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New Honda City : Competition Check

  • Nov 30, 2013
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The Honda City has also been the definitive benchmark of the Indian mid-size sedan segment characterized by its quality, reliability and performance. Now with the unveiling of the new fourth generation model, the City has given all its competitors even more to worry about. And this is even before the production version of the car is ready for testing!

The new 2014 Honda City is 25mm longer and 25mm taller than the third generation model while the wheelbase has been stretched by 50mm. And while the width of the car remains the same as the earlier model it has to be said that thanks to clever engineering, the cabin sure does feel wider. The increase in the wheelbase has translated directly into a significant increase in rear legroom and knee room. The increase in the height of the car has given the new City ample headroom despite the sloping rear roofline and there is plenty of shoulder space for three passengers in the rear bench.

Quality of materials used in the cabin are good and the interiors feel well built. The new Honda City also packs in new equipment such as a new infotainment system featuring AUX, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and is hooked to eight speakers, steering mounted audio and cruise control buttons, segment first touch sensitive air conditioning controls, rear air vents and push button start stood out on the cars that were showcased.

When it goes on sale in January 2014, the new Honda City will be offered with a choice of the famed 1.5 litre i-VTEC petrol engine and the award winning 1.5 litre i-DTEC diesel engine. The diesel engine will be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the combination should give the new diesel City outstanding fuel efficiency.

Without further ado lets take a look at how various contenders in the mid-size sedan segment stack up against the fourth generation Honda City.

 



New Honda City v/s Hyundai Verna

The Hyundai Verna is the current undisputed king of the mid-size sedan segment thanks to its fluidic exterior design theme that find favour with Indian buyers and quality interiors. The Verna’s lengthy equipment list that includes projector headlamps, automatic climate control, 2-din audio system with USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity, steering mounted audio controls, driver information system, sliding front arm rest, height adjustable seat belts, cooled glovebox, auto dimming interior rear view mirror, electric ORVMs, engine start/stop button, rear view camera and rear parking sensors definitely gives the car an edge over its rivals. Safety features aboard the Hyundai Verna include airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, impact beams and crumple zones.

Another ace up the Verna’s sleeve is that it is available in 10 variants with engine options ranging from 1.4 litre petrol and diesel engines to 1.6 litre petrol and diesel engines. The Verna also happens to be the only car in its segment to offer an automatic diesel variant while a petrol automatic model is also on offer. Manual gearboxes for the Verna include a five-speed box for the petrol model and a six-speed unit for the diesel models. The autoboxes are four-speed units with tiptronic function.

Prices for the Hyundai Verna range between Rs 7.38 lakh for the base 1.4 litre petrol variant to Rs 11.57 for the top-end 1.6 litre diesel automatic variant lakh ex-showroom Delhi.

 



New Honda City v/s Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid

The German Volkswagen Vento and rebaged Skoda Rapid are extremely well built and the Vento with its subtle and sleek sedan design cues is quite the eye catcher. The interiors are extremely well built and quality of materials are top notch. Over the years, Volkswagen has updated the interiors of the Vento and the current top-of-the-line Highline trim packs in a double-din stereo with USB, AUX, SD card and Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, steering mounted audio controls, adjustable arm rest, plenty of cubby holes, electric ORVMs, rear air vents, one touch front passenger seat stow function and anti pinch power windows all around. Safety features include airbags, anti-lock brakes, impact beams and crumple zones.

 



The Vento and Rapid are powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine that develops 105PS of power and 153Nm of torque while the 1.6 litre diesel engine develops 105PS of power and 250Nm of torque, both engines are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The automatic Vento is powered by a 1.2 litre turbocharged direct injection petrol engine developing 105PS of power and 175Nm of torque and is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox with tiptronic function. The Rapid automatic comes with the 1.6 litre petrol engine developing 105PS of power and 153Nm of torque.

Prices for the Volkswagen Vento range from Rs 7.34 to Rs 9.99 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. While the Skoda Rapid is priced between Rs 7.14 lakh Rs 10.00 lakh ex-showroom Delhi.

 



New Honda City v/s Nissan Sunny and Renault Scala

The Nissan Sunny and rebadged Renault Scala are the prime competitors for the City when it comes to interior space. And the new City beats the two cars here with more trunk space (new City: 510 litres, Sunny/Scala: 490 litres), taller height and by being longer.

The Sunny/Scala otherwise have budget interior that can be made out by the quality of plastics that are hard and lack the sheen of its more expensive rivals. Both cars come reasonably equipped with power windows, electric ORVMs, double-din stereo with steering mounted controls, climate control and engine start/stop button. Safety features include airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution with brake assist, impact beams and crumple zones.

 



Both cars are powered by a 1.5 litre petrol engine developing 99PS of power and 134Nm of torque while the 1.5 litre diesel engine develops 86PS of power and 200Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox while the two cars are also available with a CVT automatic gearbox on the petrol models.

The Renault Scala and Nissan Sunny come retails between Rs 6.30 lakh to 9.87 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and the Scala between Rs 7.19 lakh and Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

 



New Honda City v/s Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is a rather good car car for its segment. It has excellent drive dynamics for a family sedan and is well built as well. The quality of materials used in the cabin are good and interiors space is adequate. However, its iffy styling at the rear end and dull black interiors have severely effected sales for what is otherwise a very good car.

The Ford Fiesta comes reasonably well equipped with a double din stereo with voice activated controls, electric ORVMs, power windows all around, remote central locking, steering mounted cruise control and audio controls, climate control with voice control, rear parking sensors and foot well lamps. Safety features include airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution with brake assist, impact beams and crumple zones. The Automatic model also gets hill hold function and traction control.

The range of engines for the Ford Fiesta include a 1.5 litre petrol engine developing 109PS of power and 140Nm of torque while the 1.5 litre diesel engine develops 90PS of power and 204Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to a five-speed gearbox while the automatic Fiesta gets a six-speed dual clutch gearbox.

Prices for the Ford Fiesta range between Rs 7.84 lakh to Rs 10.82 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

 



New Honda City v/s Maruti Suzuki SX4

The Maruti Suzuki SX4 has not aged well over the years and sales have taken a severe beating with just 262 units sold during October 2013. The SX4’s lack of premium interiors with average quality plastics and relatively limited equipment list consisting of power windows all around, electric ORVMs, climate control and a touch screen double-din infotainment system with steering mounted controls has also contributed to the limited sales figure for the sedan.

That said the high (170mm petrol and 180mm diesel) ground clearance of the SX4 makes it popular in areas with poor road conditions and you can’t ignore the sheer number of Maruti Suzuki service centres across the country.

The Maruti SX4 is available with a 1.6 litre petrol engine developing 105PS of power and 145Nm of torque while the 1.3 litre turbocharged diesel engine develops 90PS of power and 200Nm of torque. The SX4 is available with a five-speed manual gearbox and there is no automatic model on offer.

Prices of the Maruti Suzuki SX4 range between Rs 7.86 lakh to Rs 10.36 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

 



New Honda City v/s Fiat Linea

The Fiat Linea is still clearly the largest car here and is 120mm longer, 35mm wider and 8mm shorter than the new Honda City. The Linea has always had more of a big car appeal. However, the new City packs in everything the Linea does and more when it comes to equipment, quality of materials and space.

The Fiat Linea packs in a double din stereo with Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, remote central locking, electric ORVMs, leather upholstery and power windows all around. Safety features include airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, impact beams and crumple zones.

The Fiat Linea is powered by a 1.4 litre petrol engine developing 90PS of power and 115Nm of torque while the 1.4 litre turbo charged petrol motor develops 114PS of power and 207nm of torque and the 1.3 litre turbocharged diesel engine develops 93PS of power and 209Nm of torque. All three engines are mated to a five speed manual gearbox and no automatic variant is on offer.

Prices of the Fiat Linea range between Rs 7.29 lakh to Rs 9.79 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

 



New Honda City v/s Tata Manza Club Class

The Tata Manza Club Class is a strong competitor in the Indian diesel mid-size segment owing to its large and spacious interiors.The Manza comes equipped with power windows all around, a touch screen infotainment system with Bluetooth/USB and AUX connectivity, steering mounted audio controls, climate control and power windows all around.

The Tata Manza comes with a choice of a 1.4 litre petrol engine developing 90PS of power and 116Nm of torque while the turbocharged diesel motor develops 90PS of power and 200Nm of torque.

The Tata Manza has come to be known for its attractive price range of Rs 6.11 lakh to Rs 8.34 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). At its price the Manza offer a lot in terms of space and equipment and poses stiff competition in terms of value for money, particularly, in the diesel mid-size segment.

 

Also Read - New Honda City: First Look Review

 
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