Face-lifted Honda City versus Maruti Suzuki SX4!

SX4, the sedan from the country’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki is popular among buyers who are looking for a sedan with sporty looks, a dominating stance and high ground clearance. However it will now face competition from the face-lifted Honda City which despite the lack of a diesel engine is still popular among sedan buyers thanks to its high levels of refinement, reliability and Honda’s brand image.

city vs sx4

The refreshed Honda City with its improved exterior design and revamped interiors is much more contemporary than its predecessor. The company has also updated the car with new features like an electric sunroof, cruise control and a new base variant called the City ‘Corporate’. Can the refreshed City woo customers and steal from the SX4’s market share? Let’s compare the two cars and find out!

Ride and handling

The Honda City’s refined engine  has set a benchmark of sorts in its segment. The 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine puts out 116.3 bhp of power and accelerates from 0 – 100 kmph in about 10 seconds. The acceleration is quick while the smooth gearshifts ensure hassle free commuting. On the other hand, the SX4’s 1.6-litre VTVT petrol motor puts out 103.2 bhp of power and accelerates from 0 – 100 kmph in about 12 seconds. The Sx4 too has a refined engine and smooth acceleration but lags behinds the City when it comes to outright acceleration.

The refreshed City has a better ground clearance (165 mm) than the previous model (160 mm) saving its underbody from scratches. On the other hand, the SX4 with its SUV-like ground clearance (180 mm) can easily tackle most roads without scraping its underbelly. However, due to the high ground clearance and stiff suspension, there is significant vertical movement in the SX4, especially at high speeds. The City feels calm and composed while taking fast corners and likes being pushed to its limits.

Winner: Honda City

Space and comfort

The SX4 has a high seating position that offers a commanding view of the road. The cars design allows for easy entry and exit; something tall, large and old individuals will benefit from. On the downside, the shoulder and legroom are at best adequate for four passengers, while the fifth passenger will feel uncomfortable thanks to the intruding transmission tunnel.

The City comes with adequate leg and shoulder room for all passengers, though headroom is at a slight premium in the rear. The interiors in the SX4 look a bit outdated when compared to the refreshed City and buyers who are particular about the interiors may feel disappointed with the SX4. Overall, we feel the City, with it’s ergonomically laid out dashboard and spacious cabin will impress you instantly.

Winner: Honda City

Looks

The new City gets a wide chrome front grille and a redesigned front bumper. The side profile remains largely unchanged while at the rear, the revamped taillights looks like LED lamps and the redesigned rear bumper too gels well with the overall structure. The SX4 has not undergone any major facelift since its launch. The car’s front has a sporty mesh grille, side swept headlamps and large, wide set fog lamps. The sides have a raised waistline that add to its sporty appeal. Overall, the bigger dimensions, flared wheel arches and muscular proportions give the SX4, a dominant road stance.

Winner: There is no clear winner here as this depends more on individual tastes.

Features

Honda offers safety features such as dual SRS airbags, ABS with brake assist as standard across variants of the City while Maruti Suzuki offers these features only on the top-end variant. Hence, the base variant of City has more safety features than the base variant of SX4 though the Sx4 offers comfort features such as music system with speakers and keyless entry. When it comes to the top-end variants, both the cars have alloy wheels, fog lamps and steering mounted audio controls. However, the City has more features such as electric sunroof, cruise control and turn indicators on ORVMs, which are not available on the SX4.

Winner: Honda City

Price mileage and VFM

The facelift Honda City is priced in the range of Rs. 6.99 lakh – 10.22 lakh while the Maruti Suzuki SX4 is priced in the range of Rs. 7 lakh – 8.75 lakh. The base variant, City Corporate (Rs. 6.99 lakh) comes with airbags and ABS as standard while the SX4 VXI (Rs. 7 lakh) comes with music system, electric mirrors and keyless entry as standard. There is no direct SX4 rival for the City EMT and City SMT and hence we take into account the City VMT and the SX4 ZXI for comparison.

The City VMT gets cruise control, front fog lamps and turn indicators on outside mirrors, which are not offered on the SX4 ZXI. However, the SX4 ZXI (Rs. 7.75 lakh) is substantially cheaper than the City VMT which is priced at Rs. 8.70 lakh. Also, the SX4 ZXI with leather upholstery is priced at Rs. 8.09 lakh which is again Rs. 1.41 lakh cheaper than the City V (Sunroof) MT priced at Rs. 9.50 lakh. Even in the automatic variant, the SX4 ZXI AT priced at Rs. 8.75 lakh is Rs. 67,000 lesser than the City V AT priced at Rs. 9.42 lakh.

The City has an ARAI-certified mileage of 16.7 kmpl which is higher than that of SX4 (15.5 kmpl). The City is known for its consistent fuel economy. The City has an edge over the SX4 when it comes to safety features and fuel economy on the base variant. However, price wise, the SX4 has features at par with the City on the top-end variant, but it is priced substantially lower than the City. Overall, it’s hard to beat the Maruti Suzuki SX4 when it comes to its ‘value for money’ proposition especially when comparing its top-end variant with the City.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki SX4

Pros and Cons

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Verdict

If you are on a tighter budget and particular about service network and maintenance costs, the SX4 is for you. However, if you want more sophisticated technology with sporty performance and rock sold reliability, the City is for you.

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