Honda City Overview
The City is one of the most popular and successful models for Honda Cars India. In fact, the Japanese car manufacturer debuted the fourth-generation City in India, highlighting the country’s importance in the company’s global plans. Launched in 2014, Honda has sold over 2.4 lakh units of the fourth-generation City in India.
The City was once a benchmark in the C-segment for its sophisticated design and features, but Honda’s applecart was disrupted with the launch of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, as its long feature list paired with company’s brand trust made it a more appealing product. Additionally, Hyundai is also gearing up to launch the new-generation Verna which is another strong rival of the City. To make sure the sedan remains in the game, Honda has given the City a midlife update and made it more kitted. So what’s new in the Honda City facelift? We tell you in our first drive review. Test drive for Honda City.
Honda City Design & Style
Quite a bit actually, but let’s start with the exteriors. Aesthetically, the City still looks similar to the pre-facelift model, albeit with a sleeker front end. The arrow-shot design theme is retained. The front grille now features a slimmer chrome grille with a honeycomb mesh in the background.
The Honda City now features an all-LED lighting system. The headlamps are all LED, so are the DRLs and tail lamps. In addition, the all-LED treatment is reserved for the top-of-the-line ZX variants only although, the VX does get LED headlamps and fog lamps. Even the fog lamps and all interior lights including the front and rear reading lamps, and the rear number plate illumination are all powered by LED technology.
It also gets new diamond-cut alloy wheels which have been upsized to 16inches, though, these are also available on the ZX variants only as the lower models make do with 15-inch wheels. Ironically though, unlike most cars, the facelift looks most distinctive from the rear. The all-LED tail lamps feature a clear distinction between the red and clear section. It also gets a new spoiler with integrated brake lamp and honeycomb inserts in the redesigned rear bumper as well.
Honda City Cabin & Comfort
On the inside, the black-beige-silver theme is elegant and the overall quality is quite good, though, a few more soft-touch plastics would’ve been nice. However, with the facelift, Honda has plugged a few gaps in the cabin.So the steering now gets the added advantage of reach adjustment (only tilt earlier), which helps you find that perfect driving position with a lot more ease. The sunroof, which was already available, gets the one touch operation for some added convenience.
Additionally, you now get an interior rear-view mirror that’s not only auto-dimming, but frameless as well. Even the starter button gets some new backlighting which makes it look more distinctive, while the instrument cluster’s dials now glow white (earlier blue).Honda has also thrown in additional kit like auto-headlamps and auto-wipers – something that its rival, the Hyundai Verna already offered. Of course, following the exterior lighting theme, you get LED map lights up front and LED reading lamps at the rear in the range-topping ZX variant.
The cabin is still uber-spacious as ever. 5 occupants can fit in with ease and two six-footers can sit one behind the other. The only problem is that tall occupants will find themselves wanting for better rear seat headroom and while the cabin is wide, the middle occupant won’t be too comfortable over long journeys because of the raised centre section of the rear bench and slightly protruding armrest console. On the plus-side, the rear headrests are now adjustable, but the feature is limited to the top-end ZX variant only.
Honda India’s R&D division has developed a new seven-inch touchscreen infotainment display labelled the ‘Digipad’. It runs on an Android-based operating system and is very user-friendly. Apart from the larger screen size, the unit comes with the added advantage of MirrorLink and Wi-Fi connectivity. Since you do have 2 USB ports, one can be used for running the apps offered in MirrorLink, provided you have a MirrorLink enabled phone. While MirrorLink does offer added benefits (e.g. music player and navigation app), the number of apps available is limited when compared to Android Auto or Apple CarPlay – both of which, the new Hyundai Verna offers.In fact, Honda went back to the drawing board and brought in a new system called the Digipad 2.0 and plonked it into the Amaze. The new head-unit is smoother to use, far more responsive and even gets Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, yet, Honda does not offer it in the City, which is a let down. Check for Honda City in controlenter.in
Honda City Engine & Gearbox
All the changes and updates on the 2017 Honda City are primarily related to the exterior and the interior, while the powertrain options remain unchanged. Honda continues to offer the City with 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines. We did expect Honda to update the power and numbers of both the motors similar to that of the BR-V, but that has not happened. The 1.5-litre petrol continues to make 117PS/145Nm, whereas the diesel puts out 99PS/200Nm. The petrol motor is offered with a 5-speed manual transmission while it is also offered with a CVT as an optional unit. Honda claims that City MT delivers an overall efficiency of 17.4kmpl while the CVT offers 18kmpl. The diesel, on the other hand, gets a 6-speed manual transmission as standard and delivers a claimed efficiency of 25.6kmpl.
For our first drive on the 2017 Honda City, we had the 1.5-litre diesel. It might read odd but the diesel clatter in a Honda is something that I have still not accepted whole-heartedly. Anyways, the wide-spread torque continues to be the highlight of the diesel motor. Be it driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic or cruising on highways, the motor doesn’t feel out of breath as the turbo lag is minimal. Soon after we dodged the city traffic and entered well-paved highway, it didn’t take much effort for the motor to reach higher speeds. And helping the motor deliver its best is the smooth 6-speed manual transmission which again was a saviour in traffic-clad areas. However, City’s other rivals likes the Skoda Rapid and the Volkswagen Vento get a diesel automatic as well which could have been an impressive addition in the City’s model line-up.
Honda City Driving Dynamics
The City’s suspension strikes a good balance between comfort and stability. Under most driving conditions, the ride quality is good and it can handle the average Indian road quite well, while it’s steady at high speeds too. However, the suspension is a bit noisy over broken patches of road and if you hit a pothole, it will be felt in the cabin.
The City, as its name suggests, is about easy urban mobility. So the steering is super-light and makes maneuvering through traffic a breeze. The steering is quite direct too and the handling mannerisms are very predictable even for inexperienced drivers. However, at high-speeds, we do wish the steering weighed-up a bit more and unfortunately, there isn’t much feedback either. It’s a good car for a driving enthusiast, but not the best.
Honda City Safety & Security
The Honda City facelift gets dual airbags, ABS with EBD, and ISOFIX mounts for child seats as standard. The top of the line ZX trim gets six airbags which include side and curtain bags. Features like automatic headlamps, auto on-off headlamps and automatic rain sensing wipers also make their way into this flagship grade.
The City now gets LED DRLs as part of standard equipment while the base variant comes with halogen headlamps. The top-end models get LED headlamps and this makes it a better proposition. The City also gets newly designed alloy wheels besides and there’s extensive use of chrome on the car. Honda Car India has also introduced an accessories package as well and are available on three levels: Chrome Utility and Style.
Honda City On-Road Price in Pune ranges from 9,99,632 to 16,58,088 for variants City S MT Petrol and City Zx MT Diesel Anniversary Edition respectively. Honda City is available in 13 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Honda City variants price in Pune. Check for City price in Pune at Carzprice.
Honda City Final Word
Well, that is a question that has become quite tricky to answer. Where the City was known to set benchmarks in its segment, it is clear that it is now attempting to catch up with the competition. Yes, the updates are considerable but they haven’t radically changed the package, something the City really needs. Most of the features it is getting now are already present on its rivals, and even on some cars in the segment below. Plus, the Ciaz is due for an update and an all new Verna is being readied too but, the new-gen City will not be making an appearance before 2019. So, the City does share an equal footing with its rivals with the new facelift but that positioning might be short lived.