History / Introduction: The first generation City sedan was launched in 1996, 2nd generation came in 2002, third generation in 2008, and now, the 4th generation is launched in India, in 2014. Since 1996, more than 2.2 million City’s have been sold across 55 countries in the world.
The 2014 Honda City is built on Honda’s Exciting H Design language. This is their new design language, which will be the base of all their future global models. H in Exciting H stands for ‘human-centered’. The points kept in mind while the car was being designed – top class fuel efficiency, comfortable driving which provides a sense of security to be a STUNNER. Being a stunner/youthful was important, as Honda targets people in the age-group of 20-40 years with the new City.
Dimensions: The all-new Honda City offers more space on the inside, in spite of measuring the same in length and width. The overall length of the new City is same as that of the 3rd gen City at 4,440 mm, while width stays at 1,695 mm. Wheelbase length is increased by 50 mm, and is now at 2,600 mm. Height of the new City too is increased by 10 mm and is now at 1495 mm.
In spite of no change in length and width, you will notice that on the inside the new City, is roomier. It offers 10mm of more headroom, 40 mm of more shoulder space and 110 mm more legroom at the rear. The new City offers best in class front shoulder room, front head clearance, rear tandem distance, rear knee clearance and rear leg room in India. Boot space too is the largest in it’s segment with 510 liters space.
Styling: Exterior of the new City is referred to as Sleek CrossMotion. This is because of its new sleeker body frame, which gives the new City an aerodynamic look. Honda designer’s wanted to make the new City’s styling aggressive and dynamic, and that is the reason you see a low front face with four headlamps.
The front features a new grille and headlight design, which Honda says has been designed after taking inputs from their existing City owners. But, if you ask me, the inclusion of single flat chrome slat, probably is the reason why I prefer the old City’s front.
Moving on the side, the dynamic styling continues with a muscular line flowing across the upper part of front and rear door, and joining into the rear tail light. The rear looks broader, thanks to this flowing lines. The rear taillights, just like front, are bigger than the one’s on old City.
Interiors: The new City features premium interiors, highlights include – First in segment Touchscreen Auto Air Conditioner Panel, and One Push Engine Start/Stop button. The flowing design of dashboard, which uses two tone silver and piano black finish, adds to the premiumness of new City. The chunky feel of steering wheel and gear knob too is premium.
Front seats come with better ergonomics, while the rear seats offers you enough thigh and back support. There are enough places to place your water bottles, but sadly not for the 1ltr ones’. Rear seat also offers arm support, just like in the old City. Top end model also features rear AC vents and two 12V mobile charging points.
Engine and Mileage: Surprisingly, for the first time Honda has not offered a new engine with a new generation City. With the 1st gen they introduced the VTEC, 2nd gen got the iDSI, and 3rd gen got iVTEC. This probably is due to the reason as for the first time Honda was giving City a diesel option.
The 1.5l iVTEC offers 119 PS @ 6600 rpm and 145 Nm torque @4600 rpm. This engine option is available in both manual 5 speed gearbox and CVT transmission option. Mileage claimed for manual petrol City is at 17.8 kmpl while that of CVT is at 17.9 kmpl.
The 1.5l iDTEC delivers 100 PS power @ 3600 rpm and 200 Nm torque @ 1750 rpm. It is only available with a 6 speed manual transmission. This version gives ARAI certified mileage of 26 kmpl, making it the most fuel efficient car in the country.
Honda has improved mileage and performance of the same engine by reducing the weight of the car (45 kgs), and using a specially engineered 3D oil. During our test drive, we managed to squeeze out a mileage of 11 kmpl for the manual and CVT petrol, while from diesel we got 18 kmpl.
Driving: The first car we drove, was the Diesel City. Featuring the same 1.5l iDTEC from Amaze, we were not expecting same performance. But, we were proved wrong. Though the engine of City diesel is the same 1.5l iDTEC, delivering 100 PS and 200 Nm, it is completely different when it comes to performance. Not only it is less noisy (thanks to better insulation), it is also much more responsive and torquey. The engine responses well within the 2000 – 3600 rpm range and easily handles city driving as well as highway cruising. You can continue to push the car up to the 4500 redline, but this is when you start hearing the diesel engine clatter.
Speaking about it’s petrol engine, this is the same 1.5l iVTEC that powered by the 3rd gen City. But, it is a lot different. Power is delivered in a much crisper manner, right from the moment you step on the peddle. In the CVT, the transmission is seamless. Perfect for City driving conditions. The manual is a driver’s delight, and is expected to be the ONE for Honda City fans.
Other than the engine, Honda has also tuned the suspensions extensively. Though front and rear suspensions are same as that in the 3rd gen, in the form of Macpherson Strut and Torsion beam axle respectively, there is an impressive change in how the car handles broken roads.
Features & Trims:
|New Honda City diesel and petrol variants|
|Equipment||New Honda City E||New Honda City S||New Honda City SV||New Honda City V||New Honda City VX|
|No. of Airbags||1 (Driver only)||1 (Driver only)||2 (Dual front)||2 (Dual front)||2 (Dual front)|
|Touch Panel A/C||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rear A/C vents||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Audio system||No||Yes||Yes||Yes (with display)||Yes (with display)|
|Driver Seat height adjust||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rear power outlets||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Steering mounted controls||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ABS with EBD (P)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ABS with EBD (D)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Conclusion: A bit under-powered, but priced competitively, the new Honda City challenges the leader in the segment, Hyundai Verna. Easily, the new City launch has given the segment a new life, and some worrying periods for Hyundai. The year 2014 will see Honda City take-over reigns as the segment leader from Verna, we expect.