Honda City Facelift First Drive Review

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Honda City Overview

The Honda City 2017 is a facelifted version of the current-gen City that was introduced in 2014, and will serve as a mid-life update until the new-gen car debuts a few years down the line. What sets this version apart from its predecessor is the design tweaks, some new features, and the addition of the top-end ZX variant. At the same time, Honda has decided to retain the mechanicals of the current car. Check car loan for Honda City .

The facelift could not have come at a better time as the threat from the Ciaz was mounting, and the latter has been selling in more volumes in the last few months. We drove the Honda City 2017 on the streets of Delhi and here’s how it fared.

Honda City Exteriors

Honda City on the outside is the classy looking sedan and the facelift version now adds some more sporty touches to the car. At the front, Honda City gets the chrome radiator grille which gets slimmer along with honeycomb mesh behind. The headlamps too are worked upon. The car now features new LED DRLs and first in segment LED headlights.

The old alloy wheels in the car are also redesigned and upsized too, that means the car now rides on a new set of 16-inch wheels. The rear part is where the car gets much of the attention, the taillights are new and in the top-spec model, it features dual tone detailing. Taillamps gets LED treatment as well, rear bumper have a touch of newness and gets a black honeycomb insert that makes the new Honda City look leaner. LEDs also make their way into the rear trunk spoiler and on the wing mirrors indicators lending the car a sharp look.

Honda City Interiors

On the inside, there are hardly any changes and you get the same dashboard which has a funky design with a flurry of asymmetric cues. It is well thought-out too, with nice touches including multiple cubby-holes, numerous cup holders and the touch controls for the air-con is intuitive too. Quality has gone a step up as compared to the previous model thanks to Honda using leather on the panel above the glovebox and the LED front and rear interior lamps add to the premium feel. Also, overall plastic quality, though largely good, is still a notch or two down on the standards set by some of its competitors.

As before, the brilliance of the City lies in its comfortable cabin. Entry into the massive cabin is made easy by large doors which open wide. Outward visibility is good, thanks to the generous glass area, but thick A-pillars obstruct view. The front seats are set at a good height and are broad with generous bolstering, comfortable over long journeys. But it’s the rear seat which is the real highlight. There is abundance of knee room at the rear and the generous width and flat floor makes it a decent five-seater too. The backrest is set at a good angle and the generous squab provides loads of under thigh support. Unlike the old car the ZX variant now comes with adjustable headrests which is a great addition in terms of safety to avoid whiplash injuries. The only point where we can fault the back seat is in terms of headroom which is just about enough. Then there is the enormous boot which has a low loading lip and is very well shaped which just adds to its practicality quotient.

The top Honda ZX trim now comes equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which has loads of features. It comes with satellite navigation, Voice recognition, Mirror-link which works like Android Auto, two USB ports, HDMI port, 1.5GB of internal memory, Bluetooth telephony with music streaming and much more. The touchscreen though could have been more responsive and less laggy. The facelift City also gets auto LED headlamps, auto wipers, 16inch alloy wheels and LED interior lighting. Like before you also get feather touch automatic climate control system, steering-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls, height adjustable driver’s seat, a rake and reach adjustable steering wheel, electric sunroof, leather wrapped steering and gear knob, and auto folding rear-view mirrors. On the safety front on the ZX variant you now get six airbags as compared to two on lower models but traction control and ESP is still not an option. As before, Honda has omitted rear parking sensors, instead you have to rely on the reversing camera. To know more details on Honda City visit Vci-india

Honda City Transmission

Powering the facelifted Honda City will be the same 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine that makes 119bhp with 145Nm of torque, and the i-DTEC diesel motor that produces 100bhp and 200Nm of torque. While the petrol motor will use the existing five-speed manual or a CVT ‘box, the diesel engine will carry on with the earlier six-speed manual gearbox.

As Honda claims a considerable amount of work has gone into reducing the NVH levels of the diesel 2017 City, we decided to experience it first-hand. Twist the ignition and the engine kicks to life with a lot less clatter, but one still can feel the vibration of the engine filter through to the pedals. Once on the go, there’s a slight lag till about 1800rpm, after which the motor strongly pulls in a linear fashion all the way to about 3200rpm. Post this, there’s more engine noise than any swift build-up of pace before hits the conservative the 4400rpm redline.

Likewise, we consciously stayed off the redline to avoid listening to the vocals of the diesel motor. As a matter of fact, since the power-band is narrow, it is imperative to work the gearbox constantly to keep the revs between 1,800rpm and 3,200rpm for any serious performance. This six-speed manual gearbox has ratios retained from the earlier car, and has a short throw with a precise gate. Despite the slightly rubbery nature of the shift, the overall feel from this gearbox is good thanks in part to the light clutch.

On the road, lesser road noises filter into the 2017 City’s cabin, and this adds to the overall cabin comfort. With a stiff suspension setup, sharp edges can be felt and heard in the cabin at low speeds, but it never gets to the point where the occupants feel rough. Pick up the momentum and the City tends to drive flat as the damping allows it to absorb most road imperfections quite well.

Honda City is synonymous with reliability and that comes from its refined engine made for delivering excellent fuel economy. The diesel trim offers the mileage figures of 25.6 kmpl as certified by ARAI. While the petrol powered City delivers satisfactory mileage figure of 17.4 kmpl. The automatic petrol version stands as the most fuel efficient in its segment with fuel economy of 18kmpl.

Honda City Driving

The Suspension of the City is unchanged so it drives similarly too. Thanks to the stiff springs, the City shows good composure at high speeds and even when suddenly met by a rough patch this Honda remains unfazed. But on the flip-side, at low speeds, the ride isn’t exactly plush and sharper edges thump into the cabin quite easily. It doesn’t take too well to rippled road surfaces too as you get quite a bit of vertical movements especially at the rear. Yet overall the City feels at par with the competition which also have their weaknesses. Still, it never feels uncomfortable and we feel that Honda has managed a good compromise between high and low-speed ride.

The City is a family oriented car and is not designed to thrill you around corners, but it does hold its own in terms of the way it drives. Pushing it hard into bends results in the tyres fighting for grip and despite it running larger 16inch rims and wider 185mm rubber grip levels are quite similar if not noticeably better than the old car. Even the electric power steering feels quite accurate and retains its natural feel in the way it weights up. The brakes impress too and pedal travel is linear and there is loads of bite too.

Honda City Safety

Honda City for better braking experience introduced a welcome move, ABS along with EBD has been provided as standard across the range. Hyundai also offers dual front airbags and ISOFIX child seats as standard while the top end variant gets 6 airbags, rear parking camera, rain sensing wipers and auto headlamps with auto-off timer.

Honda City Cost in Hyderabad

Honda City On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 10,48,523 to 17,08,578 for variants City S MT Petrol and City ZX CVT Petrol respectively. Honda City is available in 11 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Honda City variants price in Hyderabad. check for Honda City price in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

Honda City Final Thought

The Honda City was coming under a lot of pressure from the Maruti Ciaz, which has managed to outsell it for quite a while now. So with the facelift instead of making the City more affordable, Honda have gone even more premium and have added lots of features especially in the top ZX variant. Prices for the updated City start at Rs 8.50lakh and go all the way up to Rs 13.57lakh for the top ZX diesel variant. This makes it way more expensive than the Ciaz. But as a product there is lot going for the City. The cabin is well thought out, and its combination of humongous space and well-designed seats make it one of the most comfortable sedans in the segment. Then there is the equipment list, which can rival cars from the segment above and the fact that you get more safety equipment than before, just adds to the package. Surely the updated Honda City won’t appeal as VFM proposition, but as a package it is still a car you can’t go wrong with.

The new Honda City is available in four diesel and four petrol trims as well as three trims for the petrol engine with automatic CVT option. The petrol variants are powered by 1.5L 4-cylinder engine that makes 119PS and 145Nm of max torque with the option of 5-speed manual and CVT automatic. The diesel models get their power from the 1.5L engine that musters 100PS and 200Nm of peak torque, paired to 6-speed manual gearbox. In terms of mileage, the petrol version delivers 17kmpl while the automatic version is a notch ahead with 18kmpl. The diesel engine known for its excellent fuel economy is able to deliver 25.6kmpl, certified by ARAI. The car is 4400mm long and the 2600mm wheelbase translates into ample amount of legroom and space inside. Honda City offers 510 liters of boot space that is more than enough to fill loads of luggage.

The base model of the car has been priced at Rs. 8.71 lakh while the top end model is priced at Rs. 13.82 lakhs. The price of automatic variants of Honda City starts at Rs. 11.72 lakhs and ends at Rs. 13.75 lakh, all priced ex-showroom, Delhi. Despite cars like Hyundai Verna, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Volkswagen Vento, Honda City till date has managed to keep its pole position in the segment and with the new version and the brand clout it holds, it will certainly run longer.