While there has been an apparent shift in bigger cars of late, the sedan market continues to be a veritable hunting ground for Pinoy buyers.
Not just about to back off from a segment where it has cemented its place as among the more preferred brands, Honda Cars Philippines just launched the all-new City.
In the first major outing for the all-new model, media invitees found themselves driving a fleet of City sedans on the twisty roads of the Marilaque stretch of Tanay, Rizal. Fondly called by car enthusiasts as “Tanayburging,” it is a portmanteau of Tanay and Nurburgring of Germany.
Organizers of the drive used the well-paved roads and changing elevations and endless twisty corners of “Tanayburging” as the proving grounds of the new City.
The route also had City convoy trekking through bad roads and roads and at one point under a light rain that added more challenge to the drive.
The Honda team designed the day drive to allow the drivers to experience the new City’s suspension, engine performance and overall driver experience. Cabin comfort and ride was pleasant, the suspension soaked up the bad parts of the road quite well while handling remained sharp with good feedback. These days, with so many brands offering new models with more and more tech features and amenities, Honda also made sure the new City still has one of the best in class in terms of NVH (noise vibration and harshness) and a solid suspension that’s meant to perform well as one zips in and out of the urban concrete jungle.
These are solid improvements from the previous generations of the Honda City which celebrates its 25th milestone year as the main contributor to Honda’s overall market share, having been built at the company’s assembly plant for years until its closure last year.
The RS variant’s subtle exterior features include a glossy black front bumper and grille with an RS logo emblem, full LED Headlights with Daytime Running Lights, LED Fog Lights, power folding door mirrors with integrated side turn signals and 16-inch RS design alloy wheels, with a glossy black rear spoiler complete with the RS logo at the rear.
Using Honda’s 1.5L DOHC i-VTEC engine, it is rated at 121PS of power and 145Nm of torque and its Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), combined with the all-new City’s handling makes it a very pleasant and capable subcompact. The varying elevations of Tanayburgring put the City to test in handling uphill climbs and fast downhill corners all while providing a smooth ride with uncompromised fuel efficiency.
The all-new City also has a Five Star ASEAN NCAP safety rating supported by its active and passive safety features. It has the following as standard safety features – Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) to prevent over and under steering in high-speed corners and Hill Start Assist (HSA). It also has four airbags across all variants and additional side curtain airbags for the 1.5 RS CVT variant.
Inside, the new City has a more spacious interior, with better legroom and knee space as well as better seating ergonomics. Its use of soft touch materials for its interior finishes with ivory accents for the V and S variants give this subcompact a more premium feel and while its RS variant uses a playful combination of leather and suede materials with black and re stitching. All variants come with a new 8-inch touchscreen display that supports Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and WebLink connectivity. Other goodies include a new One Push Start System with Smart Entry Keyless Entry System for the RS and V variants, and Keyless Entry for the 1.5 S CVT and 1.5 S MT variants. The 1.5 RS CVT also comes equipped with a new Remote Engine Start, which is a first-time feature for the City.
The all-new City has three variants – the 1.5 V CVT, 1.5 S CVT and the top-of-the-line RS variant with the following Suggested Retail Prices: 1.5 RS CVT – P1,058,000*, 1.5 V CVT – P978,000*, 1.5 S CVT – P888,000, 1.5 S MT – P848,000
*additional P20,000 for Platinum White Pearl (a new color for the City)
Alvin Uy wears many hats, foremost among them being an executive for a home improvement chain and real estate developer and part of a family-owned chemical business. Aside from writing about motoring news and car reviews, he loves to write about traveling, food and wine reviews, mechanical timepieces and classic cars.