“Should I buy a Toyota GLi or should I opt for Honda City?”
This is a question which strikes in every mind when one needs to buy a 1300 Cc car in Pakistan. I have heard this question so much in my last two years that now I have started to feel bore by the concept of the comparison of these two cars. There are so many blogs, forums and websites on internet filled with so much rhetoric and bashing, giving arguments in favor of one or against other. I myself have read so much, talked about them in various places about this topic but still I feel that there is a need to put forward at one place all my experience about both rides. I know just by looking at topic many readers will say, “Oh no! Not again! We already have discussed a lot about it in other threads”. I know you have, but still I feel there is a need of one complete article which may elaborate the pros and cons of both rides especially with respect to buying. All the information here is my own experience and the information which I have got from other users of these cars. If you feel something is wrong you should reply and comment about the point. This effort will make it easier for new purchasers to select their destination in between these two choices.
OK let’s suppose you want to buy a 1300 CC car in Pakistan. You have to choose one of Honda and GLI. Confused? Hmm. Ask your-self few simple questions:
1) Do you like large Cabin Size? Do you feel more comfortable with a big car at hand?
Believe me or not, most Pakistanis like big cars. Larger is the car better they feel. “yar gadi howay tay wadhi sari howay”. Most of us do not look at the technical specifications of an automobile before buying it. If you want to buy a bigger car with bigger cabin and larger space than GLI is the right choice for you.
The extra large size of GLi cabin provides a great, comfortable, spacious and cool environment for its riders. One gets the enjoyment of a real luxury car. Honda city although is very comfortable, still does not provide basic interior comfort equipment like rear and front armrests. Seat covers do not look as cool as GLI. Dashboard of City looks more futuristic but still lacks the great final furnishing and polishing touch of GLi. Honda has also downgraded the quality of city’s interior. In GLi it is easy to maintain its cleanliness but City’s interior, due to its degraded quality, makes it difficult to keep it clean.
Most of people who will say yes to this question will always find GLI better then city. Take an example: My uncle used to own a 2009 GLI. Few days ago his son sold that car and bought city. I asked my uncle: “janab kasi lagi nawi gadi?” He said, “yar gadi tay changi hay per niki jaie hay. Maza wadhi gadi chay bayn da hi anda hay!”
This may sound funny to many readers but believe me this is the psyche of most of our people. Many people around us give comfort to themselves by thinking that they have bigger and more expensive thing without giving any thought about the quality of product. If you are one of them GLI is your car.
2) Do you want a good and quick resale of your car?
Money matters, right? In Pakistan middle class is striving hard to keep itself in the middle. Hard time can come any time. We always buy things but before buying, we most of the time this about their resale price. We buy Nokia mobiles because they have better resale. This does not mean that Nokia is the best mobile available. We wrap them in covers so that when we will resell them, we might get better money. We keep our sofa sets under large cloths so that the dust does not undermine their polish which will make their resale price decline. I am not saying this is wrong. It is because in our country nothing is stable. Today you have a good income source, tomorrow you may have not. So we most of the time prefer to buy things with better resale.
Toyota brand cars have always enjoyed a better resale in Pakistan. This does not mean Toyota is a better car. But this simply means that people are more interested in Toyota. Whatsoever are the reasons, GLI is not a car, I see it as cash in hand! If you have a GLI, you can sale it within an hour at a very attractive price. If you want to buy a second hand GLi, you will have to search it extensively. It is very difficult to find a second hand GLi in a good condition because it gets sold before even you reach the site!
This does not mean that Honda city’s resale is very bad. But it is not as good as GLI. The time and value for resale of Honda city also depends heavily on the place where you are selling it. For example, educated class, living in educated and better areas prefer Honda. So if you are living right in them, it will be easy to resale your Honda city at good price. Take the example of Islamabad. In Islamabad Honda City has captured a big market since its latest release in 2009. Here you will find many people interned in buying your Honda city. But if you are living in narowal, sahewal, gujrat, Gujranwala, Sialkot, mianwali, bahalpur, bahawalnagar, D I Khan etc, I am afraid reselling your city in those areas will be difficult and expensive. Unfortunately, Honda city has become more specific to educated class in bigger cities. You will find Honda city in the hands of men suited booted, who come out of their home with briefcase in their hands at nine o clock morning. They Drive it on big well carpeted roads and reach their well furnished multi-national offices. But such areas and people are very scarce in Pakistan.
By this discussion, I never mean that GLi is the car of uneducated people or you will find Honda city only in hands of an educated man. I am talking about a general trend. GLi’s resale is very good in whole Pakistan. But City’s sale and resale is circumvented in small metropolitan pockets. In other areas you will find it very hard to get money out of your city by mere selling it. This car has very low acceptability in rural areas and even in big cities other than Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi.
3) Where will you drive your car?
Sounds stupid? I know. But this is a very important question. I have personally driven Honda City many miles through out upper Punjab. This car gives you best on well carpeted roads. But it lacks the strength to be driven in “kachi abadis”. The suspension of Honda city is much harder than of GLI. This makes it less comfortable on bad roads. I belong to a rural area known as Chuck No. 56, Qadirabad, Sahiwal. I have travelled in Honda city to this area. While traveling, whenever I leave G.T. road and enter in the vicinity of my area, where I have to drive it on semi-carpeted roads and on the sides of crops and fields in “kachas”, despite of driving very slow I have felt that this car will be destroyed if I continue to drive it here.
This is not the same in case of GLi. It is proved to perform better along crops, kachas, semi-carpeted fields. I personally get a feeling that this car is stronger and can resist such roads for longer times. Due to its soft suspension its comfort level is higher than Honda city. Even in Rawalpindi when you enter dhok khaba, dhok paracha, dhok masihal or any such area, Honda City starts to abuse you for that. My friend lives near pirwadaie adda. My Honda city crashes in every speed breaker in that area. This is because Honda city’s ground distance is also less for Pakistani standards (frankly speaking we do not have standards! We do not make SPEED BREAKERS, instead we make CAR BREAKERS) If you live in these areas, or you have to go a lot in these areas, you better buy GLi!
4) Do you want a better drive? Do you want quality in you driving experience? Do you want your ride to be technically supreme?
If you want a technically supreme ride than Honda city clearly wins the race. Instead, I should say Honda city rules here!
First of all Honda’s i-vtec technology has proved itself better than Toyota’s VVT-I (not in every case). Honda city’s engine produces 73 kw power when it revolves at 6,000 Rounds Per Minute (RPM). On the other hand GLI’s engine produces 63 kw power when it revolves at same 6000 RPM. To understand the difference between the powers of these engines let me quote you the difference between the powers of Suzuki Mehran and Suzuki Cultus engines. Suzuki Mehran generates 32 kw while revolving at 6000 RPM (Actually it revolves at 5500 RPM and gives 29.4 kw energy, I have just sorted out its power at 6000 RPM mathematically). Suzuki Cultus engines gives 45 kw energy at 6000 Rounds Per Minute. So, there is a difference of 13 kw power between both cars. Or you can say Cultus is 13 kw stronger than Mehran. In our case, we can see, there is a difference of 10 kw between Honda and GLI. So, Honda city’s engine is very power than of GLI.
Secondly, Honda city’s engine is towing a smaller and lighter car than GLI. So, GLI’s engine has to bear a lot more load than Honda city. As I have told that GLI’s engine is less powerful than city’s engine, the extra bit of load makes GLI an underpowered car. Remember! Theoretically this is a very strong argument, but practically, while driving GLI, I have never felt that I am driving something underpowered! Its engine works very well. Pick is good too. But technically this is a hard fact that this car should have a better engine because of its body weight.
Thirdly, Honda city’s engine has far better fuel efficiency. This is because it has better technology (i-vtec) and it has to tow a smaller body. The average consumption of Honda city is known to be around 15 km per liter. On the other hand, average consumption of GLI is known to be around 9 or 10 km per liter.
Fourthly, Honda city’s A/C is also better than of GLI. This is true may be because of more powerful engine.
Fifthly, Honda city’s ABS brakes are better than of GLI. This does not mean that GLI ABS is not good. It’s great! A lay man might not be able to see any difference! But sometimes one gets a felling that Honda gives you better control on itself while you push brakes at high speeds.
Lastly, on carpeted roads, I enjoy Honda city’s drive more than GLI. On bumps I always think of GLI. There are few other thinks which make Honda city’s drive more comfortable like the position of button which controls side mirrors. In GLI this button is available at the lower right side of steering wheel. To use this button you will have to bend forward and this is dangerous while you are driving. But in Honda it is present on door panel.
So overall, if you want to drive a technically supreme ride, Honda city is your car.
5) Do you want to install gas?
Sounds stupid again? In my experience, this is another very important question. I personally will never suggest you to install gas kits in any of these cars. They have good average on petrol. But anyways, as I know the affordability issues of daily long rides and keeping in mind that this topic is beyond our discussion that we should install gas or not, I am leaving this topic right here.
It has been proved with experience that gas kit installation is more successful in VVT-I engines than in i-vtec engines. This does not mean that gas can’t be installed in Honda city. Many people have already done this. But gas brings more destruction to Honda city’s engine than to Toyota GLI’s engine.
So, if you really want your ride to run on gas, GLI is your car.
6) Do you always keep maintenance costs in mind before buying a car?
Well this is beyond doubt that GLI’s spare parts are cheaper than city’s. But, this simply does not mean that GLI’s maintenance will be expensive overall. In my experience, Honda parts work for longer time than Toyota’s. This is because of the fact that there is a long range of Toyota parts available in market. There are all kind of parts available from ak-number, do-number, teen-number to n-number (where n = infinity) so, it becomes difficult to get your hands on genuine parts until you do not have an honest contact. On the other hand it is easier to get Honda genuine parts. There are far less do-numbers available. This is probably because of less market of Honda.
7) How much can you afford?
Many readers will say, “Why are you writing the most important question at the end?” well, actually, this is the question, whose answer is known to everybody. On first transaction, i.e. first purchase, Honda city is cheaper than Toyota. Afterwards, it depends on your use.
How to use above information while you are buying one of these rides?
Well it’s simple. Take my example. I live in Islamabad. On average 85% of the year my ride remains in Islamabad, 10% of the year it remains in Rawalpindi and only 5% of the time it leaves these two cities. There is only 5 to 10% chance in whole year that I will drive on kachi or even semi-carpeted roads. I want to drive on petrol as I hate to stay in long lines and I can afford it till 13 km/liter. Less resale value does not affect me much. I am OK with small cabin as I prefer smaller rides over larger one. I like futuristic designs. I want to be technically supreme. So! Honda city is my car. Now it depends on you which one to buy.
All the above information is just the output of experience and massive discussion. It can prove wrong and I personally do not take any responsibility of any loss of whatsoever kind happening to anybody due to above information.
Best of luck to everyone!!
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