Honda has released its all new City and I had the chance to drive the VTI-L version. The first thing I noticed was the sky blue colour, beautiful. Couple this with a sleek style that looks good from any angle and superb fit and finish and Honda seems to have a winner on their hands.
This vehicle is right in the buying zone for my age group and the attention to detail for that market shows. However the City is popular with older buyers as well. Internally the new City seems to have a lot of space, with plenty of head, leg and shoulder room. The driver’s seat is a little flat but comfortable enough. Older drivers may miss the lumbar support. The dash and centre console is easy to use and clear to read. One thing to mention is the thick steering wheel which feels very comfortable and the wheel based controls are again easy to use allowing control of the vehicle.
There is enough room for four people to travel for a weekend but if there is a tall driver then the rear passenger will be cramped, expected in this size car. Boot space is fantastic. One key feature is the flexibility of the seats to store unusual luggage requirements. The rear seats fold flat which is a useful design feature.
The rear passengers have, for the size of vehicle, adequate knee, shoulder and leg room. Three across the rear seat is a squash for any length of time and it is more suited to two people with a bump in the seat and rear centre console severely restricting space and comfort for the third.
The visibility for all passengers is great though. From the drivers view the excellent visibility makes the car feel even more nimble than it is.
The 1.5 litre SOHC four-cylinder engine delivers 88kW of power at 6600rpm and 145Nm of torque at 4600rpm. The engine is coupled with the all-new CVT with torque converter from Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology series.
That’s the technical bit. To drive it feels a bit underpowered and you find yourself pushing the pedal down to get some sprightly acceleration, thus more fuel useage, meaning that the economy isn’t what you would expect. The ADR figures for the City are just 5.7L/100K however in real life I didn’t get anywhere near that. Maybe I was too enthusiastic with the accelerator pedal but to achieve that economy I should be wearing a bowlers hat and have grey hair (apologies to those drivers). It also has a small tank and you seem to be filling up regularly.
Having said that to drive the City it feels smooth and quiet and its size is ideal for city driving and around the suburbs Honda has featured items that are important to my demographic such as connectivity and safety. The ease of which I can hook up my iPhone is amazing and it keeps me connected through hands-free Bluetooth functionality (available with Apple or Andoird phones) as well as a mirror function for viewing navigation and approved apps straight from your compatible Apple iPhone (5 or above).
Standard active safety features in the Honda City include Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Emergency Brake Assist, Emergency Stop Signal, Hill Start Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control System and six airbags. Another key feature is the excellent multi-view rear camera which has three different modes (normal, wide and top-down) and is standard across the range. It really makes backing into car spaces a breeze.
The Honda City VTI-L is full of features, is relatively inexpensive, has an abundance of internal space for its size, will seat four in comfort, has amazing flexibility for luggage storage and looks very chic. It is aptly named and well worth a look if you are in that market segment.
• Build Quality
• Internal Comfort and practicality
• Fit for purpose
• No steering reach adjustment
• Seems underpowered
• Economy not as good as expected
HONDA CITY VTI-L
Model City VTI-L
Model Price $24,957 RDAP
Engine 1.5L 4Cyl Petrol
Drivetrain FWD CVT Auto
Power 88 Kw @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 145 Nm @ 4,800 rpm
Safety 5 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions 133 g/km
GVR 4 ½ Star
Economy 5.7 L/100km (ADR comb)
Tow Capacity N/A
Tow Ball Rating N/A
Warranty 3 yr/ 100,000 km with full roadside assist
Overall AnyAuto Rating: 80/100
Behind the Wheel 7
Fit for Purpose 10
Segment appeal 9
Value for Money 8