The Honda City is the main reason behind Honda’s premium image in India. It has been the reigning dominator of the sedan segment and features in every car manufacturer’s rival list in India.Modern and contemporary design with premium interiors makes the City a near to perfect premium sedan. The quality of finishing in this sedan is the best offered among its competition.Battling a tough fight against all the diesel options offered by its rivals, Honda City still manages to command its strong position. However, with so many options being available in the market, will the Honda City hold on to its charm is what we find out in our review. Get offers & discounts on City
EXTERIORS AND DESIGN
For those who actually thought that the new facelift sedan will get a completely new exterior design will perhaps be bit disappointed because instead of a complete overhaul Honda decided to give it a subtle exterior update.
Expect the facelift sedan to get a completely new grille with chrome inserts on them. While expect the front headlamps and the front bumper to get almost the same design as that of the newly launched Jazz hatchback. This overall front face sticks strictly to Honda’s ‘Exciting H Design’ language. Expect the grille to get blacked out theme as well. Besides all these cosmetic changes the other exterior change might also include a new set of alloy wheels while the overall side profile of this sedan will remain unchanged.
Just like the blacked out front grille you can also expect the pillars of the sedan to get blacked out as well just to add more premium touch to its exterior. As far as the overall dimensions are concerned expect it to remain unchanged however the addition of new bumpers might add a few mm or more to its dimensions.
INTERIORS AND COMFORT
The interiors are There has a few add-ons though. The plastic quality feels better now and is put together well. A larger touchscreen infotainment system dominated the centre part of the dash. and this has better resolution too. The system has HDMI input and MirrorLink as well. There is reverse camera and even six airbags on offer on the ZX variant.
There is more than sufficient space in the 2017 City. The front row seats are comfortable and spacious. There is ample of head room and leg room. The seats have good comfort and are good enough even for long distance travel. The rear seats are also spacious and have good amount of comfort too. The arm rest falls a bit too low but other than that there is no other issue. The boot space is 510 litres, which is sufficient for a family of four.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The City continues to be powered by the same set of petrol and diesel engines. The 1.5 litre i-DTEC engine that makes 100hp and 200Nm delivers great low-end performance and is smooth and linear in a very un-diesel-like way, but rev it hard and it becomes rather noisy. Honda claims to have added more insulation for lowering the NVH levels in the diesel, and, though it is a marked improvement, there’s only so much that could be done to curb what is inherently a noisy engine. Ambient sounds have gone down a bit, but the diesel engine rattle is still an issue.The petrol option is of course the tried and tested naturally-aspirated 1.5 i-VTEC engine developing 119hp and 145Nm. The motor is still a riot for enthusiasts, revving out eagerly to its red line and making a lot of its power at the top end. It’s quite usable at the bottom end too and, as the revs climb, it can get a bit vocal.
Gearbox options remain the same as well with a six-speed manual for the diesel and a choice between five-speed manual or seven-step CVT automatic for the petrol. With India’s crowded roads and newfound fondness for automatics, it’s sad that the City doesn’t offer such an option on the diesel, but that’s just something that will perhaps have to wait for the next generation.With no mechanical changes to the suspension either, the ride remains largely the same, which is to say agreeable by class standards, but not the class best. There’s still a fair bit of roll around corners and the ride quality can get a bit choppy at times. The top ZX variants do get new 16-inch alloys and wider tyres, and thankfully they don’t seem to have hurt the ride quality at all. As for the handling, we didn’t get much of a chance to test it on Delhi’s wide, smooth and straight roads, so the verdict is still out on that one.
There are no tweaks for the suspension as well in the updated model and we feel it doesn’t need it either. The City has got a very balanced setup, which offers pliant ride quality and nimble handling. The ride might feel a tad stiff at low speeds but it flattens up as you gain speed. The high speed stability is good but you might feel the need of wider tyres. Handling is quite engaging and the City feels eager to dart into corners but again, the undertyred setup tends to lose some grip when you push the car to its limit.
The steering makes you feel connected to the road and there is no sense of numbness. It is quick to respond and offers decent feedback. The body roll is well controlled and you don’t get tossed around much on the twisties. Ground clearance is not a big issue in the fourth generation City, it rarely touches the underbelly on big bumps and potholes. Braking performance is good and the pedal bite is confidence inspiring too.
Thankfully, more and more manufacturers are taking safety seriously nowadays and so is Honda. The City facelift gets dual airbags and Anti-lock brakes along with electronic brake-force distribution as a standard fitment. Adding to standard list of equipment are the ISOFIX mounts for child seats. The top ZX trim gets six airbags which include side and curtain airbags, which is a great offering, in our opinion
Offcourse the facelift city no doubt will help carry forward the legacy of the City sedan ahead. This has been one of the most popular C-segment sedans of the country and actually has helped Honda to cement their position in the Indian market. The facelift sedan might not bring a lot of change with it but it definitely will help bring some fresh appeal with it until and unless the new generation sedan is launched in the Indian market.