2021 Honda City Hatchback makes world debut in Thailand – Ultra Seats; 1.0L VTEC Turbo; from RM81k

The new Honda City Hatchback has made its global debut in Thailand, almost exactly a year since the sedan version was launched on November 25, 2019. The shortened City has been heavily rumoured ever since patent images of the model surfaced earlier in February, with Honda Thailand only confirming its arrival earlier this month.

For Thailand, the City Hatchback is offered in just three variants, one less than the sedan version. The base option is the S+ that is priced at 599,000 baht (RM80,776), followed by the mid-spec SV at 675,000 baht (RM91,025) and the range-topping RS at 749,000 baht (RM101,011). These prices are higher than the City sedan range, which starts at 579,500 baht (RM78,152) and peaks at 739,000 baht (RM99,662).

No surprises when it comes to styling, as the City Hatchback gets the same front end as its sedan sibling, with an identical design for the headlamps, grille, bonnet and bumper. This continues down the vehicle’s sides, as the prominent character line running above the door handles and linking the front and rear lighting clusters remain visible.

Moving towards the rear, the differences between the two body styles are immediately apparent (for obvious reasons). For starters, the roofline of the hatchback goes on for longer to meet a roof spoiler, which is placed above the tailgate with a steeply-raked rear window. This also sees the C-pillars take on a more upright stance, allowing space for the fuel door to be placed higher above the side character line.

2021 Honda City Hatchback makes world debut in Thailand – Ultra Seats; 1.0L VTEC Turbo; from RM81k

As for the rear end, the City Hatchback gets its own taillight design that is reminiscent of those on the W177 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, with a lighting signature similar to what you find on the sedan. Beyond that, the rear bumper features a recessed lip and much slimmer reflectors at its edges.

Dimension-wise, the hatchback measures 4,345 mm long (4,349 mm for the RS variant), making it 208 mm shorter than the sedan, while the height is up 21 mm to 1,488 mm. No change in width and wheelbase, which remain at 1,748 mm and 2,589 mm respectively. For further comparison, the latest Jazz is between 3,995-4,110 mm in length, 1,695-1,725 mm wide, 1,515-1,565 mm tall, and has a wheelbase of 2,530 mm.

On the inside, the City Hatchback is pretty much the same as its sedan sibling, with an eight-inch touchscreen Advanced Touch head unit integrated into the dashboard (RS variant only), along with large air vents. Meanwhile, the centre stack houses the controls for the air-conditioning system, a power outlet, USB ports and a small storage cubby.

2021 Honda City Hatchback makes world debut in Thailand – Ultra Seats; 1.0L VTEC Turbo; from RM81k

Further down, the centre console is where you’ll find two cupholders and gear lever, followed by the handbrake and more storage areas, including one under the armrest (SV and RS variants only). In front of the driver, there’s still analogue gauges with a multi-info display (MID) between then, and the steering wheel is the same with on-wheel controls.

It isn’t just a carbon copy though, as Honda says hatchback offers more legroom than the sedan and it even comes with Ultra Seats, allowing for four rear seat arrangements – utility, long, tall and refresh modes, as the company explains.

Under the bonnet, the City Hatchback sports the same 1.0 litre (998 cc) VTEC Turbo three-cylinder as the sedan, delivering 122 PS at 5,500 rpm and 173 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 4,500 rpm. The mill, which works with E20 gasahol, is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels.

In terms of equipment, the S+ comes with projector headlamps, a chromium front grille, 15-inch alloy wheels, a black interior, fabric seat upholstery, manual air-conditioning, keyless entry and engine start, an idling stop system, a standard head unit with four speakers and Bluetooth, four airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist, Hill Start Assist, ABS, EBD and Isofix child seat anchors.

The SV adds on side mirror indicators, leather seats, single-zone automatic air-conditioning, white illumination for the MID, a centre console storage box, the aforementioned eight-inch Advanced Touch system and a multi-angle rear-view camera.

The most expensive RS stands out in the line-up with its black front grille, shark fin antenna, tailgate spoiler, door handles, side mirror caps, rear diffuser element and fog lamp garnish. It also gets exclusive 16-inch wheels, combination suede/fabric/leather seats, paddle shifters, cruise control, red illumination for the MID, two more power outlets for rear passengers, a rear arm rest, eight speakers, Honda Connect telematics and two more airbags for a total of six.

The City Hatchback will be available in six colours in Thailand, including Ignite Red Metallic, Platinum White Pearl, Meteoroid Grey Metallic, Sonic Grey Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl and Taffeta White. There’s also a range of Modulo accessories offered, with items such as rear spoiler garnish, decorative fender gills, red and blue wheel stickers, door handle protectors and a boot tray.

So, what do you think of the City Hatchback? Do you prefer it to the sedan? There have been rumours suggesting that the fourth-gen Jazz won’t be coming to our shores, as its place will be taken by the City Hatchback instead. A prudent move? Sound off in the comments below.