Once the best-seller in its segment, Honda City lost its crown, first to Volkswagen Vento and then to Hyundai Verna, largely because both had diesels. While the diesel is still some time away, Honda has launched CNG ready City at a price of Rs. 9.03 lakh.
The price of the Honda City CNG mentioned is a bit misleading because it does not include the cost of the CNG kit or installation cost. The kit, sold separately, will cost Rs. 50,200—that explains the “CNG Ready” tag. Add that, plus the road tax and insurance, and the City CNG is likely to cost about Rs.10.75 lakh on road.
The trouble with pricing is that there are diesel cars available in the price range from almost all of City’s competitors. Vento Highline diesel is priced at Rs. 9.89 lakh—ex-showroom, Delhi; Verna SX too is in the same bracket at Rs. 9.80 lakh. Nissan Sunny diesel is actually cheaper with the top-end variant costing Rs. 8.93 lakh—ex-showroom, Delhi.
And diesel cars have two clear advantages over CNG: one, availability, with diesel available everywhere. Two, you don’t loose precious boot space to the CNG cylinder.
The good bit is that the company has retuned the i-Vtec engine of the Honda City to make it CNG friendly and strengthen the suspension so that it can take the extra load of the CNG kit. And as long as you get the kit installed by a Honda recommended installer, your warranty will remain intact.
So the launch does not make the Honda City CNG any more attractive than it was on the value-for-money front. But the Honda City is a good car and Honda has a legion of faithful. For them, the CNG ready Honda City offers a good option.
Do you think the new Honda City CNG will add to the sales numbers of the City and is a good option for sedan buyers? Let us know in the comments.