We cover what you need to know about the new fifth-generation 2020 Honda City sedan after having quite a good first drive experience.
The year was 1998 and Japanese auto-manufacturing giant, Honda, launched an executive sedan called the ‘City’. Once eyes first fell on images of the car, citizens countrywide skipped in happiness towards their closest Honda showroom for a taste, and what a taste it was. That first-gen pretty looking Honda City has now reached almost cult status in the country. Unfortunately, Honda lost that soulful love with the second, third, and fourth-generation models, which has always been a pity considering what the original meant. But now, we have been introduced to the new fifth-generation Honda City with a new design language, a petrol and diesel option, and a lot more. So, is the Honda City back? Well, here are a few things to know.
The story here seems to be a love-child between the smaller and boxier Amaze and the sharp yet elegant lines of the Accord. What this means is that the new City keeps its sporty appeal, but, albeit, after a few sessions with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It does seem to have worked as the car is appealing to the eye. Yes, the perception will vary amongst us all, and understandably so. Sleek lines with a flare here and there, and even with that large chrome strip across the nose, it all comes together quite well.
We see LED Headlamps, tail lamps, DRLs, and turn signals. Simplicity is what the Japanese manufacturer is going for, which can be seen in the interior. Clean lines, without unnecessary congestion, neatly arranged in areas which are easy to reach. Japanese Zen at work here or is it just too plain for your liking, the decision is yours.
Two options here, a petrol and a diesel. The petrol engine is a new 1.5-litre i-VTEC unit that promises a higher fuel efficiency (claimed figures of 18.4 km/l for the CVT gearbox, and 17.8 for the manual option) coupled with lower emissions. In addition, better performance is being spoken of as well, with power figures at 121 hp and 145 Nm of torque. We tested the new City with our drift box, compiling accurate information and can happily say that we were quite surprised with the results. Stay tuned for our in-depth first-drive story in our upcoming issue and a road test story that shall follow suit soon after. Transmission is carried out by either a seven-speed Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic gearbox or an all-new six-speed manual set up.
The diesel option is a 1.5-litre i-DTEC DOHC unit that comes paired to a six-speed manual transmission. Power figures state 100 hp and 200 Nm of torque here. Both gearboxes seemed smooth and power delivery from the diesel and petrol variant was wholesome and linear. Fuel efficiency claimed sits at 24.1 km/l for the diesel option.
Comfort and Features:
Hondas have always been comfortable cars and the story is the same here. The seats are plusher than its rivals that we have already driven and shouldn’t cause anybody aches when on a long drive or if stuck in a horrid traffic jam. As far as cabin space is concerned, well, Honda have outdone themselves here. Rear seat room will keep them lanky friends comfortable without their knees massaging the front seats.
Feature-wise the Honda City comes with a 7-inch full-colour TFT semi-console, which has an analogue appearance but is in fact digital. What we mean by a semi just there is that only half the console is digital with the other half an analogue metre. A first in segment here. Other features are premium leather seats, a sunroof, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. To be noted though is that the infotainment system is easy to use but impossible to read when the sun is at its highest point. The reflection on the screen due to its angle it rests at. This is only during mid-day hours though.
Finally, safety. The Honda City boasts a five-star ASEAN NCAP rating, which is good, to say the least. We see six airbags with Honda’s i-SRS Airbag System and Quick Deployment Technology and another segment-first, Lanewatch camera system. We did not test the first two, thank god, but the Lanewatch camera system did come handy when parallel parking or squeezing through a tight space. You also get Vehicle Stability Assist, Agile Handling Assist, Deflation Warning System, and Hill Start Assist.
Well, these are a few things to know. Our First-Drive and Road Test reviews will be up soon giving you further information on the new Honda City. Which brings us down to competition. The Honda City will go head to head with the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Hyundai Verna, and the Skoda Rapid, all of whom have their own set of pros and cons. Hence, pricing of the City shall indeed play its important role. Honda are still mum on that, but we can expect the Honda City to be priced between Rs 10 – 14 lakh ex-showroom to truly compete with the above-mentioned sedans. We shall keep you updated on further happenings here.