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The Fifth-Generation Honda City

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The Honda City was an instant hit when it debuted in India in the late 1990s. Until then, sedan buyers in India had simply not experienced the kind of technical refinement and fun of. ride that Honda offered with the City. And while the first City came with a choice of 1.3-liter and 1.5-liter gasoline engines (which were both quite good), Honda also introduced a 1.5-liter VTEC engine just two years ago. later, and the City VTEC continued. become something of a cult classic. With their variable valve timing, Honda VTEC engines are rightly revered for the thrill they provide, and even today, 20 years later, Honda enthusiasts still talk about the City VTEC in a low voice. Gone, but never forgotten. While the City VTEC of the early 2000s was a bit of a wild child, later iterations of the City took a different direction. Of course, the refinement always stuck, but Honda swapped the early city sense of fun for more grown-up things like improved safety, better fuel economy, lower emissions, a bigger cabin and more comfort. . The rocking fraternity boy traded in the pair of dingy jeans and sneakers for a gray suit and reasonable shoes. Since its second generation, the City has been a car for bankers, dentists and lawyers, conscientiously helping Honda fill its coffers.

In India, few cars have been as dominant in their segment as the City was in theirs, in the first 10 to 12 years of their life. After years of testing, manufacturers like Ford, Fiat, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Renault, Nissan and a few others simply gave up. Even the mighty Toyota couldn’t build a car to compete with the City. However, in recent years, the City has fought hard; the Maruti Ciaz and Hyundai Verna traded serious blows with the City, while the Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid also made significant inroads in what was once the exclusive domain of the City. So the question is, can the newly launched fifth-gen city rework its old magic, or will it just be one of the too-rans facing newer and tougher competition? Although diesel has been demonized of late, the new City is still available in both gasoline and, yes, diesel engines. There is a 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder gasoline engine with high precision variable valve timing control. Smooth and refined as always, this engine produces 120 horsepower and 145 Nm of torque. It is available either with a 6-speed manual transmission (who would want one in these days of endless traffic jams?), Or with a 7-speed continuously variable automatic transmission, which is perfectly smooth and efficient. Opponents should note that this is a significantly improved version of Honda’s earlier CVTs, with a reduced “springy effect” (in which, under sudden and sharp acceleration, engine speed increases rapidly, while the car struggles to accelerate). Additionally, the gearshift paddles allow for some manual control of the CVT, for tricky overtaking maneuvers, which should satisfy “enthusiasts”.

Then, for those who prefer low-rpm, low-rpm torque, there’s the Honda i-DTEC 1.5-liter diesel engine, which produces 99 horsepower and 200 Nm of torque. It certainly doesn’t have the high-end zing of a gasoline engine, but diesel does have more low-end torque, if that’s your thing. As you might expect, diesel is also a bit more fuel efficient than gasoline (24.1kpl vs. 18.4kpl) and, with diesel costing around 10% less than gasoline, this will help you save money. a few rupees per liter while you’re at it. The diesel doesn’t have an automatic transmission option, which we found a bit odd. Everyone wants an automatic these days, especially those who buy larger sedans, so why has Honda held back here, we wonder. With the Honda City, interior space really matters. Indeed, while many owners drive their city themselves, many employ drivers. And whether you spend time up front or in the background, the City doesn’t disappoint. Like many of its owners, the city has grown steadily in size over the past few years, and the car is now a bit larger in all areas than the competition. The seats are large and comfortable, nicely upholstered in leatherette and generously proportioned. The City is a true five-seater – here we’re talking about five adults who dine quite often at Cirque Signature.

Outside of its absolute space, the City’s new cabin looks good, even otherwise; everything is beige, brown and muted black, with reasonably high-quality plastics, nice faux-leather, faux-wood trim, and a large color touchscreen for infotainment. Tech buffs will likely be happy with the city’s smartphone connectivity and Apple CarPlay / Android Auto compatibility. You can connect your USB device to listen to music or stream via Bluetooth. Amazon devotees, who won’t stop at Prime delivery, can even ask Alexa to control certain functions in the car. So, yes, you can ask Jeff Bezos’ little robot to open your car door and turn on the air conditioning, bless your geek heart. In an interesting aside, the color TFT-screen dashboard even has a G-meter, which lets you keep an eye on how hard you accelerate, brake, or corner. And if the NSX Type R didn’t have one, your new Honda City has a G-meter, and that’s undeniably cool.

When it comes to driver aids and safety, the new city got a five-star crash test rating from ASEANNCAP, which is the best thing for car buyers. Yes, that NCAP safety rating really means a lot, and the Honda is full of safety tech; it has up to six airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD), a stability assistance system and ISOFIX-compatible rear seats. There’s also a tire pressure monitoring system, a multi-angle rear camera and four rear parking sensors, and an advanced unibody chassis that uses premium steel for added strength. Safety has to be one of the most important parameters in a family sedan like the Honda City, and this fifth-generation car wins. In terms of ride and handling, the new City features McPherson struts with coil springs up front and a torsion beam with coil springs at the rear. The suspension is designed for plush ride comfort rather than heroic cornering, which is just as good for a family sedan. Remember, the City renounced their status as a racing boy in 2003, with the launch of the second-generation car. This new model, like its predecessors over the past decade, is designed for types of businesses who want plush, not racy taste. And the city keeps its promises. The only thing we’re forced to note here, however, is that with its improved dimensions, the new City now eclipses the 16-inch alloy wheels it rides on. Compared to the body of the car, its wheels seem quite small and we wish Honda would offer larger wheels (17 or even 18 inches would look good) as an option. That, and a turbocharged gasoline engine for a little more power. With a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Oh, well, we can dream, right?

The Honda City is a good all-round family sedan, and automatic gasoline is what you need. It’s safe, roomy, comfortable, refined, reliable and fuel efficient and, yes, those are things that matter in a family sedan. Diesel needs more refinement, more power, and an automatic transmission before it becomes a viable option, but the gasoline-powered automatic is holding up well to the competition. Give him bigger wheels, Honda.

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