The new headlights with DRL, LED taillights, foldable ORVMs with turn blinker, sunroof, shark-fin antenna, new alloy wheels and several other styling elements reflect the premium class of the car. With a long wheelbase, Honda City offers great cabin space for the driver and passengers. The sedan comes integrated with eight-speaker stereo system with support for Aux-in and Bluetooth support. The 17.7 cm screen integrates visual Navigation system along with park assist system that displays objects while reversing. A climate control unit for passengers helps keep cabin temperature in check. There are power outlets in the front and rear for gadgets. An instrument cluster with the ‘Econ’ setting, a start-stop button, and several other advanced features find place in the City.
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
The Honda City has always had the design which looks ahead of its time. Except for the dolphin model, every generation of the City has impressed everyone with its futuristic design appeal.Sleek tail lamps along with the long stretched radiator grille make the front design of the Honda City very sporty. The radiator grille has been generously treated with chrome but very tastefully and does not look tacky at all. The front bonnet flows towards the nose of the front fascia. On the front bumpers is the contrast black air intake vent which gels well with the overall design.
The City is based on the Arrow shot form design which is seen on the raised shoulder line from the headlights to the rear profile. In the mid life facelift the ground clearance of the City has been improved and is now at 165mm which is a welcome change over the earlier offering as the lower section used to get scraped while crossing speed breakers especially when the car was filled with occupants.
The 10 spoke alloy wheel look very sporty and so does the slender roofline. The smart and crisp design of the City make it look very athletic compared to its competition.On the rear profile, the rear boot lip gets all the major attention as it is short and sporty. The tail lamp design is smart and the line descends from the boot through the rail lamp to the lower half of the rear profile which make it look very dynamic.Honda City looks right when seen from any angle as it does not have any artificial lines which flow out of proportion but instead a smart profile throughout the exterior profile of the car.
COMFORT AND SPACE ;
Honda has always been great with interiors and the City is no exception. The new car keeps the best bits of the City’s interiors intact while trying to pile on the premium quotient and tech. The first thing that will catch your eye inside the new City is the new ‘Digipad’ infotainment system. Available in V, VX and ZX trims, this system is equipped with a 7.0-inch capacitive touchscreen that has great resolution, legible icons and is pretty easy to operate.
The system also offers new features like Wi-Fi support (use your smartphone as a hotspot and it will connect to it), MirrorLink smartphone integration, navigation with real-time traffic data, 1.5GB of onboard storage, two USB slots, two microSD card slots and even an HDMI port. Connectivity is the buzzword for customers today and Honda seems to have kept this in mind.
The City’s premium quotient has been upped a bit with a greater use of soft-touch plastics and chrome trim on and around the dashboard. The City’s traditional strengths like the comfortable seats, rear seat space and flat floor remain unchanged.On the safety front, dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and ISOFIX seats are standard across the range. The top ZX variants get side and curtain airbags as well, but at this price point, perhaps ESP or traction control could have been included too.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
Powering the City are the same 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines. They haven’t done any tweaks to the engine. Yes, the diesel version gets better insulation to make the cabin quieter than before. The 1.5-litre petrol engine is a gem to drive, the silky smooth i-VTEC makes a whopping 119 PS of power with its naturally aspirated engine. The power delivery is linear initially that gets insane near the redline, which comes at 7000 RPM. The amount of adrenaline you get while redlining the VTEC is super satisfying.
Mated to the 1.5-litre petrol is a 5-speed manual and CVT automatic transmission. The manual gearbox is slick and fun to use while the CVT is good only for city usage and if you push it hard, it gets noisy. The CVT version comes with steering mounted paddle shifts that gives you better control. Honda claims 17.4 km/l of mileage for the petrol engine but you can get around 10-13 km/l in real world conditions. The 1.5-litre i-DTEC offers decent performance and good low end acceleration. You don’t feel that typical diesel lag. It comes with a 6-speed manual transmission and the best part about the oil burner is its fuel efficiency which is claimed to be 25.6 km/l and you can easily extract 18 km/l in mixed driving conditions.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The mechanicals of the updated Honda City remain same. Doing duty at the front are the MacPherson struts while the rear makes use of an H-shaped torsion beam. The 2008 new-shapeCity was criticised for its unsettling ride quality which was improved considerably in the fourth-gen model. The suspension set-up absorbs the uneven undulations with great ease. The other bit that impressed me about the City arethe lower NVH levels which do not let ambient noise seep inside the cabin. The overall dynamics of the sedan remains identical to the previous offering.
Safety has been upgraded and is one of the key points of the new Honda City. The entire lineup now gets ABS, EBD and dual front airbags as standard. Rear ISOFIX child seat mounts are also standard across the range. The top of the line ZX variants now also feature side and curtain airbags, which brings the total tally to six which is now on par with the rivals.
The Honda City was coming under a lot of pressure from the Maruti Ciaz, which has managed to outsell it for quite a while now. So with the facelift instead of making the City more affordable, Honda have gone even more premium and have added lots of features especially in the top ZX variant. Prices for the updated City start at Rs 8.50lakh and go all the way up to Rs 13.57lakh for the top ZX diesel variant. This makes it way more expensive than the Ciaz. But as a product there is lot going for the City. The cabin is well thought out, and its combination of humongous space and well-designed seats make it one of the most comfortable sedans in the segment. Then there is the equipment list, which can rival cars from the segment above and the fact that you get more safety equipment than before, just adds to the package. Surely the updated Honda City won’t appeal as VFM proposition, but as a package it is still a car you can’t go wrong with.
Honda City S Mt Petrol Ex-showroom Price is 8,76,812/- and On Road Price is 9,90,434/- in Chennai. Honda City S Mt Petrol comes in 5 colours, namely Carnelian Red Pearl,Alabaster Silver Metallic,Golden Brown Mettalic,Modern Steel Metallic,White Orchid Pearl. Book a test drive foh Honda City in carzprize,com