The Honda City Hybrid was launched in July, at a price of RM89,200 – just under the range-topping City V at RM89,240. According to a source from Honda Malaysia, the City Hybrid would carry a sticker price north of RM100,000 if not for Malaysia’s current hybrid tax incentives.

Toyota made a similar claim in 2015, saying that the Camry Hybrid would cost around RM250k compared to its RM175k launch price without hybrid tax incentives. Moving further up, BMW claimed that the tax breaks lowered the price of its 740Le from RM854k to RM599k.

Back to the City Hybrid, what makes it more expensive to build compared to the more conventional petrol variants is of course, the hybrid i-DCD system, comprised of the electric motor, lithium-ion battery pack and variant-specific seven-speed dual-clutch (dry type) transmission.

Other items include modifications to the braking system (electric servo brake system) that aid regenerative braking, electric air-conditioning compressor and a quicker steering ratio (up by 15.6%) to improve steering response.

Now, all the parts above contribute to a 69 kg weight gain, which would adversely affect the car’s handling and dynamics. To combat this, the City Hybrid gets fatter rear suspension, stiffer rear frame and more rigid pillars that support the front suspension. Honda says all these improve the car’s road holding, high speed stability and more importantly, handling and agility.

It gets its own 1.5-litre Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC engine as well, with a total system output of 137 PS and 170 Nm – just 4 hp and 4 Nm shy of the 1.8-litre SOHC i-VTEC unit in the Civic FC. In comparison, the petrol-only models use a 1.5 litre i-VTEC SOHC motor with 120 PS and 145 Nm, paired to a CVT gearbox.

We’ve gone to lengths detailing the intricacies of the new hybrid powertrain, so be sure to give that a read if your heart is set on tech. Again, the hybrid battery is covered by an eight-year/unlimited mileage warranty, and will cost RM5,513 to replace should the need arise – replacement rate in Japan, however, is a low 0.103% from over 250k units sold.