Honda City is Back to Capture Buyers' Hearts - The New Indian Express

Honda City is Back to Capture Buyers' Hearts

Published: 10th January 2014 10:34 AM

Last Updated: 10th January 2014 11:15 AM

Back when petrol prices were not deregulated, Honda’s City was a leader in the C2 segment. With the absence of a diesel engine and better alternatives, City soon faded away from the scene, with buyers opting for Verna, Vento and now even Ford EcoSport. It was only a matter of time after Amaze that the City with a diesel variant would hit the markets. And now, its here!

The new City is 4th generation, which means that it is totally brand new. The car has undergone a substantial amount of change, most of which has been in the interiors. Not much has been done on the exteriors, except with maybe giving the car a more fluidic perspective.

Some of the very obvious changes on the outside are the new chrome front grille, a bigger taillight cluster, sunroof and new alloys. The car has been jacked up a good 10mm higher, giving it now a ground clearance of 165mm. The windscreen washer nozzles have been cleverly placed under the bonnet, which also address rusting issues among previous owners over the same.

Even though new alloys have been introduced, the tyres still remain the same - 175/65 R15. For the kind of power that is available on tap, a minimum width of 195 mm is necessary, even the Swift Dzire comes with 185. Upgrading would be recommended for safety.

Interiors and features have undergone a major revamp. For starters, City comes with a push button start. No more keys. Additionally, all you are required is to have the remote in your pocket for even unlocking or starting the car, the same feature is found in Verna. The interior is very spacious and bright, giving it a well-balanced ambience.

A first-in-its-class feature is the feather touch climate control AC. That’s right, there are no knobs or buttons to control the AC, but a touchscreen to adjust the climate inside your car. The responsiveness is very good too, but eyes will have to be taken off the road to adjust the settings.

The steering wheel is superb and also has controls mounted over it, including paddle shift for the automatic variant. The OEM audio system has eight speakers and will accept input from any of the popular sources, be it CD/ mp3/ aux/ Bluetooth/ USB. The audio quality is also impressive.

City also comes with an OEM reverse parking camera. The ORVMs are electronically adjustable and retractable. The multi-information display in the dashboard also provides data on real time fuel consumption as well as average. Though the dashboard is packed with features, there is  lack of cohesiveness, the AC vents are placed at different heights, the hazard and start/stop buttons feel out of place.

The comfort levels are excellent. There is ample legroom for the rear passenger even with the driver’s seat pushed all the way back. The dual-rear AC vent adds to the comfort. The leather upholstery is very soft and has a premium feel to it. The space is ideal for four passengers, but the fifth will be uncomfortable, as the central portion of the rear seat is slightly higher.

The engine and specification are the same as those of Amaze. Honda has chosen to play safe with the fuel economy card. But the petrol version has adequate power and is only outclassed by Verna in the segment.

The diesel comes only in manual, while the Verna has automatic even in the diesel variant. The ARAI fuel efficiency is the best in class, on both the diesel and petrol.

It will now have to be seen whether the City will be able to rule the segment once again.

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