2020 Honda City review, test drive

What is it?

SUVs may possibly rule the roost today, but the City, even 22 many years on, is nonetheless alive and kicking, and is a single of the longest-managing nameplates now on sale in India. The City’s India story began in 1998 and we’ve had 4 versions since. The initially a few cars ended up all very unique in character, with each and every model currently being a achievement for Honda.

Uncharacteristically then, the 4th-era was more of an evolution, but many thanks to the even further improvements and introduction of a diesel choice, it went on to turn into the most successful City in India, and it is this very evolutionary approach that’s been carried ahead to the fifth-gen City.

Never assume for a instant while that it is a simple update of the prior vehicle. While it is dependent on a modified model of the earlier City, the engineering variations are substantial. The new City’s entire body shell packs in more high-tensile-power metal and a stiffer roof portion, resulting in a 20 per cent boost in torsional rigidity. The entire body shell is marginally lighter as well, but the over-all bodyweight of the vehicle is up by around 40kg many thanks to other enhancements like a firewall that is two hundred per cent thicker aiding stiffness, protection and sound insulation.

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3D surfacing provides character.

 

The City has also grown in sizing, offering a minor more inside space, and it is received more tech like a lane check out digicam and Alexa voice assistant integration. On the powertrain entrance, the petrol motor is a new DOHC one.5-litre device that is now coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox. CVT is nonetheless an choice. The more mature City’s one.5 diesel and six-speed manual carry ahead as well, but with some modifications to strengthen refinement and, of course, fulfill BS6 emission norms.

The new City won’t have it effortless while. Action in the midsize sedan phase has absolutely hotted up in a shorter a span of just a number of weeks we’ve seen Skoda update its Rapid, as did VW its Vento, even though Hyundai gave the Verna a key overhaul. The Ciaz proceeds to be a sturdy player as well. So can the new City leapfrog all its rivals?

What is it like on the exterior?

The City appears more of an evolution of the prior model and the over-all stance, condition and style of the person features remind you of the earlier vehicle. While the wheelbase is the very same as before (as this platform shares a lot of the hardpoints with the prior-gen), the new vehicle has grown a honest little bit in duration and width, while the height is a lot less than before.

Honda’s signature entrance chrome bar is now thicker with the best strip stretching throughout the width of the nose, over the LED highlights. The sharp-seeking headlights with their multiple reflectors and techy detailing look brilliant, and make the new City stand out as genuinely new.

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Alloys look intelligent, but wheels are as well compact for the wheel wells.

 

It’s from the facet that you get a good thought of the new City’s tremendous duration, which at 4,549mm, helps make it not just more time than just about every other midsizer but even more time than the initially-gen Civic! Indeed, the City which is similarly appreciated for its entrance and back seats, has grown with each and every successive era. Even so, with no corresponding boost in wheelbase about the prior vehicle, the proportions have a little bit long gone for a toss. The extensive, high bonnet and chunky bumper make the vehicle look more grown-up than before, but the nose sticks out rather a little bit, resulting in a entrance overhang that is a touch excessive.

This dwarfs the intelligent 16-inch seeking alloys shod with 185/55 tyres which really don’t rather fill out the wheel arches. The earlier car’s shoulder line has been moved bigger up and it operates the duration of the vehicle, and this, along with the sharp crease throughout the bottom of the doors, offers a awesome pressure to the entire body.

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The 9 LED array appears placing.

 

The 3D-seeking tail-lights are also very placing and the blacked-out features look very neat. What also stands out are the vertical reflector strips that sit within a sculpted housing in the rear bumper. On the complete, while, this is not a vehicle that will convert heads simply but it is neatly created and appears rather contemporary.

What is it like within?

Open the doors and you are greeted by a high quality-seeking, gentle brown and black inside. The plastics around the cabin also look good but they are a little bit as well shiny we would have desired duller, delicate-touch textures. This apart, there is minor else to complain about. Honda has been generous with the use of gentle brown leather it is on the seats, door trims, sprint panel and the centre console as well, and it truly does incorporate to the abundant come to feel within. The sprint and centre console trim are superbly styled with neat stitching and the nicely-sculpted seats look very inviting. They are comfy with good all-round bolstering, but if I had to nitpick, the decreased lumbar assistance is a little bit excessive on the entrance and rear seats.

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Dashboard is nicely laid out and appears awesome and high quality, but the plastics are a little bit as well shiny would have desired duller, delicate-touch textures.

 

Honda aced backseat convenience with the 4th-gen City, and has accomplished it nevertheless once again with a rear bench that’s the most generous in the course. The huge and deep seat foundation, positioned at the right height, will keep you comfy for hrs on the road. Like before, the compact increase in the ground behind the entrance seat, functions as a pure footrest which even further improves convenience levels. What is awesome is that all a few rear travellers get a few-level seat belts and correctly sized head restraints. Even so, headroom at the back was just about adequate for my 5ft 8in frame I had a a few-finger gap to the best, which signifies taller people may possibly locate it tight.

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Just like the rear, entrance seats are cozy but lumbar assistance is a bit excessive.

 

There’s loads of the typical storage spaces around but what’s truly clever are the kinds for phones. Front travellers have two slots on either facet of the parking brake lever, even though people at the rear have helpful felt-lined pockets sewn into the entrance seatbacks. Boot space has long gone down by a little 4 litres and is now at 506 litres so it is nonetheless very substantial and useable.

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Comfy seats and good legroom, headroom is tight for taller travellers.

 

The boot-opening system utilizes torsion rods which act as elastic springs to carry the boot lid, but they are not sturdy adequate so the lid doesn’t pop open up on its personal and you have to carry it all the way to the best.

How about machines? 

Hondas are not usually what you’d connect with nicely-outfitted, this City, having said that, is rather distinct. There’s a lot of machines which includes a sunroof, a lane check out digicam, a rear-look at digicam with ordinary, huge and best look at, a tyre strain checking program with deflation warning, entrance facet and curtain airbags, and car weather command that luckily would not get touch-operated buttons but neat knurled knobs that have a awesome click to them this signifies you really don’t have to choose your eyes off the road to use the controls. The steering wheel as well has controls which includes a roller switch that allows you accessibility several attributes of the instrument panel.

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Dials convert with a enjoyable click.

 

The instrument panel alone consists of an analogue speedometer needle that operates throughout a digital dial on the 7.-inch screen. The tachometer is an all-digital display and the screen can also display a G-force meter, and other vacation-connected info. The style of instrument panel display is rather simple but its clarity is brilliant and is not distracting like in the Verna. The vibrant and sharp instrument cluster is very effortless to examine, having said that, the very same can not be reported of the eight.-inch touchscreen.

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Sunroof is not very substantial, can be opened and closed remotely.

 

Honda says it has used an optical bonding application that lowers reflection but the issues is that this coating has significantly decreased the brightness of the screen. Even on the brightest placing, the screen is difficult to examine in immediate sunlight, and it often appears smudgy like it could use a good wipe down. The program, of course, has all the typical connectivity bits which includes Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay.

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Dim screen, challenging to see in the day.

 

Also on the fifth-gen City is a new model of Honda’s connectivity tech that receives you all the common bits like distant engine get started, pre-cooling, but the celebration trick here is the Alexa voice assistant integration. So, from your household, you can merely question Alexa to pre-amazing the cabin or get you information of the gasoline degree in the vehicle or its present-day posture. 

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A phase-initially lane check out digicam is available on the new City.

 

What is it like to push?

If there is a single high level of a Honda, it is the engine and it is the very same here with the new DOHC one.5-litre petrol which is a true delight. It’s not punchy like a turbo device but it is very sturdy and tractable and works nicely at the two finishes of the rev vary. At small revs, it pulls cleanly even in bigger gears, and it revs freely till the 7,000rpm redline. In comparison to the more mature vehicle, gear ratios are a little bit taller here, letting you strike bigger speeds in each and every gear, but what’s good is that the motor is flexible adequate to provide excellent functionality all in the course of. This tractability permits you to push right from 15kph all the way previous 150kph in third! This signifies you are going to have fewer gears shifts to contend with. Honda claims a gasoline efficiency of 17.eight for the manual and 18.4kpl for the car, which is marginally bigger than the earlier car’s SOHC motor which delivered 17.4 and 18.0kpl, respectively.

 

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The new City receives a DOHC one.5-litre petrol engine.

The new engine does get audible at around three,000rpm but it is not severe just loud. It’s also quite powerful as well the City hits 100kph from a standstill in ten.20sec, which is just .07sec off the earlier car’s time, and only marginally behind Skoda’s turbocharged one. TSI Rapid time of ten.09sec.

Taller ratios also mean in-gear periods are slower. 20-80kph in third comes up in thirteen.23sec, even though 40-100kph in 4th requires 18.23sec.The Rapid one. TSI clocks eleven.sixty nine and 14.38 sec, respectively.

Coupled to the CVT, the City does -100kph in 12.05sec. Whilst slower, it nonetheless will be appropriate for most, and you are going to also have the advantage of an automated kickdown in the course of in-gear acceleration which showed a time of six.58sec in 20-80kph, and eight.52sec in the 40-100kph sprint.

2020 Honda City functionality figures (as tested)
Petrol MT Petrol CVT* Diesel MT*
-20kph one.17sec one.45sec one.17sec
-40kph 2.74sec three.39sec 2.97sec
-60kph 4.53sec 5.54sec 5.30sec
-80kph 7.22sec eight.38sec eight.64sec
-100kph ten.20sec 12.05sec 12.90sec
-120kph 14.98sec 16.69sec 18.26sec
-140kph 20.71sec 24.30sec 27.05sec
20-80kph thirteen.23sec six.58sec** eleven.40sec
40-100kph 18.23sec eight.52sec** thirteen.89sec

*Tests not to Autocar India expectations, **acceleration in kickdown

What is awesome is that the usual rubberband outcome of the CVT is very nicely managed. For most everyday driving situations, the increase in revs matches the increase in road speed and it is only when you mash down on the accelerator that you get the usually stretchy come to feel, with the revs climbing more quickly than the actual road speed. As well as, of course, you can also use the paddles and have suitable manual command about shifts with the ‘box letting you redline the engine as well.

Honda says it has calibrated the command unit’s computer software, and it utilizes what the enterprise calls ‘full-open up acceleration action-up change control’ and ‘brake operation action-down change command. Fairly a mouthful, indeed, but what this does is, in the course of acceleration, relatively than allow the CVT slide its way up, it performs stepped upshifts and tries to match the auto speed with the engine speed and sound. And beneath challenging braking, the CVT shifts to substantially decreased ratios consequently furnishing engine braking this is a little something we observed put into outcome when driving down a winding road.

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Engines are phenomenally tractable, in third gear the petrol can go all the way from 15kph to about 150kph!

 

If you have examine our previous opinions of the City diesel, or even cars like the Amaze that use the very same one.5 diesel, you are going to know we have not been admirers of the refinement levels. Even so, Honda has worked to strengthen NVH levels on the new City, utilising bits like added sound deadeners in the ground, a thicker firewall, and by also spraying the engine bay with a specific sound-deadening coating. The final result is an engine that is noticeably quieter and pleasantly refined. At small revs, this motor would not get obtrusive, and that troublesome, sharp diesel clatter that characterised the prior iterations is all but removed. Indeed, the engine drones loudly at high revs, and, in complete conditions, is not as quiet as Hyundai’s one.5 diesel, which is nonetheless the benchmark for refinement.

2020 Honda City petrol sounds levels (as tested)
Idle with AC off 39.4dB
Idle with AC blower at fifty percent fifty one.7dB
Idle with AC blower at complete 64.5dB
50kph in 4th gear 64.5dB
80kph in 6th gear 69dB
Comprehensive revs at redline in 1st gear seventy eight.2dB at 7000rpm

The diesel also astonished us with its un-diesel-like electricity delivery. It’s quite tractable from small revs and turbo lag is rather negligible as well. Confident, at small revs, down below one,500rpm, the electricity is muted, but you really don’t truly battle with a lack of reaction. And when you cross the one,500rpm, it is not a sudden spike but a quick action up in tempo, soon after which electricity builds rather evenly all the way to 4,200rpm delicate rev limiter. The diesel posts a -100kph time of 12.9sec, even though 20-80kph in third and 40-100kph in 4th are substantially a lot quicker than the petrol, with eleven.4 and thirteen.89sec, respectively. As with quite a few BS6 updates, gasoline efficiency has dropped, the new device returning 24.1kpl as in opposition to the prior 25.6kpl. Honda has used a NOx Storage Catalyst (NSC), consequently staying away from the use of the AdBlue liquid that SCR units will need. The penalty for this, of course, is the slight drop in efficiency, which is owing to the further gasoline currently being used for exhaust soon after-treatment.

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Diesel engine refinement much better and the troublesome clatter is all but long gone nonetheless not phase-main while.

What is the ride and handling like? 

Thanks to the stiffer entire body, Honda says it is been able to go softer with the suspension, and this has absolutely assisted the ride. The City absorbs whichever the road throws at it and it soaks up potholes and ruts devoid of crashing by way of them. The ride is rather mature in come to feel, substantially like what you’d expect from European sedans. It’s also flat and composed at freeway speeds, but if you press on to bigger a few-digit speeds, with the speedo needle sitting in the very last quadrant of the dial, the City, which has a rather high ground clearance, is not as planted as we would have preferred. You will need to have a business grip on the wheel as the nose tends to wander.

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The ride feels rather mature.

 

Dealing with, having said that, is benign and very predictable, which helps make the City an effortless vehicle to push. The steering is properly weighted and the grip from the tyres is shockingly good and could tempt you to have some enjoyment, specially when you have a rev-content, naturally-aspirated engine that is often all set to enjoy ball. But, if you press as well challenging, the delicate-suspension will give way to a honest little bit of entire body roll, which is more pronounced in the entrance.

Braking functionality is good, having said that an earlier bite level and a a lot less spongy pedal come to feel would’ve assisted. All in all, this is a vehicle that will reward all but the keenest of drivers.

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Irrespective of the slender tyres, cornering grip is good but there is noticeable entire body roll.

Must you acquire a single?

The new City may possibly not look all that new and it doesn’t deviate from the tried and tested system of its predecessors. The handling is not sporty either, and the chassis set up doesn’t rather match the enthusiasm of the rev-content petrol, and that may possibly disappoint keen drivers. But there is minor else to fault with Honda’s newest midsize sedan and it scores where by it matters most. Room and over-all convenience are the finest in course, the practical cabin with plenty of thoughtful touches appears very high quality, and, for a alter, it is very nicely specced with some neat celebration tricks like the Alexa integration. Each engines are sturdy and provide a stable functionality, and the ride is very nicely sorted as well.

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On the complete, Honda has accomplished a tremendous occupation with the new City, and it appears all set to leapfrog the opposition. A spoiler, having said that, could be its price. For the initially time in its heritage, Honda India will have on sale two generations of the very same vehicle, and the present-day model with a commencing price of Rs. 9.ninety one lakh, is previously pricier than rivals. Therefore, Honda will have to posture and price the new model smartly to be certain it doesn’t leap out of the phase and rivalry.

Also see:

2020 Honda City movie review

2020 Skoda Rapid one. TSI review, check push

2020 Hyundai Verna review, check push

Honda City