CarWale
    AD

    2023 Honda City 1.5 Petrol Manual First Drive Review

    Authors Image

    Desirazu Venkat

    21,396 Views
    Honda City Right Front Three Quarter
    Honda City Right Front Three Quarter
    Honda City Right Front Three Quarter
    Honda City Right Front Three Quarter
    Honda City Right Side View
    Honda City Right Side View
    Honda City Right Rear Three Quarter
    Honda City Right Rear Three Quarter

    Why I would buy it?

    • Interior space
    • ADAS technology
    • Engine refinement

    Why I would avoid it?

    • Not as powerful as the competition
    • Missing some crucial feel-good features

    What is it?

    Right Front Three Quarter

    The 2023 Honda City was launched in India on 2 March 2023 and is a mid-life update for this fifth-generation City that entered the market in 2020. With this update, Honda has pushed its models to the BS6 Phase 2 era and discontinued its diesel line-up. The Honda City got a facelift earlier this year and when we had a chance to drive the car, we got behind the wheel of the CVT-enabled model. In continuation, this time around we have driven the petrol manual 2023 Honda City. Apart from the obvious design and feature updates, the biggest change is that Honda has now introduced ADAS across the range and that includes this petrol MT. We will discuss more about it in the driving section of this review.

    Is the cabin of the Honda City any good?

    Dashboard

    On this top-spec version, you get Honda’s familiar beige and black combination with wood inserts on the dashboard. Everything looks really nice, though we hoped for higher-quality plastics on some of the non-contact surfaces, especially in the front.

    The front seats themselves are very spacious and comfortable but the side bolstering is on the softer side and if you do end up driving in an enthusiastic manner then it is not going to hold you in place as tightly as you would expect. One of the City’s strengths across multiple generations has been its ability to draw in the chauffeur-driven crowd and this one carries on the legacy. In the second row, you get more than enough headroom, legroom and knee-room for two occupants to travel in decent comfort. While it would not be an issue for three to travel in the back, the middle occupant will have to contend with a slightly higher seat base, transmission tunnel and AC vents. Finally, the boot at 506 litres for this full ICE version is massive with a wide opening and an acceptable height for the loading lip.

    Center Console/Centre Console Storage

    The car that we have driven for this story is a fully loaded ZX petrol MT so that means you get all the bells and whistles that Honda offers with the City range. This list includes the likes of climate control, touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, electric sunroof, connected car technology, height adjustment for the driver’s seat, reach and rake adjustment for the steering, rear armrest and AC vents. However, it is missing some crucial feel-good features like a power driver’s seat, 360-degree camera, ventilation for the front seats and a cooled glovebox. In the overall picture, they may not be deal-breakers but in an environment where the City is also fighting SUVs like the Hyundai Creta, every step matters.

    All versions of the car get four airbags, while the VX variant onwards you get six airbags as standard. Other safety bits include ABS with EBD, Honda Sensing ADAS technology, stability programme and ISOFIX child seat mounting points. At the time of writing this review, this updated Honda City across all versions had not been subjected to the latest round of GNCAP crash tests.

    Is the Honda City petrol any good to drive?

    Left Front Three Quarter

    Ah…this is where things get gripping (of sorts). Let’s get the facts out first. You get this Honda City with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 119bhp/145Nm and can be had with either a CVT or a six-speed manual gearbox. In our first drive experience, we got behind the wheel of the CVT-powered model and this time, we have driven the MT model.

    Pedals/Foot Controls

    As a gearbox to use with this engine, it gets the job done. The shifts aren’t slick and the clutch has a low threshold in terms of bite point resulting in you more often than not getting jerky shifts, especially in the lower end of the scale. If you drive the CVT and MT back to back, you get the impression that this engine was designed to be most effective with the CVT mated. While the shifts aren’t slick, what you do get is a nice distribution of the engine’s mid-range punch for city driving. You only need to engage sixth gear past the 80kmph mark and once there, it’s almost like driving an automatic.

    Engine Shot

    The Honda City offers a light steering that’s accurate but does not offer enough feel, or weight especially when going fast. The ride quality is surprisingly flattening as most obstacles are cleared with little to no fuss. It, does, however, tend to get noisy especially if the path in front of you is on the rougher side.

    How effective is the Honda Sensing ADAS with a manual gearbox?

    Instrument Cluster

    This is the first car in India to offer ADAS technology with a manual gearbox and it is available on all MT variants save for the base SV petrol MT. You get the whole Honda Sensing suite that’s available to the two-pedal models but with a few obvious caveats.

    Right Front Three Quarter

    The adaptive cruise control does as it is supposed to do and will speed up and slow you down in relation to the car in front of you and based on pre-set speed, but, you need to be in the right gear for that speed, something that’s in your control. The cruise control works at speeds above 30kmph which means that you can use it in city driving conditions but it is unpredictable with regard to the emergency braking being enabled at this speed and is best if you control that aspect by yourself. The lane departure warning is effective in keeping you on track as is the lane keep assist but the latter only works if you are going over 70kmph making it more of a tool for highway driving.

    Left Side View

    While it may be a first-in-segment MT with ADAS, Honda does have some work to do with regard to getting the system to calibrate with the manual gearbox. In the automatic and hybrid versions, the camera-based ADAS is very effective and does improve your driving experience.

    Should you buy the Honda City petrol manual?

    Front View

    Yes and No.

    Yes, because the City in this fifth-generation facelift offers good interior space, segment-expected features, decent driving dynamics and presence. No, if ADAS is the only thing you are after, as it is far more effective on the automatic and hybrid versions of the same car. It works here too, just better on the two-pedal models. The Honda City is a rival for the Volkswagen Virtus, Skoda Slavia, Hyundai Verna and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.

    Photography: Kaustubh Gandhi

    2023 Honda City Petrol Automatic First Drive Review

    2022 Honda City e:HEV ZX Hybrid First Drive Review

    Featured Cars

    • Popular
    • JUST LAUNCHED
    • Upcoming
    Mahindra XUV 3XO
    Mahindra XUV 3XO
    Rs. 7.49 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Maruti Suzuki Fronx
    Maruti Fronx
    Rs. 7.51 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Mahindra XUV700
    Mahindra XUV700
    Rs. 13.99 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor
    Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor
    Rs. 7.74 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Tata Nexon
    Tata Nexon
    Rs. 8.00 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Hyundai Creta
    Hyundai Creta
    Rs. 11.00 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Mahindra Scorpio N
    Mahindra Scorpio N
    Rs. 13.85 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Tata Punch
    Tata Punch
    Rs. 6.13 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Mercedes-Benz EQA
    Mercedes-Benz EQA
    Rs. 66.00 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    JUST LAUNCHED
    8th JUL
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    Rs. 61.85 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Mercedes-Benz GLC
    Mercedes-Benz GLC
    Rs. 75.90 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Mercedes-Benz AMG S 63 E Performance
    Mercedes-Benz AMG S 63 E Performance
    Rs. 3.30 Croreonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Mercedes-Benz Maybach GLS
    Mercedes-Benz Maybach GLS
    Rs. 3.35 Croreonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Maruti Suzuki Swift
    Maruti Swift
    Rs. 6.49 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Force Motors Gurkha
    Force Motors Gurkha
    Rs. 16.75 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    BMW M4 Competition
    BMW M4 Competition
    Rs. 1.53 Croreonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    BMW New 5 Series
    LAUNCHING SOON
    Jul 2024
    BMW New 5 Series

    Rs. 85.00 Lakh - 1.00 CroreEstimated Price

    24th Jul 2024Expected Launch

    Get Launch Alert on WhatsApp

    MINI Countryman Electric
    LAUNCHING SOON
    Jul 2024
    MINI Countryman Electric

    Rs. 55.00 - 65.00 LakhEstimated Price

    24th Jul 2024Expected Launch

    Get Launch Alert on WhatsApp

    MINI Cooper S
    LAUNCHING SOON
    Jul 2024
    MINI Cooper S

    Rs. 55.00 - 60.00 LakhEstimated Price

    24th Jul 2024Expected Launch

    Get Launch Alert on WhatsApp

    Citroen Basalt
    Citroen Basalt

    Rs. 12.00 - 15.00 LakhEstimated Price

    2nd Aug 2024Unveil Date

    Get Launch Alert on WhatsApp

    Tata Curvv EV
    Tata Curvv EV

    Rs. 18.00 - 24.00 LakhEstimated Price

    19th Jul 2024Unveil Date

    Get Launch Alert on WhatsApp

    Mercedes-Benz CLE cabriolet
    Mercedes-Benz CLE cabriolet

    Rs. 1.00 - 1.10 CroreEstimated Price

    8th Aug 2024Expected Launch

    Get Launch Alert on WhatsApp

    Mercedes-Benz GLC 43 AMG Coupe
    Mercedes-Benz GLC 43 AMG Coupe

    Rs. 80.00 - 85.00 LakhEstimated Price

    8th Aug 2024Expected Launch

    Get Launch Alert on WhatsApp

    Lamborghini Urus SE
    Lamborghini Urus SE

    Rs. 4.90 - 5.00 CroreEstimated Price

    9th Aug 2024Expected Launch

    Get Launch Alert on WhatsApp

    AD
    • honda-cars
    • other brands
    Honda Elevate
    Honda Elevate
    Rs. 11.73 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Honda City
    Honda City
    Rs. 11.86 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city
    Honda Amaze
    Honda Amaze
    Rs. 7.23 Lakhonwards
    Avg. Ex-Showroom price
    Show price in my city