Honda City, ever since its launch in late nineties in India, has continued to rule its segment for more than a decade. Always commanding a premium over its competitors the car sold like no other. Recently however, the sharp and multiple rise in petrol prices coupled with the arrival of new ‘diesel’ alternatives has affected Honda’s best-seller. It was still doing good for a petrol-only sedan but Honda not being content with it is launching the next generation Honda City, as we had reported last week, on 25th of November. The new car’s bookings are open and the deliveries are expected to start from January onwards. The manufacturer has stopped the production of the current model and last month it sold only 31 Citys to dealers which makes it clear that those cars comprised the last of the current generation model. The dealers are also offering discounts in a bid to clear out the remaining stocks.
The 2014 Honda City is based on the new Jazz/Fit platform and is expected to take quite a few design cues from the new Fit. With bigger wrap around clear lens headlamps with projector lights, new LED tail lamps, new design alloy wheels, and rakish creases on both sides, the new Honda City would be the sportiest City yet. The new car, in all probability, might look like the one in the picture below (at the bottom). It would be bigger than the outgoing City and would help Honda position it much above the Amaze while also lessening the gap between the City and the now-discontinued Civic. Being bigger might translate into class-leading in-cabin space and Honda should ideally also not leave this opportunity to cram the City’s interiors with every possible feature and equipment they can think of. If the Grand i10 can get outside rear view mirrors that fold electrically, Honda has no reason to expect the City owners to manually push/pull the mirrors.
The biggest news however, in the Indian context is that the Honda City will now also come with a diesel option. Honda Amaze’s 1.5-liter i-DTEC engine would nestle under City Diesel’s bonnet and we expect Honda to get the engine to produce around 120 bhp of peak power. Going by the diesel clatter of the Honda Amaze we also expect Honda to take care of the NVH levels in the diesel version of the City. Of course, the new Honda City’s petrol version will continue to get the motive power from the current 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and Honda should be tuning it further to make the car more powerful, yet more frugal.