The new fourth generation Honda City has just been unveiled by Honda. It will come in both petrol and diesel-engined variants. The official launch of the car will take place only in January 2014, and prices will be announced then. The new Honda City has been one of Honda’s best-kept secrets, with very little details of the car trickling out, leading to a whole lot of speculation.
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Design and looks
The fourth-generation Honda City builds on Honda’s man-maximum, machine minimum philosophy – the H design. It is being positioned as a “cool stunner” that is “one . The styling concept is referred to as “sleek crossmotion” (an extension of the arrow-design of the earlier City). It is based on the same platform as the Honda Jazz, and at first glance it looks almost like the older City. You need to look closely to be make out that it’s actually a different car.
It comes with new twin barrel, four-lamp front headlamps. At the rear the tail-lamps are narrow and wrap around the boot lid. The car looks squat and wide. It boasts of a long wheelbase, freeing up more legroom inside.
The length of the car is 4440 mm, exactly the same as the current car. It has a wheelbase of 2600 mm, an increase of 50mm over the current City. It is 1695 mm wide (same as the existing City). And it is 1495 mm tall. It has 40 mm more shoulder room than the current City, 60 mm more legroom and 70 mm more knee-room. It has a ground clearance of 165 mm, the same as the existing car and with 15-inch wheels with a different alloy design.
Honda hasn’t shared what variants the City will come in, but key features of the top variant are listed below.
On the interiors, the cockpit gets a layered, floating effect. It comes with a touch screen music system, and analogue gauges in the instrument panel with blue backlighting. The combination meter shows fuel efficiency, temperature and trip meters. It also sports rear AC vents. It has a keyless entry, push-button ignition, touch-screen climate control panel and a sun-roof.
The rear has a low floor, which makes it decently comfortable for a fifth passenger as well. It will have Bluetooth, reverse camera and sensors, and handsfree phone system. It has eight speakers for the audio system. There are a total of four power outlets in the car.
The car will come with a 1.5 litre iVtec petrol engine that has been improved and Honda’s 1.5 litre idtec diesel engine that is also in the Amaze. Honda hopes the combination of the car being available in both petrol and diesel engine variants will help it regain its leadership position in the C-segment, a position it sacrificed to cars like the Hyundai Verna once demand for diesel cars picked up two years ago. Another significant change that we missed earlier – the diesel will come with a SIX-speed manual transmission (the gear knob on the diesel car had this, but strangely it’s not been played up by Honda), while the petrol will have a five-speed manual and a five-speed automatic option.
Fuel efficiency will be best in class, at over 25.8 kmpl from the diesel engine. The nearest competitor is the Hyundai Verna at 23 kmpl. It comes with a McPherson front suspension strut design and H-twist beam rear suspension. It will have electronic power steering.
What we think
The fourth generation Honda City carries on Honda’s design philosophy of man maximum, machine minimum, and is a driver oriented car. It will be a car that will please enthusiasts, as well as those looking for a family sedan that’s cost-efficient to run, especially the diesel variants. A third shift has started at Greater Noida from November 2013 to speed up delivery of the Amaze and the new Honda City.
Honda saw 63% growth in April to October 2013 thanks to huge bookings for the Honda Amaze, taking up most of its production. Honda has so far sold 4.3 lakh units of the Honda City in India, since its launch of the first-generation City in 1998. The car will be available in 55 countries. Worldwide 2.2 million Honda City cars have been sold till date.
Honda City sales
1998 – First generation sold 59,000 units in India
2003 – Second generation sold 1,78,000 units
2008 – Third generation sold 1,93,000 units
Also Watch: 2014 Honda City walkaround video