I did noticed, there are more Toyota Vios than Honda City on the road these days, even though people keep criticize the ugly Vios outlook. I am just comparing Toyota Vios and Honda City here because these two companies have a lot of supporters here.
I have heard from some peole telling me, don't buy the Honda City, because the problematic gearbox will cause your wallet to bleed a lot. The gearbox will give you problems within few years time, it cost about RM20k to change the gearbox, which is about 25 percent cost of the car. This is ridiculious. Most people choose to sell the car than just replacing the gearbox.
The problematic gearbox is refering to the Honda CVT gearbox. What is CVT gearbox? A Continuously Variable Transmission gearbox, in simple words it smoothly change the gear, so you don't really feel it. Handa use CVT gearbox (not just) in their Honda City 2003-2005 model, which is a 7-speed gearbox.
Not all CVT gear box will have problem. Nissan is another car manufacturer who use CVT gearbox, but their CVT is a different technology call x-CVT, which has good comment on Internet. Honda gearbox have more problems probably because the technogy is not matured enough.
There are people complain on the Internet, why use a unmatured technology? Because time to the market is important. May be the top management under estimate the problem, obviously who ever make the decision has made a mistake.
While I was doing software development, it happen many times that even we know there are some improvements that we can do to the code, but we still need to release the software earlier? Why? Simply because time to the market is important.
Surprisingly some big IT company will do the same thing like Honda did, push an unmatured product to the market. I have used a batch of HP netserver during year 2001 which give me a lot of problems, the engineer take weeks to solve it. Imagine you are paying 20k to 100k for such an unmatured product.
Apple and SUN are the two companies who selling good and reliable products, including both hardware and software. Even you pay a higher price for it, you fell worth paying it, it does not mean all other products are not good. I just share my experience here.
I heard Honda City has used a new gearbox to replace the CVT gearbox, which is 5-speed automatic, the old one is 7-speed. You better check if you plan to buy a Honda City.