The most comprehensive review on the 2014 City by far, thank you.
When the car was unveiled last month, I was a little disappointed that Honda hadn't introduced new transmission tech and seemed to have focused more on packing the car with gizmos. But after the test drives it has become apparent what they have done. The petrol engine borrows some advancements from the direct injection, Earth Dreams unit like piston coatings, friction reduction methods and exhaust gas recirculation. On the transmission side, I was pleased that the 5-speed torque converter unit has been replaced with the new G-Design Shift CVT. The features aren't a bad thing either - at least one won't look at a Hyundai grumpily.
I have questions about the CVT though. The whole idea behind it is that it feels like a regular TC automatic. Global reviews of the same family's larger transmission in the new Accord say that Honda has done a tremendous job in fixing the rubber band issue. The Team-BHP City review suggests that it's better but the rubber-band effect is still very much there and one needs to work around it. Other reviews hardly touch upon the CVT. My questions are, does the rubber band effect arise very often and more so if one is driving in D with Eco mode on? And does the S mode completely negate it? Or is it felt across modes whenever one demands sudden acceleration?
This by far is the best review by GTO amongst his other reviews. Detailed to the hilt, crisp pics of almost all parts of the car. Thanks a ton for that GTO.:thumbs up
The new Honda City will be waiting to start registering the sales numbers once the prices are formally announced. I particularly didnt like the side profile which has unnecessary lines running across the body. Honda should have kept is plain and simple, looked like they wanted to go the Vernaish way.
With the diesel engine now in the armoury, I am sure City will be the apt choice for Indian customers.
GTO, great review.....i would go so far as to say that this is probable THE BEST review ever on TBHP. the attention to detail is awesome! Kudos to all those involved in putting this together.....
Oh, yes, the car aint bad either ! :P
A brilliant, brilliant review! clap:
Not such a brilliant job from Honda though. The sheer brand equity in our motherland might ensure an enthusiastic sales response. But overall, IMO, it seems to be a bit confused, given the attempt to fill in for both the City and the Civic.
The Earth Dreams diesel on offer is definitely inadequate for both a car of this segment, and the City's repute of being an enthusiastic performer. Many diesel engines have now busted the myth that diesels cannot be enthusiastic performers. How did Honda miss the trick?
While I agree that the petrol i-vtec is a performance oriented engine, why does the power have to come in so very high up the rev range? Given Indian driving styles, what meagre percentage of City drivers end up using the power on tap?
And then of course, there are the commuter bike segment like tyres.
When most urban commuters have to live with speed breakers, ruts and potholes and the occasional water wade just to subsist on a daily basis, why keep punishing them with a 165 mm GC? On the 3rd gen Honda City too, owners would wince every time a moderate sized speed bump was negotiated.
The dash design is completely botched up.
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?
Loved the looks of all the Citys so far, the looks of the new one is a little hard to digest, but I guess it will grow on us with time.
The interior space is just amazing. I am still worried about the ground clearance and scraping though.
Depending on the prcing, I would still prefer a duster since it gives me better ground clearance, SUV feel and great ride comfort, ofcourse the features and gizmos will be missed.
Thank you GTO for the review.
Honda has done a pretty decent job in the 4th Gen (although more on the interiors). Its sure to rake in numbers and Hyundai would probably add a few more features in the Verna facelift.
Few questions though:
a) Is there any after market fitment for the inside-bare boot?
b) Are the buttons backlit on the steering and doors?
c) Any word on the accessories to be offered? The previous gen had a good grill as default and the chrome grill as accessory, maybe this one has a good grill as an accessory :)
Amazing review! A fantastic car which could have been better is some ways which may be deal breakers for some. The dash looks smashing with the blue backlight coupled with the choice of dashboard colors. The exteriors look good, the engine is good enough for a average joe who likes to cruise at 100 km/hr than anything. The pricing is going to be everything for the city. The top end Vento/Rapid/Verna diesel cost about 12-13 L IMO and if city exceeds this, it won't sell as much as required. However an introductory pricing of about 12 L would really make this team-bhp car of the year 2014. stupid:
Having said that, what's wrong with Honda not providing a cover to the boot, the entire mechanism is naked and looks horrific. :deadhorse
Extremely detailed review. I guess it has the maximum photographs than any other Official Review.
This one is going to change certain market dynamics alongwith new Honda Jazz.
Best review ever on team-bhp clap:
Love the design and the interiors(except for the dash, looks about okay). 25+ KmPL and honda reliability, that's going to take half the C segment market share from the likes of VW & Hyundai. This needs to be priced sensibly.
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.
I am miffed with Diesel on offer though. I bet a lot of C segment buyers won't mind loosing 2-3 KmPL for 10 more horses & 20 more torq's. Am I asking for too much? :)
Dimensions are so misleading. The Fiat Linea is the longest car in length, wheel base and stands somewhere in the middle for poor interior packaging. Ideally; it should be the roomiest car in the group.
Same thing when it comes to build. The Japanese make things light, efficient and as a result lead the race in fuel economy. Forget European feel. It is a trade off. If you want economy, the car needs to be light and that is the rule of the game. 45/75 kilos lighter is some achievement for what was already a light car.
No matter what new gasoline engine technology, I have come to understand that all these new technologies needs careful use for it to be efficient. A turbo on a gasoline engine surely does. Honda's vtec still stands the highest in efficiency.
Honda has finally loaded the City with equipment. It has never been so good. Though the Verna still has a small edge, it is not something you will miss in the new City. I prefer the dashboard execution in the Honda.
With regard to taking your eyes off the road for operating the touch screen air conditioning system, I am not so sure if that is a problem at all. Most of us don't fiddle too much with the air con controls post turning it on when you set out for a drive. It is nowhere near the extent of how much you would operate the audio controls. Besides; even if it were a touch button system climate control, you still need to glance at the controls and display to know what button you've hit or what setting has been enabled. Most climate control systems have identical size controls switches. In the Honda, the touch screen system is a lot cooler.
The interior packaging on the new City is incredible. There is acres of spaces for the passenger, luggage and a lot of small storage options.
I am sure most owners will complain on delivery day itself of the missing interior boot lid cover. This is pathetic. I don't buy the idea of cost cutting at places when you are not supposed to be doing such things and surely not when you asking me to pay >10lac for a car. The skinny tires are a serious problem. No amount of active safety (read ABS) will help if the grip from the tires itself are low.
I've not seen a radiator cap directly on the radiator in a long long time. Most cars have ditched this and your access to fill up coolant is only via the expansion tank.
Doors unlocking when placing the stick in “Park” or engine shut off is not good.
I have heard the motorized steering lock/unlock on the Hyundai i20 too.
To end, this is going to be Honda's come back car.
Thank you for yet another fabulous review and pictures, GTO! Rated it 5-stars as there is no option beyond five. Thanks to Stratos and Ritesh as well!
It's now a well established fact that Team-BHP reviews are the gold standard among new car reviews. Reviews of the new City by auto magazines and blogs seem to have a fanboy-ish tilt to them. Only Team-BHP lists all the positives and negatives in such a detailed and unbiased manner, accompanied by quality photos that capture everything there is to be snapped. Keep up the excellent work! clap:
On the new City, I can understand why Honda wants to play it safe by following an evolutionary approach. Despite being a petrol-only car, the previous City sold very well indeed. The EarthDreams diesel now gives them the chance to become the best seller in the C2 segment.
The diesel seems to be a slight disappointment with its NVH levels and non-exciting performance. The super-refined, powerful 1.6 CRDi on the Verna and the torquey thrillers of the Vento/Rapid seem better for now. It's understandable as diesel engines are relatively new for Honda, and it will take some time for the petrol engine masters to become experts at diesel technology. The diesel City should still sell in decent numbers for its great fuel efficiency figure and reliability associated with the Honda badge.
As far as the petrol is concerned, I think it would go straight to the top of the segment, continuing from where its predecessor left off. The CVT with paddle shifters is a surprise, and should add to the numbers of the petrol. I think this CVT is a good compromise between the old-school torque converters on the Verna and Rapid on one hand and the quick DSG with reliability concerns of the Vento on the other. The power output and refinement of the City's engine, along with the paddle shifters, should make this better than the X-tronic units on the Sunny/Scala.
The rear seat legroom and features on the City come as a pleasant surprise. The better GC with reduced scraping tendencies is most welcome, as is the solid engine guard. :)
Not so welcome is the non-protruding rear bumper, though it's placed relatively high. Honda designers must give up their silly attitude of viewing the rear bumper only as a design feature. They need to just take a look at the rear bumper of the SX4 to understand that it has a very important function, especially in countries with idiotic drivers, like ours.
Some of the cost-cutting bits are quite glaring, like the exposed boot lid innards and the lack of rear wheel well insulation. And the crazy door beadings! What were Honda thinking when they put in the door beadings, both on the rear and especially the front doors? It looks like a half-hearted patchwork, with some small bits on the door, some on the frame and some pieces just stuck on at the bottom of the front door.
The City's success level should depend on its price, of course. Honda shouldn't go overboard and believe the new City can (partly) replace the Civic. It cannot. There are other worthy contenders in the C2 segment who would latch on to such a pricing strategy. Honda simply cannot afford to "do a Jazz" with the new City's pricing.
A few points around the pricing:
Hyundai Verna is the leader in this segment currently and the chief competitor and is priced from 7.5L to 11.16L ex showroom (entry level petrol to top end diesel, not considering the Diesel AT as City Diesel does not have AT option).
Honda Amaze is priced 5.25L to 7.9L
I would speculate that the new city would be priced from 7L to 10.6L ex-showroom. In Bangalore, OTR cost would be 8.4L to 13.2L. If one is considering one variant below the top-end, it would be about 12.3L OTR Bangalore. Speculation or too much wishful thinking.
Thanks GTo for that wonderful review.
I read that the door panels bulge out when you pull down the glass, is it a flaw or a feature ? Also, I'm not that comfortable in having some feather touch pad for the most frequently used features, it takes away your attention from the door. Definitely a safety concern!
Wonderful review GTO. I don't think any car magazine or car website could have done this with as much attention to detail. Truly deserves 5 stars. Probably the most eagerly awaited review of the year on this Forum since the Ecosport.
Your review indicates that the highway driving experience leaves a lot to be desired, especially on the i-DTEC & this going to be a serious deterrent for prospective buyers. IMHO, Honda has squandered a golden opportunity to attract the majority of
"enthusiast"ic car buying public who consider the diesels in this segment assessing the power delivery & driving dynamics on the highways rather than the city. I just cannot fathom how Honda decided to retain the same subdued ECU mapping as the Amaze for a product which they intend to compete with in a higher segment.
And "feather touch" AC controls? Come on Honda! Prospective buyers are going to consider this as a gimmick rather than a value-add. I consider this to be a major distraction which would definitely hamper driving habits on our already overcrowded
Compared to the previous generation City, the only real improvement I can see here is the substantially improved rear legroom which will definitely interest the "sahibs" looking for a well equipped mid-segment chauffeur-driven sedan. Otherwise, the Verna will continue to rule the roost after all.
Very nice review. Loved the attention to detail: setting high standards as usual!
The previous generation Honda City left me cold because of the garish interiors and useless ICE. While these issues are more or less fixed in this generation, overall the car looks too similar to the previous gen to excite me too much. Honda have played safe, perhaps with a mandate of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" But to bridge the gap with the Civic which is no longer available new, they needed to tread much more ground than what they have now.
It's a good car no doubt but nothing exciting for me at least.