Hot off the press is the launch of the new Honda City, and this being an important car for the H brand in the region, there’s already plenty of talk surrounding it. So what better way to stoke the fire still further by comparing the new model against its predecessor, as well as its fiercest rivals in the B-segment sedan market – the new Nissan Almera, the Toyota Vios and the Mazda 2?

As usual, we’re going to start this post off by addressing any discrepancies. Since the City and Almera are only available in Thailand for now, we’re including the variants that are sold in the Land of Smiles, where these cars are only available with small-displacement turbocharged engines as part of Eco Car Phase 2 regulations. By comparison, the local Vios and Mazda 2 both have larger naturally-aspirated engines.

So, this is not quite an apples-to-apples comparison, and the specifications of both the Honda and Nissan could change by the time they arrive in Malaysia. Still, it should provide a decent general indicator of how these cars stack up, at least in terms of dimensions.

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As you can see, the new City is easily the largest here. Measuring 4,553 mm long, 1,748 mm wide and 1,467 mm tall, it’s 111 mm longer and 54 mm wider than before, but 10 mm lower. It’s also 58 mm longer, eight millimetres wider and seven millimetres taller than the closest competitor, the Almera. Interestingly, however, the 2,589 mm wheelbase is 11 mm shorter than before, and it also loses out to the Nissan by 31 mm.

The biggest change for the City, however, concerns the engine. In Thailand, at least, the car will come as standard with a new 1.0 litre VTEC Turbo three-cylinder engine, making 121 hp and 173 Nm of torque. That’s just three more horsepower compared to the outgoing model’s 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated i-VTEC four-pot, but a heady 28 Nm more; the Honda’s engine is also significantly more muscular compared to the Almera’s equivalent 99 hp/152 Nm unit. All the cars here get a CVT, minus the Mazda’s six-speed automatic gearbox.

Both the City and Almera lead the class in terms of connectivity as well, as they are both available with an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility, while the City is also offered with a range of telematics services under the Honda Connect banner.

The Honda does, however, trail the Nissan (and the Mitsubishi Attrage, while we’re at it) when it comes to safety, coming without autonomous emergency braking. At least it has more airbags as standard, with four instead of just two for the Almera; both have six airbags on the range-topping models.

No local pricing information is available for the City and Almera, of course, but they should continue to play in the hotly-contested RM70,000 to RM100,000 bracket. Which do you think is the most competitive amongst this bunch? Sound off in the comments section after the jump.

GALLERY: 2020 Honda City