Announced by Honda Malaysia (HM) last week, here’s the new 2017 Honda City Hybrid in the metal. The sedan sister to the Honda Jazz Hybrid will only reach dealerships by mid August – this is a media preview at HM’s Hari Raya open house.

Malaysia is the only market outside of Japan to introduce the Jazz Hybrid, and it’s the same with this City Hybrid, which is called the Grace Hybrid in Japan. The JDM sedan was launched earlier this month. As previously explained, this unique situation is due to our country’s Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) incentives as well as the public’s high market acceptance of hybrid cars.

Honda was a hybrid pioneer when launching the Civic Hybrid here 10 years ago, and the 2011-2013 “golden era” of tax-free CBU hybrids saw the company introduce the Insight, CR-Z, Civic Hybrid and Jazz Hybrid in Malaysia. The latter was also sold as a CKD model in 2012, when it became the first locally assembled hybrid car. By the end of 2013, Honda had 55% share of the local hybrid market, before the tax-free CBU hybrid window closed. With this new hybrid duo, HM is back at it again.

The City Hybrid shares the same hybrid powertrain as the Jazz Hybrid. That means a Sport Hybrid i-DCD system that combines a 1.5 litre engine with idle stop, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with an integrated electric motor, a lithium-ion hybrid battery and an electric driven compressor.

The engine used here isn’t the one found in the regular City facelift, but a unique Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC unit with 110 PS and 134 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm. Combined with a 30 PS (22 kW)/160 Nm electric motor, the system produces a combined 137 PS and 170 Nm of torque, as per the Jazz Hybrid.

At 1,188 kg, the hybrid is 76 kg heavier than the City V, but the electrified variant has significantly more reserves than the regular 1.5L City’s 120 PS and 145 Nm.

Honda claims that the Sport Hybrid i-DCD (Intelligent Dual-Clutch Drive) system delivers performance equal to that of a conventional 1.8 litre naturally-aspirated engine (the Civic 1.8 makes just 4 PS/4 Nm more), with much lower fuel consumption. The claimed official figures are 4.0 litres per 100 km for the Jazz Hybrid and 3.9 litres per 100 km for the City Hybrid.

For an in-depth look at the Sport Hybrid i-DCD system, and how it differs from Honda’s previous Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system, click here.

The City’s sedan body with a 536-litre boot aside (no reduced capacity for the hybrid, but it has a temporary repair kit in place of a spare tyre), technical differences from the Jazz Hybrid include 16-inch wheels with 185/55R16 tyres (175/65R15 on the Jazz) and a larger turning radius of 5.7 metres (versus 5.6 m).

On the equipment front, the City Hybrid has slightly more kit than the cheaper RM87,500 Jazz Hybrid. The sedan gets a shark fin antenna, chrome door handles, auto folding wing mirrors, rear air con vents, steering paddle shifters and a rear armrest with cupholders. All the above are not offered with the Jazz Hybrid, as are remote trunk release and rear USB ports.

It’s not the range topping City though. At RM89,200 on-the-road without insurance, the City Hybrid is priced and specced between the RM82,030 mid-spec E and the RM89,240 top-spec V. This is the same positioning HM used for the Jazz facelift range.

As the one below the range topper, the City Hybrid lacks the City V’s LED headlamps and foglamps, leather seats/steering/gear knob and curtain airbags (leaving four bags, dual front and side). Of course, it does get some unique-to-hybrid items such as a special instrument panel display and a hybrid-specific stubby gear lever.

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You can tell a City Hybrid from a City E by the hybrid’s 16-inch rims (like the V), LED tail lamps (like the V) and Hybrid badges on the boot and sides. There are no fog lamps here, though (the V comes with LED fog lamps).

Colour options are Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic and White Orchid Pearl (unique to the City Hybrid; RM120 option). The City Hybrid comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty with 10,000 km service intervals, as per the regular City. As with HM’s other hybrids, there’s an additional eight-year warranty for the lithium-ion hybrid battery.

The City and Jazz Hybrids are CKD locally-assembled in Melaka. Production of the City Hybrid has already started and it will be available at selected dealerships for test drives from mid August. The Jazz Hybrid is already available for viewing at selected showrooms. Click on the charts above for the list of showrooms with hybrid test units.