Honda City 2014 Archive

  • Driven Web Series 2014 #1: Best of the B-segment – 2014 Honda City vs Toyota Vios vs Nissan Almera

    Enough waiting, Driven Web Series is back with a new season, powered by the new Petronas Primax95 with Advanced Energy Formula!

    Just like last season, we’re kicking things off with everyday cars. The ever-popular Toyota Vios came out tops in our mixed pairing last year, so now we’re pitting it against its closest class rivals, the 2014 Honda City and Nissan Almera – all in top-spec TRD Sportivo, V and VL guises respectively.

    Looks, performance, handling, comfort and safety – everything considered, which is the best B-segment sedan on sale in Malaysia? Watch the video above to find out the Driven Web Series verdict. As usual, we hold no punches.

    Thanks for watching, and be sure to head over to to compare the full specifications of the three cars here. It’s sure good to be back, and we hope you enjoy the show!

    PS: No, Harve won’t be wearing a dress in this episode – that’s so 2013, anyway. But don’t worry, other surprises await, and next week we’ll have three sexy cars with a guest host that looks properly stunning in white. Stay tuned :)

  • Honda City Mugen Prototype debuts in the Philippines


    Still very much the it car of the moment, the 2014 Honda City has impressed us and at least 10,000 Malaysian buyers so soon after its local launch. The Vios-beater is already available with a Modulo-branded bodykit here, but if that doesn’t catch your fancy, maybe Mugen’s upcoming look-faster dress-up package would.

    The Honda City Mugen Prototype you see here premiered in the Philippines, alongside the standard car’s local introduction there. The Mugen bits include a unique front grille, complete four-piece all-around bodykit, carbon-fibre wing mirror covers, a boot lid spoiler and a set of 17-inch aluminium wheels.

    For now, the Mugen package is labelled as a prototype as it’s not quite ready for production just yet, but Honda Philippines says that it will be available for purchase in the third quarter of 2014. Time will tell if or when it will arrive here in Malaysia, where only the Civic is offered with Mugen parts. The question is, will there be any takers?

    Live pix by

  • 2014 Honda City – 10,000 bookings within first month

    2014 Honda City 17

    The 2014 Honda City has collected 10,000 bookings within a month of its official launch on March 20, well surpassing the previous record of 3,000 bookings within a month of launch for the fourth-gen CR-V.

    Honda Malaysia says it will be able to complete deliveries for all 10,000 bookings by end-June, thanks to the new No. 2 Line in Pegoh, which has doubled production capacity as well as enabled flexible production scheduling to speed up output.

    In addition, sales are up 30% in Q1 2014 over the same period last year. Honda Malaysia aims to sell 76,000 Honda vehicles this year. Revisit our tireless coverage of the 2014 Honda City here: Launch, test drive, old car, new car, grade-by-grade comparison, walk-around video.

  • VIDEO: A walk-around tour of the 2014 Honda City

    Teaser. Preview. Launch. Test drive. Old car, new car. Grade-by-grade comparison. And if you’re a seasoned visitor, you won’t be surprised to hear we’re still not done with the 2014 Honda City. After all, cars as significant as this don’t come every day, do they?

    The very day after the launch, we visited Sumber Auto in PJ to find a top-of-the-range Grade V example, in the new Brilliant Sporty Blue Metallic shade, taking pride of place on the showroom floor. We arrived as early as we could – yet, as you can see, we weren’t the only ones there. And by lunchtime…

    Still, we’ve managed to bring you a comprehensive walk-around video of the latest alternative to the Toyota Vios and Nissan Almera – and I got a bit of my own back in the process, too. Have fun watching, and subscribe to our Youtube channel for more of such videos, which are coming your way!

    See our entire string of 2014 Honda City-related stories here.

    GALLERY: Malaysian launch of the 2014 City

  • GALLERY: 2014 Honda City spec-by-spec comparison

    If you think we’ve covered all possible angles of the 2014 Honda City by now, well, you thought wrong, as here comes our spec-by-spec comparison of the four available grades in Malaysia. The new City’s prices vary from RM75,800 for the base S to the range-topping V’s RM90,800, and the like-for-like pictures below show you all their differences.

    Obviously, all the fancy features (platinum grille, 16-inch wheels, touch-sensitive multimedia head unit and automatic air-con controls, six airbags) are exclusive to the most expensive Grade V, while the entry-level variant appears rather basic in comparison (silver-painted grille, 15-inch steel wheels with covers, single-DIN head unit, manual air-con, dual airbags).

    Meanwhile, the S and S+ models are also marked out by their conventional front fender indicators and body-coloured door handles, next to the E and V’s wing mirror-mounted LED repeaters and chrome grips. Beyond the obvious are smaller spec changes too, such as the traditional antenna on the S, as opposed to the stylish shark fin-like item on the others.

    A Grade V example fitted with the optional Modulo and Premium packages are pictured below too. You can refer to the official spec sheet for a more detailed list of the equipment spread. With such big differences in prices though, it’s fair to say that you get what you pay for with Honda’s new Toyota Vios rival. Or should we say Vios-beater? Find out in our initial drive report of the new City.

    2014 Honda City Grade V with Modulo and Premium packages

    2014 Honda City Grade V 2014 Honda City Grade E 2014 Honda City Grade S+ 2014 Honda City Grade S

  • Honda City Hybrid confirmed for M’sia – first details

    2014 Honda City

    Yes folks, the Honda City Hybrid will be coming to Malaysia. This year, in fact, and as a CKD model too, as confirmed by Honda Malaysia CEO, Yoichiro Ueno. This is the first time, anywhere in the world, that a Honda official has specifically confirmed that such a model exists.

    Previously, the company had only hinted that a new hybrid B-segment sedan will be introduced in Japan, which everyone then deduced to be an electric motor-assisted version of the 2014 Honda City. No more conjecture needed, then.

    First details of the new model have been announced too. For starters, it’s now known that the City Hybrid will use Honda’s latest Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD) one-motor hybrid system that’s in the latest Jazz Hybrid, and not the older Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system.

    As per the Jazz Hybrid it’s based on, it will also have a centre-mounted fuel tank, as opposed to the rear-mounted item in the standard petrol model. Furthermore, the hybrid system’s battery pack (likely to be of the lithium-ion variety) will be stored under the rear seats.

    That’s all the info we have for now. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.

  • 2014 Honda City launched in Malaysia, from RM76k

    2014 Honda City 14

    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.

    2014 City Interior

    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.

    Honda City Spec Sheet

    Click to enlarge spec sheet

    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.

  • 2014 Honda City – Malaysian spec sheet leaked online


    While we wait for the market launch of the 2014 Honda City, what appears to be the full spec sheet of our Malaysian models have appeared on a local web forum. This provides us with an early look at how the different variants will shape up. So let’s take closer look, shall we?

    As confirmed earlier, there will four grades on offer – S, S+, E and V (one up from the outgoing model’s S, E and E+ variants). There’s a much wider spread in the equipment list than before, which, according to Honda Malaysia, will be reflected accordingly by the new prices.

    The range-topping City Grade V looks very impressive indeed, equipped with an upsized 16-inch wheels, Smart Entry keyless system, touch-screen automatic air-con, rear vents, leather-covered steering wheel and gearknob, cruise control, seven-inch touch-sensitive head-unit and an eight-speaker audio system.

    Click to enlarge.

    The list goes on, to include the blue illuminated instrument cluster and HDMI input (for HondaLink), with six airbags and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) rounding up the safety front. How this variant will be priced remains to be seen, but it will certainly be the best-equipped Japanese B-segment sedan when it goes on sale.

    Move a step down and you’ll have the Grade E, which used to be the City’s flagship model here. Compared to the new range-topper, this one trades in the V’s platinum-effect grille for a chrome-finished unit. Other visual giveaways are the deleted foglights and a smaller set of 15-inch wheels.

    Fortunately, it keeps the V’s wing mirrow-mounted turning indicators, chrome door handles, and Smart Entry system. Inside, the touch-sensitive display and climate control are replaced by an Audio CD player and manual air-con, but Bluetooth connectivity and dedicated rear air-con vents remain.

    Airbag count for the Grade E and below is set at two, and unlike in Thailand where it is standard across the range, VSA is limited to the E and V variants only. Still, the spec sheet claims a full five star ASEAN NCAP safety rating for all 2014 Honda City models.

    2014_Honda_City_Malaysia_ 032

    The base S and S+ variants look to be bare basic models to fight the bottom range of the Toyota Vios and Nissan Almera. The Grade S, especially, will look rather different than the rest with its silver grille, pole-type antenna (the others get a BMW-like fin) and, get this, steel wheels with covers.

    Inside, the S and S+ will be identical to each other, with urethane steering wheel (with no audio controls) and a simpler amber meter cluster. Also removed are the Bluetooth link, armrests (both front and back), rear air-con vents and split-folding rear seats. Rather basic, then, but hopefully they will be cheap.

    Study the table close enough, and you’ll notice that there are a few missing links. The seat upholstery is fabric, even on the top-spec Grade V, steering-mounted paddle shifters – which are present on the Thai cars we reviewed last week – have been omitted altogether (apparently current City owners hardly ever use them) and yes, the City now uses rear drum brakes.

    Click on the spec sheet image above to study the model differences in more detail. As it didn’t come from an official source, though, there may be discrepancies to the final products, which will be revealed soon. An ad on our sister car classifieds site claims a price range of between RM74k to RM89k. Stay tuned for more details.

    2014 Honda City Grade E

    2014 Honda City Grade S+
    Thai-spec 2014 Honda City

  • DRIVEN: 2014 Honda City i-VTEC previewed in Phuket

    2014_Honda_City_preview_Thailand_ 017

    Small cars are big business. As other industries gnash their teeth over sales declines and predict the end of the world, the automotive players, those with B-segment contenders in particular, are doing rather well. Significantly up last year and, with new entrants late last year and this year, almost certainly more in 2014.

    The rules of small cars are fast changing too. Until recently, small meant basic. If you wanted big car features you would (obviously enough) buy a big car. And if you couldn’t afford it, or fit it into your garage, tough.

    Enter the 2014 Honda City. It’s not a size thing – this car is as dinky as other, more utilitarian sedans. What it offers is big car equipment and interior space. Not minimalism, but rather downsizing. So is it any good, and more crucially, is it better than the Toyota Vios? We hopped over to Phuket, Thailand to find out.

    2014_Honda_City_preview_Thailand_ 018

    Perhaps more than others, the new City transcends the imaginary limitations of a B-segmenter. It has stand-out styling, decent (though not quite class-leading) build quality and a long list of equipment (even if most of them are kept for the flagship variant).

    Across the range, it has a mildly improved version of Honda’s sweet 120 PS/145 Nm 1.5 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine. Best of all, though, thanks to its early introduction in this region, it’s already riding on the third-generation 2014 Honda Jazz platform, which is a big step-up from the Jazz that’s currently on sale here.

    The first-gen Jazz-based 2002 Honda City, along with the original Toyota Vios, were the small sedans that started this B-segment phenomenon, passing invisibly in the early Noughties from small and reliable to small, premium-priced and reliable.

    Not only did they quickly establish that people would pay slightly over the odds for badges, but also that they’d queue up to do so. If hot cakes ever need an analogy to illustrate their popularity, either the City or Vios would be a good place to come.

    This is an all-new car rather than the 2013 Vios’ predominantly-skin-deep makeover. It gets a whole new look, based on Honda’s latest ‘Exciting H’ design direction and a completely funked-up interior (in the good sense, of course). Visual familiarity next to the outgoing City can’t disguise this new car’s promised excellence.

    With four rather than just two model variants, the City becomes capable of sitting across numerous market segments. At the bottom end (the City S and S+) it can finally play forecourt tag with the base Vios and Nissan Almera, but in the upper ranges (the E and V; the latter especially), the equipment gets serious.

    2014_Honda_City_preview_Thailand_ 025

    Turning back on its previous premium-priced strategy, Honda Malaysia is targeting the ever-popular Vios squarely in its new chiselled face now, while promising a realistic compromise between variant prices and the corresponding kit count. More on this when the full local prices and specifications are announced soon, but expect fireworks.

    The Thai-built cars you see in these pictures vary from the Malaysian-assembled ones that you can buy here. The differences are minor, however, and are mostly in our favour. For instance, even the top-spec Thai models have a urethane steering wheel, while ours will be leather-wrapped. Ignore the rear centre lap belt too, as we’ll get proper three-point items.

    But if you’ve been following the new City closely since its global debut in India late last year, you’d already know what it has (ESP, six airbags, rear air-con vents and a factory-fitted touch-screen media system in the top models), and what it doesn’t (leather seats, rear disc brakes, projector headlights, LED tail lamps). What we’re here to judge is how it feels to be in and to drive.

    2014_Honda_City_preview_Thailand_ 065

    First up, the space. This car is massive inside; there’s no other way to describe it. With full freedom of seat movement, there’s a roomy, fairly comfortable driving position with plenty of air around your head, despite the seat being mounted a touch too high for our liking.

    Speaking of the front thrones, they fail to escape Honda’s perennial seating issue – excessive lumbar support (too big a bulge on your lower back). It is non-adjustable in the City, forcing you to sit more upright than is ideal. The latest Vios’ much-improved front seats put these to absolute shame.

    That’s a real pity, which then makes you think that you’d rather be in the back instead. Well actually, there are plenty of other reasons why you’d think that, for the new Honda’s rear cabin is the very best in the class, by far. For absolute legroom, it matches the Almera’s, but it’s the width that makes the City a real winner.

    The space advantage is upheld by the cavernous 536-litre boot too, which is also class-leading (the Vios offers 506 litres). Honda’s “Man Maximum, Machine Minimum” philosophy pushes the frontier of interior space, and the City is a showcase of packaging masterclass. If you have a large family, this is the B-segment sedan to have. Period.

    On the quality front, however, it’s not so class-leading. While the Vios cabin (hard plastics notwithstanding) makes you feel good, the City’s quality pales in comparison. We’re talking about perceived quality here, of course, not actual quality – there’s no doubt that the Honda’s interior will face the test of time as well, if not better than the Toyota’s.

    Based on what you can see and feel, the Vios has the edge on material quality. Surely that wasn’t in the script. Apart from the City’s small section of soft-touch pad above the glove box (which is only present on the high-spec models, by the way), the Vios’ equally-hard plastics are finished in a nicer, more eye- and touch-friendly texture.

    It’s still a good place to be in, though. Details such as the blue-ringed illuminated instrument cluster and touch-sensitive automatic air-con controls are nice, and the large touch-screen display mounted flush within the piano black centre console looks very premium indeed.

    It works very well too. Its sleek, smartphone-like interface is both attractive and intuitive to operate, which betters UMW Toyota and Edaran Tan Chong Motor’s locally-developed retrofit items that are offered on the Vios and Almera. Phone/audio streaming through Bluetooth and GPS navigation are all present, though you’d miss a dedicated volume knob.

    You get four USB jacks too (two up front, two in the back; not counting the 12V power socket), plus a class-first HDMI input. The latter allows you to link up the screen to your smartphones (iOS only for now) through HondaLink. It’s not the full-blown Apple CarPlay just yet, but it’s a good start nonetheless.

    2014_Honda_City_preview_Thailand_ 010

    In terms of driving dynamics, it’s clear that, even more so than before, this City is not aiming at all-out back-road pace. What this car does best is transport you around in comfort by the line of least resistance, especially through the urban sprawl, and this explains the move back to having a CVT gearbox.

    Yes, like it or not, Honda CVTs are back and it’s here to stay. This new Earth Dreams Technology transmission promises improved refinement and a total lack of bunny-hopping through traffic (rough low-speed gearchanges) that can inflict conventional torque-converter-equipped automatic cars, along with improved fuel efficiency.

    It’s in the city, then, that the new City feels most at home. The tried and tested engine has enough low-down torque to feel sprightly around town, while the steering is light, and visibility (thanks to the elevated seating position that’s forced on you) is good. The new car’s softer suspension setup also rides out ripples particularly well, if not as good as either the Vios and Almera.

    Out and about, the Honda sends mixed signals. On the highways (or rather empty two-lane Thai roads) it cruises easily enough, the suspension pillowing or parrying undulations as appropriate, with only the engine noise playing against the significantly improved cabin refinement.

    Though still rather loud, the i-VTEC wail is at least pleasing to the ears in a way that the Vios’ VVTi and Almera’s CVTC power units just aren’t. And at full chat, the Honda engine is the quietest of the lot, despite its transmission’s unnerving inclination to keep it running at a constant 6,000 rpm (just a shade under the red line).

    You quickly learn that the engine and gearbox combo works best when under-stressed, the smooth power delivery making the car feel more rapid than it is against the clock. Plant your foot hard down, however, and the illusion falls apart, as the available 120 PS feels no better than the Toyota’s 109 PS. You can blame the CVT for that.

    Take it beyond the city limits, and the car hardly feels happy for you to lean on it in corners, where you can feel the back end taking a share of the load through the significant amount of body roll. This is certainly no Type R, and it makes no attempts to claim as such.

    The springing is fundamentally soft, but the damping confident enough to carry a good amount of speed through. Having said that, the Thai-spec cars run on a decent set of Bridgestone Turanza ER370, while the local cars we’ve seen so far are all shod with the less-than-stellar Goodyear GT3s. How that will affect grip and road noise remains to be seen.

    In short, the 2014 Honda City is nowhere near as wieldy as the Ford Fiesta, but it’s marginally more capable through the twisty stuff than the Toyota Vios, Nissan Almera and the locally-assembled Volkswagen Polo. On the flipside, those three have slightly better ride comfort than the City, but only just.

    2014_Honda_City_preview_Thailand_ 004

    If you sense a little bit of disappointment in this preview, you’ve read it correctly. The new City promises a lot with its brand new platform and transmission, yet offers a mere incremental improvement over the older model. If anything, the jump here is smaller than what Toyota achieved by simply fine-tuning its existing (old) hardware. But let’s not allow that to distract you from what is still a great achievement.

    So back to the initial question – is this the Vios-beater everyone is waiting for? It’s not quite the game-changer everyone – us included – expected it to be, but with its impressive breadth of abilities plus stand-out styling and class-leading features (on both toys and safety fronts, no less), it certainly looks like it.

    Ultimately, its price will likely determine how it fares against the popular Toyota, so watch this space closely. From an objective point of view, that’s a job well done once again, Honda. This City joins the Accord at the top of their respective classes, and the CR-V is not bad either. Now, about that Civic…

  • GALLERY: Old and all-new 2014 Honda City compared

    2014_Honda_City_new_vs_old_ 001

    We’re reporting from Thailand, to preview the all-new 2014 Honda City before it’s introduced in Malaysia. The drive report will be up at a later date, but for now, let us take you through what is, to most of us at least, the new Toyota Vios-rival’s defining feature – its looks.

    When it comes to cars in this segment, price (Nissan Almera) and appearance (Toyota Vios) talk. So here is the upcoming Honda B-segment sedan, pictured next to the car it will replace very soon. In the next few weeks, in fact. Yes, we’re that close to the 2014 City’s Malaysian launch.

    Ignore the exact specifications of this very car for now, as this is a Thai-built, Thai-spec vehicle, which differs from the Malaysian-assembled, Malaysian-spec models you can buy locally. Just focus on the looks at the moment. Not a bad change of style, eh? Give us your thoughts below.

    2014 Honda City (Thai-spec) 2009-2013 Honda City (Thai-spec)


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