The fifth-generation Honda City was first launched in India in July 2020, right in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic. Long before this all-new model’s introduction, the City nameplate had already gained notoriety for being a champ amongst its peers. The City’s segment, that of the mid-size sedan, has been on the decline for a while now. This is primarily because of the incredible expansion of the sub-compact and compact crossover SUV market in India. When you add the chaos caused by the pandemic, reduced demand for mid-size sedans and dropping market share for Honda, things weren’t looking too good. However, the Japanese automaker went ahead with the release of the new City, anyway – an endeavor that paid much dividends.
Between July and December of last year, Honda sold 17,347 units of the all-new City in India. Honda India further moved 21,826 units of the City during the last calendar year – a commendable achievement. In fact, December 2020 saw the Honda City capturing an impressive 41 percent of the mid-size sedan market. With such a dominant market presence, the City actually lifted its respective segment, bringing other sedans into the public eye again. The automaker mentioned that much of the sales of the new-generation City came mostly from one variant – the top-end ZX. Moreover, by January 2021, 48 percent of the overall sales of the new Honda City were of its CVT versions.
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Commenting on the City’s performance, Mr. Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director – Marketing & Sales, Honda Cars India Ltd said, “The City brand has been synonymous with Honda in India. Continuously re-inventing itself, each generation of the Honda City has offered new technologies and value propositions to enthrall its customers, creating a benchmark for quality and trust in the process. The launch of 5th Generation City in July last year gave a much-needed impetus to the mid-size sedan segment despite the challenging times. We want to extend our gratitude to our patrons who have continued to show their love for the City brand and experience the pride of owning this model.”
As part of its comprehensive update, the fifth-generation Honda City received a complete overhaul to its exterior. To begin with, the new model is 109mm longer and 1,748mm wider than its predecessor – measuring 4,549mm in length and 1,748mm in width, respectively. Furthermore, the City’s roof has been lowered by 6mm, and so the total height is now 1,489mm.
Meanwhile, the wheelbase of 2,600mm has been carried forward from the old City sans any changes. On the design front, the new Honda City’s styling isn’t for everybody. Still, Honda has incorporated some cool design features here that certainly look cool. The full-LED headlamps feature jewel-like elements, while the new tail lamps look pretty upscale too.
However, the upright front-end with its thick chrome bar look like they have been lifted straight from the cheaper Amaze. Along the sides, the sharp crease running the length of the new City looks fancy, so does the new alloy wheels and door-mounted wing mirrors. Despite all that, the tall-ish side facade make this sedan seem a little disproportionate.
In the grand scheme of things, the exterior of the all-new Honda City will be, to many, a sophisticated one. Moving on to the interior of the fifth-gen City, Honda has uplifted its ambience and design as well. There is stitched-leather on the dashboard along with some faux wood inserts, while the leather-upholstered seats look sufficiently premium too.
There is soft padding on several surfaces, especially up front. The overall sense of quality in this cabin is pretty good, though there are several hard plastics bits here too. The list of features in the all-new Honda City is quite extensive, depending on the trim level. There is remote engine start, keyless entry, ambient lighting, rear sunshade, auto-dimming rearview mirror, plus automatic headlamps and wipers.
Users can also enjoy Honda’s connected car tech with Alexa remote function, further bettered by an 8-inch touch-infotainment system with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay. Other fancy equipment in the all-new City include a hands-free trunk, a 7-inch digital driver’s display, and an electric sunroof.
On the safety side of things, the fifth-generation Honda City is pretty well kitted-out as well. It is loaded with 6 airbags, Agile Handling Assist (AHA), Hill-Start Assist (HSA), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), and ABS with EBD and Brake Assist. There is also the brand’s famous LaneWatch Camera system, plus rear parking sensors and ISOFIX anchor points.
Power comes from either a familiar 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel or an all-new 1.5-liter four-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol engine. The new motor develops 119hp and 145Nm, representing a 2hp gain over its predecessor. Meanwhile, the diesel mill churns out almost 99hp and 200Nm of torque. Both engines are offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox, though it is only the petrol that gets the CVT option. Ex-showroom price of the all-new Honda City range between Rs 11.00 Lakh and Rs 14.65 Lakh.