Honda City has been a style statement and company's highest selling model ever since it forayed into Indian markets. Launched in 1998 in Indian automobile market, Honda City has achieved milestone sales with 50,000 units sold just in one year of its launch. It has been a prestigious brand in India and has also been awarded as the 'Car of the Year'. Moreover, it has consistently maintained its sales figures and continues to woo car lovers with its effective pricing and additional features that keep adding to the class of sedan.
New variant in the Honda City family was added with the launch of Honda City Exclusive. The new car came with several exterior and interior modifications, with an aim of leading the segment. New City cars have a wider wheel base and are even more spacious than its previous versions. Citycomes with a revolutionary BS-IV compliant i-VTEC engine that is one of the most fuel efficient and powerful engines in its class. Moreover, Honda has ensured that it is one of the safest sedans on road and keeps no distinction in safety and security features in its variants.Launch History
The Japanese manufacturer, Honda started its venture in Indian in collaboration with Siel Ltd. (India). In 1995, Honda Siel Cars India Ltd., (HSCI) was incorporated with an aim to provide Honda’s latest passenger car models to the Indian car buyers. Honda City has been in India since 1998 and has gone through various changes and re-launches all these years. The sales were revived to a great extent after the launch of 10th anniversary edition of Honda City ZX in 2008.
Honda City ZX was integrated with VETC (Variable Valve Timing and Electronic Control) system. This version of City also came with spacious cabin and several new safety features. In September 2009, Honda launched the 1.5 V MT & AT versions of the City. Presently, new Honda City is available as E MT, S MT, V MT and V AT. All the variants are available in 2 attractive accessories packages, namely Elegance and Inspire. City remains Honda's highest selling model and is still one of the most appreciated sedans in Indian market.Variants
Honda City is available in four major variants, out of which automatic transmission is available in City V and City Exclusive. All these variants come with same 1.5 L (SOHC) 4 Cylinder, 16 Valve i-VTEC, 1497cc engine. As a part of company's policy safety and security features have not been compromised and remain same throughout all the variants. In the following table, all the variants have been discussed in details:Variant / Specifications
Honda City E (MT)
This base variant comes with body coloured bumpers, green tinted glass, and halogen headlights. A/C, P/W, P/S, Greyish fabric seats, cup holders and almost all major convenience items are included in this variant. Regrettably, one might have to do without the integrated music system, which is provided in other variants.
Honda City S (MT)
Beige upholstery takes over as a prominent change in this and succeeding variants. Other major relief is the inclusion of a stereo system. Like the base variant, this variant also lacks alloy wheels and front fog lamps. Minor changes like rear seat armrest with cup holder and passenger vanity mirror are added goodies.
Honda City V (MT/AT)
Both manual transmission and automatic transmission options are available. This variant incorporates improved speakers with tweeters. Exhaust pipe finisher, body coloured mud guards and similar minor improvements in styling.
Honda City V Exclusive (MT/AT)
Both manual transmission and automatic transmission options are available. Leather seating, leather wrapped gear knobs/ steering wheel, chrome sash moulding and trunk garnish add to the class of this highest variant.Pricing
After working on the localisation of the car manufacturing process, Honda reduced the prices of City and brought it to a reasonable level. Earlier, Honda City was available between the price range of Rs.8 lacs and Rs.11 lacs. Presently, all variants of Honda City are available in a price range of Rs.7.5 lacs to Rs.10.5 lacs. Difference in the new price and old Honda City price ranges from Rs.45000 to Rs.66000. The new prices of City were effective from 14 June 2011.Review
There has not been any decline in the positive response that Honda City car received, right from its launch. City has received more than 12 auto awards till date. Honda City continues to give competition to the newer entrants that were launched in 2010 and 2011. Magazines like Overdrive and Autocar still give their vote to Honda City. This car received Viewer's Choice Award at UTVi Auto Car Awards 2009 and was described 'Indian Car of the Year 2009 by ICOTY'. In the same year, BS Motoring and JD Power Asia Pacific also described it as car of the year in mid-size segment. Earlier in 2008, Zigwheels had also described City as car of the year.Used Car Market
Honda has devised 'Auto Terrace' to organise its used car market. This service allows customers to exchange their existing cars (any make and model) with a brand new Honda. One can also buy pre-owned City car with Honda's certificate of warranty. A proper evaluation by experts allows customers to get best deals and prevents the numerous risks of buying a car from unauthorised second hand car market.Specifications
Honda City cars are equipped with a powerful engine that can take it above 190 kmph within seconds. The engine is rev friendly and doesn't cause any discomfort during the entire swing of speedometer needle. Some of the basic technical specifications of City are given below:
1.5 L (SOHC) 4 Cylinder, 16 Valve i-VTEC
Synchronised 5-Speed Forward & 1 Reverse
5AT with Paddle Shift & 1 Reverse
Electronic Fuel Injection
Maximum Power (hp/rpm) 116.4 / 6600
Maximum Torque (Nm/rpm) 144.0 / 4800Exteriors
Honda defines City's designing concept as 'Arrow Shot Form' in its campaigns. The quotes of the campaigns are evident in the subtle waistlines and cuts of the vehicle.
New City unmistakeably resembles a sports car in many aspects and its exteriors are no exception. The aerodynamic curvaceous design is perfectly balanced by bold angles at right places. City cars come with body coloured bumpers, green tinted glass and beautifully crafted halogen headlights in all the variants. These headlights are artistically incorporated with silver radiator grille that sports the Honda logo.
Higher variants are more attractive with chrome taking place of body coloured and black handles. Chrome also finds its place in the rear garnish and window panels of the higher variants. Front fog lamps reside very low in the bumpers. Unlike other sedans, City's profile is more continuous and leaves little distinction in the engine, passenger and cargo compartments.
New City cars come with an extended wheelbase that has been increased by 100 mm as compared to previous versions. The overall height has been reduced by 15 mm. Both these changes have increased the on road stability of this car.
Measurements (in mm)
Overall Length (mm) - 4420
Overall Width (mm) - 1695
Overall Height (mm) - 1480
Wheel Base (mm) - 2550
Minimum Ground Clearance - 160Interiors
Honda's City cars in India come with black and beige dual tone interiors that are exquisitely crafted using premium quality material. The car comes with beige fabric seats in all variants except the base variant, which has greyish seats. Silver accents have been used opulently in integrated audio system, door handle, door lining, switch panel and gear knob. An attractive amber illuminated information display provides myriad details about fuel consumption, speed and wheel revolutions per minute.
Honda City car might not have one of the longest lists when it comes to accessories and luxury items, still it has one of the most comfortable cabins in its segment. Front seats are larger and provide enough thigh support to the driver. The driver's seating position is spot on with all controls at right place. Moreover, the tilt steering column and driver seat height adjustment further enhances the driving comfort.
As expected of a mid-size sedan, new City has power steering and windows, climate control air conditioning and sports goodies like paddle shift transmission and steering mounted audio controls for its integrated audio system. Cup holders, vanity mirrors and headrests have not been forgotten in this car. Though the car is marketed as a city car, its comfortable interiors are perfect for planning long tours in holidays.
Interior space is one of those areas where Honda City cars are still ahead of its competitors. The cars have ample leg and head room, and appear airier with large window size. Front seats are comparatively bigger in size than the rear ones. At the front, there is enough room for moving elbows and while driving one doesn't feel constricted by the amount of gadgetry surrounding driver's seat.
With 506 litres of boot space, one can easily plan out picnics and excursions with family. Lower hip point and better thigh support has improved the comfort levels. At the rear seats foot room is increased by 16 mm and knee room is nearly 25 mm greater than previous versions of City. All these subtle changes have made the interiors more spacious and comfortable.Mileage, Average & Fuel Economy
New Honda City in India comes with i-VTEC technology, which refers to Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control. This system has been devised to improve power and efficiency of engines. The technology depends on intelligent control of valve timings and openings to result in effective fuel burnout maximising efficiency in the process.
As per rule 115 of 'Central Motor Vehicles Rules', the City provides a mileage of 16.7 kmpl in manual transmission, while the corresponding values for automatic transmission engine variants is 15.5 kmpl. The car's mileage is invariably higher on highways as compared to cities.On-Road Drive
City has been on Indian roads for a long time and faces little competition even from newer entrants when it comes to its drive quality. One of the most striking features of City cars in India is its seating position with a widest possible view of the road. Ergonomics are at its best and driver doesn't have to shift focus, while selecting different controls. This car does remain firmly grounded at all speeds and corners the turns effortlessly. Honda leaves no room for error in balancing of the steering wheel and testing of suspensions.
Honda City is equipped with disk type front and drum type rear breaks, which can bring it to a halt from 80 kmph speed within 2.5 seconds. With a ground clearance of 160 mm one doesn't have to worry too much about thrashing car's nose into unwarranted speed breakers on delivery lanes and colony roads.Power
All variants of Honda City are powered by a 1.5 litre single overhead cam, 4 cylinder 16 valve i-VTEC engine, which delivers a maximum power of 116.4 hp at 6600 rpm. This amount of power is efficiently fed to the wheels by a 5 speed manual or automatic transmission. This engine has better NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) characteristics than most other engines competing in the class. It is noteworthy that the automatic transmission has no adverse affect on car's performance.Acceleration and Pick Up
New Honda City is quicker then most other sedans available in this segment. One can easily go past 100 kmph mark within 10 seconds with this sporty sedan. The acceleration is smooth even at low revs at city driving speeds of 20 to 50 kmph. Again on highways, the fifth gear puts the vehicle on cruise, where wheels receive maximum power from the engine. The biggest advantage of City is the inclusion of paddle shift in its transmission system, which might attract the racing enthusiasts.Safety & Security
New Honda City is one of the safest mid-size sedans on Indian roads. Honda is a world-leader in designing of automotive safety systems. All its vehicles involve many of the critical safety systems as a standard feature, irrespective of cost and segment of vehicle. One of these critical security systems is G-CON (G Force Control Technology), which is actually a part of Honda's continuing R & D programme dedicated towards development of better technologies for their vehicles. G-CON refers to design of chassis, which dissipates the impact energy by diverting and absorbing it, minimising injury to the occupants.
Another important security feature is ABS with EBD. ABS (Anti Lock Breaking System) is nowadays a common part of cars braking system. It prevents wheel locking during panic braking and avoids skidding in the process. The technology is further improved with integration of EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution), which decides how much resistance is required to a particular wheel's rotation depending on the load on that wheel. Honda also provides supplemental restraint system as a standard safety feature in all the variants of new City cars. These SRS air bags are vital in preventing frontal injuries in case of head on or side collisions.
As a part of security feature City cars are equipped with ECU Immobiliser System, which prevents theft by preventing vehicle start up in case somebody breaks in. The system is dependent on sensors and a unique code embedded into car's keys. Any other counterfeit key can not copy this code and hence cars computers refuse starting of the car. Apart from these rear window defogger, fog lamps and childproof rear door locks are other significant safety features included in the car.Comfort & Convenience
Honda City has been a style statement ever since it was launched in the Indian market and competes with upper segment cars in its standard comfort and convenience accessories. New City cars in India come with wide opening doors that offer ease in entry and exit, even to taller people. Its air conditioning has been optimised for Indian summers. Car's front seats are larger than the rear, though there is enough leg room and head room even at rear seats.
Honda City India comes with integrated stereo system with remote, USB connectivity and steering mounted audio controls. Major convenience is provided in terms of paddle shift, which eases the gear shifting by removing the need for tackling the gear lever. Cup holders, arm rest, foot rest, head rest, pockets at the back of front seats, accessory socket and various other accessories complete the remaining comfort needs.Wheels and Suspensions
Honda City comes with 15 inch alloy/steel wheels and tubeless tyres. Honda's engineering expertise is evident in designing of suspensions that provides its vehicles a better stability at turns and damaged roads. Car's shockers are designed specially for Indian conditions and allow Honda City to glide smoothly on roads. Other specifications of the wheels and suspensions of new Honda City are mentioned below:
Wheel Type - Steel (1.55), Alloy (1.5V)
Wheel Size - 15 x 5.5J
Tyre - 175 / 65 R15 (tubeless)
Front Suspension - McPherson Strut with Stabiliser, Coil Spring
Rear Suspension - Torsion Beam Axle with Stabiliser, Coil SpringStereo & Accessories
Leaving the base variant, all City variants are equipped with an integrated audio system that has an FM/ AM radio, MP3 and Audio CD playback and USB port for connecting mobile or iPOD. The system in Honda City can be controlled via remote and also has steering mounted control options. This facility provides ease to the driver who can easily shuffle the tracks or change the radio stations, while driving.Dealers
Honda has 125 authorised dealers in 77 major cities across India. The company recognises the need for expansion as nearly half of its market is restricted to 7 or 8 tier 1 cities in India. With launch of new vehicles in the near future, company is expected to widen its sales network. A list of authorised dealers across four major metropolitan cities of India is given below.