Looking to replace my Honda City

It is extremely well maintained and still drives like a charm but we are concerned about reliability and safety and are looking to replace it now.

BHPian Nonstop-driver recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

My dad currently drives a Honda City ZX 2008 model. The ODO reads about 2,70,000 km  Yea, you read that right . It is extremely well maintained and still drives like a charm but we are concerned about reliability and safety and are looking to replace it now.

I’ll get straight to the point then. My dad is not fussy about tech or driveability. His priority includes value for money proposition and on-road reliability. The other family vehicles are Hyundai i10 and a 2017 Creta SX AT-D.

Must haves in the new car:

  • Status symbol/ market perception – equivalent or more than Honda City ZX. I understand this is subjective but what I mean is premium hatchbacks are kind of ruled out but stuff like top model Ciaz is not (this could be tricky to explain).
  • Large boot. My mother loves to carry the house so the car never runs an inch empty on the highway. City offered a generous 500l litre boot which he would like to carry over.
  • On-road support in tier 2/3 towns – although he lives in close vicinity of dealerships and FNGs, he travels to tier 2 towns in Rajasthan quite often and would like to have peace of mind if something goes wrong. With Honda, he had an issue twice where the local mechanics didn’t even want to touch the car. Although this was a few years ago and things might be different now.

Preferences but not mandatory

  • High GC, high seating position. Not mandatory, but good to have.
  • Automatic. Haven’t ruled out manuals but any AT (even AMT) would be good to have.
  • Petrol engine, but open to diesels as well. As I said drivability is not the ask and since he has always used a petrol vehicle, it will be preferred.
  • Atleast 2 airbags but more the better. A good rear view/360 camera.


Based on the above, what I’ve in mind so far is:

  • Kia Sonet / Seltos (decision point based on size, not engine options)
  • Hyundai Venue / Creta (decision point based on size, not engine options)
  • Tata Nexon / Harrier / Hexa (decision point based on size, not engine options)
  • MG Hector
  • Jeep Compass
  • Maruti S-Cross / Ciaz

Experience so far

With an hour in hand last weekend, we headed out with a blank canvas. The first halt was Joshi Kia Chandigarh.

Kia Sonet / Seltos

Great first impression. Neatly put up vehicles which you can touch and feel to satisfaction. Knowledgable salesman too. Seltos is a likely candidate but Sonet looks good too, albeit less space. We couldn’t do a TD but this is mostly sorted. Can narrow down on the variant based on TD and pricing.


I was most excited about this. Vehicles I had in mind were Harrier, Nexon, Hexa and Safari. But the Tata dealership we visited had only Tiago and Safari on display. No other demo or test vehicle. Heck they didn’t even have a salesman to spare. Really bad experience but haven’t written off Tata yet. Will cover it in the next visit. I really feel Harrier ticks most of our boxes and brings better VFM than Seltos.

On the new Tata Safari – looks very similar to Harrier. The one on display had off-white interiors which did not look good or practical. Pano sunroof looked like a cool party trick but we are past that bend.


Honda showroom was adjacent so we went for old times sake. Nothing of interest. Showroom was deserted. 3 variants each of City and Amaze on display. The new City made some sense financially. 14-15lakhs OTR, looks good, feels home. But then came the bomb – no deliveries until April. Some production issues. Very negative vibe overall.


The last stop for the day was Nexa. Mainly to check out S-Cross. Looked and felt good but the boot is a severe disappointment. While there, Ciaz made some sense too but the more we looked into it, the quality difference became apparent. Anyway, S-Cross is still in contention subject to boot space restriction.

We had to call it a day post this but next visits would include:

  • A proper Tata dealership for Harrier and potentially Nexon
  • MG for Hector
  • Jeep for Compass
  • Hyundai for Creta and their new 7-seater launch

Although I’ve a strong feeling it will come down to Seltos vs Harrier.

  • Anything I’m missing or should add to my list?
  • Any idea if buying in March can lead to more discounts (year end sales target kind of thing)?
  • Lastly, is it worth hunting for Compass MY2020 to maybe find something under 18-18.5lakh OTR?

EDIT: I completely missed Mahindra. The XUV300/ 500 is also on the list to checkout.

Here’s what BHPian FlashMustang had to say on the matter:

Nice write-up and a good shortlist. Adding a few more options that can be considered.

Toyota Yaris

Your Must Haves

  • Status symbol/ market perception – Check
  • Large boot – If the car is for two people, the Yaris comes with a 60:40 foldable rear seats, which can help expand the boot space.
  • On-road support in tier 2/3 towns – I might not be very sure on this one, but if you regularly service your Toyotas, you might not be in need of such support.

Your preferences

  • High GC and high seating position won’t be met.
  • Automatic – Check. A reliable CVT automatic.
  • Petrol engine – Check.
  • Atleast 2 airbags but more the better – Check. The VX CVT comes with 7 airbags.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga/XL6

Your Must Haves

  • Status symbol/ market perception – Not sure – depends on your perception
  • Large boot – Check. Ertiga’s seats can be folded down to create a ton of room.
  • On-road support in tier 2/3 towns – With Maruti’s service network, this should get taken care of.

Your preferences

  • High GC and high seating position – Check
  • Automatic – Check (though this would be a four-speed torque converter, but reliable nevertheless)
  • Atleast 2 airbags but more the better – Comes with 2 airbags

From your list, the Seltos/Creta twins would be a good option. I might suggest sticking with the petrol CVT or the diesel torque converter, if you are going with these options. If it were me, I might choose the diesel automatic variants from here.

If the choice comes between the Venue/Sonet twins, I might recommend the Sonet Diesel torque converter.

From the Hyundai/Kia stable, I’ve basically eliminated the DCT gearboxes from a reliability perspective.

Again, as ashis89 pointed out, check out the service coverage for Kia.

A lightly used Jeep Compass might also be a good choice from your shortlist, but, again, I’m worried about the service coverage. Paying the premium for a first hand Jeep Compass might not be a great choice. If you are choosing this, the diesel manual seems to be the preferred choice. Check out the reasons from here.

Cheers and happy hunting for the car for your dad!

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

I think you should buy the new Honda City:

  • Your Dad clearly loves the City
  • You already have a hatchback & crossover in the garage
  • The 5th-gen City appears to be much improved over the controversial 4th-gen car
  • It’s got the best NA petrol and the smoothest CVT automatic
  • Honda engines & mechanical components are usually bullet-proof and will cross 2 lakh km without fuss. Honda also offers extended warranties for 10 years!
  • The City is an all-rounder
  • If you are going to keep the car for a decade, a month or two of waiting is no big deal.

Second choice, either the Sonet (top variant falls in your budget) or Creta / Seltos (mid-variants in your budget). If you choose the Creta / Seltos, then stretch your budget for the highest variant. The features will be big on the “feel good” factor in your long 10 – 12 year ownership period.

Good luck shopping. Always a special time when we’re out shopping for a car.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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