The 4th generation Honda City has taken the game up a notch over its popular predecessor and for the segment as a whole. While the length and width of the car remain the same as the third generation model the new City is 40mm taller and the wheelbase has gone up by 50mm compared to the outgoing model.
The new Honda City wears the company’s H Design concept that works around the company’s ‘man maximum machine minimum’ philosophy that has incorporated new design elements such as new bumpers that feature a variation of angular designs and smooth curves, the head lights maintain a similar profile to those on the earlier car while the front grille features a solid bar of chrome with the Honda logo placed prominently in the centre. The front bumper has a centrally located air dam with fog lamp housings at either end. The corners of the bumpers have flat contours that end at a sharp edge with the front then flowing downwards between the grille and the air dam. The lower section of the bumper ends in a angular manner with sharp edges that lend a nice visual appeal.
Around the sides, a prominent crease runs from the lower section of the front doors to the tail lights giving the car a sporty profile that is further accentuated by a rearward sloping coupe-like roofline featuring a shark fin radio ariel, the lower section of the doors features a curve stretching from the top of the rocker panel at the front to the rear wheel arch, lending a visual break, while new five spoke alloy wheels complete the new side profile.
At the back, the new Honda City gets new tail lights that are sleeker and longer and flow on to the boot lid. The tail lights are connected by a strip of chrome located over the license plate holder. The boot lid and bumper slope out from under the tail lights to give the car a bigger look. The rear bumper gets a curve at the lower section to break the monotony of the otherwise flat contour with a faux rear skirt incorporating reflectors.
While the exteriors have been updated its the interiors of the new City that is the real game changer for the car. The front seats are supportive and well cushioned while the wide rear seat can accommodate three adults in complete comfort and provide plenty of under thigh support and legroom is more than plenty with the longer wheelbase of the car. The new City also has a bigger boot than its predecessor with a commodious 510 litres of space.
The quality of trim materials are good on the new Honda City and the dashboard comes with silver accents and piano black trim is used in the centre console and around the driver’s side air vent to lend an upmarket appeal. The quality of plastics are good and even the air vents feel solid and well built.
Honda’s new city packs in a healthy equipment list with a new infotainment system with a 5-inch LCD screen that gets Bluetooth and AUX connectivity along with CD and DVD compatibility, the car also offers first-in-class touch screen controls for the climate control system with air vents for rear seat passengers as well. The new Honda City comes with electric power steering power windows all around, electric ORVMs, engine start/stop button, keyless entry, rear defogger and sunroof.
Under the hood, the fourth generation Honda City continues to be powered by the renowned 1.5 litre petrol engine developing 119PS of power @6,600 rpm and 145Nm of torque @ 4,600 rpm but has been retuned to offer better driveability, the engine continues to be mated to a five-speed manual gearbox while the automatic gearbox is now a CVT unit for better fuel efficiency. The CVT has been tuned to overcome the rubber band effect associated with the type of gearbox and comes with seven stepped ratios that are responsive and can be controlled via paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. The manual Honda City is claimed to return 17.8 km/pl while the automatic is said to be more efficient with a claimed fuel efficiency figure of 17.9 km/pl.
For the first time the Honda City has been equipped with a diesel engine as well. The motor in question is the company’s 1.5 litre i-DTEC four cylinder oil burner that made its Indian debut in the Honda Amaze compact sedan. The engine develops an identical 100 PS of power @ 3,600 rpm and 200Nm of torque at 1,750 rpm. However, the unit in the new City has been mated to a six-speed manual gearbox for better fuel efficiency in the taller sixth gear that makes it India’s most efficient car in India with a claimed fuel efficiency of 26 km/pl.