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Old 27th July 2021, 19:44   #1
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Default 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

Hi everyone, I wish to buy a car in the budget between 8-13L. Don't need the car rightaway, and I am prepared to wait for one more year.

I have decided to go with the preowned route. As the current situation stands, I have fixated on the City, but not able to decide if I should wait for a few good deals on used 5th Gen City or go ahead with the used 4th gen City? I am only interested in the ZX CVT variant of both cars.

My criteria for used car buying-
1) Should be 2018 or newer variant.
2) Should be run less than 40K kms.
3) Should be a first owner car.

I am seeing a couple of examples of used 4th Gen City ZX retailing at around 10L in the above criteria. If I wait (for a year or so), I should be able to get the 5th gen City ZX at about 13L, (considering currently 2020 models are available at around 15L on used car sites).

With this in mind, can someone help me in determining if the 3+L premium for a 5th Gen City would be worth it, or should I go with the 4th Gen City ZX CVT rightaway? How good is the 5th gen WRT to 4th gen in following criteria-

1) Space
2) Ride quality
3) Handling
4) Refinement
5) Performance of CVT
6) Mileage
7) Interior quality of materials
8) Build quality and safety
9) Ground clearance and possibility of bottoming out.

Any inputs would be appreciated.
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Old 27th July 2021, 20:25   #2
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Default re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

I'm no expert at used cars or prices, or even buying cars for that matter, but I'll make some suggestions nevertheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07CR View Post
7) Interior quality of materials
I haven't seen the inside of the 5th-generation car yet, but based on pictures, it looks much plusher than the previous generation. That said, I have been in the rear seat of the older car on occasion, and it wasn't as bad as it is made out to be. Yes, the plastics were hard and not of exceptionally high quality, but they weren't too bad either. What was exceptional was the sheer legroom of the rear seat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07CR View Post
8) Build quality and safety
Both Citys are generally well-built products, but keep in mind that the 4th-generation car did have a somewhat notorious reputation for niggles. Reports of water entering the cabin, etc. did not live up to Honda's build quality. The 5th-generation City appears to have less complaints in the regard, at least in the short term, going by owner reviews. They're still not down to zero though, a few rattles here and there exist. Mechanically, Hondas have generally good build quality, with regards to both, their engines and transmissions. If your definition of 'build quality' lies in the car feeling premium though, Honda isn't what you should look for. Honda normally engineers things for economy, safety and reliability, rather than 'premiumness', so to say. For example, the doors feel light and the controls don't have great tactile feedback, especially with the 4th-generation car.

Regarding safety, you really can't say when it comes to crashworthiness. No Indian Honda City has ever been tested by Global NCAP. Honda has a generally good record for crashworthiness, but it's not possible to predict crash ratings for the car. Regarding safety equipment, since you're considering the ZX variant, you'll get 6 airbags on both generations of the City, but what you won't get on the older car is Electronic Stability Control. This could be a deciding factor since it's an important safety feature that you shouldn't overlook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07CR View Post
5) Performance of CVT
From what I hear, the 5th-generation City's CVT has actual steps so it doesn't sound like a CVT does generally. I'm not qualified to talk about the drive experience, though.

That's just my bit of advice, I don't think I'm qualified to answer the rest of the questions you posed.
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Old 27th July 2021, 21:42   #3
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Default re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07CR View Post
How good is the 5th gen WRT to 4th gen in following criteria-

1) Space
2) Ride quality
3) Handling
4) Refinement
5) Performance of CVT
6) Mileage
7) Interior quality of materials
8) Build quality and safety
9) Ground clearance and possibility of bottoming out.

Any inputs would be appreciated.
I took Test Drives of both of these vehicles some time back.
Below are my observations.

1. Space - 5th Gen is marginally better.
2. Ride - 5th Gen is slightly better, at low speeds. At higher speeds, both gens are 'busy'.
3. Refinement - Both 5th & 4th gen are fairly & almost equally refined in day to day usage conditions. However, things do get loud at/above 3000rpm.
4. Mileage - The 5th Gen is slightly better at fuel efficiency.
5. Interior - The 5th Gen is miles ahead, in interior appearance and feel.
6. Build & Safety - The 5th Gen feels better built. It has 4 airbags in even the base variant. But, we can be sure unless it is tested by some competent authority.
7. Ground Clearance - The 5th Gen is noticeably worse than the 4th gen in Clearance. It has a ridiculously low placed cover below the engine compartment, and that is the point where it scrapes over large potholes and tall speed-breakers. The front overhang on the 5th Gen is also worse than the 4th Gen, and I managed to nick the front bumper as well, while negotiating a speed breaker.
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Old 27th July 2021, 22:02   #4
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Default re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

If you are going for used ZX CVT next year, go with 2020 5th generation city. As you said you should be able to get it for ~ 13L. Following are few advantages:

1) 2 years newer and latest generation car
2) Superior leather seats vs 4th gen
3) Better ACC controls
4) Minor engine improvement (DOHC)
5) Superb LED head lamps and fog lamps
6) Rear 3 point seat belt
7) Rear sun shade
8) Ambient lighting
9) TPMS
10) Better instrument cluster
11) Alexa remote functions
12) Remote start
13) Bigger touch screen
14) Lane watch camera
15) Hill hold control
16) Traction control

Overall interior in 2020 City is much better than last generation. Driving experience is more or less the same.

Last edited by Latheesh : 27th July 2021 at 22:15.
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Old 28th July 2021, 07:11   #5
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

Mod Note: Thread moved to the What Car -> Sedans forum.
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Old 28th July 2021, 09:53   #6
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

A Gen 4 owner here. The summation of my 7 year ownership is that the City does not age well. The car works like a charm for the first 30-50k km, after which all kinds of small problems keep on cropping up. Endlessly. As such, I will strongly suggest that if your heart is sent on the City, buy it new. Else, only if you find a pre owned car under 10000km. There is no point going for a 30-40k km run City as the best years of the car would have already been past it.
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Old 28th July 2021, 17:25   #7
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

It is said that Honda is no longer the epitome of reliability like it used to be. (Although my experience with Honda is with the 1st-gen Jazz which is going strong even after 10 years).

Having said that, if a newer generation is available for 2-3 lakhs extra, the 5th gen is definitely worth going for, as except for low GC, it is much butter in other departments, and it will feel much better.

The 4th gen will feel dated from the moment you get it and part of the extra 3L you spend on the 5th gen will be recovered at the time of resale. A sparingly used, relatively new car is the perfect way to buy a car, now just keep it for a long time and the extra 3L spent on it will be well worth it.
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Old 29th July 2021, 10:08   #8
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

Either get the 4th gen or drop both. The interior quality of the 5th gen is poor (it's more Ciaz than City). Doorpads feel cheap, NVH is very average at highway speeds and the ride and handling balance is not sporty or exciting at all.

You can feel the "ASEAN" lightness at high speeds and there are crossovers which are more sporty and fun and equally practical as the city. So, the city will be a compromise on ground clearance and quality with no returns of the same in handling and price. Also, not to forget the overrated ivtec engine (being NA) loses steam when the car is fully loaded.

No offence to anyone, but the city still sells in decent numbers only due to the reputation of quality and reliability of it's predecessors. If you look at the current car as a stand alone product, it falls short on many aspects.

Last edited by Lowflyer23 : 29th July 2021 at 10:15.
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Old 29th July 2021, 10:29   #9
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07CR View Post
How good is the 5th gen WRT to 4th gen in following criteria-

1) Space
2) Ride quality
3) Handling
4) Refinement
5) Performance of CVT
6) Mileage
7) Interior quality of materials
8) Build quality and safety
9) Ground clearance and possibility of bottoming out.

Any inputs would be appreciated.
Having driven both cars extensively, and currently owning a 5th generation Honda City, here are my thoughts.
  1. Space - The 5th Generation, although having the same wheelbase feels more spacious in the rear than the 4th generation because the front seats have a different shape. I also felt that the 5th generation had better/firmer seat cushions than the 4th generation.
  2. Ride quality and handling - I didn't feel any difference in the ride, handling, refinement, engine performance, CVT performance or mileage, although on paper the 5th generation is superior because of the upgraded engine.
  3. Interior - The 5th generation has much better interiors, it is very well thought out and all the buttons feel very high quality. The touchscreen doesn't lag and works very well although the resolution is not that good.
  4. Safety - Since the car hasn't been crash tested as yet by Global NCAP all we can do is speculate.
    It did score a 5 star rating in the ASEAN NCAP and there was a document which was released by Honda which said that the Indian car is equivalent to the one crash tested by ASEAN NCAP, although I have my own doubts. The 5th generation also claims to have a stiffer chassis than the 4th generation which may be safer but I am not too sure about that. All this said the 5th generation has some good safety kit, 6 airbags, all three point ELR seatbelts, ABS, EBD, ESC, Tyre deflation warning system etc.
To conclude I think the 5th generation City is the better option. I would also like you to consider the VX variant in the 5th generation City because all you would be losing out on are LED headlamps, Leather seats and Lanewatch camera, not very important features in my opinion.
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Old 29th July 2021, 10:57   #10
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

There is not doubt that 5th gen city is a superior product, and should be your pick among these two.

Now coming to preowned purchase process, 3L is huge delta for this. As per me 5 gen justifies 8-10% premium over previous gen with same ODO / ageing. Since New City was launched in 2020 you are stuck with one year old 5 gen which will be pricy.

If you are looking for a good deal then, I suggest you find a car from Mumbai (depreciation is high in Mumbai compared to Pune)

You mentioned you have a year time, I would also recommend to wait and look for more options. There are few 5 gen in pre owned market making transactions inefficient, as more supply builds up for 5th gen price will normalize.
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Old 29th July 2021, 11:14   #11
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

I have a 4th Gen City petrol which I bought used with the odo at approximately 29,000 kms. Car runs like a charm and right now at 42,000 kms on the meter, it hasn't given me any issues, apart the steering-mounted audio controls conking off. I get it serviced at Honda itself and the costs are reasonable for most part. But, the 4th gen does feel slightly outdated when you look at the 5th gen.

I have driven the 5th gen extensively too and I think as a package, the new one is worth it. Not only does it have more safety features and equipment, the ride is also more comfortable. Apart from that, the interior fit & finish is way better too. The 4th gen (including my car) has some dashboard rattles and the low speed ride isn't the best.

The petrol-CVT combo is pretty good on both the cars, with the new one being slightly better but I think the 4th gen handles better than the 5th gen. Don't expect a massive difference in the fuel economy of both the cars.

I'd say, get the 5th gen and use it for long. In case you do get the 4th gen, the good part is that Honda offers a 10 year Anytime Warranty which offers good peace of mind. Do note that the 4th gen has a 6 month service interval and IIRC the new one has a 1 year interval.
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Old 29th July 2021, 11:26   #12
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

As someone who uses a 2017 zx cvt for short commutes, i won't really recommend getting one in 2021. It would be definitely better if you can get a 2020 example in your budget even if you have to wait a bit more.

The main reason why i'm not supporting the 4th gen is because the quirky interior has already started to look dated and the quality of materials is not that appealing compared to the 5th gen which is marginally better. Space and comfort wise both are evenly matched except the seats being better in the gen5 and therefore will retain its shape for longer.

Rubber band effect is fairly pronounced and this is a car which you should drive at half throttle. Anything beyond that and you will be welcomed by a boomy engine which doesn't sound sporty. This gearbox is strictly for city use in stop go traffic where the hassle free cvt and its smooth operation gives a sublime experience. Eventhough i haven't driven the gen5 yet, i heard that the rubber band effect has been marginally reduced for the better.

Drive it sedately and you should get 12kmpl in the city and 18kmpl or above while cruising.
Both ride quality and handling are neutral and no complaints there.
Ground clearance is adequate for our roads.

Overall i feel like you would be better off with the gen5 with its improved interiors which will remain fresh for longer, features like hill hold, a way better infotainment system, better seats and other features which has already been mentioned above in detail by Mr.Latheesh.

Last edited by Jaggu : 29th July 2021 at 12:34. Reason: Adding paragraph breaks
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Old 29th July 2021, 11:27   #13
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

Another take on the above.
Why don't u go in for a 3rd gen Automatic Honda City. U will find some pristine examples of it at less than half your budget (there was a maroon example in showroom condition done 19k kms with sunroof for 5 lacs available a while back!)
Speaking as an owner of a pre loved Honda 3rd generation one for 4 years ( car is 8years old 55k kms done)

It's the best looking Honda city in my opinion in all 5 generations and does not look out of place even today.
The engine is a gem.
The interiors are hard wearing. Even today there is no rattle or squeak.
With the extra budget u can update the few weak points. Nicer headlamps fatter tyres a high end music system.

Attaching a picture of my baby
4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City-fb_img_1627538152579.jpg
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Old 29th July 2021, 13:09   #14
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

My family bought one of this first 4th gen Honda city ZX CVT back in 2017 when it was just released. I was more interested in an elantra for the same price but my parents wouldnt have it. Coming back to the car, the experience has been hassle free from day one. The 2nd car in our family being a Volkswagen polo, we could see the difference in servicing from the day we bought the Honda home .
Coming to the 5th gen Honda city ZX CVT,
A friend of mine who used to drive my car a lot got so impressed with the 4th gen city ZX CVT that when the time came to upgrade from his Ritz ZXi, he bought the 5th gen city ZX CVT without even giving a thought.
Now after driving both the cars for long distances and time I can surely shed some light on your questions
1.Space : although I haven't measured it, the space looks exactly the same. Quite comfy for both cars
2. Ride quality: 5th gen ride is a bit posh than the 4th gen, suspension on the softer side
3. Handling: feels almost the same though the chunkier steering wheel on the 5th gen gives a better grip to steer the car around which makes a difference. Handles almost the same
4.CVT performance: 5th gen CVT is way more refined than the 4th gen. The 5th gen almost feels like a dual clutch gearbox although it isnt one. 4th gen has that typical rubber band CVT .
5. Mileage: almost the same
6. Interior build quality: 5th gen interior feels way better than the 4th one. Mostly due to the wooden finish on the dash. Steering feels a lot better, seats feel a little better maybe coz they're new?
7. Ground clearance: 4th >5th
My 4th gen bottoms out every now and then however hard I try to avoid. The 5th gen will bottom out more if the GC is even lower.
8. Build quality: everyone saying that the 5th gens is better but the I think its almost the same and the 5th gens feels better maybe coz its new.
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Old 29th July 2021, 14:10   #15
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Default Re: 4th-gen vs 5th-gen Honda City

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07CR View Post
Hi everyone, I wish to buy a car in the budget between 8-13L. Don't need the car rightaway, and I am prepared to wait for one more year.

I have decided to go with the preowned route. As the current situation stands, I have fixated on the City, but not able to decide if I should wait for a few good deals on used 5th Gen City or go ahead with the used 4th gen City? I am only interested in the ZX CVT variant of both cars.

My criteria for used car buying-
1) Should be 2018 or newer variant.
2) Should be run less than 40K kms.
3) Should be a first owner car.

I am seeing a couple of examples of used 4th Gen City ZX retailing at around 10L in the above criteria. If I wait (for a year or so), I should be able to get the 5th gen City ZX at about 13L, (considering currently 2020 models are available at around 15L on used car sites).

Any inputs would be appreciated.
Go for brand new 4th Gen Honda City. You will get it at around 11.5 Lakhs on Road with low interest rate. Bargain hard with dealer and you can get sweeter deal as well. New car will give you peace of mind instead of going for used car.
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