neerajd

New Honda City diesel - Is All Aluminium the new diesel way??

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I'm referring to the Autocar Comparison of the 4 diesel sedans here - City, Verna, Rapid and Vento.

The comments in this article are quite stirring.

While Autocar has crowned the City as the overall all rounder.

Now, I agree that each one of us here would be looking for different things from the product they would choose to buy.

But terming a very noisy, all aluminium diesel (I really have my doubts on this one. Can anyone pls explain how this is a good idea?), just a facelift - exorbitantly pricey, low quality plastics on dash and open wires in boot as a winner in this shoot out?? I just do not understand.

Probably with the latest 2014 edition of the Verna, that sounds more like an all rounder save for the claustrophobic rear and less under thigh support there.. but that car ticks all the right boxes then.

Quality, safety and good road manners coupled with reliability and good service should define a good product. Especially when you're in the market with about 10 lacs!!

Agree, no one drives like a Schumaker in everyday traffic...

Just because the Germans are quite understated and lack the gadgetry does not mean that they are no winners... I'm not taking sides here but rooting for something which offers fancy gadgets and bouncy rides along with undone parts (wires hanging in the boot and low quality dash) just does not make me comfortable enough to accept the verdict Autocar has posted.

Any views?

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This is not a facelift, but an all new car. I agree that the quality has dropped, driving experience is not that good, noisy and short of breath, but still it makes the best car there. The verna with revised suspension has made it a better product and can challenge the city.

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MODS: Can you please help me change the topic of this discussion here?

I'd like to call it more "Honda City Diesel - Really a winner?"

And I'd really like someone to explain to me the idea behind using aluminium against cast iron for a diesel motor.

Not sure if aluminium will withstand the heat generated - this car would be no good after 4-5 yrs if that's the case.

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@neeraj, cast iron blocks are still the preferred way to go for engine manufacturing.

However, many manufacturers are moving towards aluminium (in diesel) due to it's light weight which at the end results in better FE.

As far as I know, even in aluminium engine blocks, cylinder sleeves are still made of cast iron for strengthening purpose.

Coming back to City, I had already mentioned in one of the threads that in diesel Verna is still the best bet.

For petrol though, it's the City.

Rapid/Vento though superior in dynamics/build eventually loses out of reliability, customer service and total cost of ownership.

Edited by sachins

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@neeraj, the only other problemin the new city other than cheap plastic dash is the skinny tyres. I bought the new city vx last week and while driving on highway car started to feel shaky at speed of over 110km/hr. Otherwise I think it's the best car in its segment

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Sachin I completely agree with you on both fronts - Honda for the petrol engine and the Verna for the Diesel. They have the most refined engines.

I actually like the 2013 edition City.. The 2014 one has some odd proportions when looked at side ways.. I don't know.. just my view maybe.

And it is maybe the aluminium which makes it lighter is also responsible for the high NVH. A lighter engine is sure to vibrate a lot if it does not have enough weight.

I'm not taking sides here and neither am i rooting for the Germans. But a few of my friends who have a diesel Vento talk about its reliability. The spares and cost of maintenance are a little on the higher side agree, but they are still smiling faces when it comes to drives and comfort.

As a natural instinct, no matter which class of cars you are out there to buy, every customer always has the "VFM" factor somewhere in mind when finalizing on the car he finally would purchase.

My point here was the VFM badge should not be the only deciding factor when you are providing your verdict.

It should be unbiased.

12 lacs for a car is a lot of money and I'd want to ensure I get my money's worth. No cheap plastics or questionable build quality.

In the shootout from Autocar here, I'd have crowned the Verna.

Just because Honda offers a sunroof and a fancy touch screen system (that new 5 inch screen leaves a lot of piano black area unused on the dash - looks odd if you ask me!) does not mean that they are the winners!!

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I think Honda has really played it safe and at the same time, left some room for improvement when the new City comes up for an upgrade in approx. 2.5 years. Couple of things which would have justified the brand City and the price tag would have been the full spec 1.6 litre iDTEC diesel mill coupled with a variable geometry turbocharger doing duty in the international markets. This engine produces ~120 BHP and would have provided the much needed grin factor to all Diesel City owners. Using the same mill as present in Amaze doesn't really tickles my senses. I would also agree that engine refinement and NVH levels are extremely important when one is spending north of 10 lacs and the new City does not come out clear in that department either. As far as interiors are concerned, they look a little confused and unconventional. The designer maybe got a little emotional trying to give it a more modern look a la the Civic, but ended up making it look patchy in the process. 4 air-con vents having 3 different shapes, a parking light switch which looks its thrown in without any thought, a Spartan low-res screen, the list goes on. I think the new top spec Diesel City should not cost above 10.5 lacs on-road Delhi to justify its value, the rest is all premium Honda is charging.

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@neerajd;

You've really started a great topic regarding the comparison amongst C-segment sedans. I'm not going to challenge the results of anyone here but definitely want to add or share my set of observations regarding New Honda City & All-Aluminium diesel engines.

Firstly, regarding New Honda City,

Personally i found this car a lot more overstyled, as per Honda & Industry standards. Looks like somebody might whispered into Honda's ears that 'More the chrome, more richer are the looks'. More or less, i'll say the same thing the car looks like facelift than an All-new car built from scratch. Honda City was known for its simplicity & richness and it was its simplicity & technology went into its making which made it exclusive & a car for known for Class.

But clearly with New Honda City pricing, Honda has clearly targeted the masses than class alone, this time.

Regarding use of Chrome, surprisingly the segment leader New Verna uses only 2 thin lines of chrome all over its body, one in its front grille & another on its tail-gate mounted registration plate lip.

Its interiors, specially dashboard also looks too much messy. Seems that its designers didn't wanted anything to be left to be pasted on its dashboard & for that it has lost theme over the equipment.

Personally, I love a City to be functional yet simplistic in an exclusive manner but lets see, might be Honda have thought some other way to hit target minds this time.

Lets see, whether this approach grows up on people's mind this time or not !

Secondly, on All-Aluminium Diesel engine,

Surprisingly or not so surprisingly, Honda is not the first car manufacturer to use All-aluminium Diesel engine or Diesel engine with All-Aluminium block. Ford's widely used 1.4 TDCi(in Figo, Fiesta/Classic, Ikon) is also an all-aluminium unit & is quite a successful one.

Advantage of All-Aluminium Diesel engine is that it's relatively Lighter, hence more efficient & can be installed into lighter vehicles also without giving nose-heavy feeling while on the other hand it can be more shaky on NVH fronts but as it's lighter so the shakes it'll going to create will be of relatively lower intensity, that means frequent but lighter vibrations.

Again that doesn't mean it's better or bad, but its an engineer or designer's choice as per the needs & priorities.

Whereas, Cast Iron block doesn't have such complications, all it needs better heavy-duty mounts & sturdy chassis to handle & balance it perfectly, rest engine manages of its own plus it has better heat handling properties, which makes it relatively more sturdy & reliable for long term usage.

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Audi has All aluminium diesel engine too it is doing it duty well. New honda city lacks proper sound proofing.

@Dr-nishu agree with you, engine mounts need to be sterdy, as far as i see its cost cutting to the core, they up't the equipment level but did a shoddy job at engine bay.

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I think even Amaze and so do City, uses hydraulic mounts for better NVH.

However, where they have skimped in on proper use of firewall and sound deadening material.

I remember that Toyota also changed standard rubber mounts to hydraulic ones and also beefed up sound insulation in Etios when customers had reported it's high NVH levels.

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