One of the most awaited cars this year has also been one of India’s most loved cars for a very long time. The Honda City has always been the flagbearer of the mid-sized sedan segment in India and but for the coronavirus pandemic a brand new generation of the car would’ve been running on our roads by now. But owing to the lockdown, the launch of the City got delayed and wait for many prospective buyers got longer. This week though the Japanese carmaker revealed some crucial details about the 5th generation of the car and also showed us its first official images. Importantly, it was also announced that new City will after all be launched in the market in the month of July.
Honda says the new City is inspired by the Japanese Katana blade, a type of curved sword used by ancient Samurai. The highlight is a continuity of lights with a sharp shoulder line that accentuates its premium look and length. This character line runs right from the headlamp all the way to the tail lamp defining its shape, making the hood seem longer. The car also gets a wing face with a chrome grille that has been seen on many other sedans from Honda. There are full LED headlamps with 9 LED array inline shell, integrated LED DRLs and Z-Shaped 3D wraparound LED tail lamps with LED side marker lamps. Plus the car also gets 16-inch diamond cut alloys and two tone exteriors are on offer too.
The colour theme followed in the cabin is a combination of beige and black, something that works well with the Indian buyer. The instrument panel is made in a horizontal and linear form which according to Honda will improve clarity of car’s sense and direction. The dashboard comes with real stitch soft pad and woody garnish, something that will help in giving a luxury fee. Apart from this the car also gets leather upholstery, centre armrests & door trims with soft pad, rear AC vents and a rear sun shade. The clickfeel AC dial with red/ blue illumination, leather steering wheel & and shift lever and soft interior ambient lighting in front foot well also add to the luxury quotient.
In terms of storage there’s a smartphone tray in centre panel, rear arm rest, 1 litre bottle holders in door pockets and sub-pockets for smartphones inside the front seat back pockets. Honda says rear visibility has been improved by redesigning parcel tray & lowering the trunk lid. The claim is that there’s enhanced rear seat shoulder room, best-in-class knee room & legroom and a boot capacity of 506 liters. Honda says this new generation City is India’s first connected car with Alexa remote capability. There’s a 20.3 cm touchscreen system and a large 17.7 cm HD TFT meter for multi-function driver information interface like trip meter, real-time fuel efficiency, digital speed and an innovative G-meter.
The City like earlier will continue to be offered in both Petrol and Diesel engine options but now they’re BS6 compliant. The 1.5 liter Petrol mill will be offered with a 6 speed manual transmission and new 7 speed CVT. Honda says this engine will deliver high fuel efficiency, low emission and spirited driving performance. It churns out 121 PS of maximum power and 145 Nm of peak torque with an approximate claimed fuel efficiency of 18 kmpl for both the manual and automatic variants. The Diesel too is a 1.5 liter engine and delivers 100 PS and 200 Nm. Offered with just a manual gearbox, it delivers an impressive 24.1 kmpl.
Ride & Handling
Honda claims that a new platform on the City will deliver in a better way when it comes to crucial elements like ride and handling. The improved suspension setup with reduced friction is promising a superior handling stability as well as ride comfort. Increased use of ultra high tensile steel for first time in India in a Honda has increased rigidity and helped in reducing weight reduction. Crucially Honda is also promising a quieter cabin than earlier, something that has been an issue earlier more so with the Diesel motor. Finally front torsional rigidity has also been improved to ensure more confident driving dynamics at high speeds.
The new 5th generation City has already made quite a name for itself by getting a 5-star safety rating equivalent ASEAN N-CAP, something not many cars sold in India can boast of. It has been given 6 airbags which includes dual front airbags, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Apart from that the sedan also gets vehicle stability assist with agile handling assist. And that’s not all, to make the City even more appealing the Japanese car maker has also added important safety and practical features like hill start assist, tyre pressure monitoring system and a Honda lane watch camera. Finally the car also gets ISOFIX compatible rear side seats and a multi-angle rear camera.
Shams Naqvi is Senior Editor at carandbike.com