Honda that globally unveiled the fourth Generation City onNovember 25thin New Delhi has been launched in the Indian car market. The first generation of the mid-sized sedan entered the Indian market in 1998, and since then over 4.3 lakh City's has been delivered to customers across the nation. For the first time, Honda City is being offered with both diesel and petrol guise. This time it gets all new styling, highly comfortable interior, improved cabin space, advanced equipment levels and incredible fuel efficiency. With the diesel engine options, it now competes well against the likes of Hyundai Verna Fluidic Verna, Volkswagen Vento and Nissan Sunny.
The all new City is based on Honda's new design philosophy- the "EXCITING H DESIGN!!!", which further enhances the overall styling of this iconic sedan. The same design philosophy will also underpin several other Honda cars in future. The three exclamatory marks adopt three factors on which this design theory works- the High Tech, High Tension and the High Touch. The subtle upgrades to the exteriors make it more aggressive and eye catchy than the previous generation model. It now gets an all-new solid wing face chrome grille with the company's 'H' Badge at the centre, new headlamps, prominent creases and new tail lamps.
With overall length and width remaining same (4440mm long and 1695mm wide), the company managed to increase the wheelbase and height of the sedan by 60mm and 10mm. This increase in the wheelbase results in more legroom space for both the front and rear occupants. It is the perfect example of the Honda's 'Man Maximum Machine Minimum' philosophy, where without increasing the car's length, the company managed to increase the interior space, and still offering an impressive boot space of 510 litres. The interiors of the new sedan look more spacious and up market than ever.
The new City now comes equipped with several advanced features including new automatic climate controls with auto touchscreen, 5-inches LCD display, new audio system with 8-speakers, engine start-stop button with Honda Smart Key system, Multifunctional steering wheel, rear parking sensors with camera, sporty allow wheels, first-in-class rear AC vents and others. When it comes to safety, Honda has added a fleet of features to keep occupants and car safe. It gets features like Advanced Compatibility Engineering body which protects the passenger during collision, Anti-lock braking system with EBD, dual front airbags, impact mitigating headrest, and pedestrian injury mitigation, speed sensing door locks, Engine immobilizer and many more.
It seems like with the new City, Honda has kept its focus on fuel efficiency, one factor that is considered the most important in India. Both the diesel and petrol variant are claimed to offer segment leading fuel efficiency figures. The petrol version does carryover the same tried and tested 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine, returning a maximum power of 117bhp and 145Nm of top torque. While the diesel model gets the 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine producing 98bhp and 200Nm of torque. The diesel engine is claimed to offer a whooping 26kmpl of mileage, while the petrol model offers an impressive 18kmpl. Moreover, it is the most fuel efficient automatic car in its league.
The all-new Honda City is being offered in five trim levels- E, S, SV, V and VX in both petrol and diesel manual version. In addition, the SV and VX models also come equipped with CVT transmission (Only petrol model). It is now available in six exciting colours: Golden Brown metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Alabster Silver Metallic, Urban Titanium Metallic, Carnelian Red Pearl and Taffeta White. The company also offers an exclusive warranty of 2 years or 40,000 kilometres and road side assistance to its buyers.
The new Honda City gets some intelligent changes to its exterior to offer a sportier and aggressive design. Based on the company's 'Exciting H Design!!!' philosophy, the sedan gets updates both at the front and rear side. The front facade gets the new front grille with a singular broad horizontal slat laden with chrome and incorporates the Honda emblem in the centre. It features new wider double barrel headlamps, circular fog lamps with honeycomb surrounds and restyled air intakes. The bonnet gets two vertical and more prominent creases.
The side profile looks identical to the previous generation model, however, it now features prominent creases that help reduce aerodynamic drag. The rear bumper gets subtle changes, however, what attracts more is the tail lamps layout. The tail lamps get two-part layout, where the outer part of the light extends towards the sides of the sedan, while the inner part is positioned on the boot lid. A chrome strip runs above the license plate slot, which makes it look more aggressive. The top-of-the line model of the sedan gets the swept black design 15-inch alloy wheels, while the entry level models feature the same size wheels with caps.
Honda City is claimed to be the widest car in its league, as it measures 4,440mm in length, 1695mm in width and 1495mm in height (an increase of 10mm). The wheelbase has been extended by 50mm to 2600mm and it has a ground clearance of 165mm, which is good enough to drive it through Indian streets.
The interior of the new Honda City looks identical to the previous generation, however, the company has improved the material quality. It now comes with a dual tone (beige and black) scheme. The top end models gets leather upholstery, the lower end variants sports fabric. The steering wheel is now larger in size and sports several controls including music, cruise and others.
The instrument cluster also sees some changes and now has three circles. The centre circle is for the speedometer, while the left one features the tachometer. The third section displays other information including the trip meter, instant fuel consumption and the fuel gauge. Its centre console has been updated for ease of access. It sports a five-inch touchscreen LCD, climate control with touchscreen, charging points and others. The vehicle gets the push-button to start and stop the engine, positioned closely to the centre console. It comes equipped with several features including first-in-class rear AC vents, eight speakers, keyless entry and cruise control. The top end model also gets the sun/moon-roof.
For music freaks, it gets new music system with 8 speakers, iPod and USB connectivity and AUX-in port can be connected to the phone via Bluetooth. With the increase in wheelbase, the cabin offers an impressive legroom space for passengers. The headroom also sees an increase in size. The new City also offers the best-in class boot space of 510 litres, which is more than sufficient to carry your weekend bags.
Engine & Transmission
Honda City, for the first time, has been made available in diesel engine. The petrol variants gets the tried and tested 1.5-litre SOHC i-VTEC engine that belts out 117bhp of top power at 6600rpm and maximum torque of 145Nm at 4600rpm. The diesel model is powered by the 1.5-litre DOHC i-DTEC engine that also does duty to the Amaze sedan. This engine churns out a maximum power output of 98bhp at 3600rpm with its peak torque of 200Nm at 1750rpm. While the petrol engine is mated to either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission, the diesel engine is coupled to a six-speed manual transmission.
Performance & Handling
The 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine is said to be the most reliable and refined engine. It is the same engine that kept the City going even when demand for diesel cars was comparatively higher. And this time, the engine is tuned to offer better performance and mileage. It responses well on low speeds, one can drive the vehicle at 20kmph in fourth gear. The automatic transmission too works well and offers minimal turbo lag. Interestingly, the new Honda City is being offered in diesel version as well. It is claimed to be the country's most fuel efficient car with a whooping mileage of 26kmpl. However, it still needs improvement in mid ranges. The new City gets the collapsible electric power assisted steering and has a turning radius of 5.3 meters, which makes it easier to drive through narrow streets. To offer the hassle free drive, the mid-sized sedan features the McPherson strut with stabilizer and coil spring suspension at the front, while the rear end gets the torsion beam axle with stabilizer and coil spring suspension.
The new Honda City gets a good braking mechanism which works efficiently during panic situation. Its front wheel features the larger diameter disc brakes as compared to its previous version and the new brake master cylinders gets longer but with a smaller diameter. The rear wheels get the drum brakes. Moreover, the sedan comes equipped with Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), preventing the vehicles from locking up and skid in panic braking situations or slippery surfaces.
Mileage (City & Highway)
Available in both petrol and diesel versions, the City now officially becomes the most fuel efficient car in India. The renowned 1.5-litre i-VTEC motor offers an impressive fuel economy of 17.8kmpl with manual transmission, while the automatic version is claimed to be even more fuel efficient with 18.9kmpl of mileage. Its diesel model returns the mind boggling 26kmpl of mileage. When it comes to city driving, the petrol sedan delivers a good 14kmpl, while the diesel model offers an impressive 22kmpl of fuel efficiency.
The new Honda City comes equipped with a series of safety features to keep both passenger and car safe. It gets the dual SRS bags for driver and passengers, active headrest to avoid whiplash causalities, protective pretension seatbelt and limiting force-control belt. The Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body functions as a rigid shell for the occupants during sudden collision. Other safety features include front fog lights, driver seatbelt reminder, rear windshield defogger, anti-pinch side views, engine immobilizer, Child safety locks, speed sensing door locks and few more.
The fourth generation Honda City has been the country's one of the best looking mid sized sedans. Its elegant and stylish appearance attract buyers. Though, the vehicle looks identical to the previous model, with subtle changes, it looks refreshing and young. The spacious interior and high on features make it an excellent vehicle to drive home. Abundant of safety features are added to the model to offer safety to its buyers.
The new Honda City gets the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine, which offers a whooping 26kmpl of mileage. However, this engine lacks when it comes to NVH levels. The petrol engine is the same 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine, and questioning its capabilities is needless.
Honda City belongs to the mid-sized sedan segment, which is already crowded with several cars including Volkswagen Vento, Skoda Rapid, Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, Fiat Linea, Renault Scala and Nissan Sunny. However, Hyundai Verna has always been the closest competitor for the City; and now with a diesel engine in place, these two very capable products become neck and neck. With subtle design changes, the new City looks elegant, while Verna with its Fluidic design looks premium and sporty.
Hyundai Verna has spacious interior, however, the City offer more space for both front and rear passengers. With the premium upholstery and several comfort and safety features, the new Honda City is an overall better package. The plastic quality and seats cushioning too is better than the Verna.
Honda City gets the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel mill which is tuned to offer an excellent fuel economy of 26kmpl, and when it comes to drivability, the car still needs an improvement in mid ranges. Hyundai Verna on the other side, features a more powerful 1.6-litre VGT engine, but it certainly has significant turbo lag. The Verna too offers a good fuel economy of 22.32kmpl.
Spacious interiors, elegant exterior and high fuel efficiency
Not so impressive mid range performance of diesel model