Honda City gets a brand new look

Honda has taken the covers off of its new, fifth-gen Honda City in Thailand, ahead of its rollout in ASEAN markets from later this year. Arriving on our shores in 2020, the new City is more than 100 mm longer than the outgoing model, making it a fairly substantial car by segment standards. It is also wider by 53mm but height is down 28mm. Curiously, despite its larger dimensions, the new City sits on an 11mm shorter wheelbase vis-à-vis the outgoing model.

The fifth-gen City gets fresh styling but it is still recognisable as a City. Linking the new model to the Civic and Amaze is the thick chrome band atop the grille that forms the focal point at the front. The grille comes flanked by wide and sharper-looking wraparound headlamps, embellished with LED projector units and daytime running lamps.

What does take a bit away from the look is the simply-styled front bumper. Moving on to the sides, the new City gets a prominent character line that runs from the front door all the way to the back, eventually merging with the tail-lamps. The doors get subtle creases at the bottom as well, just like the outgoing model. At the rear, the City gets elongated tail-lamps with LED elements and a simple boot and rear bumper design with vertically positioned reflectors at each end. The model for the Thai market sits on 185/60 R15 tyres shod with multi-spoke diamond-cut alloy wheels. We expect the India-spec car to get a larger tyre size.

Honda City gets a brand new look

Open the front door and you are greeted by an all-new dashboard layout that looks simple yet upmarket. The outgoing City’s asymmetrical dashboard has made way for a more conventional-looking console. The centrepiece here is a large 8.0-inch touchscreen that’s flanked by vertically-positioned air-con vents. Notably, Honda seems to have ditched the outgoing car’s touch panel-based climate control arrangement for a more user-friendly set-up that includes three rotary dials. Honda has provided not one but two USB slots and a single 12V power socket for the new City. The three-spoke steering wheel with leather wrapping looks chunky and gets dedicated buttons for volume control, cruise control and Bluetooth telephony.

The new City also gets brushed aluminium pedals and a large dead pedal gets a subtle brushed aluminium finish. As far as instrumentation goes, the new City continues to use the twin analogue dials with red outlines, and there is a decent-sized multi-info display taking centre-stage. The new City will continue to come with an Eco mode as well, with an automatic start-stop system.

One point to keep in mind is that while the pictures of the model show an all-black interior, the India car could get a beige-on-black theme — perceived to be more premium in our market. The subtle doses of brushed aluminium and piano black trim help uplift the look of things on the inside.

Under the hood, the new City for Thailand gets a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine good for 122hp and 173Nm of torque. The sole transmission here is a CVT gearbox with paddleshifters on higher variants. This engine delivers an impressive 23.8kpl according to the Thailand test cycle. The new City will also get a fresh 1.5-litre petrol engine coupled with Honda’s compact i-MMD mild-hybrid tech that made its début on the new Jazz recently. Details of the hybrid powertrain haven’t been revealed yet.

Additionally, for India, the new City will come with a BS-VI-compliant iteration of the current 1.5-litre diesel engine. This unit will also continue to see duty in the Amaze in our market.

On the safety front, the new City comes with six airbags that include dual front, side and curtain airbags. Also packaged into the car is a multi-angle rear-view camera, ABS, EBD, vehicle stability control and hill start assist.

Honda City gets a brand new look

The new City will come to India after mid-2020, and it will see newer and updated rivals in the form of the heavily refreshed Hyundai Verna, the recently updated Vento, Maruti Ciaz and Skoda Rapid. The City has been Honda’s backbone in India. In an era when sedans are falling in popularity, it’ll be interesting to see if the City can mirror the success of its predecessors.

Interestingly enough, while Honda had revealed the current-gen City in India, they chose to début this new one in Thailand. However, there is a reason behind this. The key reason for the introduction of the 1.0 turbo-petrol engine is to qualify for the stringent Eco Car Phase 2 rules in the Thailand domestic market — a vehicle has to deliver CO2 emissions lower than 100g/km and have a fuel economy figure not less than 23.25kpl, among other requirements. And for the vehicle to qualify for the eco car programme, it has to go on sale before the end of 2019 to meet local tax benefits.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 3:00:38 PM |

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