The Honda City has been the bread and butter model for the Japanese carmaker, and the car has dominated the C-segment sedan space for a long time. Now that the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz has taken the lead, the Honda City facelift aims to take the throne back.
Honda as added more features, gotten rid of the lower E variant and included a new range-topping ZX variant to the City line-up. The top trim packs six airbags while ABS, dual airbags and ISOFIX child seat anchors are now standard across the range. It shows that the company is moving in the right direction and prioritising safety. Several buyers complain that the top variants don’t come with an automatic transmission forcing them to pick either goodies or convenience. The City gets the CVT automatic in the petrol-powered top trim while the manual transmission has been shown the door.
Engines and transmission combinations remain untouched, and the City retains its petrol and diesel engine, both displacing 1.5-litre. The petrol comes with the option of a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT with paddle shifters for jumping between seven pre-set ratios while a 6-speed manual transmission is the only choice if you want the diesel powertrain.
These changes are expected to help the company position the City as an upmarket alternative over the affordable Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. As expected, the prices have gone up but so has its appeal.
On the outside, the instantly notable change is the smaller slab of chrome and a bigger grille. The LED headlamps flanking the redesigned grille are also new for the 2017 City along with the LED DRLs and LED fog lamps.
At the back, the tail lamps pack LEDs and so does the number plate light. The high mount stop lamp is built into the spoiler, which is neatly integrated into the boot lid. Around the sides, the bigger 16-inch diamond cut wheels are new for 2017 replacing, the older 15-inchers, which wore a sober face.
The LED theme is carried over from outside, and the cabin lights are also of the LED variety. The internal rear view mirror is also auto dimming and frameless. In the roof-mounted console, there are switches to open and close the sunroof, which can now be done with just one push.
The steering wheel now has telescopic adjustment, and the dials behind are white backlit instead of the older blue tint. The dashboard has a soft touch finish, and Honda claims to have worked on insulating the harsh clatter of the all-aluminium diesel block.
The infotainment system in the centre stack has also received a thorough update. However, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay are still nowhere to be found, but MirrorLink makes up for the shortcomings to a certain extent. The infotainment touchscreen is now a 7-inch unit, and it takes display input from a USB port or an HDMI port.
Another USB port or the internal 1.5GB of storage can be used up for multimedia while a memory card holds all the maps for offline navigation. The infotainment system can connect to WiFi and update the traffic data in real time. With the Internet connected, you can also check your emails and browse the web.
Dimensions remain identical and so does the space on the inside. It’s a roomy cabin, and that has made it a serious contender for buyers looking for a chauffeur-driven car.
The Honda City has gained some new bits, and they help make the package better than before. Some features are a first for the segment but are mostly present in the top variants. The Honda City still commands a premium over its competitors and with the facelift, the gap has only widened. The City may still see the sales numbers ticking, but does the facelift take the game to another level? We doubt.