Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Dugong and the Tadpole

I have to be honest here. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as some people find the current Honda City a good looking, futuristic car. Usually people who like looking at this car are the owners of this car and that’s all there is to it. In my earlier blog you have heard me moan and complain about how much it resembles a tadpole on stilts. I have come to the conclusion that Honda City owners are people who think in this sort of manner:

1. All Hondas are good cars. Period.

2. All Hondas hold good resale value.

3. All Hondas are powered by F1 related engines.

4. All Hondas are prestigious.

5. All Hondas can be converted into a Type R Honda with the placement of a small badge at the boot stating so.

Well Honda City owners, I got news for you. Your Honda City is a tadpole on stilts and there are no excuses that you can give to make me say otherwise. It is also the ugliest new car in the world bar none.

Let me put you guys into perspective here.

1. All Hondas are good cars. Except the City. The gearbox is a stupid CVT box that feels like any CVT box, i.e having that rubber band feel when driving. The only decent CVT box I’ve driven aren’t made by Honda. It also does not look good. It sits too high from the ground, the body sits on tires too small. The rear track is so much smaller than the front making it look so unbalanced when viewing it at a three quarter rear angle. The nose is too big for the rear. The rear too tacked on as it’s based on the Jazz then a boot glued on and so forth. You may say that it’s a practical car and it has a large boot, funky ultra rear seats. So? It’s ugly. Enough said.

2. Hondas have good resale value. Anyone who buys a car with the intention of getting good resale value is not a car enthusiast per se. Do not come to me saying that you like the City because you are a car enthusiast. No real enthusiast would be caught seen driving in one unless necessary (like if he had to steal a car and it was between a 1985 Proton Saga and the City). You may also think “at least I don’t have to look at it when I drive” it but why bother in the first place as deep down in your heart you know that the outside is hideous.

3. Honda engines are F1 related therefore very powerful. How powerful can your 1.5litre engine be for goodness sakes? Even if you bought the VTEC version of it you are saddled with a chassis that’s too tall to be sporty. Furthermore, that engine is an economy tuned VTEC, it sips, not gulps petrol.

4. Hondas are prestigious. That’s Kah Motor marketing getting to your brains. Luckily Kah Motor is not the official anymore. It’s as simple as that. How prestigious is your Honda if it’s a tadpole? You’re just buying that lame dumpy looking City because you want to be called a Honda owner but you can’t afford the Honda Civic or Accord in the first place. You’re just telling me you can't afford one of its bigger siblings but you still want the badge. That badge won't do you no good as it also tells me you got bad taste in styling and you choose practicality over style. Sometimes when you buy a car you are making an investment that you'll run around in for about 5 years. Do you honestly want to run around in an ugly car for that long a period?

5. Any Honda can be a Type R. True. As your Honda City is Type 'Rubbish' if you end up putting a ‘MUGEN’ type bodykit. Whatever you do to the car it will still be too narrow at the rear, too short in the nose, too long a boot, too unbalanced a look and basically too ugly. 17in Wheels? It does not help. Buy a Honda Jazz instead. At least with the Jazz you get a nice looking practical hatchback that MUGEN has actually played around with as there recently has been a Mugen Jazz/ Fit with around 150bhp and is actually sporty. Furthermore, if you are willing to spend RM90K for an ugly car, you could buy a Jazz for only RM10K more and you won't look like a dork driving a tadpole on stilts.

If you ask whether I have actually had the guts to tell a City owner that he bought the wrong car I actually once did just that. There was this chap who recently bought a City who was a friend on a friend. I asked him why he bought a tadpole. He was speechless. I went on telling him that the tadpole isn't a car for him, or anyone trying to look cool. The worse thing was after that short chat, he somewhat agreed with me. I must meet more City owners to tell them what I feel. At least I feel better if not them.

What about its direct competitor? The newly launched Toyota Vios (left). Yes. It may look like a dugong. But at least that dugong is prettier than a tadpole. Also note that the City is old in its life cycle and a replacement is forthcomming (and will hopefully balance practicality/ function and looks). BUT for now: PLEASE buy the Dugong. You won’t regret it.


sua_diablo said...

Hahahaha... good one...

My colleague just bought a city for his girlfriend.. he says it's as good as his Honda Civic, and he's a 'car enthusiast' judging by the countless taiwan car magazines he buys.. He also thinks that his Civic is faster than my evo.... simply because mitsubishi never made it to F1.. hahahahahaha... gimme a gun to shoot myself in the head..

R said...

I think you need to bring him out for tea with me. We have some Earl or Darjeeling (or Teh Tarik since that actually makes more sense here in KL) AND let me give him some honesty. Brutal honesty and enlightenment.