Pros: Spacious and quiet cabin, multiple storage spaces, big boot
Cons: Cumbersome touchscreen, rear vents not effective enough
It’s been three months since the Honda City ZX CVT petrol entered our long term garage. In the last two months, the City has done a large chunk of travel in, you guessed it right, the city. So this time around we decided to take the City out on the highway and see how it performs as a kilometre gulper.
Out on the highway, the City is quiet, refined and will easily let four people do long distances without much fatigue. You could add in a fifth person in the second row but it’s a bit of squeeze thanks to the way the seats are designed as well as the rear AC vents that protrude between the seats. The front seats, however, are comfortable, well contoured and offer good bolstering on the sides. In fact, I discovered that, out on the highway, once you get into your driving position and find your driving rhythm, it’s quite easy to get carried away in terms of not wanting to stop for a break.
This summer has been particularly hot and on the various highway stretches that we hit, the temperature readout crossed the 42C mark making it one bright and hot experience. This meant that the climate control system was working overtime in keeping us from over-heating. While the front setup was quite effective, we found the rear vents struggling and did little more than provide a mild stream of cooled air to the face.
In the previous reports, Vikrant gave you an idea of what it was like to use the City CVT in the city. Out on the highway, the City is not really all that different to drive. It’s still reasonably quiet, stable and surprisingly involving while driving. I say the last one because most people assume that an automatic is more of a push and go type vehicle with not much to do out on the highway apart from pointing the car in the right direction.
When you want to put pedal to the metal, the paddle shifters and sport mode give you access to all the power and torque and that’s a fun thing as the engine makes a nice little noise and despite some of the rubber band effect, you can make quick overtakes to keep your pace up. Although for this we would suggest a bit of planning to overcome the lag. On the other hand, the issue with this kind of driving is that your fuel efficiency takes a beating and in our case it dropped down into single digits.
This gearbox comes fully alive when you want to do the kilometres in a controlled manner and lets you keep a relatively light right foot even at three-digit speeds. This ZX model that we have gets cruise control which is a boon! It only works past 40kmph but once you get going, the whole driving experience can be turned into a little game where you pick up and drop the speed using only the cruise control buttons. Of course, we recommend you only try this on an empty stretch of the highway and with full awareness of your surroundings.
Lastly, the wide range of storage spaces and a large boot means you can pack quite a bit of luggage when hitting the black top. Everything is easily accessible all around the cabin. Our only grouse is that this car does get a cooled cup holder for the front seats like the Jazz and Amaze.
Honda City ZX CVT Automatic Long Term Review Report 2
Photos: Kaustubh Gandhi