Honda, yesterday, unveiled the new City sedan for the global markets and it will go on sale in January 2014. The car seems to have been well received by most of the global motoring press and is expected to further add to the City’s reputation in India. Now, despite the lack of a diesel engine, Honda managed to sell 3,000 units of the C-Segment sedan every month last year. The new car retains much of the outgoing model’s overall design but now gets a significant number of upgrades in terms of features and more importantly, it will now be offered with a diesel engine.
In the excitement of the unveiling, we have decided to speculatively pit the new Honda City against its two main rivals the Volkswagen Vento and the Hyundai Verna in another classic episode of ‘CarWale Comparison’.
The new Honda City Diesel is powered by the same 1.5-litre diesel mill that sits in the Amaze compact sedan. It might be altered a bit for performance and might deliver a bit more than the 98bhp and 200Nm of torque. The Vento gets a 1.6-litre unit that produces 103bhp and 250Nm of torque, while the Verna remains the most powerful of the lot with a 1.6-litre oil burner that produces 126bhp and 260Nm of torque. Honda has claimed that the new City will have the highest ARAI fuel efficiency figure among its competitors (20.5 for the Vento and 22.3 for the Verna) which means this number will closer to 24kmpl.
The new Honda City has got major updates in terms of the exteriors but retains a majority of the overall design. At 4.44 meters it is significantly longer than the Verna (4.3 meters) and the Vento (4.38 meters) and consequently has a longer wheelbase (more interior space). The design is not as plain and simple as that of the Volkswagen Vento, neither as edgy and aggressive as the Hyudai -Verna with fluidic design philosophy.
The grille of the new Honda City has been changed to fit the Japanese automaker’s ‘Exciting H Design’ and is similar to the one found on the new Jazz/Fit. Volkswagen has always been about minimal badging and so the Vento has continued with much the same design since it was launched during the previous decade. The Verna was the first fluidic design vehicle to be launched in India and has always had people sway in its direction for its looks and design.
It has now become common place to expect certain features on C-Segment sedans these days and up until this point, the Honda City was falling short in this department. Despite the fact that Honda introduced an AVN package, it was always felt that the City lacked certain ‘take for granted’ features. Now with the new car Honda is offering a 2-Din music system, touchscreen climate control, cruise control, parking assist with rear camera, push button start, rear AC vents and a sunroof.
The Vento, while still comfortable, is now the least equipped of the three in terms of features. However, there is new Polo due in 2014 which means that there will also be a new Vento a few months after the Polo is launched. It is likely that the Polo will get the segment standard features in the new car.
We expect that Honda will price the new cars in the range of Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 11.5 lakh for the top spec diesel and this car should sell pretty decently thanks to the success of the Amaze and Honda’s reputation for reliability. However, the Verna in terms of pure numbers is the highest of the three with an average of 4,000 units a month. It also has the advantage of being the only one to have a diesel AT in the C-Segment, though it is not clear how much this variant contributes to the overall numbers. We will do a full comparison of all three cars once the full details and specifications of the new Honda City have been revealed, so stay tuned to CarWale.
Read more about the Honda City Diesel here
Read our road test on the Volkswagen Vento here
Read our road test on the Hyundai Verna here