The fifth-generation Honda City facelift has finally made its debut in India, where it is available with petrol and hybrid powertrains – the diesel option offered with the pre-facelift model has been dropped. Prices for the new City start at 1.149 million (11.49 lakh) rupees (RM62,273) and peak at 2.039 million (20.39 lakh) rupees (RM110,486).
In terms of visual changes, the facelift introduces a slimmer chrome bar to accompany the grille, which itself gets a new honeycomb mesh insert. Further down, the front bumper has been redesigned to incorporate black trim linking the fog lamp sections to the lower intake.
Unchanged are the LED headlamps and side profile, although the latter does benefit from a new design for the alloy wheels. As for the rear, there’s an updated bumper with a black diffuser-like element, relocated reflectors and a small lip spoiler on the boot lid.
For India, there’s also a new Obsidian Blue Pearl paint colour to choose from, which is joined by Radiant Red Metallic, Platinum White Pearl, Golden Brown Metallic, Meteoroid Grey Metallic and Lunar Silver Metallic.
Like the exterior, the revisions on the inside are minimal as well. The dashboard layout and controls remain almost unchanged, with a beige and black theme applicable to petrol variants, while ivory and black are for hybrid options.
On that mention, Honda has added new variants to the line-up, including the entry-level SV that is joined by V, VX and ZX. The City Hybrid also gains a more affordable V trim level as an alternative to the returning ZX spec.
Depending on the variant, available features include a 7-inch full colour TFT instrument cluster display, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system (with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support), six airbags, rain-sensing wipers, ambient lighting, a wireless charger, eight speakers, automatic air-conditioning (with PM2.5 filter and rear vents), keyless entry and engine start, an electric sunroof, a manual rear windscreen sunshade and tyre pressure monitoring.
Driver assistance systems that are part of the available Honda Sensing suite are autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, auto high beam, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow as well as and lead car departure alert – the last two are new additions. Also on is Honda’s LaneWatch and a host of passive safety systems.
As for powertrains, the previous 1.5 litre i-DTEC turbodiesel has been eliminated, with the only pure internal combustion engine (ICE) being the returning 1.5 litre i-VTEC petrol unit with DOHC that serves up the same 121 PS at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. For the SV variant, a six-speed manual is the only transmission pairing, but all other petrol-only variants (V, VX and ZX) can be optioned with a CVT.
The City Hybrid features 1.5 litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder i-VTEC DOHC petrol engine with VTC making 98 PS and 127 Nm. This acts primarily as a generator through an accompanying electric motor for the hybrid battery, which powers another electric motor mated to the wheels that is rated at 109 PS and 253 Nm.
While the ICE primarily acts as a generator, it can also directly drive the wheels via a lock-up clutch and electronic continuous variable transmission (e-CVT) at higher speeds when it is more efficient to do so – the total system output is 126 PS. The City Hybrid also comes with an electronic parking brake and rear disc brakes instead of the petrol-only variants’ standard handbrake and rear drums.
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