Honda begins rolling out fifth-gen City sedan for India

by Amaan Ahmed, Autocar India 24 Jun 2020

Honda Cars India has begun production of the new fifth-generation City sedan at its Greater Noida plant in Uttar Pradesh, ahead of the car’s launch in July. The plant had resumed manufacturing operations from mid-June.

Rajesh Goel, senior vice-president and director, Honda Cars India, said, “The aspirational sedan comes with a rich legacy of over 22 years across four generations and has been synonymous with Honda brand in India. The excitement around the fifth-generation City in the pre-launch phase has been extremely encouraging despite the currently prevailing market challenges. The new City is an engineering marvel on all aspects of design, technology and features and will strongly appeal to our modern-age customers.”

What’s new?
Honda says its newly designed platform makes the City lighter, safer and more rigid than the existing City. The new City is also bigger – it’s 109mm longer and 53mm wider than the current-gen City. That said, it has the same wheelbase length as the current model, is 6mm shorter in height and has marginally lesser boot capacity – 506 litres.

Honda hasn’t revealed the variant breakup or standard equipment details for the new City yet, but top-spec variants will be loaded with features. Available on the top-of-the-line City variants will be goodies like all-LED head- and tail-lights, 16-inch dual-tone alloys, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Honda Connect with 32 connected car features and Alexa integration (a first in India), a 7.0-inch TFT instrument cluster, an electric sunroof, ambient lighting, push-button start/stop, remote engine start and hands-free boot release.

In terms of safety features, the top-spec variants will get six airbags, vehicle stability assist, tyre pressure monitoring system, Honda’s LaneWatch camera (as seen on the Civic; another segment-first), reverse camera and auto headlamps and wipers.

1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines
There will be two engines to choose from for the new Honda City – an all-new, twin-cam 1.5-litre petrol that produces 121hp and 145Nm of torque, and the older City’s 1.5-litre diesel, which has been upgraded to meet BS6 emission norms and makes 100hp and 200Nm of torque. Interestingly, the new Honda City will only be the second car in its segment to be available with a diesel engine – save for the Hyundai Verna, all of its rivals are petrol-only models.

Gearbox options for the new City petrol will include a 6-speed manual and a CVT automatic (with paddle shifters), while the City diesel will only get a 6-speed manual. The new Honda City’s fuel efficiency – as certified by ARAI – is rated at 17.8kpl for the petrol-manual, 18.4kpl for the petrol-CVT and 24.1kpl for the City diesel.

Pricing strategy
With an upgrade in practically every department, the all-new Honda City is expected to be priced at a notable premium over the current-gen model, the petrol version of which currently retails from Rs 991,000-14.31 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), and will continue to be sold alongside the new City as a more affordable alternative. It remains to be seen how the combo of the current-gen and new-gen City fares in the midsize sedan segment, which is witnessing renewed competition with the arrival of the facelifted Hyundai Verna, as well as the updated Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento, both of which are now offered with a sole 1.0-litre TSI engine option.


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