Honda City Car Review

Honda City or India’s most beloved sedan recently got a heart transplant, and now has a highly rated diesel heart beating under its hood. This Japanese mid-size sedan ruled Indian streets for more than a decade until Hyundai rolled out its Verna Fluidic with some heavy curves and a feature-rich package. As a result, City sales took a tumble and the rising petrol prices further added to its misery. The new City is designed and developed in India, and is expected to help the Japanese car maker retain its segment leadership again.The exterior styling of 2014 Honda City takes off from the previous generation model, and has several noticeable underpinnings of the same. The front visage is similar to the outgoing model design, and now gets sharp chrome tipped grille and crisp bonnet lines, along with redesigned headlamps and bonnet. It is easy to mistake new City with the old one.

The rear design looks a lot more different, and lends this mid-size saloon a more upmarket character. For instance, the tail gets new big lamps extending right into the boot lid, while it seems that the car has gotten wider due to its redesigned bumper. The new City has a tipped forward stance and looks stunning on road. The crisp chiselled lines look dapper and the overall design theme speaks volume of City’s evolution over the years.

The Honda City’s new diesel heart is the same 1.5 litre i-DTEC engine that was introduced with the Honda Amaze package last year. Hence, there isn’t any difference on the performance front between the two siblings, and this is where one might wonder why Honda didn’t use its originally developed 1.6 litre i-DTEC motor in the City. Just like case of Amaze, the i-DTEC powering Honda City develops a peak power and torque outputs of 98.6 bhp and 200 Nm, respectively. On the other hand, petrol City comes fitted with a 1.5 litre i-VTEC engine rated with a top power output of 117 bhp and highest torque figure of 145 Nm. Further, the i-DTEC is mated with a six speed manual transmission, whereas the i-VTEC comes with an option of either a five speed manual or automatic CVT gearbox.

The i-DTEC isn’t as racy as its peak power indicates, and the motor actually churns out power in a pretty linear fashion and that extra punch is definitely missing. Further, Honda engineers should have done a better job at minimizing the diesel clatter, which is quite noticeable from inside the cabin and is kind of a little annoying. Performance oriented car lovers may find diesel City a mild turn off, but urban drivers may like the new Honda six-speed gearbox with shorter gear ratios that make it a pleasure to drive this sedan around city. Shifting between third and fourth gears is easy while negotiating hectic city traffic, but the highways are where i-DTEC delivers a slightly down performance. Post the 140 kmph mark, the engine feels a little out of breath.

The 2014 Honda City scores some great points on the interior front. The mid-size sedan gets a redesigned cockpit that feels more upmarket and modish than the outgoing model. The Japanese auto maker has used superior fabrics, upholstery and plastics than the previous City. The new generation model gets stylish new dashboard, touch screen air-con controls and piano black finish around the music system and central console.

The seats are comfortable, ride quality excellent and spacious interiors remain best in class, as expected from a Honda model. The new City gets better legroom and shoulder room than before, and the rear passengers have their own AC vents now. The other trimmings include push button start/stop, 5-inch screen lit music system with eight speakers, steering-mounted controls, cruise control, sunroof, reverse camera, automatic climate control, ABS and airbags, amongst many others.

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