Japanese auto giant Honda is once again gearing to get to the position it lost to others a few years ago. While its models like Brio and Amaze have already amazed a lot of people, the new City has everything the auto maker needs to push it to the top slot. Ammar Alvi finds out why Indians love the City.
There is a lot of buzz around the new Honda City. Honda says that it has received more than 9,000 pre-launch bookings even before the car had arrived at dealerships. This fourth generation City’s design is an evolution over the outgoing model rather than a revolution. But in its latest avatar, Honda has upped the game by making it a lot more upmarket. The car looks more premium, the quality of materials are better and there’s more space for the occupants. The Japanese carmaker has also focused on the rear seat, which now is plusher and gets more legroom. The new City definitely also gets more features than before. Honda has applied its ‘H Design’ concept to the new City following its recent global design direction. The new City borrows a lot of design elements from the likes of the globalHonda Civic while maintaining a distinct Honda City feel. The new 2014 Honda City features much sharper lines and more aggressive lines and angles when compared to the previous generation City. There is also a noticeable difference in the overall stance of the City, mainly due to the longer wheelbase of the car compared to the outgoing City.
The new Honda City’s interior is certainly the biggest upgrade to the car. With a new gloss black finish dominating most of the dashboard, the 2014 Honda City will certainly be one of the new benchmarks for interior design in years to come. The Piano Black theme continues on the infotainment screen bezel too. With a high gloss surface encapsulating the large five-inch screen and the well-crafted buttons, the central dashboard unit looks exceptionally well crafted and embodies a sense of luxury through and through.
The petrol engine is the i-VTEC engine carried forward from the old City which delivers 119PS of power, one more than the last generation car. This petrol engine has two choices of gearboxes, a five-speed manual and a CVT. The CVT, according to the company, is more efficient than the manual, achieving an ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India)-certified figure of 18 kmpl compared to 17.9 kmpl on the manual. Honda says that of all the 3rd generation Citys sold in India, 15 per cent were automatics in 2013 and the market for automatics is growing every year. But what is new in the 2014 Honda City is a new diesel trim! After three generations of the petrol-only Honda City, this new car will cater to a wider customer base. The engine is the identical 1.5-litre i-DTEC block from the Amaze and delivers the same 100PS of power and 200Nm of torque but is mated to a new six-speed gearbox. It promises to be one of the most fuel efficient sedans in the country with an ARAI-certified economy score of 26 kmpl.
The new City will be available in five trims—E, S, SV, V and VX for the petrol manual transmission and diesel models, and in the SV and VX trims for the CVT City. The customers will get a choice of six colours—Golden Brown, Carnelian Red Pearl, Urban Titanium, Alabaster Silver, Crystal Black and Taffeta White.
Honda is offering a two-year or 40,000 km warranty on the new City. The new car will be sold through 159 dealerships across the country and Honda has plans to open 11 more till March. The new 2014 City comes at a starting price of Rs 7.42 lakh for the petrol model, Rs 8.62 lakh onwards for the diesel model and automatic for Rs 9.49 lakh. All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi.