New Honda City facelift launch in November 2011

Honda is planning to launch the facelifted City sedan by the end of November 2011. The new City will mostly have cosmetic upgrades and hence, there will be no changes in engine, performance, mileage and handling characteristics.

The Honda City facelift has already been introduced in the Thailand market last month and will be launched in other markets like India subsequently. Based on the e-brochure of the Thailand-specific Honda City, it has been reconfirmed that there are no mechanical changes.

Honda is offering great discounts for City at present, after sales dipped in the month of September. Honda and its dealers are clearing the stock of the present City model to make way for fresh stocks of the City facelift.

new honda city facelift photo
Photo: The new Honda City - note the bright chrome grille

Hence, buyers who aren’t particular about getting the latest model (which has only minor changes), can go ahead by booking existing model and get benefits from the cash discounts.

Changes in looks and comfort

The facelifted version of the Honda City is more of an evolutionary design with no dramatic changes. The front grille will be chrome plated, making it more visible. The Indian market too has liked Chrome, so it should work to Honda’s advantage here. Also read: Honda City owner review

The side profile of the City facelift reveals changes in the form of chrome-coated door handles, door mirrors with integrated turn indicators and new alloy wheel pattern. At the rear, the tail lamp cluster gets two horizontal slats for rear fog lamp and turn indicator which looks smarter than the tail lamps cluster in the present model.

As per the Thai-spec Honda City, the interiors of the facelift version look promising with its ivory interior color for the base variants and black interior color for the top-end variant. Whether the interior colour changes will appear in the Indian Honda City facelift is not certain, though.

The City is well-liked for its spot-on ergonomically arranged dashboard, comfortable seats both at the front and the rear. However, the plastic quality and fit & finish were not that great. Honda seems to have tried to rectify it in the facelifted version. Honda may offer the India-bound City facelift with ivory interior for the base and mid-variant while black interior for the top-end variant.

Features and accessories

The facelifted Honda City will carry a new feature called ‘Eco-meter’ that is already found in the recently launched Honda Brio. The City will have ECO lamp (glows green) to encourage owners to drive in a greener (fuel efficient) way. The ECO lamp will glow when the car is driven in optimal gears and the driver is gentle with the acceleration pedal. Apart from the Eco-meter, expect little changes in the face-lifted City with regard to features and accessories.

Expected price

CarToq spoke to dealers who expect a slight increase in the price for the City facelift version. At present, the Honda City is offered at Rs. 7.49 lakh for the base variant (E MT), Rs. 8.19 lakh for the mid variant (S MT), Rs. 8.64 lakh for the top-end variant (V MT) and Rs. 9.37 lakh for the automatic variant.

Summary

Honda City has been the leader in its segment till mid-year when Volkswagen Vento and Hyundai Verna threatened its leadership. However, when Honda slashed the prices of the City, sales went up making it the leader once again. We feel the facelift version to do little with the sales number, but may appeal to buyers who were expecting fresh looks and upmarket interiors. Do you think the facelift makes the Honda City more appealing?