The battle of the B-segment heats up with the premiere of Honda’s 4th generation of the ever popular Honda City in India. Think of it as an evolutionary improvement of the third generation City, with design language based from ‘Exciting H’ , were implemented to improve the aesthetics of the new City.
Built based on the same platform of the third generation Jazz model, the new car has similar width with the predecessor, while there are slight additions on the length, height and wheelbase. Most noticeably, the wheelbase on the 4th generation City is the longest among its B segment rivals, which translates to a roomier and more spacious interior. Creature comforts for the rear passengers include rear air con vents. Another notable enhancement is the inclusion of a sunroof, a first among the Japanese B segment segments. Whether we also get that here remains to be seen though…
A new addition on the new City for the India market is the inclusion of a new 1.5L Diesel i-DTEC engine to meet the ever increasing demand of diesel engines in India. The diesel engine, part of Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology lineup, is a variant of the 1.6 I-DTEC engines used in Europe. Meanwhile, the 1.5L i-VTEC SOHC engine, which was a carry over from the third generation City, will power the petrol variants of the new City, and we expect only the petrol variant will be introduced in Malaysia. No word on the said powertrains yet but we could expect it should retain the 5-speed automatic gearbox from the predecessor for the Malaysian market. Let’s hope we get the diesel variant too!
Other improvements made include a stronger structural rigidity than the predecessor. Suspension wise it’s almost similar with the predecessor but there’s new MacPherson struts for the front suspension, while the rear gets an H-shape twist-beam suspension. For the India market, Honda included a decent in-car entertainment system, which consists of five-inch LCD display, with in-built hands-free telephony, steering-mounted audio controls, and an eight-speaker sound system with USB, MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity.
We can’t confirm if all these goodies will be made available on the new City in Malaysia but one thing for sure is expect the 4th generation of the City will be an incremental improvement of the current third generation. If the third generation Toyota Vios obtained bookings up to 8,000 prior launch despite the engine and gearbox were a carryover from the two previous generations ago, we do not see any reason why the new City will fall short among Malaysian buyers when it reaches our shores sometime in 2014.
[SOURCE: AUTOCAR INDIA]