Newness Revealed. Clearly Honda Couldn’t Wait To Get Us Excited!
The Honda City is not a stranger in this part of the world. It has been in India since the mid-90s and since then it has ruled its segment almost flawlessly. The original recipe was quite simple - a practical three-box design with comfortable cabin space, potent power-plant and unimpeachable reliability. Honda has followed this basic mantra and it has worked well.
Over the years, the Japanese carmaker has had time to fine-tune the City’s offerings to match the rising expectations of its loyal customer base. Unfortunately, it took a bit too long to realise that slowly but steadily other game players were crawling their way up in the C-segment. The delay to up the ante came to haunt Honda last year when it saw itself losing the battle to its arch rival Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. Time then for Honda to fight back! On February 14, 2017, Honda will launch the refreshed City and, on papar at least, it has plenty to boast about.
Bookings for the 2017 Honda City are already underway, with a refundable amount of Rs 21,000. The carmaker has revealed what all is new in the car. Allow us to take you through the newness.
At the front, the bumper’s styling has been tweaked to accommodate bigger air vents and a redesigned grille. The grille now boasts a bigger Honda logo between the chrome bars and a meshed background. The headlight units now feature LED headlamps and daytime running lights. Even the fog lamps are powered by LEDs.
Move over to the side and the City’s top-spec ZX variant will get new 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. At the rear, there is a LED brake light on the protruding spoiler, LED taillights and a restyled bumper.
The fully-loaded Honda City has always featured a sunroof. But with the facelift, the sunroof will feature a segment-first one-touch open and close function. Another striking aspect about the interior is the addition of a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has the usual connectivity options like Bluetooth and USB but also boasts an on-board GPS navigation system and video compatibility.
The interior reading lights will be powered by LEDs. The CVT unit gets seven forward speeds with paddle shift at the back of the steering wheel. The ZX variant will also come with enhanced safety - 6 airbags (dual front, side and curtain). The all-black interior trim option, which was introduced last year, is unlikely to be offered at the time of launch.
The refreshed City will be offered with the same tried and tested engines as the current model. While the 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine is tuned to pump out 119PS of power and 145Nm of torque, the 1.5-litre i-DTEC mill generates 100PS of power and 200Nm of torque. The ARAI fuel-efficiency figures with manual transmission have marginally dropped. Here is the comparison:
|Engine & Transmission||Outgoing Honda City||2017 Honda City|
|i-VTEC with MT||17.8 kmpl||17.4 kmpl|
|i-VTEC with CVT||18 kmpl||18 kmpl|
|i-DTEC with MT||26 kmpl||25.6 kmpl|
The above figures reaffirm the fact that auto boxes (CVTs, dual-clutch, etc) are so well engineered that they actually return better fuel-efficiency than their manual counterparts.
Honda received a lot of criticisms for the noisy and harsh ride quality in the diesel-powered City. To address that, the Japanese automaker has beefed up the insulation to bring down the NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) levels of the City.
The Honda City facelift will also feature a higher price tag, probably Rs 20,000-30,000 more than the current model. With that estimation, the top-spec variant, with all the bells and whistles, is likely to topple the Rs 13 lakh mark. If you compare that to the top-spec automatic variants of the Volkswagen Vento and the Hyundai Verna, which are priced at Rs 12.65 lakh and Rs 13.1 lakh (both ex-showroom Delhi) respectively, it falls right in the mix. But when you compare the City facelift to the fully-loaded automatic variant of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, which is priced at Rs 10.52 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Honda equates to be nearly Rs 3 lakh dearer and that is a worry.
While Maruti Suzuki and Volkswagen are gearing up to launch the facelifts of the Ciaz and Vento respectively, Hyundai is expected to launch an all-new Verna this year. Would you opt for the refreshed Honda City or wait for the others to bring in their new offerings? Do let us know in the comments section below.