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Honda City Facelift Review & First Drive

Honda City Overview

The City is one of the most popular and successful models for Honda Cars India. In fact, the Japanese car manufacturer debuted the fourth-generation City in India, highlighting the country’s importance in the company’s global plans. Launched in 2014, Honda has sold over 2.4 lakh units of the fourth-generation City in India.

 Check for Honda City On Road Price in Jaipur

The City was once a benchmark in the C-segment for its sophisticated design and features, but Honda’s applecart was disrupted with the launch of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, as its long feature list paired with company’s brand trust made it a more appealing product. Additionally, Hyundai is also gearing up to launch the new-generation Verna which is another strong rival of the City. To make sure the sedan remains in the game, Honda has given the City a midlife update and made it more kitted. So what’s new in the Honda City facelift? We tell you in our first drive review. Request a test drive for Honda City in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

Honda City Exterior & Look

Quite a bit actually, but let’s start with the exteriors. Aesthetically, the City still looks similar to the pre-facelift model, albeit with a sleeker front end. The arrow-shot design theme is retained. The front grille now features a slimmer chrome grille with a honeycomb mesh in the background.

The Honda City now features an all-LED lighting system. The headlamps are all LED, so are the DRLs and tail lamps. In addition, the all-LED treatment is reserved for the top-of-the-line ZX variants only although, the VX does get LED headlamps and fog lamps. Even the fog lamps and all interior lights including the front and rear reading lamps, and the rear number plate illumination are all powered by LED technology.

It also gets new diamond-cut alloy wheels which have been upsized to 16inches, though, these are also available on the ZX variants only as the lower models make do with 15-inch wheels. Ironically though, unlike most cars, the facelift looks most distinctive from the rear. The all-LED tail lamps feature a clear distinction between the red and clear section. It also gets a new spoiler with integrated brake lamp and honeycomb inserts in the redesigned rear bumper as well.

Honda City Interior & Comfort

Well, inside, Honda has decided to stick with its tried and tested, all-plastic beige-black layout and the cabin will be familiar to previous City owners. Notable changes though include a telescopic- and tilt-adjustable steering which was missing before and should be a boon for taller drivers. Also new is the auto-dimming rear-view mirror which is also frameless and a single touch-operated sunroof has also been added. These features too are available on the higher variants only. The rest, though, is pretty similar. You still get the touch-operated controls of the automatic climate control and the instrument cluster too is pretty similar, albeit with a small update: it now features a white backlight compared to the cool blue lighting in the older car. The start/stop button is also backlit.

Lastly, Honda has also equipped the City with automatic headlamps and rain-sensing wipers to keep up with the competition. The space inside is ample and the rear can still seat three people in comfort. The kneeroom is adequate and you now also get height-adjustable rear headrests. But anyone over six feet will feel the headroom constraint. Also, the middle ‘seat’ can prove to be uncomfortable on long hauls. Though the cabin of the facelift is quintessentially City and looks as classy as before, the quality of plastics used could have been better. The plastics on the dash and door panels feel rather crude especially when compared to its chief rivals, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and the Hyundai Verna. Both cars make use of hard plastic panels but yet make them feel premium. Though Honda claims the panel above the glove box to be of soft-touch material but it doesn’t feel as premium as it promises.

Oh no, we haven’t even gotten to the party piece yet, which is the new 7.0inch infotainment system called Digipad. This new infotainment system has been developed in-house by Honda’s R&D and is based on the Android platform and is quite user-friendly. The new system features Mirror Link technology along with WiFi connectivity. Although, your phone needs to support Mirror Link, if you want to connect your Android phone to the Digipad. In addition, it can only run apps specific to Mirror Link, which tends to limit the system’s functionality. In addition, the WiFi can only be accessed by a USB dongle which needs to be bought separately. Also, it uses the data from your phone to enable you to access the browser on the system. You do however get two USB ports so the Mirror Link and WiFi can be connected simultaneously.Check for Honda City  in ieso2013.in

The Digipad also features a seamless navigation system which is powered by MapMyIndia. The system uses SD card-based maps for navigation and you can also receive live traffic updates if you’re connected to WiFi. You also get an additional SD card slot for playing media, 1.5GB of added internal memory, and even an HDMI port to stream videos from your phone to the screen. Our only gripes with the system however are that it looks like an aftermarket fitment and it doesn’t come with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The former feature already exists on the Ciaz whereas both will soon feature on the Verna.

Honda City Engine & Gearbox

All the changes and updates on the 2017 Honda City are primarily related to the exterior and the interior, while the powertrain options remain unchanged. Honda continues to offer the City with 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines. We did expect Honda to update the power and numbers of both the motors similar to that of the BR-V, but that has not happened. The 1.5-litre petrol continues to make 117PS/145Nm, whereas the diesel puts out 99PS/200Nm. The petrol motor is offered with a 5-speed manual transmission while it is also offered with a CVT as an optional unit. Honda claims that City MT delivers an overall efficiency of 17.4kmpl while the CVT offers 18kmpl. The diesel, on the other hand, gets a 6-speed manual transmission as standard and delivers a claimed efficiency of 25.6kmpl.

For our first drive on the 2017 Honda City, we had the 1.5-litre diesel. It might read odd but the diesel clatter in a Honda is something that I have still not accepted whole-heartedly. Anyways, the wide-spread torque continues to be the highlight of the diesel motor. Be it driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic or cruising on highways, the motor doesn’t feel out of breath as the turbo lag is minimal. Soon after we dodged the city traffic and entered well-paved highway, it didn’t take much effort for the motor to reach higher speeds. And helping the motor deliver its best is the smooth 6-speed manual transmission which again was a saviour in traffic-clad areas. However, City’s other rivals likes the Skoda Rapid and the Volkswagen Vento get a diesel automatic as well which could have been an impressive addition in the City’s model line-up.

Honda City Ride & Handling

The sixth generation City was an able handler and so is this one. The electric power steering weighs up beautifully as you speed up although, feedback is a little lacking. What stays as it is and impressive at that is the ride quality. I have had the opportunity to drive all the variants of the City that have been launched in India and I can cross my heart and say that all of them had a measured ride quality. Neither bone-jarringly stiff nor overtly soft. Take it around a corner with gusto and the car responds positively. There is decent enough grip from the Bridgestone Ecopia tyres which will keep you entertained.

Honda City Braking & Safety

Thankfully, more and more manufacturers are taking safety seriously nowadays and so is Honda. The City facelift gets dual airbags and Anti-lock brakes along with electronic brake-force distribution as a standard fitment. Adding to standard list of equipment are the ISOFIX mounts for child seats. The top ZX trim gets six airbags which include side and curtain airbags, which is a great offering, in our opinion.

Honda City Cost in Chennai

Honda City On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 9,90,434 to 16,77,226 for variants City S MT Petrol and City Zx MT Diesel Anniversary Edition respectively. Honda City is available in 13 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Honda City variants price in Chennai. Check for City price in Chennai at Carzprice.

Honda City Summing Up

Well, that is a question that has become quite tricky to answer. Where the City was known to set benchmarks in its segment, it is clear that it is now attempting to catch up with the competition. Yes, the updates are considerable but they haven’t radically changed the package, something the City really needs. Most of the features it is getting now are already present on its rivals, and even on some cars in the segment below. Plus, the Ciaz is due for an update and an all new Verna is being readied too but, the new-gen City will not be making an appearance before 2019. So, the City does share an equal footing with its rivals with the new facelift but that positioning might be short lived.