The City is one of the most popular and successful models for Honda Cars India. In fact, the Japanese car manufacturer debuted the fourth-generation City in India, highlighting the country’s importance in the company’s global plans. Launched in 2014, Honda has sold over 2.4 lakh units of the fourth-generation City in India.
The City was once a benchmark in the C-segment for its sophisticated design and features, but Honda’s applecart was disrupted with the launch of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, as its long feature list paired with company’s brand trust made it a more appealing product. Additionally, Hyundai is also gearing up to launch the new-generation Verna which is another strong rival of the City. To make sure the sedan remains in the game, Honda has given the City a midlife update and made it more kitted. So what’s new in the Honda City facelift? We tell you in our first drive review. Check for City price in Hyderabad
Quite a bit actually, but let’s start with the exteriors. Aesthetically, the City still looks similar to the pre-facelift model, albeit with a sleeker front end. The arrow-shot design theme is retained. The front grille now features a slimmer chrome grille with a honeycomb mesh in the background.
The Honda City now features an all-LED lighting system. The headlamps are all LED, so are the DRLs and tail lamps. In addition, the all-LED treatment is reserved for the top-of-the-line ZX variants only although, the VX does get LED headlamps and fog lamps. Even the fog lamps and all interior lights including the front and rear reading lamps, and the rear number plate illumination are all powered by LED technology.
It also gets new diamond-cut alloy wheels which have been upsized to 16inches, though, these are also available on the ZX variants only as the lower models make do with 15-inch wheels. Ironically though, unlike most cars, the facelift looks most distinctive from the rear. The all-LED tail lamps feature a clear distinction between the red and clear section. It also gets a new spoiler with integrated brake lamp and honeycomb inserts in the redesigned rear bumper as well.
This has to be the best cabin of any D segment sedan available in India. Its ultra premium feel and sophisticated treatment combined with the supreme finish of trims makes the interiors of Honda City a great space to be in.On the instrumental panel is soft blue lit display with three rings in an aluminum finish which show the speedometer, tachometer and the fuel left. It is a very clean arrangement. There 3 spoke steering wheel offers a very precise grip, it also has steering mounted controls for audio as well as cruise control settings.
The central panel has been done very neatly with the correct colour combinations of light beige teamed with dark plastics. The plastic quality is fantastic and so it the materials used in the door trims.Seating inside the Honda City is very comfortable as it has been cushioned really well. Even for taller passengers there is no discomfort of any sort. The legroom and the headroom offered for the front row of passengers is superb while for the rear row of passengers the same is decent.
Among the storage options, it has a decently spacious glove box. Also under the armrest of the driver, there is a small storage box. There is a small pocket of the front door trims which can hold few tickets and miscellaneous paper bits. The boot space in the Honda City is very generous too.Overall the interiors of the Honda City are simply close to perfect and leave no reason to complain. The smart use of chrome inside, materials used in fabric and everything inside the cabin of the City makes you rave about it.
The updated City is mechanically identical to the outgoing version, so you still get the same 1.5-litre petrol (119PS/145Nm) and diesel (100PS/200Nm) engines. The petrol gets a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the option of a CVT automatic with paddle-shifters, while the diesel only gets a six-speed manual gearbox.The diesel engine was infamous for its high noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels. Honda claims the problem has been worked on in the facelift, but it’s still not up to the mark. Whatever improvement has been made is marginal and the engine still lacks the kind of refinement levels you’d expected at this price Vibrations can still be felt through the steering and pedals and engine does take away from the car’s otherwise premium feel.
However, the engine’s low-end torque is great and the motor offers great driveability even before the turbo kicks in. There’s barely any throttle input needed to drive at city speeds and power delivery, even when the turbo kicks in, is very smooth. The City diesel is an efficient urban-commuter and highway cruiser, but it isn’t fun to drive like the rev-happy petrol.The petrol, on the other hand, is refined and is very engaging to use. You can take it easy and get a good fuel-economy or rev it hard to have some fun. It’s easily among the most well-rounded petrol engines in the segment
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The sixth generation City was an able handler and so is this one. The electric power steering weighs up beautifully as you speed up although, feedback is a little lacking. What stays as it is and impressive at that is the ride quality. I have had the opportunity to drive all the variants of the City that have been launched in India and I can cross my heart and say that all of them had a measured ride quality. Neither bone-jarringly stiff nor overtly soft. Take it around a corner with gusto and the car responds positively. There is decent enough grip from the Bridgestone Ecopia tyres which will keep you entertained.
Honda has upped their game in terms of safety for the new City. The car now comes with dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and ISOFIX seats as standard across all the trims. On the range topping ZX trim you now get six airbags! Honda’s after sales is well known in India and the H badge is known for its reliability. The Japanese automaker has expanded its network from 295 dealers to 332 in this fiscal year. The City is heavily localised and the cost of maintenance is easy on the pocket. It even offers good resale value.
The verdict comes as a no surprise that Honda City knows the game very well and seats very high at a very strong position. Petrol heads vouch for the i-VTEC as the most performance friendly unit available.The heat of lack of a diesel motor is there and Honda has been facing it from a very long time as that is the only drawback of the City. As a make gap arrangement, Honda has started offering the City in CNG option but has not hinted on any diesel engine option for the City.Honda Brio Amaze would be the first Honda sedan to get the diesel engine in India and it would be interesting to see if the Brio Amaze diesel sedan affects the sales of the City even in the slightest way possible.