We’ve followed the new Honda City from its world debut to market launches in India and Thailand, before previewing the Malaysian-spec locally-assembled City last month, twice. We have even got behind its wheel for a test drive report, and compared it shoulder-to-shoulder with the outgoing car. It has been quite a journey, and here’s the climax – the official local launch of the 2014 Honda City.
Let’s do a recap, shall we. The all-new Honda City, which shares a platform with the new Jazz, has grown in size – while it is just 25 mm longer than the previous car, the new wheelbase length of 2,600 mm is a significant 50 mm more, which means that overhangs have been minimised. 2,600 mm matches the Nissan Almera‘s WB and eclipses the Toyota Vios‘ by 50 mm.
Honda says that rear passenger space is best-in-class. The target was D-segment space, and backbenchers get more room here than in the Civic and Toyota Camry, it is claimed. Honda, which has always excelled in packaging, pushed the dash forward and brought the hip-point back – these, plus the longer wheelbase helped realise the interior space gains. Also segment-leading is the 536-litre boot.
Under the hood is the familiar but lightly-improved 1.5 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine, now with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), a new resin intake manifold and less friction. The motor makes 120 PS at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm at 4,600 rpm, and is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission. Unlike the Almera and Vios, there’s no basic manual-transmission version offered here.
The Earth Dreams Technology CVT replaces the previous car’s torque converter five-speed automatic. The change to CVT, coupled with lower weight and better aerodynamics, has improved fuel consumption – 17.5 km/l vs 15.3 km/l in Honda’s own tests. Also, ECON mode makes a debut in the City.
Not the most important point in such a car, but the 1,075 kg City does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 10.5 seconds, or 10.8 seconds for the heavier (1,106 kg) and wider-tyred range-topping variant. Top speed is 190 km/h.
The new platform is suspended by front McPherson struts and a rear torsion beam, the standard arrangement in this class. The rear brakes are drum units, but Honda says that braking performance is the same as before. The EPS steering turns 175/65 R15 tyres in all but the V, which is shod with 185/55 R16 rubber. The price-busting S rides on steel wheels with caps, while all other grades get alloy rims.
Speaking of grades, four will be offered in Malaysia – S, S+, E and V. The top-spec V is richly equipped for a B-segment sedan. The above-mentioned 16-inch rims, touch-panel auto air-con, rear air-con vents, leather steering with audio/cruise control buttons, keyless entry + push start and illuminated meter are all standard, plus a touch-screen head unit with seven-inch screen and eight speakers.
The E gets some of the V’s goodies, but not all of course, while the S is cheap (we mean the sticker price) and basic. Click on the spec sheet scan below for a detailed look at the equipment spread.
Safety-wise, the ABS, EBD, Brake Assist and dual-airbags are standard across the board. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Hill Start Assist are only for the E and V, while side + curtain airbags are exclusive to the V, making it a total of six airbags. ISOFIX child seat mounts are standard.
The 2014 Honda City is available in five colours: Modern Steel Metallic, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Taffeta White, Crystal Black Pearl and the new Brilliant Sporty Blue Metallic.
Prices start from RM75,800 for the S and RM78,800 for the S+, rising to RM83,800 for the Grade E. The range topping V is priced at RM90,800. There are two add-on packages – a RM3,200 Modulo Package (body kit, side skirts, boot spoiler, door visor) and a RM1,700 Premium Package (foot lights, sports pedal, side step illumination, trunk tray, trunk organiser).
The City comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, while the service interval is 10,000 km. Buyers get six times free labour service, alternating with paid service, up till 100,000 km.