Team-BHP - 4th-gen Honda City : Official Review

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Originally Posted by DeKay (Post 3324816)
Wouldn't 195 tyres affect ground clearance marginally? I was thinking more on the lines of 185. I ask because I've booked a diesel and I'm going to change the tyres as soon as I get the delivery (If I decide to buy the car after driving it)

Have a look at my earlier post, no. 124. If you want to use 195mm tyres the 195/60 R15 size would give you a sidewall height of 117mm and 195/55 R15 size would result in 107mm, compared to the originally offered height of 113mm.
A higher upsize, say 195/65 R15, if available, would mean a sidewall height of almost 127mm.
I would say you shouldn't go too far from the original width since the rim width is designed for a short range of sizes that can sit safely on it without posing problems, especially when cornering at speed.


Originally Posted by GTO (Post 3322010)
On the positive side, the suspension isn't too clunky or noisy. It appeared to be noticeably quieter than the 3rd-gen City.

That is the main thing I was interested in with this car. The current City's suspension is so thrashy & noisy that it gets tiring after a long drive specially when you are used to driving any European car. I am maintaining my tyre pressure at 26psi and the suspension still shudder's and thuds through bad patches on the roads.

Great review as always GTO. I do have a few questions : ) :

-The Wheel to Wheel arch gap seems ungainly. Can one put alloys that are 1" bigger than the current ones? If so, How would it effect comfort?

-If one gets the 195mm Tyre upgrade as is recommended, How will it effect high speed cornering ability and will it noticeably improve straight line stability on the highways? Also, How much will FE be negatively effected by this change?

With the engine specs, interior space and feature lists this looks more like a Corolla Altis killer than competition to Vento/Rapid. Vento / Rapid is like a compact and low cost Jetta / Octavia and typically when it comes to driving pleasure Honda / Toyota cannot match them in the service department.
Good to see the Diesel city finally, but they could really have done a better job by fine tuning the engine to have better specs than Amaze. Also while improving on the lack of features on 3rd gen city, Honda still left behind some other needed features like height adjustable seat belts, adjustable lumbar support, wider tyres, proper dead pedal etc. I hope they do sensible pricing considering all these and make City a runaway success :).


Originally Posted by Maky (Post 3325259)
-If one gets the 195mm Tyre upgrade as is recommended, How will it effect high speed cornering ability and will it noticeably improve straight line stability on the highways? Also, How much will FE be negatively effected by this change?

It will definitely help in getting grip on the road and cornering abilities. I am using 195/60 R14 in my honda city since many years, it has resulted in lower noise and awesome grip. It will not effect FE though you may see 1% less on odo due to bigger tyres effecting odo reading.


Originally Posted by FarPatel (Post 3325150)
A higher upsize, say 195/65 R15, if available, would mean a sidewall height of almost 127mm.

195/65 R15 will not be recommended because circumference difference will be 4.27% in that case. Its only recommended that you upgrade tyres not more then 2% in circumference difference.

195/60 R15 will be the perfect for low noise, better ride and superior grip.


Originally Posted by FuelInjector (Post 3323315)
But why do you think we need a 195 on gasoline? Because of higher bhp? The car would drag on with this width of 195. Dont you think so?

Negative. I've been running my 2013 Honda City on 205/55 R15, and there is no unusual drag to report.


Originally Posted by Maky (Post 3325259)
-If one gets the 195mm Tyre upgrade as is recommended, How will it effect high speed cornering ability and will it noticeably improve straight line stability on the highways? Also, How much will FE be negatively effected by this change?

@ Maky : My experience with wider profile tyres has been (1) significantly superior straight line stability at high speeds, and (2)more confidence in cornering. FE impact is negligible, IF you can continue to keep a light right foot :D

Couple of things I noticed about the City from watching all the TV auto show reviews today. The first is that the chrome grill doesn't look half as bad as some of the pictures suggest because the angled top half deflects the light and makes the grill look slimmer. One can clearly see the slant and it's effect in the first picture of the Team-BHP review of the maroon car. The pictures that follow of the silver car are from the most unflattering angle that makes the chrome band look like one solid slab.

The second thing I noticed is that those alloys don't look bad at all when the car is in motion. The spokes visually appear to move in the opposite direction to the motion of the wheels and at speed the kink in the alloys accentuates that effect.

Thank you people! Am glad you found the review to be helpful.


Originally Posted by avira_tk (Post 3322086)
The Verna still has a market, but for VAG cars, this is the nemesis. Honda reliability (perception is enough) will make sure that people queue up for this.

I was thinking along the same lines. The Verna took a major chunk of sales away from the Vento (and Rapid). The fresh City will only dent the VAG sedans further. The Vento's sales are nothing to write home about, and there's no major refresh on the cards either.


Originally Posted by ambivalent_98 (Post 3322117)
But its disappointing to read that such a good looking re-worked Honda's power plant is not exciting as the 1.6TDI on the VW.

Nowhere close. The difference might be 5 BHP on paper, but it feels like 20 BHP when driving (of course, the Vento's 50 Nm torque advantage is a contributor here!).


Originally Posted by Siddy (Post 3322129)
Fantastic review GTO!! Any information about the variants offered?

Nothing shared. Only at launch.


Originally Posted by iliketurtles (Post 3322141)
With that kind of space and a very decent level of equipment, the gap between the City and some cars a segment above becomes very small indeed. Nicely done!

Remember my thread on the topic?


Originally Posted by //M (Post 3322150)
Also what other colors on offer apart from the maroon, silver and golden brown metallic?

White and black for sure. Maybe that champagne / golden colour of the 3rd-gen?


Originally Posted by Thilak29 (Post 3322164)
is there any earmarked space to keep phone/tablet for charging or will passenger end up holding it in hand while charging or one needs to slide it into seat pockets?

You could use the cup-holders (of the rear armrest) to park your smartphone.


Originally Posted by prakhar1998 (Post 3322167)
Its seems like a battle of the underpowered Diesel saloons.

This line had me :uncontrol


Originally Posted by Marauder (Post 3322171)
Was there a direction by Honda to all media people to publish their reviews on the 17th as almost all other automotive sites have given their reviews today itself?

There was an embargo in place until the 17th.


Originally Posted by ecosport rules (Post 3322185)
I have a 18 month old city VMT, would it be advisable to upgrade to this one?

Or upgrade from my 2008 civic automatic to the new city automatic?

No & no! Your City is too new and the Civic is too superior.


Originally Posted by FarPatel (Post 3322308)
Her very practical question was 'why did they have to make a hump there? Can't they provide a flat rear seat?' This got me wondering too. Any explanation from your side?

That does lead to a more contoured seat area for passengers on the side (as opposed to a flat bench).


Finally, anybody in the market for a 'brand new', 13 year old, Bawa-owned Qualis?
Did you say Qualis? Put up a 'for sale' sign and you'll have a line of cab-wallas following you home!


Originally Posted by deetjohn (Post 3322396)
But I am not able to make that emotional connect with the car.

Go red-lining with the 1.5L petrol MT. That's all you need to establish an emotional connection with the car.


Originally Posted by tanwaramit (Post 3322408)
Also, one point, the last City had CNG not at the factory level (as mentioned in the review), rather it was at the dealer level.

Are you sure? Can you absolutely confirm this?


Originally Posted by pdma (Post 3322511)
I had a chance to closely observe and ride along in a Vento and Figo numerous times and yes the noise in both these cars is audible to a large extent when the ICE is put to rest.I definitely did not find it unacceptable though.

Please note it's not only the noise, but even the excessive pedal vibration that is a bother. Be sure to check on that as well.

And yes, ICE can drown out any engine's noise. My Civic's stereo can make a tractor @ 3,000 revvs sound softer than a baby's whisper.


Originally Posted by FarPatel (Post 3322515)
The driver parks the car and gets out to pop into a store, with the fob in his pocket, leaving the engine running. Would the engine stop or continue running?

IIRC, the engine keeps running. However, whenever the keyfob is out of range, there's a noticeable beep sent out.


If you do have to use the hidden key in the fob to enter the car, that would imply that its battery is dead. In that case how would you start the car?
I don't remember exactly how this works, but the engine will start as long as the key is in the car. Refer to my Micra review, we've touched upon it.


Originally Posted by hemanth.anand (Post 3322549)
If NVH levels are lower, isn't it a good thing? who doesn't like lower Noise, Vibration and Harshness levels? I'm confused!

Sorry! Opening post edited for more clarity.


Originally Posted by ganeshsp (Post 3324350)
Sorry, that is not the context I'm putting forward. Nobody will bother when others overtake. However, one will definitely complain when they are not able to overtake (at that need of the hour) despite paying a premium.
Indians do have a soft spot for the City. But that does not mean we will start to take everything that Honda throws at us. Although, an oil burner option for the City was long due, I expected a sincere commitment from Honda when they do make it available. But the one for the city seems like, it is there just for the sake of being there. They have compromised a lot to achieve ARAI rating. What is the need for it? History is the proof that the mileage was not a deterrent of the City sales.

That was history when fuel prices were not being increased every month or so. And who would have thought Honda would offer CNG city? Certainly people are looking for better average as opposed to better performance. And being in Delhi, Honda would see good sales of city not because of performance but for its mileage. Who would require that much more power considering how crowded the roads have become. Most of City's sale would come from middle class and with increasing fuel prices they made the right decision to tune it for better efficiency than performance.


Originally Posted by GTO (Post 3325509)

Are you sure? Can you absolutely confirm this?

Tanwaramit is right. The City CNG didn't come with a factory fitted kit. It came with factory tweaks to the engine and rear suspension but the kit was fitted at Rohan BRC outlets. So you needed to ask for the modified car at the time of placing the order, which the dealer would then take to Rohan BRC to complete the job before handing it to you.



Originally Posted by GTO (Post 3325509)
Are you sure? Can you absolutely confirm this?

Yup, here is the link, please see page 4 & 5.


Originally Posted by vasanthn21 (Post 3322652)
I am sure all old-timers would have noticed - Isn't the 1st gen City in the pic GTO's car which was later sold to a fellow BHPian?



Originally Posted by Ph03nix (Post 3322693)
Excellent petrol engine, even then I think Honda should look at turbo petrols in the near future and offer a mix of both worlds - FE & performance.

Related article


Originally Posted by sajusherief (Post 3322707)
I read that the door panels bulge out when you pull down the glass, is it a flaw or a feature ?

Definitely not a good thing! I'd accept a moving doorpad in an Alto, but certainly not a 10 lakh car. Feels real crude.


Originally Posted by mpksuhas (Post 3322749)
@GTO : Is it possible to have a pic of engine guard from a distance. The guard in pic 11 looks like it has already taken couple of beatings, a zoomed out pic will give an clearer idea about ground clearance.

Sorry, that's the only angle I have.

Also, don't go by what media cars have been through. Reviewers put these rides through all sorts of trials & tribulations.


Originally Posted by Tats07 (Post 3322785)
If you were to choose between Linea T-Jet, Vento TSI DSG and 4th Gen City Petrol MT (I know the comparison is not fair) for both regular city commute as well as frequent highway trips, which is the one that YOU would choose?

VW Vento Diesel would be my first choice from the C2 segment, irrespective of fuel type. If it were my personal ride, I'd kit it up with nicer rubber, a powerbox, firmer suspension etc.

From the petrols, it would definitely be the Honda City.

The Linea is now too long in the tooth and feels outdated. It's 5 years since the time of its launch in India (and 7 internationally). Would be a good used buy, but certainly not new.

If I were to spend 10 lakhs tomorrow, I'd go out and buy a pre-owned VW Jetta 2.0 TDI 6-speed MT (current gen). I prefer pre-worshipped over brand new.


Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 (Post 3322789)
Do you guys have pictures of the lower variants Ex/Sx ? To see how they compare to the top end VX, and what all features they have lost?

As with nearly all media drives, only the top variant is made available. Remember, at these events, manufacturers want to put their best foot forward.


Originally Posted by blacksport (Post 3322854)
Isn't "tilt" and "rake" the same thing? I suspect you are talking about "reach". Reach adjustment is missing.

Thank you. Corrected.


Originally Posted by veyron_head (Post 3322857)
I dont understand why they did not come up with a diesel auto variant of the City.

Small 4-cylinder diesels & AT is a unique combination that has appeal majorly in India, due to the price advantage of diesel.

The biggest automatic market in the world (USA) is petrol only. The biggest diesel market in the world (Europe) loves MTs.


Originally Posted by B103 (Post 3322883)
I believe most men would be keen to know the shift speeds and performance from the gear box. Means men may prefer the DSG or torque converter over the CVT in rudimentary form.

Women may care less about the gear box used in the car as long as the basic contraption is easy to use and operate.

Rather than men vs women, I'd put this down to enthusiast vs layman preferences.


Originally Posted by Max (Post 3323276)
However, I am sure if city has high NVH it will definitely effect their numbers because buyers in this segment will not like high NVH.

Not sure about that. The erstwhile Laura 1.9 PD, Fortuner and previous-gen 320d all have very loud diesels. They still topped their segment.


Originally Posted by Pferdestarke (Post 3323500)
Also the sales manager mentioned that production line engine is undergoing further tuning and refinement steps. So, one can expect a 100+ bhp output from the mill.

No chance of it happening right now (in the short term). If there was a higher tune diesel coming, it would have been available at the time of the drives. No manufacturer will hold back such an advantage from the media drives.

Further, remember that any specification change requires revalidation & testing by the ARAI.

That guy was talking rubbish.


Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR (Post 3323945)
I believe that's purely for marketing. This 'unveil' will help them bag precious 'Car of the year' awards from various media houses. Good publicity ahead of actual sales.

Nope. Only cars launched in a particular year are included in the COTYs. The City will be on everyone's list for 2014.


Originally Posted by swiftnfurious (Post 3323996)
I agree the 1.2 is quite under powered for i20. But I am sorry, from what I recollect, the sales of petrol i20 was actually more than diesel (petrol-diesel split) for quite some time, contradicting the usual Indian market trend.

You bet. The main reason for that is the unusually high price differential between the i20 petrol & diesel. Remember the 1.4L diesel mill is fully imported.


Originally Posted by Vid6639 (Post 3324663)
The 100BHP is not that bad. The Vento is 105BHP although more explosive and more fun to drive. In the real world it maybe much closer.

Don't forget the Vento's all-too-important 50 Nm torque advantage.


The Fiesta has a 90BHP motor similar to Ecosport and no one has really said that they lack performance.
We did!!!


Originally Posted by Vid6639 (Post 3131310)
What you won't:

• No high-powered diesel like the Duster 110PS


Originally Posted by Vid6639 (Post 3131319)
the EcoSport diesel doesn't have the Duster 110's legs on the highway either. Once the Duster 110 is in turbo mode, it's performance at high speed is something the EcoSport simply cannot match. Overtaking fast moving traffic isn't as effortless as in the Duster 110 either........because the EcoSport has such sorted dynamics, you'll wish the SUV had more power / torque for your favourite ghat section.


Originally Posted by amit (Post 3325160)
That is the main thing I was interested in with this car. The current City's suspension is so thrashy & noisy that it gets tiring after a long drive specially when you are used to driving any European car. I am maintaining my tyre pressure at 26psi and the suspension still shudder's and thuds through bad patches on the roads.

The new City's suspension doesn't exactly offer a magic carpet ride either. It's better than the 3rd-gen, but far from the segment benchmarks.


Originally Posted by tanwaramit (Post 3325562)
Yup, here is the link, please see page 4 & 5.

Thanks! Will remove that point from my review.


Originally Posted by //M (Post 3322150)
Also what other colors on offer apart from the maroon, silver and golden brown metallic?


Originally Posted by GTO (Post 3325509)
White and black for sure. Maybe that champagne / golden colour of the 3rd-gen?

Color options to be offered with the 2014 City:

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A wonderful, detailed, crisp, dynamite of a review! With all the attention given to even the minutest of details, it has raised this Team-BHP review to a notch much above all other Team-BHP reviews till date. 5-stars for the review, and 5 more for the fantastic, detailed pictorial. Hats off, GTO!

Much has been said about the 2014 City's strong points and weaknesses, so I won't repeat those. But, I thank GTO and his review team for helping me in finalising a critical decision for myself - I have cancelled my booking of the 2014 City.


I had booked the 2014 City on 7th November. Back then there wasn't any concrete information about the new-gen City, except for what Team-BHPian sawnilrules had reported in the other City thread. Based on that info, plus the unveiling of the 2013 Fit, and the (pretty strong) rumors of Honda going the VGT route for the diesel offering, I had made the decision of booking the diesel.

In short, I was expecting an all-new City with front looks of the 2013 Fit/Vezel (similar to the rendering doing the rounds back then), an all-new platform, a bunch of new, unique features to go up against the closest C-segment competitor, a carried-over/all-new rear and side profile, and most importantly, a VGT-enabled diesel (at least, to distinguish itself from the Amaze) and a nicely tweaked petrol.

The unveiling on 25th November was the first disappointment. Despite the razmatazz surrounding the novel features offered in the new City, and despite trying to convince myself that the new one will have more reasons to smile (inside, rather than outward looks), the City looked too familiar, specially from the front/side.

No marks to Honda for not improving on anything over the current-gen City externally, except for that fantastic rear. "If it ain't broken, don't fix it, but fix everything else which is broken", seemed to be Honda's mantra, but it is really disappointing because this was supposed to be an all-new generation. There was supposed to be some revolution. The evolution will be appreciated by the general car-buying public who run to Maruti/Hyundai showrooms with their eyes closed, but for people like me, it went nowhere.

The side profile of the current-gen is actually WAY better than that of this one and looks much cleaner (the indent-like crease stretching across the body looks outlandish, IMO), and even with the loud, aggressive grille of the current-gen in front, it's still WAY better than the overloaded chrome moustache provided in the 2014 City.

Nice looking headlamps, but expected better from Honda, since the competition is moving up (heck, Maruti is offering projectors on the Stingray!)

Interiors are basically a carbon copy of the current gen (even the glove compartment looks the same). Most changes are restricted to the dashboard with that superb touchscreen ACC, new HU, etc. But the layout makes it look half-baked - most of the additions (hazard light button, start/stop button) were thrown in at the last possible moment, as if the engineers had completely forgotten about them and were suddenly reminded by the design team about what things they had missed.

Is it just me or was anyone else reminded of the Hyundais when you saw those phone controls on the 2014 City's steering? It will be a distraction while driving in the city, specially for those who get a lot of calls. I, for one, prefer the controls on the steering itself (as buttons on both sides of the horn pad). Let's hope that the "handsfree" function does its job.

Most of the stuff sawnilrules had listed in his post had made it into the 2014 City, except the bi-xenons/projectors. With the amount of premium Honda will command for the top VX variants now, they should have provided projectors at least. Even halogen-based ones would have been welcome.

Points from GTO's review:

The City is supposed to be a premium sedan, right? The most-cherished premium sedan of the country has door panels moving when the windows are rolled down/up?! What were the Honda guys thinking?

A big thumbs up for moving the fuel tank to the rear. The increased wheelbase allowed them to do so I guess. Safety-wise, that's great.
Engine-guard was much needed. The current-gen came with thinner, separate panels at the bottom which didn't do much guarding, so if this one is thicker, it should do the job.

Same tyres and an alloy design inspired by the bullock-cart wheels?!
So, someone spending close to 15L OTR for the VX diesel has to spend at least another 40K on a good set of alloys + upsized tyres?! At least with the current-gen City, there was a choice of alloys between the S MT (5-spoke) and the V MT (10-spoke Accord-ish). Hoping (against hope) that the same is continued with the 2014 City as well, and we have some nice, gunmetal-finish alloys (even 10-spoke ones) offered on the S MT variant.

Whoever chose those particular alloys for the 2014 City in the Honda R&D team, really, really need to get their heads examined.

Biggest disappointment and grouse - the diesel is a carbon copy of the Amaze. Same power, same torque, in short, identical. Only a 6th gear differentiates the Amaze and the City. That, and a 0.2 kmpl ARAI figure. The Amaze diesel has suddenly become a VFM offering, compared to the City, because now basically, spending another 6L over and above the Amaze VX will get you a 6th gear, a bunch of frill features, some more interior space, better plastics and bunch of chrome whatnots. (long list of features yes, but still beaten by the Verna/Fiesta)

No thanks.

If I move to the petrol, it won't make sense to get a similar car to my Silver Pegasus just for a bunch of added features at an extra cost. The i-VTEC is the same, with a negligible bump in figures. Basically, its the same car with an all-new dashboard and a 60mm extension thrown into the deal.

My Pegasus is serving me just fine. The engine has nicely opened up by now and I am getting some superb performances in the highway runs. No doubt the petrol is the enthusiast's choice, because the i-VTEC is in a league of it's own! Combine that with the mind-boggling FE figures I am achieving both inside the city and on the highways, and it's pretty much an eyes-shut exercise in decision making. And, my Pegasus boasts of some stuff which even this 2014 City doesn't have - Focals, a full touchscreen DVD/BT Head Unit, JBL GTOs, etc.

And, now that the 2014 City has been launched with all these added features, it's a given that they will be continued for future generations as well. We can expect a facelift to this one by 2017 and the next-generation City by 2020 (going by the product lifecycle), and that would make more sense as an upgrading choice. Let's hope that VGT and/or turbocharged petrols/diesels come into the equation by then.

Quite frankly put, the only 2 appeals this 2014 City has, are it's rear derriere and that fantastic looking ACC. Nothing else excites me now.

Considering all of the above, my booking stands cancelled.

I will now wait for the all-new 2014 Jazz to be unveiled. Really hope that they give us the 2013 Fit, and not another half-baked product like the 2014 City. In the end, we wouldn't want the entire world to have the 2013 Fit while we in India got a tweaked, older-gen Jazz, much like the 2014 City. If Honda proves me right, it will replace our Ritz in my garage.

My take is that besides subjective looks and features offered, Honda is probably also trying to offer customers two option: a very frugal and economical diesel for buyers that always keeps mileage as top priority and not power. Another option will be to offer their tried and tested petrol engine that focus more on power and driving dynamics then economy. I would not be surprised to see aggressive pricing of Diesel version that also offers 6 gears transmission by the way as compared to 5 gear/CVT based Petrol engine. With this version they have simply delivered a vehicle that was missing sorely in the 3rd Gen Honda City.

Cannot end my reply without thanking GTO for a detailed review that will be read by many potential buyers no doubt.

My suggestion will be to do a comparison with all the competing cars like Verna, Vento, Rapid etc early next year after it starts selling.

There was another city model before the one put up in the review.

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