Expert Review

Honda City

We all know that Honda is a famous Japanese automobile company which had established its operations in India in the 1990s, and launched iconic cars like the Accord and City. The first generation Honda City, which gave the Honda brand image in India, was launched in 1998. Since then various design changes and facelift was seen, first in 2003, under the name Honda City ZX, then the 10th Anniversary Special edition in 2008 under the same generation. The next generation Honda City with a complete design overhaul was seen in late 2008-early 2009, featuring an all-new front design and an even more aerodynamic body. This was continued until 2014 when the next generation Honda City with minimal design changes like chrome lining on the front grille was launched. This was the first Honda City to be launched with i-DTEC diesel engine option. It doubled up the sales and in March 2015 it became the fastest selling compact sedan reaching the 1lakh mark in just 15 months. In 2017, the latest generation Honda City was launched and, here is the big thing, over 10,000 orders were received in less than a month after its launch.

 The Honda City represents Honda’s brand image and reputation as a world-renowned Japanese carmaker. And the features tell you why-


With a sleek and aerodynamic body, the Honda City looks like a premium sedan. A length of 4440mm, width of 1695mm and height of 1495mm gives it a sleek, diminutive look. A large wheelbase of 2600mm indicates plenty of space in this car. The S, SV and V variants get 175/65 R15 tyres while the VX and ZX variants get 185/55 R16 tyres. Looking at the front, the chrome accent on the front grille is indeed superb. The supporting arm of the front grille is the LED headlights with LED DRLs and LED fog lamps, along with the hexagonal lower radiator grille. Going to the sides, the sleek sideline characterizes this car’s aerodynamic profile. Stylish R16 diamond cut alloy wheels add even more elegance to the sides. The ORVMs are auto folding and have turn indicators too. At the rear, the chrome trunklid spoiler with LED stop lamp welcomes us and the Rear LED Combi Lamp is a style assistant here. On the top, for a breezy drive, there is an electric sunroof. And to complete it, the shark fin antenna in the rear plays the best shot in enhancing the style of this car


A premium car should have premium interiors. And that is the feeling you will get in the Honda City. The Premium Beige interior is indeed splendid looking and fit for such a car. The multifunction three spoke steering wheel with tilt and telescopic adjustment has buttons for volume control, taking and ending calls and cruise control. The instrument cluster has 3 circular pods, giving a 3D effect. While the first two pods are for tachometer and speedometer respectively, the third one is a Multi Information Display. On the center is the Honda DIGIPAD, a next generation AVN system. It has so many features, apart from the traditional FM Radio, USB, smartphone connectivity and voice recognition; it has Wi-Fi support for internet access. There is automatic climate control for the car. Convenience features in front seat includes driver side seat adjuster, front bottle door holder, front center armrest with storage, driver side coin pocket, front console cup holders, glove box, On the rear side, the seats look premium with center armrest having cup holders. The rear doors have bottle holders. Also, the rear AC vents have charging ports to charge your devices on the go.


The Honda City is a feature-rich car, there is no doubt about that. But when it comes to performance, driving and handling, there is a different perspective all together. Firstly, the i-DTEC diesel engine is made so to deliver great low-end performance, but crank the engine further and the engine noise is heard well. Same story is with the i-VTEC petrol engine. Great low-end performance, but engine noise at high revs. But the petrol engine revs well and gets to the redline quickly. Gearboxes have no change at all, but the lack of automatic transmission in the diesel variant is a bit disappointing. At the corners, the City goes well and coming to bumps and potholes, the soft suspension handles it all well. It gives an agreeable ride quality, but not the best. However, the City gives a decent ride, and will not disappoint you at all.


The Honda City has two engine options. The petrol engine is the water cooled, 4 cylinder, 16 valve, 1497cc i-VTEC engine, which churns out 117.61bhp at 6600rpm and a torque of 145Nm at 4600rpm. This engine has two transmission options- 5-speed manual transmission and a 7-speed paddle shift CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), which is the automatic transmission. Fuel efficiency varies, with 17.4km/liter for manual transmission and 18km/liter for automatic transmission.

 Debuted with the Honda Amaze, the water cooled, 4 cylinder, 16 valve, 1498cc i-DTEC engine from the Honda Earthdreams Family is the diesel powerhouse of this car. Delivering a power of 97.89bhp at 3600rpm and torque of 200Nm at 1750rpm, this engine also has a varying fuel efficiency, with SV and V versions having 25.6km/liter and VX and ZX versions having 25.1km/liter. This engine has only 6-speed manual transmission.


Honda is very much passionate about safety. And it is evident in the Honda City. Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE™ ) Body Structure is what makes the Honda City tough and stylish. Dual front airbags come as standard across all variants, while the top-end ZX variant gets side curtain airbags. ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat anchors, engine immobilizer system, day/night inner rear view mirror, rear windshield defogger are also standard across all variants. The top end ZX variant also gets automatic headlight control with light sensor, by which the headlights automatically glow in the dark. Keyless entry with Honda Smart Key system ensures that your car doesn’t get stolen. For stability, there is McPherson Strut with Coil Spring suspension in front and Torsion beam axle with coil spring suspension in the rear. For the optimum braking power, there are ventilated disc brakes in front and drum brakes in the rear. Rear parking camera is standard only in V, VX and ZX variants.


A premium car will have a high cost of maintenance. And such is the thing in the Honda City. If we consider that the car is driven for 1000km in a month which amounts to 12,000km in a year, the cost of ownership for the Honda City can come upto Rs. 79,163 for one year. This includes Rs. 24,400 of insurance cost, Rs. 5908 of maintenance cost and Rs. 48,855 of fuel cost. We have not factored in the loan interest as it depends on person to person and the percentage of amount taken in loan.


A premium car like the Honda City has premium rivals. Cars such as Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento, Skoda Rapid and Renault Scala are looking to overtake the Honda City’s 19 year old legacy. But it is surprising to know about the Honda craze because as already told, over 10,000 orders were received in less than a month after the car was launched. Will the craze continue or the rivals charm the people in buying them. It’s all up to the future sales figures for the answer.


The only problem with the current Honda cars is its high price range, which makes it difficult to afford. Same case is seen in the Honda City. Its price range is from Rs. 9.2lakh to Rs. 14.52lakh. It is really expensive to own such a car. But Honda has given premium features to this car and features like the Honda DIGIPAD which has Wi-Fi support is not seen in other cars. Its ride quality is agreeable and good too. If you have lot of bucks in your pocket and looking for a premium sedan, then the Honda City is, with no doubt, the car made for you.