The first-gen Honda City went on sale in 1981 in Japan and eventually made its way to other markets as well. However, India took a little while to evolve as a potential auto market for global brands which is why the City reached our shores only in 1997. At present, Honda is selling the fourth-generation City in our market and the fifth-generation has been unveiled just last week in Thailand. The new model is expected to come to our market next year and to say that there is quite a lot that has changed in the new model will be an understatement, it is a new car in entirety and looks completely different than its predecessor. Here’s a look at how different both models are.
Simply going by the looks, the first thing that comes to one’s mind is how similar it is to its cousins like the Civic and Accord, doing justice to the family design. The 2020 Honda City looks more angular than the current model, especially at the front where the flat, solid wing face becomes quite prominent as opposed to the current City’s diving nose boasting just a flat grille up front. The headlamps of the new city are now LED units with daytime running lights neatly integrated and they looks much sleeker sharp now.
The wing face boasts of a chunky chrome bar which partly insets into the jewel themed headlamps and the three-part bumper is neatly contoured housing big air curtains on either ends. The profile of the new model too looks sharper and a bit tort as opposed to the model on sale now. The new one sports a sharp character line that starts from the headlamps and merges with the wraparound taillights, covering the entire length of the car. Talking of the taillights, they are LED units and look really sexy with the U-shaped signature light. The rear itself is all-new and reminds you a bit of the Accord Hybrid with all the contouring on the boot.
The 2020 Honda City has grown in size and is now over 100 mm longer, while the width has increased by 53 mm. The height though is now lowered by a good 28 mm that makes for a sleeker looking sedan. That said, Honda has trimmed the wheelbase on the new City by 11 mm, despite the overall increase in length. The 2020 Honda City now stands at 4553 mm in length, 1748 mm in width, 1467 mm in height and its wheelbase stands at 2589 mm.
On the inside, the new generation Honda City gets plenty of upgrades including a new layout for the dashboard wrapped in soft-touch upholstery. The current City doesn’t get leather upholstery on the dashboard and gets a three-part design. The overall design in the new City though is neat and flush and it houses vertical-style air vents and a larger touchscreen infotainment system in the centre. The climate control switches are positioned just below that, while the switches have been replaced with touch-sensitive controls.
Then it gets an all-new steering wheel that still has a three-spoke design like on the previous one but gets a small centre and angular controls mounted that replaces the old round units seen on the current model. At the rear, the car revealed in Thailand doesn’t get an elbow rest or rear air-con vents but we expect Honda to make that addition in the India-Spec model, following the segment standards.
The Thai-Spec Honda City gets a new 1.0-litre turbocharged engine that develops 120 bhp at 5500 rpm and 173 Nm of peak torque between 2000-4500 rpm. The 998 cc motor uses a BorgWarner single-scroll turbocharger, dual Variable Valve Timing Control (VTC) and Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) and is mated to a seven-step CVT gearbox with manual model and paddle shifters, like the one we have seen on the current-gen Honda Amaze.
The powertrain on the current City are the 1.5-litre i-Vtec petrol and i-Dtec diesel units mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and you also get the option of a CVT unit on the petrol model. We expect the engines to continue and the petrol is likely to come with a hybrid drivetrain where engine is coupled with the i-MMD mild-hybrid system.
Well, the features list on the new city, more or less is expected to remain the same. Expect upmarket features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to be there and we expect an advanced Honda Connect infotainment system to be added to the new model. In terms of safety, it is likely to get dual airbags, ABS + EBD, rear parking sensors, speed alert and seat belt reminder as standad in a bid to comply with the upcoming safety regulations.