can you make a head to head comparo of these both new cars. Great job by the way. I always love your articles.

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  8. Honda City VX priced at 880,000
    Mazda 3 priced at 945,000

    It sounds crazy that we're comparing two cars that aren't even in the same class segment. But I guess that's how competitive the current Honda City is. Good job Honda! and thanks Uly for your articles, love reading them.

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    1. Exactly. We're actually not doing Mazda any favors with this comparison. Actually I raised this question during the Mazda drive that some uneducated people will indeed start comparing a sub-compact and a compact based on engine displacement alone.

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    2. I think people are waiting for more reviews between the two cars: (1) Honda City VX (2) Mazda 3

      The most common questions that sparks interest are:
      1) Fuel Consumption
      2) Engine Performance
      3) Interior Design and Space

      I hope Uly you can do a thorough test drive sometime soon, and shed more light on both of these fantastic vehicles (although different class segments)

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  9. The "typical" Filipino car buyer compares cars according to price and not really according to segment/engine/dimensions. That's why even the Ford EcoSport is being compared to the Mazda3 and the new City.

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    1. The reason why is very obvious and this is true not only for Filipinos. Practicality nowadays is essential, hence the "value-for-money" consideration. How much of the things I want (or important to me) on a car, will I get for same amount of money between two different cars? That's why the discussions/opinions becomes very subjective.

      If you compare very similar vehicles in terms of segment/engine/dimensions, then it somehow just boils down to the price, doesn't it?

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  10. Still looks like a subcompact and does not have the gravitas to match up against the compact competition.

    Spec-and-space-wise, it might be good, but it's very much an appliance in my eyes.

    I'd get the slower, smaller Mazda 3 1.5V in a heartbeat.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you're happy when these "appliances" overtakes your car on the highway.

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    2. I call BS on the claim that this 1.5L City is faster because it has "120hp" kuno. Uly didn't mention that the peak HP is reached at a nosebleed RPM of 6600! (meaning: practiaclly unachievable in real-world driving), whereas he was quick to point out that the Mz3 1.5L peak RPM is at "a very high" 6000RPM. Uly, 6600 is greater than 6000, you should have pointed that out as well in this article.

      Also, this CVT is has the usual rubber-banding and reliability issues as the other CVTs. I'd take the Mz3 6AT transmission any day especially since the fuel-saving torque-lockup occurs from 8 km/h upwards, whereas conventional torque converter ATs only "lock up" at highway speeds of 80km/h+ (and only continues for a vvery narrow range of up to 100km/h), i.e., virtually never in city driving conditions...

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    3. That's why I'm looking forward to test both these cars in normal driving conditions. Given both these drives were done in out of town conditions and on roads which aren't comparable, results will vary. I guess Honda and Mazda chose roads which highlight the abilities of their respective cars.

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    4. Sir, was wondering if instead of just comparing the City vs Mazda because they were launched recently, why not also add the Sylphy 1.6CVT to the mix which placed it smack in the middle of both cars. I believe the Sylphy has more space inside than the Mazda 3, also boasts the new transmission to get better FC? I really think the pricing of the City VX is off since it is already in compact category already. If the argument is that it's passenger cabin is that of a compact sedan already, then might as well compare them properly with other compact sedans with similar/close to prices as well as "soecs" to see whether it could be a justifiable "bang for buck" purchase. Here's hoping =)

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    5. the sylphy 1.6cvt is also another good car. i would also want to see a head to head battle with these cars.

      1. New City VX
      2. Mazda 3 1.5 AT
      3. Vios 1.5 G AT
      4. Sylphy 1.6 CVT

      Add more if you want.. Ford and Chev.. :D

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    6. "I hope you're happy when these "appliances" overtakes your car on the highway."

      The Mazda 3 1.5 was tested to do 0-100 kph in 11.7 sec.
      The City 1.5 VX+ CVT clocked 12.2 sec, as tested by the same reviewer.

      1.5-liter econoboxes doing 0-100 in 12s is pretty standard, so the City doesn't really have that much of a performance edge over the Mz3.

      So yeah, I don't see how this appliance will overtake the Mz3 on the highway, ceteris paribus.

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    7. Source?

      I remember the previous CIty's 0-100km/h is clocked at 11.5 seconds.

      Are you saying that the all new city is slower than its predecessor? I thought the CVT would make it faster while being more efficient?

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    8. and i can do less than 10sec with the new Vios. with other claims and test from our group.

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  11. Is it just me, or do any of you also think that the previous City looked better than this one? Especially from the front, this one looks as funky as typical Jap fashion, the previous one looked more sleek & not trying-hard. Binihisan lang ito ng body kit eh kayo nag-mukhang mas maganda, eh di naman stock yung body kit sa pictures sa taas.

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    1. I like the previous City, but this one looks better in my opinion. The front looks like a mini Civic SI, and the back looks sporty, but the Modulo looks awful.

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  12. Now I can decide what to take. It's the city versus the vios. Imagine the City being compared to a mazda3. Thanks for the review Mr Ang.

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    1. Good luck on your choice. I don't buy cars based on online reviews or spec sheets or magazine racing like the people above. You should test drive them all. Dynamic handling, driving feel, braking power, real-world acceleration, and general "car aura" cannot be gleaned from looking at pictures and spec sheets.

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  13. To all: please back read to the first comment that Mr.Benjie is asking uly which car is better - the new city or M3. This is how the comparison started. Also, the ecosport is B-segment classified, it's wise to compare it to the City in terms of pricing...

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  14. Why would you compare a Mazda3 with Honda City? I think you should compare it to Honda Civic 'cause it is its counterpart sedan class. Nevertheless, I'll still go for Corolla Altis, the design looks flawless and classic. Mazda and Honda's body design are becoming dull, safe and boring.

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    1. Mazda's design is "dull, safe and boring"? Wow, first time to read that about the current Mazda models. The Altis is another model that had to be dressed up with a stock body kit and spoiler to hide the usual slab-sided, flat, tallboy look of the body. Yeah, it looks "classic" because the previous 2 generations have the same "tallboy" look. The side door panels don't even have any detailing or creases on it. :P

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    2. I agree that the altis is a reliable car, but I wouldn't call its design classic... there's nothing classic with toyota cars, except for the GT 86 :)

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    3. Dull and boring? VERY FUNNY! Hahaha!

      LIST OF AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS FOR 2014 MAZDA 3

      * 2014 Top 3 finalist World Car of the year
      * AutoGuide.com 2014 Car of the Year Award Winner
      *2014 10 Best Interiors awards given by Ward's AutoWorld
      * 2014 CAR AND DRIVER "10BEST"
      * "BEST OF EVERYTHING" — ECONOMY CAR OF THE YEAR
      * 2014 ALG RESIDUAL VALUE AWARD — COMPACT CAR
      * Best of the Best awards for 2014 from the Canadian Automotive Jury

      What about your Altis, Civic and City? Can you name even one? LOL!


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    4. Toyota is just an over priced bland design.

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    5. As i read through every article here in this website, lagi ko na lang nakikita na laging may nakikipagaway na mazda 3 fanboy.

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  15. mazda 3 also won as one of having the best cockpit around.
    altis - cant remember any. City - cant remember any as well. Civic..hmm their EK glory days are over. The only civic worth having is the new Type-R hatch euro.
    go SKYACTIVE!.. and thank you toyota for the 6.50M vehicle recalls just recently!...

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  16. Honda should've learned from the old city's CVT fail.... CVT's are CVT's. You cant reinvent the wheel... whether CVT's is clutched type, TQconverter, Lineartronic, Xtronic etc... they're all the same..they only differ in how the gears engage and dis engage.. end of the day - CVT's S***ck!

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  17. I remember the first time I drove the 2nd-gen City CVT. New drivers I'd imagine would panic and may even get into a horrible accident if they experience what I did. The damned car kept accelerating even without any input from the gas pedal! I thought at first that the gas pedal got stuck in a depressed position, but it turned out it was just the CVT continuously dropping the gear ratios as programmed into the Transmission Control Module, and as a result even as the engine RPMs dropped, the car would just keep accelerating if you don't press on the brake pedal. Needless to say, that's dangerous for noob drivers who are not experienced with automatic trannys or CVTs in particular.

    Later on that City model was the subject of a massive global recall precisely to fix issues with the behavior and reliability of that transmission.

    Lastly, CVTs, like dual-clutch transmissions, just don't "feel" right in stop&go traffic, they behave erratically, either they won't shift the gears quickly enough, or they would do so in a sudden, jerky fashion. Ask the DCT-equipped Focus & Fiesta owners. It's as if the transmission shifting logic can't decide which starting gear to use when moving the car from a complete stop.

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    1. Try to test drive 2014 Altis and City first before you conclude that "CVTs just don't "feel" right in stop&go traffic"

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    2. They added a torque converter to smoothen out the jerkiness. In effect acknowledging why conventional ATs are better than pure CVTs.

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  18. AHAHAHA...toyota fanboy...its toyota having quality and reliability issues right now...snort...

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  19. My family and I usually go out of town every month (baguio to la union/pangasinan/ilocos so on and so forth) My first choice was supposed to be a Nissan Sylphy for the rear airvent (I know its not really a big case for most but its my own little quirk)

    Then saw the new Honda City 2014 on youtube and ever since then been itching to get one to get one what really pulled me in is the rear aircon and new looks

    But from what I gather it seems they removed that here when they released in the phil any reason why? (other than cost cutting of course)

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    1. I can't see any other reason why they removed the rear aircon other than cost cutting.

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  20. too many zoom zoom fanboys here. hahaha civic is way better

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    1. Yeah, that's the ricer's dream car, Civic. It's so good it had to be revamped only 1 year after its introduction. So good the TOTL City beats it in features. So good that US reviewers didn't recommend it for the first time in many years. Lolz.

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    2. yes too many, and this guy is one of them. lol. its not our fault if your zoom-bie dont have that much aftermarket support.

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    3. Not much aftermarket support??? Riceboy, Mazda has more dealerships than Subaru, and I dont hear Subaru fanboys complaining about aftermarket support. If that's what you're worried about then better stick with boring, bland Toyota because they havr more dealerships than your precious Honda. Also, at least even the Altis looks better than the Civic now.

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  21. Ninth generation Civic the ugliest Civic ever made - Honda-Tech.com

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  22. Hi Uly, I've narrowed down my choices between the Ford Fiesta Ecoboost and the Honda City VX. I would appreciate your comments on Honda and Ford's maintenence and service experience, comparing both cars on fuel efficiency, roominess, driving comfort, and feature set. I just want to know which has more bang for buck. Also, I read in one of your articles that the Ecoboost performs at 17+km/l? Does it really require a higher octane gasoline? Thanks!

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    1. The ford fiesta is infamous for its tight rear passenger space and the dual clutch transmission is definitely not for everyone. If you're single, might as well go with the fiesta ecoboost. Its better equipped than the honda city VX, it has an award winning engine and handles extremely well. I have only driven the previous fiesta 1.6L model.

      I checked the new City at a dealership nearby and it looks pretty good, rear space is huge. Interior was nice but I think the fiesta is still the best in terms of interior looks. I was not able to test drive it though.

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    2. Get a Vigo or Mirage or i10 if your primary consideration is fuele economy like many posters here. 1.5L engines would be too big and thirsty for these guys. :P

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  23. I'd take the City over the Sylphy or the Mazda 3. The best thing about the City is it knows it's a B-Segment car but squarely competes with the higher classes & even winning. Now, that's value. And speaking of value, Honda resale is tops alongside Toyota. Mazdas & Nissans are very volatile.

    I'm actually a Civic dude but the current model is a big disappointment & quite pricey that's why I'm hanging on with my FD.

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  24. Hi Uly,

    Thanks for this awesome post. I'm a first time buyer and I would like to know your expert opinion. Should I chose this New Honda City vs. the New Toyota Vios? In terms of (Space, Looks, Price etc.)

    What do you suggest mate?

    TIA

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    1. I am not Uly, but I think he would primarily suggest that you test drive both vehicles first before making a purchase :)

      My simple comparison between the City and the Vios:

      Engine = Honda
      Interior space = Honda
      Exterior looks = Honda
      Reliability = Both Honda and Toyota
      Resale value = Both Honda and Toyota
      Cost of vehicle = Toyota
      Exclusivity = Honda

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    2. Exterior looks may be subjective. I agree in everything you said though.

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    3. Exterior looks may be subjective. I agree in everything you said though.

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    4. Resale value=Honda??? DUDE, ask CR-V owners, esp. the 2nd & 3rd gen models, if that's true. Lol.

      Exclusivity=Honda??? Really, don't you see how common it is now. Maybe that's true back in the late 80s, but now it's just another mass market brand like the rest. Honda "prestige" is as silly as Toyota "reliability". Do your research please instead of relying on passe conventional wisdom.

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    5. Dude, this is a comparison between the Honda City and the Toyota Vios. Stop being an idiot and read through the lines... ginagawa mong tanga ka eh.

      Delete
    6. In my opinion, honda is exclusive because its slightly more expensive than its competitors and it cannot be used for taxi. Although there's nothing wrong with using the vios as a taxi since it shows the car's reliability, but you know when you see a vios, you'll automatically think its a "manong" car.

      Delete
    7. Dude, stop being a moron. I gave those examples so you can see how your concept of "reslae value", "prestige" and "reliability" are dead wrong. So basing your choice between the Vios & City on those misconceptions is a sure ticket to disappointment. Troll fail once again.

      And this misconception about "Hondas cannot be used for taxis" is a longstanding urban myth. Nothing stops you from doing what you want with your Honda once you've bought it. I have read all the owners manuals, sales agreements and warranty conditions, there is no stipulation there that you "cannot use it as a taxi". The closest that is stated there is that the warranty "may not be covered" if the car is used for commercial purposes. And yet they still sell Citys for fleet purposes for medreps, sales agents, etc.

      The real reason is that Honda maintenance is more expensive compared to comparable Toyotas and 3rd-party aftersales support is still less extensive than the very common Toyotas. Taxi fleets would rather buy the cheapest to operate models. That's why diesel Korean subcompacts are also being used as taxis now. It's not really about reliability also.

      Delete
    8. You're definitely wrong. I remember someone from Gensan got his civic impounded because he used it as a taxi.

      It is said that Honda cars cannot be used as taxis due to a stipulation in the buyer's contract preventing their use as such.

      Get your facts straight.

      source: wikipedia

      Delete
    9. LOL. You actually cited wikipedia as your source? Do you even know how the info there is added??? Dude, I'm speaking as a current Honda owner who has owned many models over the years. Unlike most of these ignorant ricers, I actually read all the manuals, receipts, sales agreements, warranty conditions, etc.


      Use commonsense please. Who impounded the said Honda in Gensan? Honda is not a deputized law enforcement organization, they have no legal right to do that. The LTO, LTFRB?? Lol. Damned if they care what private owners do with their own cars. That's urban myth. Don't try passing them on as "facts" from Wikipedia, of all places.

      Delete
    10. Why don't you try asking a honda sales rep or something? The voiding of warranty also applies to the vios if it is used for commercial purposes. And don't tell me that honda is expensive to maintain because we own a vios, and a honda city 2009. The difference is minimal when it comes to maintenance expenses.

      Based on your logic, if I own a private vehicle I'll be able to do anything I want? Ok, if I painted my vios white and slapped taxi stickers all over it, drive it with a private plate and earn some money, no one would bother me right? If that's the case, then why the hell would I register a franchise if I could do anything with my car and make it a taxi?

      Think about it.

      Reading the buyer's contract and warranty booklets does not make a valid point.

      Delete
  25. mazdas dont have many aftermarket parts/support coz they dont need any. It's pure bliss already in stock form - unlike the civic which you have to burn money for aftermarket parts to make it look decent and speedy. Civics has lost its glory. do your homework and you'll find out why. Also, resale values are crap. Buy the car you want to drive and enjoy. To add- try using ultragauge and you'll find out that 99% of torque and HP are doable in normal city stop and go driving..you dont even need to beat the crap out of the engine to achieve this..

    ReplyDelete
  26. Civics shift from its B and K engine series to FD and FB platforms nipped the bud in its cult following. It earmarked the end of its glory days where fanboys and tuners alike flourished and thrive.. goodbye civic....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These ricers don't seem to know how Honda fanboys have become the laughingstock of the Internet for years now. Search google for "VTEC just kicked in yo!" pictures and die laughing. The discerning motorheads have long moved on from Honda fanboyism. So all of you should get wih the program. Accept reality.

      Delete
  27. VTEC. Because ricers need a fancy acronym to let others know their cars dont make power until after 6600rpm. Lulz.

    ReplyDelete
  28. VTEC. Because ricers need a fancy acronym to let others know their cars dont make power until after 6600rpm. Lulz.

    This is the B16s of old. quite true. But not for the new Euro Type R civic. This car will eat evos, STIs, Focus ST, mazda speed and other hothatches in earthkingdom..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? That front-wheel drive, 200hp, non-independent torsion beam rear suspension Euro Civic Type R hatch, would beat turbocharged, AWD, 300+ hp rally replicas??? That thing is a toy for teenagers who play Need For Speed and Gran Turismo on their PlayStations.

      Also, 6600rpm is where this current City makes it peak HP. Lol. As if these ricers would even have a chance to reach that point when they drive.

      Delete
    2. eat evos, STIs, Focus ST? @_@

      Delete
    3. Really? That front-wheel drive, 200hp, non-independent torsion beam rear suspension Euro Civic Type R hatch, would beat turbocharged, AWD, 300+ hp rally replicas??? That thing is a toy for teenagers who play Need For Speed and Gran Turismo on their PlayStations.

      Also, 6600rpm is where this current City makes it peak HP. Lol. As if these ricers would even have a chance to reach that point when they drive.


      the new civic type R is rated at 300-350bhp plus. not 200 hp. Its not torsion beam - its multi link. do your homework pleaze!! its also turbo charged... Also, try using ultragauge in any car and you will see that peak torque and HP is achievable in normal stop and go city driving. You dont need to drive in hiways to achieve it... Also, Type R civic is not a TOY... it's a serious hothatch japanese car of the year for purists and enthusiasts alike.. which I believe you know nothing about. peace

      Delete
  29. What Color do you think is Good in terms of "Catchy Looks" and not Common in Honda Owners? Red, Black, Steel? I don't see a lot of Red Honda in EDSA, mostly white and gray. The Brown is not brown in person so I don't think its a good choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. White First Choice, Metallic Gray 2nd.. :) but if you want just modify it.. TIFFANNY BLUEEE!! :)

      Delete
    2. Rice black seems to be the most popular choice for the VEE-TACH fanboys, so avoid that.

      Delete
    3. Brown is the best color. Aside from being exclusive for the VX models, it looks awesome in real life especially in daylight. When its nightime, the color seems to change to black. Its like getting two colors for the price of one!

      Delete
  30. Geez, wala palang touch screen and MT noh? They should have that in the MT as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They'd increase the price if they included the touch screen so NO. Its a fucking base model, its supposed to be bare as shit in order to maintain a competitive price.

      Delete
    2. But I guess it's still better than the new Vios M/T right?

      Delete
    3. Lolz, you wanted to row your own gears like a taxi or jeepney driver, then why would you expect a touchscreen to control your audio & electronics?

      Delete
    4. you are stupid

      Delete
  31. Do you think the new honda city 1.5E M/T is better than the new Vios M/T?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hellz to the fuckin' YES baby!

      Delete
    2. if you are a first time car buyer.. driving both and testing it would be very much helpful.. include atyour family in the test drive so they will be able to appreciate sittingat the back. :)

      Delete
  32. You could say anything you wish for, but one thing is sure, the Honda City and all other Hondas out there will still be fooling around a long long time after all their contemporary model vehicles are long gone and recycle thrice to make a new vehicle. No offense meant, but City and Vios will be so plenty in the streets, but Mazda, hey dude wake up, the only mazda around are those brand new and they won't be around for more than a year because all of them will go to the junk yard. Pretty reliable you say? Mazda? Reliable as kariton option maybe.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm not a mazda car owner or a even a fan of it, but saying these cars won't last for a year is complete and utter BULLSHIT. They have a 3 year warranty with free labor, oils and parts so owners can be assured their cars will last for more than 3 years.

    ReplyDelete
  34. MATAKAW nanaman yan sa gas tsk tsk tsk di naman nalalayo sa previous design. mababa ground clearance marami nnmn ricer na mugen mugen stickers carbon fiber sticker stickers dito stickers doon, muffler utot doon at dito worst of all stupid driver racer wanna be nnmn vtec just kickn yo shit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously, you dont know alot about cars and its latest technology. Papansin ka lang masyado. Hahaha.

      Delete
    2. tinamaan ka ata utot? honda vtec boy ka noh? sige idrive mo nang mabilis kotse mo :) kung meron ka. latest design lang yang nakkita mo lol pauto ka naman sa honda, nakikiuso sa mga ricer hahahaha

      Delete
    3. nissan pulsar or st na ford fiesta na lng sana dalhi sa pilipinas. hindi mga ganitong sasakyan pauso lng porket honda mabilis na maganda pa, porke toyota reliable, cheap at taxi kagad. bat ba di igaya sa ibang bansa ang nilalagay na mga sasakyan dito sa pilipinas.. ung accord na coupe na lng sana un lng tingin ko maganda sa honda ngaun..

      Delete
  35. Madami din namang ricer na mga vios ah.

    Sa totoo lang parang wala na akong nakikitang mga ricer na bagong honda. Kung meron konte lang. Kadalasan ng mga honda ricer yung naka civic na 90's lalo na yung SIR, feeling nila maganda sasakyan nila eh, baduy naman.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi, Im a sales executive of Honda Kalookan. Would it be so kind to you that I would feature your post on my blog? it would be very beneficial for my clients to see your posts specially seeing the actual fuel consumption of the city. I will put a link of your post on my blog. I will only put some of your discussions here not all. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi, I'm deciding between getting this Honda City VX or the All New Yaris. Any thoughts? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a Honda lover... so might be a bit biased. Go for the City VX... it looks better, rides better, but costs more (obviously). Hehehe...

      Delete
  38. Guys what do you think about the Honda City Modulo Aero Sports VX? I Like it :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't waste money on exterior mods... you can buy those elsewhere in cheaper prices.

      Delete
  39. Nakakawindang tong site na to puro away.... the reason im opening this site is. im looking for a subcompact sedan not compact... while reading others comment they are comparing this car to a compact m3 altis civic etc... which is unlogical ovious naman ang price diff.. uly is right that some uneducated people are comparing cars based on the engine it self which is 1.5..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marami kasing fanboys dito na madali ma offend.

      Delete
  40. Sabihin mo na nang appliances ang city... eh bakit ka pa pumunta punta sa site na to.. kung m3 pala gusto mo.. alam mo ba difference ng subcompact sa compact.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Going back to the real battle.. uly in your opinion vios or city 1.5?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haven't driven the City yet extensively so I can't judge. We'll see once I get to drive it.

      Delete
  42. First-time buyer here. Just need two cents on Ecosport Trend AT vs. City VX CVT. Still torn between those two. Will have it as primary/family car (have a 6mo. old kid). Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  43. sir, what is the difference between honda city 1.5 vx cvt and honda city 1.5 vx + cvt?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can check it out here:

      http://www.carguide.ph/2014/04/honda-cars-philippines-launches-all-new.html

      In a nutshell though, the XV+ gets 6 airbags and VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) making it ASEAN NCAP 5-stars.

      Delete
    2. Oh, and the reverse camera has dynamic guide lines too I think.

      Delete
  44. Personally, I think Honda City VX is way much better than Mazda 3. Anyway if you want to know more about Honda Cars Philippines, check out their site and you'll be able to know about their different models aside from Honda City VX.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't really compare the Honda City to Mazda 3, its a mismatch!

      Mazda 3 all the way! ZOOM! ZOOM!

      Delete
  45. If you have questions or queries about honda unit especially when it comes to the price, promos, testdrive feel free to call or leave a message and ill be glad to assist you. Heres my mobile no. 0920 5259679 and look for MICHELLE.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Ulysses,

    Hows the comparison of Ecosport 1.5 Trend AT and City 1.5VX? Hows the real drive power? Im planning to buy and which will drive better going up in antipolo?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is our review of the Ford EcoSport:
      http://www.carguide.ph/2014/08/review-2014-ford-ecosport-15-titanium.html

      Here is our review of the Honda City:
      http://www.carguide.ph/2014/08/review-2014-honda-city-vx-aero-sport.html

      If you will tackle a lot of hilly roads (like Antipolo), you'll love the response of the City more. However, the EcoSport does have the advantage when it comes to flood-crossing capabilities.

      Read the reviews then ask a question if you're still torn between these two.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Uly for the quick response. Yes still torn because Im a first time car buyer and really wouldn't want to be in a bad customer service or after sales problem which I hear a lot from FORD. This is why I really read a lot of reviews like this and your Honda review really pushes the car to a very better review because of power, space and lesser maintenance. Is it really worth the money compared to Ford? I read also the jerky transmission on ecosport as you said like "jolting and rough experience". This will be the last question :) Thank you.

      Ps. Sorry for the double post

      Delete
  47. Hi uly!

    Which would you recommend, city vx, ecosport, or fiesta ecoboost?

    Car would be used primarily from home to office, and once a month out of town trips. My place is not a flood prone area, and sometimes i need to negotiate hilly terrains. Btw, car is intended as a primary car. Looking forward for your response! Tnx!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries on the double post.

      What exact model variants are you getting? You must remember that the top-of-the-line Ford EcoSport is P 975,000 while the top-of-the-line Honda City is P 970,000. That may seem like a huge price increase for the City but consider this: 6 airbags, stability control, dynamic parking guidelines, 3-point seat belts for all occupants--these are things you don't get with the Ford EcoSport. Of course, the EcoSport has the advantage of being an "SUV" so you do have the extra height for wading through floods.

      I can't comment really on Honda or Ford service (I haven't owned any of their products for quite a number of years), but in terms of product engineering alone, I'd go with the City. Or better yet, consider the Jazz. It offers you even more flexibility and is more fun to drive. In addition, the top-of-the-line Jazz is just P 948,000.

      The Ford Fiesta EcoBoost is a surprisingly fun car to drive. It's not as spacious as the Jazz or City, but it gives more smiles per kilometer than any sub-compact car out there. It's also fuel efficient...but not as fuel efficient as the Jazz is in the City. The EcoBoost is much better on the highway though. The main advantage of the Fiesta is that it's priced below P 900,000 (P 898,000) to be exact and that makes it quite affordable. Between the EcoSport and the Fiesta, I actually prefer the Fiesta for its better cargo room, ride, and performance.

      Some quick links for you:

      Ford EcoSport review:
      http://www.carguide.ph/2014/08/review-2014-ford-ecosport-15-titanium.html

      Honda City review:
      http://www.carguide.ph/2014/08/review-2014-honda-city-vx-aero-sport.html

      Ford Fiesta EcoBoost review:
      http://www.carguide.ph/2014/04/review-2014-ford-fiesta-10-ecoboost.html

      Honda Jazz review:
      Coming out this week.

      Delete
  48. Thanks Uly for the quick response. Yes still torn because Im a first time car buyer and really wouldn't want to be in a bad customer service or after sales problem which I hear a lot from FORD. This is why I really read a lot of reviews like this and your Honda review really pushes the car to a very better review because of power, space and lesser maintenance. Is it really worth the money compared to Ford? I read also the jerky transmission on ecosport as you said like "jolting and rough experience". This will be the last question :) Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries on the double post.

      What exact model variants are you getting? You must remember that the top-of-the-line Ford EcoSport is P 975,000 while the top-of-the-line Honda City is P 970,000. That may seem like a huge price increase for the City but consider this: 6 airbags, stability control, dynamic parking guidelines, 3-point seat belts for all occupants--these are things you don't get with the Ford EcoSport. Of course, the EcoSport has the advantage of being an "SUV" so you do have the extra height for wading through floods.

      I can't comment really on Honda or Ford service (I haven't owned any of their products for quite a number of years), but in terms of product engineering alone, I'd go with the City. Or better yet, consider the Jazz. It offers you even more flexibility and is more fun to drive. In addition, the top-of-the-line Jazz is just P 948,000.

      Some quick links for you:

      Ford EcoSport review:
      http://www.carguide.ph/2014/08/review-2014-ford-ecosport-15-titanium.html

      Honda City review:
      http://www.carguide.ph/2014/08/review-2014-honda-city-vx-aero-sport.html

      Honda Jazz review:
      Coming out this week.

      Hope this helps.

      Delete
    2. I was the one who asked about the ecosport Trend AT vs City VX.. Both under 900k... I think you and I are going through City as the better one.. Right? Thanks!

      Delete
  49. in case i'll buy the base model only, which is better, jazz V or city V? why? should i prefer the base models of honda over toyota yaris 1.5g?

    ReplyDelete
  50. mga repapips, mga naninirang tao dyan e walang pambili kaya dinadaan na lang sa panggugulo ng usapan..... shut up na lang kayo at magbasa ng meron kayong matutunan. tricycle na lang idrive nyo.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Sir i would like to know how much will be the maintenance cause i was planning on buying a Honda 1.5 E CVT or the MT Version which of them has the higher maintensnce cause?

    ReplyDelete
  52. I'd probably just wait for the next generation (2015 prob?) Mazda 2. Its sleek look trumps all the other cars in its category. Im hoping Mazda Philippines releases it here using the all new Skyacti-D 1.5 diesel like the ones abroad. Ive read that the new Mazda Skyactiv-D diesel engine is the best diesel engine in its class esp in fuel consumption.

    ReplyDelete
  53. hi, does the push start engine button light up (little green light) when the car is started?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you step on the brake pedal, it lights up indicating it is ready to be started up.

      Once the engine is running, the green light turns off.

      Delete
    2. that's weird tried it and it doesn't light up when i step on the brake pedal.

      Delete