The much awaited Honda City 5th generation is nearing its launch date, which is only 10 days away now. Based on a new lighter platform, with several new upgrades and updates with respect to its exteriors, interiors and powertrain, Honda will be hoping for the City to recapture the market, the way it had before the Maruti Ciaz came and Hyundai Verna into the picture. Production of City had been commenced last month and the Japanese automaker initiated pre-bookings for the vehicle as well.
What changes have been made on the City 2020?
The 4th generation City was beginning to feel a tad bit stale which proved that an upgrade was much needed. The new City feels like a whole new vehicle in comparison to its competitor, as it is longer, wider, and it is also the longest vehicle in its segment. The front fascia of the 2020 City now sports a new 9 LED headlight set up, a grille with chrome accents, LED tail lights (which look alot like those on the updated BMW 3 Series) and a new set of 16 inch wheels. However, the number of changes on the inside are significantly more than that on the outside.
As we are in 2020, vehicles in of the C segment are now also equipped with many upmarket features, those vehicles who cannot update themselves to this level, would end up being forgotten, and that is very much what was happening with the older Honda City. Honda has worked well and hard on the 2020 City, and it shows when you enter the cabin of the sedan.
A new dual tone dashboard has been laid down, and the new features include an 8 inch infotainment system supporting Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Honda Connect Telematics Control Unit. The previous instrument panel has been upgraded to a 7 inch digital instrument cluster.
Furthermore, it is also equipped with Ambient lightning, faux-wood, and a left side ORVM which has a camera thanks to which video feed is displayed on the infotainment display. This video feed is activated once the left indicator is clicked. The list of features continues to go on, power windows, a sunroof, and Amazon Alexa remote compatibility via which the vehicle can be powered on/off, parking lights, and alarm sounds can also be used with the app.
On the safety front of the 2020 City
A vehicle can be brilliant, but if any compromise has been made on the safety of the vehicle, then it is DOA (dead on arrival). I am glad to say this is not the case with the 2020 City, the City is equipped with 6 airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Agile Handling Assist (AHA), Hill Start Assist, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Honda LaneWatch Camera, and also a rear-view camera. What truly proves how safe the vehicle is the fact that it attained a 5 star rating in the ASEAN NCAP (The New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asia).
The powertrain of the 2020 City
Complying to the BS6 norms, the 2020 Honda City is powered by an all new 1.5 litre i-VTEC petrol engine and a 1.5 litre i-DTEC engine.
The petrol motor makes 121 ps and 145 nm of torque, and the diesel unit produces 100 ps and 200 nm of torque. I am particularly glad about Honda continuing to offer a BS6 diesel engine in a time where other automakers are actively dropping the diesel powertrain.
As for the transmission offered, the petrol powertrain is coupled with a 6 speed manual or a CVT with paddle shifters, the diesel unit on the other hand only gets a 6 speed manual offering, which is a tad bit disappointing.
The booking and rivals of the 2020 City
Honda India understands the perils of venturing outside one’s house due to Covid 19 because of which, any customer who is interested in booking the 2020 City, can do so from the comfort of their home. Honda From Home is Honda’s digital platform via which customers can book the vehicle of their choice and the same can be used to book the 2020 City. However, for those who prefer to book the vehicle by visiting a dealership can do so. The online booking amount has been fixed at Rs 5,000 and the dealerships are accepting bookings at a cost of Rs 21,000.
The 2020 Honda City has a host of rivals which it will be going up against, the Hyundai Verna, Maruti Ciaz, Skoda Rapid, Volkswagen Vento and Toyota Yaris. What could give the City an edge over the competition is its refreshed looks, BS6 diesel powertrain option which some automakers aren’t providing and the exhaustive list of features. If Honda prices the City right, they could once again regain the tag of being the best sedan in its segment.
An interesting point to remember is, the current generation City will be sold alongside the new City. The reason of doing so could be because the 4th generation will be used by the Fleet Markets, while the 2020 City will be sold to regular customers.