New Honda City Diesel unveiled, India launch in January 2014
The City is by far Honda's most successful nameplate in India. It was appreciated by enthusiasts in its first and second iterations in the country; in its third form, it balanced performance and fuel economy so beautifully that it also got the general buying public hooked. In the last version - the model that has just been discontinued - not only did it record the highest sales for the brand in India, with its modern looks, a plush and pleasing cabin and mechanical prowess that was right up there with the best in its class, it won nearly all comparison tests it participated in.
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It was, for the longest time, the best selling car in its class as well and has sold over 4.3 million units so far. But then, the petrol prices rose, and along came the well specced, good looking and crucially, diesel powered Hyundai Verna, leading to drop in the City's sales. So much so that even though the new City isn't expected till early next year, Honda has stopped producing the car. Taking its place will be this, the fourth generation of the City in India and it is expected to take forward the momentum created by the Amaze in terms of sales. The new car is designed and developed in India but is a global model; it is after all sold in 55 countries with India as the lead market.
The new City is part of Honda's new approach towards new product development wherein all regions in a particular zone come together to develop a product and then each product is tweaked and tailor-fitted for individual markets. The new City, which will be launched in January ahead of the Auto Expo, is the same size the outgoing car. It is also the same length and width as the car it replaces but it now sits on a longer wheelbase and is a tad taller as well. The new City is based on the new Jazz platform which also underpins the new Honda Vezel SUV.
And like both the new Jazz and the Vezel, the new City promises handsome interior space for its category as well. In fact, Honda claims best in class space for the new City. The quality of the interior has improved further, and expect a cabin that is up there with the best in its class in terms of NVH characteristics. It is also designed with a higher touch of modernity. Honda has upped the feature-game with the new City as well, which is is now much-better equipped to take on the Verna in its own value game. It gets a touch screen interface, Bluetooth telephony and rear view camera in addition to a info-rich instrument cluster. In addition, it gets keyless start, a sunroof and a multifunctional steering wheel.
The all-new Honda City has a lot to live up to when it comes to drivetrains as well. The most significant bit of news here, of course, is that for the first time, the City will come with a Diesel engine. It is the same 1.5-litre diesel that powers the Amaze compact sedan, but on the City, the I-DTEC motor makes more power and torque, without compromising on the fuel efficiency front; the latter has also been one of the strongest USPs of the Amaze. The diesel City will only come with a manual gearbox and will initially be sold in three trim levels. The City will, without doubt, come with a petrol engine as well.
The petrol too is a 1.5-litre four cylinder engine, but it makes more power than the diesel. The output is nearly 120PS. As has been the case with the City's of yore, the new car too will have the best balance of performance and fuel economy in its class. The petrol City will come with both a manual and an automatic option. Honda has worked on the design of the existing engine to make it even more efficient.
- Fourth generation City
- 1.5 litre four cylinder i-VTEC (petrol) and i-DTEC (diesel) engines
- First City to come with a Diesel engine
- Will be launched in January ahead of the Auto Expo
- Same length and width as the car it replaces but sits on a longer wheelbase and is a tad taller
- The new City is based on the new Jazz platform which also underpins the upcoming Honda Vezel SUV
- Honda claims best in class space for the new City
- Expect top-notch NVH characteristics
- Gets a touch screen interface, Bluetooth telephony and rear view camera as well as a info-rich instrument cluster
- Also gets keyless start, a sunroof and a multifunctional steering wheel
- The diesel City will only come with a manual gearbox and will initially be sold in three trim levels
- The petrol City will come with both a manual and an automatic option
- Honda opens pre-bookings
Starts Rs 9.91 Lakhs
Starts Rs 8.09 Lakhs
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