There’s a lot you can tell by a name. Honda named their B-segment budget sedan City, much like the urban township which many examples will find home to. Interestingly, this sub-compact, which started life as an ASEAN only model, is also more apt for intra-city/suburb drives than for true inter-state jaunts. Hence its all-telling and meaningful nomenclature?
Into its 3rd generation (as a sedan, the first one was a JDM mini hatch) the City has indeed matured and grown up. External sheet metals are tauter now, with more angular lines and sharper contours. The arrow-form shape is tensibly palpable as visualised from the shot shown above. Neat, smart looking and to a certain extent being copied by Kia's upcoming Cerato Forte.
Step into the new City's cabin, the dashboard, door trim and especially, Honda’s ‘universal’ dish wok steering wheel greets you, conveying a more serious demeanour, more like a junior Civic than an entry-level sedan. The last one was more MPV-ish in nature.
It’s inevitable that the City draw many parallels with the Toyota Vios
By now, if you have not fallen asleep with the cold facts above, I supposed most will naturally ask: “So, which is the better car?” While I can’t really tell you with definitive authority – this isn’t a shootout or a comparo at any rate – I can say there is a lot to like about the
Things that I missed (my family had an
While the seats are supportive enough, I couldn’t ignore the fact that thigh support are shorter aft (versus 2nd gen), for both front seats. Could this be a case of flattering mimicry? If you happen to delve into things a little deeper, you may have noticed that seat trim pattern and overall dark, sombre interior tone also mirrors the Vios somewhat, more so the last 2nd generation model. In the
Driving impression of the
Going on to highway, I mostly tried my best to keep the 4-pot ticking below 4000rpm. Above this, the i-VTEC powerplant (?intake manifold) bellows an incessant hollow drumming. Sadly atypical of Honda’s previous VTEC motors singing smoothness. In all fairness, the
Before returning the tester, the odometer was reading some 410km to the tankful of 42 litres (minus the reserve volume) of benzene laden fuel. While it’s not fair to comment on fuel consumption since more than half the time the car was being pushed quite hard (I didn’t pay attention to the on-board computer figure, my apologies), I reckon that this
So much for our local motoring ‘enthusiasts’ preferring a more spirited feeling or sporty drive, which is afforded by a regular torque converter, according to Honda Malaysia. Maybe, just maybe…these guys should just get a Toyota Vios J manual. It’s light and spirited working the stick shift, rowing thru all 5 forward ratios. In fact, it was lovely to sprint about in one, the last time tested in 2008 as part of the NST-CBT COTY review. And oh! Just in case if that isn’t sporty enough there’s always localised (more affordable?) TRD goodies, to be made available soon, last I heard.