The new Honda City is being pitted against Hyundai Verna, Toyota Yaris and Volkswagen Vento. Unlike the last generation, that had an aggressive body composition, this one looks gentle. It’s also larger. To put it in arithmetic, the fifth-generation City is 109 mm longer and 14 mm higher than Verna. From the front, the design is heavily borrowed from Accord and looks wide-bodied.
It gets the signature front chrome bar with a top strip stretching across the nose. The headlights look sharp with multi-reflecting LED amps. Interestingly, its design has been inspired by the imagination of six-year-old kids in Japan.
According to Satoru Azumi, chief designer of the car, kids in Japan were asked to draw their dream City car. Based on a selected few, the preliminary sketch was made. It’s made to look like a Japanese Katana sword, he says.
A mix of light brown and black palate adorns the cabin. Though a bit glossy, the plastic in the front is premium. The seats look well-sculpted and have received neat stitching. It’s got good lumbar support too. The rear seat is the best in the class with a wide and deep seat base, positioned right. For tall passengers, this car won’t disappoint with space.
The sedan gets a 1.5 litre naturally aspirated i-VTEC 4-cylinder petrol engine, which delivers 119.35bhp of power. This engine is different from the previous generation and gets a double-overhead-cam (DOHC), which offers top-end power, fuel efficiency and a noiseless drive. True to its promise, the 500-plus km test drive was smooth. The suspension is soft and dynamics well controlled. The steering is light, great for highway drives. It delivered a fuel efficiency of 16.5 kmpl for the manual and 17.5 kmpl for the automatic.
The windowsills have been placed lower for better cornering visibility. The left wing-mirror gets a blind-spot assistant camera, a segment-first to help you manoeuvre in cramped-up space. On the technology and safety front, the City is impressive.
The base variant gets four airbags and goes up to six for the top trims. Add to it ABS, EBD, Traction Control, vehicle stability control, hill start assists. The car will automatically contact emergency services and share the GPS coordinates for accidents and malfunctioning. It’s accessible through an app and Alexa. Be it locking the car or switching on the AC, you can do it sitting in your bedroom. The car is for those looking for a safe, fuel-efficient and stylish drive.
Fuel efficiency 16.5 kmpl (manual) 17.5 kmpl (automatic)
Starting Rs 10.89 lakhs
Safety: 4/6 Airbags, blind-spot assistant camera, ABS, EBD, Traction Control