2020 Honda City Review | First Drive | autoX
In fact, it’s been such a success that they’ve already sold over 8 lakh units of the city which, for a premium sedan, is a pretty big number. But I have a personal angle with the city you see back in 2003, just before they introduced the second generation of the car. I bought one of the last pieces of the VTEC of that era. It was an amazing car to drive. You know I loved that 14 inch. Alloy is the twin tailpipes, the spoiler, the hollowed out headrests. All that, for me, almost 20 years ago, was a big deal and I had great fun with the car so much so that in five years I drove it for two lakh kilometers. I still have good memories, but today we are here. This is the fifth generation of the city it’s, a big car, in fact in size, it’s, almost 4.6 meters long, which is as long as the last Civic, so that’s, a pretty large car, the largest in a segment. It comes with two engines, one automatic to manual options and we’re gon na drive it today to see whether Honda is one of the most important products in India has improved to justify the 5th generation and if it has then has an axe city owner. What do I think of it as a driver’s car and as a premium sedan? Now, if we look back at the history of the city, I had a bit of a problem between the designs of the third generation and the fourth generation car.
I think the design changes between the third and the fourth gen muscle a value theory. I found it hard to differentiate between the two. Yes, if you look closely there enough food, but they weren’t a stark change with the fifth generation, though that’s a good difference that it’s a stark change in the design and that’s in a very pleasant way. One caveat though, while this is a fifth generation of the city under confirms that this is based on an improved, updated platform of the four generation car. So it’s not a brand new platform, but it’s been worked on extensively to improve upon the areas that the engineers and the customers had demanded in the past. So that aside, there are some very nice styling details on the Honda that I like this headlight. This is a LED headlight, now 9 LED array and the way it’s been designed. The way it looks like all of them are lit, even though in the low beam only 6 of them are used. It comes across as a very nice detail when you view the new Honda City in the rearview mirror of a car in front. The energy daytime running light is also rather striking and very well done. The chrome treatment has been integrated much more nicely. That it’s been done on the Amaze, I think that’s, a plus and the nose in up in profile is very smoothly you it. It has a bit of a shark head kind of a profile, and I think that looks quite nice it’s an interesting details.
Now the Honda City does offer 165 mm of ground clearance, which is very good for our country, but what that does is it makes the stock 16 inch tires there’s too much really gap, so I think 17 might have been better, but then the Gauss goes up. It has to go up, so those are lots of factors. The site features a nice shoulder line, design, which is very well integrated. You see it starts from the headlight cuts across all the way through and ends at the tail light. So I think that’s been quite well done and it gives the profile a very unique identity. The windows are quite large. The windscreen especially, is quite large and I’ll talk about visibility. When I go out to drive the car, but one of my favorite parts of new city are the taillights they’re very, very done there again LEDs. I love this black smoke. The red combination, it’s well integrated it’s, also wraparound, to a fairly large tail light, and I think that, for me, is one of the discreet touches of this cuff. Overall, I would think if I were to rate the city styling, I would give it somewhere between three and a half to four between it’s a pretty good design. Would it have been a few more changes? Yes, I would like bigger wheels but overall I’m quite pleased with how the car looks now. As I said earlier, the fifth generation of the Honda City it’s a pretty large car.
I just turned up 4.6 meters. You would expect a lot of interior room and I don’t think you would be disappointed what I particularly also like other seats they’ve been improved upon. They have better phone quality and you can tell when you sit in them they’re very comfortable. They have great under thigh support. The other thing I really like is the steering it’s got the correct size of sort of thickness to it. It’S small it’s really nice to hold in fact the leather surface. On top of it feels really nice. It has all the controls that you need, including cruise control, and it also controls the seven inch display, which is right here in front of me. The instrument control now has a 7 inch display integrated into it, which means that your tachometer, your trip information, your range information, your fuel level, all that is digital and changes dynamically and is actually quite well designed the speedometer. However, the needle still remains analog so that’s, something nice to see. The startstop button is also in place quite well, and one thing I don’t like in Honda’s previous cars and something that has unfortunately carried over is the infotainment system. It functions, fine, it has Android auto, it has apple carplay, but the positioning and the resolution of the screen leaves much to be desired in direct sunlight as I’m sitting. Now the visibility is quite poor and every time you have to start the car, you have to turn up the brightness and contrast of the screen to make it appear usable.
The other thing the camera displays both for the side, view, cameras and for the rear view, cameras the resolution again dissapoint so that’s, something that Honda can certainly improve upon. One thing that doesn’t need improving, though, is the ekend big system, even in the 40 degrees of heat, that I’m sitting right now in the peak Sun, it’s working brilliantly. In fact, I have to sit at 24 degrees because that’s how cold the cabin becomes. If you take the temperature any lower, so I think that works really well also. They work specifically on the feel of the ac knob. It clicks in in sort of half digit temperature increases and decreases, and that works really well. It feels really good to use what the new city also has is a bunch of power outlets. It’S got one in the front two in the rear. You also get two USB ports here, so there’s enough connectivity for your smart phone and for charging your tablet smartphone laptop. Whatever else you need what I also want to do since it’s such a large car it’s, vital to experience the rear seat to the CP. So I’m going to sit in it and figure out whether I like the rear seat and the space as much as I do the front. One more factor I really like about the Honda City is that it feels really well built all the surfaces you touch in this dual tone, interior that they offer now are very well finished.
They’Re plastics, the leather surfaces, the way the doors closed. It feels like a quality item and I think it’ll be class competitive if not class, leading I can’t say class leading right now, because I like to check whether its competitors are close are not close enough to the Honda City. Also, we don’t know what the pricing of the Honda is gon na, be like so that’s something we’ll have to discuss at a later date. What I do like again, because it’s such a large car, that we increase the rear legroom by about a hundred millimetres. You can see that I have more than enough space and this is easily the largest car in its class, but there is one catch in the sloping: roof design of the car they’ve taken out the Headroom. So if you’re, six foot or above you’re going to have a problem here on the flipside, the seat is very comfortable offers great and the thigh support. And if you’re somebody who’s chauffeured around and likes to work on his laptop or read publication. A newspaper or magazine. Perhaps the Honda City is a really nice place to spend time in, especially if you’re under six feet, tall Music. I still distinctly remember back in 2000 2001 and between 2003, when I bought my VTEC. There were three main features that really attracted me to the car. Yes, it was a city. Yes, it was a good looking design. In fact, I still think that that car still looks absolutely fantastic if maintained well, but the three main highlights for me, which made me ultimately buy: the cow were one that 1.
5 liter VTEC engine. It was one of the first VTEC cars in India and I’ll come back to that too, was a really quick shifting 5 speed manual transmission. Then I had great fun shifting around and three was just unbelievable amounts of steering feel the car had. So those were the three things that really attracted me to the car now coming to the engine. What attracted me there was that it was among the most powerful engines in its segment. At that point of time, 1.5 litres 106, bhp, 7200 rpm redline, the Vita used to kick in at around 40 200 or so, and it used to be a scream. I cuz it was an absolute delight to drive the refinement, the power delivery. It was something else now with the fifth generation city. The Honda’s also introduced a new 1.5 liter engine coincidence, I think not and it’s, unique, because they’ve updated the engine. It’S now has double overhead camshaft. It has variable valve timing control. It does put out a similar amount of horsepower to the previous engine it’s a 119 bhp 145 Nm of torque. But what I really like is one the refinement to. It makes a great sound when you’re rubbing it, and I have to say the last thing that I don’t like is you have to here. It go and see how quickly it revs how he delivers power, it’s, it’s butter, smooth, it’s fast, and it makes driving this car great fun.
I mean you know you can do silly three minute speeds all day long in this car and this engine just makes it so easy. Now you would say: 119 bhp that’s, not a lot of power in today’s world in today’s cars we’re with turbo charging. 100. 40. 60, 80 200 bhp is quite easy to get, but I think the difference here is that Honda specially worked on stifling the city’s platform but at the same time not increasing the wake. In fact, they’ve reduced the weight by a few kilos, not much, but at 1150 3 kilos. I think that’s, the exact figure, the city in petrol form is pretty light for a car that’s, almost 4.6 meters long. It also has lots of safety gear, like it has six airbags, stiffened structure, lots of sound deadening to sort of improve the refinement, but even then this engine with 119 bhp just flies. I mean it’s a delight to ramp, it’s really responsive, and I also love the 6 speed manual transmission. This is new. The earlier city, petrol used to come with the five speed. This six speed, she’s, really well it’s, fast it’s, very defined, and you can race climate around. So I am getting two of those fields of mind. We take back this really responsive engine that you can take to almost 7000 rpm. It delivers its peak power at 6600. Rpm and a really quick shifting, gearbox that’s, a delight to use staring also has quite a bit of feel it’s, a big improvement on previous cities, but they also seems to be some artificial bit of weight and I think where the rind is concerned, the Honda’s not Try to make the city very sporty live still kept a bit of the comfort factor.
Now. What does that do? Yes, it rides quite well. Yes, it handles bad roads well, but when you’re throwing it around you’re taking curves at high speed, you can feel the body roll, but even at high speeds, it’s very stable. So that is not a problem at all. Another aspect of the city that Honda engineers have really worked on is with regards to the visibility from inside previous cities. You could say a couple of them has really big bay pillars, which, when turning used to be a big hindrance for drivers, you know you could easily miss a two wheeler or a car inside that blind spot. So, on this platform, the fifth gem they work specifically and you can see the a pillars of moot. In fact, the rearview mirrors. The side. Rearview mirrors have been moved from the install here on to the door to give more visibility, and I have to say it works really well, the ape in a blind spot is largely gone and the windscreen is quite large and you look out pretty well the rear View still remains a bit of a small windscreen for me, but overall it’s, a cabin that you really enjoy. Looking out of it’s easy, the shoreline is low and with the added sort of sunlight coming in specially with the sunroof here, it also makes the cabin airy which, with its black and beige combo, is quite apparent and in any case, it’s a pretty big cabin.
So I think that gives the cabin a pretty good feel now. What I also want to do is we are driving two versions in the city today, they’re brand new 1.5 dohc VCG engine, which i just described, it’s a delight. I love the engine. I love the gearbox. I love how it drives. It takes me back to my old VTEC. It sort of gives me that fun and at high revs the engine makes a really nice noise, so that adds to the driving appeal. The next one I’m gon na drive is gon na, be more for the economy, conscious for somebody for people who drive a lot more it’s, the 1.5 diesel, with the 6 speed manual there’s also a 1.5 petrol with a brand new CVT gearbox, but we’re not driving. That today, we are gon na test that, on a separate day for now it’s that easy now the 1.5 liter diesel at the Honda range is something we are quite familiar with. It was available in the last city it’s available in the current amaze, and we know the pluses and minuses of the engine. It is not the most refined of the range it has a pretty aggressive power delivery, but I’m quite happy to say that Honda engineers have worked on both aspects, and this is the most refined version of the 1.5 liter engine that I’ve seen in Honda products at High revs it’s still a little too loud inside the cabin for me, but I think they’ve done a major improvement and if you have the stereo turned up a bit that shouldn’t be much of an issue.
The vibrations have specially been cut out, especially in the galley, where from the steering the earlier versions in the end, you were quite bad with that. So that’s, a good part, and the other thing that the engineers have worked out is the power delivery. Earlier, when the turbo kicked in at 2000 rpm, it was really aggressive and the engine would really play between 2000 and 4000 and below 2000. It was a really difficult engine to work with, but that has been largely sorted out in this version of the city. The engine’s linear, the turbo kick is not that pronounced and it still gives you 99 bhp and 200 Nm, so it’s still pretty quick. It responds really well and I have to say for a diesel it revs really quickly. So I think that adds for it plus it’s quite efficient. I mean we remember from a previous test getting easily anywhere between 17 18 kilometers, two litre or above on the highway, and I don’t think this will change much with the city. This diesel version weighs about twelve hundred odd kilos, it’s about 50 odd kilos more than the petrol version, so you really can’t feel it, but like the petrol city, you can also feel the body roll when you want to throw in the car around or you’re taking It on fast curves. As a result, I would highly recommend the petrol version. The petrol 1.5 manual of the city is something that I would recommend to people, especially if you enjoy driving – and you know you get many pluses with the city specially.
If you look at the 1.5 petrol engine, you get the largest car in its class. You get a lot of room inside the cabin you get a big over 500 liter who’d, you get a car that’s efficient, you get a engine and a gearbox that I create fun to drive. The ground clearance is quite good. I think it looks quite good. I quite like the like, I said earlier: the lights and headlights and the taillights and the equipment levels are pretty high, like I said, six airbags, ABS, EBD and, like the Accord earlier, you also get sideways camera. So when you’re. Turning when you turn on the indicator, you can see what’s on your side and the blind spot. Is it move? So all those are pluses, but no car is perfect. Some of the is the camera resolution of the city, the screen resolution of the city and their brightness still needs a lot more work that needs to be improved upon. It’S got a Amazon connectivity which we’ll review in a later video it’s got a KERS and legroom, but the Headroom in the rear is a little short, and the last thing I think I have to say is that, even though the engineers claim that they’ve done a Lot of work on sort of improving the refinement, I can still feel quite a bit of the road noise coming inside the cabin it’s a little more pronounced in the diesel, because the diesel engines noise level also adds to that now.
This could be due to the tires, and I wouldn’t mind slightly larger tires in the car. You know 185’s on a car that can go this quickly. I think is a little under sized for me, but that’s, something the noise levels inside the car is something that can certainly be improved upon. The last factor is, of course, even being in market that you have to consider. Is pricing now that’s, something we don’t know? Even when you see this video on the 30th of June, we will not know what the pricing is that will be revealed at a later date and in in the fact, the classes of the city, the 1.5 litre petrol engine is magnificent transmissions, fantastic it’s, really good Fun to drive it’s a bit soft in the suspension side, but that’s great for ride comfort, it’s fully loaded. It looks quite good it’s, the biggest car in its class. Now whether the pricing justifies.