The City has been Honda's best-selling nameplate in India ever since it was launched way back in 1998. That was the third generation City (first generation in India) and the three subsequent generations too made their way into the country and became the most popular car in their segment. And now, there is this, the mid-life facelift of the sixth generation City which has already been launched after numerous spy shots and leaks. Needless to say, it does carry the charm that has been associated with Honda City for all these years. Allow us to elucidate.
Prices for the 2017 Honda City Facelift
|2017 Honda City Variants||Petrol||Diesel|
|SV||₹ 9,53,990||₹ 10,75,990|
|V||₹ 9,99,990||₹ 11,55,990|
|V (CVT)||₹ 11,53,990||NA|
|VX||₹ 11,64,990||₹ 12,86,990|
|VX (CVT)||₹ 12,84,990||NA|
|ZX (CVT)||₹ 13,52,990||NA|
It's different! Of course, this is not a generation change, but the front-end definitely looks sharper. The front grille is all-new with the chrome strip getting slightly slimmer and moving higher up in the overall scheme of things. Look closely and you will realise that the headlamp cluster too carries a different design. The headlights are now pointed on the edges closer to the grille rather than the ones ending into the bonnet. The front bumper is also changed with a different housing for the fog lamps. Kudos to Honda for giving LED lamps around, be it the headlamps, tail lamps, DRLs and even the fog lamps. Moreover, Honda also offers several additional accessories and customisation packages.
Interior and features
Step inside and you will notice that much has changed. (We were driving the VX petrol trim and couldn't drive the diesel or the CVT variant due to paucity of time). The first two things that catch your eye are the leather upholstery and the 7-inch touchscreen audio-visual navigation system. Absolutely premium!
The DIGIPAD, as Honda likes to call it, for some strange reason does not get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It surely wouldn't have taken the world for Honda to provide these, at least on the top two variants. Of course, you can connect your smartphone through MirrorLink. And the beige colour scheme with black overlays looked rather cool.
There the usual suspects, which are the USB, Aux-IN, radio and Bluetooth telephony along with start/stop button, automatic climate control with touch panel, rear AC vents, reverse-parking camera and so on. A look at the three-spoke steering wheel and you can see the controls for volume, telephony and the cruise control.
Thankfully, more and more manufacturers are taking safety seriously nowadays and so is Honda. The City facelift gets dual airbags and Anti-lock brakes along with electronic brake-force distribution as a standard fitment. Adding to standard list of equipment are the ISOFIX mounts for child seats. The top ZX trim gets six airbags which include side and curtain airbags, which is a great offering, in our opinion.
Ride and handling
The sixth generation City was an able handler and so is this one. The electric power steering weighs up beautifully as you speed up although, feedback is a little lacking. What stays as it is and impressive at that is the ride quality. I have had the opportunity to drive all the variants of the City that have been launched in India and I can cross my heart and say that all of them had a measured ride quality. Neither bone-jarringly stiff nor overtly soft. Take it around a corner with gusto and the car responds positively. There is decent enough grip from the Bridgestone Ecopia tyres which will keep you entertained.
Well, both the 1.5-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines remain exactly the same as they are. So there is no discernible improvement in the performance. We drove the 1.5-litre petrol engine and found it to be super smooth as ever. It has a kick in the lower RPMs, making driving the City in the city convenient. There is no dearth of pulling power in either gear. The petrol City can be specified with either a slick 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT with paddleshifts. Surprisingly, the CVT has higher ARAI fuel efficiency than that of the 5-speed manual.
|Honda City Engines||1.5-litre Petrol||1.5-litre Diesel|
|Max Power||117 bhp||99 bhp|
|Max Torque||145 Nm||200 Nm|
|Transmission||5-speed Manual/CVT||6-speed Manual|
|Claimed Efficiency||17.4 kmpl/18 kmpl||25.6 kmpl|
There is an upgrade to the Honda City, no doubt! The City facelift looks and feels fresher and we have also told you which variants are better. The list of features is longer and the cabin feels plusher, but with rivals such as the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Skoda Rapid, Volkswagen Vento and the upcoming new-generation Hyundai Verna, it just might prove to be a little less for the City to re-take the Numero Uno position in the compact sedan segment but it's already received 5000 bookings in 12 days. Having said that, there is absolutely no doubt that Honda has put its 'A-game' on with the City facelift. Go to your nearest showroom and have a look at it. It just might win you over.