Honda unveiled the fourth-generation City globally at an event in New Delhi on November 25, 2013. The revised car was launched on January 7, 2014. The 2014 Honda City sedan retains the overall design but has got changes to both the exterior as well as the interiors. It is also packed with a host of new features.
The revised sedan is not a completely new product and development has taken place in terms of a sporty and aggressive design. This is based on the carmaker’s ‘Exciting H Design’ philosophy which is expected to make its way to all the upcoming cars from Honda. The changes include the modifications to the front and rear profile of the vehicle. The revised front grille displays a singular broad horizontal slat laden with chrome. It tapers upwards at the edges and gets the Honda emblem in the centre. The grille extends down to the bumper which sees another thin horizontal slat before the air intakes. The double barrel headlamps are wider. The front bumper, which houses the circular fog lamps with honeycomb surrounds, gets redesigned air intakes. The bonnet has two vertical creases to channelize the air.
The side profile of the car also exhibits the creases meant to reduce the overall aerodynamic drag. Though the overall length of the vehicle is the same, the wheelbase is longer. The top end variant of the car stands tall on swept back design alloy wheels while the lower models get wheel caps with a similar shape. A slight change can be seen on the rear bumper but what is worth mentioning is the two-part layout of the tail lamps. The outer part of the tail light extends into the sides of the car, while the inner part is on the boot lid. The chrome strip running horizontally above the licence plate slot spreads across the rear linking the lamps. The car is tall from behind but the height is unrecognizable thanks to the horizontal lines added to the back.
The interiors of the new Honda City are very similar to the layout of the previous car. However, the plastic quality has improved. It now gets a beige and black colour scheme with leather upholstery on the top spec variants while the lower variants get a fabric trim. The steering wheel has been revised and is larger than the previous one. It gets more buttons on it for audio connectivity, phone controls and cruise control.
The instrument cluster has three circles with the one in centre for the speedometer, the left one for the tachometer and the one on the right side to display the other information like the trip metre, the fuel gauge and the instant fuel consumption. The speedo boasts of two colours for the backlight- blue and green. If you are driving efficiently, the blue light turns into green. For tuning the car to the best possible efficiency, the automatic car’s dashboard gets an ‘Eco’ button. A centre arm rest is also present.
The centre console is inclined towards the driver for ease of access. It gets the five inch touchscreen LCD, touch screen climate control and charging points at the bottom. A push-button for engine on-off is seen close to the centre console. The other features list includes eight speakers, rear AC vents, keyless entry and a first-in-segment cruise control. The features available on the top spec variant are even more which comprise of the sun/moon-roof.
However, all the variants get the driver seat airbag, ABS and EBD. The number of airbags and other features increase with ascend in the variants. The infotainment system comes sans the touch screen system and the navigation option but it supports iPod and USB connectivity, has an aux-in port and can be paired to the phone through Bluetooth.
Since the wheelbase has been extended, the space inside the cabin has increased giving more legroom for the rear passengers. There is also a slight increase in the headroom. This City gets actual AC vents at the back that are not just blowers as seen on other cars. Two power outlets are placed beneath the rear AC vents. The boot space has increased by four litres than the previous model and now is 510 litres making it the largest boot in the class.
The new Honda City is being offered with two sets of engines and gearbox options. The diesel engine is the 1.5-litre i-DTEC unit from the Amaze sedan that churns out 98bhp and 200Nm of torque while the petrol is the retuned version of the 1.5-litre i-VTEC unit which produces 119bhp and 145Nm of torque. The diesel is mated to a six –speed manual while the petrol gets an option of a five-speed manual CVT gearbox.
Honda claims that the new City has the highest ARAI efficiency numbers in the segment. The 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine is India’s most efficient diesel engine delivering an ARAI tested mileage of 26 kmpl. The petrol 1.5-litre i-VTEC delivers fuel efficiency of 18kmpl with the CVT and 17.8kmpl with the five-speed manual.
The new Honda City will rival the Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento, Ford Fiesta, Skoda Rapid, Nissan Scala and the next generation of the Maruti Suzuki SX4.
The new car is available in six colours- Golden Brown Metallic, Carnelian Red Pearl, Urban Titanium Metallic, Tapetta White, Alabaster Silver Metallic and Crystal Black Pearl.
The petrol version of the City comes in manual as well as automatic transmission. The manual petrol is available in five variants- E, S, SV, V and VX. The automatic transmission is only available in the SV and VX models. The diesel City is only available with a manual gearbox and comes in five versions- E, S, SV, V and VX.