Honda City has not only been a runaway success for Honda in India but has also been its best selling car. The car has been at the top of the sales charts in its segment for almost 15 years. There is no doubt then that the City has been and still is the most important product for Honda. The previous generations are known to have excellent engine life and driving dynamics. Spotting the 4th generation Honda City is still not very difficult on Indian roads, which goes on to show how much of a market share the City had enjoyed. One of the reasons has also been the absence of any competition in the C2 sedan segment until the arrival of the Hyundai Verna.
Now with the 6th generation of the City, Honda is looking to capture back the market share which it has lost to some of its rivals. The fact that the 6th generation City was unveiled first in India goes on to show how serious Honda is for the Indian market. The reason being that the Indian automotive market has surpassed many other markets and is the 4th biggest producer of passenger cars now. With the danger of SUV demand spike looming over the sedan segment, manufacturers like Honda are trying to keep their sedans relevant with refreshed models.
The Honda City starts from a price of Rs. 9.91 lakhs and goes all the way to Rs. 14.31 lakhs for the petrol variants. Its main rivals are the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Hyundai Verna and Volkswagen Vento. Maruti Suzuki's Ciaz and Hyundai’s Verna have hurt the sales of City in a big way as they have overtaken the CIty on the sales charts now. So, now it's time to see if the era of Honda City’s domination in the Indian car market will be coming back or not!
There are a total of 4 variants on offer on the Honda City namely the SV, V, VX and ZX. The base variant (SV) starts at Rs 9.81 Lakhs and the top of the line (ZX) variant costs Rs. 12.86 Lakhs. They all come with an i-VTEC 4 cylinder motor and the very fresh i-DTEC diesel engine which was introduced in the Honda Amaze in 2013. This can be had either with a 5-speed manual transmission option or a CVT automatic. The base variant SV is not available with the CVT and the difference of price between the manual and CVT is at least Rs. 1 Lakh!
Price;Pertrol(Ex-Delhi) in INR
Price;Diesel(Ex-Delhi) in INR
Dual front Airbags
All features of SV variant and:
All features of Variant and:
All features of V variant and:
ABS with EBD
17.7 cm Advanced Infotainment with Capacitive Touchscreen
Automatic Dimming IVRM
Side curtain Airbags
HDMI-ln Port & microSD Card Slots for Maps & Media (2 nos.)
Telescopic Steering Adjustment for Reach
Rear parking sensors
Engine One-Push Start/Stop Button
ISOFIX Child mounts
Multi-View Rear Camera with Guidelines
Body Coloured Mud Flaps
Automatic Headlight Control with Light Sensor
Day time running lamps (DRLs)
Power Folding Door Mirrors
Leather Package with Stitch (Steering Wheel, Gear/Select Knob)
Driver & Assistant Seat Back Pockets
Diamond cut alloys
Honda Smart Key System with Keyless Remote (x2)
Automatic Folding Door Mirrors (Customizable)
Advanced LED Headlamps (White Illumination)
The Honda City has been priced at a bit of a premium if you compare it with the segment. Hence, we feel that the “V” variant with a manual gearbox is the most value for the money variant of Honda City. It is available for Rs. 10.56 Lakhs and gets a host of features like 17.7 cm infotainment screen, built-in GPS navigation, tilt Steering with height adjust, and power-folding ORVMs. This variant is, in fact, the best selling variant of the City. But if budget is not a concern we would suggest you to go with the CVT option for utter convenience.
Honda City has ongoing offers for all of its variants and ranges from Rs 25,000 to Rs. 37,000 with additional benefits on the exchange of your old car. These offers are valid on the current batch of BS6 compliant vehicles and is a very good opening bid.
|SV, V||Rs 25K Cash Discount + 20K Exchange Bonus|
|VX, ZX||Rs 37K Cash Discount + 35K Exchange Bonus|
Honda city is powered by a duo of reliable and fuel-efficient engines; 1.5L 4-cylinder i-VTEC petrol and the rather new 1.5L 4-cylinder i-DTEC diesel which was introduced in the Amaze. There are two transmission options available with this engine, one is a 5-speed manual transmission and the other one is the CVT option. Both the engines have the famed Honda's reliability which makes both of them flexible for Indian road conditions.
1.5 L i-VTEC
The performance of this engine is something that will put a smile on most of our faces. It is very smooth and the refinement level is very much on point. The engine noise and vibrations are well contained. Honda had set a benchmark in the petrol engine segment when it launched the 5th generation city. The 6th generation City carries the same legacy ahead. The SOHC engine is the same as that of the 5th-generation City, with some improvements done to improve fuel efficiency and driveability. The new City now is 45 kgs lighter than its previous generation.
Seems like the Honda “City” has earned its name through this engine as it makes it a breeze to drive the car in city conditions. The low-end torque is enough to pull you through the stop and go city traffic easily. But if you let the RPMs fall too low, the throttle response gets very dull. This engine can go up to 7100 RPM and is indeed a very rev-happy engine. It has a good amount of power in the mid-range which stays with you till 6000 RPM.
On the highways, you just need to give it some stick and it makes rapid progress. Overtaking slow-moving traffic or trucks is as simple as dropping a gear and flooring it. Power delivery is very linear in and there the motor feels the liveliest post 4,500 rpm. Throttle response becomes quite sharp too. The engine note is also a delight to the ears and you will often find yourself flooring it, just for the thrill. The gearshifts are also short and smooth and provide a fuss-free driving experience.
Honda City i-VTEC V
Hyundai Verna VTVT 1.6 SX
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Delta
Volkswagen Vento Comfotline
Price (Ex-showroom Delhi)in INR
1497 cc, 4-cylinder
On the spec sheet, Hyundai’s Verna makes the most power and Volkswagen’s Vento makes most torque. But the City feels quicker and more responsive than the Verna or the Vento. The city goes on to prove that the power or the torque figures do not tell you the full story. But it surely is on the pricier side, as all of its competitors are under the Rs. 10 lakhs bracket.
Talking of the new powerhouse for any Hondas for that matter, this has been designed and built in-house and has been given the same care and affection as the petrol powerplants which make it as efficient and flexible as the petrol heart. Honda has gone with the "Earth Dreams" setup for the diesel setup which maximises efficiency without curbing down on performance.
The fixed geometry turbo setup is provided by Honeywell which helps take care of the power and torque lag. Infact, this 1.5L pot is the lightest engine of its class which helps bump the performance figures. Honda has provided us with a balanced setup that is high on both performance and efficiency.
Honda has done wonders in tuning and tweaking City’s engine. Even though it does not have the highest amount of power or torque figures it is still the quickest from 0-100 kph sprint in its class. The City is hands down, the fastest in outright acceleration which is also the case with its diesel engine. So, Honda has made sure to not cut down on the "fun factor" which is a relief.
It is the only sedan in its segment that does 0-100 kph in less than 10 seconds and many factors come into play during this of which kerb weight plays an important role which directly affects the power to weight ratio.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
Kappa Dual VTVT Petrol
k15B VVT Engine
MPI Petrol Engine
Even with the highest power figures, Hyundai Verna is no match for the Honda City. The Ciaz and Vento meanwhile are neck and neck due to similar gear ratios and power figures. Vento seems to be the slowest in the 0-100 kmph run because of the heft it carries but it still seems fast with 12.18 seconds on the clock.
Ride quality was never the best in its class for the Honda City but it tries to change that up to some extent. Ride quality is still not the best in its class but is acceptable under normal driving conditions. At slow city speeds, the suspension does its job like it should and on plain surfaces, you would not get too bothered. But if you are driving over medium to big potholes the suspension would not be able to filter them out. Also, when driving on undulating roads, the rear end suffers from excessive vertical movement. But as you pick up speed the things get better inside the cabin. The suspension is not very noisy and does its work silently. On the highways, it will get unsettled on rough patches and you need to maintain a tight hand over 100 kmph.
The City is very easy to manoeuvre within the city. The light steering and a short 5.3-meter turning radius make it perfect for the daily commute. The steering is quite effortless to use and is tuned more for the city use. On the highway, it doesn’t set any benchmarks but is a safe handler by family sedan standards. The steering is direct & responsive but lacks the dynamics of its European rivals.
Braking ability is where the City can simply walk over its rivals. Just like any other Honda, the City shows strong braking abilities. The pedal bite is sharp and needs some time getting used to but hard braking even at triple-digit speeds will not unsettle it and it stops in a straight line.
The car comes with ABS and EBD as standard. The factory fitted 175 mm tires do not feel adequate. We would suggest you to upgrade them to 195 mm aftermarket tires. The low-slung design makes sure that you have the minimal nose-dive which it does and that improves on the driving dynamics as well.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
Curb Weight (kg)
Even with a heavier kerb weight, the City gives a satisfactory braking performance. We also found the brake pedal feel to be better than its rivals. All of the rivals come with a disc-drum setup which helps keep up the braking performance whilst keeping the expenses under the radar.
You will never find an earlier generation Honda City owner complaining about its mileage and the same continues with this generation as well. Drive it with a light foot and you'll be happy with the mileage it returns. But if you tend to like the adrenaline rush every time, then expect a steep decrease in the efficiency figures.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
The CVT's ARAI rating is 17.9 kmpl which is slightly higher than the manual. But it shouldn’t be a surprise to you, this is due to the CVT's ability to cruise at high speeds on low RPMs. Hence the real world condition mileage might be lower than the manual transmission. Maruti Suzuki Ciaz has the most impressive efficiency figures and this is due to its smart usage of a hybrid setup.
Honda has gone for a clean look for the 6th generation City. It looks very much similar to the previous generation city which was loved by the most. The earlier City was a total design refresh and was made on a completely new design philosophy. This time Honda has not anything drastic in terms of its design. It looks like a typical Honda. The looks have been sharpened a bit with cuts and creases along the side and front. It looks more aggressive and smart now.
The from has more chrome now and the rear comes with horizontal shaped taillights. The rear is nothing similar in terms of design to the older car. The City looks quite premium from the outside. The exterior feels solidly built with top-class fit and finish and you won’t find many inconsistent panel gaps. It also gets the new diamond cut alloys which increases the suave factor.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
Kerb weight (kg)
Ground clearance (mm)
The City is neither the longest nor the widest in its segment. But don’t get fooled by the numbers, the City provides you ample space on the inside to flex your legs. The has one of the roomiest cabins and has more space on the inside than the wider Hyundai Verna as well. In terms of space, it is not the best in the segment as Ciaz takes that crown. But you still would never complain about the space as its enough for seating 5 people.
Honda City’s interiors have a bit of a different approach than the segment. The dashboard is asymmetrical and features touch buttons instead of physical ones that are not offered on any rival yet. The feather touch buttons need some time getting used to as there is no haptic feedback that you get on pressing them. They look very clean and quirky though. The dashboard is full of a piano black finish which can be a bit difficult to maintain. There are 3 different types of air vents on the dashboard which are placed at different heights. The dashboard is also titled a bit towards the driver to provide a cockpit feel.
The city feels very premium on the inside. The interior theme is a mix of black, beige and silver which looks very classy. The use of chrome is minimal and kept understated. There are no soft-touch material in here but everything feels well built. Even though there is minimal use of physical buttons, the ones used to feel sturdy. Some parts of the interiors like the gear lever look outdated in terms of design.
The front seats are placed on the lower side and the dashboard is higher. Hence, the seat height adjustment in the top variant comes in very handy for shorter drivers. At the rear, there is enough space for 3 people. To get in, most people would need to bend down to sit inside. The outward visibility is great at the front and on the sides but poor at the rear due to the highly placed parcel tray. The leather upholstery feels quite upmarket.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
The steering has tilt adjustment but no reach adjustment. The City offers 4 charging points for your smartphones & laptops. There is one 12v socket at the front, along with a USB charging/audio port. Rear passengers get two 12v sockets under the air-con unit. All 4 doors can hold 1-litre bottles plus, there are two cup holders at the front as well at the rear of the cabin. The ergonomics are spot-on and the cabin, very user-friendly with a lot of storage spaces around.
Honda offers an extensive feature list to keep most customers happy. You get a decent equipment level starting from the base variant.
The infotainment screen feels responsive and the resolution is acceptable. It fails to match the quality and features of the rivals and feels obsolete in comparison. The interface looks outdated and this system does not support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It does have HDMI support and comes with built-in navigation. It is certainly a sore point which Honda needs to fix soon.
The infotainment features include:
Scoring big on practicality, the Honda city has one of the biggest boot capacity in its segment. It is a great companion for weekend trips. You can haul in a lot of luggage for your trips and you won’t have any complaints in this department.
Loading and unloading is easy in the boot of the Honda City. Accessing the trunk is also easy in the Honda City as you get a Trunk lid opening latch on the driver door. The floor and sidewall matting is coarsely done but does the work of hiding the exposed wheel-walls and the spare tyre as well as the emergency toolkit
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
Cargo Volume with rear seats up (Litres)
The only car that can match the size of the boot of the Honda City is the Ciaz. We wish that Honda would have provided with a much cleaner setup like the one found in Hyundai Verna. But the again, Verna comes with the least cargo volume. So, that's a win-win for both cars!
The new generation City’s chassis is made from what Honda calls Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE). It claims to distribute colliding energy evenly and redirect it away from the passenger compartment, while at the same time, minimizing damage to other impacted vehicles. Dual front airbags and ABS with EBD are standard on all variants. City comes with an extensive safety equipment list.
Honda makes some of the safest cars but it was not the case with the City. Recently they recalled 5088 Honda City’s because of the airbag deployment issues and it was not a one-time problem. In 2018, the company recalled 22,834 cars including the Jazz and Accord to fix the faulty airbag inflators.
Honda City safety features on offer:
The Hyundai Verna has been refreshed completely by Hyundai and now is a segment leader, especially in terms of features. The cabin of the Hyundai Verna has an unmatchable fit and finish. The City lacks behind in terms of the cabin quality when compared to the Verna. Verna also has better ride quality and Hyundai seems to have worked hard on the driving dynamics as well. But still, the Verna is not matched to the City in terms of driving dynamics. It offers more space than the Verna and still more fuel-efficient. The City is way faster than the Verna and is i-VTEC motor is a delight to drive. Hence if you are looking for more features and want top-notch cabin quality, you should go with the Verna otherwise City will leave no stone unturned to put a smile on your face.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz is a segment leader in terms of sales. With the backing of Maruti’s after-sales support, it has been able to maintain its top spot in the charts. But if you are looking for the best car experience then the Ciaz falls short when compared to the CIty. The Ciaz offers more space than the City on the inside and provides a mouth-watering fuel economy. But when we talk about the driving experience, the Ciaz is probably the worst car to buy in this segment. The engine of Ciaz is no match in front of the City’s i-VTEC motor. The city has far better driving dynamics and its cabin provides a more premium experience with features like the electric sunroof and feather touch controls.
Volkswagen entered the C2 segment to get a taste of the taste that Honda City had been enjoying for a long time and which Hyundai Verna is currently enjoying! The Vento is based on Volkswagen's very successful car, the Polo and thus shares the same body but its pricey nature puts it off. The Vento is priced from Rs. 8.76 lakhs but the base model is barebone and doesn't justify its price. The tried and tested Honda City is our choice of the two here as it is much cheaper to maintain and provides the same calibre of fun as well.
Honda City is surely priced at a premium in the segment now and it does not enjoy the same hegemony it enjoyed a few years ago. With rivals heating their game, City has surely felt the heat. Honda seriously needs to update its infotainment system to match rivals. The City continues to be fun to drive a car which is practical as well as fast. It might not have the best ride quality but this is a car that asks you to push it harder. The 1.5L i-VTEC can easily handle the city lanes as well as the highway. Roads. It is undoubtedly still the best petrol engine of any C2 segment sedans and the 1.5L i-DTEC engine is a very compatible highway companion.
City then comes out as a very versatile car that has a lot of potential if Honda can manage to correct its pricing. The 4th generation of Honda City has been a great car in terms of looks, performance and sales, and with the new-gen Honda City coming in 2020, it's the high time that you buy the ongoing model.